Monday, 18 June 2012

Zelda Fitzgerald

I have recently finished a Zelda Fitzgerald biography marathon. Zelda was the wife and inspiration for the brilliant author F. Scott Fitzgerald who wrote The Great Gatsby and The Beautiful and the Damned (amongst others). I had read a few shocking tales about the Fitzgeralds and was curious to know more.
I started with Zelda & Scott Fitzgerald 'Sometimes Madness is Wisdom' by Kendall Taylor.
What a mistake! It was terribly written, presumptive, biased and difficult to follow.
That said, I hadn't had enough of the captivating Zelda and then tried another biography by Nancy Milford. A much better account, clearer and so much more concise. Zelda and Scott lived the wild and fast life of the roaring twenties though it caught up with them pretty quickly.

Zelda was an artist, dancer, and writer as well. I did try reading her novel, Save me the Waltz though I found it quite impossible. I think maybe Zelda had more of a knack for beautiful analogies, a poetic and clever use of the English language but not such a fantastic gift for story telling.

Unfortunately Zelda became quite mentally ill in her twenties. In 1948, the psychiatric hospital in which Zelda was staying, caught fire and she died. It was only four years after Scott (aged only 44) had died of a heart attack following years of alcoholism . 
RIP beautiful young things.

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