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A biography of f scott fitzgerald an american author

The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, a fantasy, portrays the genteel viciousness of the Braddock Washingtons, who live atop a huge diamond of a mountain, feel annoyed when they must murder houseguests to keep the secret of its location, and assume they can buy their way out of any difficulty.

About F. Scott Fitzgerald

In the final scenes, Washington attempts to bribe God to avert an aerial attack on his mountain, and John Unger, the young man who had come to visit the Washingtons on holiday from school, escapes with the lovely, totally impractical, and exquisitely selfish Kismine Washington and her sister Jasmine as their father, his bribe having failed, blows up the mountain. Winter Dreams hits closer to home. In fact, it is one of the few Fitzgerald stories obviously set in and around White Bear Lake, the summer playground of Saint Paul's elite.

Dexter Green first encounters Judy Jones when he is caddying at her club. He quits on the spot because he realizes that she sees him as a servant, and he quite consciously begins to make something of himself in order to earn her approval. The little girl who had done this was eleven, Fitzgerald reveals, beautifully ugly now but destined after a few years to be inexpressively lovely and bring no end of misery to a great number of men.

In time Dexter does attract her attention, but she treats him cavalierly as only one in a parade of beaux. Eventually Dexter makes a success in business and then on Wall Street, where he hears that Judy has married a man from Detroit who rather mistreats her and that her beauty has faded.

Most of the women like her, he is told. Dexter can hardly believe his ears, and the news devastates him, destroying his dream of Judy: Something had been taken from him and the grief he could have borne was left behind in the country of illusion, of youth, of the richness of life, where his winter dreams had flourished.

Like Dexter, most of Fitzgerald 's male characters celebrate the ideal at the expense of the real. Only the world of illusion can sustain their emotional intensity; only in dreams can they shut out the sometimes terrifying everyday world.

  1. The story of the friendship between Fitzgerald and Hemingway makes a sad chapter in American literary history. Scott Fitzgerald stands for Francis Scott; he was named for his distant cousin, the writer of the poem that became the lyrics to American national anthem.
  2. If This Side of Paradise resembles the Wellsian novel of saturation, where everything is included, The Great Gatsby epitomizes the Jamesian novel of selection, where every detail fits and nothing is superfluous. Despite his failure, there is something magnificent in Stahr's goal.
  3. Eventually Dexter makes a success in business and then on Wall Street, where he hears that Judy has married a man from Detroit who rather mistreats her and that her beauty has faded.

So the twelve-year-old Rudolph Miller in Absolution 1924which is the discarded beginnning for The Great Gatsby, retreats into his imaginary self, Blatchford Sarnemington, when threatened by divine punishment. Like James Gatz, Rudolph feels himself superior to his parents, and especially to his religiously stern but financially unsuccessful father.

Regarded as background for the character of Gatsby, Absolution is most interesting in its strongly religious orientation. Having lied, rather innocently, at confession, Rudolph is convinced that he will be struck dead when he takes communion.

In an uncannily prophetic speech, the priest warns against the costs of such materialistic worship. Go and see an amusement park at night, he advises the startled boy. You'll see a big wheel made of lights turning in the air, and a long slide shooting boats down into the water. A band playing somewhere, and a smell of peanuts and everything will twinkle. It will all hang out there in the night like a colored balloon like a big yellow lantern on a pole.

Then the priest pauses, frowns, and adds: But don't get up too close, for if you do you'll only feel the heat and the sweat and the life. The Great Gatsby tells the story of a man who got too close. Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby in France, where he and his wife and daughter were to spend most of the last half of the 1920s.

The novel bears almost no resemblance in form to those that had come before. In Jay Gatsby, nee James Gatz, Fitzgerald created far more than just another Amory Blaine seeking his fortune in the world, for in his misguided romantic way Gatsby stands for a deeper malaise in the culture a sickness that drives young men to think that riches can obliterate the past and capture the hearts of the girls of their dreams.

Gatsby's dream girl, hardly worthy of his romantic quest, is Daisy Fay Buchanan, wife to the safely not newly rich Tom Buchanan. She and Gatsby had met and fallen in love during the war, when Jay was a young officer with no money or position: He might have despised himself, for he had certainly taken her under false pretenses.

