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This Side of Paradise book cover

This Side of Paradise Quotes

I don't want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.
I'm not sentimental--I'm as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last--the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won't.
They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.
You'll find another.' God! Banish the thought. Why don't you tell me that 'if the girl had been worth having she'd have waited for you'? No, sir, the girl really worth having won't wait for anybody.
It was always the becoming he dreamed of, never the being.
I'm a slave to my emotions, to my likes, to my hatred of boredom, to most of my desires.
There is a moment—Oh, just before the first kiss, a whispered word—something that makes it worth while.
Don't let yourself feel worthless: often through life you will really be at your worst when you seem to think best of yourself; and don't worry about losing your "personality," as you persist in calling it: at fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon, and when you are my age you will give out, as I do, the genial golden warmth of 4 p.m.
I hope something happens. I'm restless as the devil and have a horror of getting fat or falling in love and growing domestic.
You're not sorry to go, of course. With people like us our home is where we are not... No one person in the world is necessary to you or to me.
You know I'm old in some ways-in others-well, I'm just a little girl. I like sunshine and pretty things and cheerfulness-and I dread responsibility.
Experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes.
You're a slave, a bound helpless slave to one thing in this world, your imagination.
And he could not tell why the struggle was worthwhile, why he had determined to use the utmost himself and his heritage from the personalities he had passed... He stretched out his arms to the crystalline, radiant sky. I know myself," he cried, "But that is all.
Youth is like having a big plate of candy. Sentimentalists think they want to be in the pure, simple state they were in before they ate the candy. They don't. They just want the fun of eating it all over again.
Those days are over. I have to be won all over again every time you see me.
I can’t tell you just how wonderful she is. I don’t want you to know. I don’t want any one to know.
We can't possibly have a summer love. So many people have tried that the name's become proverbial. Summer is only the unfulfilled promise of spring, a charlatan in place of the warm balmy nights I dream of in April. It's a sad season of life without growth...It has no day.
Beauty means the scent of roses and then the death of roses.
The unwelcome November rain had perversely stolen the day's last hour and pawned it with that ancient fence, the night.
I may turn out an intellectual, but I'll never write anything but mediocre poetry.
We want to believe. Young students try to believe in older authors, constituents try to believe in their Congressmen, countries try to believe in their statesmen, but they can't. Too many voices, too much scattered, illogical ill-considered criticism.
I know myself," he cried, "but that is all.
I'm a romantic; a sentimental person thinks things will last, a romantic person hopes against hope that they won't.
Many nights he lay there dreaming awake of secret cafés in Mont Marte, where ivory women delved in romantic mysteries with diplomats and soldiers of fortune, while orchestras played Hungarian waltzes and the air was thick and exotic with intrigue and moonlight and adventure.
I simply state that I'm a product of a versatile mind in a restless generation-with every reason to throw my mind and pen in with the radicals. Even if, deep in my heart, I thought we were all blind atoms in a world as limited as a stroke of a pendulum, I and my sort would struggle against tradition; try, at least, to displace old cants with new ones. I've thought I was right about life at various times, but faith is difficult. One thing I know. If living isn't seeking for the grail it may be a damned amusing game.
Beauty and love pass, I know... Oh, there's sadness, too. I suppose all great happiness is a little sad. Beauty means the scent of roses and then the death of roses-.
It’s just that I feel so sad these wonderful nights. I sort of feel they’re never coming again, and I’m not really getting all I could out of them.
At fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon, and when you are my age you will give out, as I do, the genial golden warmth of 4 p.m.
There was no God in his heart, he knew; his ideas were still in riot; there was ever the pain of memory; the regret for his lost youth-yet the waters of disillusion had left a deposit on his soul, responsibility and a love of life, the faint stirring of old ambitions and unrealized dreams...... And he could not tell why the struggle was worth while, why he had determined to use to the utmost himself and his heritage from the personalities he had passed... He stretched out his arms to the crystalline, radiant sky. I know myself," he cried, "but that is all.
Selfish people are in a way terribly capable of great loves.
No one person in the world is necessary to you or to me.
You are mine-you know you're mine!" he cried wildly...the moonlight twisted in through the vines and listened...the fireflies hung upon their whispers as if to win his glance from the glory of their eyes.
He was resentful against all those in authority over him, and this, combined with a lazy indifference toward his work, exasperated every master in school. He grew discouraged and imagined himself a pariah; took to sulking in corners and reading after lights. With a dread of being alone he attached a few friends, but since they were not among the elite of the school, he used them simply as mirrors of himself, audiences before which he might do that posing absolutely essential to him. He was unbearably lonely, desperately unhappy.
When Vanity kissed Vanity, a hundred happy Junes ago, he pondered o'er her breathlessly, and, that all men might ever know, he rhymed her eyes with life and death: "Thru Time I'll save my love!" he said... yet Beauty vanished with his breath, and, with her lovers, she was dead. . . -Ever his wit and not her eyes, ever his art and not her hair: "Who'd learn a trick in rhyme, be wise and pause before his sonnet there". . . So all my words, however true, might sing you to a thousandth June, and no one ever know that you were Beauty for an afternoon.
Summer is only the unfulfilled promise of spring, a charlatan in place of the warm balmy nights I dream of in April. It’s a sad season of life without growth…It has no day.
He found something that he wanted, had always wanted and always would want -- not to be admired, as he had feared; not to be loved, as he had made himself believe; but to be necessary to people, to be indispensable...'very few things matter and nothing matters very much.
There used to be two kinds of kisses: First when girls were kissed and deserted; second, when they were engaged. Now there's a third kind, where the man is kissed and deserted. If Mr. Jones of the nineties bragged he'd kissed a girl, everyone knew he was through with her. If Mr. Jones of 1919 brags the same, everyone knows it's because he can't kiss her any more. Given a decent start any girl can beat a man nowadays.
