1812 My remark about 2 beautiful girls is a drama—fifty is only a chorus.
1813 Something a little sad about it like woman of fifty in flesh colored stockings.
1814 Most women would rather hope I think—they are good hopers.
1815 It was midsummer, summer in the dangerous age, when there is nothing more to expect from it and people try to live in the present—or if there is no present to invent one. (used?)
1816 Early August is for imprudent loves and impulsive and unmotivated crimes. (used?)
1817 Career—a story about John Bishop.
1818 Story idea. Joe-Kiki-Ruth girl has loads of old letters, is all set, needs old neglected beau, vamps him (she thinks). He takes her to country + excuses himself.
Follow him to her house, keys, letters, plane ect
1819 Ernest would always give a helping hand to a man on a ledge a little higher up.
1820 For a Bishop Story
x was so far down now that almost anything you said of him was liable to be true. Just like when he was way up nothing that anyone said against him was liable to be true. Even if it were true it sounded like jealousy. He was always a little afraid that x might be good after all and they might dig him up. There would be a picture of x green and jabbering in a corner of the gallery. It was not a picture he would like his boys to see.
I sat there with blue hair and one eye—that was the night King called up + let me down.
1821 The body gets down and crouches in a corner of itself and says ’You’re doing this to me. I’ll make you pay’ and you say never mind—stay down there.
1822 Two people go away—and they take it along with them. Silence falls—nobody has any lines. Silence and trying not to guess behind the silence—imitating how it was before, and more silence—and big wrinkles in the heart.
1823 Come in! Come in!
And have a Micky Finn.
1824 Dick Scheyer and the sword.
1825 Ernest Hemingway and Ernest Lubitsch—Dotty “We’re all shits.”
1826 In thirty-four and thirty-five the party line crept into everything except the Sears Roebuck Catalogue.
1827 Drinking gives a sort of steely completion.
1828 The cleverly expressed opposite of any generally accepted human idea is worth a fortune to somebody.
1829 Max Perkins didn’t want to leave himself lying around.
1830 A cadence started in his head like a motor warming up. That was one way—to get something to it—the word, the name, the shape of the sky get it quickly. The other way was to start with the thing, to be profoundly affected by it, until it stretched elongated, stood up and walked.
1831 When you once get to the point where you don’t care whether you live or die—as I did—it’s hard to come back to life. Compton McKenzie for instance. It’s hard to believe in yourself again—you have slain part of yourself.
1832 My blue dream of being in a basket like a kite held by a rope against the wind.
1833 The trained nurse stood gazing into the medicine closet. “I wonder what the hell medicine to give him,” she muttered to herself. “They all look like the same old horse poison to me.” She wishes the labels were written in American so she could tell what the drugs were for. She considered shutting her eyes and picking one at random with a pointing finger but some might be poison and she did not dare.
1834 Before death thoughts from crack-up. Do I look like death (in mirror at 6 p.m.)
1835 Prayers are punctuations and reminders.
1836 But he never forgot—he was forever haunted by the picture of the girl floating slowly out over the city at dusk, buoyed up by delicious air, by a quintessence of golden hope, like a soaring and unstable stock issue.
1837 The two young men quit jobs as hotel clerks and lay around the beach all summer on nine dollars a week unemployment insurance. One of them turned down a job at forty but he had fun. But the old barber who had mental troubles and physical troubles and financial troubles oh and everything in hell the matter with him—they told him to scram out of there quick.
1838 Walk her from the room by the seat of her sea-green slacks.
1839 A miraculous little stranger from the stratosphere—so apt at spreading the infection of whatever she loved or laughed at—that he suddenly understood why the world forgave her for not being a really great beauty.
1840 Listening to a stealthy treacherous purr creep into his voice.
1841 People here seemed to want to get out in the country and cling, instead of really going places.
1842 Shipping out the papers in her possession by means of the little granddaughter who innocently lights a stuffed candle at church every Sunday evening.
1843 Somebody repeats: Baby, I tore him in two. A bored man: (later) Did you partition him?
1844 The pulp writer—that superficial hysteria which he substitutes for emotion.
1845 And you so beautiful with your hair in clasp on clasp of gold.
1846 The people of Hollywood are not very nice outwardly— there is too much unwelcome familiarity, too much casual snootiness. (the agent who picked up paper in the office).
1847 It’s fun to stretch and see the blue heavens spreading once more, spreading azure thighs for adventure.
1848 That spoonful of magic which is allowed us once or twice in life.
1849 I wouldn’t go to a war—unless it was in Morocco—or the Khyber Pass.
1850 It was all small change, incessant nickles and dimes of conversation.
1851 A feeling of having had life pass virtually and endlessly before their eyes like a motion picture reel and give it that much attention.