I don't mean that he had traded on his phantom millions, but he had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself that he was fully a biography of f scott fitzgerald an american author to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities he had no comfortable family standing behind him, and he was a biography of f scott fitzgerald an american author at the whim of an impersonal government to be blown anywhere about the world.

But he didn't despise himself and it didn't turn out as he had imagined. He had intended, probably, to take what he could and go but now he found that he had committed himself to the following of a grail. She vanished into her rich house, into her rich, full life, leaving Gatsby nothing. He felt married to her, that was all. When he went overseas, she married Buchanan.

The novel tells the story of his attempt to get Daisy back some four years later. In the meantime he has made a great deal of money, partly from bootlegging liquor; Daisy has borne a daughter; and Tom has taken as his mistress Myrtle Wilson, the wife of the owner of a garage in the ash heaps that lie along the road about halfway between West Egg and Manhattan.

Told so baldly, the novel sounds like material for the pulps. But the story is not told that way at all, but through the informing intelligence of Nick Carraway, an almost perfect narrator.

Clearly, Fitzgerald had been reading Joseph Conrad and discovered in his use of the character Marlow as teller of the tale a way of distancing himself from his story without sacrificing intensity. Nick Carraway functions as an ideal Marlow in The Great Gatsby, for he is connected by background to the Buchanans Daisy is his cousin, he had been at Yale with Tom and by proximity to Gatsby he rents a small house near Gatsby's garish mansionand he has he tells us cultivated the habit of withholding judgments.

Nick does not particularly like Tom, even to begin with, but he knows and understands Tom and his milieu.

  1. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night Columbia. This took religion and years and plenty and tremendous sureties and the exact relation that existed between the classes.
  2. In fact, he did launch immediately into a preliminary version of Tender Is the Night when he had completed The Great Gatsby, but that long sprawling powerful novel was to go through repeated false starts before it finally emerged. He might have despised himself, for he had certainly taken her under false pretenses.
  3. In 1939, MGM terminated the contract, and Fitzgerald became a freelance screenwriter. Yet there was little objection to the book's lack of integration.
  4. By crassly materialistic ends he hopes to capture the ideal girl. Fitzgerald 's doubleness of perspective enabled him to identify with Gatsby and his dreams and yet to stand back with Nick Carraway and see how ridiculous this self-styled young rajah was.
  5. Her beauty helped, and her vulnerability, but so did her impressive wealth, and as the years wear on, Diver lets himself be more and more compromised by accepting the favors that her money can buy for them both. Like his father he preferred the picture in his mind to mundane reality.

At first, Gatsby is a mystery to Nick. Besides giving parties, Gatsby wears pink suits, drives yellow cars, and is in business with the man who fixed the World Series. Yet before the tragic end when in a case of mistaken identity for which Tom and Daisy Buchanan are jointly responsible, Myrtle Wilson's husband kills Gatsby Nick comes to see that the Buchanans were careless people.

Coming from Carraway, no saint himself and a bit of a snob, a man who disapproved of Gatsby from beginning to end as he would disapprove of any other parvenu, that judgment takes on absolute authority.

F Scott Fitzgerald

Gatsby's greatness lies in his capacity for illusion. Had he seen Daisy for what she was, he could not have loved her with such singleminded devotion. He comes to recapture Daisy, and for a time it looks as though he will succeed. But he must inevitably fail, because a biography of f scott fitzgerald an american author his inability to separate the ideal from the real.

Everything he has done, and it is clear that much of what he has done is on the shady side of the law, Gatsby has done in order to present himself as worthy of Daisy. By crassly materialistic ends he hopes to capture the ideal girl. Toward the end, Nick reflects, Gatsby must have realized that Daisy was not the golden girl after all, that she too had sprung from the material world and was made of all-too-human stuff, but those are Nick's thoughts, not necessarily Gatsby's.

For all Fitzgerald lets us know, Gatsby dies with his dream intact, and then it is left to Nick to arrange for the service and erase the dirty word from the steps of Gatsby's house and clean up the mess. Though hundreds had come to Gatsby's parties, hardly anyone comes to his funeral. His father is there, a shiftless and uneducated man who even while standing in his son's mansion prefers to admire the photograph of that mansion.

