F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1896 and died in Hollywood, California, in 1940. He wrote five novels
(one of them is The Great Gatsby and the other four aren’t, and one of them wasn’t published until after his death) and several collections of short stories (one of them contains the story “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and the others don’t, and one of them wasn't published until -- déjà vu -- after his death).
Fitzgerald’s American credentials were pretty impressive. His second cousin, three times removed, was Francis Scott Key, the chap who is remembered for having written “The Star-Spangled Banner” (although its original title was “Defence of Fort McHenry”) in 1814; and his first cousin, once removed, was Mary Surratt, a woman hanged in 1865 for conspiring to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.
Before we look at one of his works, first you must read this entire article to get a flavor of his life and to understand better what you will be reading later. Then we will proceed.
Today we are going to look at “The Crack-Up”, a series of three non-fiction articles that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in 1936, late in his career.
Because I like them, that’s why, and this is my blog, after all.
If anyone could be called blue, it was F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1936. His wife Zelda had been admitted to a mental institution and he had not yet met his lover, gossip columnist Sheilah Graham. [Editor’s note. For extra credit, read this. --RWP]
“The Crack-Up” appeared in Esquire magazine in the February, March, and April 1936 issues as a series of three articles. Only the first article was entitled “The Crack-Up” originally. The second article was entitled “Pasting It Together” and the third article was entitled “Handle With Care”.
I know this is a lot of reading for one day, but you will be the better for it.
Here are all three parts of “The Crack-Up”.
One last thing:
This is not Zelda Fitzgerald, nor is it Sheilah Graham.
This is Mary Surratt.
Now maybe you’ll go read that Fitzgerald novel you’ve been meaning to get around to.