The Fitzgeralds barely had time to visit his parents, who had moved to Washington, D.C., and hers in Montgomery, when he received an offer from United Artists in Hollywood. They wanted a modern flapper story for the popular and vivacious comedy star Constance Talmadge, whom Fitzgerald had jokingly called "a back number" in the telegram that announced Scottie's birth. He was offered an advance of $3,500, and $12,500 more if the film story was accepted. Movies had been made from two of his stories ("Head and Shoulders" and "The Offshore Pirate") and two of his novels (an awful The Beautiful and Damned and an equally awful version of The Great Gatsby); and he had done titles (to convey dialogue), a scenario and a screenplay for three silent movies in 1923-24. With his flair for dialogue and facility as a writer, he felt confident that he could easily master the art of screenwriting. Always in need of money and eager to explore a social scene that had even more celebrities than the French Riviera, he decided to carry out his earlier plan to "go to Hollywood and learn the movie business." In January 1927 the Fitzgeralds left Scottie with his parents and took a train across the country on their first, two-month trip to Hollywood.
Enthusiastically received by the film community, the Fitzgeralds were immediately caught up in the swirl of parties. They shared a four-apartment "bungalow" on the grounds of the luxurious Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard with the actress Carmel Myers, their friend since Rome; with the novelist Carl Van Vechten, whom they had met in Great Neck; and with the handsome and hard-drinking actor John Barrymore. Fitzgerald gave a copy of The Great Gatsby to Barrymore, who had read his earlier work and wrote an unusually perceptive letter about the novel. "The advance on The Beautiful and Damned seems to me enormous in all respects," Barrymore wrote. "Your new book has a cohesion and unity-somewhat lacking in the other. You have hit upon a style admirably suited to your subject-; your own style, that is, your own personality… I had not expected you could write so well."
The Fitzgeralds attempted to live up to their glamorous legend, but instead got drunk and acted outrageously. They turned up uninvited at Sam Goldwyn's party, got down on their hands and knees outside the front door, and barked like dogs until they were reluctantly admitted to the house. Armed with huge sewing shears, they made a late-night visit to the screenwriter and ladies' man John Monk Saunders and threatened to solve all his romantic problems by castration. During the 1919 May Day celebrations Fitzgerald had mixed ketchup and eggs in a friend's hat. In 1927, during tea with Carmel Myers, Scott went even further and boiled a couple of watches and assorted jewelry belonging to several of the guests in a can of tomato soup. No one could understand why he behaved in this bizarre fashion, and none of the guests dared to taste the expensive stew. Ronald Colman was particularly annoyed, but no one else seemed to object to the destruction of valuable property. "Of course they behaved badly," the actress Lois Moran observed, "but they were never mean or cruel or unkind." Nevertheless, these pranks must have angered and alienated many people besides Ronald Colman. They reinforced Fitzgerald's reputation as an alcoholic, hurt his professional standing in Hollywood and made it more difficult for him to get lucrative film work.
While in Hollywood Fitzgerald met and fell in love with the extraordinary eighteen-year-old Lois Moran, who became the model for Helen Avery in "Magnetism" (1928) and for Rosemary Hoyt in Tender Is the Night (1934). Born in Pittsburgh in 1908, Lois, as an infant, had moved to Paris with her mother, who was (as in Fitzgerald's novel) a doctor's widow. Lois soon fulfilled her mother's own ambition to become an actress. She joined the Paris Opera Corps de Ballet as a professional ballerina at the age of thirteen, acted in her first film in France at fourteen, starred with Ronald Colman as the daughter in Stella Dallas (1925) and made four films for Fox before she was twenty. In the 1930s she starred in several Broadway musicals, including George S. Kaufman's Of Thee I Sing. Unlike most film stars, Lois was a cultured and refined young lady with a cosmopolitan background. She had spent many years in Europe and spoke fluent French. In 1922 Scott and Zelda had discussed the possibility of starring in a film version of This Side of Paradise. In 1927 Lois, who wanted Scott to be the leading man in her next picture, arranged a screen test-which he failed.
Lois's virginal, blond, blue-eyed Irish beauty, Fitzgerald wrote in "Princeton" (1927), inspired the stags to line up for a hundred years to cut in on her dances. In his plan for Tender Is the Night, he emphasized that the character based on Lois "differs from most actresses by being a lady, simply reeking of vitality, health, sensuality." And he conveyed these qualities in his romantic exaltation of Rosemary at the beginning of the novel: "Her fine forehead sloped gently up to where her hair, bordering it like an armorial shield, burst into lovelocks and waves and curlicues of ash blonde and gold. Her eyes were bright, big, clear, wet, and shining, the color of her cheeks was real, breaking close to the surface from the strong young pump of her heart. Her body hovered delicately on the last edge of childhood-she was almost eighteen, nearly complete, but the dew still on her."1
Lois, who had absolutely no idea that Zelda was jealous of her, used to worry because all the attractive men she knew were married. Zelda complained that Scott would not allow her to go anywhere without him while he himself "engaged in flagrantly sentimental relations with a child." But Zelda undermined, while Lois strengthened, his self-esteem. Scott, whose self-confidence was also eroded by failure in Hollywood, defended his friendship with Lois by explaining that he would do "anything to be liked, to be reassured not that I was a man of a little genius but that I was a great man of the world… Anybody [who] could make me believe that, like Lois Moran did, was precious to me."
The telegram Lois sent Scott after he had left Hollywood in mid-March 1927 closely imitated the sophisticated style of The Great Gatsby. In the novel, when Daisy asks Nick if people miss her in Chicago, he replies with flattering exaggeration: "The whole town is desolate. All the cars have the left rear wheel painted black as a mourning wreath, and there's a persistent wail all night along the north shore." In real life Lois, referring to Scott's drinking and adopting Nick's mournful tone, exclaimed: HOLLYWOOD COMPLETELY DISRUPTED SINCE YOU LEFT. BOOTLEGGERS GONE OUT OF BUSINESS. COTTON CLUB CLOSED. ALL FLAGS AT HALF MAST… BOTTLES OF LOVE TO YOU BOTH. In a letter that followed this telegram, Lois aroused his jealousy by being both playful and seductive, disclaiming interest in her now-dull life while mentioning that she was sexually attracted to her handsome leading man: "Darling Scott-I miss you enormously-Life is exceedingly dull out here now-Have just been bumming around the studios and seeing people I am not in the least interested in-Maybe I will play with William Haines in his next picture-I rather hope so because I admire him enormously and he gives very satisfactory kisses."2
There is conflicting evidence about Scott's relations with Lois. In a letter of October 1937 he mentioned an "AFFAIR (unconsummated) with ACTRESS (1927)." But he was apparently eager to advertise as well as to conceal his liaison with Lois. The illustrator Arthur Brown, who was then living at the Ambassador Hotel, reported that one morning Fitzgerald burst into his room, woke him up and said: " 'Say hello to Zelda.' But it was Lois Moran, and not Zelda, on his arm. Scott asked Brown to cover for him [while he secretly spent time with Lois]. If any questions were asked, Brown was to say that they'd spent the day together at First National Studios."
More significantly, Fitzgerald told Zelda's psychiatrist in 1932, when he was trying to justify his past behavior and diminish his responsibility for her breakdown, about "her affair with Edouard Jozan in 1925 and mine with Lois Moran in 1927, which was a sort of revenge." And Zelda told the same doctor: "When I knew my husband had another woman in California I was upset." Scott's powerful attraction to Lois, his description of her as "sensual," his emotional and sexual estrangement from Zelda, his desire to retaliate for her affair with Jozan, his need to restore his manly self-confidence as well as Lois's provocative letters and Zelda's intense jealousy of a beautiful younger rival, all suggest that Fitzgerald had a brief affair with Lois Moran in 1927.
Scott not only fell in love with and slept with Lois, but also used her impressive career to disparage Zelda's idleness. Zelda responded to Scott's infatuation with two self-destructive acts that-like her reckless reaction to his dalliance with Isadora Duncan-were meant to punish him by hurting herself. In February she burned in the bathtub of their Hollywood bungalow all the clothes she had designed for herself. The following month, on the eastbound train, Zelda, who could no longer conceive a child, threw from the train window the valuable platinum watch that Scott had bought her in 1920 when trying to persuade her to have an abortion. To Zelda, the destruction of the watch was equated with Scott's attempt to destroy their child.
When Lois visited the Fitzgeralds in Delaware later that year, Zelda wrote a perceptive but caustic description of the actress's strange mixture of wholesomeness, vacuity and hysteria, which precisely matched Scott's emotional needs: "a young actress like a breakfast food that many men identified with whatever they missed from life since she had no definite characteristics of her own save a slight ebullient hysteria about romance. She walked in the moon by the river. Her hair was tight about her head and she was lush and like a milkmaid."
Lois's later meetings with Scott in the early 1930s, when he was drinking, depressed about Zelda's illness and apparently beyond redemption, were tortured and miserable. "When I saw him in '33, '34 and '35 he was so different from the man I'd known before, and I was still too young to cope with him," she uneasily explained to Mizener. "With a little more maturity and wisdom, perhaps I could have helped him. Instead, I just wanted to run."3
There were other anxieties and frustrations, besides Lois Moran, on Fitzgerald's first trip to Hollywood. Lipstick, the weak story of Princeton boys and modern flappers he had written for Constance Talmadge, was-after he had quarreled with the actress-rejected by the studio. He never received the additional payment of $12,500 and spent far more in Hollywood than he had earned. Though this failure set the pattern for all his later film work, he could never resist the lure of glamour and money. He returned to Hollywood for six weeks in 1931, and spent the last three and a half years of his life struggling unsuccessfully as a screenwriter.
Fitzgerald wanted to keep a safe distance from the parties in New York in order to concentrate on his novel, and Max Perkins suggested he might like to live in the relative tranquility of Wilmington, Delaware. When Scott and Zelda returned from Hollywood in March 1927, his Princeton friend John Biggs helped them find Ellerslie, in the village of Edgemoor, on the west bank of the Delaware River, a few miles north of Wilmington. Impressed by the thirty large rooms and by the low rent of $150 a month, the Fitzgeralds signed a two-year lease. Ellerslie, a square, three-story, white-and-green, shuttered Greek revival mansion, had been built in 1842. (It was demolished about twenty-five years ago.) It had extensive gardens, and was shaded by ancient oaks and blooming chestnut trees. Its imposing front portico, supported by four massive white columns, had a commanding view of the river. There were fifteen high-ceilinged bedrooms, with iron balconies, a walnut-paneled drawing room nearly a hundred feet long and a steep, twisting staircase. Fitzgerald believed there was also a resident ghost.
The Fitzgeralds hoped the squareness of the rooms and the sweep of the columns would bring "a judicious tranquility." But instead of bringing peace, the house inspired their riotous and protracted weekend parties, which featured black jazz bands imported for the occasion. The weekends at Ellerslie revived and recreated-in a much grander setting and on a more elaborate scale-their wasteful and often unpleasant parties in Westport and Great Neck. Scott, who could not focus on his writing, encouraged everyone he knew to come down for a visit, and told a boyhood friend: "We have taken an old place on the Delaware River where we live in splendor surrounded by a nubian guard of sling throwers, eunuchs, back-slappers and concubines." Fitzgerald's parties parodied both the Murphys' elegant entertainments and Tommy Hitchcock's athletic exploits. The playwright Charles MacArthur and other wild guests shot his dinner plates to pieces during target practice on the front lawn, and tried to play polo with croquet mallets and heavy plough horses.
