Today, F. Scott Fitzgerald is known for his novels, but in his lifetime, his fame stemmed from his prolific achievement as one of America's most gifted (and best-paid) writers of stories and novellas.
In 'The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald', Matthew J. Bruccoli, the country's premier Fitzgerald scholar and biographer, assembles a sparkling collection that encompasses the full scope of Fitzgerald's short fiction.
The forty-three masterpieces range from early stories that capture the fashion of the times to later ones written after the author's fabled crack-up, which are sober reflections on his own youthful excesses.
Included are classic novellas, such as "The Rich Boy," "May Day," and "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," as well as a remarkable body of work he wrote for the Saturday Evening Post and its sister "slicks."
These stories can be read as an autobiographical journal of a great writer's career, an experience deepened by the illuminating introductory headnotes that Matthew Bruccoli has written for each story, placing it in its literary and biographical context.
Together, these forty-three stories compose a vivid picture of a lost era, but their brilliance is timeless.
This essential collection is a monument to the genius of one of the great voices in the history of American literature.
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 unfinished, and wrote dozens of short stories that treat themes of youth, despair, and age. He was married to Zelda Fitzgerald.
What a wonderful world described by F S Fitzgerald in this pretty dense collection of short stories. Loved it. A great number. 54. It was worthwhile the time I dedicated to it and the efforts to keep myself undistracted. Stories about people with a life very strong in them, fighting for themselves to be happy, although in many cases they end up being and feeling ashamed of themselves and miserable. Stories about people that were financial and professional successes (sadly not for long) for which they work harder than others, or it seemed so, for they had eventually begun to pay a price for their irregular lives, if we take into account that their faces over thirty are discontented and unhappy. Stories that lead one back to first youth and days of hope. Surely, other sort of hope than the current flow of hope. Stories about people that get hurt but are still people of action, full of the strong vitality of the late twenties (of last century, of course), about people that were drinking too much and needed someone on the gray days of reaction (as a rule, they ended up getting married suddenly..) Stories that are bitterly humorous about the characters they present, by describing all their problems of hate and bitterness, of pains and grieving, and concluding in a tragic note to say we are all failures. As one character finely said it “he had stacked the cards dexterously, but Life had played a trump from its sleeve at the last.” Stories about certain old-fashioned convictions. For all my sense of possession, I felt how old-fashioned I am too. Ha. Stories that show that it’s all so silly! Stories that show the glamour of an old world. Stories that show entertainments, eccentricities, and well spoiled men and women. Stories that show that you go up or down in this world. Well, it doesn’t matter if it’s happening in last century or present century. Stories about Josephine. Oh, yes! Josephine. What a charming fine girl – certainly my favourite (of course I don’t compete with the great Chris Rea and his beloved Josephine) – one of the best, the belle of Chicago, the golden girl of the golden West - an incontestable little beauty of just sixteen years of age. A representative of her generation as the principal agent of corruption (of course I mean she had character) though she openly recognized her being fickle (and that’s just human, isn’t!?) she is proud to claim her motto as “Live and let live. Everybody has a right to do what they want”. To make long story short this means just have fun with boys, dancing, parties! Doubtless it’s really unendurable the way she’s behaving – and yes, it’s mostly dangerous and alarming when out of sudden a peculiar look is flashing across her face, a sort of expression that is easily associated with a prominent character in Faust. HA. It is curious - though her emotional maturity had seemed not quite proper (definitely also related to the environment she was circling around), when she was putting on more sophisticated clothes – this very fact only, contributed to the change of attitude towards her and she was accepted by at least the male half in any party, or gathering. The only thing she cared about in the world was being in love and being with the person she currently loved, but oddly enough, the romantic mystery of the world moved quite often into another man. And she was just sixteen years of age yet. It was sheer fun to watch her doing all kinds of different things – and never tired of trying anything (she really holds a fast-beating excitement in every affair she gets involved into) despite the fact that sometimes it meant just to work herself into hysteria – but never forgetting