F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, better known by his pen as F. Scott Fitzgerald, was an American author who was born on September 24, 1896, and died on December 21, 1940. His works came to represent the Jazz Age. He was active in the essential artistic circles of his time, but he did not receive broad praise from critics until after he passed away at age 44.
Quick facts about Fitzgerald, F. Scott
At 23, Fitzgerald initially achieved recognition by describing these shifts in This Side of Paradise (1920). Gatsby, his magnum opus, was published before he turned thirty. Still, his wife Zelda Sayre's mental illness, drunkenness, and financial difficulties delayed the artistic development of this work for ten years (1900-1948). By the time Fitzgerald finished Tender, the Roaring Twenties were no longer relevant due to the Depression, and he was viewed as a failure. He published more than 160 short tales throughout his twenty-year career, yet a half-decade later, he passed away in relative obscurity and was viewed as a failure. Although comprehension of his talent would conflict with the public interest in his life and marriage, critics would only recognize his virtues after his passing.
The fundamental themes of Fitzgerald's works are love and romance, ambition and loss, self-control vs indulgence, and class and wealth. Because of his unusual language style, much like William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway, his writing is readily recognizable. Fitzgerald is incredibly poetic to the point of ecstatic, raising his laments into true threnodies for the sureties and steady ideals that he felt modernity superannuated, in contrast to Hemingway's sparseness and Faulkner's tendency toward psychological abstraction.
His attempts to display military heroism were no more successful. He claimed to be the "army's worst aide-de-camp" despite being commissioned as a second lieutenant during the Great War (Crack-Up 85), mainly because he preferred writing his first book to tactics and training. The fact that he was never in battle-the Armistice came as his infantry battalion was getting ready to depart overseas-was another lifelong regret, as his 1936 short story "I Didn't Get Over" reveals.
In St. Paul, Minnesota, F. Scott Fitzgerald was born into a prosperous upper-middle-class family. Fitzgerald got his name from his famous "The Star-Spangled Banner" author and distant relative, Francis Scott Key. Two of his sisters unexpectedly passed away just a few months before his birth.
However, the family did not reside in Minnesota during his formative years. The Fitzgerald's spent most of their time living in upstate New York and West Virginia since Edward Fitzgerald primarily worked for Proctor and Gamble. Nevertheless, a wealthy aunt and Molly's inheritance from her wealthy family allowed the family to live comfortably. Fitzgerald was enrolled in Catholic schools, demonstrating his academic prowess and a keen interest in literature.
Edward Fitzgerald's employment was terminated in 1908, and the family moved back to Minnesota. F. Scott Fitzgerald left home at age 15 to enrol at the Newman School, a prestigious Catholic boarding school in New Jersey.
Military, Life College, and Romances
Fitzgerald stayed in New Jersey to continue writing rather than return to Minnesota after completing graduation from Newman in year 1913. While a student at Princeton, he became continually active in the literary community there, contributing to numerous periodicals and even joining a theatre group called the Princeton Triangle Club.
Fitzgerald met Chicago debutante Ginevra King during a trip back to St. Paul in 1915, and the two of them embarked on a two-year relationship. She is said to have served as the inspiration for several of his most well-known characters, notably Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby. They conducted their courtship primarily through letters. Fitzgerald saved all the letters she had written to him after their relationship ended in 1917; after his passing, his daughter sent them to King, who kept them and never showed them to anybody.
Fitzgerald spent much of his time engaged in writing-related pursuits, which caused him to ignore his academic work to the point of being placed on academic probation. He formally left Princeton in 1917 and enlisted in the Army as the United States entered World War I. He believed that he would perish in the war without ever having been a published novelist because he was stationed under the command of Dwight D. Eisenhower, whom he detested. Before Fitzgerald was ever really sent abroad, the war ended in 1918.
New York and Europe in the Jazz Age
While stationed there, Fitzgerald met Zelda Sayre, a Montgomery socialite, and the daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court justice. They fell in love and became engaged, but she called it off because she was concerned about his financial ability to provide for them. This Side of Paradise, which Fitzgerald updated after selling copies of his first book in 1919, was released in 1920 and quickly became a bestseller. Therefore, he and Zelda were allowed to restart their engagement, and they were wed at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City the following year. In October 1921, Frances Scott Fitzgerald (often known as "Scottie"), their lone child, was born.
The Fitzgerald's established themselves as pillars of Parisian American expatriate culture and New York society. Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway became great friends, but they had disagreements with Zelda, whom Hemingway publicly detested and thought was hindering Fitzgerald's career. Short story writing helped Fitzgerald augment his income during this time because only his first novel was commercially successful throughout his lifetime. Although The Great Gatsby, which is today regarded as his masterpiece, was written in 1925, it was not a bestseller until after his passing. Much of his writing was connected to the "Lost Generation," a term used to represent the disillusionment in the years following World War II and frequently associated with the group of foreign artists that Fitzgerald belonged to.
Fitzgerald received his first screenwriting contract from United Artists in 1926 to pen a flapper comedy. The Fitzgeralds relocated to Hollywood, but their marital problems forced them to return to New York after Fitzgerald's romance with actor Lois Moran. There, Fitzgerald started writing his fourth book, but his binge drinking, his financial problems, and Zelda's deteriorating physical and mental condition prevented him from finishing it. Zelda was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1930, and Fitzgerald admitted her to a hospital the following year. Fitzgerald was enraged when she published her semi-autobiographical book, Save Me the Waltz, in 1932. He even modified her manuscript before publication, claiming that their life together was "stuff" only he could write about.
Later Years and Death
After Zelda's final hospitalization, Fitzgerald could not turn down an offer from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to relocate to Hollywood and write only for their studio in 1937. He engaged in a public live-in relationship with gossip writer Sheilah Graham while penning a string of short tales making fun of himself as a Hollywood hack. Having been an alcoholic for years, his rough life started to catch up with him. By the end of the 1930s, Fitzgerald claimed to have tuberculosis, which he very well may have, and he had at least one heart attack.
Fitzgerald and Graham were at home when Fitzgerald experienced a second heart attack on December 21, 1940. Aged forty-four, he passed away instantly. His remains were returned to Maryland for an intimate funeral. He was buried at Rockville Union Cemetery because the Church forbade him from burial in the Catholic cemetery. He was no longer a practising Catholic. Zelda was buried close to him after passing away eight years later in a fire at the asylum where she was residing. Their daughter Scottie successfully petitioned to have their remains transferred to the family plot in the Catholic cemetery and stayed there until 1975.
In addition to a large body of completed novels and short tales, Fitzgerald left behind The Last Tycoon, an unfinished story. His work, especially The Great Gatsby, received more accolades and increased in popularity after his passing than it ever did while he was alive. He is currently regarded as one of America's best writers of the 20th century.