1852 If their souls are alive they no longer speak or perhaps it is that I have grown deaf.
1853 Malibu: A bunch of dressing cabins for people who can’t swim. (look up and see if it’s mine or DeMille’s)
1854 The man in the taxi with his single hand gesturing.
1855 Something like a drunk’s “I just want to tell you one thing.”
1856 She’s a one-girl jazz age.
1857 Virginia has lovely puffed straw hair and the grey eyes of home—she was a late developer, an awkward duckling at twenty-one, but learning a whole series of things that unmarried women don’t. At twenty-seven her charm was in full flower.
1858 Mrs. Whitney phoning Virginia about her thoroughbreds—twenty thousand dollars a day.
1859 Organizing the thoughtless.
1860 If you have an inconvenient opinion they name it like a disease and quarantine you.—“I’m a what?”
1861 For Mankiewicz—the ten days that shook down the world.
1862 The writers at Ted Paramore’s were all in low gear, temporarily or permanently.
1863 Scottie: “mousing around” (in regard to a quiet couple.)
1864 You drew people right up close to you and held them there, not able to move either way.
1865 The flickering patches of white on the jockeys made it look like a flight of birds.
1866 And went down to the lake for a dip, swimming on an unreal surface that existed between a world of water like mist and a drizzling firmament of air.
1867 Tragedy of these men was that nothing in their lives had really bitten deep at all.
1868 Bald Hemingway characters.
1869 He was so old, so wise that he looked forward only to his anticipations. Oh God give me good anticipations.
1870 Strong women wept into their vichysoisse.
1871 In life too much luck, in drama too much destiny.
1872 Dolly had done her worst suffering on the boat in an economical way she had, it was weeks before George saw her eyes silvery clear in the morning.
1873 Which Vanderbilt—the one with the boat mouth, the horse and the scrambled teeth.
1874 Turkey Burger (Gerald)
1875 He had met the two Lindbergs and thought them dazed and tragic spooks. and. . . and. .
1876 He’s got four-legged caviar in his pantry.
1877 She wore a little summer number from Saks, about $18.98 and a pink and blue hat that had been stepped on on one side.
1878 You’re all the songs
1879 Most of us could be photographed from the day of our birth to the day of our death and the film shown without producing any emotion except boredom and disgust. It would all just look like monkeys scratching. How do you feel about your friends’ home movies of their baby or their trip. Isn’t it a God awful bore?
1880 Behaviorism—the only guide to the validity of emotion.
1881 Like many men he did not like flowers except a few weedy ones—they were too highly evolved and self conscious. But he liked leaves and horse chestnuts and peeled twigs and even acorns, unripe, ripe and wormy fruit.
1882 I always like the horse chestnuts and leaves better than flowers.
1883 A howling dog outside made sound effects for her nightmares—whatever she heard in her dreams it turned out to be the dog (unfunny ghoulish ones—invert and rewrite).
1884 There is no book for beautiful women.
1885 Peter Powdirblugh.
1886 When I saw Scottie and the boy with the pimply face in the launch and realized to my dismay (and jealously) that she liked him. He was alive to her.
1887 Don’t ever go Dalton. This is an Idea for Princeton Alumni Weekly
1888 Hope of Heaven. He didn’t bite off anything to chew on. He just began chewing with nothing in his mouth.
1889 My plan about the reissue of Paradise with changed names. (For those under Thirty Six.)
1890 Expected a great beauty—saw a billious little chippie.
1891 One of those mysterious people like “that lady” to whom her mother took the little squares she had crocheted every month and “that woman” told her how to put them together.
1892 The shorts of the men carving. The short of the Boston college Dressing room. “You think you can stick it out o’Rourke? I think I can coach.”
1893 Fastest typist isn’t best secretary. Swinburne. Trick golfer with watch, lightening calculator, kicker, et. Faulkner and Wolfe are those.
1894 Indian’s Names: Extended Tail feather—Sweet Corn— John Other Day.
1895 Bloody Pope and Bradley britches full of exploded guts lying over the battlefied of the Dardenelles.
1896 Tough producer about taking you. “Whatsa matter with the guy—I had my first dose at fifteen.”
1897 It was rather like the autumn page from the kitchen calendars of thirty years ago with blue instead of brown October eyes.
