Distribution Automatique

Tuesday, February 13

This Side of Paradise

"Q- Do you want a lot of money?
A- No. I am merely afraid of being poor.
Q- Very afraid?
A- Just passively afraid.
Q- Where are you drifting?
A- Don't ask *me*!
Q- Don't you care?
A- Rather. I don't want to commit moral suicide.
Q- Have you no interests left?
A- None, I have no more virtue to lose. Just as a cooling pot gives off no more heat, so all through youth and adolescence we give off calories of virtue. That's what's called ingenuousness.
Q- An interesting idea.
A- That's why a good man going wrong attracts people.They stand around literally *warm themselves* at the calories of virtue he gives off. Sarah makes an unsophisticated remark and the faces simper in delight-'How *innocent* the poor child is!' They're warming themselves at her virtue. But Sarah sees the simper and never makes the remark again. Only she feels a little colder after that."

-F.Scott Fitzgerald

*This Side of Paradise* was Fitzgerald's first book, begun when he was still a Princeton undergraduate and published when he was 23.