Friday, September 14, 2012

Zelda for your autumn evening

The world, as my favorite Wordsworth line would have it, remains too much with me, late and soon, so tonight all I have is a quotation for the autumn and a photo to accompany it.

I've mentioned before that I include snippets from writers' letters in the weekly publicity roundup I create at my office, which gives me an excuse to spend time with my shelves and Google Books every week, looking for bits worth sharing. Today's came when it occurred to me that surely Zelda Fitzgerald had written something suitably autumnal to Scott at some point over the years. I was pleased to discover that in September of 1940 she had:
To-night is the first fall night. The moon is bright and cool and dispassionate and the shadows are remote and impersonally admonitory and the children have started to school; so the streets once more assume their academic context.
What I love about this passage is that its language is beautiful in much the same way that Scott Fitzgerald's language tends to be: its word choices are precise and memorable, its sentences balanced and rhythmic. I don't think I'll be able to navigate an autumn night for the rest of my life without thinking of the leaf-laden shadows as "remote and impersonally admonitory."

Which brings me to the photo, discovered on BoingBoing today:

You've figured out by now that that's Zelda. But did you realize that it's a cake?

Enjoy your reading this weekend, folks.

1 comment:

  1. What fascinates me about this quote are the multiple distancing adjectives - remote, dispassionate, impersonally (OK, the last one was an adverb, but pick, pick, pick). I hadn't thought of it before, but there is something distant about moonlight - is it the lack of warmth?