Fitzgerald made strenuous efforts to please his numerous guests: his cousin Cecilia Taylor, Lois Moran, the Irish critic Ernest Boyd, John Dos Passos, Thornton Wilder, Edmund Wilson, Carl Van Vechten, his Princeton classmate Thomas Linneaweaver, John Biggs and Hemingway. But they all found the forced hilarity, the heavy drinking and the chaotic atmosphere distinctly disappointing, and were relieved when the exhausting weekends came to an end. Despite the frequent catastrophes at Ellerslie, Fitzgerald managed to retain the friendship of all these people, who tolerated his faults when drunk because he was so extraordinarily attractive when sober.
Ernest Boyd, the heavy-drinking Irish critic, told Mencken that the pace was too hot for him. Dos Passos, who visited Ellerslie in September 1927, had memories of acute starvation: "Those delirious parties of theirs; one dreaded going. At Wilmington, for instance, dinner was never served. Oh, a complete mess. I remember going into Wilmington-they lived some miles out, trying to find a sandwich, something to eat. A wild time." Thornton Wilder's fan letter about The Great Gatsby led to an invitation in February 1928 and to a life-threatening incident with one of the guns that had been used to destroy the dinner plates. Mentioning that he had something to show Wilder, the drunken Fitzgerald invited him up to the attic, where he picked up a gun and waved it around. He then fired an accidental shot that narrowly missed Wilder and tore into the wall. When Wilder mentioned the accident the next morning Fitzgerald, who had completely forgotten it, was appalled by his own behavior.4
The fullest account of a weekend at Ellerslie was written by Edmund Wilson, who visited the mansion at the same time as Wilder. Fitzgerald and Wilson had not seen much of each other since Scott's trip to Europe in 1924. Their relations had suffered a certain chill when Wilson began to inquire about the progress of his novel and Fitzgerald wanted appreciation more than harsh advice. Eager to revive the friendship, he sent Wilson an invitation that began: "All is prepared for February 25th. The stomach pumps are polished and set out in rows, stale old enthusiasms are being burnished." Wilson arrived at the station with Wilder and the two writers had a lively discussion about the latest novel by Proust. When they reached the house Fitzgerald, who loved to play the squire of the manor, proudly took them on a tour. The butler, hiding behind doors, obediently groaned like a ghost. Fitzgerald then offered his guests the strange choice of either listening to records of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring or examining a photograph album of horribly mutilated soldiers.
The other visitors that weekend included Esther Murphy; Gilbert Seldes, who had previously visited Fitzgerald in Saint-Raphael and had enthusiastically praised The Great Gatsby; John Biggs, who was about to publish his second novel with Scribner's; and the dramatist Zoe Akins and several actors in her new play, which was trying out in Wilmington. When Fitzgerald asked Seldes to criticize his character frankly, Seldes told him that "if he had a fault, it was making life seem rather dull." Scott, missing the joke, seemed annoyed by the remark.
Like Gerald Murphy, Wilson was completely charmed by Zelda's sparkling but incoherent talk: "She had the waywardness of a Southern belle and the lack of inhibitions of a child. She talked with so spontaneous a color and wit-almost exactly in the way she wrote-that I very soon ceased to be troubled by the fact that the conversation was in the nature of a 'free association' of ideas and one could never follow up anything. I have rarely known a woman who expressed herself so delightfully and so freshly." But when Zelda ambiguously told the designer of Akins' play: "You're just homogeneous!," he took offense and left with his companions.
Wilson was impressed when Fitzgerald read a dazzling passage from the manuscript of Tender Is the Night. But he was embarrassed when Fitzgerald asked his chauffeur to report the hostile remarks his guests had made about him on the way to the train station. "It's only very seldom," Scott insisted, "that you get a real opportunity to hear what people say about you behind your back." "The aftermath of a Fitzgerald evening was notoriously a painful experience," Wilson concluded in his lively memoir. "Nonsense and inspiration, reckless idealism and childish irresponsibility," he wrote, "were mingled in so queer a way."5 Wilson found the weekend, which did nothing to revive their friendship, intensely irritating.
The "notoriously painful" festivities were invariably followed by abject letters of apology from both Zelda and Scott. "From the depths of my polluted soul," she wrote Van Vechten, "I am sorry that the weekend was such a mess. Do forgive my iniquities and my putrid drunkenness." And Scott (in a letter to a college friend) tried to palliate his offensiveness, which he only vaguely remembered, with a labored attempt at humor: "I'm afraid I was the world's greatest bore last night. I was in the insistent mood-you know the insistent mood? I'm afraid I irritated both you and Eleanor, and I wanted to please you more than anyone there. It's all very dim to me but I remember a lot of talk about fairies and the managing kind of American woman, whatever that means. It's possible that I may be apologizing to the wrong people-anyway if I was lousy, please forgive me and tell Eleanor I can be almost human when sober."
When the Fitzgeralds went up to New York for the weekend to escape the daily boredom and the exhausting parties at Wilmington, they would wake up in a stupor on Thursday to find they had wasted an entire week. When they stayed at home, they would sometimes have violent fights. In February 1928 (the month of Wilson's visit), Scott returned home late at night in one of the weeping moods he had described to Hemingway. Scott and Zelda began to argue, he hurled her favorite blue vase into the fireplace, and when she called his father an Irish cop, he slapped her face and made her nose bleed. Zelda's sister Rosalind witnessed this scene, which intensified her hatred of Fitzgerald. When he became violent outside the house, the police sometimes had to be summoned. Scott was held in custody, his chauffeur was thrown into a cell and John Biggs was called on at least two occasions to get him out of jail. In Delaware as in France, their life of noisy desperation could be described as "1,000 parties and no work."
