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The fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald serves as a compelling and incisive chronicle of the Jazz Age and Depression Era. This collection explores the degree to which Fitzgerald was in tune with, and keenly observant of, the social, historical and cultural contexts of the 1920s and 1930s. Original essays from forty international scholars survey a wide range of critical and biographical scholarship published on Fitzgerald, examining how it has evolved in relation to critical and cultural trends. The essays also reveal the micro-contexts that have particular relevance for Fitzgerald's work - from the literary traditions of naturalism, realism and high modernism to the emergence of youth culture and prohibition, early twentieth-century fashion, architecture and design, and Hollywood - underscoring the full extent to which Fitzgerald internalized the world around him.
In an all-too-brief professional career of approximately twenty years, Fitzgerald wrote 178 short stories, most of them for sale to commercial magazines of the 1920s and 1930s. Thirty-nine of these stories were collected in four separate volumes, one accompanying each of the four novels which Scribners published during Fitzgerald's lifetime: Flappers and Philosophers (1920) was the companion volume for This Side of Paradise (1920); Tales of the Jazz Age (1922) for The Beautiful and Damned (1922); All the Sad Young Men (1926) for The Great Gatsby (1925); and Taps at Reveille (1935) for Tender is the Night (1934). In addition, he wrote a play, The Vegetable, published by Scribners in 1923, and scores of nonfiction pieces, many of which appeared in commercial magazines during his lifetime. At the time of his death he was working on an elaborately conceived novel, The Last Tycoon,which was published posthumously in 1941 as a fragment with Fitzgerald's own notes. When he was not writing for publication, Fitzgerald wrote about his life and about his observations on life in his ledger and in his notebooks, both of which are now available in book form. In spare moments he wrote letters - letters to Maxwell Perkins, his editor at Scribners; letters to his literary agent Harold Ober; letters to literary acquaintances, friends, and family - letters, often about his writing, which now fill four substantial volumes. Above all else Fitzgerald was a writer, a literary artist, who early shared with Edmund Wilson his immodest goal of becoming “one of the greatest writers who ever lived” (Bruccoli, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur, 70).
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