Fitzgerald Bought Into Ethnic Stereotypes

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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. Still, the famous author wasn’t what one might call racially enlightened.


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →