Are Fitzgerald's observations timeless, or has not that much changed since the Jazz Age? This article about the suburban vogue for McMansions full of bland furniture reminded me of Sally Carroll Happer's take on the new-money digs of her husband-to-be's family: "This room struck her as being neither attractive nor particularly otherwise. It was simply a room with a lot of fairly expensive things in it that all looked about fifteen years old."
That's from "The Ice Palace", which is in many ways a pretty sorry piece of work, especially the parts driven by Fitzgerald's moony imaginings of a mythical South. But he does nail the way shabby gentility views those with the temerity to be rich in the present tense.
Another, even lesser work in the Fitzgerald oeuvre is the story, "Dalrymple Goes Wrong," which I reread the other day over lunch at the sushi bar at Osaka's (best sushi in Greensboro, to damn it with faint praise; High Point Rd. between the Coliseum and I-40). This line, about a WWI veteran, reminded me of most of the heroes of 9/11: "But when the shouting died he realized...that 'the name that will live forever in the annals and legends of this State' was already living there very quietly and obscurely."
Me, I've always had a little Nick Carraway thing going on.