'The Beautiful and Damned' Quotes

F. Scott Fitzgerald's Second Novel

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald cover
Simon & Schuster

The Beautiful and Damned is the second novel, published by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book is about Anthony Patch, a socialite during the 1920s Jazz Age. Here are quotes from the famous classic.

'The Beautiful and Damned' Quotes

"The victor belongs to the spoils."

"In 1913, when Anthony Patch was twenty-five, two years were already gone since irony, the Holy Ghost of this later day, had, theoretically at least, descended upon him."

"As you first see him he wonders frequently whether he is not without honor and slightly mad, a shameful and obscene thinness glistening on the surface of the world like oil on a clean pond, these occasions being varied, of course, with those in which he thinks himself rather an exceptional young man, thoroughly sophisticated, well adjusted to his environment, and somewhat more significant than anyone else he knows."

"This was his healthy state and it made him cheerful, pleasant, and very attractive to intelligent men and to all women. In this state, he considered that he would one day accomplish some quiet subtle thing that the elect would deem worthy and, passing on, would join the dimmer stars in a nebulous, indeterminate heaven half-way between death and immortality. Until the time came for this effort he would be Anthony Patch - not a portrait of a man but a distinct and dynamic personality, opinionated, contemptuous, functioning from within outward - a man who was aware that there could be no honor and yet had honor, who knew the sophistry of courage and yet was brave."

"To Anthony life was a struggle against death, that waited at every corner. It was as a concession to his hypochondriacal imagination that he formed the habit of reading in bed - it soothed him. He read until he was tired and often fell asleep with the lights still on."

"Curiously enough he found in senior year that he had acquired a position in his class. He learned that he was looked upon as a rather romantic figure, a scholar, a recluse, a tower of erudition. This amused him but secretly pleased him - he began going out, at first a little and then a great deal."

"Once upon a time all the men of mind and genius in the world became of one belief that is to say, of no belief. But it wearied them to think that within a few years after their death many cults and systems and prognostications would be ascribed to them which they had never meditated nor intended."

"Let's join together and make a great book that will last forever to mock the credulity of man. Let's persuade our more erotic poets to write about the delights of the flesh, and induce some of our robust journalists to contribute stories of famous amours. We'll include all the most preposterous old wives' tales now current. We'll choose the keenest satirist alive to compile a deity from all the deities worshipped by mankind, a deity who will be more magnificent than any of them, and yet so weakly human that he'll become a byword for laughter the world over and we'll ascribe to him all sorts of jokes and vanities and rages, in which he'll be supposed to indulge for his own diversion, so that the people will read our book and ponder it, and there'll be no more nonsense in the world."

"Finally, let us take care that the book possesses all the virtues of style, so that it may last forever as a witness to our profound skepticism and our universal irony."

"So the men did, and they died."

"But the book lived always, so beautifully had it been written, and so astounding the quality of imagination with which these men of mind and genius had endowed it. They had neglected to give it a name, but after they were dead it became known as the Bible."

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Lombardi, Esther. "'The Beautiful and Damned' Quotes." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, thoughtco.com/the-beautiful-and-damned-quotes-738293. Lombardi, Esther. (2020, August 25). 'The Beautiful and Damned' Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-beautiful-and-damned-quotes-738293 Lombardi, Esther. "'The Beautiful and Damned' Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-beautiful-and-damned-quotes-738293 (accessed June 8, 2023).