F. Scott Fitzgerald
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“Morality, like art, means standing in a line someplace. ”
“I like standing in lines, but who am I to say, I killed a woman. ”
F. Scott Fitzgerald (September 24 1896 - December 21 1940) was an Irish American, novelist, author, screenwriter, and husband of Zelda Sayre. Regarded as one of the greatest American writers of all time, Fitzgerald achieved little success and acclaim until after his death. He was the self-styled spokesman of the "Lost Generation", Americans born in the 1890s, who came of age during battles late in World War I, and were generally intoxicated at all times. Fitzgerald wrote many for novels and short stories about the decadence of the 1920s and the death of the American Dream. Today, he is best remembered for being a failed womanizer.
Early years and education
In his younger and more vulnerable years, Francis was advised by his father, a Catholic to never judge anyone and be a nice guy. This advice eventually proved to be paramount to the formation of Fitzgerald's psyche and his inability to properly approach women. Fitzgerald's first childhood crush was to a young girl named Jordan Ford; however he never approached her for more than small talk. Fitzgerald would later recount to a journalist: "I never had the rarely obtainable, ephemeral entity of describing bravery without alcohol that is called 'guts' to approach her". Jordan Baker eventually dated who Fitzgerald enviously believed to be a douchebag whom was wealthier than he. This experience would eventually be reflected in a plethora of his novels, especially The Great Gatsby.
Fitzgerald attended prep school, then Princeton University, where he was a mediocre student academically. While at Princeton, he became infatuated with Daisy Wheeler, a woman he described to Hemingway as being "more beautiful than the shimmering green lights that dazed me in New York, and endowed with fine, small breasts that overthrew my composure and sanity at every corner". He befriended her with the hopes that their friendship would eventually lead into a romantic relationship. However, when he asked Wheeler out on a date, she rejected him, stating that she only "liked him as a friend". Crushed, he blamed his lack of wealth and modesty, and dropped out of Princeton, stating that he "could never learn how to stand in line", and joined the Army to fight in WWI, perhaps out of desperation that Wheeler would change her mind about him after all.
World War II
While in Europe, Fitzgerald met his first wife, coincidentally and conveniently named Daisy Emerald, a Value-Added-Nurse serving in France in the winter of 1917. They married while Fitzgerald was supposed to be on the front, drank their way through Parisian cafes, and attempted to return to the United States on the Dan Cody, a troop ship, with Fitzgerald smuggling Daisy Emerald aboard in his foot locker. Unfortunately, Fitzgerald was demoted for missing a movement immediately before boarding the ship, but missed the demotion, as it would have required him to stand in line. Furthermore, Fitzgerald did not realize that his footlocker would travel with a thousand others in the cargo hold, and as a result, Daisy nearly starved to death until Tom Sawyer, then a lieutenant in the army, discovered and rescued her. Fitzgerald later walked in on Emerald and Sawyer engaging in intercourse in his bunk, and consequently sank into shock and depression. Sawyer subsequently escaped from the Dan Cody with Daisy Emerald on a raft they built out of egg-shells. It is believed that Fitzgerald never recovered from the incident, and it permanently destroyed any potential of him standing in line. Fitzgerald recounted the story to Ernest Hemingway, and it eventually became the primary source of inspiration for A Farewell to Arms.
An anonymous sailor, working with Tom Sawyer, framed Fitzgerald for 'murdering' Sawyer and Emerald. As a result, Fitzgerald was forced to serve some time in the stockade in Alabama for Sawyer's homicide. Meanwhile, his father was fired from his job, and his mother's assets took some time to liquefy. They died while he was still in prison. However, Fitzgerald's mourning was interrupted by Fitzgerald meeting Zelda Sayre, a cafeteria server at the stockade, who admired, accepted, and fostered his unwillingness to stand in line and beta male personality. The two married as soon as Fitzgerald sold his first novel, The Front of the Line.
Fitzgerald and Sayre moved to New York City in 1919. While there, Fitzgerald enjoyed the company of Irish mobsters and wrote a series of short stories about being married to a crazy woman. A local truck driver and filling station owner, Dick McLeod, fell in lust with the heroine of these stories after reading a dozen of them, and believing that the fictional woman was based on Zelda Sayre, he kidnapped her to be his wife. As Fitzgerald had inherited very little money from his parents upon their death, Zelda decided to stay with the truck driver, living in the snug little apartment above the filling station and watching the grand automobiles of the rich and famous drive by the road, occasionally hitting and killing pedestrians. Once again crushed by the vicissitudes of life, Fitzgerald contemplated suicide, but was talked out of it by Ezra Pound, an acquaintance he met at Princeton. Fitzgerald was convinced to attempt to "get her back", but knew that it required a complete recreation of his character. As such, he read a self-help book a week, stopped drinking, and exercised in the gym daily. In addition to the self-improvement, he asked to be mentored by Hemingway, which he gladly accepted. By the end of 1921, Fitzgerald believed that he was no longer a beta male and -- ironically -- waited for an opportunity to make his approach to Zelda Sayre.
