Saturday, May 06, 2017

A sad tale …

… The Lost Writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald - Washington Free Beacon. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The editor of the new collection, Anne Margaret Daniel, is willing to admit when the stories are bad—but that only brings to mind Dorothy Parker's famous quip that even in his bad stories, Fitzgerald was incapable of writing badly. Damaged by his alcoholism, his prose may have decayed before his death from a heart attack at age 44 in 1940, but at his worst his prose is still musical. It always dashes off sudden psychological insights. And it always creates an image. To read, for instance, the end of The Great Gatsby is to realize that Fitzgerald didn't write fiction. He wrote prose poems, strung together and carried along by what story he could give them.

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