that her ultimate goal is to always mark a revision of everyone’s else opinion of her. She is chiefly revolving around an aura of new boys – centaurs in new cars (!), new tunes, parties and house parties yet to be. Goodness! I have honestly forgotten what early youth is all about. Or, it was about. In general, she sees by instinct rather than logic, and that helps her know if there is something she failed to understand. She knows that to remain stuck for long in a certain place will eventually ruin her fine reputation - as “nobody thinks of anything but boys and dances from morning till night. They go out in their cars and kiss them from morning till night, as all these boys are just simply immoral, that’s all.” Sounds like a child letter. Funny and simple. What a lot of nonsense to be bothered about nowadays! I mean it was a silly reason. But I am not sure this is so far away from present times. Especially for a sixteen-year-old girl. In my weekends’ walks to the park I see a lot of groups of teens – a solid mix of girls and boys – who mostly keep shouting, yelling, talking very noisily, pushing and pulling of themselves, walking like they are some legendary personages from some movies. Girls look much more mature than the boys, and this gives to the view a very funny contrast, as something is not proper. It is lovely however how they try to exchange a few warm glances one with each other, especially when some pairs are already established. I know that I have a strong prejudice or a biased judgement when I take them in my eye. But the good thing is that on most occasions I find myself roaring with laughter. Good God! I am so happy that I have passed that critical age. Not that I have been something like that. Still, it has some silly touch to hear how they provoke each other, by entangling themselves into plots, just for the sake of being occupied with something.. In my past, a nice quiet place was best to be and it was really making a difference. By itself it had a promise of its own. In was developing in me a rather gently social vein. So now, to put the matters in a new light, let’s remember how Chris Rea is singing about his Josephine:
There's rain on my window, And I'm thinking on you, Tears on my pillow, But I will come thru... Josephine, I'll send you all my love, And every single step I'll take I'll take for you. Now there's a stone on my radar, But I can still fly. You are the reason, That's ruling my sky. Life with a pain in, I was walking away. In the coldest of winter, Night becomes day. Josephine, I'll send you all my love, And every single step I'll take I'll take for you. My Josephine, I'll send you all my love, When I fall away, I'll send you all my love, Josephine...
So different from Gatsby and This Side of Paradise, but exceedingly clever and often funny. Of course, this is where Fitzgerald made his money, so the stories tend to lean more toward entertainment than does his "serious" work. There's even a film based on "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. If kids were forced to read that and "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz", perhaps more people would be Fitzgerald fans. Or perhaps not.
So as I continue to read, more and more stories echo or foreshadow The Great Gatsby, which I suppose is not much of a surprise. This does not make them bad. The more I read, the more I feel like Scott and I would have been friends, if, you know, I had money and went to Princeton and lived the high life during the Jazz Age.
Favorite line from a short story so far (from "The Sensible Thing"): "Well, let it pass, he thought; April is over, April is over. There are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice."
Nu ar Fitzgerald'o kūryba gali būti prasta? Žinoma, kad ne. Visos istorijos skirtingos, bet kartu ir tokios panašios. Vėl sutinkame mums gerai pažįstamą eleganciją, rafinuotumą, geras manieras, jausmų blaškomus žmones... Viskas kaip visada - tobula.
Superb ss writing even if the material is so outrageously dated in quips, racial/gender denigrations & "white class privilege" - there's no denying the imaginative and elegant display of life during the twenties in that realm.
Antras susitikimas su Fitzgerald'u ir nė kiek nenusivyliau. Kaip tik pakerėjo. Spalvinga, jaučiama prabanga, o kartu ir skausmas, keisti siekiai bei susipainiojimas, aukštuomenės išsišokimai bei vertybių ieškojimas. Apsakymai susiję su prarastąja karta, kiekviena istorija kažkuo panaši ir kitokia. Nupiešia viena po kito geresnį paveikslą. Nesinori baigti knygos ir atsisveikinti, gerai, kad lentynoje turiu dar vieną jo knygą.
I've read a selection of five stories from this anthology of forty three:
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (1922) ** Un inicio inverosímil incluso para ser ficción “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” (1922) ** Como el guión de una película para TV “The rich boy” (1926) *** Recuerda al Gran Gatsby, aunque menos trabajada. Me gustó. “Babylon Revisited” (1931) *** Bastante bueno el desarrollo de los personajes. Me gustó. “The afternoon of an author” (1936) ** Inevitable una comparación desventajosa con el muy superior relato de Peter Handke.
Globalmente le doy dos estrellas y media a la selección de las consideradas cinco mejores historias cortas de Fitzgerald.
II. Final review (after a few days of the initial one)
The Short Stories, Scribner, 1998 Cuentos rebeldes, Navona, 2018 La tarde de un escritor y otros relatos, Cátedra, 2021 Autor: F.Scott Fitzgerald Valoración global 2,5/5 Traducción Navona: 4/5 Traducción Cátedra: 4/5
A menudo se ha dicho que Fitzgerald, al igual que los demás escritores de su generación, consideraban el relato corto un género inferior, en parte por las limitaciones que les imponían las revistas para su publicación en cuanto a temática y desarrollo. Fitzgerald, sin embargo cultivó ampliamente el género, en parte por dinero y en parte por exigencias de su editor para llenar los períodos entre las novelas del autor.
De los ciento sesenta relatos que componen el canon de Fitzgerald, el especialista Matthew Bruccoli seleccionó cuarenta y tres para la excelente edición de Scribner. De estos yo he seleccionado a la vez cinco especialmente reconocidos por la crítica para esta primera lectura.
1.“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Collier’s Magazine, mayo 1922). Segunda historia publicada por Fitzgerald. Su arranque me resultó poco convincente, incluso para el género fantástico, si bien reconozco en esa inverosimilitud cierto aire kafkiano. Hay cosas que chirrían y que quizás resten credibilidad a la historia, como por ejemplo la casi total ausencia de la madre de Benjamin. El relato mejora según se aproxima a su final, que me resultó convincente y emocionante: sin duda la mejor parte de esta historia. Le doy 2,5/5
Se incluyó en la segunda colección de relatos de Fitzgerald, titulada Tales of the Jazz Age (Scribner, septiembre 1922).
2.“The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” (The Smart Set Magazine, junio 1922) es una novelette o relato largo acerca de un chaval que es invitado por su millonario compañero de estudios a la remota mansión paterna, edificada al lado de una montaña de diamante. Para preservar el secreto, los invitados tienen que ser asesinados antes del momento de su regreso. A pesar de su fama me ha parecido un mal relato. Al principio recuerda algo a las historias fantásticas de Edgar Allan Poe, pero pronto cae en situaciones estereotipadas. Personalmente me recordó el guión de muchas películas baratas "de aventura" que echan en la tele los sábados por la tarde. Le doy 2/5
También se incluyó en Tales of the Jazz Age.
3.“The rich Boy” (The Red Book, enero y febrero 1926). Escrito mientras Fitzgerald esperaba la publicación de El Gran Gatsby, con el que guarda similitudes: la fascinación de Fitzgerald, no desprovista de critíca, por las clases altas, el narrador-testigo, la soledad del protagonista, etc. Aunque al igual que las historias de Dublineses de Joyce, parece más un episodio de una novela incompleta que un relato autocontenido, me ha gustado la conmovedora profundidad psicológica con que se trata al protagonista, Anson Hunter, por lo que le doy 3/5
El relato se incluyó en la tercera colección de relatos de Fitzgerald, titulada All the Sad Young Men (Scribner, febrero 1926).
4.“Babylon Revisited” (Saturday Evening Post, febrero 1931). El especialista Matthew Bruccoli lo situaba entre la media docena de mejores relatos de Fitzgerald. Los personajes tienen mayor entidad y la relación entre ellos más interés y complejidad psicológica que en sus primeros relatos. Toca asuntos como la paternidad, el alcohol, la gran resaca que dejaron los locos años 1920, el voluntario exilio "dorado" de los norteamericanos en París antes del crash, etc. El protagonista es Charles Wales, de 35 años, viudo, con una hija, ex alcohólico, que intenta recuperar la custodia de su hija y rehacer su vida. A la altura de los mejores relatos de Dublineses de Joyce, por lo que merece 3/5.
Se incluyó en Taps at Reveille, cuarta y última colección de relatos de Fizgerald (Scribner, 1935).
5. “The Afternoon of an Author” (Esquire, agosto 1936), un breve relato en el que la forma, el estilo, el tono y la temática supone un cambio con respecto a cualquier relato anterior de Fitzgerald. Me gustó moderadamente, aunque confieso que según escribo esta reseña apenas recuerdo su argumento. En todo caso me ha servido para constatar que la obra homóloga de Peter Handke es realmente una obra maestra. Le doy 2/5.
