The handsome southern boys courting Zelda are more interested in horse racing than books. When Scott is shipped out—he never sees European soil—Zelda must decide: security as a pampered southern belle, or a life heretofore undreamed of?
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Zelda is both ornament and participant. Dressed in the latest, most daring fashions, witty and flirtatious, Zelda is clearly expected to reflect well on her husband. New York is the perfect place for the fashionable couple to party, and they do so heavily. Their alcohol-fueled antics make the papers, pleasing Scott. But the next book must written; a move to the country, outfitted in red convertible, is needed. A suitable manse is located, but hiring household help is put off:. The above is the first glimmering of the domestic upheaval that will ruin the Fitzgeralds.
Fowler carefully doles out blame, falling into the camp of Zelda sympathizers. Obsessed with keeping up appearances, Scott exhorts Zelda to purchase the best of everything. Zelda, concerned about finances, probes Scott and is rebuffed. The couple seesaw between broke and flush. These initially appear under a dual Fitzgerald byline, which is quickly determined unnecessary.
As his alcoholism worsens, he often disgraces himself. He embarrasses Zelda in front of her family, at parties, publicly. When a series of health issues leave Zelda infertile, Scott blames her: he had wanted a son. By , the couple is riding high on a wave of parties and cash.
Their daughter is cared for by a succession of rigid nannies, employed by Scott to give little Scottie the structure Zelda is incapable of providing. The dark side of their lives—alcohol, boredom, unhappiness—is rapidly darkening. The marriage barely survives. Zelda throws herself into artistic pursuits; painting, writing, and later, ballet. When she chides him about his drinking, he accuses her of sabotaging his work.
In modern psychospeak, this couple would be dubbed codependent, alcoholic, enabling. The sad truth is they love each other. Amidst their personal upheavals, the couple mingles with the famous names of the day: Cole Porter, Gerald and Sara Murphy, Pablo Picasso. And, of course, Ernest Hemingway. The men are close friends, a friendship the increasingly unhinged Zelda misinterprets. Her enormous gifts as a writer, artist, and dancer were quashed by her husband and doctors. When she did write a novel—the autobiographical Save Me the Waltz , reviewers panned it. A show of her artworks did little better.
As for dance, it was ruled too unsettling a pastime.inanknowgahi.tk
Book review: ‘Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald,’ by Therese Anne Fowler
Zelda receives primitive mental health care, though she does recover enough to return home. She is only 40 years old, but she is a widow who will battle occasional bouts of mental illness the remaining eight years of her life. During one such flare, she checked herself into the hospital, only to perish when the facility caught fire. Like her spouse, acknowledgement of her talents came posthumously, both in biographical works, reissues of her writings, and novelizations like this one. In writing Z , Fowler took a risk: she is sure to anger a shrinking group of readers—frankly, readers like me-- who remember Zelda Fitzgerald as more than a vague, century-old name.
These readers may wrongly call out derivations from the biography or fixate on details. Subscription sign in. Read latest edition.
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Bookslut | Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
Flag comment Cancel. Delete Comment Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Cancel Delete comment. Deleting comment This comment has been deleted. Try for free. Already registered? Subscribe to Independent Premium to bookmark this article Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? April, I endured six years in a series of sanitariums in order to heal my broken brain and fractured spirit. Scott, meantime, straggled through a bunch of different hotels and inns and towns, always nearby me—until Hollywood beckoned again and I urged him to go.
His luck hardly improved: for three years, now, he's battled liquor and studio executives. He had a minor heart attack earlier this month. Though I suspect he has someone out there, he writes to me all the time, and always ends his letters, With dearest love. My letters to him are signed, Devotedly.
Even now, when we haven't shared an address in six years, when he's probably shining his light on some adoring girl who surely thinks she has saved him, we're both telling it true. This is what we've got at the moment, who we are. It's not nearly what we once had—the good, I mean—but it's also not what we once had, meaning the bad. Mildred Jameson, who taught me sewing in junior high school, calls to me from her porch as I pass.
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We're celebrities in this town, Scott and me. Folks here have followed our doings all along, clipping articles about us, claiming events and friendships that are as invented as any fiction Scott or I ever wrote. You can't stop the gossip or even combat it, hardly, so you learn to play along. Mildred moves to the porch rail. Oh, my, I do love Rhett Butler!
And tell him to be quick about it! We aren't any of us getting any younger.