Literary Classics

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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By F. Scott Fitzgerald

A self-portrait of a superb author 's upward thrust and fall, intensely own and etched with Fitzgerald's signature combination of romance and realism.

The Crack-Up tells the tale of Fitzgerald's surprising descent on the age of thirty-nine from glamorous good fortune to drain melancholy, and his decided restoration. Compiled and edited by means of Edmund Wilson presently after F. Scott Fitzgerald's loss of life, this revealing number of his essays—as good as letters to and from Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton, T.S. Eliot, John Dos Passos—tells of a guy with allure and ability to burn, whose gaiety and genius made him a dwelling image of the Jazz Age, and whose recklessness introduced him grief and loss. "Fitzgerald's actual and non secular exhaustion is defined brilliantly," famous the recent York evaluation of Books: "the essays are outstanding for the candor."

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Example text

I am the most slavish of students, with here a dictionary, there a note-book in which I enter curious uses of the past participle. But one cannot go on for ever cutting these ancient inscriptions clearer with a knife. Shall I always draw the red-serge curtain close and see my book, laid like a block of marble, pale under the lamp? That would be a glorious life, to addict oneself to perfection; to follow the curve of the sentence wherever it might lead, into deserts, under drifts of sand, regardless of lures, of seductions; to be poor always and unkempt; to be ridiculous in Piccadilly.

Then I shall drop you. ‘I am one person – myself. I do not impersonate Catullus, whom I adore. I am the most slavish of students, with here a dictionary, there a note-book in which I enter curious uses of the past participle. But one cannot go on for ever cutting these ancient inscriptions clearer with a knife. Shall I always draw the red-serge curtain close and see my book, laid like a block of marble, pale under the lamp? That would be a glorious life, to addict oneself to perfection; to follow the curve of the sentence wherever it might lead, into deserts, under drifts of sand, regardless of lures, of seductions; to be poor always and unkempt; to be ridiculous in Piccadilly.

But now we have regained our territory after that brief brush with the bicycles and the lime scent and the vanishing figures in the distracted street. Here we are masters of tranquillity and order; inheritors of proud tradition. The lights are beginning to make yellow slits across the square. Mists from the river are filling these ancient spaces. They cling, gently, to the hoary stone. The leaves now are thick in country lanes, sheep cough in the damp fields; but here in your room we are dry. We talk privately.

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