By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Author note: a brand new assortment edited and annotated by means of Matthew J. Bruccoli
Publish yr note: First released March 1st 1980
A vivid self-portrait of an artist whose paintings was once his life.
In this new number of F. Scott Fitzgerald's letters, edited by means of best Fitzgerald student and biographer Matthew J. Bruccoli, we see via his personal phrases the creative and emotional maturation of 1 of America's such a lot enduring and stylish authors. A lifestyles in Letters is the main accomplished quantity of Fitzgerald's letters -- a lot of them showing in print for the 1st time. The fullness of the choice and the chronological association make this assortment the nearest factor to an autobiography that Fitzgerald ever wrote.
While many readers are accustomed to Fitzgerald's mythical "jazz age" social lifestyles and his friendships with Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Edmund Wilson, and different well-known authors, few are conscious of his writings approximately his lifestyles and his perspectives on writing. Letters to his editor Maxwell Perkins illustrate the improvement of Fitzgerald's literary sensibility; these to his pal and competitor Ernest Hemingway show their tough dating. the main poignant letters the following have been written to his spouse, Zelda, from the time in their courtship in Montgomery, Alabama, in the course of international battle I to her prolonged convalescence in a clinic close to Asheville, North Carolina. Fitzgerald is by means of turns affectionate and proud in his letters to his daughter, Scottie, at school within the East whereas he used to be suffering in Hollywood.
For readers who imagine basically of Fitzgerald as a hard-drinking playboy for whom writing was once easy, those letters exhibit his severe, painstaking matters with growing reasonable, sturdy art.
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Additional resources for A Life in Letters
He praised the "music" of his prose, the "soft melting timbres" that resonate like uncanny dirges yet wax triumphant in "divine majesty" ( / 2,3). He considered Hölderlin the king of an as yet undiscovered empire, and him- Inventing a Life 35 self Hölderlin's aposde, bringing light to the darkness; however, the darkness was unable to fathom it. Lord Byron needed no advocate. In characterizing Byron's character Manfred, the young Nietzsche employed for the very first time an expression that later took on a life of its own.
Philosophy had lost the will to power, and a new breed that merely picked apart grand old "truths" with philological and historical analysis was in the ascendant. " His involvement with Schopenhauer had a significant impact on his philological writing. "It is a terrible thought," Nietzsche wrote in late 1867 in his log, "to con- Schopenhauer and the Will to Style 53 template that an immense number of mediocre thinkers are occupied with really influential matters" (/3,320). " The goal of this essay, he wrote to Erwin Rohde on February 1,1868, would be to tell "the philologists a number of bitter truths" (2?
Unlike philologists, who merely annotate, compile, explicate, organize, and enshrine other authors, geniuses themselves contribute something to the world. Authors of primary texts make assertions and assert themselves, whereas writers of secondary literature, namely philologists and historians, diminish great things by working them into little bits; they are "devoid of the creative spark" (B 2,249). By the fall of 1867, Nietzsche was yearning to emergefromthe ranks of commentators and compilers and to become a creative author, while remaining in thefieldof philology.
A Life in Letters by F. Scott Fitzgerald