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the letters of f. scott fitzgerald Paperback – 1966

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 638 pages
  • Publisher: Dell paperback; First Paperback Edition edition (1966)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000PYEPES
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,206,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Turnbull organizes the letters according to Fitzgerald's correspondents. He thus has sections on Fitgerald's letters to his daughter Scottie, to his wife Zelda, to his editor Maxwell Perkins, to his contemporary and friend Hemingway, to assorted others. I found the most interesting section the one in which Fitzgerald works to encourage support and educate his daughter. In the course of this we learn of many other things, including Fitzgerald's devotion to his sick wife Zelda, his constant sense of struggling to make money, his giving great parts of his time to writing screenplays. He is strict at times and it seems to me unusually honest in trying to educate his daughter. He values hard work and worries very much she will fall into a world of privilege and worthless hedonism. He at the same time reveals his own strong desire that she make it somehow to the world of the privileged.
In his letters to Maxwell Perkins we see him struggling with the writing, the correcting of the work, the making of money. What is astonishing is that he seems to have no idea that 'The Great Gatsby' is the one work of his that really makes it into the canon. He spends a lot of time fussing over 'Tender is the Night'. He apparently hated writing stories, but these could be money-makers and so he forced himself at them. My own sense is that they are far from his best work.
His letters to Hemingway are a bit deferential. He recognized Hemingway's value and wrote to Maxwell Perkins that Hemingway was the 'real thing'.
There are in certain pages of the work the kind of graceful beautiful writing Fitzgerald could be wonderful at. In other passages there are hints of prejudice.narrow-mindedness and pettiness.
Money and the struggle for it pervades these letters.
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