One of America’s greatest storytellers, F. Scott Fitzgerald, was born 125 years ago on September 24th. Best known for his work, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald was quintessential to the development of American literature. His stories were known for their depictions of wealth and glamor—ideas that seemed unobtainable during the First World War and The Great Depression that followed. Although he lived a short life, Fitzgerald is considered one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Along with Gatsby, stories like This Side of Paradise and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are still incorporated into the literary canon in America.
However, many individuals don’t look at Fitzgerald’s work past their required readings in English class. To celebrate the famed author’s 125th birthday, let’s take a look at some of the other dazzling stories that have kept F. Scott Fitzgerald’s name alive for all these years.
To make sense of his wife’s deteriorating mental state, Fitzgerald finished his fourth and final novel almost a decade after he finished writing Gatsby. His usual glittering take on fortune takes a dark turn as the characters in this book struggle with mental health and alcoholism amidst the backdrop of the dazzling French coast. If you think the ending of Gatsby is sad, this book most definitely takes the title as Fitzgerald’s most raw and heart-wrenching piece of work.
Fitzgerald’s second novel becomes an instant sensation following off the back of his success with Paradise. While Tender tells the story of his and Zelda’s deteriorating relationship, many speculate that this novel tells the story of the couple’s beginnings. If you love Gatsby, you’re going to love its precursor that follows a similar story of Old Money, high society, and a love that was never meant to last in the real world. And how fitting that this book turns 100 next year as we currently find ourselves amid our own roaring 20s.
This collection of eleven short stories shows Fitzgerald’s diversity and breadth in his writing. Benjamin Button is often the most cited of this collection, but with ten more stories to choose from, there is something for every Fitzgerald fan. Stories are split into three sections: the flappers, the fantasies, and the masterpieces. Some of these stories were previously published in magazines and newspapers, while others were drafts of stories that Fitzgerald eventually made into one of his four novels. If you would like to read Fitzgerald’s stories unfiltered, this is the perfect collection for you.
This first draft of Gatsby is considered to be Fitzgerald’s finest piece of work. For a long time, the author did not see any value in his writing, except for this short story that eventually became his best-known novel. This particular story is based on his own unsuccessful experience pursuing socialite, Ginevra King. It’s the classic story of Old Money versus New Money as King rejected Fitzgerald due to his lack of financial stability. However, as Fitzgerald shows us, having all the money in the world can’t guarantee love.
Fitzgerald passed away from a heart attack before completing his fifth novel. His friend Edmund Wilson collected the incomplete manuscript and posthumously published this Hollywood tale in 1941. The novel tells the story of a young Cecelia Brady as she finds herself caught up in an earthquake, a love triangle, and a murder. What makes this story compelling is the way that Fitzgerald combines Cecelia’s first-person point of view with alternating chapters of the same incidence from the third point of view. Perhaps what stands out most about this novel is its glimpse into Fitzgerald’s final years as a writer in Hollywood.
In case you missed it, The Great Gatsby entered the public domain this year, opening up an entire array of future. adaptations and interpretations. You can read all about it here.
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