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The Romantic Egoists: A Pictorial Autobiography from the Scrapbooks and Albums of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Paperback – November, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Pr (November 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570035296
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570035296
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A most interesting and fascinating book." -- Library Journal

"The book is irresistible, a narrative with a strange eloquence . . ." -- New York Times Book Review

"The title says it all, yet for lovers of The Great Gatsby, this is the ultimate book." -- Los Angeles Times

About the Author

MATTHEW J. BRUCCOLI, the Emily Brown Jefferies Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, is the leading authority on the House of Scribner and its authors. He is the author of Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the editorial director of the Dictionary of Literary Biography. He lives in Columbia.

SCOTTIE FITZGERALD SMITH (1921–1986) was the only child of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. She worked on the staffs of Time and the New Yorker and wrote for the New York Times and the Washington Post. Smith considered The Romantic Egoists her ultimate tribute to her parents.

The late JOAN P. KERR (1921–1996), a founding editor of American Heritage magazine, was a specialist in American art and photography.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Fitzgerald Fan VINE VOICE on May 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, this book is an absolute must-have! While I own just about everything that is written by or about Fitzgerald, this is perhaps my favorite book to peruse. It is compiled just like a personal scrapbook and is replete with photos of the Fitzgeralds as well as articles (by and about Fitzgerald)written in the 20s and 30s. Much of this content you will not find elsewhere, at least not in such abundance. Bruccoli, America's leading Fitzgerald scholar (as well as Fitz's own daughter, Scotty) did a spectacular job of putting this together. The scrapbook format gives the book an intimate nature and the set up is extremely attractive. Best of all, at just around $20, it is an absolute steal for the price! If you love Fitzgerald, don't go without this collection! It would make a splendid addition to any high school classroom that teaches Fitzgerald or any personal library that celebrates true literary classics.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Peterson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Romantic Egoist" was a provisional title for F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, ultimately published as "This Side of Paradise". For this book an "s" was appended, thereby adding Zelda to Scott and making a very apt title for this collection of photographs, letters, newspaper notices, book reviews, and ephemera from the lives of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the First Couple of the Jazz Age/Roaring Twenties. Most of the contents of THE ROMANTIC EGOISTS come from seven scrapbooks and five photograph albums of the Fitzgerald family. They are arranged chronologically, from the "Welcome, Little Stranger" page of Scott's baby book (1896) to a newspaper article announcing Zelda's death in a hospital fire (1948).

The Fitzgeralds' daughter, Scottie, had a major role in the compilation and preparation of this book, which originally was published in 1974. It was re-issued in this paperback edition in 2003.

For those who already are familiar with the lives of Scott and Zelda and their place in American cultural history, this is an interesting, perhaps even fascinating, book. But it does not make for a particularly good introduction to the Fitzgeralds. (For that, I recommend "Scott Fitzgerald", by Andrew Turnbull.) Like most family scrapbooks or photo albums (have they now gone the way of the rotary dial telephone?), it is a hodgepodge, with only a faint narrative story-line. Moreover, the layout is too chaotic and the quality of many of the reproductions ranges from middling to poor.

But, again, there is plenty to attract and reward the attention of the Fitzgerald enthusiast.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Christopher D. Bevard on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
My girlfriend, a fellow Fitz enthusiast, bought me this for my birthday and it ranks among the best gifts I've ever received. This is an amazing and exhaustively comprehensive scrapbook of the lives of the Fitzgeralds. If you're a fan and come away from this without wanting to get your hands on every single thing those two touched...there's something very, very wrong with you. ;) Beautiful book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By amzical on January 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am a huge fan of both F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald so it was great to get this glimpse into their personal lives. Because their daughter was involved with this book, that gives it even more authenticity and it's like we're being given permission by Scottie herself to look at her family's scrapbooks. A very surreal experience!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gene Cisco on October 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This large-format album approximates the Fitzgerald personal scrapbook, mirroring the dazzling couple as they rush to stardom and fade into memory. Until seeing this closely, I had thought biographers had done their best. Not so. Scott and Zelda left more than a literary legacy here for others to hope and dream upon. It not only tracks their public life but Scott's private musings on his art, life and his literary score in the marketplace. His private and personal demands on his artistry, his private thoughts and hopes, his advice to his surviving daughter in a few letters are on exhibit. Whether in seclusion at the height of his fame or in seclusion, forgotten and underused in Hollywood, his focus on the details, running not from the past but to an uncertain almost unattainable perfection are displayed for posterity in this book. To me, this book and Budd Schulberg's "The Disenchanted," which sketches in the unknown Hollywood Fitzgerald with sympathy and understanding, more completely renders this literary inspiration.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Grandon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If like me you can't get enough of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, their tumultuous and tragic story, and a snapshot of what I consider one of the most fascinating times in history for culture and the arts, the early twentieth century up to World War II, this book is a must-have.

It's mostly pictures, clippings, Zelda's art, wires and correspondence, and other personal memorabilia, but a wonderful companion after you read some of his work, or any of their biographies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth J. Brown on October 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As entertaining as this book will be for fans of the Fitzgeralds, for readers less familiar with them it may not be so interesting. Both Scott and Zelda were meticulous scrapbookers before they met in 1917. From then on, and for the next 20 years or so, they maintained collaborative volumes chronicling the details of their very celebrated and accomplished lives. Nowadays the places, people and things they depict are receding further and further into America's literary and pop culture, but the huge quantity of photos, book reviews, letters, poems, collages, announcements and so many other bits of ephemera they saved form a unique depiction of the Jazz Age. Now they would be saving Instagrams and Twitter posts on their iPhones, and Zelda would be addicted to Pinterest.

What is most admirable about "The Romantic Egoists" is that The Fitzgeralds were so honest with themselves. The negative reviews of their writing--and Zelda was a writer, too--appear alongside the glowing ones. A truly vicious article which appeared in the New York Post at the time of Scott's 40th birthday in 1936, when he was at his lowest ebb, is dutifully pasted down just as if it were a plaudit or puff piece. Scott's financial ledgers, which he began keeping early in his career, are meticulous. They dispel the myth that he was a hopeless drunk who never had more than a nickel in the bank. There are chapter headings with summaries including year-by-year entries highlighting the main events in the Fitzgeralds' lives, but apart from them the story is told in Scott's and Zelda's words only.

The first printing of this book was a hardcover edition, published in 1974 in a larger format. This paperback edition is a little smaller, but all the same information is here that was in the original.
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