FC: Letters To and From F. Scott Fitzgerald
1: It is with great pleasure that we announce the birth of our son, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, on September 24, 1896. Named after his relative, Francis Scott Key, our son will surely know the success and fame that Key experienced. Mr. Edward Fitzgerald and Mrs. Mary "Mollie" McQuillan
2: May 19th, 1913 Mr. Fitzgerald- Thank you again for your recent submission to the Newman School newspaper. Your detective stories are a definite hit with the students, and we, the faculty, are consistently impressed with your mature writing style. I have heard the news of your decision to attend Princeton University next semester, and I urge you to consider a career in the field of writing. Your talents are ones that we do not see often, and it would be quite a shame to waste them. Thank you again for your work on our school publications, and best of luck to you with your future endeavors. Sincerely, Father Sigourney Fay
3: Mr. Fitzgerald, We thank you for you submission of The Romantic Egoist, however we regret to inform you that we can.not accept your submission at this time. Thank you for your interest in This Publications, and we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. | Mr. Fitzgerald- While we thoroughly enjoyed your recent novel The Romantic Egoist, we regret to inform you that we cannot publish it at this time. Thank you for submission, and we wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors. | December 2, 1917 Mr. Fitzgerald, We sincerely thank you for the submission of your novel The Romantic Egoist. Although we are unable to publish your novel at this time, your writing shows true potential, and we advise you to revise and edit your work before resubmitting for publication. We sincerely hope to review your future novels for publication. Charles Scribner's Sons Publishing Co.
4: June 21, 1919 My Dearest Zelda, I am writing to you from my apartment, having just arrived home from work. Advertising is a racket, like the movies and the brokerage business. You cannot be honest without admitting that its constructive contribution to humanity is exactly minus zero. However, my Zelda, I am making a living. I can only hope that my love for you is enough to sustain us. Please don't break off our engagement, Zelda. You are my golden girl, and I don't know how I would survive without you. I will have my novel published, I promise you. We will live lavishly together. I am almost finished my novel, and once it is complete I will be able to support you and provide you with everything you could ever want. Please wait for me Zelda. With all my love, Scott
5: March 26, 1920 Mr. Fitzgerald, Thank you for your most recent submission of your novel, This Side of Paradise. We are pleased to inform you that we have decided to publish your novel. Please contact our offices directly for information regarding royalties and further publication information. Well done, Mr. Fitzgerald! Charles Scribner's Sons Publishing Co. | April 3, 1920 The Wedding of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre at Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, New York
6: May 23, 1924 My friend, I wish this letter could be one of amicable intentions, however I cannot sit and watch you make these clearly harmful life decisions. You know that I've never gotten along with Zelda, however anyone could see that she is doing nothing to further your career. If your purpose in life was to share you gift of crafting the written word, you should be making all decisions to promote your life's purpose. Frankly, my friend, Zelda is insane, and she encourages you to drink and distracts you from your novel. Scott, you should be focusing on your novel, not this frivolous "whoring" you are doing for The Saturday Evening Post. I know what you say, how first you write stories in an authentic manner but then put in twists that make them into saleable magazine stories. However Scott, let me leave you with one thing. I believe that basically you write for two people; yourself to try to make it absolutely perfect; or if not that then wonderful; then you write for who you love whether she can read or write or not and whether she is alive or dead. I think you in your strange mixed-up Irish Catholic monogamy write for Zelda. If you lose all hope in her, you lose all confidence in yourself and you're through. Be careful, my friend. Yours, Ernest Hemingway
7: December 31, 1925 Dear Mr. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby with your charming and overpowering inscription arrived the very morning that I was leaving in some haste for a sea voyage advised by my doctor. I therefore left it behind and only read it on my return a few days ago. I have, however, now read it three times. I am not in the least influenced by your remark about myself when I say that it has interested and excited me more than any new novel I have seen, either English or American, for a number of years. When I have time I should like to write to you more fully and tell you exactly why it seems to me such a remarkable book. In fact it seems to me to be the first step that American fiction has taken since Henry James. By the way, if you ever have any short stories which you think would be suitable for the Criterion I wish you would let me see them. With many thanks, I am, Yours very truly, T. S. Eliot P.S. By a coincidence Gilbert Seldes in his New York Chronicle in the Criterion for January 14th has chosen your book for particular mention.
8: December 12, 1932 To whom it may concern, I am extremely disappointed in the lack of respect for myself and my privacy shown by your doctors. The clearly autobiographical novel, Save Me the Waltz, inappropriately and unfairly portrays myself and Zelda during our years in Paris, without my consent. I understand that this is Zelda's novel, but I have already contacted Scribner's in order to make various necessary changes to the manuscript. As you are well aware, Zelda suffers from severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia. She is in no condition to write such novels. Please refrain from allowing Zelda to use my material in the future, which includes our relationship. I am doubtful that Zelda truly understands that you don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say. F. Scott Fitzgerald
9: December 20, 1940 My dear Shelia, I can feel myself getting sicker now. I know what everyone thinks. They think I am drunk, don't they? Perhaps I am, often. First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you. However tonight, at the premier, I know that my tuberculosis and any other health problems I may possess were the culprit. I know my time may be near; I just hate to think that I may die as a failure. I have just started finding pleasure again here in California, and I would hate to see it go so soon. Alas, life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of defeat; the redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle. Yours, Scott
10: April 22, 1950 Mr. Mizener, What to say about Scott? I never had any respect for him ever, except for his lovely, golden, wasted talent. If he would have had fewer pompous musings and a little sounder education it would have been better maybe. But anytime you got him all straightened out and taking his work seriously Zelda would get jealous and knock him out of it. Also alcohol, that we use was the Giant Killer, and that I could not have lived without many times; or at least would have cared to live without; was a straight poison to Scott instead of a food. I told him that for his actions in civil life as a criterion he would probably have been re-classified or shot for cowardice. That was too rough; but it was always trying to get him to work and tell the truth at least to himself. Well, the hell with all of it. He's dead and you've buried him for better of for worse and what he wrote that will stand up will stand up. Ernest
11: Works Cited "F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2013. Gent, George. "Hemingway's Letters Tell of Fitzgerald." The New York Times Books. The New York Times, 25 Oct. 1972. Web. 20 Jan. 2013. "Selected Letters by F. Scott Fitzgerald." Scott Fitzgerald's Letters. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2013. Willett, Erika. "F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Dream." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2013.