Quotes By The Love of the Last Tycoon

“Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.”

“How different it all was from what you'd planned.”

“Stahr's eyes and Kathleen's met and tangled. For an instant they made love as no one ever dares to do after. Their glance was slower than an embrace, more urgent than a call.”

“Bright unused beauty still plaugued her in the mirror.”

“His dark eyes took me in, and I wondered what they would look like if he fell in love.”

“There was a midsummer restlessness abroad—early August with imprudent loves and impulsive crimes.”

“I'm sorry I was short with him--but I don't like a man to approach me telling me it for my sake.
"Maybe it was," said Wylie
"It's poor technique."
"I'd all for it," said Wylie. "I'm vain as a woman. If anybody pretends to be interested in me, I'll ask for more. I like advice."
Stahr shook his head distastefully. Wylie kept on ribbing him--he was one of those to whom this privilege was permitted. "You fall for some kinds of flattery," he said. "this 'little Napoleon stuff.'"
"It makes me sick," said Stahr, "but it's not as bad as some man trying to help you."
"If you don't like advice, why do you pay me?"
"That's a question of merchandise," said Stahr. "I'm a merchant. I want to buy what's in your mind."
"You're no merchant," said Wylie. "I knew a lot of them when I was a publicity man, and I agree with Charles Francis Adams."
"What did he say?"
"He knew them all--Gould, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Astor--and he said there wasn't one he'd care to meet again in the hereafter. Well--they haven't improved since then, and that's why I say you're no merchant."
"Adams was probably a sourbelly," said Stahr. "He wanted to be head man himself, but he didn't have the judgement or else the character."
"He had brains," said Wylie rather tartly.
"It takes more than brains. You writers and artists poop out and get all mixed up, and somebody has to come in and straighten you out." He shrugged his shoulders. "You seem to take things so personally, hating people and worshipping them--always thinking people are so important-especially yourselves. You just ask to be kicked around. I like people and I like them to like me, but I wear my heart where God put it--on the inside.”

“credit is something that should be given to others. If you are in a position to give credit to yourself, then you do not need it.”

“Such a pretty girl- to say such wise things.”

“He saw Kathleen sitting in the middle of a long white table alone.Immediately things changed. As he walked toward her the people shrank back against the walls till they were only murals; the white table lengthened and became an altar where the priestess sat alone. Vitality welled up in him and he could have stood a long time across the table from her, looking and smiling.”

“He was born sleepless, without a talent for rest or the desire for it.”

“Note also in the epilogue that I want to show that Stahr left certain harm behind him just as he left good behind him.”

“I matched my grey eyes against his brown ones for guile, my young golf-and-tennis heart-beats against his, which must be slowing a little after years of over-work. And I planned and I contrived and I plotted - any woman can tell you - but it never came to anything, as you will see. I still like to think that if he'd been a poor boy and nearer my age I could manage it, but of course the real truth was that I had nothing to offer that he didn't have.”

“Fatigue was a drug as well as a poison, and Stahr apparently derived some rare almost physical pleasure from working lightheaded with weariness.”

“It was midsummer, but fresh water from the gasping sprinklers made the lawn glitter like spring.”

“At both ends of life man needed nourishment: a breast - a shrine. Something to lay himself beside when no one wanted him further, and shoot a bullet into his head.”

“I've told you many times that the first thing I decide is the kind of story I want. (...) This is not the kind of story I want. The story we bought had shine and glow - it was a happy story. This is all full of doubt and hesitation. The hero and heroine stop loving each other over trifles - then they start up again over trifles. After the first sequence you don't care if she never sees him again or he her.”

“People fall in and out of love all the time. I wonder how they manage it.”

“Something not going well, Mr. Boxley?"
The novelist looked back at him in thunderous silence.
"I read your letter," said Stahr. The tone of the pleasant young headmaster was gone. He spoke as to an equal, but with a faint two-edged deference.
"I can't get what I write on paper," broke out Boxley. "You've all been very decent, but it's a sort of conspiracy. Those two hacks you've teamed me with listen to what I say, but they spoil it--they seem to have a vocabulary of about a hundred words."
"Why don't you write it yourself?" asked Stahr.
"I have. I sent you some."
"But it was just talk, back and forth," said Stahr mildly. "Interesting talk but nothing more."
Now it was all the two ghostly attendants could do to hold Boxley in the deep chair. He struggled to get up; he uttered a single quiet bark which had some relation to laughter but non to amusement, and said:
"I don't think you people read things. The men are duelling when the conversation takes place. At the end one of them falls into a well and has to be hauled up in a bucket."
He barked again and subsided.
Would you write that in a book of your own, Mr. Boxley?"
"What? Naturally not."
"You'd consider it too cheap."
"Movie standards are different," said Boxley, hedging.
"Do you ever go to them?"
"No--almost never."
"Isn't it because people are always duelling and falling down wells?"
Yes--and wearing strained facial expressions and talking incredible and unnatural dialogue."
"Skip the dialogue for a minute," said Stahr. "Granted your dialogue is more graceful than what these hacks can write--that's why we brought you out here. But let's imagine something that isn't either bad dialogue or jumping down a well.”

“Old Marcus still managed to function with disquieting resilience. Some never-atrophying instinct warned hi of danger, of gangings up against him--he was never so dangerous himself as when others considered him surrounded. His grey face had attained such immobility that even those who were accustomed to watch the reflex of the inner corner of his eye could no longer see it. Nature had grown a little white whisker there to conceal it; his armor was complete.”

“You could say that this was where an accidental wind blew him but I don't think so. I would rather think that in a "long shot" he saw a new way of measuring our jerky hopes and graceful rogueries and awkward sorrows, and that he came here from choice to be with us to the end. Like the plane coming down into the Glendale airport into the warm darkness.”

“Junior writers $300; Minor poets—$500 a week; Broken novelists—$850-1000; One play dramatists—$1500; Sucks—$2000. Wits—$2500.”

“És bár én kedvelem az írókat – mert ha az ember megkérdez valamit egy írótól, rendszerint választ is szokott kapni a kérdésére –, ettÅ‘l mégis kisebb lett a szememben. Mert az írók valahogy nem egészen emberek. Ha viszont jók a mesterségükben, akkor meg tulajdonképpen egy egész csomó ember lakozik bennük, miközben mindent elkövetnek, hogy mégiscsak egy személy legyenek.”