The Notebooks
of F. Scott Fitzgerald


(G) Descriptions of Girls

467 She turned her slender smile full upon Lew for a moment, and then aimed it a little aside, like a pocket torch that might dazzle him.

468 She was the dark Gunther—dark and shining and driven.

469 He had not realized that flashing fairness could last so far into the twenties.

470 Nevertheless, the bright little apples of her cheeks, the blue of the Zuyder Zee in her eyes, the braided strands of golden corn on the wide forehead, testified to the purity of her origin. She was the school beauty.

471 Her beauty was as poised and secure as a flower on a strong stem; her voice was cool and sure, with no wayward instruments in it that played on his emotions.

472 She was not more than eighteen—a dark little beauty with the fine crystal gloss over her that, in brunettes, takes the place of a blond’s bright glow.

473 Becky was nineteen, a startling little beauty, with her head set upon her figure as though it had been made separately and then placed there with the utmost precision. Her body was sturdy, athletic; her head was a bright, happy composition of curves and shadows and vivid color, with that final kinetic jolt, the element that is eventually sexual in effect, which made strangers stare at her. [Who has not had the excitement of seeing an apparent beauty from afar; then, after a moment, seeing that same face grow mobile and watching the beauty disappear moment by moment, as if a lovely statue had begun to walk with the meager joints of a paper doll?] Becky’s beauty was the opposite of mat. The facial muscles pulled her expressions into lovely smiles and frowns, disdains, gratifications and encouragements; her beauty was articulated, and expressed vividly whatever it wanted to express.

474 Anyone looking at her then, at her mouth which was simply a kiss seen very close up, at her head that was a gorgeous detail escaped from the corner of a painting, nor mere formal beauty but the beholder’s unique discovery, so that it evoked different dreams to every man, of the mother, of the nurse, of the lost childish sweetheart or whatever had formed his first conception of beauty—anyone looking at her would have conceeded her a bisque on her last remark.

475 She was a stalk of ripe corn, but bound not as cereals are but as a rare first edition, with all the binder’s art. She was lovely and expensive, and about nineteen.

476 A lovely dress, soft and gentle in cut, but in color a hard, bright, metallic powder blue.

477 An exquisite, romanticized little ballerina.

478 He imagined Kay and Arthur Busch progressing through the afternoon. Kay would cry a great deal and the situation would seem harsh and unexpected to them at first, but the tender closing of the day would draw them together. They would turn inevitably toward each other and he would slip more and more into the position of the enemy outside.

479 Her face, flushed with cold and then warmed again with the dance, was a riot of lovely, delicate pinks, like many carnations, rising in many shades from the white of her nose to the high spot of her cheeks. Her breathing was very young as she came close to him— young and eager and exciting. (used)

480 The intimacy of the car, its four walls whisking them along toward a new adventure, had drawn them together.

481 A beauty that had reached the point where it seemed to contain in itself the secret of its own growth, as if it would go on increasing forever.

482 Her body was so assertively adequate that someone remarked that she always looked as if she had nothing on underneath her dress but it was probably wrong.

483 Her ash-blond hair seemed weather-proof save for a tiny curtain of a bang that was evidently permitted, even expected to stir a little in a mild wind. She had an unmistakable aura about her person of being carefully planned. Under minute scallops that were scarcely brows her eyes etc. Her teeth were so white against the tan, her lips so red, that in combination with the blue of her eyes the effect was momentarily startling—as startling as if the lips had been green and the pupils white.

484 A few little unattached sections of her sun-warm hair blew back and trickled against the lobe of the ear closest to him, as if to indicate that she was listening.

485 A square chinned, decided girl with fleshy white arms and a white dress that reminded Basil domestically of the lacy pants that blew among the laundry in the yard.

486 He saw that she was lying, but it was a brave lie. They talked from their hearts—with the half truths and evasions peculiar to that organ, which has been famed as an instrument of precision.

487 I look like a femme fatale

488 After a certain degree of prettiness, one pretty girl is as pretty as another.

489 shimmering with unreality for the fancy-dress party

490 Popularly known as the “Death Ray.” She was an odd little beauty with a skull-like face and hair that was a natural green-gold—the hair of a bronze statue by sunset.