Fitzgerald's proximity to Princeton revived his interest in the college. He wrote a nostalgic essay about Princeton in 1927 and began to attend the football games. In January 1928 he accepted an invitation from Cottage Club to lecture in a series by distinguished alumni. Despite a number of fortifying drinks, he was intimidated by the academic audience. After stumbling through a few sentences on "Gallantry," he audibly anticipated the response of the audience by exclaiming, "God, I'm a rotten speaker," and abandoned the lecture soon after he began. Though Dean Christian Gauss had witnessed this debacle, Fitzgerald later asked him to sponsor an official lecture at Princeton-just as, when an undergraduate, he had asked the dean for a letter of recommendation after he had failed out of college.
After a wasted and often destructive year in Ellerslie, the Fitzgeralds traveled to Europe for the third time in April 1928. "We want to go," Zelda wittily explained to Van Vechten, "because Wilmington has turned out to be the black hole of Calcutta and I simply must have some Chablis and curry and fraises du bois [wild strawberries] with peaches in champagne for dessert. Also I want to feel a sense of intrigue which is only in Paris." But there were also more serious reasons. Provoked by the comparison of herself and Lois Moran and by Scott's criticism that she did not do anything with her life, Zelda, at the late age of twenty-six, had begun ballet lessons in Philadelphia. She intended to become a professional dancer, and was keen to study in Paris with the Russian Ballet. The increasingly restless Fitzgeralds, who also thought that constant travel and change of scene would cure their problems, adopted D. H. Lawrence's maxim: "When in doubt, move."6
In April 1928 the Fitzgeralds began a five-month stay at 58 rue Vaugirard, opposite the Luxembourg Gardens and around the corner from Gertrude Stein on the rue de Fleurus. As usual, they chose a dreary apartment, which Zelda thought would make a good setting for Madame Tussaud's waxwork figures. Through Sylvia Beach, a charming and generous American who owned the Shakespeare and Company bookshop on the rue de l'Odeon, Fitzgerald made two new literary friends: Andre Chamson and James Joyce.
Chamson, born into a Protestant family in Nimes, wrote novels about austere rural life in the Cevennes. Just starting his literary career, he worked as a reporter in the Chamber of Deputies and was very poor. (Later on, he was elected to the French Academy.) When Chamson, the only French writer who became Scott's friend, visited the Fitzgeralds on the rue Vaugirard, Scott, like Gatsby, rather tactlessly exhibited their luxurious possessions-drawers full of lingerie, monogrammed handkerchiefs and silk ties-and insisted that Chamson accept some of them as gifts. Chamson also remembered receiving antialcohol postcards from Fitzgerald, which had "on one side the liver of a healthy man, and on the other side the liver of an alcoholic. On the liver of the healthy man, he wrote 'yours,' and on the liver of the alcoholic he wrote 'mine.' " Fitzgerald convinced Perkins to translate and publish Chamson's The Road (1929), but the French writer never became popular in America.
Fitzgerald was desperately eager to meet the Irishman James Joyce, whom he revered and whose works had had a significant impact on his own fiction. Ulysses had influenced The Great Gatsby, Dubliners had influenced "Absolution." In "A Night at the Fair" (1928), which has the same setting as Joyce's "Araby," the inscription in the boy's history textbook-"Basil Duke Lee, Holly Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota, United States, North America, Western Hemisphere, the World, the Universe"-imitates the address in Stephen Dedalus' geography textbook in the first chapter of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916).
Fitzgerald behaved as foolishly with Joyce in July 1928 as he had in all his would-be or actual encounters with great artists. Fitzgerald, who did not know how to express his adulation, was extremely awkward and embarrassed the rather reserved James Joyce. While drunk, Fitzgerald had threatened to jump out the window of the Yale Club in 1919. He had recently climbed on the iron window railing of Chamson's seventh-floor flat and, struggling to keep his balance, had screamed out: "I am Voltaire! I am Rousseau!"
In a similar fashion, according to Joyce's biographer Herbert Gorman who was present at the time, Fitzgerald rushed forward to greet Joyce, sank down on one knee, kissed Joyce's hand as if he were a bishop and declared: "How does it feel to be a great genius, Sir? I am so excited at seeing you, Sir, that I could weep." Instead of weeping, Fitzgerald "enlarged upon Nora Joyce's beauty, and, finally, darted through an open window to the stone balcony outside, jumped onto the eighteen-inch-wide parapet and threatened to fling himself to the cobbled thoroughfare below unless Nora declared that she loved him." Fitzgerald, who felt that ordinary conversation would not sustain so momentous a meeting, had to resort to more dramatic devices. Just as Edith Wharton had said: "There must be something peculiar about that young man," so the bewildered Joyce observed: "I think he must be mad… He'll do himself an injury some day."7
In the late 1920s Zelda (who was not impressed by Joyce) began to publish talented and amusing stories and sketches. With her permission, Scott usually signed these pieces as his own. She thus earned infinitely higher fees than if she had sold them as her own work. Zelda used this money to establish her independence and to pay for her ballet lessons. Her ambition to succeed as a dancer, despite her late start, partly accounted for her extreme touchiness about both Isadora Duncan and Lois Moran.
