F. Scott Fitzgerald? Christopher Poindexter? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: Goodreads is one of the most popular community websites for readers, and it includes a massive collection of quotations. Since anyone can share a quotation it is unsurprising that some of them are misattributed or inaccurately stated. Recently, I came across the following words which were credited to the classic novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald:
And in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.
This statement has been propagated through social media channels such as Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Facebook with an ascription to Fitzgerald, but I know it definitely is not in the “The Great Gatsby”. This is confusing. What do you think?
The Quote Investigator: The poet Christopher Poindexter crafted this expression. The earliest evidence located by QI was a tweet dated May 14, 2013 from the account @healthesebones. This account is currently inactive, but in the past it was used by Poindexter. 1
The tweet referred to the fourth short poem in a cycle called “The blooming of madness” written by the artist, and the link within the tweet pointed to an image shared by Poindexter via his Instagram account that displayed the verse as a typewritten palimpsest fragment using black and red ink. See here. 2
When QI used twitter to ask Poindexter about the quotation he replied emphatically via his current account @ChristopherPoin: 3
. . . this is my quote. It has been misquoted everywhere on the Internet. You will not find it in Fitzgerald’s books.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- Tweet, From: Chris Poindexter @healthesebones, Time: 6:31 AM, Date: May 14, 2013, Text: ” The blooming of madness” poem #4 #poetry #poem #art #artist #inspire #inspiration #typewriter… http://instagram.com/p/ZSYU6aTNe-/ (Accessed on twitter.com on May 28, 2015) link ↩
- Instagram Photo Sharing Web Service, Account: christopherpoindexter, Date: “25 months ago” (Approximate date presented by Instagram on May 28, 2015), Description: “The blooming of madness” poem #4 #poetry #poem #art #artist #inspire #inspiration #typewriter #vintage #words #write (Accessed on instagram.com on May 28, 2015) link ↩
- Tweet, From: Christopher @ChristopherPoin, Time: 3:18 PM, Date: May 27, 2015, Text: @QuoteResearch this is my quote. It has been misquoted everywhere on the Internet. You will not find it in Fitzgerald’s books. (Accessed on twitter.com on May 28, 2015) link ↩