I wish…

From a letter Zelda Fitzgerald sent to her husband F. Scott:

I wish we could spend July by the sea, browning ourselves and feeling water-weighted hair flow behind us from a dive. I wish our gravest troubles were the summer gnats. I wish we were hungry for hot-dogs and dopes¹ and it would be nice to smell the starch of summer linens and the faint odor of talc in blistering bath-houses… We could lie in long citroneuse beams of the five o’clock sun on the plage at Juan-les-Pins and hear the sound of the drum and piano being scooped out to sea by the waves.

In her life she tried to write short stories and novels and plays, but her real forte may have been a medium she never tried: poetry.


¹ “Dopes” were a kind of syrupy, carbonated soft drink


5 thoughts on “I wish…

  1. “Citroneuse”. Did I just find a word to describe the light cast by a setting sun? It’s the cast that brings the dullest landscape to life.

    On ‘dope’. I understood it to mean the original Coca-Cola, in Thomas Wolfe’s novels, due to the dope they used to put in Coke. Googling the term shows you are right with your definition.

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        • I haven’t read a lot of her work- just excerpts in the biography I just read- but she seems to have been unbalanced as a writer: extremely good at descriptions, extremely poor at plot and characterization. The Fitzgerald’s works are just starting to trickle into the public domain, and my plan is to read them as they become available.

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  2. … this sounds like the open-hearted pleas of someone who is in a frustrated relationship…


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