Francis Scott Fitzgerald is one of the greatest American storytellers and novelists of the 20th century, comparable only in his time to Ernest Hemingway, his great friend for many years. Both were joined by contemporaneity and the fact that the most important novels of both were taken to the cinema. In Fitzgerald’s case, all of his well-known works were, Tender is the Night (1934), This side of paradise (1920), The beautiful and Damned (1922) and The Great Gatsby (1925), a film with a masterful performance by Robert Redford (1974); as well as the latest adaptation of 2013 by Baz Luhrmann, noted for his personal style and the interpretive passion of Leonardo Di Caprio.
This December 21 marks the 80th anniversary of the death of Scott Fitzgerald, as he died on that same date in Hollywood, 1940. He had been born in a small town in Minnesota, four years before the end of the nineteenth century.
He was a prolific author, with great success in life, a writer of all kinds of stories, from great novels and short stories. He worked for a time as a creative and copywriter and was also employed by Hollywood studios (he signed one of the largest contracts as a scriptwriter for Metro Goldwyn Mayer) alternating scripts and works of his own creation in the narrative genre until he passed away, precisely in the mecca of cinema.
Good sportsman and music lover, he was in love with jazz. Elegant and cultured, his writing was among the most brilliant of its time, with imaginative and polished prose. He was also a great creator of characters and a magnificent witness of his time, who portrays, above all, characters of high social level.
An example of these characters is Gatsby. A lonely and rich man who cannot get with money the love and friendship that he longs for. Gatsby’s parties were full of people, but also lonely.
Scott Fitzgerald died young, of a heart attack, shortly after his fortieth birthday. He had led a controversial and difficult life due to his marital problems with Zelda Sayre, a capricious and socially unpredictable person, who had to be hospitalized for her mental problems. And Francis’s life was also hampered by his serious alcoholism, which led to serious health problems.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald was another of the lovers of Paris in the 1920s. He lived there for several seasons, as well as in Europe, to which he traveled many times.
He played all genres, including journalism, being a regular contributor to newspapers like The Saturday Evening Post, and magazines like Esquire.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald died before finishing his last great work, The Last Tycoon, published posthumously by his friend the literary critic Edmund Wilson. On his tombstone are unforgettable words from his novel The Great Gatsby, of which the writer Charles Jackson said: “There is no absolutely perfect novel. But there is, this is it ”.