Why do you think Scott cared so much about his reputation as a serious writer? Do you consider him an important American writer?
Join Date: 10/11/10
Join Date: 01/29/13
Yes, I definitely consider him an important American writer. He was like many artists; he needed to be recognized. I believe though that he took it a step further and became obsessed with his image. This obsession prevented him from writing more which is actually a shame. I think he had a lot to give but let his struggles get in the way.
Join Date: 06/15/11
I do think he was/is an important American writer. I don't want to generalize, but I think the point of writing novels is to sell the books so they have to be somewhat worried about what the public thinks of their art. I do think writers like Carl Hiaasen and Stephen King would keep writing no matter what critics said about them as I feel they write because they couldn't exist without writing. I didn't get that impression of Scott. I thought he considered it a chore and he only did it for the recognition it would bring him. That's why I felt he was so eaten up with jealousy when some one else's work got more attention than his. That's probably also why he got so blocked at times -- he was writing to please someone else, not writing from his own need to put words on paper.
Join Date: 05/16/11
With all his faults as a husband, father and friend, one cannot take away from his importance as an American writer. Any serious writer must have a degree of concern over acceptance by the reading public. Scott was so consumed over notoriety that he often became offensive to others. Had he lived in present times, I don't think he could have withstood the competition at all.
Join Date: 01/31/13
Scott was an important literary figure and we missed out on more considering his short life. I also think competition was very nearly crippling for him and had a hard time with his sense of worth when his greatness was overshadowed by others (including Zelda). Scott surrounded himself with artists who were all constantly being evaluated and compared by other brilliant artists. He worked hard on his reputation amongst this group more than others. He seemed to have the hardest time in Hollywood. His reputation got him the promise of good work and a better paycheck but he just couldn't deliver what Hollywood wanted. This seemed very frustrating for him.
Join Date: 06/13/11
Scott is a very important American writer and I think his short stories are more indicative of his talent than his novels. When I studied American Lit a long, long time ago he was not considered as talented as Faulkner or Hemingway. Today, he is recognized as the fine writer he was
Join Date: 10/18/10
It seems like Scott decided young that he would be a great writer, and that being a great writer would make him worthy - of whatever it was he needed to be worthy of, likely his father's approval (based on his attitude & the prevailing winds of the time).
Literary acclaim meant he was a good person, and everything that detracted from that was a blow to his ego. He might have been an emotionally healthy human when he got older if he'd never sold that first novel and found some other kind of work that made him happy instead.
Maybe if he hadn't needed impress Zelda (and by extension, the world) so much, he might have been a happier person in the end. He was clearly not very happy for the bulk of his life.
And yes, he's an important literary figure in America today. For all the good it ever did him.
Join Date: 01/31/13
I agree, bevula. He did seem set on what his image of himself should be--writer, wealthy, able to travel, have a beautiful wife, etc. I just don't know what kind of alternative career would have made him happy. Sometimes I think he was so crippled by success (or the lack of it sometimes) because he felt like a pretender. Having acceptance by what he considered the real deals in Hemingway, Stein, Picasso, etc. made him believe that he was the real deal too. No question he was but I think he didn't always believe it himself or couldn't live up to what that looked like in his own mind.
Join Date: 10/18/10
When he first went back to New York, Zelda thought he was going to be 'less' than he said he would be. He was struggling and (if memory serves) he was going to settle for something else, try for a regular job or something (or maybe that was me reading between the lines). She pushed him into succeeding or losing her - not a great move, if you ask me.
I think, if he had accepted that he was just a regular guy and actually looked for some other way to earn a living, or if he'd been willing to live in her small town (where her dad's connections would likely have acquired a decent position for him), he might have been happy. Gotten a job on a newspaper and wrote other stuff on the side.
The key, of course, was to stop thinking of himself as the next William Shakespeare (many, many people in their late teens/early 20s have similar delusions of grandeur). If he could have seen himself as a regular joe, he might have actually been able to be a BETTER writer - since he spent more time trying to live the life of a successful writer then writing and proving it. He was a great writer, but his ego got in the way of him producing much. He looked down on the writing that supported his family, just making himself feel worse instead of being proud of being able to support his family as a writer - how many people can even do that?
Join Date: 03/13/12
I DO think of F. Scott Fitzgerald as an important American writer. That doesn't mean he was a great human being, but as more and more truth about America's leaders and important figures has been made public, I think people realize that life stories from our elementary school history books were entirely too "white washed" and "rose-colored." As for his concern about his reputation, he simply seemed to want the reputation of deserving his fame and fortune.
Join Date: 10/12/11
Serious authors ARE concerned about their importance in the literary field--for the present and in the future. Yes, Fitzgerald is an important American writer. His works are renowned, acclaimed, and read today--they have withstood the test of time. Because of his writings, we are able to view certain eras of American history along with the frailties and complexities of human nature. They lend themselves to wonderful, spirited Book Club discussions.
Join Date: 04/15/11
F. Scott Fitzgerald, next to John Steinbeck, has always been a great favorite of mine. Fitzgerald is a very important writer because he wrote about a unique period of time. The young of that generation saw horrific events with the Great War, truly a "Lost Generation".
The wealthy became the expatriates & we can't forget the flappers & Prohibition. I love the way he writes about this time in history.
I have also found Fitzgerald to be very insecure & I feel he always needed to be in the fore front to prove to himself & others.
Join Date: 03/13/12
Revisiting this question, I think that wanting to be classified/ considered as "serious" continues to be a part of fame in the arts. What comes to mind is Farrah Fawcett who wanted to be known for more than "Charlie's Angels" television series and eagerly took on the part of the abused wife in "The Burning Bed" in order to be perceived as a serious artist. Then again, there's Johnny Depp who seemed to laugh at questions as to why he made more Pirates movies. His response was something to the effect that they simply were fun.
Join Date: 05/21/11
~~~I believe he had the early desire to write but after attending Princeton, perhaps, he aimed higher than just turning out stories. He planned and projected his goal of being a great American writer just ahead of himself at all times. Yet he had the artistic/creative person's undercurrent of anxiety that he might fail to make that future come true. It was a "push and pull" sort of mindset which made him want attention so that he could reveal what others might miss about his talent, yet stage managing their reactions. One part of the book that struck me in a sad way was his approval of the saucy outfit Zelda bought in NYC to wear to a dinner. She was showing off but he was seeing it as a benefit to how he was perceived with such a sultry wife. Although that had nothing to do with writing. They both struck me as shallow, yet at that time, appearances had to be larger than life, especially in New York. I think he is an important American writer. I prefer the short stories to the novels, except for THE GREAT GATSBY, which seems to fit between the two.
Please login to post a response.