Monday, September 24, 2012

The Life and Writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald

One hundred and sixteen years ago today, F. Scott Fitzgerald was born. Fitzgerald, arguably one of the greatest writers of the early twentieth century, was a literary and cultural icon of the Roaring Twenties and the Lost Generation, and is often credited with coining the term “Jazz Age.”

The author of such beloved classics as The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald’s work has endured for generations.  More than seventy years after his death, Fitzgerald is still a culturally relevant name. His works have been adapted into major feature films, including Baz Luhrmann’s latest tour de force, an interpretation of Gatsby due out in summer 2013.  Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda were portrayed in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, a fantastical romp through the city of love alongside many other iconic talents of the Lost Generation.

Fitzgerald left the world not only with a great literary legacy, but also with a personal history that is equally intriguing.  He and Zelda had a tempestuous marriage, fueled by alcohol, jealousy, and instability.  Ultimately he died of a heart attack at 45 and she died at 48 in a fire at the hospital where she was institutionalized.  Many scholars have noted that Fitzgerald actually took passages verbatim from Zelda’s writing to put into his own work.  Zelda’s book Save Me the Waltz and Scott’s Tender is the Night each present different portraits of the couple’s troubled marriage. 

Did Fitzgerald's art imitate his life or did his life imitate his art? You be the judge.

A sampling of books by F. Scott Fitzgerald in the catalog:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories
The Great Gatsby
The Last Tycoon: an Unfinished Novel
Tender is the Night
This Side of Paradise

A  few books about Fitzgerald in the catalog:
Fool for Love: F. Scott Fitzgerald by Scott Donaldson
Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography by Jeffrey Meyers
Sometimes Madness is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald: A Marriage by Kendall Taylor
Hemingway Vs. Fitzgerald: The Rise and Fall of a Literary Friendship by Scott Donaldson


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