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Zelda Fitzgerald Quotes

Zelda Fitzgerald (1900-1948)

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Zelda Fitzgerald, born Zelda Sayre, was an artist, ballet dancer, and writer. Married at 19 to writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, her zany and racy antics -- and his -- seemed to symbolize the freedom of the Jazz Age. She wrote in part to battle her restlessness while her husband was absorbed in his writing.

Zelda Fitzgerald was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. She was hospitalized after a nervous collapse in 1930, and spent the rest of her life in sanatoriums.

Zelda Fitzgerald died in a hospital fire in 1948. It was the 1960s before her writing began to be studied seriously and she began to emerge a bit from the shadow of her more famous husband.

Selected Zelda Fitzgerald Quotations

• I don't want to live -- I want to love first, and live incidentally.

• Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.

• Why do we spend years using up our bodies to nurture our minds with experience and find our minds turning then to our exhausted bodies for solace?

• Women sometimes seem to share a quiet, unalterable dogma of persecution that endows even the most sophisticated of them with the inarticulate poignancy of the peasant.

• Oh, the secret life of man and woman -- dreaming how much better we would be than we are if we were somebody else or even ourselves, and feeling that our estate has been unexploited to its fullest.

• By the time a person has achieved years adequate for choosing a direction, the die is cast and the moment has long since passed which determined the future.

• We grew up founding our dreams on the infinite promise of American advertising. I still believe that one can learn to play the piano by mail and that mud will give you a perfect complexion.

• Most people hew the battlements of life from compromise, erecting their impregnable keeps from judicious submissions, fabricating their philosophical drawbridges from emotional retractions and scalding marauders in the boiling oil of sour grapes.

• I wish I could write a beautiful book to break those hearts that are soon to cease to exist: a book of faith and small neat worlds and of people who live by the philosophies of popular songs.

• It's very expressive of myself. I just lump everything in a great heap which I have labeled "the past," and, having thus emptied this deep reservoir that was once myself, I am ready to continue.

• I have often told you that I am that little fish who swims about under a shark and, I believe, lives indelicately on its offal. Anyway, that is the way I am. Life moves over me in a vast black shadow and I swallow whatever it drops with relish, having learned in a very hard school that one cannot be both a parasite and enjoy self-nourishment without moving in worlds too fantastic for even my disordered imagination to people with meaning.

• Mr. Fitzgerald -- I believe that is how he spells his name -- seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home.

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2005. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Zelda Fitzgerald Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/cs/quotes/zelda_fitzg.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)

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