III. Sobre traducciones
Descartada la traducción de Justo Navarro por su poco respeto por el original, elegí para acompañar mi lectura en inglés las traducciones de Navona y de Cátedra. De estas dos, quizás la primera se tome más libertades con respecto al original que la segunda, que tiene además la ventaja de estar muy bien anotada y venir acompañada de un buen estudio introductorio sobre Fitzgerald, su obra en general y los relatos incluídos en la selección. Sin embargo, debo reconocer que la de Navona, a pesar de sus ocasionales infidelidades al original, se lee con más gusto.
This is a lengthy book. You would be hard pressed to read this collection and not gain some deep insights into what Fitzgerald was going through in his real life. That’s because most of these stories are autobiographical or written with his friends and Zelda in mind.
But the excess. Reading this collection makes you want to shout “Just stop the drinking!” Of course Fitzgerald never could stop. And beyond the effects of alcohol that led to his deteriorating health and to his premature death, it struck me that Fitzgerald rarely wrote about anything else. Of course he wrote so perceptively about this era for a decade for the Saturday Evening Post and was rewarded handsomely. So the stories just kept coming and it’s undoubtedly what the readers wanted from him. His novels though did not sell well at the time and they were not nearly as popular as today. So he really was known for the 150 or so stories of which 40 are in this collection.
Here are my favorite stories.
1. The Ice Palace - a clever story about a southern belle marrying a Yankee. An early story in Fitzgerald’s career.
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - an imaginative story of an old man who ages in reverse.
3. The Rich Boy - Fitzgerald’s most famous novella and for good reason. An insightful and surprisingly sympathetic view of a rich young man.
4. The Swimmers - my favorite story. An interesting contrast between America and the old ways of Europe and an American who comes up with a clever plan to get back at his unfaithful French wife.
5. The Bridal Party - a man has come into money and wishes to stop his ex-girlfriend - for whom he still has feelings - from getting married to a broker who just lost his savings in the stock market crash.
6. Babylon Revisited - a man arrives back in Paris (Babylon) several years after the roaring ‘20s and the stock market crash. He tries to persuade his daughter and her guardians to let the child come live with him now that he’s recovered. But the past is not so easy to shake off. Perhaps Fitzgerald’s most famous short story.
7. Dearly Beloved - a story about a young black couple whose dreams end in the pandemic of 1918. A very short story and more lyrical than his others.
"Shocking" as it may seem, I had never read even a single line written by F. Scott Fitzgerald till this week and this rather short collection of stories. Never watched any of the big screen adaptations of his novels either, most notably of The Great Gatsby. I had a feeling I'd love him - and in a way I was "reserving" him in my mind as something exceptional for a difficult time - but I had no idea of how much I'd love him! Even though I read these short stories in a very old and stilted Greek translation from the early 60s, I'm in awe of his writing skills and of the totally original and penetrating way he treated his subjects that were very removed from my usual interests. Pure genious! Can't wait to buy his whole œuvre - in the original English this time! - and immerse myself in his world.
I have read this book countless times. If you only ever buy one F. Scott book, buy this one. His development as an author unfolds before your eyes as you read his early stories of ambitious youth and eventually wander into his later tales of reflection on human frailty. From Bernice and her Bob to Emotional Bankruptcy and everything in between, this is a collection of short stories to keep on your bedside table for a lifetime.
This book of short stories - novellas really, as each story is an hour or so long - are very much of their time. People don't live like that any more. Its a three and a half star book, the boring stories, Benediction and the Camel's Back getting two stars each and the really good ones, Bernice and Benjamin Button getting four. The Lees of Happiness is right in the middle with three.
Bernice Bobs her Hair is a lovely story of how the makeover of an unpopular cousin rebounds on the one generous enough to help the girl but not quite generous enough to give up her own man and place in the spotlight. Bernice gets her own back!
Benediction is a story that might appeal to Catholics a lot more than it did to me.
The Camel's Back was probably very amusing at the time but now the tales of the rich and louche who offer money to those they consider their social inferiors as a way of getting them to do what they want has been taken over by endless tales of Hollywood stars and rich nobodies like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and those of their ilk. Time, and wrinkles, will put them (back) in their place!