Zelda took lessons from the head of the Diaghilev ballet school, Lubov Egorova, a lovely little figure whose fine hair was tied in a chignon. Egorova was born in St. Petersburg in 1880, graduated from the Imperial School at the age of eighteen, was created a ballerina in 1914 and danced many of the leading roles, including Sleeping Beauty with Nijinsky, for the next seven years. She had married Prince Trubetskoy, begun teaching in Paris in 1923 and replaced Zelda's father as the presiding deity in her life. In Save Me the Waltz Zelda described her teacher's appearance-and inner strength-with deep affection: "The eyes … were round and sad and Russian, a dreamy consciousness of its own white dramatic beauty gave the face weight and purpose as if the features were held together by spiritual will." Zelda would throw herself at her teacher's feet (as Scott did with Joyce), and forced the six-year-old Scottie to take ballet lessons with Egorova "until Daddy put a stop to it."
Zelda's obsession with dancing led to a reversal of roles in her marriage as she became ascetic and Scott plunged deeper into dissipation. In Save Me the Waltz-which recalls the Fitzgeralds on the Riviera in 1925 and in Paris a few years later-David Knight works on his frescoes while his wife Alabama is left alone. When she asks: "What'll we do, David … with ourselves?" (Just as the bored Daisy does in The Great Gatsby), David replies that "she couldn't always be a child and have things provided for her to do." But when Alabama vigorously takes up dancing and is absolutely exhausted at night, David, as eager for distraction as Alabama had once been, complains when she will not go out with him.
In her novel Zelda, with considerable insight, equated dancing with exorcism and tried to control her wild emotions by disciplining her body: "It seemed to Alabama that, reaching her goal, she would drive the devils that had driven her-that, in proving herself, she would achieve that peace which she imagined went only in surety of one's self-that she would be able, through the medium of the dance, to command her emotions."8 Zelda had hoped to join the Diaghilev troupe; Egorova said she was capable of secondary roles in the Massine Ballet in New York; and she was asked-and refused-to join the San Carlo Opera Ballet in Naples. But most of the emissaries who came to Egorova's studio, on the top floor above the Olympia Music Hall on the rue Caumartin, were from the Folies-Bergere. They all wanted to make Zelda into an American shimmy dancer.
Like Zelda, the wife in Fitzgerald's story "Two Wrongs" (1930) is bravely but hopelessly struggling to succeed against younger competitors and impossible obstacles: "she plunged into her work like a girl of sixteen-four hours a day at barre exercises, attitudes, sauts, arabesques and pirouettes. It became the realest part of her life, and her only worry was whether or not she was too old. At twenty-six she had ten years to make up, but she was a natural dancer with a fine body-and that lovely face." Watching Zelda dance in 1929, the Murphys-who sympathized with her ambitions but were embarrassed by her efforts-felt she would never achieve her goal: "Zelda was awkward, her legs were too muscular, there was something about her intensity when she danced that made her look grotesque." The distorted legs and tortured feet in Zelda's painting Ballerinas (1938), which evoke the suffering of a crucifixion, suggest that she was pushing her mind and body far beyond what they could bear. Looking back on the sad history of their marriage, Fitzgerald later told Sheilah Graham that Zelda, temperamentally unsuited to be his wife, was jealous of his success and destroyed herself by trying to compete with him:
Zelda and I never should have married. We were wrong for each other. She would have been happier married to almost anyone else. She was beautiful and talented. It was her tragedy that she could not bear to be overshadowed by the attention I received from my early books. For instance, she hated it when Gertrude Stein talked only to me, while her companion Alice B. Toklas talked to her. She had a compulsion to compete with me. She could not as a writer, so she decided to be a famous ballerina and studied with the Russian ballet in Paris. But it was too late for her. And when she realized this, instead of accepting the fact and bending with it, she broke.9
In September 1928, after five months in Paris, the Fitzgeralds returned to Ellerslie to complete their two-year lease. In a grand gesture, Fitzgerald brought back to America a former boxer and taxi driver, Philippe, as his butler, chauffeur, sparring partner and drinking companion. Scott would summon Philippe from the distant kitchen with a blast from a brass automobile horn. But Zelda disliked Philippe, and found him disrespectful and intimidating. Their French nanny added to the chaos by falling in love with and becoming hysterical about Philippe, whose name Fitzgerald borrowed for the hero of his "Count of Darkness" stories. The second stay at Ellerslie was a reprise of the first. Zelda set up a bar in front of a "whorehouse" mirror, played "The March of the Toy Soldiers" over and over and over again, and practiced dancing all day long. Scott did very little work, took long solitary walks and, according to his neighbors, looked lonely and miserable.
In mid-November 1928 Francis Godolphin, Hemingway's Oak Park friend, saw Ernest with Scott in New York before the Princeton-Yale football game. Godolphin described their comradely contentment in much the same way as Booth Tarkington had portrayed them in Paris in 1925: "On that particular morning when they landed in our apartment together they were both a bit tight and very cheerful, very pleasant and very happy. They both seemed very harmonious, enjoying each other and having a hell of a fine time. They were at the apartment for a time, then they went off to the Cottage Club and to the game."
