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May 19 , 2008

Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise


Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 - December 21, 1940) was an American writer of novels and short stories, whose works are evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the Twenties. He finished four novels, including This Side of Paradise, with another published posthumously, and wrote dozens of short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with despair and age.This Side of Paradise is the debut novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Published in 1920, and taking its title from a line of the Rupert Brooke poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post-World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is an attractive Princeton University student who dabbles in literature and has the book's theme of love warped by greed and status-seeking. In the summer of 1919, 22-year-old Fitzgerald broke up with the girl he had been courting, Zelda Sayre. After being drunk for much of the summer he returned to St. Paul, Minnesota, where his family lived, to complete the novel, hoping that if he became a successful novelist he could win Zelda back. While at Princeton, Fitzgerald had written an unpublished novel called The Romantic Egotist and ultimately 80 pages of the typescript of this earlier work ended up in This Side of Paradise. On September 4, 1919, Fitzgerald gave the manuscript to a friend to deliver to Maxwell Perkins, an editor at Charles Scribner's Sons in New York. The book was nearly rejected by the editors at Scribners, but Perkins insisted, and on September 16 it was officially accepted. Fitzgerald begged for early publication-convinced that he would become a celebrity and impress Zelda-but was told that the novel would have to wait until the spring. Nevertheless, upon the acceptance of his novel for publication he went and visited Zelda and they resumed their courtship. His success imminent, she agreed to marry him.(Wikipedia)
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