Tag Archives: The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald …

F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was an American writer, whose works illustrate the Jazz Age. While he achieved limited success in his lifetime, he is now widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the “Lost Generation” of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of ParadiseThe Beautiful and DamnedThe Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also authored four collections of short stories, as well as 164 short stories in magazines during his lifetime.

At the onset of his literary career he was enlisted in the army and sent to a training camp at Leavenworth, Texas. This was in 1917. He was able to write a 120,000-word novel in just three months. He initially worked during evening study periods and then switched to the weekends, writing in the officer’s club from 1 pm to midnight on Saturdays and from 6 am to 6 pm on Sundays. By early 1918, he had mailed off the manuscript that would eventually become, with major revisions, This Side of Paradise.

After leaving the army, he found it more difficult sticking to a schedule. Living in Paris in 1925, he generally rose at 11 am and tried to start writing at 5 pm, working on and off until 3.30 am. In reality, though, many of his nights were spent on the town with his wife Zelda.

The real writing happened in brief bursts of concentrated activity, during which he could manage seven thousand or eight thousand words in one session. This method worked pretty well for short stories, which Fitzgerald preferred to compose in a spontaneous manner. “Stories are best written in either one jump or three, according to the length,” he once explained. “The three-jump story should be done in three successive days, then a day or so for revise and off she goes.” Novels were trickier, especially since Fitzgerald believed that alcohol was essential to his creative process. When he was working on Tender Is the Night, Fitzgerald tried to reserve a portion of each day for sober composition. But he went on regular binges and later admitted that alcohol had interfered with the novel. (Daily Rituals by Mason Currey)

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F. Scott Fitzgerald … A Little Fatherly Advice (goes a long way)

F. Scott Fitzgerald … A Little Fatherly Advice

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The great American author F. Scott Fitzgerald offered some very inspiring and honest advice to his daughter “Scottie” in letters which he wrote to her when she was young. Here are three noteworthy examples. 

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Father and Daughter

He wrote this to her while she was away at camp in August 1933 and still just 11 years of age.

Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Worry about. . .

Things not to worry about:

Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions

(Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters)

When ‘Scottie’ was a teenager he further wrote –

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AND

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 I don’t think many of us would argue with his advice!