When they returned to Ellerslie, which Hemingway found surprisingly impressive, Fitzgerald uncorked six bottles of expensive Burgundy just for his friend. Ernest was flattered by his generosity but found the gesture wasteful. Content to be in Hemingway's company, Fitzgerald had behaved well all day. But he got drunk that evening and made Hemingway uncomfortable by insulting the attractive black maid who served dinner. According to A. E. Hotchner, who heard the story from Hemingway, Fitzgerald, imitating what he took to be Ernest's manly swagger, exclaimed: " 'Aren't you the best piece of tail I ever had? Tell Mr. Hemingway.' The girl never answered him and kept her composure. He must have said it to her ten times. 'Tell him what a grand piece of pussy you are.' Like that, over and over." Hemingway felt bull-fights were sedatives compared to weekends with Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald redeemed himself the following month when Hemingway, traveling south on a train from New York to Florida, received a telegram announcing his father's death (by suicide) and asking him to go west to Oak Park. Hemingway asked Fitzgerald for a hundred-dollar loan, which he delivered in person to the North Philadelphia station. And Hemingway praised him for his prompt response: "You were damned good and also bloody effective to get me that money."10
When the two-year lease on Ellerslie ended in March 1929 the Fitzgeralds-still restless and undecided about where to live-took their fourth and final trip to Europe. They sailed to Genoa, traveled along the Riviera to Paris, and spent April and May in an apartment on the rue Palatine, on the Left Bank, near Saint-Sulpice and their old flat on the rue Vaugirard. They had spent the previous summer in Paris, but from June to October 1929 they rented the Villa Fleur des Bois in Cannes. They returned to Paris in October, when the weather began to turn cold, and rented their last apartment at 10 rue Pergolese, off the avenue de la Grande Armee, near their first flat on the rue de Tilsitt.
In the spring of 1929, following Max Perkins' suggestion, Fitzgerald looked up the young Canadian novelist Morley Callaghan, who shared his Irish Catholic background and had published his first novel with Scribner's the previous year. Callaghan liked Fitzgerald's "shrewd opinions, quick fine intelligence, extraordinary perception and tireless interest." But he thought Scott was reckless and prodigal when straining to live up to his legend. Fitzgerald loved the vicarious excitement of glamorously recounting Hemingway's exploits, prowess and courage (which were so unlike his own): Ernest's war, his wound and the time Ernest thought he was dead. But Fitzgerald, as Edmund Wilson noted, had also carefully studied Hemingway's weaknesses. In 1929 he made one of the most perceptive and accurate predictions about his friend, who in 1927 had divorced Hadley and married Pauline Pfeiffer: "I have a theory that Ernest needs a new woman for each big book. There was one for the stories and The Sun Also Rises. Now there's Pauline. A Farewell to Arms is a big book. If there's another big book I think we'll find Ernest has another wife." Following the pattern Fitzgerald had predicted, Hemingway acquired a third wife, Martha Gellhorn, for his next big book, For Whom the Bell Tolls, as well as a fourth, Mary Welsh, for Across the River and into the Trees, which he hoped would be his big book about World War II.
Fitzgerald's occasional sparring with his chauffeur, Philippe, revived his interest in boxing. There was no question of the delicate Fitzgerald actually getting into the ring with Hemingway, who disdainfully declared: "There's no distinction in punching Scott on his ['almost beautiful, unmarked'] nose. Every taxi driver in Paris has done it." In June 1929 Hemingway used to box at the gym of the American Club with Callaghan, whom he had first met at the Toronto Star in 1923. After a lunch together at Prunier's, Scott decided to participate vicariously in their combat by assuming the grave responsibility of timekeeper.
The powerful Hemingway was not troubled by his friends' fear that he would "hurt his brains" in boxing. Callaghan noted that Hemingway had thought a good deal about boxing while he himself had actually worked out with fast college fighters. Hemingway took the sport seriously, was extremely aggressive and hated to lose. When Callaghan punched Hemingway's lip, he retaliated by spitting a mouthful of blood in his opponent's face and solemnly exclaiming: "That's what bullfighters do when they're wounded. It's a way of showing contempt."11
There were several versions of the notorious incident involving Fitzgerald and Hemingway. According to Callaghan, Fitzgerald, supposed to be keeping time, became so absorbed in the action that he unintentionally allowed the round to go well past the prescribed one-minute period. After Callaghan knocked Hemingway down, Fitzgerald woke up and screamed: " 'Oh, my God! … I let the round go four minutes.' … 'All right Scott,' Ernest said savagely. 'If you want to see me getting the shit knocked out of me, just say so. Only don't say you made a mistake.' … 'Don't you see I got fascinated watching? [Fitzgerald said]. I forgot all about the watch. My God, he thinks I did it on purpose. Why would I do it on purpose?' " Hemingway believed Fitzgerald was using Callaghan as a surrogate to punish him for his superiority in athletics, drinking, war and art. But it is unlikely that Fitzgerald, who genuinely admired Hemingway, wanted to see him hurt. He probably was distracted from his duties by seeing his hero unexpectedly beaten by the smaller Callaghan.
In Hemingway's version, which he related to Perkins (no doubt alarmed about the battering of his literary properties), he was drunk at the time, lost his wind, was beaten by Callaghan and prevented by pride from asking the time. He was convinced that Fitzgerald had been motivated by hidden animosity and had acted with deliberate malice:
I couldn't see him hardly-had a couple of whiskeys en route. Scott was to keep time and we were to box 1 minute rounds with 2 minute rests on acct. of my condition. I knew I could go a minute at a time and went fast and used all my wind-then Morley commenced to pop me and cut my mouth, mushed up my face in general. I was pooped as could be and thought I had never known such a long round but couldn't ask about it or Morley would think I was quitting. Finally Scott called time. Said he was very sorry and ashamed and would I forgive him. He had let the round go three minutes and 45 seconds-so interested to see if I was going to hit the floor!
The matter would have ended with Callaghan victorious, Hemingway embittered and Fitzgerald guilt-stricken. But a journalist-either Pierre Loving or Caroline Bancroft-heard about the incident from either Callaghan or Fitzgerald and belatedly sent a grossly distorted version of the story to the Denver Post. The "amusing encounter" was then reprinted by Isabel Paterson in the New York Herald Tribune of November 24, 1929:
One night at the [Cafe] Dome Callaghan's name was mentioned and Hemingway said: "Oh, you can easily see he hasn't any practical background for his fight stories-shouldn't think he knew anything about boxing." Callaghan, hearing of it, challenged Hemingway. After arranging for rounds and a considerable audience, they entered the arena. Not many seconds afterward Callaghan knocked Hemingway out cold. The [unnamed] amateur timekeeper was so excited that he forgot to count and the deflated critic [Hemingway] had to stagger up and finish the round.