491 He rested a moment on the verandah—resting his eyes on a big honey suckle that cut across a low sickle moon—then as he started down the steps his abstracted glance fell upon a trailer from it sleeping in the moonlight.

492 She was the girl from foreign places; she was so asleep that you could see the dream of those places in the faint lift of her forehead. He struck the inevitable creaky strip and promptly the map of wonderland written on the surface of women’s eyebrows creased into invisibility. [used]

493 His brisk blond sidelocks scratched her cheek while a longer tenuous end of gold silk touched him in the corner of his eye

494 She wore the usual little dishpan cover.

495 She was small with a springy walk that would have been aggressive if it had been less dainty.

496 Her mouth was made of two small intersecting cherries pointing off into a bright smile.

497 What’s a girl going to do with herself on a boat—fish?

498 The girl hung around under the pink sky waiting for something to happen. There were strange little lines in the trees, strange little insects, unfamiliar night cries of strange small beasts beginning.
—Those are frogs, she thought, or no, those are grillons— what is it in English?—those are crickets up by the pond.
—That is either a swallow or a bat, she thought; then again the difference of trees—then back to love and such practical things. And back again to the different trees and shadows, skies and noises—such as the auto horns and the barking dog up by the Philadelphia turnpike...

499 Her face, flowing out into the world under an amazing Bersaglierri bonnet, was epicene; as they disembarked at the hotel the sight of her provoked a curious sigh-like sound from a dense mass of women and girls who packed the side-walk for a glimpse of her, and Bill realized that her position, her achievment however transient and fortuitous was neither a little thing nor an inheritance. She was beauty for hundred afternoons, its incarnation in millions of aspiring or fading lives. It was impressive, startling and almost magnificent.
Half an hour later sitting a few feet from the judgment dias he saw a girl detach herself from a group who were approaching it in threes—it was a girl in a white evening dress with red gold hair and under it a face so brave and tragic that it seemed that every eye in the packed hall must be fixed and concentrated on its merest adventures, the faintest impression upon her heart.

500 Women having only one role, their own charm—all the rest is mimicry.

501 If you keep people’s blood in their heads it won’t be where it should be for making love.

502 Men got to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women one has known.

503 Her air of saying “This is my opportunity of learning something, beckoned their egotism imperatively near.”

504 A frown, the shadow of a hair in breadth appeared between her eyes.

505 The little 14 year old nymph in the Vagabonds.

506 Wearing a kimono bright with big blue moons, she sat up among the pillows drawing her lips by a hand-glass.

507 He had thought of her once as a bubble and had told her about it, an iridescent soap-blown bubble with a thin delicate film over all the colors of the rainbow. He had stopped abruptly at that point but [he was conscious too of the sun panning gold from the clear brooks of her hair, of her tawny skin]—hell! He had to to stop thinking of such things. to]

508 She was eighteen with such a skin as the Italian painters of the decadence used for corner angels,] and all the wishing in the world glistening on her grey eyes.

509 [Wherever she was, became a beautiful and enchanted place to Basil, but he did not think of it that way. He thought the fascination was inherent in the locality, and long afterward a commonplace street or the mere name of a city would exude a peculiar glow, a sustained sound, that struck his soul alert with delight. In her presence he was too absorbed to notice his surroundings; so that her absence never made them empty, but, rather, sent him seeking for her through haunted rooms and gardens that he had never really seen before.]

510 The glass doors hinged like French windows, shutting them in on all sides. It was hot. Down through three more compartments he could see another couple—a girl and her brother, Minnie said—and from time to time they moved and gestured soundlessly, as unreal in these tiny human conservatories as the vase of paper flowers on the table. Basil walked up and down nervously.

511 Life burned high in them both; the steamer and its people were at a distance and in darkness.

512 What was it they said? Did you hear it? Can you remember?

513 She was a thin, a thin burning flame, colorless yet fresh. Her smile came first slowly, shy and bold, as if all the life of that little body had gathered for a moment around her mouth and the rest of her was a wisp that the least wind would blow away. She was a changeling whose lips were the only point of contact with reality.

