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The Crack-Up

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  2,013 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Version bilingue.

Quatre textes sont rassemblés dans ce recueil :

"How to Live on $36,000 a Year" / "Vivre avec trente-six mille dollars par an"

"How to Live on Practically Nothing a Year" / "Vivre avec presque rien"

"Afternoon of an Author" / "L'après-midi d'un écrivain"

"The Crack-Up" / "La fêlure"
Paperback, 347 pages
Published 1956 by New Directions (first published 1936)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Marco Tamborrino
Salvare o essere salvato, mai niente di meno.

La vita di uno dei più grandi scrittori americani ha avuto degli alti e bassi, un po' come le vite di tutti. Un forte momento di depressione ha spinto Fitzgerald a perdere se stesso dopo aver perso tutto il resto. Sto parlando del crollo morale di una persona, della perdita di ogni valore, di ogni atteggiamento. La conseguenza del troppo pensare.

"Va bene che la vita è tutta un processo di disgregamento, ma i colpi di portata micidiale - i colpacci imp
...more
Steve
There's some beautiful writing here, especially in the first portion of the book, which is comprised of several essays by FSF. (Also, there's a wonderful poem by Edmund Wilson (I didn't know he wrote poetry) at the front of the book.) In the essays, FSF, while admitting that more distance was needed, shows a remarkable grasp of the Jazz age and what it meant -- and didn't mean. Oddly, I found this look back somewhat reminiscent of Keith Richards' recent book. FSF & Zelda were the Keith and A ...more
David Clark
I couldn't agree more with the reviewer who observed she had not expected to care so much for the author. I started reading this volume as a long time but only luke-warm reader of Fitzgerald. This painful memoir of his depression and recovery was initially intellectually engaging but to my amazement became intimate and absorbing in ways Fitgerald's novels are not. In this book of short stories, letters, and misc. prose Fitzgerald turned his considerable talents towards examining, as Philip Lopat ...more
John
This shows just how far Fitzgerald descended...his is a story of wasted talent...BUT (and this is what I like to focus on) it is also a story of how he began a slow, painstaking ascent...He realized how far he had fallen, and he decided to make the long, hard climb back up...Too bad his heart simply gave out on him...Had he lived longer, it would have been interesting to see what he produced...
Norah
This is a collection of autobiographical writings of Fitzgerald -- essays, letters, excerpts from his notebooks -- and it shows a man's downfall, a crisis with which I had not been expecting to care about as much as I ended up caring about it, and to my surprise, Fitzgerald pulling himself up out of the darkness and making a fresh start. It's so strange -- you expect him to be this tragic hero, but in the end he was trying to get back to normalcy and he had just a normal, run of the mill heart a ...more
Julie
This should be offered for reading as a companion along side The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald comes across in this book as a man who lived his art as if he were agonizing over having painted himself into his own canvas. And in the Crack Up he later reached out to pen an afterward to the Great Gatsby from the momentum of his own life in dissarray. Though common knowledge that Fitzgerald is an estimable American author, The Crack Up, lets his audiences see his interior world in a more wretched state. ...more
Jana L.
I love how perfectly Fitzgerald crafts and imparts an imaginative moment or character. The 120+ pages of notes in this collection are a treat, though it's best to read them in 20 page increments to give each "bullet point" opportunity to set in without being obscured by the multitude. I found myself wishing at many points that Fitzgerald had developed *this situation* or *that character* in a full-length work (whether novel, short story or play). His creative well seemed to be bottomless and the ...more
Pelin
I actually know a few people who genuinely don't like Fitzgerald's writing....or just aren't that taken with it, but personally I think his style of writing and choice of words (in The Crack-Up and his other works) are divine; he is able to encapsulate the emotion of an era, and (perhaps unintentionally) allow us to see into the mind of a man who has faded from the fame he was surrounded by not long ago.
The section of the book entitled "The Note-Books" is full of short but captivating writing
...more
SCARABOOKS
Sono tre articoli sulla depressione. Come tre racconti in sequenza. Brevi. Veri. Scritti daddìo (anche con apostrofo).

Un lettore pragmatico e superficiale potrebbe sintetizzare una trama. Del tipo: sentirsi come "un piatto crepato" e dopo aver scartato la soluzione di scappare nei mari del sud o in un altro Altrove ("La famosa «fuga», ovvero «piantare tutto in asso», è una gita in una trappola"), pensare di venirne fuori appendendo alla porta il cartello "cave canem".

