Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"all crowds have to howl."

"All crowds have to howl."

"I can't draw, I can't do anything. I'm poor as a church mouse." He laughed, bitterly and rather too loud. "I've become a damn beggar, a leech on my friends. I'm a failure. I'm poor as hell."

Her distaste was growing. She barely nodded this time, waiting for her first possible cue to rise.

Suddenly Gordon's eyes filled with tears.

"Edith," he said, turning to her with what was evidently a strong effort at self-control, "I can't tell you what it means to me to know there's one person left who's interested in me."

He reached out and patted her hand, and involuntarily she drew it away.

Mr. In and Mr. Out were meanwhile exchanging pleasantries concerning their future plans.

"We want liquor; we want breakfast. Neither without the other. One and indivisible."

"We want both 'em!"

"Both 'em!"

"You'll have to sit down," said the waiter to Peter after they had gone.

"What's 'at? Sit down?"

"Yes --or get out."

Peter turned to Dean.

"Come on," he suggested. "Let's beat up this waiter."

"All right."

They advanced toward him, their faces grown stern. The waiter retreated.

--Love is fragile --she was thinking --but perhaps the pieces are saved, the things that hovered on lips, that might have been said. The new love words, the tendernesses learned, are treasured up for the next lover.

Then they were in an elevator bound skyward.

"What floor, please?" said the elevator man.

"Any floor," said Mr. In.

"Top floor," said Mr. Out.

"This is the top floor," said the elevator man.

"Have another floor put on," said Mr. Out.

"Higher," said Mr. In.

"Heaven," said Mr. Out.


Fitzy, I love you so much. I highly recommend this novella (too short for a novel, too long for a short story) to everyone. I finished it in about two hours. It's rough going and tragic at moments, but so good. So solid. Such a reminder that Fitzgerald was one of the finest writers to ever walk the earth, even if he did so with much inebriation.


Sonja said...

I've never actually read Fitzgerald.

I feel like that this is some sort of sin -- and an unforgivable one as English student.

But I like this excerpt, so I suppose I shall be more willing modify my shortcomings...

Katrina said...


You must! Fitzy was phenomenal, I can't even get over his talent. Everytime I read even an excerpt from his work I am just blown away. He makes it seem effortless to connect with a reader.

You have to read this one, and Great Gatsby. :}