"Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American writer of novels and short stories, whose works are evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the Twenties. He finished four novels, including The Great Gatsby, with another published posthumously, and wrote dozens of short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with despair and age.
The 1920s proved the most influential decade of Fitzgerald's development.The Great Gatsby, considered his masterpiece, was published in 1925. Fitzgerald made several excursions to Europe, notably Paris and the French Riviera, and became friends with many members of the American expatriate community in Paris, notably Ernest Hemingway.
Hemingway looked up to Fitzgerald as an experienced professional writer. Hemingway greatly admired The Great Gatsby and wrote in his A Moveable Feast "If he could write a book as fine as The Great Gatsby I was sure that he could write an even better one" (153). Hemingway expressed his deep admiration for Fitzgerald, and Fitzgerald's flawed, self-defeating character, when he prefaced his chapters concerning Fitzgerald in A Moveable Feast with:
His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless. (129)
Much of what Hemingway wrote in A Moveable Feast helped to establish the myth of Fitzgerald's dissipation and loss (of ability, social control, and life) and Zelda's hand in that demise. Though the bulk of Hemingway's text is factually correct, it is also colored by his disappointment in Fitzgerald, as well as Hemingway's own rivalrous response towards any competitor, living or dead. That disappointment was most evident in The Green Hills of Africa, where he specifically mentions Fitzgerald as an archetypal ruined American writer; Hemingway had been both shocked and unnerved by Fitzgerald's account of his own difficulties in his nonfiction essays and notebooks from the 1930s, published as The Crack-Up (with Edmund Wilson as editor) in 1945.
Fitzgerald’s friendship with Hemingway was quite vigorous and as many of Fitzgerald’s relationships would prove to be. (As, indeed, were many of the thrice-divorced Hemingway's.) Hemingway did not get on well with Zelda, either. He claimed that she “encouraged her husband to drink so as to distract Scott from his ‘real’ work on his novel," the other work being the short stories he sold to magazines. This “whoring”, as Fitzgerald, and subsequently Hemingway, called these sales, was a sore point in the authors’ friendship. Fitzgerald claimed that he would first write his stories in an authentic manner but then put in “twists that made them into saleable magazine stories.” " Wikipedia.
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Published June 30, 2009
Children's Books, Literature & Fiction.