F. Scott Fitzgerald Quotes

Most popular F. Scott Fitzgerald Quotes

Action is character.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

action

Forgotten is forgiven.

forgiveness forgetting

The rich are different.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

wealth

A stick hardened in the fire.
You can stroke people with words.

words

Unborn is tomorrow and dead is yesterday.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald
Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald
If you're strong enough, there are no precedents.

Strength precedent

I had to sink my yacht to make the guests go home.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

Yachting

Everybody's youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness.

youth

Genius is the ability to put into effect what is on your mind.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

genius action

Speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again.

speech

Men get to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women they have known.

charm men and women

Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist but in the ability to start over.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

failure perseverance

No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

creativity ideas

In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day.

despair

Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.
Cut out all those exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.

punctuation

You don't write because you want to say something; you write because you've got something to say.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald
This is what I think now: that the natural state of the sentient adult is a qualified unhappiness.

unhappiness

At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide.

middle age conviction youth & age

Only remember—west of the Mississippi it's a little more look, see, act. A little less rationalize, comment, talk.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

America

It appears that every man's insomnia is as different from his neighbor's as are their daytime hopes and aspirations.
It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again.
Thirty—the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair.

age 30

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

intelligence

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

intelligence hopelessness ideas

Trouble has no necessary connection with discouragement—discouragement has a germ of its own, as different from trouble as arthritis is different from a stiff joint.

trouble

The easiest way to get a reputation is to go outside the fold, shout around for a few years as a violent atheist or a dangerous radical, and then crawl back to the shelter.

reputation

Advertising is a racket, like the movies and the brokerage business. You cannot be honest without admitting that its constructive contribution to humanity is exactly minus zero.

advertising

Family quarrels are bitter things.  They don't go by any rules.  They're not like aches or wounds; they're more like splits in the skin that won't heal because there's not enough material.

family quarrels

Genius goes around the world in its youth incessantly apologizing for having large feet. What wonder that later in life it should be inclined to raise those feet too swiftly to fools and bores.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

genius

The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before.

kiss

Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

wealth

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

intelligence attitude

I must hold in balance the sense of the futility of effort and the sense of the necessity to struggle; the conviction of the inevitability of failure and still the determination to "succeed"—and, more than these, the contradiction between the dead hand of the past and the high intentions of the future.

determination