Francis Scott Hey Fitzgerald was an Irish-American Jazz Age novelist and short story writer, regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. He was self-styled spokesman of the Lost Generation.He was born in Minnesota, grew up in Middle West. He attended the University of Princeton, but never graduated, he was not a good student. There he was a leader in theatrical and literary activities. In 1917 he enlisted the army, became lieutenant but he was never sent overseas, war ended soon afterwards. While being trained in military camp Sheridan in Alabama, he wrote the initial draft of his first novel, THIS SIDE OF PARADISE and met his future wife Zelda Sayre.
She was very important figure in his life and served him as female character of his fiction. Zelda was typical “southern belle”, daughter of judge, beautiful, rich, and successful. They got engaged but because he was not rich enough, she broke off their engagement. After the success of his first book THIS SIDE OF PARADISE, Zelda resumed their engagement and they got married in N.Y. The novel became one of the most popular book of the year and they both a very prominent couple, “celebrities”. They went to many parties and led wild lifestyle in that “Roaring Twenties/Jazz Age/The Boom.” They were its typical representatives. US profited from the war, everything was springing- business, movies, advertisement, and it was decade of prohibition when many people got extremely rich from producing alcohol and selling it. Many new millionaires appeared.Later as a result of their wild lifestyle, Zelda suffered her first mental breakdown (schizophrenia); it was the decay of both of them. Francis accused himself, started to drink and became alcoholic.
He never fully recovered. This situation led him to write the touching essays posthumously collected by Edmund Wilson in THE CRACK-UP. His impressive final novel THE LAST TYCOON was not completed because his death by heart attack in 1940.NOVELSTHE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DAMNEDTHE GREAT GATSBY (1925) - Jay Gatsby comes to stand for America itself, he is the embodiment of the conflict between illusion and reality, in his addiction to the “American dream”.TENDER IN THE NIGHT- autobiographical, his last novel, but never finishedTHE LAST TYCOON- set in Hollywood, published posthumously
SHORT STORIESALL THE SAD YOUNG MENTHE TALES OF THE JAZZ AGE – high extent autobiographicalHe led a busy life in the period divided between power and dream, ideal and reality. No novelist of his time understood better the nature of the extravagant and irresponsible society, and the spiritual desperation and sterility that it represented. His heroes are, more or less, projections of himself, dreaming extravagantly and extravagantly disappointed. F.S. Fitzgerald is considered the best chronicler of the manners and morals of his time, with a sharp eye for a character and a scene, and a marvelous ear for dialogues.
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Francis Scott Fitzgerald: Biography
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