his peremptory heart

p. 25:

Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart.

Possibly one of my favorite phrases in the entire novel – his peremptory heart – hearkens back to one of my favorite poems, surely one that Fitzgerald admired as well:  Ozymandias, the king of kings whose boast of immortality was carved on the rubble strewn beside the sands of his former kingdom, also had a “heart that fed” – insatiable, demanding, dictatorial heart.

This same page contains a flurry of beautiful phrases, as Fitzgerald cruises to the end of the chapter like a commanding boxer ending a round with a hail of lovely glovework.  It’s possible though perhaps overreaching to find the reference to Ozymandias and see that Fitzgerald himself is the king of kings, littering the page with the jewels of his talent, destined to become forgotten and lost in the sands of time.

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