Inspirational Art

My senior year of college, I wrote an English thesis on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s nonfiction. Probably my favorite part of writing my thesis was that I had a thesis carrel in the library where I could keep books and work on my paper. It was on the top floor in the back corner in a section that few people used, next to a window overlooking the quad, and I thought it was lovely—but I’m someone capable of finding a desk lovely.

Along with keeping books and other materials at my desk, I also hung up a few Fitzgerald quotes that I found inspirational. If I recall correctly, these were the quotes:

You don’t write because you want to say something, your write because you have something to say.


My idea is always to reach my generation. The wise writer writes for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward.


I’m aware that I was writing a college paper and Fitzgerald was writing some of the great American novels, but the quotes helped me get in his head a little bit, which was what I was trying to do with my research. And they inspired me to push myself more in my work.


One of the last parts of our apartment to be completed was the office. The wall behind the desk had been empty for the first month or so after we arrived while we decorated other areas of the apartment. So I was delighted when, two weeks ago on our visit to Politics and Prose, I came across this poster:



Apologies for the glare, it’s in a frame on the wall and it was a bit unavoidable.

If you can’t tell what this is, it’s a scene from The Great Gatsby, and the image is created out of the first 13,604 words from the novel. After I got home I figured out that the company that makes these is called Litographs; they’re based outside of Boston and make posters, shirts, scarves and totes out of literature. When I saw the poster, it immediately reminded me of my thesis carrel and the quotes I had hanging there, and I knew that it was the perfect thing to complete our office. So I jumped on Amazon and found a green frame that I thought would look nice to tie into the green of the staircase in the poster, and I love how it looks:


I’ve already had a few moments of sitting at the desk and feeling stuck or distracted in which I’ve glanced up at the poster, smiled, and dug back into my work. And I’m sure I’ll have countless more in the future!


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