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a better film, a marvellous film, that it was short novel. Its an interesting concept, starting off old and working backwards in life and F. Scott Fitzgerald told it better than anyone.
The last story, the Lees of Happiness, meandered hither and thither and there was an overdone contrast between the bleached blonde and the good woman who stood by her man 'til the very end. However, it was the bleached blonde that came out with what she wanted, although I don't think I was supposed to draw that conclusion. I think my sympathies were supposed to lie with the virtue of the good woman and so they did, until the end. What point is there in maintaining virtue over happiness when there is no one to benefit?
I am biased in that I think Fitzgerald is one of the best stylistic American writers of 20th century. His style is damn beautiful. It shakes my Libra Rising to the core.
I went through a severe Fitzgerald phase in 2019 summer and that was perhaps one of the best summers I’ve had as an aesthete/profligate/personage. I still herald “This Side of Paradise” as his standout work and his other collections of short stories (Flappers and Philosophers, Tales of the Jazz Age, Bernice Bobs Her Hair) as quintessential Fitzgerald. By that I mean they really have no substance or gravitas and they revolved around the most trivial of bourgeoisie upper-echelon heterosexual matters that they’ve become an insatiable guilty pleasure by now.
(The Great Gatsby, by contrast, has gravitas and depth; and studied to death in high school. It remains a favorite, but by no means a guilty pleasure read)
This compendium of short stories (800 pages!!) is extremely thorough. It kinda mashes together all of Fitzgerald’s lesser known stories but really paints a picture of him as a struggling writer (with alcoholism). Many stories are sell-outs. They are soulless and uninspired. I forget them as soon as I read them
Some standout ones were the plot following the young Josephine (a lesser Rosaline, imo) and her adventures as a debutante. Writing about love is where Fitzgerald excels at; the kind of love that clings to a callous youth and futile beauty. Another great one was on the two American travellers settling in Europe, young and idealistic, they catch glimpse of mirror images, then the degradation of their morals and dreams.
I don’t really recommend this book unless you are bored and in need of some aesthetics writing (if you have already exhausted your Oscar Wilde options). Many stories serve no purpose, and I rather you read his novels instead.
"-Atravesaremos el cielo tenebroso con los brazos abiertos -gritó- y los pies extendidos como colas de delfines, y creeremos que nunca llegaremos al agua hasta que de repente nos rodee la tibieza y las olas nos besen y acaricien." "¿Por qué algunas veces terminan las noches en una nota aguda, y no se desvanecen suavemente como una música?" "Entonces Sally lo besó hasta que el cielo pareció apagarse poco a poco, y todas sus sonrisas y lágrimas se desvanecieron en el éxtasis de un minuto eterno." "Se tumbarían en la arena de la playa del sur, casi sin hablar, mirando sólo cómo el día, multicolor y trágico, se disolvía en la infinita languidez de una noche tropical." "Y en aquel éxtasis veía lo que le estaba sucediendo en aquel instante: era un estado de percepción intensísima, la sensación de hallarse, por una vez, en extraordinaria armonía con la vida, la sensación de que todo irradiaba a su alrededor una claridad y en esplendor que jamás volvería a conocer." "Miraba cómo la brisa rizaba las aguas, melaza de plata bajo la luna llena. Y entonces la luna se llevó un dedo a los labios y el lago se transformó en una piscina clara, pálida y tranquila." "A los dieciocho años las convicciones son montañas desde las que miramos; a los cuarenta y cinco son cavernas en las que nos escondemos." "¿Qué era lo que, cuando apenas lo había empezado a conocer, ya no conocería nunca? ¿Qué había sucedido en el jardín aquella tarde, cuál era la emoción que se había extinguido en el mismo instante en que nacía?" "La juventud siempre es un sueño, una forma de locura química.-¡Pues es agradable estar loco!-. Eso me han dicho..." "Había perdido la batalla contra la juventud y la primavera, y con su dolor redimía un pecado imperdonable y propio de su edad: negarse a morir." "Pero no era la expresión de una víctima, sino la del verdadero demonio de la dulce melancolía." "Y por primera vez en su vida deseó apasionadamente tener más años, y ser menos impresionable, menos sensible. Estremeciéndose ante cada aroma, cada imagen, cada melodía, quería estar ya de vuelta de todo..." "A los veintitrés años yo no estaba convencido de nada, excepto de que algunas personas eran fuertes y atractivas y podían hacer lo que quisieran, y otras habían nacido para la vergüenza, sin remedio." "El taxista me miraba con indulgencia mientras yo tropezaba, hundido hasta las rodillas en la maleza, buscando mi juventud en una tabla, unos restos de techumbre o una lata de tomate oxidada." "No me daba cuenta, pero los días pasaban sin parar, uno tras otro, y así pasaron los años, y todo había pasado, hasta yo mismo." "-Vamos a dejar todo esto -dijo Nicole con firmeza, pero algo en su interior le replicó: 'Qué pena... Este precioso mar azul, esta felicidad..." "En el silencio tenso sintió la ilusión de que existía entre ellos una intimidad especial, como si compartieran los secretos de muchos años." "Porque las cosas cambian y llegan a ser distintas que apenas podemos reconocerlas y parece que sólo nuestros nombres siguen siendo los mismos."