514 Came up to him taking his hand as though she was stepping into the circle of his arm.

515 The tilted shadow of her nose on her cheek, the point of dull fire in her eyes.

516 Mae’s pale face and burning lips faded off, faded out, against the wild dark background of the war.

517 The copper green eyes, greener than the green-brown foliage around them.

518 She gave him a side smile, half of her face, like a small white cliff.

519 Flustered, Johanna fumbled for an apology. Nell jumped up and was suddenly at the window, a glitter of leaves in a quick wind, a blond glow of summer lightening. Even in her state of intimidation Johanna noticed that she seemed to bear with her, as she moved, a whole dream of women’s future; bore it from the past into the present as if it were a precious mystery she held , in the carriage of her neck and arms.

520 A girl who could send tear-stained telegrams.

521 The lady was annoyed, and so intense was her personality that it had taken only a fractional flexing of her eyes to indicate the fact. She was a dark, pretty girl with a figure that would be full-blown sooner than she wished. She was just eighteen.

522 Hallie Bushmill was young and vivid and light, with a boy’s hair and a brow that bulged just slightly, like a baby’s brow.

523 Sat a gold-and-ivory little beauty with dark eyes and a moving childish smile that was like all the lost youth in the world. (Used?)

524 He bent and kissed her braided forehead.

525 Helen Avery’s voice and the drooping of her eyes when she finished speaking, like a sort of exercise in control, fascinated him. He had felt that they both tolerated something, that each knew half of some secret about people and life, and that if they rushed toward each other there would be a romantic communion of almost unbelievable intensity. It was this element of promise and possibility that had haunted him for a fortnight and was now dying away.

526 Standing at the gate with that faint glow behind her, Dinah was herself the garden’s last outpost, its most representative flower.

527 Lola Shisbe had never wrecked a railroad in her life. But she was just sixteen and you had only to look at her to know that her destructive period was going to begin any day now.

528 He saw now, framing her face in the crook of his arm, her resemblance to Kay Phillips, or rather the genus to which they both belonged. The hard little chin, the small nose, the taut, wan cheeks, it was the way actresses made up to play the woman wronged and tubucular, a matter of structure and shadows of course, for they had fresh cheeks. Again, in Dinah the created lines were firmness—in Kay they had an aesthetic value alone.

529 Your eyes always shine as if you had fever.

530 Passing within the radius of the girl’s perfume.

531 Then for a moment they faded into the sweet darkness so deep that they were darker than the darkness, so that for awhile they were darker than the black trees—then so dark that when she tried to look up at him she could but look at the wild waves of the universe over his shoulder and say, “Yes, I guess I love you too.” (used)

532 Nymph of the harvest.

533 She was the tongue of flame that made the firelight vivid.

534 “Sometimes I’d see you in the distance, moving along like a golden chariot.” After twenty minutes of such eloquence, Alida began to feel exceedingly attractive. She was tired and rather happy, and eventually she said: “All right, you can kiss me if you want to, but it won’t mean anything. I’m just not in that mood.”

535 Long white gloves dripping from her forearms.

536 Her eyes shone at Bill with friendly interest, and then, just before the car shot away, she did something else with them—narrowed them a little and then widened them, recognizing by this sign the uniqueness of their relationship. “I see you,” it seemed to say. “You registered. Everything’s possible.”

537 Emily, who was twenty-five and carried space around with her into which he could step and be alone with their two selves.

538 She was a bundle of fur next to Caros Moros, and he saw the latter drop his arm around her till they were one mass of fur together.

539 He took them each in one arm, like a man in a musical comedy, and kissed the rouge on their cheeks.

540 Her low voice wooed him casually from some impersonal necessity of its own.

541 It was fine hearing Nora say that she never looked behind.

542 A woman’s laughter when it’s like a child—just one syllables, eager and approving, a crow and a cry of delight.

543 She took it to the rocker and settled herself to a swift seasick motion which she found soothing.

544 Her voice seemed to hesitate after consonants and then out came resonant and clear vowels—ahs and ohs and joyful ees lingering on the air.

