Some generations are close to those that succeed them; between others the gap is infinite and unbridgeable. Mrs Buckner -a woman of character, a member of Society in a large Middle-Western city- carrying a pitcher of fruit lemonade through her own spacious back yard, was progressing across a hundred years. Her own thoughts would have been comprehensible to her great-grandmother; what was happening in a room above the stable would have been entirely unintelligible to them both. In what had once served as the coach-mans sleeping apartment, her son and a friend were not behaving in a normal manner, but were, so to speak, experimenting in a void. They were making the first tentative combinations of the ideas and materials they found ready at their hands -ideas destined to become, in future years, first articulate, then startling and finally commonplace. At the moment when called up to them they were sitting with disarming quiet upon the still unhatched eggs of the mid-twentieth century.
-From "The Scandal Detectives"
I love this passage describing the generation gap that Fitzgerald was experiencing in the beginning of the 20th century. As with many of his passages, it is the final line or turn of a phrase that lights up and illuminates the passage. The idea of these boys "sitting on the unhatched eggs of the mid-twentieth century" is exciting and a bit chilling.
Remembering that Fitzgerald died in 1940, he was yet to see what the mid-twentieth century was to become. Was he able to see further down the line, did he have an idea of what his generation was to start? Or would he be shocked at all the changes that were to come?