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 Facts
He was named after a famous ancestor. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul Minnesota on September 24, The two were only distantly related—Key was a second cousin three times removed—but Fitzgerald was known to play up the family connection. He was a poor student and an atrocious speller.
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.
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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. His second novel, The Great Gatsby, is widely regarded as one of the finest novels ever written, but at the time of its release in , it was a middlingly-reviewed flop. His entire output: five novels and short stories.
Topics: Legendary Authors , American Literature. Chief expositor of the "Jazz Age," F. No other literary figure proffers the pictures of that generation like Fitzgerald does through his four novels and numerous short stories. Born in , the experience of his characters in the first few decades of the twentieth century is largely contemporaneous with his own. Even outside of This Side of Paradise , explicitly described by the author as semi-autobiographical, rarely can we find a story of Fitzgerald's not permeated with similar autobiography: in fact, we often times see very obvious correlations between Fitzgerald's character's lives and his own. Here are five interesting facts about F.