545 Her hair was soft as silk and faintly curling. Her hair was stiff fluff, her hair was a damp, thick shiny bank. It was not this kind or that kind, it was all hair.
Her mouth was (different things about her mouth, contrary things, impossible to reconcile—and always with:) It was not this kind or that kind of mouth, it was all mouths.
Also nose, eyes, legs, etc., same ending.

546 Always a glisten of cold cream under her eyes, of wet rouge on her lips.

547 Griselda was now unnaturally calm; as a woman becomes when she feels that, in the main, she has fulfilled her intuitive role, and is passing along the problem to the man.

548 Her lovely straggled hair.

549 She felt nice and cool after a dip in the lake, felt her pink dress where it touched her, frothy as pink soda water, all fresh in the new wind. When Roger appeared, she would make him sorry for his haughtiness of the last twenty-four hours.

550 Tremendous resemblance between Bijou and Beatrice.

551 He had once loved a girl with a blight (describe) on her teeth who hid it by reaching down her upper lip when any emotion was in sight—laughter or tears—and laughing with a faint bowing of her head—and then, being absolutely sure she had not exposed her scar, laughing quite freely and exposing it. He had adopted the mannerism, and, to get on with what happened and why, he was still doing the same thing, etc.

552 Nora’s gay, brave, stimulating, “tighten up your belt, baby, let’s get going. To any Pole.” I am astonished sometimes by the fearlessness of women, the recklessness—like Nora, Zelda, Beatrice—in each case it’s partly because they are all three spoiled babies who never felt the economic struggle on their shoulders. But it’s heartening when it stays this side of recklessness. In each case I’ve had to strike a balance and become the cautious petit bourgeoise after, in each case, throwing them off their initial balance. Yet consider M…T…who was a clergyman’s daughter—and equally with the others had everything to lose and nothing to gain economically. She had the same recklessness. It’s a question of age and the times to a great extent, because, except for the sexual recklessness, Zelda was cagey about throwing in her lot with me before I was a money-maker, and I think by temperament she was the most reckless of all. She was young and in a period where any exploiter or middle­man seemed a better risk than a worker in the arts. Question unsolved. Think further back.

553 Frances Strah looks like a trinket.

554 Some impressions of the Carnival. What made everyone walk all through the train to get out; the boys smashing baggage at the station; the high snowdrifts; the girls faces in the car windows drifting ghost-like past the watchers; the yell of recognition as a last watcher found some last girl; the figures in the dark passing the frat houses on their way to the carnival. The comparative bareness of the scene where the queens were chosen. How did some of those girls get there—some must have been accidents or at least chosen by pull or the wrong girl tapped—they weren’t the 20 prettiest girls there. Some pretty girls must have ducked it.

555 A young woman came out of the elevator and wavered uneasily across the lobby.

556 Myron Selznick’s “Beautiful—she’ll lose that pudgy baby fat.”

557 Beggar’s lips that would not beg in vain

558 My cousin Corrinne is still a flapper. Fashions, names, manners, customs and morals change but for Corrine it is still 1920. This concerns her for there is no doubt that she originally patterned herself upon certain immature and unfortunate writings of mine so I have a special indulgence for Corrine as for one who has lost an arm or leg in one’s service.

559 She was a ripe grape, ready to fall for the mere shaking of a vine.

560 The sunlight dodged down to her hair thought bright red maple and bronze encorepus leaves that bent down low to say to the young men: See, we are nothing beside her cheeks, her russet hair.

561 One of those girls who straighten your necktie to show that in her lay the spirit of the eternal mother.

562 A girl who thought the whole thing was awfully overestimated.

563 She’s all tied up in knots that girl.

564 Anything added to beauty has to be paid for, that is, the qualities that pass as substitutes can be liabilities when added to beauty itself.

565 The car was gay with girls whose excited chatter filled the damp rubbery air like smoke.

566 Women are fragile that way. You do something to them at certain times and literally nothing can ever change what you’ve done.

567 Your voice with the lovely pathetic little peep at the crescendo of the stutter.

568 “IT”

569 Scotty comes up to people when she meets them as if she were going to kiss them on the mouth, or walk right thru them, looking them straight in the eye—then stops a bare foot away and says her Hello, in a very disarming understatement of a voice. This approach is her nearest to Zelda’s personality. Zelda’s was always a vast surprise.

