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Posts Tagged ‘Zelda Fitzgerald’

Zelda: A Worksheet

July 21, 2016 | by

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In our Fall 1983 issueThe Paris Review published twenty years’ worth of Zelda Fitzgerald’s letters to her husband, Scott. This selection comprises her correspondence between the spring of 1919 and Easter Sunday, 1920, the day Zelda and Scott married. Zelda Fitzgerald was born this month in 1900. Note: Zelda was known for her quirks in punctuation (she was a particularly fond of the em dash), and these are retained in the text. As in the original printing, asterisks denote substantial editorial deletions and ellipses are used to indicate minor omissions. Each letter is addressed to Scott Fitzgerald. —C.L.

Montgomery, 1919

Mrs. Francesca—who never heard of you—got a message from Ouija for me. Nobody’s hands were on it—but hers—and it told us to be married—that we were soul-mates. Theosophists think that two souls are incarnated together—not necessarily at the same time, but are mated—since the time when people were bisexual; so you see “soul-mate” isn’t exactly snappy-stylish; after all: I can’t get messages but it really worked for me last night—only it couldn’t say anything, but “dead,”—so, of course I got scared and quit. It’s really most remarkable, even if you do scoff. I wish you wouldn’t, it’s so easy, and believing is much more intelligent. Read More »

Favorite Recipes of Famous Women

February 17, 2016 | by

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The celebrity cookbook is a perennially popular genre, oscillating through the decades between self-indulgence and self-improvement. Well-known figures like Chrissy Teigen, the prolific Gwyneth Paltrow, and musician/chef Kelis will all guide you through their home cooking if you’ll let them. You can probably get better recipes from your grandmother, but privileged information from a big name—even just their kitchens—is a relatively dignified way to indulge celebrity worship. And stargazing would have been appealing to writer and Texas society-maven Florence Stratton when she compiled Favorite Recipes of Famous Women, published by Harper & Brothers in 1925.

Years ago, I came across this title by way of one single recipe—an anecdotal, two paragraph wonder by Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald, described by Stratton as “wife of author of ‘The Beautiful and Damned,’ ‘The Jazz Age,’ etc.” It was an entry called “Breakfast.” Read More »

Distinctly Emasculated

April 24, 2015 | by

Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and sexual anxiety.

Hemingway in Paris, 1924.

History tends to compare Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald—and why not? As contemporaries and rivals, the two make natural foils for each other. Hemingway, we’re told, epitomizes a certain archetypal masculinity; he presented himself as a hunter, a boxer, a war veteran, and a ladies’ man; accordingly, he wrote in a spare, economical style, mostly about war, solitude, and adventure. Fitzgerald, on the other hand, we know as a social striver, someone who prided himself on his budding elitism and his (incomplete) Princeton education, who was known to have his pocket square and his hair-part always just right. He wrote about socioeconomic status in prose that was, at least next to Hemingway’s, often lyrical and adorned, and most would readily agree that he’s the more effeminate of the two. But the sexual identities of these men, formed by their peculiar childhoods and the Lost Generation artists they surrounded themselves with, weren’t as self-evident as many modern readers might think.

There’s a classic story of the homosexual tensions bubbling just beneath the surface between Hemingway and Fitzgerald. It takes place in the men’s room at Michaud’s, at the time an upscale brasserie in Paris. As Hemingway claims in A Moveable Feast—and claims is just the word, because his own sexual insecurities tended to manifest in an unfair emasculation of Fitzgerald—Fitzgerald told him: Read More »

The Mall Is Dead, Long Live the Mall, and Other News

April 4, 2014 | by

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Photo: Facebook, UrbanExplorationUS, via architecturalafterlife.com

 

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Paradise Found

September 16, 2013 | by

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On this day in 1919, Maxwell Perkins accepted twenty-two-year-old F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise for publication. The novel had started as a shorter piece called The Education of a Personage; following a breakup with future wife Zelda Sayre, Fitzgerald became determined to achieve success and overhauled, expanded, and retitled the book (this time after a Rupert Brooke poem) while living with his parents in St. Paul. Published in March, 1920, This Side of Paradise was an instant bestseller. Scott and Zelda were married a week later.

Scottie Fitzgerald Lanahan donated the This Side of Paradise manuscript to the Princeton University Library in 1950; the library recently digitized the whole thing.

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On the Occasion of Zelda Fitzgerald’s Birthday

July 24, 2013 | by

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F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald on the Riviera in 1926. In a letter from that year, Fitzgerald wrote, 

There was no one at Antibes this summer, except me, Zelda, the Valentinos, the Murphys, Mistinguet, Rex Ingram, Dos Passos, Alice Terry, the MacLeishes, Charlie Brackett, Mause Kahn, Lester Murphy, Marguerite Namara, E. Oppenheimer, Mannes the violinist, Floyd Dell, Max and Crystal Eastman … Just the right place to rough it, an escape from the world.

This image appeared in “Zelda, a Worksheet,” in issue 89.

 

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