1898 He sat in his office writing a long letter to Jill and then set fire to it in the cold stove, but the flue was closed and the smoke curled into the room. He listened to the milkman’s hour on the radio and when his window turned grey went out into a soft crowing country morning.
1899 Eddie Mayer hates women—funny I didn’t notice it before. Like Tom Wolfe. But for different reasons. He goes to them for sexual satisfaction, but he likes men emotionally more. I don’t know how far back it reaches but certainly women play a very mean and unstable role in his plays. He admired his father excessively, I gather. He sticks with the gang. You feel that he values his conquests so that he can brag about them. Talking is his vice. He would rather confide in men though than in women. He is a gent and all mis is modified by that fact. He is extremely likeable and liked. His talent is not exactly thin, like Dotty’s and so many Jewish and Irish talents—it is simply infrequent. He needs years to dream. I do not know him well. I surprised myself by the regurgitation of the idea that he was a physical coward. I don’t know at all.
1900 Sid Perleman is effete—new style. He has the manners of Gerald Murphy and almost always an exquisite tact in prose that borders on the precieuse. I feel that he and I (as with John O’Hara and the football-glamor-confession complex) have some early undisclosed experience in common so that at this point in our lives we find each other peculiarly sympathetic. We do not need to talk.
Sheilah noted his strange grace doing his interpretation of “Slythy” in the Charade the other night.
I like his brother-in-law West. I wonder if he’s long-winded as a defense mechanism. I think that when I am that’s why. I don’t want to be liked or to teach or to interest. That is my way of saying “Don’t like me—I want to go back into my dream.”
I know Nat through his books which are morbid as hell, doomed to the underworld of literature. But literature. He reminds me of someone. That heaviness. But in the other person it could be got used to—in Nat it has no flashes except what I see in his eyes, in his foolish passion for that tough and stupid child Mc———. Sid knows what I know so well that it would be blasphemy to put it in conversation.
1901 John O’Hara is in a perpetual state of just having discovered that it’s a lousy world. Medium is always as if the blow had struck him half an hour before and he’s still dulled by the effect. Nunally J— says that he’s like an idiot to whom someone has given a wonderful graflex camera and he goes around with it not knowing what to snap.
1902 The big statue of Eleayer, wondering whether he’d squash down by the end of the carnival and give a funny effect with his face.
1903 They made love. For a moment they made love as no one ever dares to do after. Their glance was closer than an embrace, more urgent than a call. There were no words for it. Had there been, and had Mae heard them, she would have fled to the darkest corner of the ladies’ washroom and hid her face in a paper towel. What was it they said? Did you hear it? Can you remember?
1904 The English will never make snappy pictures until they stop breaking off football games to have tea.
1905 Kiki’s remark about “being one of us”.
1906 Witty but faintly intoxicated with herself in her old role of disturber of the peace.
1907 Our pathetic childish vanity that we share with actors.
1908 I wish he’d get run over by a school bus.
1909 Her brown legs stayed tentaviely hoveringly on the brown doorstrip. She rocked suddenly on her heels as if about to throw a forward pass.
1910 I think the level of novelty and entertainment is so low that I don’t think adults go when they feel good—they go when they feel bad. They go as for an anaesthesia as to the speakeasy—expecting bad liquor and not able to care. I saw a John Garfield picture last night that was a tenth carbon copy of his old ones. They can’t tell me that feebs who will swallow that have funds enough for first run movie houses.
1911 After Margaret B. talks Sarah says “There can’t be that many words.”
1912 Title: The One About the Farmer’s Daughter.
1913 Axel plot for movie
1914 Death of de Martel.
1915 I talk with the authority of failure—Ernest with the authority of success. We could never sit across the table again.
1916 She didn’t understand when she used the word “ruthless” about me, that the word means something else to those Finance-Jews. They must have sneered in their hearts.
1917 Once when you were strong, you gave me the luxury of loving you most, of even being cruel in a small little vain or impartial way. When you were weak, you came to me, nosing into my arms like a puppy. But later it was different. You used your strong times to edge away from me—break out a new world of your own where I was excluded. Your weak times belonged to me, but you had forgotten all the words that had melted me.
1918 People like Ernest and me were very sensitive once and saw so much that it agonized us to give pain. People like Ernest and me love to make people very happy, caring desperately about their happiness. And then people like Ernest and me had reactions and punished people for being stupid, etc., etc. People like Ernest and me————
1919 That moment I felt from time to time with Zelda that she has unravelled the whole skien—that I am speaking with the lightly rolled skien before me, not wanting to disturb it. That even in my most alone and savage and atavistic moment I am doing so. Note Rousseau went a little crazy after finishing the Contract Sociale.
