F. Scott Fitzgerald: 10 quotes on his birthday

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul Minn., on Sept., 24, 1896. In 1913, he enrolled at Princeton University and dedicated himself to writing, although he dropped out of school in 1917 to join the army. While training in Alabama, he fell in love with Zelda Sayre, the daughter of a justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama. After the war, he moved first to New York and then back to St. Paul, hoping to finish his first novel, advance his career, and attain Zelda’s love. "This Side of Paradise," a largely autobiographical story, was published in 1920 and met with instant success. Fitzgerald and Zelda married shortly thereafter. His second novel, "The Beautiful and the Damned," was published in 1922 and was as great a success as the first. While living in France, Fitzgerald wrote "The Great Gatsby," which is today considered his greatest work. Fitzgerald’s life began a steady deterioration after this book’s publication as he spiraled into alcoholism and faced long spells of writer’s block. Meanwhile, Zelda suffered mental health issues and was committed into several mental health clinics. In 1934 Fitzgerald published "Tender Is the Night" about a psychiatrist and a wealthy patient. He never finished his final novel, "The Love of the Last Tycoon," and died believing that he had failed as a writer. Today, Fitzgerald is considered one of the great American authors of his century. 

1. Intelligence

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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