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75 Cards in this Set

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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896
He was named after his cousin three times removed who wrote the National Anthem.
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.
Their family was Catholic.
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 Fitzgerald's father was dismissed in 1908, when his son was twelve, the family returned to St. Paul and lived comfortably on Mollie Fitzgerald’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.
On academic probation and unlikely to graduate, Fitzgerald joined the army in 1917 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the infantry
Convinced that he would die in the war, he rapidly wrote a novel, “The Romantic Egotist”; the letter of rejection from Charles Scribner’s Sons praised the novel’s originality and asked that it be resubmitted when revised.
In June 1918 Fitzgerald was assigned to Camp Sheridan, near Montgomery, Alabama. There he fell in love with a celebrated belle, eighteen-year-old Zelda Sayre, the youngest daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge.
The war ended just before he was to be sent overseas; after his discharge in 1919 he went to New York City to seek his fortune in order to marry. Unwilling to wait while Fitzgerald succeeded in the advertisement business and unwilling to live on his small salary, Zelda Sayre broke their engagement.
Fitzgerald quit his job in July 1919 and returned to St. Paul to rewrite his novel as This Side of Paradise. It was accepted by editor Maxwell Perkins of Scribners in September.
This Side of Paradise traces the career aspirations and love disappointments of Amory Blaine.
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.
The publication of This Side of Paradise on March 26, 1920, made the twenty-four-year-old Fitzgerald famous almost overnight, and a week later he married Zelda Sayre in New York.
They embarked on an extravagant life as young celebrities. Fitzgerald endeavored to earn a solid literary reputation, but his playboy image impeded the proper assessment of his work.
After a riotous summer in Westport, Connecticut, the Fitzgeralds took an apartment in New York City; there he wrote his second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, a naturalistic chronicle of the dissipation of Anthony and Gloria Patch.
When Zelda Fitzgerald became pregnant they took their first trip to Europe in 1921 and then settled in St. Paul for the birth of their only child, Frances Scott (Scottie) Fitzgerald, who was born in October 1921.
The Fitzgeralds expected to become affluent from his play, The Vegetable. In the fall of 1922 they moved to Great Neck, Long Island, in order to be near Broadway. The political satireòsubtitled “From President to Postman”òfailed at its tryout in November 1923, and Fitzgerald wrote his way out of debt with short stories.
The distractions of Great Neck and New York prevented Fitzgerald from making progress on his third novel. During this time his drinking increased. He was an alcoholic, but he wrote sober.
Zelda Fitzgerald regularly got “tight,” but she was not an alcoholic. There were frequent domestic rows, usually triggered by drinking bouts.
Literary opinion makers were reluctant to accord Fitzgerald full marks as a serious craftsman. His reputation as a drinker inspired the myth that he was an irresponsible writer; yet he was a painstaking reviser whose fiction went through layers of drafts.
Fitzgerald’s clear, lyrical, colorful, witty style evoked the emotions associated with time and place.
When critics objected to Fitzgerald’s concern with love and success, his response was: “But, my God! it was my material, and it was all I had to deal with.”
He wrote The Great Gatsby during the summer and fall in Valescure near St. Raphael, but the marriage was damaged by Zelda’s involvement with a French naval aviator. The extent of the affairòif it was in fact consummatedòis not known. On the Riviera the Fitzgeralds formed a close friendship with affluent and cultured American expatriates Gerald and Sara Murphy.
The Fitzgeralds spent the winter of 1924-1925 in Rome, where he revised The Great Gatsby; they were en route to Paris when the novel was published in April. The Great Gatsby marked a striking advance in Fitzgerald’s technique, utilizing a complex structure and a controlled narrative point of view. Fitzgerald’s achievement received critical praise, but sales of Gatsby were disappointing, though the stage and movie rights brought additional income.
In Paris Fitzgerald met Ernest Hemingwayòthen unknown outside the expatriate literary circleòwith whom he formed a friendship based largely on his admiration for Hemingway’s personality and genius.
. Fitzgerald made little progress on his fourth novel, a study of American expatriates in France provisionally titled “The Boy Who Killed His Mother,” “Our Type,” and “The World’s Fair.” During these years Zelda Fitzgerald’s unconventional behavior became increasingly eccentric.