1920 I wasn’t precocious, I was merely impatient (or hurried?)
1921 Arthur Kober type of Jew without softness. Certainly a Jewish character of that type. Trying to realize himself outside of Jewry.
1922 Longfellow—his best line stolen from a lapland song.
1923 Scottie and I pupils at same school.
1924 Tom Fast’s story of Ernest.
1925 The smell in the Wool worth article.
1926 “Dear Lester: —I just love to write you letters. I have fun. How are you? My grandmother sent me a new pencil and paper today so I thought I would write you a letter.
To put it snappily, etc., etc.
Is this not a sweet letter? My grandma was good to send the pencil and paper.
1927 Although earlier in the day she had spoken sympathetically of her father, later, she said scornfully: “He’s nuts”. Her statement to police was salted with schoolgirl slang—such as “Mother started to ’conk’ me.”
Almost absentmindedly, when she revisited the house of death, Chloe strummed the keys of the small organ Davis had bought for his children: she called attention to the three pairs of roller skates on the porch, to the dolls of the slain younger children and to the books in her own room.
“I’m a bookworm,” she confided. “I read all the time.” She admitted that neither of her parents ever had been cruel to her: she insisted that she loved her sisters and her brother deeply.
1928 Another world war victim (wooden leg) went crooked after a successful career today, shot himself. Innocent and worthy as Warren Groat.
1929 Young married misery.
1930 My latest medico-legal monograph. The Corpse with the Floating Kidney.
1931 Miss Foodstuffs.
1932 How to Read is the biggest fake since Van Loon Art. Now that Mencken has retired the boys who really hate books and pictures are creeping out of their sinecures again and trying to make them into specimens for dissection.
1933 From New Yorker: Moradino Juice
Clery, lettuche, Radmishes
Can of Fishy Gue
Chuckmes for dessert
1934 You don’t have to know much if you’re ignorant because you’re very content with what you know.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party
But I shall not come to the aid of the party—any party.
For we and the Jews are going to be butchered
We the liberals because we were too kind, the Jews because they were too wise.
Wisdom and kindness are crimes against the spirit of life
We should know that who were raised in the school of scrapping.
1936 You’ll be reckless if you
You’ll be reckless if you don’t
You’ll be happy if you
You won’t be happy if you won’t.
1937 Kyle Forsite in Concrete.
1938 Sweden is going to give the Nobel Peace prize to Russia—and they better do it damn quick
1939 Titles:—My Own Race Prejudices
The Position of the Political Nance during the World Crisis.
1940 The day it tipped over (le Seizieme)
1941 Today is Friday and in the back of Epictetus.
1942 March Family, Hat Family, Halegen Family
1943 False build-up of stimulants. They endure from 11:30 p.m. to 11:30 a.m. correspondingly.
1944 Behind him a one man epedemic coughed, sneezed and rocked the seats ahead in his agony.
1945 Story Idea: Find a drug good for two things and you have a climax. For instance: if pareldehyde or chloral were also ink eradicators.
1946 Story Idea: (New Yorker) Scientist tells family his theory that deprived for X days of salt or sunshine or water (McSweeney) or forced to eat, would turn people black—they quarrel. So they turn. Top is tails (?)
1947 Advice to young writers—Read Tolstoi, Marx and D. H. Lawrence and then read Tolstoi Marx and D.H. Lawrence.
1948 Play laid in a publisher’s office.
1949 Money in bonds. Finale Welles’ broadcast.
1950 Tell the story of the Alex Haine study hall disturbance. But as if it were a riot. Call it controll. Only disclose at end that they were boys.
1951 To describe an apparently dastardly character like the turn coat in Janice Meredith and then show he is the real hero of the whole thing, the most politically progressive and class conscious. This is really a grand idea; a series including this and Philippe might be built around it. It is the recalitrant peasant in Phillipe who splits from him in disgust + is the father of peasants.
1952 Changing my channels of avidity s.g.
1953 In the haut bourgoise or feudal it’s called cruelty—
In the petit or middle: bad taste
In the proletariat: vulgarity?
But it’s the same thing
Tommy’s cruelty—me and Joe McKibbey
S’s talk of Z and of human functions.
This is interesting too because it shows classes in movement. Why and where I caught a petit bourgoise attitude I don’t know. But it’s not like Dot’s and Don’s who revolted from being eternal poor relations.
