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fixed machine


€ Family breaks up. It leaves marks on three children, two of whom ruin themselves keeping a family together and a third who doesn’t.

€ A young woman bill collector undertakes to collect a ruined man’s debts. They prove to be moral as well as financial.

€ Story of a man trying to live down his crazy past and encountering it everywhere.

€ Father teaches son to gamble on fixed machine; later the son unconsciously loses his girl on it.

€ Girl and giraffe.

€ Play about a whole lot of old people—terrible things happen to them and they don’t really care.

 F. Scott Fitzgerald, filed under IDEAS




The McSweeney’s magazine ran an issue a few years back (um, #22, thanks Google) where various writers and novelists “fulfilled” these premises. If I remember correctly, the pages where he scribbled these ideas were also reproduced.

According to his friend and editor, Edmund Wilson, Fitzgerald almost never followed through on these ideas or similar gems in his “brainstorming” note-books. Wilson blames this on the fact that the depth of thought and level of craft in the notebooks were too genuine and rich to be incorporated into the crap Fitzgerald was writing for magazines at that point in his career.

Words are better friends than people. Well, they last longer, anyway.

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