The Fitzgeralds returned to America to escape the distractions of France. After a short, unsuccessful stint of screen writing in Hollywood, Fitzgerald rented “Ellerslie,” a mansion near Wilmington, Delaware, in the spring of 1927.
The Fitzgeralds returned to America in the fall of 1931 and rented a house in Montgomery.
Fitzgerald made a second unsuccessful trip to Hollywood in 1931.
Zelda Fitzgerald suffered a relapse in February 1932 and entered Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. She spent the rest of her life as a resident or outpatient of sanitariums.
In 1932, while a patient at Johns Hopkins, Zelda Fitzgerald rapidly wrote Save Me the Waltz. Her autobiographical novel generated considerable bitterness between the Fitzgeralds, for he regarded it as pre-empting the material that he was using in his novel-in-progress.
Fitzgerald rented “La Paix,” a house outside Baltimore, where he completed his fourth novel, Tender Is the Night. Published in 1934, his most ambitious novel was a commercial failure, and its merits were matters of critical dispute.
. Set in France during the 1920s, Tender Is the Night examines the deterioration of Dick Diver, a brilliant American psychiatrist, during the course of his marriage to a wealthy mental patient.
The 1936-1937 period is known as “the crack-up” from the title of an essay Fitzgerald wrote in 1936.
Ill, drunk, in debt, and unable to write commercial stories, he lived in hotels in the region near Asheville, North Carolina, where in 1936 Zelda Fitzgerald entered Highland Hospital.
After Baltimore Fitzgerald did not maintain a home for Scottie. When she was fourteen she went to boarding school, and the Obers became her surrogate family. Nonetheless, Fitzgerald functioned as a concerned father by mail, attempting to supervise Scottie’s education and to shape her social values.
Fitzgerald went to Hollywood alone in the summer of 1937 with a six-month Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer screenwriting contract at $1,000 a week. He received his only screen credit for adapting Three Comrades (1938), and his contract was renewed for a year at $1,250 a week.
The $91,000 he earned from MGM was a great deal of money during the late Depression years when a new Chevrolet coupe cost $619; but although Fitzgerald paid off most of his debts, he was unable to save.
In California Fitzgerald fell in love with movie columnist Sheilah Graham. Their relationship endured despite his benders.
After MGM dropped his option at the end of 1938, Fitzgerald worked as a freelance script writer and wrote short-short stories for Esquire. He began his Hollywood novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, in 1939 and had written more than half of a working draft when he died of a heart attack in Graham’s apartment on December 21, 1940.
Zelda Fitzgerald perished at a fire in Highland Hospital in 1948.
F. Scott Fitzgerald died believing himself a failure. The obituaries were condescending, and he seemed destined for literary obscurity.
F. Scott Fitzgerald is best known for his novels and short stories which chronicle the excesses of America's 'Jazz Age' during the 1920s.
In 1917 he was drafted into the army, but he never saw active service abroad. Instead, he spent much of his time writing and re-writing his first novel This Side of Paradise, which on its publication in 1920 became an instant success
Tender is the Night (1934), the story of Dick Diver and his schizophrenic wife Nicole, goes some way to show the pain that Fitzgerald felt. The book was not well received in America and he turned to script-writing in Hollywood for the final three years of his life.
Like the central character of The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald had an intensely romantic imagination; he once called it "a heightened sensitivity to the promises of life." The events of Fitzgerald's own life can be seen as a struggle to realize those promises.
Though he was able to return to university the following fall, Fitzgerald could not overcome the crushing humiliation he felt at the loss of all of his hard-won positions. In November 1917, he left Princeton in order to join the army.
Though today's readers will find its ideas dated and naive, This Side of Paradise came as a revelation to Fitzgerald's contemporaries. It was regarded as a privileged glimpse into the new morality ­ or the new immorality ­ of America's young, and it made its author famous.
This novel, entitled The Beautiful and Damned, was published two years later, and tells the story of a handsome young man and his beautiful wife, who gradually deteriorate into careworn middle age while they wait for the young man to inherit a large fortune. In a predictable ironic twist, the couple only receives their inheritance when there is nothing of them left worth preserving.