When Callaghan read this piece two days later, he sent a denial to Isabel Paterson. He then received an "arrogant" collect cable from Fitzgerald (under considerable pressure from Hemingway, who was sensitive about his reputation as a boxer and furious that one of his friends had spread this damaging story): HAVE SEEN STORY IN HERALD TRIBUNE. ERNEST AND I AWAIT YOUR CORRECTION. SCOTT FITZGERALD. A correction duly appeared on December 8; and Hemingway, in a letter to Callaghan on January 4, 1930, blamed the story-though not the lapse in timekeeping that had inspired it-on the Paris-based Pierre Loving. But the real loser in this boxing match was Fitzgerald. Hemingway had compelled him to send the telegram and, as Callaghan wrote, Scott, "having been insulted by Ernest that day in the American Club, was now insulted by me because he had acted to please Ernest."12
The estrangement from Hemingway and Callaghan was compounded by drunken quarrels with many other friends, few of whom were as tolerant as the Murphys. The summary in Fitzgerald's Ledger for 1929, when he and Zelda began their precipitous slide into alcoholism and madness, was extremely grim: "Ominous. No Real Progress in ANY way and wrecked myself with dozens of people." Worst of all were the increasingly frequent and bitter arguments with Zelda. Robert Penn Warren, who met them in Paris that year, remembered "the frightful hissing quarrel, well laced with obscenities, which went on between them."
Both somewhat spoiled egoists needed precisely what the other could not give-sympathy, support, love. In the mid-1920s Zelda had recovered from nearly two years of colitis, appendicitis and gynecological problems resulting from her abortions. Since then, driven by demonic intensity, she had desperately tried to make up for lost time in her ballet career. John Biggs compared her frenzied obsession, which both frustrated and tormented her, to "the dancing madness of the middle ages." As Zelda withdrew into an unreal, hypersensitive world of her own, Scott drank more than ever. Louis Bromfield, always perceptive about the Fitzgeralds, contrasted their drinking habits and revealed that Scott's responsibility for her alcoholism was a source of profound guilt: "Of the two Zelda drank better and had, I think, the stronger character, and I have sometimes thought that she could have given it up without any great difficulty and that she was led on to a tragic end only because he could not stop and in despair she followed him. I have sometimes suspected that Scott was aware of this and that it caused remorse which did nothing to help his situation as it grew more tragic."13
Scott drank when Zelda was ill and when she danced away her life; he drank to stimulate his work and compensate for his idleness, to prepare for parties and keep them going, to soothe his loneliness and eradicate his guilt. And he had to pay all the penalties for getting drunk: quarrels with friends, terrible hangovers, blurred memory, poor health and inability to write. Zelda bitterly rejected his friends, who she felt had exploited her. She also ignored her family and-determined to create an independent life-cared about no one but her dance teacher. "As for my friends," she told Scott, "first, I have none; by that I mean that all our associates have always taken me for granted, sought your stimulus and fame, eaten my dinners and invited [themselves to] 'the Fitzgeralds'' place."
They also had sexual problems, which were exacerbated by growing disaffection and hostility, by Zelda's physical weariness and Scott's inability to satisfy her, by her complaints about his physical inadequacy and by his wounded pride. With caustic clarity, Zelda told him: "You made no advances toward me and complained that I was un-responsive. You were literally eternally drunk the whole summer. I got so I couldn't sleep and I had asthma again… You didn't want me. Twice you left my bed saying 'I can't. Don't you understand'-I didn't." Fitzgerald was hurt in the same way as Saul Bellow's fictional hero: "Herzog himself had no small amount of charm. But his sexual powers had been damaged by Madeleine. And without the ability to attract women, how was he to recover?"14
Despite domestic chaos, dissipation, frustration and compromise, Fitzgerald continued to-had to-write. Between 1924 and 1934 he worked on seven different versions of Tender Is the Night but, after many broken promises, had managed to send only two chapters to Max Perkins. In 1929, he had not touched his novel for a year. But he eventually abandoned the theme of matricide, which had blocked him, changed the focus to Zelda's mental illness and finally managed to complete the novel during 1932-34. Meanwhile, to support his extravagant way of life, he turned out increasingly lucrative stories for the Saturday Evening Post and reached a peak payment of $4,000 per story in 1929. In this fashion, he earned nearly $30,000 in 1927, $31,500 for nine Basil Duke Lee stories about his childhood and prep school years in 1928, and $27,000 in 1929.
During this time, amidst much mediocre work, Fitzgerald wrote two first-rate stories: "The Swimmers" in 1929 and "One Trip Abroad" in 1930. These stories portray unhappy marriages and are linked, both thematically and by specific passages, to Tender Is the Night. The second paragraph of "The Swimmers," which describes a series of signs in French in order to create the melancholy atmosphere of Paris and to juxtapose "Life and Death" ironically, is repeated almost verbatim on page 91 of the novel. Similarly, the symbolic invasion of locusts, which the chauffeur euphemistically calls bumblebees, the naked Ouled Nail dancers, the vivid evocation of the noises of Algeria and the allusion to "the Sepoys at the gate" in "One Trip Abroad" all reappear-contrary to Fitzgerald's usual practice-on pages 160-161 and 271 of the novel.
