Evidence of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Personal Literary Conflict

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Evidence of Fitzgerald’s Personal Literary Conflict Tales of the Jazz Age was published on September 22, 1922, not six months after The Beautiful and Damned. It is a collection of eleven short stories which range from the well-recognized flapper theme in “The Camel’s Back” to a more modern naturalist tone in “May Day” to an even darker display in “The Jelly-Bean.” Fitzgerald was enthusiastic about the assortment of stories and thought it would be more successful than his previous short story collection, Flappers and Philosophers. Unfortunately, it suffered much the same fate. Critique of the collection was mixed as reviewers and the general public were divided over the differing styles. Many critics enjoyed his more traditional stories and thought Tales of the Jazz Age was simply “another splendid book” [1] while some thought it to be suffering “badly from the inclusion of some earlier writing” which distracted the reader from his more serious works.[2] The inherently contradictory tones within Tales of the Jazz Age are evidence of a transition period in Fitzgerald’s life. In 1921, Fitzgerald moved from his home in Connecticut to St. Paul with Zelda and his new daughter, not one year old, Scottie. Although his personal life seemed to be progressing, his professional life was shifting directions. While Fitzgerald focused on writing The Beautiful and Damned, during which time he also worked on the short stories, he entered a dark period “working under the spell of “the meaningless of life” philosophy that was for the most of 1920 and 1921 the guiding light of his stories.”[3] Fitzgerald became briefly interested in the naturalist philosophy, especially of Norris and Dreiser, which rejected realism ... ... middle of paper ... ...es of the Jazz Age, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (www.ibiblio.org/gutenberg/etext04/8tjzz10u.txt) [7] Bruccoli, Matthew J. Ed., Correspondence of F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Random House, 1980. p. 102. [8] Ibid, p.111. [9] Ibid, p.112. [10] Ibid, p. 401. [11] Bruccoli, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur. p.168. [12] Kuehl, John. Dear Scott/Dear Max: The Fitzgerald-Perkins Correspondence. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971. p.271 n22. [13] Prigozy, p. 58. [14] Ebel, p. 54. [15] Ibid, p. 156. [16] Mangum, p.45. [17] Bryer, p. 6. [18] Bruccoli, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur. p.169. [19] Bruccoli, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur. p.169. [20] Prigozy, p.67. [21] Bruccoli, Matthew. Ed. F. Scott Fitzgerald: In His Own Time: A Miscellany. US: Kent State Press, 1972. p. 340. [22] Mangum, p. 45. [23] Bryer., p.232. [24] Bryer, p. 148.

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