A very crack-up kind of place. Is any of this starting to sound familiar? The first sort of breakage seems to happen quick — the second kind happens almost without your knowing it but is realized suddenly indeed. The 1887 Victorian residence on St. My first symbol was now a memory, for I knew that triumph is in oneself; my second one had grown commonplace—two of the actresses whom I had worshipped from afar in 1913 had dined in our house. Perkins was having none of it. Original typescript Original typescript, n. Scott Fitzgerald, is an elaborate description and analysis of the mental break down the author experienced and the depths of its causes.
The uncertainties of 1920 were drowned in a steady golden roar and many of our friends had grown wealthy. I found I was good-and-tired. By 1930, at the age of 34, Fitzgerald had already passed the peak of his fame, health and marriage. Full of vaunting pride the New Yorker had climbed here and seen with dismay what he had never suspected, that the city was not the endless succession of canyons that he had supposed but that it had limits—from the tallest structure he saw for the first time that it faded out into the country on all sides, into an expanse of green and blue that alone was limitless. The returning troops marched up Fifth Avenue and girls were instinctively drawn east and north towards them—this was the greatest nation and there was gala in the air. Young people wore out early—they were hard and languid at twenty-one, and save for Peter Arno none of them contributed anything new; perhaps Peter Arno and his collaborators said everything there was to say about the boom days in New York that couldn't be said by a jazz band.
Though the present writer was not so entangled — having at the time not tasted so much as a glass of beer for six months — it was his nervous reflexes that were giving way — too much anger and too many tears. The world of the picture actors was like our own in that it was in New York and not of it. This statement requires some account of the metropolis in 1920. He even got fired from the set of Winter Dreams, an adaptation of one of his own short stories. We had run through a lot, though we had retained an almost theatrical innocence by preferring the role of the observed to that of the observer.
And I loved it for precisely the reasons that they hated it: for the garish glitz and the dizzying 3D. On our walks, my dog often chooses to make her pause in front of the rowhouse on Summit where Fitzgerald came home to stay with his parents that decisive summer of 1920. In the third, as he moves beyond description of his condition toward a solution, he retains the same figure of speech, but turns it inside out. Fat chance—for the next two years I had as much control over my own destiny as a convict over the cut of his clothes. But innocence is no end in itself and as our minds unwillingly matured we began to see New York whole and try to save some of it for the selves we would inevitably become.
To my bewilderment, I was adopted, not as a Middle Westerner, not even as a detached observer, but as the archetype of what New York wanted. That is the real end of the story. For the moment I can only cry out that I have lost my splendid mirage. The girl concerned had never seen New York but she was wise enough to be rather reluctant. From the confusion of the year 1920 I remember riding on top of a taxicab along deserted Fifth Avenue on a hot Sunday night, and a luncheon in the cool Japanese gardens at the Ritz with the wistful Kay Laurel and George Jean Nathan, and writing all night again and again, and paying too much for minute apartments, and buying magnificent but broken-down cars. Instead there were the speak-easies—the moving from luxurious bars, which advertised in the campus publications of Yale and Princeton, to the beer gardens where the snarl-ing face of the underworld peered through the German good nature of the entertainment, then on to strange and even more sinister localities where one was eyed by granite-faced boys and there was nothing left of joviality but only a brutishness that corrupted the new day into which one presently went out.
I saw that for a long time I had not liked people and things, but only followed the rickety old pretense of liking, I saw that even my love for those closest to me was become only an attempt to love, that my casual relations — with an editor, a tobacco seller, the child of a friend, were only what I remembered I should do, from other days. His drinking interfered badly with his work. I wandered through the town of 127th Street, resenting its vibrant life; or else I bought cheap theatre seats at Gray's drugstore and tried to lose myself for a few hours in my old passion for Broadway. One was increasingly conscious of the speak-easy and of Park Avenue. The only thing he had left to hold onto of himself was his hard-working persona, though it had been in many ways utilized in a non self-profiting manner. Especially by those scrappy little pieces. The ferry boat stood for triumph, the girl for romance.
The Fitzgerald of the essays is deafened by the noise of his flapper-dominated dreams and nightmares. After a long period of isolation in which he was disgusted with his old values, he decided to separate himself completely from them. The New York of undergraduate dissipation, of Bustanoby's, Shan-ley's, Jack's, had become a horror, and though I returned to it, alas, through many an alcoholic mist, I felt each time a betrayal of a persistent idealism. He holed up on the third floor to rewrite This Side of Paradise after a first version had been rejected by Maxwell Perkins. Fitzgerald didn't lose money in the market; he never owned stock. To make matters worse, a drought in 1930 ravaged farmers.
While my friends were launching decently into life I had muscled my inadequate bark into midstream. Not many people came to F. Luhrmann succeeded in capturing their wide-eyed foundering with remarkable sensitivity, and yet after I saw the film, I found myself outcast among my friends and respected colleagues. In was John Steinbeck's Joad family trudging grimly across the dusty West. The plays were Declassee and Sacred and Profane Love, and at the Midnight Frolic you danced elbow to elbow with Marion Davies and perhaps picked out the vivacious Mary Hay in the pony chorus. For seventeen years, with a year of deliberate loafing and resting out in the center — things went on like that, with a new chore only a nice prospect for the next day.