A friend like this…
Edmund Wilson (photo to left), the great 20th century critic and writer, was close friends with F. Scott Fitzgerald. Yet of his close friend he said, in 1922, when Fitzgerald was only 26:
Fitzgerald has been left with a jewel which he doesn’t know quite what to do with. For he has been given imagination without intellectual control of it; he has been given the desire for beauty without an aesthetic ideal; and he has been given a gift for expression without very many ideas to express.
(for the full essay, see F. Scott Fitzgerald, by Edmund Wilson).
I wonder if this line from Tender is the Night is a gentle jab from Fitzgerald at Wilson: “Like so many men he had found that he only had one or two ideas…” [book two, part xi, Tender Is the Night, page 165 of the 2003 Scribner trade paperback edition].