So is Owl Eyes, who had been startled to find that the books in Gatsby's library were real, even though their pages were uncut. Like the books Gatsby was the real thing, but unformed, unlettered, and for all his financial cunning, ignorant. Like his father he preferred the picture in his mind to mundane reality. The Great Gatsby abounds in touches like these. The Great Gatsby has inspired probably as much critical commentary as any other twentieth-century American novel, but it is so intricately patterned and tightly knit, so beautifully integrated through a series of parallels, that it hardly seems possible that criticism will exhaust the novel.

If This Side of Paradise resembles the Wellsian novel of saturation, where everything is included, The Great Gatsby epitomizes the Jamesian novel of selection, where every detail fits and nothing is superfluous. It's the kind of novel and there aren't many that gets better each time one rereads it.

The reviews for The Great Gatsby were the most favorable so far. Most notably Gilbert Seldes proclaimed that Fitzgerald has mastered his talents and gone soaring in a beautiful flight, leaving behind him everything dubious and tricky in his earlier work, and leaving even further behind all the men of his own generation and most of his elders.

He praises Fitzgerald 's ability to report on a a tiny section of life. He has now something of extreme importance to say; and it is good fortune for us that he knows how to say it. Fresh from The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald wrote 1926another of his very best stories. In a sense The Rich Boy might be regarded as a form of revenge on such careless people as the Buchanans. The mere possession of a great deal of money seems to confer on Anson Hunter, protagonist of the story, certain rights and privileges unthinkable for the penurious.

He drinks to excess and feels no need to apologize; he takes advantage of women and feels no remorse; he breaks up his aunt's love affair and ignores the suicide of her lover.

For all his power Anson suffers from a fatal lack of emotional capability. He cannot care about anyone other than himself. He has no illusions. Other than that collection, however, Fitzgerald published no book between 1925 and 1934.

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Late in his life Fitzgerald wrote his daughter that he should have said upon finishing The Great Gatsby, I've found my line from now on this comes first. This is my immediate duty without this I am nothing. In fact, he did launch immediately into a preliminary version of Tender Is the Night when he had completed The Great Gatsby, but that long sprawling powerful novel was to go through repeated false starts before it finally emerged.

Meanwhile, the Fitzgeralds played on the Riviera and in Paris with, among others, Gerald and Sara Murphy whose physical appearance and social gifts Fitzgerald transplanted to Dick and Nicole Diver and Ernest Hemingway. The story of the friendship between Fitzgerald and Hemingway makes a sad chapter in American literary history.

When they met at the Dingo bar in Paris in the spring of 1925, Fitzgerald had already established himself as an important novelist while Hemingway was still a literary tyro who had yet to publish his first book in America.

Nevertheless, Fitzgerald did everything he could to promote Hemingway 's career, occasionally to the extent of ignoring his own. At first Hemingway responded warmly to such generosity, but it was part a biography of f scott fitzgerald an american author his character to resent assistance from others and he eventually turned on Fitzgeralddenigrating him and his work in a series of public and private attacks. Unlike her husband, Zelda Fitzgerald was never taken with Hemingway nor he with her.

She regarded him as bogus, a poseur. After a time she even accused her husband of a homosexual liaison with Hemingwaybut that dubious charge came in the wake of storms that were tearing their marriage apart and driving her toward the brink of madness.

In 1924 she had a brief affair with a French aviator, and her husband became steadily more dependent on liquor. Often left alone while he toured the bars and eager to find a creative outlet for herself so, at least, runs the thesis of Nancy Milford's biography Zelda Fitzgerald threw herself into studying ballet, taking lessons from the distinguished Madam Egorova and working harder than the other aspirants to make up for beginning so demanding a career in her late twenties instead of her early teens.

In April 1930 Zelda cracked from the strain, and went off to the first of the series of sanatoriums this one in Switzerland that were to serve as refuges for the rest of her life.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

In the fall of 1931 the Fitzgeralds limped home to Montgomery. Fitzgerald suggested what the years in Europe had cost them in the autobiographical Babylon Revisited 1931. That story, one of his best, tells of Charlie Wales's attempt to gain custody of his daughter Honoria.

His wife has died, a victim of the reckless and expensive life they led during the boom years, and Honoria has gone to live with her Aunt Marion while Charlie recuperates from his long binge.

Now he is whole, or nearly so, and returns sober, steady, and reliable to reclaim his little girl. Rather unluckily, some former drinking companions burst in as final arrangements are being made, and at the end it is clear that Charlie will have to wait a while longer before he recovers Honoria and his honor.