This was a darling little book of snippets from Fitzgerald's writings. Going in I actually had expected a book written by him, FOR writers. But that was not to be, more's the pity.
However, he did enough tutoring and had enough characters that *were* writers (shamelessly writing autobiography into a lot of his works!), that we can glean a lot from all that. And that's what this editor did.
One thing was missing, which might have helped me, as I'm not altogether familiar with ALL of F. Scott's work - a chronological listing of his works. The year was always given in the quote, except when it was lifted from a published work. And there I was stymied trying to place the quote within his life. For instance, I've never read The Crack-Up, and I'm not even sure what type of work it is. So now I'll have to go looking for it.
However, that is a small quibble. I suppose the editor (like most biographers) assumed everyone had an encyclopedic knowledge of F. Scott. But nope.
What I did love were the letters talking about Hemingway, and the ones to his daughter, especially where he recommended books to her. I don't think that F. Scott is a better writer than Hemingway, but I do think he was a better man. Anyway, I find their binary star existence very interesting.
I tabbed several quotes and I am sure that if I read this at another time, I'd tab still several more. He was no slouch. He had a rare gift, and seemed to know it. So many interesting insights.
I especially found his letters to his editor Max Perkins to be really interesting. And I've got an edition of his complete Letters here, and I might just dip into that next.
"I have lived so long within the circle of this book and with these characters that often it seems to me that the real world does not exist but that only these characters exist, and however pretentious that remarks sounds... it is an absolute fact - so much so that their glees and woes are just exactly as important to me as what happens in life."
He had a lot to say which was very prescient, both about his own life and about the world. I just wish he hadn't died so young.