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A brief life of F Scott Fitzgerald: 1896-1940

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A brief life of F Scott Fitzgerald: 1896-1940 by Cristina Nuta -

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896, the namesake and second cousin three times removed of the author of the National Anthem. Fitzgerald's given names indicate his parents' pride in his father's ancestry. His father, Edward, was from Maryland, with an allegiance to the Old South and its values. Fitzgerald's mother, Mary (Mollie) McQuillan, was the daughter of an Irish immigrant who became wealthy as a wholesale grocer in St. Paul. Both were Catholics.

Edward Fitzgerald failed as a manufacturer of wicker furniture in St. Paul, and he became a salesman for Procter & Gamble in upstate New York. After he was dismissed in 1908, when his son was twelve, the family returned to St. Paul and lived comfortably on Mollie Fitzg erald's inheritance. Fitzgerald attended the St. Paul Academy; his first writing to appear in print was a detective story in the school newspaper when he was thirteen.

During 1911-1913 he attended the Newman School, a Catholic prep school in New Jersey, where he met Father Sigourney Fay, who encouraged his ambitions for personal distinction and achievement. As a member of the Princeton Class of 1917, Fitzgerald neglected his studies for his literary apprenticeship. He wrote the scripts and lyrics for the Princeton Triangle Club musicals and was a contributor to the Princeton Tiger humor magazine and the Nassau Literary Magazine. In July 1919 he returned to St. Paul to rewrite his novel as This Side of Paradise. It was accepted by the editor Maxwell Perkins of Scribners in September. Set mainly at Princeton and described by its author as "a quest novel," This Side of Paradise traces the career aspirations and love disappointments of Amory Blaine.

In the fall-winter of 1919 Fitzgerald commenced his career as a writer of stories for the mass-circulation magazines. Working through agent Harold Ober, Fitzgerald interrupted work on his novels to write moneymaking popular fiction for the rest of his life. The Saturday Evening Post became Fitzgerald's best story market, and he was regarded as a "Post writer." His early commercial stories about young love introduced a fresh character: the independent, determined young American woman who appeared in "The Offshore Pirate" and "Bernice Bobs Her Hair." Fitzgerald's more ambitious stories, such as "May Day" and "The Diamond as big as the Ritz," were published in The Smart Set, which had a small circulation.

In New York City he wrote his second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, a naturalistic chronicle of the dissipation of Anthony and Gloria Patch. Seeking tranquility for his work Fitzgerald went to France in the spring of 1924, where he wrote The Great Gatsby during the summer.

He returned to America to escape the distractions of France. After a short, unsuccessful stint of screen writing in Hollywood, Fitzgerald rented a mansion near Wilmington, Delaware, in the spring of 1927, where he remained for two years interrupted by a visit to Paris in the summer of 1928, but Fitzgerald was still unable to make significant progress on his novel. Fitzgerald went to Hollywood in the summer of 1937 where he received his only screen credit for adapting Three Comrades (19380).

F. Scott Fitzgerald died believing himself a failure. The obituaries were condescending, and he seemed destined for literary obscurity. The first phase of the Fitzgerald resurrection "revival" does not properly describe the process occurred between 1945 and 1950. By 1960 he had achieved a secure place among America's enduring writers. The Great Gatsby, a work that seriously examines the theme of aspiration in an American setting, defines the classic American novel.
A brief life of Fitzgerald: 1896-1940 written by Cristina Nuta for FamousWhy.com
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Tags: brief, life, scott fitzgerald, minnesota, author, national anthem



Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 06 February '09


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