I feared so-you're sentimental. You're not like me. I'm a romantic little materialist." "I'm not sentimental-I'm as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last-the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won't.
First, he realized that the sea was blue and that there was an enormous quantity of it, and that it roared and roared-really all the banalities about the ocean that one could realize, but if any one had told him then that these things were banalities, he would have gaped in wonder.
He was going to live in New York, and be known at every restaurant and café, wearing a dress suit from early evening to early morning, sleeping away the dull hours of the forenoon.
Dear, don't think of getting out of bed yet. I've always suspected that early rising in early life makes one nervous.
Summer has no day,' she said. 'We can't possibly have a summer love. So many people have tried that the name's become proverbial. Summer is only the unfulfilled promise of spring, a charlatan in place of the warm balmy nights I dream of in April. It's a sad season of life without growth...it has no day.
For years afterwards when Amory thought of Eleanor he seemed still to hear the wind sobbing around him and sending little chills into the places beside his heart. The night when they rode up the slope and watched the cold moon float through the clouds, he lost a further part of him that nothing could restore; and when he lost it he lost also the power of regretting it.
When Eleanor's arm touched his he felt his hands grow cold with deadly fear lest he should lose the shadow brush with which his imagination was painting wonders of her. He watched her from the corners of his eyes as ever he did when he walked with her-- she was a feast and a folly and he wished it had been his destiny to sit forever on a haystack and see life through her green eyes.
he wanted people to like his mind again-after awhile it might be such a nice place in which to live.
It was a grey day, that least fleshly of all weathers; a day of dreams and far hopes and clear visions. It was a day easily associated with those abstract truths and purities that dissolve in the sunshine or fade out in mocking laughter by the light of the moon. The trees and clouds were carved in classical severity; the sounds of the countryside had harmonized to a monotone, metallic as a trumpet, breathless as the Grecian urn.
When the lightning strikes one of us, it strikes both.
Youth is like having a big plate of candy. Sentimentalists think they want to be in the pure, simple state they were in before they ate the candy. They don't. They just want the fun of eating it all over again. The matron doesn't want to repeat her girlhood, she wants to repeat her honeymoon. I don't want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.
I'll never be a poet,' said Amory as he finished. 'I'm not enough of a sensualist really; there are only a few obvious things that I notice as primarily beautiful: women, spring evenings, music at night, the sea; I don't catch the subtle things like 'silver-snarling trumpets.' I may turn out an intellectual, but I'll never right anything but mediocre poetry.
Now he realized the truth: that sacrifice was no purchase of freedom. It was like a great elective office, it was like an inheritance of power - to certain people at certain times an essential luxury, carrying with it not a guarantee but a responsibility, not a security but an infinite risk. Its very momentum might drag him down to ruin - the passing of the emotional wave that made it possible might leave the one who made it high and dry forever on an island of despair...Sacrifice by its very nature was arrogant and impersonal; sacrifice should be eternally supercilious.
His youth seemed never so vanished as now in the contrast between the utter loneliness of this visit and that riotous, joyful party of four years before. Things that had been the merest commonplaces of his life then, deep sleep, the sense of beauty around him, all desire, had flown away and the gaps they left were filled only with the great listlessness of his disillusion.
Man in his hunger for faith will feed his mind with the nearest and most convenient food.
The great tapestries of trees had darkened to ghosts back at the last edge of twilight. The early moon had drenched the arches with pale blue, and, weaving over the night, in and out of the gossamer rifts of moon, swept a song, a song with more than a hint of sadness, infinitely transient, infinitely regretful.
If we could only learn to look on evil as evil, whether it's clothed in filth or monotony or magnificence.
Amory thought how it was only the past that seemed strange and unbelievable.
I'm a cynical idealist.' He paused and wondered if that meant anything.
How the unforgettable faces of dusk would blend to her, the myriad footsteps, a thousand overtures, would blend to her footsteps; and there would be more drunkenness than wine in the softness of her eyes on his.
Here, Earth-born, over the lilt of the water, Lisping its music and bearing a burden of light, Bosoming day as a laughing and radiant daughter… Here we may whisper unheard, unafraid of the night. Walking alone…was it splendor, or what, we were bound with? Deep in the time when summer lets down her hair? Shadows we loved and the patterns they covered the ground with Tapestries, mystical, faint in the breathless air.
he could transform the barest incident into a thing of curve and contour.
Amory wondered how people could fail to notice that he was a boy marked for glory, and when faces of the throng turned toward him and ambiguous eyes stared into his, he assumed the most romantic of expressions and walked on the air cushions that lie on the asphalts of fourteen...
And now Rosalind enters. Rosalind is-- utterly Rosalind. She is one of those girls who need never make the slightest effort to have men fall in love with them. Two types of men seldom do: dull men are usually afraid of her cleverness and intellectual men are usually afraid of her beauty. All others are hers by natural prerogative.
Youth is like having a big plate of candy. Sentimentalists think they want to be in the pure, simple state they were in before they ate the candy. They don't. They just want the fun of eating it all over again. The matron doesn't want to repeat her girlhood - she wants to repeat her honeymoon. I don't want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.
i'm in a muddle about a lot of things -- i've just discovered that i've a mind, and i'm starting to read" "read what?" "everything. i have to pick and choose, of course, but mostly things that make me think.
Every author ought to write every book as if he were going to be beheaded the day he finished it.
He lifted his arms to the crystaline, radiant sky. "I know myself," he cried, "but that is all.
The world is so overgrown that it can't lift its own fingers, and I was planning to be such an important finger-.