Un lettore pignolo al contra
...more
kat
Apr 28, 2009 kat rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ahem.
Shelves: new-read
This probably isn't for the casual Fitzgerald fan. As for me, I cried cover to cover. To follow the progression of your favorite person's breakdown through essays, letters, notes... it's heady stuff indeed. But most of all, I want to share this little part, which absolutely blew me away. In an essay about Scott that was written in 1925, before Gatsby was published, Paul Rosenfeld writes:

He has seen his material from its own point of view, and he has seen it completely from without. But he has ne
...more
skein
Not having read much Fitgerald -- some few stories and The Last Tycoon in a fit of teenager penance, of which I remember nothing but that I understood nothing and enjoyed it immensely -- I hadn't notions. Beautiful prose, some natterings about the Jazz Age, love lost, tragedy, alcoholism: yes. I certainly did not expect to like the man or actually give a shit about his problems. He crept on me like a ghost.

The letters to friends and daughter are as brilliant as the budget-list (gin, paper, cloth
...more
Keenan Johnston
This is not a novel, but rather smattering of Fitzgerald's letters, journal notes, and diaries. It was interesting to get into the mind of a writer and see all the different ideas for short stories, characters and even simple anecdotes. If you read this book, it is much better to have a context of what was going on his life during the time of his letters, so below is a short timeline of events which are not described in the book but give good context:

By 1924: Zelda had cheated on Scott for the f
...more
Rae
I don't know if this would rate as high for anyone who isn't a huge Fitzgerald fan, but I adored this. I loved "The Crack-Up" and a couple of the other essays, but I thought his Notebooks were easily the most interesting part of the book. I started saving some of my favorite quotes and descriptions to post here, then I realized I had almost 35. His prose was so on point, man. But I will just leave one quote from "The Crack-Up" (a really frank essay about his personal failings and the decline of ...more
Troy
I didn't actually finish this book; I really only came to it to read "The Crack Up" and I was only reading it because it's discussed in Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus, which I'm reading as part of a reading group.

But damn it's good.

I have a friend who loves stories written by depressed and self-loathing alcoholics who are undergoing some sort of break, and "The Crack Up" takes the type and gives it a good thrashing. Fitzgerald documents a "subterranean" break that leaves him a lesse
...more
Holly
"Instead of being so sorry for yourself, listen --" she said. (She always says "Listen," because she thinks while she talks -- really thinks.) So she said: "Listen. Suppose this wasn't a crack in you -- suppose it was a crack in the Grand Canyon."

"The crack's in me," I said heroically.

"Listen! The world only exists in your eyes -- your conception of it. You can make it as big or small as you want to. And you're trying to be a little puny individual. By God, if I ever cracked, I'd try to make the
...more
robxyz
Mister Fitzgerald sarebbe riuscito a rendere avvincente pure la descrizione del parcheggio di un ipermercato al sabato pomeriggio. Questo libretto davvero microscopico contiene tre articoli scritti per una rivista nell'ultimo travagliato periodo della sua vita, e la lucidità rassegnata con la quale affronta la descrizione del suo crollo psicologico unita alla maestria che contraddistingue il suo stile letterario ne fanno comunque una lettura interessante; l'ottima traduzione italiana costituisce ...more
Ben
In his memoir, 'You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train,' the late Howard Zinn writes: “Pessimism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; it reproduces itself by crippling our willingness to act.” In many ways, it seems that this was the curse that befell F. Scott Fitzgerald in later life. His despair and hopelessness, and also his will to recover, which can be found in his fiction, are laid out nowhere as well as in the essays found in 'The Crack Up,' particularly in the essay of the same name.

When
...more
JSA Lowe
Where do I start. From the opening terrible bathetic poem by Bunny (e.g. describing, apparently, FSF's eyes: "The cornea tough, the aqueous chamber cold, / Those glassy optic bulbs that globe and hold") to the stilted manly prose of Fitzgerald himself, through whose lines nonetheless so much may be read—I don't know. I laughed at it and I am also in love with it. Mostly, above all, for two reasons: the web of writerly relationships it reveals (the letter from Wharton, about Gatsby!) and mostly t ...more
Paul Gleason
FSF speaks the truth in "The Crack-Up," in probably the most cogent piece of writing on despair since Kierkegaard's The Sickness Unto Death. But FSF tops Kierkegaard. He speaks in plain American English of the fate that befalls many Americans. It's almost like he's writing about my life. But I've felt this way about other books of his, especially his masterpiece, Tender Is the Night. FSF is a giant - and this essay allows one to read Gatsby and Night in the same way as one reads Rimbaud, Céline, ...more
Anne
I only wanted absolute quiet to think out why I had developed a sad attitude toward sadness, a melancholy attitude toward melancholy, and a tragic attitude toward tragedy...

