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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
A novel that is as heartbreaking as it is mesmerizing.
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As you read "Z", have you approached it from a new perspective about an iconic couple from history or has your previous knowledge of the Fitzgerald's clouded your assestment of the novel?

Created: 03/29/13

Replies: 8

Posted Mar. 29, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jorie

Join Date: 04/19/12

Posts: 14

As you read "Z", have you approached it from a new perspective about an iconic couple from history or have your previous knowledge of the Fitzgerald's clouded your assestment of the novel?

Aside from seeing "Midnight in Paris" last year, which showcased the era by which the Fitzgerald's lived and rose into iconic fame, I haven't sought out biographies about the pair. When it came time to choose a First Impressions book in January, I decided to continue to hold off in case I was able to receive "Z". My entire viewing of their lives together has been moulded from the research that Ms. Fowler put into her book. After this discussion concludes, I want to add a juxaposition to what I've learnt by seeking out a sampling of both Fitzgerald's canonical work, as much as picking out a few biographies to illuminate my further understanding of their place in history.

I realise that most of you might have been well versed in both their literary legacies inasmuch as having knowledge of 'who' they are in history ahead of picking up the novel. Do you think it was easier to fall into the rhythm of their lives with previous knowledge or did it hinder it, in case what you knew previously to be true might have only been part of the massive array of rumours that followed the Fitzgerald's!? And, if you went into this blind, as I had, what are your lasting impressions of a couple that perhaps you only had heard of previously but now readily know something tangible about!?

I simply wanted to propose a question about the different approaches we've all taken ahead of finding "Z", as I am starting to notice a bit of a disconnect in the answers in the forum. Some of the responses appear to be shifted towards the public perception of the couple rather than being limited to the context of the novel. I do realise we all can substantiate our opinions based on outside sources of what we have knowledge on, but I felt that in some instances the commentary felt as though it wasn't relating directly to Zelda, as she is characterised in the novel: "Z".


Posted Apr. 01, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 41

RE: As you read "Z", have you approached it from a new perspective about an iconic couple from history or has your previous knowledge of the Fitzgerald's clouded your assestment of the novel?

I really did not have a lot of background information on the stories of the lives of the Fitzgeralds other than that they both had addiction and mental illness supposedly and totally ran their finances into the ground. I am happy to learn that they were much more aware of their problems and did try to live within their means for the most part once they matured as the story goes in "Z". They have both become much more "real" people in this novel and people I could actually care about and understand their failings and what their lives became not entirely due to their own making.


Posted Apr. 02, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dianac

Join Date: 04/02/13

Posts: 26

RE: As you read "Z", have you approached it from a new perspective about an iconic couple from history or has your previous knowledge of the Fitzgerald's clouded your assestment of the novel?

I had no prior knowledge of F Scott or Zelda, as far as their personal lives were concerned.


Posted Apr. 03, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elizabethm

Join Date: 06/05/12

Posts: 35

RE: As you read "Z", have you approached it from a new perspective about an iconic couple from history or has your previous knowledge of the Fitzgerald's clouded your assestment of the novel?

I have read several of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels and knew, or at least knew that the myth was, that he and his wife lived their lives much like the characters in his books. What I didn't know was that Zelda was an artist or author. In my mind she was sort of a pleasure seeking cypher. I was excited to learn that she had published on her own. While I felt this book didn't necessarily do justice to Zelda as an individual it did make me excited to seek out and read her writing.


Posted Apr. 03, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sylviag

Join Date: 03/25/13

Posts: 8

RE: As you read "Z", have you approached it from a new perspective about an iconic couple from history or has your previous knowledge of the Fitzgerald's clouded your assestment of the novel?

I think that I did have definite preconceptions concerning the Fitzgeralds. I was surprised that the novel portrayed Zelda as much tamer and sane than I had imagined her. I was also surprised by Scott and his need for control. Most of my previous information was from general knowledge and from the Hemingway perspective. Fowler showed the possibility of how different the real people may be from the public perception of them.


Posted Apr. 03, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Wendy

Join Date: 07/17/11

Posts: 8

RE: As you read "Z", have you approached it from a new perspective about an iconic couple from history or has your previous knowledge of the Fitzgerald's clouded your assestment of the novel?

As an English teacher, I had a working knowledge of the Fitzgeralds. Lately, I've steeped myself in the fiction and nonfiction about the lost generation. I had recently finished Hemingway's Girl and The Paris Wife, as well as Shakespeare and Company. I was interested to read this from the perspective of Zelda, a woman I hadn't read too much about. Reading this spurred me to go back and read some of Fitzgerald's works that I haven't taught and/or assigned to students.


Posted Apr. 05, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 41

RE: As you read "Z", have you approached it from a new perspective about an iconic couple from history or has your previous knowledge of the Fitzgerald's clouded your assestment of the novel?

I really did not have a lot of prior knowledge of the life of the Fitzgeralds. It is probably a more enjoyable story because I did not have any expectations for either character. I was able to take the events in the story at face value and assume that the story is as accurate as well researched historical fiction can be.


Posted Apr. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
karenr

Join Date: 12/10/11

Posts: 13

RE: As you read "Z", have you approached it from a new perspective about an iconic couple from history or has your previous knowledge of the Fitzgerald's clouded your assestment of the novel?

I had no previous knowledge of the Fitzgeralds, except knowing that Scott was a famous writer. I sympathized with Zelda who spent many years in the shadow of and being tormented by an overbearing, unpleasant man. She was gifted and I continue to wonder, long after finishing the book, if she had lived in a different time, could she have made more of an impact/contribution to literary history. We'll never know.


Posted Apr. 09, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

Expert

RE: As you read "Z", have you approached it from a new perspective about an iconic couple from history or has your previous knowledge of the Fitzgerald's clouded your assestment of the novel?

Karenr,

I like your point re: if Zelda had lived at a different time she may have had more opportunity to become a writer separate from her husband, to step out from under his shadow. I'm inclined to think there would have at least been a better chance, though there's no guarantee she'd have taken it. Interesting to think about.


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