1954 A story to show how a person of the 16th century had to look up things—by kindness and friendliness, by travel and effort—and, since Diderot—
1955 For Pat: Vacuum bomb—His sister.
1956 Paderewsky Sees—Paderewski Sees
All right now! All right now! You better take a look yourself. Ignace Jan Paderewski the celebrated pianist and president of the Assembly of the Polish Parliament in exile, declared today in a broadcast to “my American friends” that the war will “end in the ultimate victory of right and justice.” —Paris, Jan 29.
1957 Anatomy research was interrupted by Alexander the Great
1958 English political history—Peterloo 1819-1885.
1959 Play about Woodrow Wilson Title “I suppose”.
1960 You’re going to hit somebody with that teething ring. You’re going to stick your rattle in somebody’s eye.
1961 Don’t lose your temper or your nose will get as red as your eyes.
1962 The trouble is you can take it but you can’t hand it out anymore.
1963 Call waiter and the Germans will come running.
1964 Don’t kid yourself—you’re so bougeoise you smell of cheap caviar.
1965 Masterpieces of American Poetry by Mark Van Doren. He opened it to his astonishment upon a group of eight poems by Mark Van Doren. Rising from his couch he scissored these out and put them in the Johnny but finding Mr. Van Doren’s selections as uninspired as the impertinence, he laid the book away. Life was difficult. Thsi ubiquitous feeb or was it his brother actually influenced American sales through the Book of the Month Club.
1966 Miss X who gets around a lot says all the good writers think that Van Doren—the one who put his own poems in an anthology—is an ignorant man. And that the artists spit blood about Van Loon’s History of the Arts with his own illustrations. The Dutch are condescending. He does not think much of the Book of the Month., etc.
1967 I have decided to buy in all my outstanding books.
1968 D.P.—The only girl so mean she had to hire a male nurse.
1969 Those comics going—without emphasis.
1970 She was dead but she ran around the room for ten or fifteen seconds, skidding in her own blood but managing to keep her feet while some sound kept trying to come through her blood choked throat. Then she crashed down flat as if she had fallen a thousand feet.
1971 You were—too good to be true. That was—the matter with you.
1972 Idea about composition of a squad. Average bravery and tenacity of men.
1973 As a novelist I reach out to the end of all man’s variance, all man’s villainy—as a man I do not go that far. I cannot claim honor—but even the knights of the Holy Grail were only striving for it, as I remember.
1974 Native Son—A well written penny dreadful with the apparent moral that it is good thing for the cause when a feeble minded negro runs amuck.
1975 Let Richard Whitney out
New Republic Anthology
1976 What we have given Europe.
1977 Film called Nice People to include baby talk idea and child’s day. A grave but not a tragic thing happens—he hits a cop, almost by accident.
1978 Play like “L’apprenti sorcerer”. Young lawyer blunders in on corporation deal. Using Arnold.
1979 Ideas on Fear as being removed as well as profit motive. We know the latter can—but the former. Some day when the psycho-an are forgotten E.H. will be read for his great studies into fear.
1980 Against Free Speech.
1981 Story note: Trunk of clothes sent to France creating an era.
1982 Biography is the falsest of the arts. That is because there were no Keatzians before Keats, no Lincolnians before Lincoln.
1983 That eternal Ghetto that we love.
1984 Nun with a floating kidney.
1985 A fag—his ups and downs like Amorous (Martin) and others—humility and fatalism.
1986 The psychoanalysts again and Herman M—.
1987 As soon as a man is made a producer he gets to be two things—a son-of-a-bitch and Bernard Shaw.
1988 A man who’s been drunk and wakes up at 40 looking at things through new eyes, meeting same people and scenes and contrasting them with what they were.
1989 Inside my Plaster Cast—how it became a home to me. I can’t tell you what went on inside that cast—(no wise cracks, please; no form of dry land insect could possibly have lived there, although a small tropical minnow might have carried on at a subsistence level.)
1990 On Charlie Mac—He’s my grandfather—I’m his. All right, we’re not brothers anymore. Let’s leave it at that. No diminution of affection, simply a diminution of communicability.
1991 Nathan and dirty movie in France.
1992 We have 3 feet of snow and the place looks like Sun Valley with girls in mink coats and slacks and dark glasses.
1993 In a vague way seemed to have been to “Parus” but never in any country that approximated France.
1994 That cruel old man’s mouth refined down to a girl’s— sweet and filled out just a little toward conventional beauty.
1995 Ernest and “Farewell to Arms”—producer story.
1996 An inferiority complex comes simply from not feeling you’re doing the best you can—Ernest’s “drink” was simply a form of this.
