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Fitzgerald saw the jazz age as a time of economic and moral confusion

Music & thoughts

It was a decade fuelled by innovation and change; a time of movement: Scott Fitzgerald, will know that his work is undeniably packed with references to lyrics and lengthy interpretations of jazz songs. His relationship with jazz was, however, a complicated one, and it is often hard to pinpoint what exactly his thoughts were on the music.

Scott Fitzgerald published his second collection of short stories under the title Tales of the Jazz Age.

  • It had gone beyond her, beyond everything;
  • The mere phenomenon of improvisation in jazz music supports this claim, as the jazz musician generally makes use of the familiar chord changes of a tune to build something unfamiliar the improvisation on;
  • In 1931, he published an essay titled Echoes of the Jazz Age, in which he looks back upon the twenties with an equal amount of nostalgia and disgust;
  • As Henry Dan Piper summarises;
  • Scott Fitzgerald, will know that his work is undeniably packed with references to lyrics and lengthy interpretations of jazz songs.

This connotation clearly did not bother Fitzgerald, as he wrote back to Perkins explaining it was impossible to find a wonderful selling title unrelated to jazz.

As an avid analyst of the effects of popular culture on American lives, Fitzgerald advocated a society where high-and lowbrow could fuse together rather than oppose each other, a view that undoubtedly shines through in both his novels and short stories.

Upon publishing his book, Fitzgerald was the first to introduce and popularize the very term that would later be so widely associated with the twenties.

  • The John Hopkins University Press, 1980 p;
  • One could go so far as to consider it the expressive causality of its time, an Althusserian concept that describes the effect of a whole on its parts, in which the latter jazz is an expression of the former the Jazz Age , a reflection of its very essence.

Fitzgerald may have intended it as a humorous reference to terms such as the Stone Age or the Iron Age, in which case his subtle social critique already comes to light. Whilst other historical ages extended over numerous centuries, the technological evolution of the Jazz Age progressed so rapidly, that it was squeezed into a single decade.

Equally interesting is the shift from the tangible substance that defines the age, such as stone or iron, to the ungraspable and immaterial phenomenon of jazz.

In jazz, Fitzgerald saw an ultimate expression of his time; its rhythmical energy and vitality representing both primitivity and hypermodernity.

Jazz saturated all aspects of life, becoming a whole lifestyle in itself rather than just a music genre.

  1. As Henry Dan Piper summarises.
  2. Subsequently, his belief that jazz was the musical expression of their excessive and decadent lifestyle, is uneducated at best.
  3. As an avid analyst of the effects of popular culture on American lives, Fitzgerald advocated a society where high-and lowbrow could fuse together rather than oppose each other, a view that undoubtedly shines through in both his novels and short stories. This connotation clearly did not bother Fitzgerald, as he wrote back to Perkins explaining it was impossible to find a wonderful selling title unrelated to jazz.
  4. Whenever I think of that summer I can hear it yet.
  5. The prosperity of those who attain this American Dream of affluence is rendered meaningless in the absence of prestigious historical background.

One could go so far as to consider it the expressive causality of its time, an Althusserian concept that describes the effect of a whole on its parts, in which the latter jazz is an expression of the former the Jazz Agea reflection of its very essence. Whenever I think of that summer I can hear it yet.

In fact, his inability to understand the music sparks his interest in such a way, that he continuously attempts to analyse it despite his frustrations. What seems to unsettle him most, is how the return of previously familiar elements become discords of their own; in this case, recognition of these familiar motifs or melodies does not offer any comfort, but instead disorientates the listener even further. As Fitzgerald suggests in this excerpt, jazz often aims to detach familiar elements from their familiarity.

The mere phenomenon of improvisation in jazz music supports this claim, as the jazz musician generally makes use of the familiar chord changes of a tune to build something unfamiliar the improvisation on. In 1931, he published an essay titled Echoes of the Jazz Age, in which he looks back upon the twenties with an equal amount of nostalgia and disgust.

Though Fitzgerald did not exactly consider jazz the cause of all the moral decay that had taken place during the Jazz Age, he did see it as an unfavourable side-effect of a depraved society. This is by all means false.

Glamour or Gloom: Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age

Subsequently, his belief that jazz was the musical expression of their excessive and decadent lifestyle, is uneducated at best. Scott Fitzgerald never claimed to be a jazz authority. Nonetheless, some of his misinterpretations deserve to be set straight.