I made a comment on this blog about how I love Fitzgerald but I’m not crazy about The Great Gatsby, so I thought I ought to clarify this slightly. Because you know, loving an author but not his works is a bit odd… I just want to say something. I LOVE, that’s love in capitals, F Scott Fitzgerald. This love is for a number of reasons, but not all of them are to do with his books particularly. I own a big Fitzgerald anthology of all his short stories as well as Flappers and Philosophers, The Beautiful and the Damned, Tender is the Night and of course, The Great Gatsby. All of which I enjoy in varying degrees, but there is more to love about the man than his writing.
- His name.
I mean, sound it out, F Scott Fitzgerald. It flows wonderfully, it has the right amount of syllables, it’s a good strong name. I have always wanted to be in a band called the F Scott Fitzgeralds, mostly because I think it’s a great name but also because I really want to record an album called Drop It Like Its F Scott. My complete lack of musical ineptitude kind of shot that one in the foot, but it’s why in my own novel (which I feel like a douche for plugging right now) I have the character of Blaine being a massive Fitzgerald fan and have her actually form a band called the F Scott Fitzgerald. Because why not live vicariously through fictional characters, eh?
- His relationship with Zelda.
I know, this seems like a really weird reason to like an author – his marriage, but Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald had a really wildly reported tempestuous relationship that was passionate and firey, full of jealousy and infidelity it was the kind of love that I always read about but never actually witness between two people. It was a love that was just too passionate, it was all consuming and they couldn’t contain it which is part of the reason why I love it so much. Even though they eventually separated, they were never really apart, towards the end of their lives, Zelda was in a hospital and he was a raging alcoholic and yet they continued to write the most beautiful letters to each other. There is a book available called Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda which contains several of these letters. My absolute favourite of these letters ends with this: “We ruined ourselves, I honestly never thought we ruined each other.” I actually referenced that quote in TSFM when talking about my characters break up.
- His quotability.
Most of my favourite quotes of all time are said by Fitzgerald. I publish them on here all the time so there isn’t much point in me reiterating them, but it is one of my reasons for loving him, that his words are filled with wisdom, wit and imagery that completely relates to whatever situation I am in and it’s magical to think that I wasn’t the only person to have ever felt that way.
- The fact that he and Zelda were socialites.
It seems weird to think of writers being celebrities in the sense that they were truly celebrated, but they were, the Fitzgeralds were at every party that was worth going to, if you wanted to be the talk of the town, you hung out with the Fitzgeralds. This fascinates me, these days you don’t hear of writers being the socialites that they were back then. I mean, I’m sure J K Rowling can party with the best of them, but the Fitzgeralds were the people that would be pictured in The Sun falling out of a club at stupid o clock in the morning and I love that about them.
- That he was played by Tom Hiddleston in Midnight in Paris.
I have a great love for Tom Hiddleston also… Which I think is mostly Loki based. Because I love him too….But I think I better leave that to Tumblr
- Also, this is a thing:
Come on. How can you not love Fitzgerald and Hemingway after that?! Also because apparently, according to this post, they also went to an art museum, to further compare penis sizes.
The main number one reason that I love Fitzgerald is because of this, first, let me tell you a little story. Like Pudge from John Green’s novel Looking for Alaska, I have a fondness for last words, and as such I have a book full of them. The page dedicated to Fitzgerald doesn’t contain his last words, rather the last lines of The Great Gatsby, however, it does say this:
“… When Fitzgerald died fifteen years later there were still unsold copies… The novel was never out of print, it had simply stopped selling… F Scott Fitzgerald died believing himself a failure… The obituaries were condescending and he seemed destined for literary obscurity.”
Can you believe that?
F Scott Fitzgerald. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald died believing himself a failure.
That just completely breaks my heart and that is the reason why I love Fitzgerald so much, because he may have died believing that but he was anything but. The Great Gatsby is said to completely define twenties America. The Jazz age is never talked of without mentioning the Fitzgeralds, he may have had novels that stopped selling, but now, it’s cool to be a Fitzgerald fan. His book covers grace t shirts, things that he said get blogged about every day by people like me, they made one of his short stories into the worlds longest film starring Brad Pitt. Brad actual Pitt was in a Fitzgerald film. They made him into a film character, The Great Gatsby is due for release once again this time a really big budget affair directed by Bazz Luhrman.
In fact, here is that trailer:
I’m not really sure what F Scott would think of this take on his book, I’m not really sure what I think about it yet, but the point is, it was made, people cared enough to make it.
I guess, its wrong to say I love Fitzgerald because he had such a sad outlook on his life when he died, it devastates me to think that because I love him so much, I guess I just find that to be a reason to love him, to not make his life seem so worthless to himself.
The main point that I really want to make with this is that hindsight is a wonderful thing, and if F Scott Fitzgerald could look into the future and see all the things that his work has achieved he would realise how much he actually succeeded. And that’s the thing, no one should die feeling that they are a failure. No one should live thinking that either. The thing is, you survive every single day, you survive heart aches and low wages and mental weather, that in itself is a massive achievement. So, you didn’t get the grade you wanted in maths, you still succeeded in knowing that maths isn’t your strong suit.
No one is a failure.
F Scott certainly not.