Although sometimes the name of the philosopher Berkeley is pronounced as if it were spelled “Barkley,” here it is not.

Grim League by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (

According to Wikipedia:

“Head and Shoulders” is a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald written and published in 1920. It was first published in The Saturday Evening Post, with the help of Fitzgerald’s agent, Harold Ober. It later appeared in his short story collection Flappers and Philosophers. It tells the story of a young prodigy at Yale who falls for a spirited dancer in spite of himself.

Fitzgerald weaves in several themes that he would later hone—and become infamous for—in his short stories and novels. One of his recurring themes is the odd matching of love interests, of people not supposed to find love with each other, as in the novel “The Great Gatsby”. But in the short story the mismatch is hopeful. Horace is from the intellectual elite, born and bred to think instead of live. Marcia represents the adventures of life, the passion of art and a steaming sexuality. The second major theme is the adjustment of a career goal for love, especially in the beginning stages of romance, which would be taken up again in the novel Tender is the Night. Horace admits to having trouble thinking with the idea of Marcia in his head. That sense builds until he finds himself being consumed by passion. The third major theme is the bitter end. Marcia writes a book which steals ideas from Horace’s life. At the end of the short story, Horace says that he should not have answered the door. He has given up something for romance: Marcia has gained fame from it. This anticipates Fitzgerald’s dispute with his wife, Zelda, who he thought kept him from writing more and better.

Posted by Frank Marcopolos

Frank Marcopolos lives in Pittsburgh, PA, without a dog. He writes novels, short stories, grocery lists, and love letters to lasagna bakers. He also produces free audiobooks of public domain works on his YouTube channel. You can subscribe to that here: