IN DECEMBER 1940, after years of declining health and failing literary prospects, F. Scott Fitzgerald collapsed and died in the Hollywood apartment of Sheilah Graham, the gossip columnist he once, in a fit of pique, called his paramour. Graham had afforded more than companionship during Fitzgerald's final years of dislocation and estrangement in California: she had lavishly dispensed insider gossip about the movie industry that was assimilated by him into his last stories and novel. Their relationship sustained Fitzgerald during a final astonishing period of productivity that contradicts the popular depiction of a profligate author who squandered his talent. Journalists reporting Fitzgerald's death mourned the passing of youthful promise, stagnated genius, and unfulfilled talent. They reduced Fitzgerald to a cultural artifact, a symbol of the "lost generation." With his literary reputation conspicuously suspended in the 1920s, Fitzgerald represented the excesses and decadence of his generation. And yet, by the centennial of his birth, the novelist E. L. Doctorow reflected in "F. S. F., 1896-1996, R.I.P": "Of that triumvirate of hero-novelists who came of age in the twenties, we may salute the big two-hearted pugilist, and stand in awe of the mesmerist from Mississippi, but it's the third one we mourn, the Jazz Age kid, our own Fitzgerald."
Anticipating Doctorow's heroic projection of sorrowful kinship, Malcolm Cowley long contemplated this "exile's return." As he wrote to Kenneth Burke on October 26, 1950:
Fitzgerald... is a perfect example of your theory of
social analogy. In all his early work the hero represents the rising
middle class, the heroine represents inherited money, they kiss as if
he were embracing a pile of stock certificates · and then, since
Fitzgerald distrusts the leisure class and thinks they are mysterious,
her relatives kill the hero.
Cowley, busy editing his selection of twenty-eight of Fitzgerald's stories for Scribners, had discovered a signature tension in Fitzgerald's life and work: the often antithetical relationship between happiness and money.
Fitzgerald, as Lionel Trilling proposed in The Liberal Imagination (1953), was "perhaps the last notable writer to affirm the Romantic fantasy, descended from the Renaissance, of personal ambition and heroism, of life committed to, or thrown away for, some ideal of self." Edmund Wilson , reflecting upon the "semi-excluded background" of America's Irish Catholics, noted in his journal that neither Scott nor his friend Gerald Murphy, no matter what their financial reserves, would ever be "‘out of the top drawer’ in New York." And so, alienated from his Midwestern, middle-class origins and ceaselessly striving for the unattainable security of wealth and class, Fitzgerald lived a morality play in which money and happiness were at odds.
Although most of Fitzgerald's best-known work exploits this opposition, "The Rich Boy," written during the spring and summer of 1925 (just after the publication of The Great Gatsby), attempts to ameliorate it. Seen by the biographer Matthew Bruccoli as central to understanding Fitzgerald's complex attitude toward wealth and class, the story owes its special celebrity to its opening confidence:
Let me tell you about the very rich. They are
different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does
something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical
where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is
very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that
they are better than we are because we had to discover the
compensations and refuges of life for ourselves.... The only way I can
describe young Anson Hunter is to approach him as if he were a
foreigner and cling stubbornly to my point of view. If I accept his
for a moment I am lost · I have nothing to show but a preposterous
Anson Hunter embodies the unattainable "centeredness" that the extremely rich represented for Fitzgerald, a "natural state of things" that preserved the remove and glamour of their habits and circumstance. He distinguishes as well the feudal self-sufficiency, the "clan-forming" nature of money in the East from the "snobbish West [where] money separates families to form ‘sets.’" Unhappy at Yale, young Anson "began to shift the centre of his life to New York" in search of "the irreproachable shadow he would some day marry" and accepting "without reservation the world of high finance and high extravagance, of divorce and dissipation, of snobbery and of privilege."
Ernest Hemingway , Fitzgerald's most celebrated contemporary, read "The Rich Boy" as a projection of Fitzgerald's life among the idle rich. In "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (first published in Esquire in August 1936), Hemingway's narrator subordinates "Fitzgerald" to the needs of his own character and design:
He remembered poor Scott Fitzgerald and his romantic
awe of them and how he had started a story that once began, ‘The very
rich are different from you and me.’ And how someone had said to
Scott, Yes they have more money. But that was not humorous to Scott.
Hemingway remained for many readers Fitzgerald's essential debunker. And yet Fitzgerald himself (whether in response to the Depression or to Hemingway's literary betrayal), on March 4, 1938, emphasized his estrangement from the rich as he depicted the psychological estrangement of his relatively impoverished circumstance: "That was always my experience · a poor boy in a rich town; a poor boy in a rich boy's school; a poor boy in a rich man's club at Princeton.... I have never been able to forgive the rich for being rich, and it has colored my entire life and works." The sheer ordinariness of Fitzgerald's birth and childhood does little to explain the "preposterous movie" that became his life.
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896, the third child and only son of Edward Fitzgerald and Mary (Mollie) McQuillan. As Fitzgerald recalled in "Author's House" (Esquire, July 1936): "Well, three months before I was born my mother lost her other two children and I think that came first of all though I don't know how it worked exactly. I think I started then to be a writer." His father, son of Michael Fitzgerald (a dry goods merchant from Maryland) and Cecilia Ashton Scott (descendent of the Scotts and Keys of colonial Maryland), first cousin to Mary Surratt (hanged as a co-conspirator in the Lincoln assassination case), was like his son a migrant. After attending Georgetown University, Edward sought opportunity in the West, establishing the American Rattan and Willow Works of St. Paul, Minnesota. Edward was president of the company, but he never achieved the financial security that would bring his family peace. Driven ill by fear that she would be unable to provide the proper upbringing for her surviving child, Mollie supplemented the family income with a modest stipend from the McQuillans. When the Willow Works failed in 1898, Edward moved the family to Buffalo, New York, so that he could accept a position at Procter and Gamble as a wholesaler.
Little in the family's economic circumstances improved as a fourth child died shortly after birth in 1900; Edward was transferred to the company's branch office in Syracuse, where a daughter, Annabel, was born in July 1901. In September 1902, Fitzgerald began his schooling at Miss Goodyear's School, where he became a voracious reader, especially fond of Scribners' children's magazine, St. Nicholas. After his father's transfer back to Buffalo in 1905, Fitzgerald entered Miss Narden's School, where he formalized his early educational and spiritual relationship with the Catholic Church. An erratic student, Fitzgerald nonetheless committed early to the narrative potential of history. Whether inspired by his father's Civil War stories or simply anxious to create a place for himself as storyteller, he quickly merged his identities as reader and writer. The boy who loved the heady historical romances of Sir Walter Scott was soon writing a history of America and a biography of George Washington.
In 1908, when Edward was fired by Procter and Gamble, the family returned to St. Paul. Fitzgerald and his sister lived with their maternal grandmother, while their parents lived just blocks away. Resigned to her husband's lack of business acumen, Mollie, who like Mrs. Buckner in "The Scandal Detectives" was a "woman of character, a member of Society in a large Middle-Western city," assumed the role of family financial adviser and secured for her children the middle-class life. Although McQuillan funds enabled the family to eventually assume the comfort and dignity of St. Paul's posh Summit Avenue, they did little to assuage Fitzgerald's growing sense of disadvantage as a parvenu. Fitzgerald in midlife conceded to John O'Hara that the puzzle of his adolescence was a typically American crisis between ancestry and circumstance. As he patiently explained in a letter of July 18, 1933: "I am half black Irish and half old American stock with the usual exaggerated ancestral pretension.... So being born in that atmosphere of crack, wisecrack and countercrack I developed a two cylinder inferiority complex." A latter-day Huck Finn, Fitzgerald found his studies at St. Paul Academy, which he had entered in 1908 upon his family's return to St. Paul, increasingly boring, preferring a self-charted territory to the assigned world of mathematics and Latin declensions. Fixated upon his destiny as a writer, he had by late 1910 prepared an "outline chart of my life" and the Thoughtbook of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1965). His historical narratives, which began to appear with some frequency in the school's Now and Then, were often revisions of his father's Civil War tales.
Frustrated by his lingering academic deficiencies at St. Paul's, the family enrolled Fitzgerald at the Newman School in Hackensack, New Jersey, where he began his "discipline" training in the fall of 1911. He continued to be an unreliable student even in his preferred disciplines of history and English. Although writing remained his passion (his stories appearing regularly in the Newman News), football increasingly competed for his remaining time and energy. By the end of his second year, Fitzgerald excelled in football, lingered behind in academics, and aspired to continue his education at Princeton University. It was also during this year that he met Father Sigourney Webster Fay, the mentor who was immortalized in This Side of Paradise as Monsignor Darcy and forever exemplifies the spirit of intellectual adventure and romance in the Irish Catholic. In the spring of 1913, Fitzgerald set his sights on Princeton (distinguished in This Side of Paradise by "its atmosphere of bright colors and its alluring reputation as the pleasantest country club in America"), taking the entrance examinations that he hoped would, with his inheritance from Grandmother McQuillan, secure his destiny.
Though less-than-distinguished results on these exams necessitated an interview and supplementary testing, Fitzgerald prevailed, persuading the university to conditionally admit him. Prewar Princeton, a place of "country club" amenities and lingering Presbyterian expectations, challenged Scott's social discernment with its rigidly defined class structures. Unable to distinguish himself through social standing or academics, he sought acceptance through writing and membership in the Triangle Club (a performance organization founded by Booth Tarkington) and football. Classwork remained tedious, with literature in the hands of a "surprisingly pallid English department, top-heavy, undistinguished and with an uncanny knack of making literature distasteful to young men" (Afternoon of an Author, p. 75). Fitzgerald's fellow students John Peale Bishop, the model for the poet Thomas d'Invilliers in This Side of Paradise, and Edmund Wilson, Fitzgerald's "intellectual conscience," formed the core of his literary circle, shaping his early reading and thinking. Reading widely in what he called "quest books," he grew beyond the fiction of Tarkington, H. G. Wells , and Compton Mackenzie to the naturalism of Frank Norris and his brother, Charles.
During his second year, academic disqualification from his extracurricular activities, the Triangle Club and football, failed to lessen the pleasure Fitzgerald took from the performance of "Fie! Fie! Fi-Fi!" (his book and lyrics won first place in the Triangle Club annual competition). Reviewers of the club's touring Christmas show were taken by the wit and panache of the lyricist responsible for
A trip home to St. Paul complicated his already tenuous grip on his studies by introducing a "top girl" into his life. The beautiful and wealthy Ginevra King, object of nearly daily correspondence over the spring, lingered in Fitzgerald's imagination as the first of his top girls.
So compromised had his academic standing become in 1915-1916 that Fitzgerald had to repeat his junior year. His success in the Triangle Club and the Nassau Literary Magazine did little to compensate for his intellectual remove from his studies. Vexed by his lack of academic progress and inspired by Edmund Wilson's New York literary life, he readied himself for a world beyond Princeton, one redefined by America's entry into the Great War. When Fitzgerald enlisted in 1917, he carried with him into training, though not into battle, his deepening passion for "the literary" as defined by Alfred, Lord Tennyson , Algernon Charles Swinburne , Wells, and George Bernard Shaw , a passion that drew This Side of Paradise from the draft of "The Romantic Egotist," a novel from his final undergraduate days at Princeton. In the fall of 1917, Second Lieutenant Fitzgerald reported to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he found military training as irksome as academic discipline, since both interfered with writing. In early 1918, after a period of undistinguished service, Fitzgerald requested leave so that he might return to Princeton to complete his novel, which was published as This Side of Paradise. In late spring, after a sojourn at the Cottage Club, he forwarded the manuscript to Scribners and turned his attention once again to the army. He served briefly at posts in Kentucky and Georgia before transferring to Camp Sheridan, near Montgomery, Alabama, where he oversaw a platoon preparing for overseas service. He never graduated from Princeton.
Without his novel to distract him, Fitzgerald committed to his duties as well as to his leisure. And that July, at the Country Club of Montgomery, he met the top girl who became his wife. Zelda Sayre, first glimpsed by Fitzgerald as she performed the "Dance of the Hours," was the popular daughter of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Anthony D. Sayre. Beautiful, willful, resistant to the intellect, Zelda exerted an emotional and aesthetic power that became inextricable from Fitzgerald's work. His Princeton preoccupation with quest literature informed his literary and romantic pursuits. Even his courtship of Zelda rested upon his publishing success. On August 19, 1918, in a lengthy expression of encouragement and rejection, Scribners notified Fitzgerald that in spite of his novel's "originality," it failed "to work up to a conclusion."
The war ended before Captain Fitzgerald shipped out. Upon discharge, he moved to New York City to work in the advertising business and join Wilson's literary world. Zelda, uninterested in marrying an unsuccessful author, cagily resisted Fitzgerald's long-distance courtship. Financial anxieties and emotional traumas characterized the winter and spring of 1919. His repeated trips to Montgomery prompted Zelda's dismissal of him. Fitzgerald found himself unable to prosper on the combined income from his advertising job and the occasional story in H. L. Mencken 'sSmart Set. Finding himself stymied in publishing and thwarted in love, he returned in the summer of 1919 to St. Paul to write.
Without Zelda's correspondence, Fitzgerald found writing all consuming. Neither his parents' offer of work, as an advertising manager at a local wholesale house, nor his financial extremity distracted him from his quest to revise his novel. In September, the editor Maxwell Perkins accepted This Side of Paradise for publication by Scribners. Anxious to secure money and happiness, Fitzgerald committed to the former in the hope that the latter would follow. Stories, many gleaned from his Princeton years, published in Smart Set, Scribner's Magazine, and Saturday Evening Post supplemented his income until the publication of This Side of Paradise the following spring. "Head and Shoulders," published on February 21, 1920, in George Horace Lorimer's Saturday Evening Post, marked the beginning of Fitzgerald's income from the "slicks." These high-paying, mass-circulation magazines, in particular, the Post, provided his widest audience and most reliable income. With the support of Perkins and Harold Ober, his agent, Fitzgerald confidently returned to Montgomery to fulfill his romantic quest. Plying Zelda with orchids, platinum-and-diamond trinkets, and a steady stream of cocktails, he won her promise to marry, but only upon the publication of This Side of Paradise.
THIS SIDE OF PARADISE
This Side of Paradise, published in March 1920, is a spirited novel of prewar college life, romance and virtue, initiation and quest. Its stylistic uncertainties are experimental (influenced by the sequential aesthetic of movies) and naive (troubled by the recalcitrance of the narrative form). Scribners' editorial quarrel with the novel's earlier ending inspired Fitzgerald's advance in narrative form as he converted his "Romance and a Reading List" into a novel of self-education and preparation, preliminaries for a life yet lived. A textured romance, it tells the story of Amory Blaine's educational and amorous quests · from a childhood shaped by his mother to his education at Princeton, from the Catholic teachings of Monsignor Darcy to the heart lessons of his lovers · and their apparent irresolution. The work is divided into two major sections, bridged by a war "interlude."
The first section, "The Romantic Egotist" grounds Amory's life in the obsessive and quirky love of Beatrice, his mother, a woman "critical about American women, especially the floating population of ex-Westerners." Companion, confidant, and son, Amory travels the world with this mother of means. "Attached to no city," the "Blaines of Lake Geneva" epitomize for Fitzgerald the suburban world of the mannered middle class. This world of ritual, chivalric codes, and social hierarchy inevitably leads Amory to decide "definitely on Princeton." Sometimes as farcical as Oscar Wilde , sometimes as languidly earnest as Compton Mackenzie, Fitzgerald captures the heartbreaking vulnerability of the undergraduate ritual. Thinly veiled autobiography · in which, for example, "Fie! Fie! Fi-Fi!" becomes "Ha-Ha Hortense!" · underwrites the broader, experiential fabric in which popular song and current events conspire to contemporize the novel. Amory's "quests of adventure" challenge his honor, tempt his virtue, and prepare him for a life of duty. Monsignor Darcy, modeled on Monsignor Fay, embodies the religiosity of discipline and romance for Amory. Although the eighteen-year-old Amory "lacked somehow that intense animal magnetism that so often accompanies beauty in men or women," he was ready for love. Ginevra King, Fitzgerald's former top girl, serves as the model for Isabelle, Amory's unsuccessful love. Neither "brazen" nor "innocent," these "babes in the woods" strive without flourishing and their romance wanes.
Following the war-centered epistolary exchange that constitutes the "Interlude," "The Education of a Personage," the second section, develops through Amory's distinction between a personality and a personage. Amory, learning that fortune can be fate, suffers the collapse of his family's wealth and compromises in love. Debutantes, reckless romantics, and prostitutes test Amory's virtue. And still love remains elusive: Rosalind, the focus of the opening drama "The Débutante," rejects Amory's narrow atmosphere and romantic visions, and Eleanor, the quintessence of beauty, solidifies Amory's individualized Catholic insight of sexualized evil. The corner turned at the end of the novel, as Amory contemplates Monsignor Darcy's teachings, marks the "direction and momentum of this new start."
It is given to few novels to define a generation. What On the Road and The Catcher in the Rye did for Jack Kerouac and J. D. Salinger in the 1950s, creating authorial celebrities out of generational defiance, this "novel about flappers written for philosophers" did for Fitzgerald in the 1920s. For, as Matthew Bruccoli emphasizes, "it was received in 1920 as an iconoclastic social document · even as a testament of revolt." As an idealized and popularized portrait of America's youth culture, This Side of Paradise met with immediate success. Reviewers throughout the country, even those far from metropolitan centers, found the work daring, favorably self-conscious, and presumptuous. While most reviewers celebrated its modernity and originality, the reviewer for the Sun and the New York Herald saw beyond mere stylistic disconnection and innovation to the work's deeper generational focus and spiritual core, identifying This Side of Paradise as a "self-conscious and self-critical offering" of those "whom 1917 overtook in college."
SCOTT AND ZELDA
On April 3, 1920, Scott and Zelda were married at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, and, for a time, money and happiness were theirs. But when, in July 1932, Scott reflected upon this moment of newborn celebrity in "My Lost City," he could but remember "riding in a taxi one afternoon between very tall buildings under a mauve and rosy sky; I began to bawl because I had everything I wanted and knew I would never be so happy again." Already justly famous for their financial and social indulgences and weary of the city, the couple escaped New York for the serenity of Westport, Connecticut, where Scott finished his story "May Day." But the pastoral setting did little to quiet the parties that turned from quarrels into hangovers and betrayals. After visiting Zelda's family in Montgomery, the couple returned to New York, securing an apartment on Fifty-ninth Street near the Plaza Hotel. Scott, perhaps reflecting upon the wretched excesses of his marriage, began work on "The Flight of the Rocket," a working title for his next novel, The Beautiful and the Damned (1922). This novel chronicles the "life of one Anthony Patch between his 25th and 33rd years.... He is one of those many with the tastes and weaknesses of an artist but with no actual creative inspiration. How he and his beautiful young wife are wrecked on the shoals of dissipation is told."
Flappers and Philosophers, a collection of stories published by Scribners in September 1920, brought mixed reviews but welcome income to the young couple. Few reviews sounded the dour note of The Nation, which complained that the stories "have a rather ghastly rattle of movement that apes energy and a hectic straining after emotion that apes intensity." Most singled out "The Ice Palace" and "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" for special recognition for their startlingly original flappers.
Work on The Beautiful and the Damned, the dramatization of This Side of Paradise, and a scenario for Dorothy Gish at D. W. Griffith's production company preoccupied Fitzgerald throughout an otherwise uneventful autumn. In February 1921, when Zelda became pregnant, the Fitzgeralds decided upon a trip to Europe. In late April, Scott sent Ober the manuscript for The Beautiful and the Damned; in May the couple sailed upon a Cunard liner for Europe. Europe disappointed Scott, bringing to the surface a familiar provincialism and xenophobia. Mid-journey, in July, he wrote to Edmund Wilson:
[Europe] is of merely antiquarian interest. Rome is
only a few years behind Tyre + Babylon. The negroid streak creeps
northward to defile the nordic race. Already the Italians have the
souls of blackamoors. Raise the bars of immigration and permit only
Scandinavians, Teutons, Anglo Saxons + Celts to enter.
By late July the Fitzgeralds had returned to Montgomery to await the birth of their child. But in late August, unhappy with the southern insistence upon confinement during pregnancy, they relocated to St. Paul in the hope that Zelda might relax in her "delicate condition." Justly celebrated in his hometown, Fitzgerald went about a confident and productive routine as he revised for publication the serialized Beautiful and the Damned, which Metropolitan had edited from a draft.
THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DAMNED
Published in Metropolitan Magazine from September 1921 to March 1922, The Beautiful and the Damned turns the fluid world of Amory Blaine's romance into the fixed determinism of Anthony Patch's degradation. Although he is born into privilege and educated at Harvard, Anthony, unlike Amory, has no ideal vision of himself. He drifts into a life of idleness, intellectual speculation, and debauchery that draws destructive energy from the "siren," Gloria Gilbert. In its depiction of a couple's descent into ruin, the novel, though not essentially autobiographical, does reflect Fitzgerald's increasing apprehension about his relationship with Zelda. By the summer of 1930, the novel itself became a mediational force between them; as Scott explained in a letter intended for (but perhaps not sent to) Zelda: "I wish the Beautiful and Damned had been a maturely written book because it was all true. We ruined ourselves · I have never honestly thought that we ruined each other."
The first section introduces the reader to the carefully groomed Patch, "a distinct and dynamic personality, opinionated, contemptuous, functioning from within outward." In 1913, this twenty-five-year-old Harvard graduate "drew as much consciousness of social security from being the grandson of Adam J. Patch as he would have had from tracing his line over the sea to the crusaders." Anthony's world of bonded security surrenders to the eighteen-year-old siren, Gloria. She inspires him "to pose": "He wanted to appear suddenly to her in novel and heroic colors"; she challenges him to defend his "do nothing" ethic (a worldview that resurfaced in Philip Barry's Holiday ): "His words gathered conviction · ‘it astonishes me. It · it · I don't understand why people think that every young man ought to go down-town and work ten hours a day for the best twenty years of his life at dull, unimaginative work, certainly not altruistic work.’" Anthony's romantic quest, though troubled, is not thwarted: he has, by the end of the section, "knocked and, at a word, entered."
The second section assesses "the breathless idyll of their engagement" and moves quickly to the "intense romance of the more passionate relationship," which dissipates: "The breathless idyll left them, fled on to other lovers; they looked around one day and it was gone, how they scarcely knew.... The idyll passed, bearing with it its extortion of youth." From its midpoint, the novel commits to the misplaced and misspent, turning maudlin in its celebration of youth: "It is in the twenties that the actual momentum of life begins to slacken, and it is a simple soul indeed to whom as many things are significant and meaningful at thirty as at ten years before." Indolence and inebriation become their solace and justification. The section closes as the war begins, Gloria contemplating a future in the movies, Anthony preparing for officers' training camp.
The final section opens with Anthony's affair with Dot. Consummated at the Bijou Moving Picture Theatre, the liaison seems itself a cinematic projection. Dorothy Raycroft is Gloria's opposite: "the girl promised rest." Absence from Gloria emphasizes his cowardice; he has become "completely the slave of a hundred disordered and prowling thoughts which were released by the collapse of the authentic devotion to Gloria that had been the chief jailer of his insufficiency." However tranquil the southern respite, Anthony has grown too cowardly for its complications, necessitating the abandonment of Dot. Return to Gloria simply brings to the fore their earlier frustrations. The long anticipated inheritance slips away and with it the Patches' hope for their aristocratic lives. Facing compromised fortune, Anthony accedes to his middle-class status, noting when challenged, "Why pretend we're not? I hate people who claim to be great aristocrats when they can't even keep up the appearances of it." Such admissions seem to hasten their decline into stuporous middle age, contracting the once "enormous panorama of life." In the end, the disillusioned and dissipated Anthony gets his money too late to save his soul.
Reviews of Anthony's slow-tempo descent revealed discomfort with what the Philadelphia Public Ledger called the "reckless... life" of the "jazz-vampire period." While some reviews took issue with style, complaining about the author's "puppet" or "dummy" characters, others took the course of disavowal, sharing the Detroit Saturday Night's grim hope that "future generations" would realize the fictive nature of Fitzgerald's world, for if everyone were like this, "the race would perish of cirrhosis of the liver, delirium tremens, locomotor ataxia, paresis, dementia praecox and other pleasant ailments." In an unsigned piece in Bookman, Wilson troubled over Fitzgerald's midwestern and Irish influences. In "Friend Husband's Latest" (New York Tribune, April 2, 1922), Zelda Sayre (for which she was paid $15.00) recommends The Beautiful and the Damned "as a manual of etiquette" and for its "dietary suggestion," and its "interior decorating department."
Frances Scott (Scottie) Fitzgerald was born October 26, 1921, in St. Paul. Book reviews, playwriting, and ideas for a travel project occupied the new father's time. The New York party for Scribners' publication of The Beautiful and the Damned on March 4, 1922, coincided with Zelda's second, unexpected pregnancy and subsequent abortion. Spring and summer were devoted to his play, The Vegetable (a viable publication  that failed in production), attempts to work with David O. Selznick (writing movie treatments), and preparation of his second story collection, Tales of the Jazz Age (1922). In the fall of 1922, restless in Minnesota, the Fitzgeralds left Scottie in St. Paul and sought housing in New York. Traveling with John Dos Passos , the Fitzgeralds met Ring Lardner at Great Neck, Long Island. That "riotous island," the setting for Gatsby, encouraged the couple to resume their former lives of debauchery. At the height of the prohibition era, the Fitzgeralds descended into the depths of alcoholic intemperance Scott had so grimly depicted in The Beautiful and the Damned.
While stories for the "slicks" and advances from Perkins and Ober funded the work on The Great Gatsby, they failed to provide the needed income for the Fitzgeralds' lavish lifestyle. Scott and Zelda never knew where their money went; they were, as Bruccoli concludes, "collaborators in extravagance." Needing to explain his finances to himself and his readers, Fitzgerald submitted to the Post a wry essay entitled "How to Live on $36,000 a Year." He earned $1,000 for the essay. By spring 1924, Fitzgerald was able to write Perkins about his plans for his next novel, "the sustained imagination of a sincere and yet radiant world." In May, the Fitzgeralds sailed for Europe and, after a brief stay in Paris, ventured to the Riviera, where Scott worked feverishly on Gatsby while Zelda flirted with a French pilot, Edouard Jozan. That summer they met Gerald and Sara Murphy, American expatriates of considerable means who inspired the model expatriates of Tender Is the Night. Gerald, whom Dick Diver more than casually resembles, had panache and affluence, the "power of arousing a fascinated and uncritical love." But as Wilson cautioned, "Gerald... was also a somewhat eccentric and an independent figure who could hardly be assigned to any ‘life style’ or group."
THE GREAT GATSBY
The Fitzgeralds wintered in Rome, where Scott finished Gatsby and sent it off to Perkins. In April of 1925 they arrived in Paris, shortly before The Great Gatsby was published. Drained by persistent financial and marital woes, Fitzgerald greeted Perkins' news of slow sales and encouraging reviews with characteristic defeatism. He was convinced that his title ("only fair, rather bad than good") and lack of a compelling female character ("women controll [sic] the fiction market at present") had hurt sales. Hack writing, he decided, would have to underwrite the next novel, and if it failed to do so, then, said Fitzgerald, "I'm going to quit, come home, go to Hollywood and learn the movie business." His frustration was palpable, yet he knew the significance of his achievement. In a letter postmarked May 15, 1925 (written in response to a young writer's admiration), he emphasized his accomplishments and his goals:
Gatsby was far from perfect in many ways but
all in all it contains such prose as has never been written in America
before. From that I take heart. From that I take heart and hope that
some day I can combine the verve of Paradise, the unity of the
Beautiful + Damned and the lyric quality of Gatsby, its
aesthetic soundness, into something worthy of the admiration of those
Readers familiar with Fitzgerald's work were surprised by the compactness (nine brief chapters) and conventional appearance of The Great Gatsby. Gone were the placard devices of the earlier novels, the poetic and dramatic disruptions of narrative, the mid-chapter titles and mid-novel divisions. At first glance, only the epigraph from Thomas d'Invilliers in This Side of Paradise signals a continuity with the author's earlier work. Intensely atmospheric, minimally though finely detailed and chromatically enhanced settings replace the promptbook interiors and back-lot exteriors of the first two novels. The intermittently spontaneous and apt dialogue of the earlier novels has become the perfect and intense exchanges of Gatsby. And though all such refinements contribute to the success of Gatsby, they do not explain a brilliance that resides in the plot-unifying force of the narrator. Unlike the progressive worlds of This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and the Damned, Gatsby requires a narrator capable of integrating the romance of a self-revising past into the taut narrative of an ongoing novel. A character in the novel but not intimately part of the plot, Nick Carraway survives its daunting circularity and perhaps even thrives in it by absenting himself from it. Embarrassed by Tom Buchanan's tawdry tryst with Myrtle Wilson, Nick, at once a participant and "casual watcher" of the affair, explains: "I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life."
Nick Carraway is more than a narrator: he is the reader's access to Gatsby. He is innocent of the rumors concerning Gatsby, new to the spectacles of the place, and skeptical of the unfolding dramas. With an ordinariness Fitzgerald says he learned from Joseph Conrad (crediting, in particular, the preface to The Nigger of the Narcissus), Nick becomes the ideal spectator-narrator for this man who "represented everything for which [he had] an unaffected scorn." The Great Gatsby intertwines several narratives: the external story of Nick's summer with Gatsby on Long Island, the internal history of Jimmy Gatz's self-fashioning into Jay Gatsby, the enduring obsession of Gatsby for Daisy, and the fatal plot progression that integrates these resisting narratives of love and money. In the beginning and the end, The Great Gatsby belongs to Nick.
Nick Carraway, third-generation midwesterner and Yale man, moves to West Egg, Long Island, for a summer of fresh air and undisturbed reading of "a dozen volumes on banking and credit and investment securities" and unwittingly rents "a house in one of the strangest communities in North America... on that slender riotous island which extends itself due east of New York." From the "small eyesore" that was his home, Carraway had the "consoling proximity of millionaires · all for eighty dollars a month." He moved in part to be near his second cousin, Daisy, wife of a former Yale football star, the independently wealthy Tom Buchanan. Buchanan, a "sturdy straw-haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth... a cruel body," seems violently preoccupied by the collapse of civilization. As he chides Nick, "The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be... utterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved." Visiting the Buchanans is a friend from Daisy's adolescence, the "incurably dishonest" professional golfer Jordan Baker. During their first meeting, Nick learns that Tom has "some woman in New York" and that he "has been depressed by a book." Somewhat perplexed by his first social outing, Nick returns home to see the dim shadow of his neighbor, the man he presumes to be Gatsby, reaching toward a point distinguished by "nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock." Within this opening chapter, Fitzgerald has established or alluded to Gatsby's primary characters and its dominant setting.
The next two chapters enhance Nick's narrative credibility, displaying his ability to orchestrate the subplots supportive of, but not vital to, the Gatsby narrative. Fitzgerald exploits his contrasting settings, rendering them essential to the plot: the dreary Wilson family filling station and the pitiful New York walk-up apartment accent the tawdriness of Tom's liaison with Myrtle Wilson as well as the grandeur of Gatsby's mansion. While these fastidiously detailed interiors and social exteriors are critical for plot and character enhancement, they pale beside Fitzgerald's celebrated depiction of the necessary crossing, the threshold world between New York and West Egg, where "the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile":
This is a valley of ashes · a fantastic farm where ashes
grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where
ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and,
finally, with a transcendent effort, of ash-gray men who move dimly
and already crumbling through the powdery air.
And as if this industrial wasteland were insufficient, it is presided over by the surreal "eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg... blue and gigantic," which "look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose." Gatsby's "World's Fair" mansion with its blue manicured lawns, a product of the very industrial fortune that underwrites its grotesque twin, the valley of ashes, gestures first with its prodigality, not its society. Seemingly unattended by the host, Gatsby's party liberates haphazard speculation, rumors by random guests. Such conjecture assumes a literal force as Gatsby becomes as "absolutely real" as his "Merton College Library" of books with uncut pages. A succession of counterfeit identities · "Oxford man," "German spy," murderer · adumbrates Gatsby's own serial projections of himself, complementing the mystery that he himself sustains.
Gatsby physically and spiritually dominates the second stage of Nick's narrative, in which it is confirmed, as Gatsby knew, that he and Nick were in "ecstatic cahoots" all along. His reputation must be cleared, or at least stabilized, before the love story can progress. Nick accompanies Gatsby to a dingy cellar on Forty-second Street to meet his "business gonnegtion," Meyer Wolfsheim. The intimacy of their association levels the social register catalogued earlier of "folks who come to Gatsby's parties." To Gatsby, Wolfsheim, the man who "fixed the World's Series back in 1919" is a gambler who seized opportunity, but for Nick he is a criminal who has done the previously unthinkable: "play[ed] with the faith of fifty million people · with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe." A complementary biographical narrative, supplied by the dishonest Jordan Baker, depicts Gatsby as Daisy's lost suitor. What Nick reads as "coincidence," Jordan corrects into plan: "Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay." At that moment, Gatsby "came alive" for his narrator, "delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor."
Nick's cottage becomes the site of Gatsby's reunion with Daisy. The material world seems to recede as Gatsby "revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes." The once cavernous mansion, familiar only when filled with strangers, grows curiously intimate as the lovers wander through its rooms. And yet, in the very heart of this novel, there is an absence that persists despite the fulfillment of its dream. As Nick, whose "presence made them feel more satisfactorily alone," concludes, "There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams · not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion."
A reporter's query occasions Nick's aside concerning Gatsby's origins, placed "here with the idea of exploding those first wild rumors about his antecedents." Jay Gatsby reverts to James Gatz of North Dakota, a young man with a "Platonic conception of himself" who reinvents himself at the moment he sees Dan Cody's yacht dock. In a quintessentially American projection, Gatsby becomes what he sees: "vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty." Although he, like so many other of Fitzgerald's protagonists, expects an inheritance that doesn't come, Gatsby makes his way.
Daisy, while flattered by Gatsby's renewed attentions, refuses to disavow Tom. Gatsby, as if responding to a challenge, not a warning, cries, "Can't repeat the past?... Why of course you can!... I'm going to fix everything just the way it was before." His attempts to reconstitute an unlived past prove his undoing. Gatsby's final revaluation of Daisy begins with his lamentable assertion: "Her voice is full of money." The couples form and reform. At Gatsby's party, Tom and Daisy join with Nick and Jordan, isolating Gatsby; on the road through the valley of ashes, Gatsby and Daisy occupy one car, Tom and Jordan and Nick the other, abandoning Myrtle as they drive "on toward death through the cooling twilight." Myrtle dies under the wheels of a car driven by Daisy; Gatsby dies at the hands of Myrtle's husband, who believes that Gatsby was driving. Wilson, after shooting Gatsby, kills himself: "The holocaust was complete." Even in death, Gatsby demands further elaboration. Nick elicits complementary portraits from Wolfsheim and Henry C. Gatz, Gatsby's father, who read of his son's death in a Chicago newspaper.
For many reviewers, The Great Gatsby dramatized the grating sensibilities of the aging New Youth, rendering it simultaneously avant-garde and passé. Commentators recognized Fitzgerald's maturity of style and structure, some even noting the sophisticating influence of Henry James and Edith Wharton on this novel of manners. No other contemporary reviewer was as unreserved as Gilbert Seldes, who, in the New Criterion, noted that The Great Gatsby "is a brilliant work, and it is also a sound one; it is carefully written, and vivid; it has structure, and it has life. To all the talents, discipline has been added."
THE CRASH: ZELDA AND AMERICA
In late April 1925, shortly after settling in Paris, Fitzgerald met Ernest Hemingway. In awe of Hemingway's robust reputation, Fitzgerald presented himself as timid and uncertain about art and sex. These episodes are painfully and unreliably commemorated in Hemingway's A Moveable Feast (1964). His meeting with Wharton, after her somewhat cautious praise of Gatsby, went little better · his compliments and brothel jokes did little to engage the grande dame. By June, Fitzgerald had revised the stories to appear in All the Sad Young Men, including "The Rich Boy," "Winter Dreams," and "Absolution." The collection was published on February 26, 1926, to enthusiastic reviews. In "Art's Bread and Butter," William Rose Benét suggests the dangers of such productivity when he notes Fitzgerald's "almost uncanny facility for magazine writing" and senses "the pressure of living conditions rather than the demand of the spirit" in many of the stories.
In the remaining months of 1926, the Fitzgeralds toured and drank among the moneyed of the world. He had written little, despite the fact that months had passed since he had explained his "new novel" to Maxwell Perkins: "It is something really NEW in form, idea, structure · the model for the age that Joyce and Stien [sic] are searching for, that Conrad didn't find." Early ideas about an "intellectual murder on the Leopold-Loeb idea" succumbed to an obsessive interest in World War I and its battlefield sites (research that eventually surfaced in Tender Is the Night).
Throughout 1926, the Fitzgeralds drifted between Paris and the Riviera in the hope of capturing some of the magic of their earlier stay. Finances were reasonably good: collateral income from Gatsby and revenue from stories should have enabled Fitzgerald to write in leisure. It was, however, a year of monumental distractions and excess. Hemingway's influence on Fitzgerald, who yearned to assume Hemingway's bravado and profanity, was destabilizing. Zelda and Scott grew socially so unpredictable and hazardous that even the Murphys shied away from their extreme misbehavior. As Gerald Murphy later explained to Calvin Tomkins, "Their idea was that they never depended upon parties. I don't think they cared very much for parties, so called, and I don't think they stayed at them very long. They were all out, always searching for some kind of adventure outside of the party." By September, a somber Fitzgerald recorded in his Ledger: "Futile, shameful useless but the $30,000 rewards of 1924 work. Self disgust. Health gone."
Early in 1927, Fitzgerald accepted an offer from United Artists to script a "flapper comedy." This brief two-month stint was unremarkable except for two encounters: one with the ingenue Lois Moran, who inspired the character of Rosemary Hoyt in Tender Is the Night, and one with Irving Thalberg, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer producer who inspired the character of Monroe Stahr, in The Last Tycoon. After two months on the West Coast, Scott and Zelda relocated to Ellerslie, a mansion near Wilmington, Delaware. There Scott, in spite of his increasing addictions to alcohol and smoking, settled into a work routine that produced several stories, though little progress on his novel. He did, however, complete the Basil stories, a series drawn from his St. Paul adolescence and published in the Post from March 1928 to February 1929. Zelda, bored with rural life, began ballet lessons, believing that she had made a professional commitment.
In April 1929, weary with Wilmington and flush with income from a batch of Post stories, the Fitzgeralds returned to Paris for the spring and summer. Increasingly manic, Zelda became committed to her ballet lessons, while Scott, perpetually distracted, drifted through a literary society that included James Joyce , Sylvia Beach, John Peale Bishop, and Thornton Wilder . The Fitzgeralds returned to Delaware in October, with Scott able to show little more than promises to Maxwell Perkins. From the spring of 1929 to the early summer of 1930, the Fitzgeralds knew no peace. Restlessly drifting through France, nearly destroyed by Scott's alcoholism and Zelda's increasing madness, Scott confided in his Ledger: "Thirty two years old (And sore as hell about it) OMINOUS No Real Progress in ANY way + wrecked myself with dozens of people." On April 23, 1930, Zelda was admitted to the Malmaison clinic near Paris "in a state of acute anxiety, restlessness, continually repeating: ‘This is dreadful, this is horrible, what is going to become of me?’" She discharged herself three weeks later and attempted to return to ballet, only to collapse in late May and enter Valmont clinic in Switzerland. By early June, she was diagnosed as schizophrenic and committed to Les Rives de Prangins clinic on Lake Geneva.
Although his Ledger summary suggested disaster · "‘The Crash! Zelda + America’" · Fitzgerald continued to work steadily on the stories that paid the bills. The five Josephine stories, a complementary series to the Basil stories, began appearing in the Post in April 1930, eventually earning $32,000. He became a slave to the "slicks" as he abandoned all work on his novel and wrote stories to pay for Zelda's hospitalization as well as his own upkeep. Although economic pressures forced Fitzgerald to write quickly and publish, they did not prevent him from writing some memorable work. "Babylon Revisited" remains the most celebrated of his stories. Charlie Wales, Fitzgerald's alter ego, discusses the ruins of his life with the Ritz barman: "‘I heard that you lost a lot in the crash.’ ‘I did,’ and he added grimly, ‘but I lost everything I wanted in the boom.’ ‘Selling short.’ ‘Something like that.’" Christmas 1930, in spite of Scottie's visit to Zelda at Prangins, was a grim and hopeless affair that was followed by the death of Fitzgerald's father in January. While in the States, Scott visited Zelda's family in Alabama to apprise them of her condition.
In the summer of 1931, while Zelda was being treated as an outpatient at Prangins, the family traveled a bit, even visiting the Murphys in Austria. In September, after Zelda's discharge, they sailed for America in the hope of relocating to Montgomery. Later that fall Scott, somewhat weary of relying upon story income, accepted an offer from Thalberg at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to write a screenplay for Jean Harlow, Red-headed Woman. Upon his return from Hollywood in January 1932, Zelda suffered another breakdown and was taken by Scott to the Phipps Psychiatric Clinic at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. In May, Scott rented a house on the Turnbull estate in suburban Maryland. While Zelda's condition deteriorated and her expenses spiraled, Scott's per-story income from the Post dropped to below his rate in 1925. Fitzgerald himself was hospitalized in August 1932 at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital for typhoid fever and fatigue. He was readmitted several times over the next few years for treatment of the ravages of alcoholism as well as transient fevers related to a chronic lung ailment. In October 1932, Zelda's Save Me the Waltz, her autobiographical novel, was published by Scribners. Poorly edited and riddled with errors, the novel sold less than half of its printing of 3,010 copies.
TENDER IS THE NIGHT
In the summer of 1932, more than seven years after the publication of The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald began work in earnest on Tender Is the Night. Although he had sent endless favorable reports to Perkins and Ober over the years, he had not begun substantial plotting until late that summer. At last, he recognized the course:
The novel should do this. Show a man who is a natural
idealist, a spoiled priest, giving in for various causes to the ideas
of the haute Burgeoise [sic], and in his rise to the top of the social
world losing his idealism, his talent and turning to drink and
His year-end Ledger exclaimed: "Novel intensive begins."
Published serially in Scribner's Magazine from January to April 1934 (Scribners published the novel on April 12, 1934), Tender Is the Night extends Amory's chivalric codes from This Side of Paradise and Gatsby's acquisitive passion to the middle-aged world of Dr. Dick Diver's "intricate destiny." The novel rewards intense consideration as a metanarrative on the art of fiction. For within its discussion of Diver's professional and intellectual disintegration, manifested early in the novel in his inability to revise his many pamphlets into a significant medical treatise, lies Fitzgerald's self-incriminating tale of the hack story-writer who took nearly a decade to write a novel. It is also a continuation of an earlier disquisition into American national identity, jotted in his Notebooks and included in "The Swimmers," in which he mused:
France was a land, England was a people, but America,
having about it still that quality of the idea, was harder to utter · it
was the graves at Shiloh and the tired, drawn, nervous faces of its
great men, and the country boys dying in the Argonne for a phrase that
was empty before their bodies withered. It was a willingness of the
Tender Is the Night places the postmortem world of ever-dying ideals that Fitzgerald had long associated with America into a new context. Analytically dispassionate and less theatrical than The Beautiful and the Damned, Tender Is the Night suffers from many of the earlier novel's structural flaws and burdensome length. Anxiously and hastily revised from the serial publication in progress, the novel declares Fitzgerald's adept psychologically intense characterization even as it casts those characters adrift, unmoored in the pastel indolence of the Riviera.
The first section draws the reader into a society of the "notable and fashionable," the Riviera of 1925. Located in France at the time of the Fitzgeralds' first visit, at the moment of Scott's greatest productivity, Tender Is the Night recasts the drama of a threatened, depleted love into one of intellectual and professional compromise. As with the earlier novels, peripheral characters abound, serving primarily to extend the emotional circumstance and history of Dick and Nicole Diver. Rosemary Hoyt (a "ripping swimmer") is filming on the Riviera. Palpably an ingenue, treated with kindly condescension by the Divers and their intimates (Abe North, the "entirely liquid" composer who suggests Fitzgerald, and Tommy Barban, the volatile mercenary who resembles Hemingway), Rosemary advances the narrative by challenging the very origins of the Divers' relationship. "From the middle of the middle class, catapulted by her mother onto the uncharted heights of Hollywood," Rosemary derives her security from her social contentment, stardom, and youth. Such average securities breed the confidence necessary for Rosemary's seduction of Dick.
Dick suffers from the opposite affliction: he is, or was, used to thinking about himself as exceptional. While lacking the meteoric brilliance of Gatsby and the predictable grooming of Anthony Patch, he betrays an intellectual distinction. Even Diver's society is rarefied: "To be included in Dick Diver's world for a while was a remarkable experience: people believed he made special reservations about them, recognizing the proud uniqueness of their destinies, buried under the compromises of how many years." His was a world of "exquisite consideration and politeness."
The story of Rosemary's crush, with peripheral entanglements of duels and chivalric interventions, articulate the mysteries of Shiloh and Argonne earlier invoked in "The Swimmers." Rosemary enters giddily into the "expensive simplicity of the Divers": first by attending parties with Nicole and Dick, then by shopping and lunching with Nicole, and finally by seducing Dick. "Extraordinary innocence" marks this affair that Dick distinguishes from the "active love" he feels for Nicole. Rosemary acquiesces to these terms because she believes in the "inner intensity" of passion, that which has cooled between Dick and Nicole and seems vital between them. The Great War haunts this careless world of denial, becoming at once inescapable reality and generational metaphor for the couple's perceptual dilemma. A tour of a battlefield generates excitement in Dick and longing in Rosemary:
They came out of the neat restored trench, and faced a
memorial to the Newfoundland dead. Reading the inscription Rosemary
burst into sudden tears. Like most women she liked to be told how she
should feel, and she liked Dick's telling her which things were
ludicrous, and which things were sad. But most of all she wanted him
to know how she loved him, now that the fact was upsetting everything,
now that she was walking over the battle-field in a thrilling dream.
Throughout the opening book, Dick intellectualizes and socializes his ethereal presence. Other characters, resigned to life's confusions and threats, can be spared only by his intervention. The chivalric code, so essential to Amory's self-conception in This Side of Paradise, echoes with a loyalty to the history and literature of the South here as Dick "perceived all the maturity of an older America... and sat again on his father's knee, riding with Moseby while the old loyalties and devotions fought on around him."
The second section explores Dick's early years in Zurich as psychiatric resident in the spring of 1917, his moment "of intricate destiny" and the place where he met Nicole Warren, the patient who becomes his wife. Nicole, brilliant and beautiful, but schizophrenic, persuades Dick, then serving in the army, to tend to her professionally and emotionally. In literary letters distinguished by "helpless caesuras and darker rhythms," she makes her appeal to Captain Diver "because there is no one else." She violates the very logic of his life, threatens his professional remove, and saps the energy necessary to his research. Upon marrying Nicole in 1919, he accedes to a complex world of wealth, incest, and illness that threatens his very existence. Nicole had long ago been raped by her father. As if in compensation, she becomes the beneficiary of the family fortune, which underwrites Dick's practice in Switzerland, and inherits the means and miseries of the American nouveaux riches. Her schizophrenia embodies the pathological relationship between happiness and money, and through it Dick must confront his own doubts concerning the costs and profits of his relationship with Nicole and with his practice. His partnership suffers, undermined by his progressive ambivalence toward his practice and by his chronic drinking.
Failure liberates Dick to wander about Europe on journeys that bypass the story line of the book's first section. He surfaces in Rome in 1929, where a much-matured Rosemary is filming her latest movie. Dick and Rosemary, like extras from a story by Henry James, lunch at the "Castelli dei Caesari, a splendid restaurant in a high-terraced villa overlooking the ruined forum of an undetermined period of the decadence." Attempts to revive their affair fail, as sketched in Fitzgerald's "General Plan": "He is in Rome with the actress having a disappointing love affair too late he is beaten up by the police."
The third section begins by declaring Nicole "less sick than any one thinks · she only cherishes her illness as an instrument of power." Unable to stabilize his relationship with Nicole or the finances of the Warren-funded clinic, Dick relinquishes his partnership in the clinic · and is "relieved": "Now without desperation he had long felt the ethics of his profession dissolving into a lifeless mass." The Divers return to the Riviera, "which was home," and seem "unified" again. Soon, tired of "Dick's growing indifference, at present personified by too much drink," Nicole leaves him for Tommy Barban: "She did not want any vague spiritual romance · she wanted an ‘affair’; she wanted a change." This change leaves Dick "at liberty" to leave Europe, return to the States, and establish a general practice in upstate New York.
Reviews for Fitzgerald's much-anticipated novel were mixed. The decade it had taken Fitzgerald to complete the work had witnessed a transformation from the prodigality of the 1920s to the economic collapse and austerity of the 1930s. Few commentaries actually noted the disjunction between the times and the novel, but John O'Hara saw that as a problem central to its reception, claiming that it "came out at precisely the wrong time in the national history." Fitzgerald's drunken decadence had, by the Depression, become a cliché. And yet, Philip Rahv, in an unlikely reading for the Daily Worker, pronounced the work a "fearful indictment of the moneyed aristocracy." Fitzgerald continued to anguish over the novel's structure (even proposing a revised edition for the Modern Library in which the plot is developed chronologically), but reviewers ignored the author's reservations and troubled instead over theme and characters. Style, for many readers, no longer compensated: as the unsigned Time review complained: "Though he often writes like an angel, he can still think like a parrot."
The extraliterary judgments were often the most compelling in their approval. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, in one of Fitzgerald's favorite reviews, concluded that Tender Is the Night constituted "an achievement which no student of the psychobiological sources of human behavior, and of its particular social correlates extant today, can afford not to read." Unable to await Hemingway's judgment, Scott wrote in May, hoping to reap the much-needed encouragement of a master reading. Hemingway responded with a three-page personal assault on Fitzgerald's talent and manhood, laced with self-aggrandizing counsel:
Forget your personal tragedy.... You see Bo, you're
not a tragic character. Neither am I. All we are is writers and what
we should do is write. Of all people on earth you needed discipline in
your work and instead you marry someone who is jealous of your work,
wants to compete with you and ruins you.
Throughout the remainder of 1934, Zelda's madness and his own alcoholism enslaved Fitzgerald. The anxiously anticipated income from Tender Is the Night was never realized, and a historical novel was never written. His withered life became the stuff of the self-accusatory essays of The Crack-Up. With the death of the Post's Lorimer, Fitzgerald lost his most reliable and generous market. Arnold Gingrich's support at the new men's magazine Esquire never provided more than a subsistence income. Dean Gauss neglected Fitzgerald's proposal to lecture at Princeton on the art of fiction; Perkins and Ober refused additional loans. Only the Modern Library Gatsby and Taps at Reveille, a collection of stories published in March 1935, kept Fitzgerald in public view. Suicidal mania kept Zelda in the privacy of Baltimore's Sheppard-Pratt Hospital. Writing in June 1935, she saw with anguished clarity the circumstance of their marriage:
Now that there isn't any more happiness and home is gone
and there isn't even any past and no emotions but those that were
yours where there could be any comfort · it is a shame that we should
have met in harshness and coldness where there was once so much
tenderness and so many dreams. Your song.
Scott, unable to distinguish between his love and art, concluded: "The voices fainter and fainter · How is Zelda, how is Zelda · tell us · how is Zelda."
In late 1935, dissipated and riddled with doubt, Fitzgerald sought the seclusion of the North Carolina mountains to write "The Crack-Up." (By April 1936, Zelda was admitted to a clinic in nearby Asheville, where she was cared for on a residential and outpatient basis; she perished there in a fire in 1948.) These autobiographical essays, written for Gingrich at Esquire, appeared in February, March, and April of 1936, to the amazement of his readers and the disgust of his intimates. Perkins and Hemingway were scornfully embarrassed by Fitzgerald's sputtering humanity; Dos Passos was contemptuous of Fitzgerald's self-absorption in what he called in a letter of October 1936 "the middle of the general conflagration."
In the summer of 1937, overwhelmed by debt, Fitzgerald accepted a six-month contract from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and moved to the Garden of Allah on Sunset Boulevard. His accomplishments as a novelist worked against him as a screenwriter, most painfully in his attempt to script Erich Maria Remarque's Three Comrades for the producer Joseph Mankiewicz. Working steadily from August 1937 to February 1938, Fitzgerald was unable to submit a screenplay acceptable to Mankiewicz. Mankiewicz's revisions "disillusioned" Fitzgerald, who complained in a letter of January 20, 1938:
For nineteen years, with two years out for sickness,
I've written best-selling entertainment, and my dialogue is supposedly
right up at the top. But I learn from the script that you've suddenly
decided that it isn't good dialogue and you can take a few hours off
and do much better.
During the one-year contract renewal period, which brought work on Marie Antoinette, The Women, and Madame Curie, Fitzgerald lived with Sheilah Graham in the beach colony of Malibu. Shortly before his contract expired, they moved again, this time to the warmth of the upper San Fernando Valley, a cottage at Belly Acres on the Encino estate of the actor Edward Everett Horton. After eighteen months at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Fitzgerald sought work at a number of smaller studios. In January 1939, he worked briefly on David O. Selznick's production of Gone with the Wind, then joined Budd Schulberg on Winter Carnival (the Dartmouth College debacle celebrated in Schulberg's novel The Disenchanted).
Fitzgerald's relationship with Graham sustained and confused his remaining years. At once captivated and appalled by this woman who reminded him of Zelda, Fitzgerald intellectually tutored the woman who emotionally tended to him. Most of the time, his daughter, Scottie, studying at Vassar College, and Sheilah prompted unexpectedly responsible behavior from Fitzgerald, who was anxious to share the wisdom of his life. His correspondence with Scottie, especially during his final years, while she was a student at Vassar, reflects the patient urgency of a dying man. As he wrote on July 7, 1938:
When I was your age I lived with a great dream. The
dream grew and I learned how to speak of it and make people listen.
Then the dream divided one day when I decided to marry your mother
after all, even though I knew she was spoiled and meant no good to
I never wanted to see again in this world women who were
brought up as idlers.... When you began to show disturbing signs at
about fourteen, I comforted myself with the idea that you were too
precocious socially and a strict school would fix things....
But I don't want to be upset by idlers inside my family or
out. I want my energies and my earnings for people who talk my
I have begun to fear that you don't. You don't realize that
what I am doing here is the last tired effort of a man who once did
something finer and better.
As Fitzgerald reinscribed his life for his daughter, he initiated the reordering of his reputation for subsequent generations of readers.
In the fall of 1939, Fitzgerald began work on The Last Tycoon. He wrote to Kenneth Littauer at Collier's on September 29, 1939, to explain his story of Metro's "boy wonder" (the producer Irving Thalberg), in which "no single fact is actually true." Financial miseries, however, necessitated another series for Esquire: the Pat Hobby stories, tales of a hack screenwriter who has not been hot since the silents. Fitzgerald's life assumed the lineaments of Pat Hobby's as one by one his connections failed: Collier's and the Post refusing serial rights to the planned novel, Littauer at Collier's and Perkins at Scribners declining his request for an advance.
THE LAST TYCOON
The Last Tycoon survives as a literary fragment, an intricately planned episodic structure with fully realized characters and a tenuous plot. Whether two thirds "finished," as originally thought, or "half-way" considered, as Matthew Bruccoli believes, the novel reveals Fitzgerald's culminating brilliance in his deft handling of character, dialogue, and setting. Anxious to avoid the structural inconsistencies of Tender Is the Night, he adhered to the nine-chapter compression and participant-narrator of The Great Gatsby. Obsessive outlines and plot revisions into episodes resembled his screenwriting routine. As he had suggested in "Handle with Care" (the March 1936 "Crack-Up" essay):
As long past as 1930, I had a hunch that the talkies
would make even the best selling novelist as archaic as silent
pictures.... But there was a rankling indignity, that to me had become
almost an obsession, in seeing the power of the written word
subordinated to another power, a more glittering, a grosser power.
Cecelia Brady, daughter of Monroe Stahr's partner (who Fitzgerald describes as "a shrewd man, a gentile, and a scoundrel of the lowest variety"), narrates the loves and life of Stahr. Cecelia (recalling Gatsby's Nick Carraway) "is of the movies but not in them," rendering her acutely observant and passionately uninvolved. Stahr, as Fitzgerald confided in his synopsis, "is Irving Thalberg" and he reenacts the tragedy of Thalberg's "great adventure."
Unfinished at his death, although it was published as a memorial gesture by Scribners in 1941 as The Last Tycoon: An Unfinished Novel, The Love of The Last Tycoon: A Western has been restored to a work in progress by Bruccoli for the Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Working from Fitzgerald's series of five typescript outlines, Bruccoli, guided by the correspondence of Graham and Frances Kroll (Fitzgerald's secretary) as well as by Edmund Wilson's earlier synopsis, has recast Fitzgerald's "western" into its unfinished form of an opening chapter (which introduces Cecelia and Hollywood, "a mining town in lotus land," as essential characters) and several related Stahr "episodes" (at the studio, on the set, in love, at Malibu). Some critics suggest that the novel's persistent fragmentation suggests Fitzgerald's failing capacities to retain his work in progress; Bruccoli vehemently rejects this reading, asserting that "the drafts indicate that Fitzgerald was proceeding carefully without concern for a deadline." Writing to Zelda on December 13, 1940, Fitzgerald suggested the tentative nature of work in his condition:
The novel is about three-quarters through and I think
I can go on till January 12 without doing any stories or going back to
the studio. I couldn't go back to the studio anyhow in my present
condition as I have to spend most of the time in bed where I write on
a wooden desk.
By late 1940, Fitzgerald was confronting a rapidly deteriorating physical condition and a failing literary reputation. The popularity of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, a novel that Scott deemed "thoroughly superficial... [with] all the profundity of Rebecca," deepened his depression as he considered their relative success as writers. In late November, he suffered chest pain so debilitating that he moved into Graham's first-floor apartment to avoid unnecessary exertion. On December 21, 1940, Fitzgerald collapsed and died of a massive coronary occlusion. After a viewing service in the Wordsworth Room at the Pierce Brothers Mortuary in West Los Angeles, Fitzgerald's body was sent, at Zelda's request, to be buried at Rockville Union Cemetery in Maryland. Neither Zelda nor Sheilah attended the service.
The Last Tycoon assured Fitzgerald an ongoing readership. Published on October 27, 1941, the Scribner edition, edited by Wilson, reprinted a selection of stories as well as The Great Gatsby. The reviews were tentative, though unusually enthusiastic: Time reflected that The Last Tycoon contained "scenes of beauty and power. Completed, it might or might not have been a Citizen Kane about the movie industry." The Crack-Up (1945), Wilson's New Directions compilation of the Esquire essays and uncollected letters, notebook entries, and essays, found a new audience. Fitzgerald's autobiographical tracts, notes, and letters were liberated by his death. Reviews celebrated his heroism and tragedy, Mark Schorer's "Fitzgerald's Tragic Sense" proclaiming The Crack-Up "a classic of literary self-revelation... [that] transcends mere pathos." The Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1951), Cowley's selection of familiar and previously unpublished work, initiated a popular and scholarly reevaluation of Fitzgerald's work.
The continued interest in Fitzgerald's work, especially The Great Gatsby, has secured his academic and popular reputation. In the last two decades of the twentieth century, however, publication of the correspondence and several biographies, especially Bruccoli's monumental Some Sort of Epic Grandeur, has complicated the critical picture. The Fitzgerald centennial celebrations at Princeton University and St. Paul, Minnesota, and the controversies over the Cambridge University Press critical edition of his work suggest both how vital Fitzgerald's work remains and how problematic it seems to some readers unable or unwilling to accept Fitzgerald's personal and generational indulgence in racist and anti-Semitic characterizations. While partisans like Matthew J. Bruccoli tend to overlook such qualifying factors in their appraisals of Fitzgerald's work, more skeptical readers, like Walter Benn Michaels, use such prejudices as a means of reading the author culturally. At the readings during St. Paul's centennial celebration, "unpleasant words" (that is, descriptions construed as racist and xenophobic) were "crossed out and translated into modernly acceptable vocabulary." Despite the understandable difficulties some readers have with such transgressions, writers as diverse as J. D. Salinger, John Cheever , Joan Didion , and John Updike have found Fitzgerald's parables of class, money, and the difficulty of happiness to be powerful models for their own work. Fitzgerald's occasional lapses in taste or judgment do not negate the force and elegance of his prose. Even the most thoughtful reader is likely to succumb to the heroic splendor of his writing.
WORKS OF F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
This Side of Paradise. New York: Scribners, 1920.
The Beautiful and the Damned. New York: Scribners, 1922.
The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribners, 1925.
Tender Is the Night. New York: Scribners, 1934. Revised 1951. (Preface by Malcolm Cowley, with the author's final revisions.)
The Last Tycoon: An Unfinished Novel. New York: Scribners, 1941. (This first edition includes The Great Gatsby and selected short stories.)
Flappers and Philosophers. New York: Scribners, 1920. (Eight stories, including "The Ice Palace" and "Bernice Bobs Her Hair.")
Tales of the Jazz Age. New York: Scribners, 1922. (Eleven stories, including "May Day; or, From President to Postman" and "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz.")
Taps at Reveille. New York: Scribners, 1935. (Eighteen stories, including "The Scandal Detectives," "The Freshest Boy," "The Night of Chancellorsville," "The Last of the Belles," and "Babylon Revisited.")
The Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Scribners, 1951. (Twenty-eight stories with an introduction by Malcolm Cowley, including "Absolution," "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," "The Ice Palace," "May Day," "Magnetism," "The Rich Boy," "The Scandal Detectives," "Crazy Sunday," and "Babylon Revisited.")
Babylon Revisited and Other Stories. New York: Scribners, 1960. (Ten stories, including "The Ice Palace," "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," "Winter Dreams," "The Rich Boy," and "Crazy Sunday.")
The Mystery of the Raymond Mortgage. New York: Random House, 1960. (The first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's first story, written when he was thirteen years old.)
The Pat Hobby Stories. New York: Scribners, 1962. (Seventeen stories with an introduction by Arnold Gingrich, including "Boil Some Water · Lots of It," "Pat Hobby and Orson Welles," "Pat Hobby Putative Father," "The Homes of the Stars," and "Two Old-Timers.")
The Basil and Josephine Stories. Edited by Jackson Bryer and John Kuehl. New York: Scribners, 1973. (Fourteen stories.)
Bits of Paradise. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli and Scottie Fitzgerald Smith. New York: Scribners, 1974. (Eleven stories, including "The Swimmers" and "‘What a Handsome Pair!’" with ten stories by Zelda Fitzgerald.)
The Price Was High: The Last Uncollected Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/Bruccoli Clark, 1979. (Fifty stories from mass-circulation magazines, primarily from the Saturday Evening Post.)
The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli. New York: Scribners, 1989. (Forty-three stories, including "The Swimmers," "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," "The Ice Palace," "May Day," "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," "The Rich Boy," and "Babylon Revisited.")
ESSAYS AND OTHER WORKS
Fie! Fie! Fi-Fi. New York: John Church, 1914.
The Crack-Up. Edited by Edmund Wilson. New York: New Directions, 1945. (With other uncollected pieces, notebooks, and unpublished letters; also contains letters to Fitzgerald from Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton, T. S. Eliot, Thomas Wolfe, and John Dos Passos and essays and poems by Paul Rosenfeld, Glenway Wescott, John Dos Passos, John Peale Bishop, and Edmund Wilson.)
Afternoon of an Author. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Library, 1957; New York: Scribners, 1958. (Stories and essays, with an introduction and notes by Arthur Mizener, including "Princeton," "Who's Who · and Why," "How to Live on $36,000 a Year," "Author's House," and "Afternoon of an Author.")
The Apprentice Fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1907-1917. Edited by John Kuehl. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1965. (Twelve stories, including "The Mystery of the Raymond Mortgage.")
Thoughtbook of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. Edited by John Kuehl. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Library, 1965.
F. Scott Fitzgerald in His Own Time: A Miscellany. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli and Jackson R. Bryer. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1971. (Poems and lyrics; student contributions to Nassau Literary Magazine and the Princeton Tiger; public letters and statements; interviews with, among others, Frederick James Smith and Harry Salpeter; reviews; essays; and editorials.)
F. Scott Fitzgerald's Ledger: A Facsimile. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli. Washington: NCR/Microcard Books, 1972. (With an annual accounting of Fitzgerald's earnings from 1919 through 1936.)
F. Scott Fitzgerald's Screenplay for "The Three Comrades" by Erich Maria Remarque. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1978.
The Notebooks of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/Bruccoli Clark, 1978.
Poems, 1911-1940. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli. Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Columbia, S.C.: Bruccoli Clark, 1981.
F. Scott Fitzgerald on Writing. New York: Scribners, 1985.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: Inscriptions. Columbia, S.C.: Matthew J. Bruccoli, 1988.
Babylon Revisited: The Screenplay. New York: Carroll and Graf, 1993.
F. Scott Fitzgerald on Authorship. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli with Judith S. Baughman. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996. (Letters, articles, and notebook entries on the art of writing.)
The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Edited by Andrew Turnbull. New York: Scribners, 1963.
Scott Fitzgerald: Letters to His Daughter. Edited by Andrew Turnbull with an introduction by Frances Fitzgerald Lanahan. New York: Scribners, 1963.
Dear Scott/Dear Max: The Fitzgerald-Perkins Correspondence. Edited by John Kuehl and Jackson R. Bryer. New York: Scribners, 1971.
As Ever, Scott Fitz · . Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli and Jennifer McCabe Atkinson. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1972. (The letters between Fitzgerald and his agent, Harold Ober.)
Correspondence of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli and Margaret M. Duggan, with Susan Walker. New York: Random House, 1980.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli with Judith S. Baughman. New York: Scribners, 1994.
The Portable F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Viking, 1945. (Selected by Dorothy Parker with an introduction by John O'Hara; includes The Great Gatsby, Tender Is the Night, "Absolution," "The Baby Party," "The Rich Boy," "May Day," "The Cut-Glass Bowl," "The Offshore Pirate," "The Freshest Boy," "Crazy Sunday," and "Babylon Revisited.")
Borrowed Time. London: Grey Walls Press, 1951. (Nine stories including "The Cut-Glass Bowl," "May Day," "The Camel's Back," "The Rich Boy," and "Babylon Revisited.")
Three Novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Scribners, 1953. (Includes The Great Gatsby, with an introduction by Malcolm Cowley; Tender Is the Night, with the author's final revisions and edited by Malcolm Cowley; and The Last Tycoon, edited by Edmund Wilson.)
The Bodley Head Scott Fitzgerald. 6 vols. London: Bodley Head, 1958-1963. (Volume 1 : The Great Gatsby, The Last Tycoon, "May Day," "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," "The Crack-Up," "Handle With Care," "Pasting It Together," and "Crazy Sunday"; Volume 2 : "Echoes of the Jazz Age," "My Lost City," "Ring," "Early Success," letters to Frances Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night [original version], "The Last of the Belles," "Pat Hobby Himself," "An Alcoholic Case," and "Financing Finnegan"; Volume 3 : This Side of Paradise, The Crack-Up, "The Cut-Glass Bowl," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "The Lees of Happiness," "The Rich Boy," "The Adjuster," and "Gretchen's Forty Winks"; Volume 4 : The Beautiful and the Damned, "The Rough Crossing," and "Babylon Revisited"; Volumes 5 and 6 : reprint of Malcolm Cowley's The Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald.)
The Fitzgerald Reader. Edited by Arthur Mizener. New York: Scribners, 1963. (Includes The Great Gatsby, sections of Tender Is the Night and The Last Tycoon, a selection from The Crack-Up, and assorted stories.)
The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli. Cambridge, England, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991-. (Of the fifteen projected volumes, these have been published: The Great Gatsby ; The Love of The Last Tycoon: A Western ; This Side of Paradise ).
F. Scott Fitzgerald Manuscripts. 18 vols. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli with associate editor Alan Margolies and consulting editors Alexander P. Clark and Charles Scribner III. New York: Garland, 1990-1991. (Includes This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and the Damned, The Great Gatsby galleys, Tender Is the Night [the Melarky and Kelley versions and the Diver version], The Last Tycoon, The Vegetable, stories and articles.)
The F. Scott Fitzgerald papers are held at the University of South Carolina and the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
BIBLIOGRAPHIES AND CONCORDANCE
Bruccoli, Matthew J. F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1972. Revised, 1987.
· · · . Supplement to F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980.
Bryer, Jackson R. The Critical Reputation of F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Bibliographical Study. Hamden, Conn.: Archon, 1967. Supplement, 1984.
Crosland, Andrew T. A Concordance to F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." Detroit, Mich.: Bruccoli Clark/Gale Research, 1975.
Berg, Scott. Maxwell Perkins: Editor of Genius. New York: Dutton, 1978.
Bruccoli, Matthew Joseph. Scott and Ernest: The Authority of Failure and the Authority of Success. New York: Random House, 1978.
· · · . Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Revised edition. New York: Carroll and Graf, 1991.
Buttitta, Tony. After the Good Gay Times. New York: Viking, 1974.
Graham, Sheilah. College of One. New York: Viking, 1967.
Latham, John Aaron. Crazy Sundays: F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood. New York: Viking, 1971.
Le Vot, André. F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography. Translated by William Byron. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1983.
Mellow, James R. Invented Lives: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984.
Meyers, Jeffrey. Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.
Miller, Linda Patterson, ed. Letters from the Lost Generation: Gerald and Sara Murphy and Friends. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1991.
Mizener, Arthur. The Far Side of Paradise: A Biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin 1965.
O'Hara, John. Selected Letters of John O'Hara. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli. New York: Random House, 1978.
Ring, Frances Kroll. Against the Current: As I Remember F. Scott Fitzgerald. San Francisco: Donald L. Ellis/Creative Arts, 1985.
Smith, Scottie Fitzgerald, Matthew J. Bruccoli, and Joan P. Kerr, eds. The Romantic Egoists: A Pictorial Autobiography from the Scrapbooks and Albums of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald. New York: Scribners, 1974.
Tomkins, Calvin. Living Well Is the Best Revenge. New York: Viking, 1971.
Turnbull, Andrew. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Ballantine, 1971.
Wilson, Edmund. The Twenties: From Notebooks and Diaries of the Period. Edited by Leon Edel. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1975.
Allen, Joan. Candles and Carnival Lights: The Catholic Sensibility of F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: New York University Press, 1978.
Berman, Ronald. "The Great Gatsby" and Modern Times. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.
Bruccoli, Matthew J. The Composition of "Tender Is the Night": A Study of the Manuscripts. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1963.
· · · . "The Last of the Novelists": F. Scott Fitzgerald and "The Last Tycoon." Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1977.
Callahan, John F. The Illusions of a Nation: Myth and History in the Novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1972.
Chambers, John B. The Novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: St. Martin's, 1989.
Cross, K. G. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Capricorn Books, 1964.
Eble, Kenneth. F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Twayne, 1963. Revised, 1977.
Higgins, John A. F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Study of the Stories. New York: St. John's University Press, 1971.
Miller, James E. Jr. F. Scott Fitzgerald: His Art and His Technique. New York: New York University Press, 1964.
Phillips, Gene D. Fiction, Film, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1986.
Sklar, Robert. F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Last Laocoön. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967.
Stanley, Linda A. The Foreign Critical Reputation of F. Scott Fitzgerald: An Analysis and Annotated Bibliography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1980.
Stern, Milton R. The Golden Moment: The Novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1970.
· · · . "Tender Is the Night": The Broken Universe. New York: Twayne, 1994.
Way, Brian. F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Art of Social Fiction. London: Arnold; New York, St. Martin's, 1980.
COLLECTIONS OF ESSAYS
Bloom, Harold, ed. F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Chelsea House, 1985.
· · · . F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." New Haven, Conn.: Chelsea House, 1986.
Bruccoli, Matthew J., ed. New Essays on "The Great Gatsby." Cambridge, England, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Bryer, Jackson R., ed. F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Critical Reception. New York: Burt Franklin, 1978.
· · · . The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald: New Approaches in Criticism. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982.
Cowley, Malcolm, and Robert Cowley, eds. Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age. New York: Scribners, 1966.
Donaldson, Scott, ed. Critical Essays on "The Great Gatsby." Boston: G. K. Hall, 1984.
Eble, Kenneth, ed. F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Collection of Criticism. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973.
Kazin, Alfred, ed. F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Man and His Work. Cleveland: World, 1951.
LaHood, Marvin J., ed. "Tender Is the Night": Essays in Criticism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1969.
Lee, A. Robert, ed. Scott Fitzgerald: The Promises of Life. New York: St. Martin's, 1989.
Lockridge, Ernest, ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of "The Great Gatsby." Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968.
Mizener, Arthur, ed. F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1963.
Billy, Ted. "Acts of Madness or Despair: A Note on The Secret Agent and The Great Gatsby." Studies in American Fiction 11, no. 1:101-106 (spring 1983).
Breitwieser, Mitchell. "The Great Gatsby: Grief, Jazz, and the Eye-Witness." Arizona Quarterly 47:17-70 (autumn 1991).
Cohen, Milton A. "Fitzgerald's Third Regret: Intellectual Pretense and the Ghost of Edmund Wilson." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 33:64-88 (spring 1991).
Dickstein, Morris. "Fitzgerald's Second Act." South Atlantic Quarterly 90, no. 3:555-578 (summer 1991).
Dillon, Andrew. "The Great Gatsby: The Vitality of Illusion." Arizona Quarterly 44:49-61 (spring 1988).
Doctorow, E. L. "F. S. F., 1896-1996, R.I.P." The Nation 263, no. 9:36 (September 30, 1996).
Edwards, Owen Dudley. "The Lost Teigueen: F. Scott Fitzgerald's Ethics and Ethnicity." In Scott Fitzgerald: The Promises of Life. Edited by A. Robert Lee. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989. Pp. 181-214.
Epstein, Joseph. "F. Scott Fitzgerald's Third Act." Commentary 98, no. 5:52-57 (November 1994).
Fetterlly, Judith. "Who Killed Dick Diver? The Sexual Politics of Tender Is the Night." Mosaic 17, no. 1: 111-128 (winter 1984).
Frase, Brigitte. "Censored Centennial?" Hungry Mind Review. Winter 1996-1997. Pp. 13, 55.
Fussell, Edwin S. "Fitzgerald's Brave New World." ELH 19, no. 4: 291-306 (December 1952).
Giddings, Robert. "The Last Tycoon: Fitzgerald as Projectionist." In Scott Fitzgerald: The Promises of Life. Edited by A. Robert Lee. New York: St. Martin's, 1989. Pp. 74-93.
Hearn, Charles R. "F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Popular Magazine Formula Story of the Twenties." Journal of American Culture 18, no. 3:33-40 (fall 1995).
Kuehl, John. "Scott Fitzgerald: Romantic and Realist." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 1:412-426 (autumn 1959).
Merrill, Robert. "Tender Is the Night as a Tragic Action." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 25:597-615 (winter 1983).
Toles, George. "The Metaphysics of Style in Tender Is the Night." American Literature 62, no. 3:423-444 (September 1990).
Trilling, Lionel. "F. Scott Fitzgerald." In The Liberal Imagination: Essays on Literature and Society. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Anchor, 1953. Pp. 235-244.
Tuttleton, James W. "F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Magical Glory." The New Criterion 13, no. 3:24-31 (November 1994).
Wanlass, Susan. "An Easy Commerce: Specific Similarities Between the Writings of T. S. Eliot and F. Scott Fitzgerald." English Language Notes 32, no. 3:58-69 (March 1995).
Whitley, John S. "‘A Touch of Disaster’: Fitzgerald, Spengler and the Decline of the West." In Scott Fitzgerald: The Promises of Life. Edited by A. Robert Lee. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989. Pp. 157-180.