The first comprehensive collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short stories and essays is now available in eBook only. This definitive edition pulls together the complete works from such celebrated titles as Tales of the Jazz Age, Babylon Revisited, Flappers and Philosophers, and many others. For the first time ever, readers will have all of the short stories and essays ordered chronologically in two volumes.
Volume two contains works from 1928 to 1940, the year Fitzgerald died, as well as posthumously published works. Each volume also includes photos, critical excerpts, and essays from noted Fitzgerald scholars. This is a treasure for any Fitzgerald fan.
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March 31, 2004
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Excerpt from The Complete Short Stories and Essays, Volume 2 by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Short Trip Home
I was near her, for I had lingered behind in order to get the short walk with her from the living room to the front door. That was a lot, for she had flowered suddenly and I, being a man and only a year older, hadn't flowered at all, had scarcely dared to come near her in the week we'd been home. Nor was I going to say anything in that walk of ten feet, or touch her; but I had a vague hope she'd do something, give a gay little performance of some sort, personal only in so far as we were alone together.
She had bewitchment suddenly in the twinkle of short hairs on her neck, in the sure, clear confidence that at about eighteen begins to deepen and sing in attractive American girls. The lamp light shopped in the yellow strands of her hair.
Already she was sliding into another world -- the world of Joe Jelke and Jim Cathcart waiting for us now in the car. In another year she would pass beyond me forever.
* * *
Author's Note: In a moment of hasty misjudgment a whole paragraph of description was lifted out of this tale where it originated, and properly belongs, and applied to quite a different character in a novel of mine. I have ventured nonetheless to leave it here, even at the risk of seeming to serve warmed-over fare.
Editor's Note: Fitzgerald's note above refers to the paragraph on p. 391 beginning "Vaguely," which was used in Tender Is the Night (Book I, Chapter 21).
* * *
As I waited, feeling the others outside in the snowy night, feeling the excitement of Christmas week and the excitement of Ellen here, blooming away, filling the room with "sex appeal" -- a wretched phrase to express a quality that isn't like that at all -- a maid came in from the dining room, spoke to Ellen quietly and handed her a note. Ellen read it and her eyes faded down, as when the current grows weak on rural circuits, and smoldered off into space. Then she gave me an odd look -- in which I probably didn't show -- and without a word, followed the maid into the dining room and beyond. I sat turning over the pages of a magazine for a quarter of an hour.
Joe Jelke came in, red-faced from the cold, his white silk muffler gleaming at the neck of his fur coat. He was a senior at New Haven, I was a sophomore. He was prominent, a member of Scroll and Keys, and, in my eyes, very distinguished and handsome.