Posts Tagged ‘Fitzgerald’
n. the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all, about the world or the past or the complexities of culture, because although your life is an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one, and may end up being the control for a much wilder experiment happening in the next room.
Just one of the sadnesses catalogued in “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows“…
… a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig [c.f., here]. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for…
* Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
As we bury our heads in our hands, we might recall that it was on this date in 1920 that Zelda Sayre and F. Scott Fitzgerald were married in the Rectory of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. They adjourned with friends to the Biltmore Hotel, where they intended to honeymoon, but were thrown out that night for rowdiness. (Undeterred, they moved two blocks down 42nd Street to the Commodore Hotel… from which they were ejected, again for rowdiness, a few days later, at which point, they took the party to Westport for the summer.)
[TotH to GeekTyrant]
As we confuse our genres and mix our media, we might recall that it was on this date in 1920 that This Side of Paradise was published. Francis Scott Fitzgerald had written a first draft off the novel while stationed in Alabama during World War I; then titled “The Romantic Egotist,” it was rejected. Fitzgerald re-wrote the novel, re-titled it, and got a friend to get it to Maxwell Perkins at Scribners, who took it on and oversaw its polish and publication.
Set in Princeton, This Side of Paradise was the most influential “college novel” of its age, and introduced a new set of perspectives and values that came to characterize a cohort of intra-war writers. Critical reception was ecstatic; sales were strong– and Fitzgerald found instant fame and riches.
Still, the reception of his work wasn’t universally positive: John Grier Hibben, the President of Princeton, lamented “I cannot bear to think that our young men are merely living four years in a country club and spending their lives wholly in a spirit of calculation and snobbishness.”
Best reason to go adventuring in Wonderland:
Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood; and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago; and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.
– the last line of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
19 other conclusive gems at Flavorwire’s “Famous Last Words: Our 20 Favorite Final Lines in Literature.”
And for a complementary collection of such wonders as…
Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
—the opening line of Gabriel García Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)
…visit the American Book Review’s “100 Best First Lines from Novels.”
As we reach for our library cards, we might recall that it was on this date in 1910 that Alice B. Toklas moved in permanently with Gertrude Stein. The two women turned their Paris home (22 rue de Fleurus) into an artistic and literary salon, where they hosted Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and many others– several of whom appear, with Ms. Stein herself, in the lists above.
Cecil Beaton’s photo of Stein and Toklas at home (source)