Allow me to begin by saying that, in this particular situation, nothing but a stimulating discussion over a cocktail and summer's sweetest winds would do. However, finding that you no longer permeate the planet with your existence, a letter will have to suffice.
Yesterday, I sat enveloped in Midwestern summer sunshine while my mind wandered the streets of New York with Amory Blaine. Over the past two weeks, I have marveled at Princeton's twisting spires with him, eavesdropped on his compelling conversations, mourned a love lost with him and watched as his theories on government, writing and life evolve as he drunk of his youth until not a drop remained. "This Side of Paradise" utterly captivated me, Mr. Fitzgerald. Your writing has made an envious wretch out of a girl born into the wrong decade.
You see, Mr. Fitzgerald, since your departure, The Great Gatsby has elevated you, once again, to stardom as the brilliant mind that conceived Daisy Buchanan, Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway and the fantastically unfortunate events that befell the lot of them. It has since been made into a motion picture, the faces of your intricate cast of characters assigned to some of the greatest actors of our time. Your own words danced purposefully across silver screens around the world, garnering high praise from critics and exploding sales of the book. The Great Gatsby so captivated me in style and story that I decided to make it my personal project to become a student of your work.
And so, I found my way into This Side of Paradise, not realizing how your use of the English language (flavored with a sprinkle of Latin) would seduce a catalogue of emotions and appeal to my appetite for clever metaphors. I devoured the novel with both my eyes and my pen, the uncontrollable urge to underline propelling the tool forth in my hands, not only for the elaborate combinations of parts of speech, but also the philosophical "epigrams" you so delicately slipped into a bit of dialogue or trick of thought throughout Amory's years as a young man.
But of all the creatively constructed quotations and personifications of the life-saturated abstractions humanity has never quite been able to grasp, my favorite section of the novel lay waiting me in the last precarious fifty-or-so pages. By this point, Amory has endured blights only the stubborn live to speak of, and has reached an impasse, where he realizes his own overstimulated ego misguided the beliefs and philosophies he preached.
"I have sworn not to put pen to paper until my ideas either clarify or depart entirely; I have quite enough sins on my soul without putting dangerous, shallow epigrams into people's heads...I believe too much in the responsibilities of authorship to write just now."
To write is to influence. And I appreciate the reminder that you, under the guise of Amory Blaine, asserted to anyone blessed with the abilities to wordsmith. As a fellow writer and current "starving artist," I do not take lightly the charge to carefully construct my thoughts and opinions into sentences, paragraphs and pages that contribute to, rather than detract from, the betterment of humanity as a whole.
Thank you for your own contributions.