‘Babylon Revisited’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald, Scott 1931

Babylon Revisited by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1931

The magic trick:

Writing really good sentences that beautifully encapsulate the essential sadness within the story

Talk about stating the obvious, right? This story is good because Fitzgerald wrote good sentences? Well, yes. That’s what he does. Fitzgerald always had a knack for breaking into his stories’ narrative to drop absurdly wise and poetic bits of knowledge that serve as sort of Cliff’s Notes summaries to his main themes.

In “Babylon Revisited,” he actually is far less verbose than in much of his earlier work, but he still is capable of the occasional jaw-dropper. It’s funny because a writer is usually taught to show and not tell. I’m praising Fitzgerald’s ability to do the exact opposite. He shows and tells. And that’s quite a trick on Fitzgerald’s part.

The selection:

All the catering to vice and waste was on an utterly childish scale, and he suddenly realized the meaning of the word “dissipate” – to dissipate into thin air; to make nothing of something. In the little hours of the night every move from place to place was an enormous human jump, an increase of paying for the privilege of slower and slower motion.

Advertisements

3 Comments on “‘Babylon Revisited’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald”

  1. EnglishLitGeek says:

    What I love most about Fitzgerald is the way he put so much of himself into his characters. Here is a good analysis about this: http://faculty.georgetown.edu/bassr/tamlit/collections/fitzwrks.html


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s