F. Scott Fitzgerald 1896 – 1940

6 Feb

F Scott Fitzgerald

You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

(OR as my mother used to say, if you don’t have anything nice to say then make something up and hope they can’t tell you’re lying)

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
was an American author and alcoholic. His wife was called Zelda (not to be mistaken for the princess conceived by Nintendo who gets kidnapped a lot and wears a cloak), and they named their only child Frances Scott Fitzgerald. If the first word that popped into your head was narcissism, then I am not alone in my judgement. Their only saving morsel was that they didn’t name her Frances Scott Junior (or JR if life without abbreviations leaves you cold and befuddled).

He wrote short stories for magazines as well as penning a few notable novels that include Tender is the Night and his most famous work The Great Gatsby, which has been made into a film 5 frickin times; 1926, 1949, 1974, 2000 and most recently in 2013. A Mr. Baz Luhrmann decided that it simply hadn’t been made enough times, and when you’ve run out of great ideas the 21st Century way is to steal someone else’s. I am not a fan of remakes because I don’t understand them. They’re copies. If I, being astoundingly multitalented, copied the Mona Lisa or Rolf Harris’ portrait of Bonnie Tyler, I would be a forger. And if I wrote a book about a tubby bear called Winnie who lives in a wood with a piglet, a donkey, a tiger and an owl, and is best friends with a boy called Chris, then you may call me a plagiarist. However, if you copy a film, giving it the Hollywood razzmatazz (I hate that word but it’s tossy enough for this occasion), then you’re a genius who deserves an Oscar and an Olympic sized swimming pool full of cash and exotic fruit whose names only the gods can pronounce.

Anyway, F was an alcoholic (which eventually killed him, quelle surprise) and his wife was bio-polar and spent her last days in a mental institution, where she died in a fire. And it is said that her spirit still haunts the car park that now stands in its place. The last bit was a lie but she did die in the fire, which is obviously tragic and not to be made light of. I understand and except my shame. F also had a mistress called Sheilah Graham who was a gossip columnist. Reap what you sow Sheilah with an h!

The facts you may need to know for a family board game and/or crossword:

  • Born 1896 in Saint Paul, Minnesota (known as the birthplace of the great F Scott Fitzgerald)
  • He wrote short stories and novels and that’s why he’s famous
  • Married Zelda Sayre in 1920 (who was also a writer)
  • He was mates with Earnest Hemingway (wasn’t everyone?)
  • He had a daughter called Frances Scott Fitzgerald (as ridiculed in above text)
  • Alcoholic
  • Died in 1940 of a heart attack (too much booze)

The Novels:

Sadly I couldn’t find an F Scott Fitzgerald fan-club, but I did stumble across The Great Gatsby Fanpop site. It’s so shocking I dare you to look. It has 204k likes on Facebook (seriously), 27% of fans have read The Great Gatsby more than 11 times (well good for you), and in the related clubs section it cites The Twilight Saga, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and William Shakespeare. I’m joining NOW.


Q. KEY, what kind of a name is that?

A. It’s not.

Next time we’ll find out if Roald Dahl preferred acid to magic mushrooms, and whether he though Willy Wonka was a danger to society or a misunderstood confectioner with a personality disorder and a velvet fetish.

9 Responses to “F. Scott Fitzgerald 1896 – 1940”

  1. adventureforwords February 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    I really loved reading this… Thank you so much for posting 🙂

    • ahundredauthors February 8, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

      Thank you, I’m glad you liked it 🙂

      • adventureforwords February 9, 2013 at 1:35 am #


  2. Jess February 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Great idea for a blog! Looking forward to more.

    • ahundredauthors February 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      Thank you, I’m glad you liked it. I hope you like the next one when it’s finished too 🙂

  3. postmoderndonkey February 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Loved your Gravatar. Bit of pee all right. As to above: I am not a fan of remakes because I don’t understand them. They’re copies. — English has a finite number of letters we scramble together and re-use as words over and again. Copies are intended to simply fool the viewer into believing she is looking at the original. Remakes are interpretations, a re-scrambling of the original through the skills and experience of the, in film’s case, director. Yes, Gatsby has never been interpreted on an artistic level equal to the written version ( and why do you denigrate a re-reading of great literature?), However the attempts are not only welcome, even as failed attempts, but necessary to keeping the window open to powerful interpretations such as The Godfather, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle, and the uncountable interpretations of Shakespearean plots so beautifully personalized as to be commonly mistaken for original concepts. On some level, you as a writer, and a good one standing like a member of the Black Panthers with your Nerf gun in your Gravatar, were most likely energized to write because you wanted seminally to write something like something you read using these same old words over and again in a re-interpretation of this same old universe and human existence that might arguably have been dissected ad nauseum already but not quite precisely because each of us, genetic copies though we may be, are subtly unique and worthy of barking our tails off even if it sounds like the dog down the block who was run over yesterday waiting now as a bloated mass in the turn lane for the county to clean up. .

    • ahundredauthors February 19, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      I’m glad you liked my Gravatar at least. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      • postmoderndonkey February 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

        I like more than your Gravatar. I like your courage to have an opinion and your energy to write about it and your love of communication to blog and your humanity to feel injustice in a reader’s comment. You be you and blog on.

  4. belljargirl April 6, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Five film versions does seem excessive, but Luhrmann’s is going to be incredible!!!!! 😉
    Thanks for following my blog, and for this post which I am counting as adequate Fitzgerald revision/research for my seminar on him on Monday 😛

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