i just read a stupid book, a compilation of fitzgerald’s musings on booze. I don’t recommend it.
but i liked this part…
fitzgerald left princeton in his junior year, thinking he was sick with malaria. twelve years later an x-ray showed that it had been a mild case of tuberculosis. either way, after a few months of rest he went back to college. but he writes of having lost a lot - certain offices, like the presidency of the triangle club, a musical comedy idea, and he dropped back a class.
"to me college would never be the same. there were to be no badges of pride, no medals, after all. it seemed on one march afternoon that i had lost every single thing i wanted."
"years later i realized that my failure as a big shot in college was all right - instead of serving on committees, i took a beating on english poetry; when i got the idea of what it was all about, i set about learning how to write. on shaw’s principle that ‘if you don’t get what you like, you better like what you get,’ it was a lucky break but at the moment it was a harsh and bitter business to know that my career as a leader of men was over. a man does not recover from such jolts - he becomes a different person and, eventually, the new person finds new things to care about."