F. Scott Fitzgerald may have written beautifully about the Jazz Age, but he had some problems with people of different races and backgrounds, and wrote some rather awful things about black people (and the French). But, argues Arthur Krystal at The New Yorker, Fitzgerald wasn’t “malicious;” he “was simply reiterating a familiar physiognomic code.” His Jewish secretary, Francis Kroll Ring, may have helped soften Fitzgerald to Jews in his later life, and evidence of this can be seen in The Last Tycoon....more
Posts Tagged: f. scott fitzgerald
For Slate, Cristina Hartmann explains how The Great Gatsby went from a marginal publication to a central part of America’s literary canon. According to Hartmann, much of the novel’s early struggles emerged from criticism that misrepresented Fitzgerald’s satirical position, as critics stood too close to a cultural moment:
Fitzgerald’s contemporaries were unable to see the novel for what it was—biting satire of the hypocrisy of the profligate Jazz Age—because they were in the thick of it.
A century ago, Princeton University was a premiere football school. As a freshman, F. Scott Fitzgerald was cut from the team after just one day. But that didn’t stop him from calling the famed football coach Fritz Crisler in the middle of the night with crazy football strategies, one of which might very well have been fielding separate teams for offense and defense....more
An early draft of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises focused on Brett Ashley, the woman who serves as a love interest to protagonist Jake Barnes and others. The revised manuscript owes much to F. Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote a letter filled with withering criticism of the earlier version, leading Hemingway to edit out much of the original manuscript....more
Polish language speakers are getting a new translation of The Great Gatsby, but a modern translation raises all sorts of linguistic issues. The primary difference, of course, is that the original translator wrote under the iron curtain and without the aid of Google:
It was, therefore, more difficult for her to track down various details, such as those concerning well-known financiers or popular culture starlets of the 1920s.
What were/are you doing in your twenties?
If you’re F. Scott Fitzgerald or Zadie Smith, you were publishing groundbreaking novels. If you’re Jack London, you were losing teeth from scurvy in Alaska, which, you know, good for him....more
In honor of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday a couple days ago, the Paris Review posted some audio clips of him reading passages from Keats and Shakespeare.
“While he may not recite like a trained Shakespearean, his reading is clear, emotive, and confident,” writes Sadie Stein....more
Maria Popova of Brain Pickings has featured a 1925 letter from Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald, in which Hemingway describes his personal conception of heaven (after playfully guessing at Fitzgerald’s).
As an added bonus, check out the snapshot of Scott and Ernest palling around in Paris....more
In honor of her would’ve-been 113th birthday, check out Gothamist’s collection of photos and footage of Zelda (and F. Scott) Fitzgerald.
Okay, okay—her birthday was a week ago, so this isn’t the timeliest post in the world.
Still, it’s fascinatingly bittersweet to see video of the couple before their marriage unraveled and Zelda died in a psychiatric institution....more
The Hollywood gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, born Lily Shiel, shaped herself out of nothing much, and she knew it. As her eight memoirs attest, she also knew how remarkable the story of her self-reinvention was—especially the three and a half years she spent as F....more
There has never been a great movie adaptation of a novel. This isn’t to say that there’s never been a good movie that was first a book....more
Want to see the new film version of The Great Gatsby but afraid it won’t live up to the book?
At The Millions, five English professors pass judgment on the success of the adaptation.
Read it to find out what additional source material Baz Luhrmann drew on and whether Carey Mulligan breathed a life into the role of Daisy that “honestly, Fitzgerald didn’t.”...more
“Fell in love on the 7th … Quarrel. Silence. Zelda sick … Discovery that Zelda’s class voted her prettiest & most attractive.”
You can’t follow F. Scott Fitzgerald on Twitter, but if you want to know what his tweets might have looked like, check out his handwritten ledger, recently made available online by the University of South Carolina....more
At The Paris Review, Rumpus contributor Jason Diamond wonders about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s repeated references to Lake Forest, Illinois, determining that the city’s significance derived from the fact that it was the hometown of Fitzgerald’s first love, Ginevra King, who informed the character of Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby....more
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s long-lost account, The Cruise of the Rolling Junk, follows Zelda and Scott on an eventful road trip in the 1920s....more
There another Gatsby adaptation in the works. F Scott Fitzgerald’s American masterpiece has resurfaced over and over again—as a couple films, as an orchestral production by the Madison Symphony, a theater piece, a spin-off novel and an opera. The desire to reproduce Gatsby might have something to do with its perpetual relevance....more
At the end of The Social Network, a new indie flick that no one has ever heard of, I turned to my friend, and out of every intelligent comment I could have made, I said, “There was so much testosterone in the movie that I feel fucked six ways sideways.”...more
In his late thirties, F. Scott Fitzgerald experienced a series of emotional and mental breakdowns, many of which he wrote about in a series of random essays and observations collected under the title, The Crack-Up.
At the beginning of the self-titled essay, he writes:
“Of course, all of life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work — the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside — the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once....more
We spend an enormous amount of our lives (at least I do, and my friends do—but maybe that’s because my friends are mostly addicts and writers, who spend a lot of time in their heads) thinking about other people, their motives, their desires and their opinions....more