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The Beautiful and Damned- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The not-so-fictional tragedy of a great storyteller

Perhaps, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a glorified blogger…

The Beautiful and Damned foreshadowed the dramatic demise of his relationship with his wife, Zelda Fitzgerald, and loosely mirrored their extravagant life. He captured the essence of the American lifestyle during the Jazz Era of limitless indulgences, coining his socialite companion as “the first American flapper”, commanding the most exclusive parties in New York.

Regardless of the eventual collapse of their real-life freedoms, losing touch with morality, and the fragility of beauty, F. Scott Fitzgerald uninhibitedly personified the tragic side of privilege and fame in his novels.

Shortly before his death, Fitzgerald wrote a letter to his wife. It is beautiful in the sense that in the end, he acknowledges the truths in his writing and at the same time apologizes by clarifying a long-lived misconception that might have been held true by the narrative between the pages.

“I wish The Beautiful and Damned had been a maturely written book because it was all true. We ruined ourselves—I have never honestly thought that we ruined each other.”

Even amongst the destruction, grace finds a way to find its place. Below, this incredible quote resonates and I find it difficult to believe such admiration came from such a broken love story, and yet, perhaps, there is still hope us all.

Disclaimer: Ok, maybe, like every great novel, it might be too good to be true. Such tragedy!

I love a great quote but just like the game of “telephone” , there’s always a bit of twisted truth to what people put out there. I found an article on MentalFloss stating the quote was misattributed to Fitzgerald and there is nothing suggesting he said or wrote anything close to it. Right? It’s not an academic site, but still, I frantically searched and I couldn’t find the quote mentioned in one of his pieces or in an interview. (Please, please correct me if I am wrong!)

Oh, us hopeless romantics, we are a glutton for tragedy. We yearn for glimpses of fierce women, adored only from afar. We witness the great novelist professing his admiration so elegantly on Etsy sites, Goodreads Quotes, Amazon, and Pinterest… honestly, just about everywhere.

Regardless, I wouldn’t be a responsible blogger if I didn’t shine a light on the possible misconceptions.

I can’t help but love the quote, unapologetically. Quoted or misquoted… I close my eyes… I am inspired by the woman who is described as beautiful, down deep to her soul!

RIP, Fitzgerald… great American storyteller.

xoxo Annie

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