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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald was born September 24, 1896 to Edward and Mollie Fitzgerald. His full Name was Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, and was the second cousin of the writer of the Star Spangled Banner. Following Edward's failure as a furniture manufacturer, the family moved to St. Paul and began living off of Mollie's inheritance from her successful family. Fitzgerald attended the St. Paul Academy, where he published his first ever story in the school paper. He would later attend Princeton University, but would neglect his studies in favor of focusing on his literary apprenticeship, under which he wrote lyrics for the school's musicals and contributed to the Princeton Tiger. The poor performance this caused would land him on academic probation.(Right: Fitzgerald in Business attire)
Demoralized by his probation and unlikely to graduate, Fitzgerald enlisted in the army in 1917 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He was convinced that he would be killed WWI and rapidly wrote a novel entitled "The Romantic Egotist". This event may have influenced Jay Gatsby's life story, wherein he hoped to be killed in the war and felt aimless and lost in life. The war ended before Fitzgerald went overseas however, and before his discharge he fell in love with Zelda Sayre in circumstances similar to those of Daisy's and Gatsby's in the story. Fitzgerald became a celebrity almost overnight after the publication of "This Side of Paradise", but his reputation as a playboy impeded proper analysis of his work. (Left: Fitzgerald in his Army uniform)
Fitzgerald married Sayre soon after publishing Paradise, but their marriage was tumultuous due to Fitzgerald's drinking and Zelda's infidelity. They moved to Europe and toured the continent in 1924 whilst Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby. This is referenced in the book as part Daisy and Tom's back story. Though lauded critically, the book's sales were somewhat disappointing. The Fitzgeralds returned to America in '31 to live in Montgomery, but Zelda suffered a relapse from a nervous breakdown the previous year and would spend the rest of her life in sanitariums. Francis's life began to "crack up"a after this, he was unable to write commercial stories and lived in hotels. His son Scottie, lived in a boarding school under the care of the Ober family. He worked for several years as a freelance scriptwriter in Hollywood before dieing of a heart attack in 1940. He died believing himself a failure and would not achieve "enduring writer" status until 1960. (Below: The oldest surviving copy of Fitzgerald's first published work)
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1 comment:

  1. Make sure to put post into your own words. 75/75