Sunday, February 23, 2014

Zelda & Fitz


"You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known- and even that is an understatement." - Scott to Zelda... Lately I've been infatuated with letters of famous lovers. I would love to live such a stormy, life-changing love affair, to cry for love, to dream of love, and maybe (and more dramatically) to die for love.
 
 
"Goodnight dear. If you were in my bed it might be the back of your head I was touching, where the hair is short, or it might be up in the front where it makes little caves above your head. But wherever it was, it would be the sweetest place, the sweetest place." - Zelda to Scott.
 
 
After finishing high school, Zelda Sayre met F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance, but was unimpressed and agreed with her family on his limited financial prospects to provide for a family. With his professed infatuation, a lengthy long distance courtship of weekly letters started. Determined to secure himself financially for Zelda,(I know, this is straight out of The Great Gatsby), Fitz increased his writing from articles to his first book. On March 20, 1920, Scribner’s Sons agreed to publish his novel This Side of Paradise, and he immediately cabled Zelda, who agreed to travel to New York to marry and live with him. The couple wed in New York on April 3, 1920, and later moved to Europe. 
Their marriage was far less than perfect;  both jealousy and resentment ruled their time together. Scott used their relationship as material in his novels, using Zelda’s diary as his heroines' words and thoughts. If he thought Zelda will just abide, he was wrong. In a witty review of her husband's novel, The Beautiful and The Damned, She said that she recognized a passage from an old diary of hers that had gone missing after her wedding, and a few pages from her old love letters. "Mr. Fitzgerald," she famously wrote, "seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home." 
 
 
The strain of their marriage and Scott’s alcoholism were reasons for Zelda’s admittance in 1930 to a sanatorium, where she was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, not sure about that one! Whatever it was Zelda was not well and needed help. While there, she wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, Save Me the Waltz, published in 1932. Scott was furious that she had used their life together as inspiration. However two years later, he did the same, in Tender Is the Night. The two novels provide contrasting portrayals of the couple's failing doomed marriage... I guess we will never know the intimate details, but I this is the allure of Zelda & Fitz.
 

"Wouldn’t we be quite the pair?—you with your bad heart, me with my bad head. Together, though, we might have something worthwhile."-a letter from Zelda to Fitz.
 

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