To escape this grim fate, the Fitzgeralds (together with their daughter, Frances, who was born in 1921) moved in 1924 to the Riviera, where they became part of a group of wealthy American expatriates whose style was largely determined by Gerald and Sara Murphy.
A year later, Fitzgerald published a collection of short stories entitled All the Sad Young Men. This book marks the end of the most productive period of Fitzgerald's life; the next decade was full of chaos and misery. Fitzgerald himself began to drink excessively, and Zelda began a slow descent into madness
In 1930 Zelda suffered her first mental breakdown; her second breakdown, from which she never fully recovered, came in 1932.
He did not finish his next novel, Tender Is the Night, until 1934
Tender is the Night is the story of a psychiatrist who marries one of his patients, who, as she slowly recovers, exhausts his vitality until he is "a man used up." This book, the last one that Fitzgerald ever completed, was considered technically faulty and was commercially unsuccessful; it has since gained a reputation, however, as Fitzgerald's most moving book.
Crushed by the failure of Tender is the Night and his despair over Zelda, Fitzgerald became an incurable alcoholic.
In 1937, however, he managed to acquire work as a scriptwriter in Hollywood. There, he met and fell in love with Sheilah Graham, a famous Hollywood gossip columnist. For the rest of his life, though he frequently had drunken spells in which he became bitter and violent, Fitzgerald lived quietly with her.
Occasionally he went east to visit Zelda or his daughter Frances, who entered Vassar College in 1938.
In October 1939 Fitzgerald began a novel about Hollywood entitled The Last Tycoon. The career of its hero, Monroe Stahr, is based on that of the renowned Hollywood producer Irving Thalberg.
On December 21, 1940, Fitzgerald suffered a fatal heart attack while his novel was still unfinished. Even in its half-completed state, The Last Tycoon is considered the equal of the rest of Fitzgerald's work "in the intensity with which it is imagined and in the brilliance of its expression."
F. Scott Fitzgerald's life is a tragic example of both sides of the American Dream - the joys of young love, wealth and success, and the tragedies associated with excess and failure.
The son of a failed wicker furniture salesman (Edward Fitzgerald) and an Irish immigrant with a large inheritance (Mary "Mollie" McQuillan), Fitzgerald grew up in a solidly Catholic and upper middle class environment.
At 21 years of age, he submitted his first novel for publication and Charles Scribner's Sons rejected it, but with words of encouragement. Beginning a pattern of constant revising that would characterize his writing style for the rest of his career, Fitzgerald decided to rewrite "The Romantic Egoist" and resubmit it for publication.
In between writing novels, Fitzgerald was quite prolific as a magazine story writer. The Saturday Evening Post in particular served as a showcase for his short works of fiction, most of which revolved around a new breed of American woman - the young, free-thinking, independent "flapper" of the Roaring Twenties.
The Fitzgeralds enjoyed fame and fortune, and his novels reflected their lifestyle, describing in semi-autobiographical fiction the privileged lives of wealthy, aspiring socialites. Fitzgerald wrote his second novel - "The Beautiful and the Damned" a year after they were married. Three years later, after the birth of their first and only child, Scottie, Fitzgerald completed his best-known work: "The Great Gatsby."
The extravagant living made possible by such success, however, took its toll. Constantly globe-trotting (living at various times in several different cities in Italy, France, Switzerland, and eight of the United States), the Fitzgeralds tried in vain to escape or at least seek respite from Scott's alcoholism and Zelda's mental illness.
Zelda's mental illness, the subject of Fitzgerald's fourth novel, "Tender is the Night," had a debilitating effect on Scott's writing. He described his own "crack-up" in an essay that he wrote in 1936, hopelessly in debt, unable to write, nearly estranged from his wife and daughter, and incapacitated by excessive drinking and poor physical health.
Things were looking up for Fitzgerald near the end of his life - he won a contract in 1937 to write for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Hollywood and fell in love with Sheilah Graham, a movie columnist. He had started writing again - scripts, short-stories, and the first draft of a new novel about Hollywood - when he suffered a heart attack and died in 1940 at the age of 44, a failure in his own mind.