Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Diamond as Big as The Ritz - And Other Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In this story, the reader's imagination is taken to a fabulous fantasy land full of absolute opulance; so much so it's been kept a secret from the outside world and jealously guarded. However, frequent and fatal consequences lay in wait for bona fide guests and uninvited visitors when all the while the sybaritic luxury of the place is evoked ina velvet prose style which is quintessential F. Scott Fitzgerald. And along with this first story, is another collection to make your read complete!

I received this book as a gift from a close friend I once went to school with; however she moved overseas and we kept in contact. We've been swapping gifts ever since and this marvelous book is one of them. I have read this first story many times and have no intention of letting this book off my bookshelf.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896. Fitzgerald attended the St. Paul Academy; his first writing to appear in print was a detective story in the school newspaper when he was thirteen. During 1911-1913 he attended the Newman School, a Catholic prep school in New Jersey, where he met Father Sigourney Fay, who encouraged his ambitions for personal distinction and achievement. As a member of the Princeton Class of 1917, Fitzgerald neglected his studies for his literary apprenticeship. He wrote the scripts and lyrics for the Princeton Triangle Club musicals and was a contributor to the
Princeton Tiger humor magazine and the Nassau Literary Magazine. In June 1918 Fitzgerald was assigned to Camp Sheridan, near Montgomery, Alabama. There he fell in love with a celebrated belle, eighteen-year-old Zelda Sayre, the youngest daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge. The romance intensified Fitzgerald
s hopes for the success of his novel, but after revision it was rejected by Scribners for a second time. Unwilling to wait while Fitzgerald succeeded in the advertisement business and unwilling to live on his small salary, Zelda Sayre broke their engagement. In the fall-winter of 1919 Fitzgerald commenced his career as a writer of stories for the mass-circulation magazines.
For most of his life Fitzgerald spent his Winters writing books and stories and the rest of his year trying to pay off his debts by working for Esquire magazine as a freeelance script writer by writing short-short stories and MGM studios in California. However, as years went by and he eventually did pay off most of his debts, he found he couldn't save any money. He began his Hollywood novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, in 1939 and had written more than half of a working draft when he died of a heart attack in Graham
s apartment on December 21, 1940. Zelda Fitzgerald perished at a fire in Highland Hospital in 1948.
F. Scott Fitzgerald died believing himself a failure. The obituaries were condescending, and he seemed destined for literary obscurity. The first phase of the Fitzgerald resurrection
òrevival does not properly describe the process occurred between 1945 and 1950. By 1960 he had achieved a secure place among Americas enduring writers. The Great Gatsby, a work that seriously examines the theme of aspiration in an American setting, defines the classic American novel.

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