Zelda Fitzgerald: Her Voice in Paradise by Sally ClineMy experience of reading F Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night, my ongoing fascination with Lost Generation writers and my experience of reading Therese Anne Fowler’s Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald led me to this biography. Although I knew relatively little about Zelda Fitzgerald, prior to reading Fowler’s novel I wasn’t convinced by her portrayal in that work. The Zelda in Fowler’s novel was altogether too dreary, sedate and contemporary for a woman whose exploits made her an icon of the Jazz Age.
Cline’s biography has given me a much better insight into the life and times of Zelda Fitzgerald. It’s a very detailed and extensively researched work, covering Zelda’s family background, her childhood and teenage years in Montgomery Alabama, her meeting with F Scott Fitzgerald and their romance and subsequent marriage, which occurred five days after the publication of Scott’s first novel, This Side of Paradise. The bulk of the work deals with the gradual and irrevocable decline of their marriage, destroyed by Scott’s alcoholism and Zelda’s mental illness.
One of the saddest aspects of Zelda’s life was the almost certain misdiagnosis of her psychiatric condition as schizophrenia and the cruel side effects of the treatment to which she was subjected. Another was the characterisation of her creative impulses as evidence that she was an unnatural wife and mother who wanted to compete with her husband. Yet another was the manner in which her husband appropriated her work for his own uses. Cline discusses these and other aspects of Zelda’s life with insight and sensitivity.
According to the introduction, Cline had access to resources denied to previous biographers, including Zelda’s full medical records. She made excellent use of that material. The work is extensively footnoted and includes a lengthy bibliography. The medical information available to Cline includes the transcript of an interview between Zelda and Scott and her psychiatrist during which the pair trade recriminations and Zelda ultimately gives in to Scott’s demands. This is particularly poignant to read, as are the extracts from the couple’s letters.
Cline’s style is easy to read and engaging. She occasionally indulges in speculation of the “Zelda must have thought” variety, but not so often that the work loses credibility. And while Cline is firmly on the side of her subject, she’s not unfair to Scott Fitzgerald who, despite his frequently brutal treatment of Zelda, continued to support her financially and cared for her to the extent of his ability to do so.
Scott’s alcoholism and insecurity and Zelda’s mental illness and refusal to conform made their relationship toxic. Together they formed the ultimate tabloid celebrity couple – the rock stars of their day. But like many rock stars, they flew too close to the sun and it consumed them. Zelda’s story is extremely sad and Cline tells it very well.
The Great Gatsby - Author Biography - F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Take a look below for 30 more interesting and fun facts about F. Scott Fitzgerald. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also authored four collections of short stories, as well as short stories in magazines during his lifetime. He was born on September 24, , in St. Paul, Minnesota to Mollie and Edward Fitzgerald. His parents moved to Buffalo in and sent him to Catholic schools, but when his father lost his job in , his family moved back to Minnesota.
Printers Row Publishing Group. Scott Fitzgerald died at age Visit Studio Fun International Website. Scott Fitzgerald December 21, 75 years ago today, F. Fitzgerald became an overnight sensation in with This Side of Paradise, a huge hit novel about post World War I youth culture.
Carefully researched and a pleasure to read, historian David S. Scott Fitzgerald is a persuasive, original biography that will entice Fitzgerald fans and cultural historians alike. Brown shares a few little-known facts from the biography. Everyone knows F. Scott Fitzgerald.
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Printers Row Publishing Group. If you attended school in the U.
Paul, Minnesota , U. His private life, with his wife, Zelda , in both America and France, became almost as celebrated as his novels. Scott Fitzgerald was a 20th-century American short-story writer and novelist. Although he completed four novels and more than short stories in his lifetime, he is perhaps best remembered for his third novel, The Great Gatsby Scott Fitzgerald married Zelda Sayre on April 3, Scott and Zelda had a tumultuous relationship, characterized by excessive drinking, partying, and fighting.
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an author who achieved success by writing about American life in the s. Of all his talents, fighting was definitely not one of them. He rarely seemed to get involved in fights he had any prayer of winning, including one in the Jungle Club in Princeton while he was dating his wife-to-be Zelda. Fitzgerald decided to try and force his way inside but ended up getting tossed across a table instead. The next day, Fitzgerald was in bed with one eye swollen shut, and his head bandaged, with no memory of what had happened the night before. On December 21, , he had just finished eating a chocolate bar and reading the Princeton Alumni magazine when he got out of his chair, started struggling for breath and clutching his chest, and then dropped dead just like that.