A paperback tie-in version for the 1949 movie featuring Alan Ladd. Not exactly how I pictured Gatsby, but there’s no accounting for taste.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald: “utter helplessness”
I am thirty-six years old. For eighteen years save for a short space during the war writing has been my chief interest in life, and I am in every sense a professional. Yet even now when, at the recurrent cry of “Baby Needs Shoes,” I sit down facing my sharpened pencils and a block of legal-sized paper, I have a feeling of utter helplessness. I may write my story in three days or, as is more frequently the case, it may be six weeks before I have assembled anything worthy to be sent out. I can open a volume from a criminal law library and find a thousand plots. I can go into highway and byway, parlor and kitchen, and listen to personal revelations that at the hands of other writers might endure forever. But all that is nothing — not even enough for a false start.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, “One Hundred False Starts” (1933)
Fitzgerald’s handwritten manuscript of The Great Gatsby (via)
Quote of the Day
Every author ought to write every book as if he were going to be beheaded the day he finished it.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise (via)
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s briefcase. The monogram reads:
597 – 5th Ave.
The address is not Fitzgerald’s but that of his publisher, Charles Scribner’s Sons.Source
Zelda Fitzgerald, 1924, age 23. Zelda died on this day in 1948. (via scribnerbooks)
Mannahatta, 1609, as Henry Hudson found it. Reminds me of this:
Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
More about The Mannahatta Project here and here.