1997 Gag with cork tip cigarette.
1998 Communists asks you to accept a simplification that is itself a distortion—a mystical belief in a line. I believe that you could build right up through Lenin including only heretics. Just as in the Christian church you could do the same.
1999 The enemy of men is Fear—the enemy of women is pity. That was settled thousands of years before our era, so—continue about trained nurses and into situation. Men train their sons in games and women in hard guile.
2000 Story idea—Navajoes.
2001 I am the last of the novelists for a long time now.
2002 PROBLEMS: Most problems can be settled in their simpler stages and a whole lot of your problems are still in that stage. Not so suddenly that you have no pause for breath. Life becomes complex with marriage, money or something and when it gets really complex, it is absolutely insoluble except in the simplicity of the grave.
2003 Right behind the eight ball. Give. For my dough. What’ll we use for money.
2004 “Word instructive strikes horror in soul stop please not too instructive”.
2005 Develop this: Difference in conversation between Gerald Murphy and Tommy Hitchcock. Tommy doesn’t answer foolish questions or trivial questions—Gerald on the contrary, in spite of what he says about the omnipresence of bores, contrives always a little arpeggio of grace which he uses as a bridge so that no matter what is said to him he fills in the gap between the graciousness and his own talents of wit and delicacy. Trace a character who once was like Gerald and who now tends toward Tommy Hitchcock’s impatience with fools.
2006 I gotta see a hog about a plan.
2007 Dog’s name: Miss Alliance!
2008 With each lunge of the mouse she shrank back against the bedroom door.
2009 Black Scotties with heads like clowns’ hats.
2010 Jewish people are Continental, whether they think so or not.
2011 He would offer to the nation ghastly bits of conversation—dialect thinly masked as dialogue.
2012 A lady whose past was booked solid with men.
2013 He was what I think of as the Judd Grey sort of man, spectacles which made him look more than ever like any salesman—a cheap product often in a position above his capacities. A good fellow—one of the boys wearing underneath the heart of a turrp. Something that made him always carry his chin a little too high with his “inferiors” and little too low when on the spot. The alignment of features just out of focus so that “nice looking” was the best to be said of him.
2014 Girl looked like angel cake cut this morning. Clearer than Virginia Bruce.
2015 In his reign as the first citizen of Chicago, Insull was the president of eleven corporations, chairman of the boards of 65 companies and sat on the boards of 85 corporations.
2016 The flappers and the Japanese sex book.
2017 A FABLE FOR TED PARAMORE by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A great city set in a valley, desired a cathedral. They sent for an eminent architect who designed one distinguished by a great central tower. No sooner was it begun, however, than critics arose who objected to the tower calling it useless, ornamental, illogical, and what not—destroyed his plan and commissioning another architect to build a cathedral of great blocks and masses. It was very beautiful and Grecian in its purity but no one ever loved the cathedral of that city as they did those of Rome and Sienna and the great Duomo of Florence.
After thirty years wondering why, the citizens dug up the plans of the first architect (since grown famous) and built from it. From the first Mass the cathedral seized the imagination of the multitude and fools said it was because the tower pointed heavenward, etc., but one young realist decided to dig up the artist, now an old man, and ask him why.
The artist was too old to remember, he said—and he added “I doubt if I ever knew. But I knew I was right.”
“How did you know if you don’t know your reasons?”
“Because I felt good that day”, answered the architect, “and if I feel good I have a reason for what I do even if I don’t know the reason”. So the realist went away unanswered.
On that same day a young boy going to Mass with his mother quickened his step as he crossed the cathedral square.
“Oh I like our new cathedral so much better than the old”, he said.
“But the academy thinks it’s not nearly so beautiful”.
“But it’s because of the mountains”, said the little boy. “Before we had the tower I could see the mountains and they made everything seem little when you went inside the Church. Now you can’t see the mountains so God inside is more important”.
That was what the architect had envisioned without thinking when he accidentally raised his forfinger against the sky fifty years before.
2018 Burlesque on Christina Rosetti—Rover Boy Communist
2019 I wouldn’t trade her for a Sunday roll With the best strip-teaser in the gallup poll.
2020 A. You bastard.
B. I bet you never saw a bastard. I bet you wouldn’t know a bastard if you saw one.
2021 Idea: You didn’t fool anybody.
2022 You Can’t Organize Feebs
Sure you can organize the feebs. Look you can organize anything. Look at the cults in Los Angeles.
But I mean how can you keep them organized if they’re feebs.
“Keep your shirt on, said Standing. “They stay organized because you can give them a new directive every twenty four hours. They can return for twenty four hours.”