As Fitzgerald had hoped, an opportunity did arise on March 14, 1922. Because requesting a stoplight outside Dick and Zelda McLeod's apartment required the latter to stand in line, neither bothered to bring the excessive speed of passing vehicles to the attention of authorities, Dick was killed by a cream-coloured automobile driven by Daisy Emerald (Fitzgerald's first wife). When Fitzgerald heard the news he rushed to Zelda's side, hoping that she would accept him with open arms. However, a strange boy dressed in green attire who called himself Link appeared, called Fitzgerald a rapist, and stabbed him. Zelda Sayre genuinely believed Link's accusations and fell in love with him. The two subsequently left Fitzgerald for dead.
An almost dead Fitzgerald was found by Ernest Hemingway several days later, and he nursed him back to health.
After his recovery, Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, loosely based on his life and marriage with Zelda Sayre, which is considered to be his magnum opus.
Illness and death
Fitzgerald returned to being an alcoholic after his divorce with Zelda Sayre and developed tuberculosis following the publication of The Great Gatsby. He wrote more novels following the same themes as The Great Gatsby, such as Tender is the Night, Tender is the Light, Tender is the Right, Tender is the Might, Tender is the Blight, Tender is the Height, Tender is the Sight, Tender is the Fight, Tender is the Bite, and Tender is the Quite among others. However, none of the Tender's ever reached the same acclaim as The Great Gatsby. Disappointed, he fell into insanity (perhaps further aggravated by his alcoholicism) and was placed into a sanitorium in 1939. By then, he had inexplicably degenerated into an unidentifiable species of fowl. Fitzgerald died penniless, alone, and no longer human on December 21, 1940, the same day his friend Ernest Hemingway ascended into godhood. These events later became the inspiration for time-traveler Franz Kafka's novella, The Metamorphosis.
After his death, journalists immediately began romanticizing Fitzgerald's life. As a direct result, his works achieved critical acclaim as they were re-read and seen as prophetic for the Lost Generation, capturing the zeitgeist of decadence, partying, and infidelity. The city of New York buried him under a statue of him overlooking Long Island Sound with a bouquet of flowers in his hands. The statue was commonly visited by hipsters and literature enthusiasts, whom often placed daisies on his grave frequently up until 1971, when the statue was mysteriously demolished by a green light.
- The Front of the Line (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1920)
- This Side of a Pair of Dice (New York: Scribbler's Drunk Gambler Press: 1920)
- The Beautiful Dimwits (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1921)
- The Great Gatsby (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1922)
- Tender is the Night (New York Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1923)
- Tender is the Light (New York Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1923)
- Tender is the Right (New York Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1923)
- Tender is the Might (New York Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1923)
- Tender is the Blight (New York Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1923)
- Tender is the Height (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1923)
- Tender is the Sight (New York Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1923)
- Tender is the Fight (New York Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1923)
- Tender is the Bite (New York Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1923)
- Tender is the Quite (New York Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1923)
- Tender is the Bright Night Light (New York: Scribbler's Dresser Press: 1924)
- Tender is the Slight Night Light (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1924)
- Tender is the Bright Green Light (New York: Scribbler's Egotism Press: 1924)
- Tender is the Night Light (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1924)
- Tender is the Kite, When Properly Marinated (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1924)
- Tender is the Flight at Night , When Not Bright (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1924)
- Tender is the Sight of Your True Love's Mummified Dead Body (New York: Scribbler's Footlocker Press: 1925)
- Tender is the White Light Upon Death (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1926)
- Tender is the Mighty Sword, When It Is Sharp (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1927)
- Tender is the Right, When In the Majority (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1930)
- Tender is the Fright on Halloween Night (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1934)
- Tender is the Tights, When the Ballet Dancer Leaps (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1937)
- Tender is the Mennonites, Otherwise Known as the Amish (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 1938)
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (New York: Scribbler's Vanity Press: 2008)
- "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and understand this sentence."
- "The world, as a rule, does not live on beaches and in country clubs, only the beautiful and the lucky do."
- "It takes a genius to whine appealingly."
- "Never confuse a single defeat with a second girl or a third drink or vice-versa."
- "Nothing is as obnoxious as other people."
- "Show me a hero and I'll write you a boring story."
- "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the womb."
- "A big man has no time really to do anything but just sit and drink."
- "First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you out looking for girls, then you lose her to some douchebag."
- "Forgotten is forgotten. Wait, what was I just saying?"
- "It was, as probably most would describe, very amiable, with the kind of glittering charm that made hearts skip like how records do. It was my beautiful feces."
- "Holy chickenshit, you have a kid!"
- "Hemingway, I think I'm gay. For you."