Fitzgerald and Short Story Writing

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Fitzgerald and Short Story Writing

Although Fitzgerald today is usually considered a novelist, in his lifetime he was more well-known for his short stories. He was a prolific writer of short stories, and published around 160 of them (Bruccoli xiii). Many literary critics often separate “Fitzgerald the novel writer” from “Fitzgerald the short story writer”. In his own life, Fitzgerald felt somewhat of a disconnection between his ‘literary’ career as a novelist and his more professional career writing short stories. However, Fitzgerald’s short stories are very important to the study of his work. One can observe his development as a writer and see parallels between his stories and his novels.

Writing short stories was much more lucrative for Fitzgerald than writing novels, which only brought in a very meager income. For example, in 1929, 8 short stories earned him $30,000, while all profits in this year from his novels only earned him $31.77 (Bruccoli, xiv). Fitzgerald depended on the money he made from his stories to allow him time to work on his novels, and he greatly resented this. As Hemingway writes in A Moveable Feast, Fitzgerald told him in 1925 that writing short stories for popular magazines was “whoring but that he had to do it as he made his money from the magazines to have money ahead to write decent books” (qtd. in Mangum 57). Fitzgerald felt that writing for popular magazines discredited him as a real literary writer. He also felt that his short stories took time and energy away from his novels.

Many literary critics of his day did not feel that his short stories were quality writing. They criticized them for being too light in subject matter and for being on...

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...t is a useful resource

for locating the dates of publications of stories, as well as a resource for which stories are included

in the numerous compilations that have been published.

Mangum, B. “F. Scott Fitzgerald” Critical Survey of Short Fiction. Ed. Frank Magill. Salem: Salem

Press, Inc., 1982. Available online: <>.

This article provides brief synopses of Fitzgerald’s principal short stories, other literary forms, his influence, and the characteristics of his short stories. In addition, there is a thorough analysis of Fitzgerald’s short story writing career.

---. “The short stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald.” The Cambridge Companion to

F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ed. Ruth Prigozy. Cambridge: Cambridge University

Press, 2002. 57-78.
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