A study of the philosophical, intellectual, and political influences on the artistic creations of Fitzgerald and key early American modernist writers
F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Scene continues Ronald Berman’s lifelong study of the philosophical, intellectual, and political influences on the artistic creations of key early American modernist writers. Each chapter in this volume elaborates on a crucial aspect of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s depiction of American society, specifically through the lens of the social sciences that most influenced his writing and thinking.
Berman addresses, among other subjects, Fitzgerald’s use of philosophy, cultural analyses, and sociology—all enriched by the insights of his own experience living an American life. He was especially interested in how life had changed from 1910 to 1920. Many Americans were unable to navigate between the 1920s and their own memories of a very different world before the Great War; especially Daisy Buchanan who evolves from girlhood (as typified in sentimental novels of the time) to wifehood (as actually experienced in the new decade). There is a profound similarity between what happens to Fitzgerald’s characters and what happened to the nation.
Berman revisits classics like The Great Gatsby but also looks carefully at Fitzgerald’s shorter fictions, analyzing a stimulating spectrum of scholars from more contemporary critics like Thomas Piketty to George Santayana, John Maynard Keynes, John Dewey, and Walter Lippmann. This fascinating addition to F. Scott Fitzgerald scholarship, although broad in its content, is accessible to a wide audience. Scholars and students of Fitzgerald and twentieth-century American literature, as well as dedicated Fitzgerald readers, will enjoy Berman’s take on a long-debated and celebrated author.
This thought-provoking collection explores significant new facets of an American author of lasting international stature.
As the author of some of the most compelling short stories ever written, two of the central novels in American literature, and some of the most beautiful prose ever penned, F. Scott Fitzgerald is read and studied all over the world. Sixty-two years after his death, his works—protean, provocative, multilayered, and rich—continue to elicit spirited responses. This collection grew out of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference that convened in Princeton at the centennial of this author's birth. Bringing together dozens of the world's leading scholars and commentators, the conference and the book celebrate the ever-growing legacy of Fitzgerald's art.
The subjects of these 19 essays reflect the contributors' wish to shine new light on less-frequently discussed aspects of Fitzgerald's work. Topics include Fitzgerald's Princeton influences and his expression of Catholic romanticism; his treatments of youth culture, the devil, and waste; parallels in the work of Mencken, Cather, and Murakami; and the ways gender, pastoral mode, humor, and the Civil War are variously presented in his work. One illustrated summary examines Fitzgerald's effect on popular culture through his appearance in the comics. Two broad overviews—one on Fitzgerald's career and another on the final developments in the author's style—round out the collection.
The international scope of the contributors to this volume reflects Fitzgerald's worldwide reputation and appeal. With extensive treatments of This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Last Tycoon, and the Pat Hobby stories, this collection makes an unusual and significant contribution to the field of Fitzgerald studies.
Pigeonholed as a Jazz Age epicurean and an emblem of the Lost Generation, Fitzgerald was at heart a moralist struck by the nation’s shifting mood and manners after WWI. Placing him among Progressives such as Charles Beard, Randolph Bourne, and Thorstein Veblen, David Brown reveals Fitzgerald as a writer with an encompassing historical imagination.