570 She kissed him several times then in the mouth, her face getting big as it came up to him, her hands holding him by the shoulders, and still he kept his arms by his side.

571 Among the very few domestics in sight that morning was a handsome young maid sweeping the steps of the biggest house on the street. She was a large simple Mexican girl with the large, simple ambitions of the time and the locality, and she was already conscious of being a luxury—she received one hundred dollars a month in return for her personal liberty.

572 who with every instant was dancing further and further off with Caros Moros into a youthful Spanish dream.

573 at voice full of husky laugher his stomach froze

574 Josephine’s lovely face with its expression of just having led the children from a burning orphan asylum did the rest.

575 She admired him; she was used to clasping her hands together in his wake and heaving audible sighs.

576 She wore a blue crepe-de-chine dress sprinkled with soft brown leaves that were the color of her eyes. (More than Just a House?)

577 Instead she let the familiar lift and float and flow of love close around them, pulling him back from his far-away uniqueness.

578 It was a harvest night, bright enough to read by. Josephine sat on the veranda steps listening to the tossing of sleepless birds, the rattle of a last dish in the kitchen, the sad siren of the Chicago-Milwaukee train.

579 She saw through to his profound woundedness, and something quivered inside her, died out along the curve of her mouth and in her eyes.

580 Their hearts had in some way touched across two feet of Paris sunlight.

581 Of a despairing afternoon in a little speakeasy on Forty-eighth Street in the last sad months.

582 Crackly yellow hair. (used)

583 A girl with a bright red dress and a friendly dog jumping at her under the arcs. (Are there arcs now?)

584 Her face was a contrast between herself looking over a frontier—and a silhouette, an outline seen from a point of view, something finished—white, polite, unpolished—it was a destiny, scarred a little with young wars, worried with old white faiths...
...And out of it looked eyes so green that they were like phosphorescent marbles, so green that the scarcely dry clay of the face seemed dead beside it.

585 The white glints in her eyes cracked the heavens as a diamond would crack glass, and let stream down a whiter light than he had ever seen before; it shown over a wide beautiful mouth, set and frightened.

586 Looking for a last time into her eyes, full of cool secrets.

587 Pushing s strand of indefinite hair out of her eyes.

588 They swayed suddenly and childishly together. (used?)

589 Mae Purley, without the involuntary quiver of an eyelash, fitted the young man into her current dream.

590 For some years there had been the question as to whether or not Boops was going to have a nose. There was a sort of button between her big dark eyes, eyes that were round at the bottom, half moons hinting that half a person lay undivulged—but at eleven the button was still rudimentary and so unnoticeable that of a winter her elders were often driven frantic by its purls and mutterings, its gurgles, hisses and back firings, before it occured to them to say “Blow it.”

591 He had passed the wire to her, to a white rose blooming without reason at the end of a cross-bar on the edge of space and time like a newly created tree.

592 Bright, unused beauty still plagued her in the mirror.

593 She was desperately adaptable, desperately sweet-natured.

594 Her face was heart shaped, an impression added to by honey-colored pointed-back hair which accentuated the two lovely rounds of her temples.

595 She was a key-board all resonent and gleaming.

596 He smoothed down her plain brown hair, knowing for the thousandth time that she had none of the world’s dark magic for him, and that he couldn’t live without her for six consecutive hours.

597 Her childish beauty was wistful and sad about being so rich and sixteen.

598 Much as the railroad kings of the pioneer West sent their waitress sweethearts to convents in order to prepare them for their high destinies.

599 Basil’s heart went bobbing off around the ballroom in a pink silk dress.

1740 For she has a good forgetting apparatus. That’s why she’s so popular, why she can have a heart like a hotel. If she couldn’t forget, there wouldn’t be any room.

1744 She’ll never meet a stranger.

1752 Girl in green transparent rain-coat, looking like something from the florist.

1775 Loretta Young—nigger pretty.


Переводы: G: Описания женщин (разные переводчики).


Next: H: Descriptions of Humanity (Physical).

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