“No, they can’t. Look, I was a guard in Bloomingdale—’’
“Say, listen we’re not talking about nuts— we’re talking about feebs. Were you around during the last war—well, I was. And the average mental age of the draftees was thirteen and a half wasn’t it. So there must have been a lot age nine or ten.”
“My kid’s ten said X and he comes back from the movies complaining they’re not self-conscious. If his brain never grew up another year you couldn’t sell him a bill he didn’t believe in. Not that easy.”
“Sure—but he reads the paper doesn’t he?”
“He reads the worker.”
“Well, my idea’s dames. They don’t read any paper except the movie page. I say we can organize the feeb dames.”
“All right try it. You got nothing to do. You got to lie low till they wash up your case. I bet you five smackers you don’t have a chance. You can’t organize Feebs.”
2023 Story Ideas: Tom, Julian and the two Swiss girls.
Kill no more pigeons than you can eat. (Franklin)
The muses love the morning. (Franklin)
He is not well bred that cannot bear ill-breeding mothers. (Franklin)
2024 A sub-reptile: I don’t feel you have the brains of a bat, the sensibility of a mouse or the moral standards of a rat.
2025 Man chooses his own form of execution—chooses that the executioner be blindfolded at forty paces.
2026 CAPTIONS FOR NEW YORKER
Nothing is as old as last year’s new.)
) Born 1806.
IT SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY )
2027 Without the brains of a bat but with a double load of intuition.
2028 Mr. Flynn is not behind the times but ahead of it—he isn’t about 350 A.D., just pre-Constantine according to the Spenglerian calendar. Another quarter century of cheap movies, radio and professional sport will undoubtedly soften up the helots even more so that we can accept his fatalism. But the time is not yet.
|Fox or Burke?||Payne|
2030 Plutarch of the 18th Century. The Islanders vs. the Colonials (leaving out, of course, philosophers, scientists, artist, literary men of whom the colonists had none.
2031 There’s no such thing as a “minor” character in Dostoevski.
2032 The girl must be humble; there is a lack of humility in Wolfe, Saroyan, Schlessinger that I find as depressing as O’Hara’s glooms.
2033 Look what the cat brought in. Honey little funny little. It looks like love.
2034 Magic Leg!
Opens up like a Harp
Veterans! Throw your crotch away.
Miss S. Beanquest of Beanquest Dorm. writes. So do all the other girls in Beanquest Dorm except Fanny the Feeb.
(name on request)
2035 Special Inducement
2036 Man who pays bill long after to pesthouse is rewarded with guard job and goes wrong.
2037 I look out at it—and I think it is the most beautiful history in the world. It is the history of me and of my people. And if I came here yesterday like Sheilah I should still think so. It is the history of all aspiration— not just the American dream but the human dream and if I came at the end of it that too is a place in the line of the pioneers.
2038 The purpose of a fiction story is to create passionate curiosity and then to gratify it unexpectedly, orgasmically. Isn’t that what we expect from all contacts?
2039 Tender is less interesting toward the climax because of the absence of conversation. The eye flies for it and skips essential stuff for they don’t want their characters resolved in dessication and analysis but like me in action that results from the previous. All the more reason for emotional planning.
2040 Congratulations on your brilliant display of human nature.
2041 Actresses have to be show offs and not look like show offs.
2042 One room slum.
2043 There is a time in the life of all great conquerors when they would gladly settle in for a safe colonelcy—but they can’t; for them it’s Victory or elimination.
2044 Child: What would you like for Xmas.
Papa: Nothing I’d rather have the money.
2045 It must be wonderful to be able to make people so happy just by leaving them.
2046 At twilight on September 3rd, 1923, a girl jumped from the 53rd story window of a New York office building. She wore a patent inflatable suit of rubber composition which had just been put on the novelty market for fun purposes—the wearer by a mere jump or push could supposedly sail over fences or street intersections. It was fully blown up when she jumped. The building was a set-back and she landed on the projecting roof of the 50th floor. She was bruised and badly shaken but not seriously hurt.
2047 Hell, the best friend I have in Hollywood is a Jew— another of my best dozen friends is a Jew. Two of the half dozen men I admire most in America are Jews and two of my half dozen best men in History are Jews. But why do they have to be so damned conceited. That minority conceit—like fairies. They go ostrich about their faults—magnify their virtues which anyone is willing to grant in the first place. They point at Benny Leonard or this war hero here and say we got pugnacity. When the nurses in the hospital admit that a Jewish patient groans at the sight of a needle. Our Mommas—God bless them. ---have been saying too long, Go out David—but don’t use your slingshot—we are in lands of peace and plenty. What she might have said had she been a seer is: “Go David—like the Celts in America—leave your “cleverness” your slingshot behind. In 1910 the Catholic nuns secretly wrote the Regents Examination on the blackboards so that their pupils would pass first. The first evangelist was a Priest who said: “Sister, you must start with personal honor
...When you hear Louis B. M----. --Jesus.