First of all, I really appreciated Bruccoli's collection. The introduction is personable and informative and the small explanations before each story help to place the writer within his context.
Some might say that so many stories might become drab. How much rich whining and "poor in spirit" can one take? I think this is something we take for granted now. Then, before and after the Crash and The Great Depression, when the national identity and arrogance was wrapped up in the frivolity of day-to-day vacationing and swollen bank accounts, such a view on the "Rich" was either inconsequential, beyond surface acknowledgement, or pure fantasy and scholastic foreplay. I think it unfair to discount Fitzgerald's perspective and clarity of mind simply because of his subject matter.
As was so poignantly captured in "Dearly Beloved", youth was the strength of Fitzgerald's understanding. Not the physical vigor or potential prowess of it, but the dreaming and looking to a better day. But what better day is there than being in youth? it's one plague the distraction toward the future. Perhaps Fitzgerald tried to remain in his youth, much to his own disillusionment.
This was an excellent collection, an excellent read and I feel I now know the writer and would tell anyone that I prefer his short stories to his novels.
Very enjoyable read... Fitzgerald has a way with words that is unlike anyone else I've read. I stand his work up well with Hemingway's, and of course he has his own post-war flavor and a unique gift for phrasing. I definitely want to check into some of his longer works as well. Some of the stories in the later portion of the book deserve a mention, as I've mentioned others along the way...The Swimmers was cool how the swimming actually became the thing that leveraged the rights to the character's child away from the antagonist in the boat. Another highlight was The Hotel Child. I thought More Than Just A House was great and turned out nice. Boil Some Water--Lots of It! was a slightly bizarre and funny one. Also Last Kiss held true to many of the author's melancholic tendencies but was another involving story. Babylon Revisited is one that stands out as well, with its autobiographical elements and story of the character trying to redeem himself and get his daughter. Also, What A Handsome Pair!, with the musician angle, and the recurring theme of a sought-after woman, who really is lost to both of the leading male characters of the story in the end.
There are times when Fitzgerald can quite literally make me gasp, sigh, laugh, become teary-eyed, or even place a hand over my heart as I am reading; he is just one of those authors with the beautiful ability to transcend the page and put the story's very breath right into me. Then there are times when I just could not care less about yet another flapper girl, emotionally desolate American, broken dream, etc, etc. There are stories in here that are pure beauty, there are those that are mediocre, and there are those that I was bored to pieces with.
My favorites of the collection: Head and Shoulders The Ice Palace The Offshore Pirate The Bowl At Your Age The Swimmers Two Wrongs The Bridal Party Babylon Revisited Crazy Sunday Afternoon of an Author (this one doesn't actually have nearly as much emotional power as the others, actually, but I'm including it here because it's a great little satire on the life of a writer and really lets Fitzgerald show off his wit and humor)
My friend recommended this book, and I really wanted to like it. While Fitzgerald's pedigree cannot be debated, this anthology is a good example of drinking from a fire hose. How many stories of Ivy League socialites or bored Southern heiresses does one need? For me the answer is about 300 pages fewer than the 750 contained in this volume. Skip around and skim - there's plenty to enjoy here, but no need to take in everything. Special mention must be made of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Fitzgerald's wildly imaginative tale of a man who ages backward.
