F. Scott Fitzgerald Made Honorary Jitterbug by Swungover (Happy Birthday F. Scott!)
Alright, so it’s not exactly swing news, but today is Fitzgerald’s birthday. To celebrate, I’ve made him an his wife Zelda honorary jitterbugs by giving them their own Swungover header for the weekend. I’m particularly mezmorized by Zelda’s eyes. (She was apparently one of the end-all-be-alls of flapper society, and, yes, one of the two main inspirations for Daisy in the Great Gatsby.)
If you’re not familiar with Fitzgerald, he was, somewhat, the inspiration for the film script The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Oh yeah, and the defining writer of the Jazz age. Though his writing tends to focus less on the joy of doing the Charleston and more on the grand disillusion and social existentialism of a post World War I generation.
He is most famously known for the Great Gatsby, which is not only considered one of the greatest novels of all time, but which accomplished the far more difficult task of being the one book teenagers in high school actually sort of liked being forced to read.* He was also a snappy dresser.
Enjoy some today:
–“A great social success is a pretty girl who plays her cards as carefully as if she were plain.”
–“At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide.”
–“Either you think, or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you. ”
–“Her body calculated to a millimeter to suggest a bud yet guarantee a flower. ”
–“Men get to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women they have known.”
–“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. ”
–“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over. ”
–“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say. ”
For those in the DC area, F Scott Fitzgerald’s grave is in Rockville, about 3 miles from our apartment. Which was surely once a cozy cemetery by a small church is now right next to a major five-lane highway intersection. I took a picture of his grave, which includes one of the many beautiful passages in The Great Gatsby.
*–Excepting, perhaps, the ever-popular 9th-grade post-apocalyptic sci-fi series: Brave New World, Ferrenheight 451**, Alas, Babylon, and Anthem.
**–I’ve misspelled “Ferrenheight” so badly that spell check is staring at me with a blank look on its face.