Between June 1930 and August 1931, after a series of mental health episodes had whittled away at her career, her marriage, and her overall well-being, Zelda Fitzgerald was a patient at Les Rives de Prangins, a clinic in Nyon, Switzerland, where she wasn’t allowed visitors until her treatment had been established. The experience, as one could imagine, was tremendously isolating: once at the center of a lively and glamorous scene, she now found herself utterly alone with her thoughts. Her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, sent short notes and flowers every other day. She wrote long letters in reply, tracing the contours of her mind, expressing both love for and frustration with Scott, and detailing, in luscious, iridescent prose, the nonevents of her days. Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda collects more than three hundred of the couple’s letters to each other. Three of Zelda’s letters from Les Rives de Prangins—carefully transcribed with an eye for accuracy, misspellings and all—appear below.
Zelda Fitzgerald. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
Dearest, my Darling—
Living is cold and technical without you, a death mask of itself.
At seven o:clock I had a bath but you were not in the next room to make it a baptisme of all I was thinking.
At eight o:clock I went to gymnastics but you were not there to turn moving into a harvesting of breezes.
At nine o:clock I went to the tissage and an old man in a white stock [smock?] chanted incantations but you were not there to make his imploring voice seem religious.
At noon I played bridge and watched Dr. Forels profile dissecting the sky, contre jour— Read More