Прочетох разказите на Фитцджералд, които издаде списание "Биограф" - една много малка книжка, за съжаление не виждам това изданние в ГР и поради това избрах по-общо наименование. Книгата ми хареса, пренесе ме с лекота в 30-те години на миналия век, време, чийто дух и особености авторът е уловил и показал по много един лек, ненатрапчив начин, с чувство за тънък хумор. За мен в последно време разказът като жанр е сред любимите. От Фитцджералд бях чела само "Нежна е нощта" преди години и ми беше оставила много хубав спомен. Затова с удоволствие се потопих в неговите разкази. И ми беше приятно.
fitzgerald is my favorite short story author of all time. he is one of the few writers (including even the great flannery, herself) that can hold my attention throughout an entire book of short stories. most authors seem to delve into formulaic patterns of how they write stories. fitzgerald stand firm, funny, witty, a little sad round the edges, attempting to keep the sparkle in the eyes, knowing that the lights gone out...
I got to reading this book as a part of a F. Scott Fitzgerald collection I own because I don't very much like having unread books lying in my bookcase. The more I read from F.S.F., the more I come to realise that I'm not the greatest fan of his work. Most of the short stories in here seemed to be longer projects that he gave up on and decided he would publish as a short story or projects he had to meet a timeline for, with the characters either being introduced very slowly and methodically to no avail really or coming and going from the plot line with the sole purpose of unnecessarily crowding it. Some others had solid character building and a nice pace but I would find myself thinking "so, what of it?" when I had finished reading them. I especially disliked the stories which linked to one another, giving off the sense of scraps of work from a whole book which he completely failed to bring together and just decided to publish anyhow. With little exception the characters that appear in these stories come from the same moulds that F.S.F. apparently uses for all his bodies of work. My honourable mentions would be "The Rough Crossing" and "Family In The Wind".
Huzzah! Finally finished this 2 months later! Started reading this around when classes went online and tried to read a story or two a day. I really like Fitzgerald’s style and although a lot of his stories deal with the same sort of commentary, they differed greatly on humor and seriousness. I would recommend his short stories but reading them all at once like this is a big thing to tackle...
Over 30 of his best, favorite, and most telling short stories; quote by F. Scott: "My whole theory of writing I can sum up in one sentence. An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward." My favorites of these stories: "Head and Shoulders" for it's irony and certain parallels in my own life; "The Offshore Pirate" just because it was entertaining; "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" due to the perspective if sheds on our life cycle; "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" because it was so outlandish and so real; "Basil and Cleopatra," the answer to Tom Sawyer; "The Swimmers" for the drama and justice; "Six of One" for the well-put moral; and "The Freeze Out" mostly because the bit with the grandmother at the end made me laugh out loud (on the ferry). Scott's themes included North vs. South, America vs. Europe, principal vs. habit, and the changes universal to all our lives. As writers do, his writings always involved what he new from his own life: Ivy League schools, deb culture, intermingling classes, the society of the 20's and 30's, roller-coaster finances, travel, love and loss, and human growth. To me, he was a great writer because he conveyed a flourish of emotional meaning and physical description with limited verbiage, by using the perfect phrases and details. Rather than create a caricature of his characters, he draws the minimum lines needed to distinguish them from anyone else.
Loved this collection. I am a huge fan of The Great Gatsby but haven't read anything else's of Fitzgerald's until now. I usually have a hard time reading an entire collection of a writer's work, and though this took me awhile, it was more because of the length than the content. I impressed but he breadth of situations Fitzgerald covered, from childhood to teenage years, relationships, engagements, and marriage, personal issues like alcoholism, and even a bit of fantasy (The Diamond as Big as the Ritz).
My absolute favorite was The Offshore Pirate, but I also really enjoyed Bernice Bobs Her Hair, Winter Dreams, The Sensible Thing, Love in the Night (one that actually has a good ending!), The Rich Boy, One Trip Abroad, and Babylon Revisited.
I especially recommend this edition because before each story there is a little paragraph on the story. So if you don't want to read each story, you might be able to decide based on the context. However, I couldn't pass any of them up.