F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • Full name: Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
  • Born: September 24, 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Died: December 21, 1940 in Hollywood, California
  • famous for his depictions of the Jazz Age (the Roaring Twenties)
  • he had intensely romantic imagination (‘a heightened sensitivity to the promises of life’) and he was determined to realize those promises
  • he joined the army in 1917 and met Zelda Sayre, the daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge
    • they fell in love and Fitzgerald headed for NY to achieve instant success so he could marry Zelda
  • his first novel This Side of Paradise made him famous
    • this prosperity enabled him and Zelda to play the roles of the prince and the princess of their generation
    • they loved these roles but they were also scared of them, as depicted in his second novel The Beautiful and Damned
  • to escape the life that they feared, they moved to the Riviera and became a part of a group of American expatriates Fitzgerald described this society in his last completed novel Tender is the Night
  • after their arrival in France, Fitzgerald completed his most brilliant novel The Great Gatsby (1925)
    • it’s the most profoundly American novel of its time with Jay Gatsby as the naive Midwestener afire with the possibilities of the ‘American Dream‘ and with Nick Carraway as the narrator and the compassionate Yale gentleman
    • Fitzgerald connects Gatby’s dream (his Platonic conception with himself) with the dream of the discoverers of America
  • in the next decade, Fitzgerald began to drink too much and Zelda suffered from mental breakdowns
  • in 1937, he became a scriptwriter in Hollywood and there he fell in love with Sheilah Graham and lived quietly with her for the rest of his life
  • in 1939, he began the novel The Last Tycoon which was his final attempt at creating his dream of the promises of American life and of the kind of man who could realize them
  • he died of a heart attack with the novel only half-finished


  • This Side of Paradise
  • The Beautiful and Damned
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Tender is the Night
  • The Last Tycoon

Short stories

  • Flappers and Philosophers
  • Tales of the Jazz Age
  • All the Sad Young Men
  • Taps at Reveille


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