2048 Mary J. groping along beside him—(for description)
2049 Each year there is always one line worked to ad nauseum limits by scenario hacks. Last year it was “right behind the eight ball”. This year it is “boil some hot water—lots of it”. This is used in all accident scenes. I snicker now when I hear it—it occurred in Stanley and Livingston.
2050 Gentle trickling complaint behind the scarlett dress. Scenery from Petrouchka. The endless seats of the bowl, the scattered drape on the platform.
2051 Heritage—Isn’t he dead—he was alive the last time I saw him.
2052 Perfect people have no rhythm. The shy type, the religious type. That’s why I don’t like them. It is a rhythmic question.
2053 When there is a reunion of two people who have once meant a lot to each other—first comes a fine recapitulation of the past and then each thinks “we’ll go on” and the time of readjustment has come. They have remembered only the best, forgetting it was picked out from a time of ordinariness, forgetting that the ordinariness was pleasant expecting the ball to roll of itself as it once did—and miserable in a vast human silence.
2054 The great homosexual theses—that all great pansies were pansies.
2055 The earth was not marvelous enough so people listened to Eliza and Joseph Smith. But the universe, discovered thru science is too marvelous—so we listen to them again. Truth—with your old black widows weeds from the death of illusion—truth must we avoid you always. (Answer: Yes!)
2056 To start her weary rounds between the divorce court, the abortionist and the sanitarium. What a pity—for any smart person with a little money and a little luck ought to have a keen time till they’re thirty. After that——
2057 List of people, classes I’ve quarrelled with.
2058 In Fisher’s Mormon Book there are interesting questions of tempo contrary to the dramatic assumptions or at least uneasy to answer in dramatic terms. For example: at the end we get the brave men yeilding—how does Fisher show the background of that to unbelievers. I know it is true—but there is lack of art. On the other hand, in dramatic inevitability such as a Kauffman scenario or an expert picture there is too much inevitability.
2059 Remember Dave S’s Algier book and utterly sincere advice to Bud S.
2060 As I grow older I become increasingly a devotee of the “Mandiean Heresey” which was to regard humanity as a two-faced creation—and to give God and the Devil opposite if not equal attributes. That is to say: to give good and evil as a proportionate sway in every man. This feeling plays, of course, into the hands of the determinists into the cheating fingers of luck.
2061 The state of Metro.
2062 Her letters are tragically brilliant on all matters except those of central importance. How strange to have failed as a social creature—even criminals do not fail that way—they are the laws “Loyal Opposition”, so to speak. But the insane are always mere guests on earth, eternal strangers carrying around broken dialogues that they cannot read.
2063 Ten books not to be cast away on a Desert Island with: How to repair a Linotype machine—Emerson on Friendship.
2064 Mr. Harry Haukinspit.
2065 The gay nineties, the yellow nineties were really the empty nineties.
2066 It is so to speak Ernest’s ’Tale of Two Cities’ though the comparison isn’t apt. I mean it is a thoroughly superficial book which has all the profundity of Rebecca.
2067 When Dotty took the veil.
2068 I want to write scenes that are frightening and inimitable. I don’t want to be as intelligible to my contemporaries as Ernest who as Gertrude Stein said, is bound for the Museums. I am sure I am far enough ahead to have some small immortality if I can keep well.
2069 It was a pale, even spiritual face lit reverently with great brown eyes, but the pointed ears and the corners of the mouth were puckish and grotesque and the smile with which he greeted Josephine said plainly enough that they were all three characters in a ghastly joke, and that he was glad she understood it from the beginning. “One of those crazy men,” she thought to herself—”
2070 Action is character.
2071 Fitzgerald you keep on as if that class still existed, etc.. From a Review and Auden quotation.
2072 Brought up on a life of leisurely crime.
2073 Hoped I look like ) Trying to look like) A Petty drawing.
2074 When better women are made I will make them.
2075 Man takes cocktail ranch at the Beverly Wilshire.
2076 Feel a girl’s skull and she becomes a human being.
2077 They’re Swell people—an essay on softness.
2078 She first discovered love in her throat.
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