I only read The Crack-Up - an essay divided into four parts.
All life is a process of breaking down.

Part 1: This served as an introduction to the breaking down the author experienced. Fitzgerald mentioned that there was a blow that came from within, one that you'd only feel until it was too late. He talked about his unique
...more
John Keats
The essence of this collection of essays and notes and letters by Fitzgerald is: you only have so much energy. And when you're out, you're out: "vitality" is "incommunicable." You can't keep expending and then, as Nietzsche says, too, get back to the real effort, the right pursuit. This central point lends an ominous, suicidal note to everything in this volume, but Fitzgerald fights that option off by, it seems, writing, and having hope in finding the right thing, the right way. And I don't know ...more
Susan
I love this man, I think we would have made the best of friends, or the best of therapists. He would have been the greatest blogger! That's sort of what this is. His descent into and back out of madness is so eloquent and insightful (if not completely self-indulgent). Too bad he had too much booze, too much time, too much fame, too much money sunk into a stash of potted meat and crackers to take a step back and look at the big picture. He was his own worst enemy.
Procyon Lotor
Winner take nothing (cit.) Poche paginette (con note e un'articolo a postfazione inquadrante non a cardatura per fortuna) da tre articoletti che FSF invi sollecitato da Esquire che, rivista allora di desueta squisitezza, ricordava lui che avrebbe pubblicato anche la sua lista della lavanderia. Sfortunatamente dopo "essere giunto ad emettere assegni a vuoto sulla propria forza", non aveva altro che s stesso, sped pertanto a Esquire la propria autopsia, che leggerete quindi fra visceri fumanti e s ...more
Quiet
The Crack-Up isn't actually 300 pages of Fitzgerald content. It's more about 150.
The actual essays make up only a 100 pages or so, while another 50 is composed of the variously collected letters of Fitzgerald. These two portions are excellent; the essays are particularly insightful into this great Legend and also capture that style of tragedy that befell so many Lost-Generation writers sooner or later.
The letters are an absolute blast, but there's only so many here. Since the Crack-Up, there are
...more
Sergio Donato
Rabbia.
C'è livore nella scelta di non esistere di Fitzgerald. Non abbandono, ma rabbia. Una partita che non è stata chiusa del tutto. Una decisione consapevole eppure non completamente accettata.
Kristin Boluch
Is this a book? In any case, anyone interested in Fitzgerald's psychology needs to read this. The most fascinating aspect of this piece is that Fitzgerald never once brings up alcohol, even though the article is all about his alcoholism. Very telling, and sad. His friends argued vigorously against his publishing this article; those of us who study the Jazz Age and its aftermath are grateful he did. Its an elegantly written piece about discomfort, dysfunction and destruction. I can't say its tone ...more
Tanya
I love that I can pick up this book, flip it to any random page and enjoy what I read.
Shubham Dabas
"I felt a certain reaction to what she said, but I am a slow-thinking man, and it occurred to me simultaneously that of all natural forces, vitality is the incommunicable one. In days when juice came into one as an article without duty, one tried to distribute it-but always without success; to further mix metaphors, vitality never "takes." You have it or you haven't it, like health or brown eyes or honor or a baritone voice. I might have asked some of it from her, neatly wrapped and ready for ho ...more
Makenna
Aug 26, 2011 Makenna marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
John Green's Youtube video made me read it...
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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American writer of novels and short stories, whose works have been seen as evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he himself allegedly coined. He is regarded as one of the greatest twentieth century writers. Fitzgerald was of the self-styled "Lost Generation," Americans born in the 1890s who came of age during World War I. He finished four novels, left a fifth unfini ...more
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The Great Gatsby Tender Is the Night This Side of Paradise The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Beautiful and Damned

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“Now the standard cure for one who is sunk is to consider those in actual destitution or physical suffering—this is an all-weather beatitude for gloom in general and fairly salutary day-time advice for everyone. But at three o’clock in the morning, a forgotten package has the same tragic importance as a death sentence, and the cure doesn’t work—and in a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.” 504 likes
“Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation– the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the "impossible," come true.”
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