In "The Swimmers" Henry Clay Marston, who has an unfaithful French wife and is recuperating from an illness in St. Jean-de-Luz, helps rescue a drowning American girl, who teaches him how to swim. When his wife is unfaithful again, in America, they quarrel about the custody of the children. He eventually gains custody by threatening to let his wife and her lover drift out to sea in a stalled motorboat. On the ship back to Europe, he meets the young girl who had taught him to swim. Fitzgerald may have adopted the idea of regeneration through swimming from the last chapter of The Sun Also Rises when Jake Barnes-to cleanse himself of his friends' sordid behavior during the bullfight festival-achieves purification and self-knowledge during a solitary swim at La Concha beach in San Sebastian. Hemingway suggestively writes: "As a roller came I dove, swam out under water, and came to the surface with all the chill gone… Then I tried several dives. I dove deep once, swimming down to the bottom. I swam with my eyes open and it was green and dark." In "The Swimmers" the unnamed but regenerative American girl swims "to get clean." She helps Marston to find "refuge" in the water and to shed the symbolic odor of gasoline exhaust that foreshadowed the "black horror" of his nervous breakdown in Paris.
"The Swimmers," like "One Trip Abroad," sacrifices intensity by portraying events that occur over a period of several years. The three accidental meetings with the American girl (who may have been based on Lois Moran) and the contrived happy ending are rather implausible. Fitzgerald forfeits dramatic potential by not describing Marston's sons, by not developing the character of the American girl (who is merely the symbol of a happier life), by not portraying the emotional confrontation when he discovers his wife's first lover and, most importantly, by not explaining why Marston tolerates his wife's infidelity or if he is in any way responsible for it. Despite these considerable flaws, "The Swimmers" effectively contrasts the European and American settings, describes the failing marriage and-through the metaphor of swimming-convincingly suggests the possibility of a "clean" new life.
"One Trip Abroad" has a darker mood and a different pattern. In "The Swimmers" Marston moves from breakdown to health, from an adulterous wife to a revitalized existence. "One Trip Abroad" follows a downward curve as Nelson and Nicole Kelly move from happiness and health to decline and drink. The story charts the degeneration of their marriage as the Kellys travel to Algeria, Italy, France and Switzerland. Adopting the theme of the double that had been used from Hoffmann and Poe to Dostoyevsky and Stevenson, Fitzgerald has the Kellys see their own doom reflected in another shadowy but recurrent couple. But (like the Fitzgeralds) they are powerless to avoid it. The biblical plague of locusts at the beginning of the story, and the storm at the end, are-like the odor of gasoline at the beginning of "The Swimmers"-an ominous symbol of the characters' fate.
Fitzgerald's brief evocations of the various locales of the story are quite brilliant: from the suggestive sounds of the Algerian oasis: "drums from Senegal, a native flute, the selfish, effeminate whine of a camel, the Arabs pattering past in shoes made of old automobile tires, the wail of Magian prayer," to the dreary sanatoriums incongruously placed amidst the natural splendors of Switzerland: "a backdrop of mountains and waters of postcard blue, waters that are a little sinister beneath the surface with all the misery that has dragged itself here from every corner of Europe."
Fitzgerald also portrays incisive incidents that reveal the Kellys' differences, disappointments and dissipations. Nelson wants to watch the naked Algerian dancers, Nicole is repelled by them. He stays, she leaves, they both become anxious and angry, and "were suddenly in a quarrel." In Sorrento they have an unpleasant encounter with General Sir Evelyne and Lady Fragelle, who object to Nelson playing the electric piano and rudely unplug it without asking his permission. In Monte Carlo they join a crowd of drunks and parasites; and when Nicole discovers Nelson kissing another woman, they fight and he gives her a black eye. In Paris their drinking increases, and they are exploited by a Hungarian count who steals Nicole's jewel box and tries to make Nelson pay a huge bill for the count's boat party. On Lake Geneva, where Nicole has two operations and Nelson suffers an attack of jaundice, they are finally overcome by "the unlucky destiny that had pursued their affairs." They now need "half a dozen drinks really to open the eyes and stiffen the mouth up to normal."15 They do not understand why they have lost peace, love and health. But they finally begin to comprehend their fate when they recognize themselves in the elusive but persistent doubles, who have followed them through Europe.
In October 1929, as Zelda headed for her breakdown, Scottie, an exceptionally beautiful child, was eight years old. She had been largely raised by nurses and nannies, both English and French. She had been carried from house to house, state to state, country to country. And she had been left with family or servants, paid to take care of her, when her parents took off on their travels. The Fitzgeralds loved their child and rose to grand occasions like birthdays and Christmas, but they had very little to do with Scottie's day-to-day life.
In Paris Scottie attended catechism classes, took dancing lessons and became fluent in French. Fitzgerald complained that during the fall and winter of 1929-30 Zelda had lost interest in the child. Zelda agreed that she hardly saw Scottie because she hated her nurse, who snored and was mean. Yet she feared that Scottie "was growing away from her before she had ever known her, that she no longer had any voice in her daughter's life." When asked, later on, what she thought of her mother, Scottie replied: "I didn't know her very well."
Though Scottie's relations with her father were also rather "remote," Fitzgerald supervised her schoolwork and disciplined her when necessary. After Zelda's breakdown, he tried to protect Scottie from the effects of that illness, and became both father and mother to her. Fitzgerald's subtle and sensitive story, "Outside the Cabinet-Maker's" (1928), illuminates his relations with the young Scottie.
In the story, while the mother is ordering a doll's house for the child, the father and daughter are left alone in the car. The father tells a fairy story to pass the time, to exercise his imagination, to amuse the child and, most significantly, to express his intense love for her. But the little girl is naturally more interested in the fairy tale (which she continues when he leaves off) than in her father's feelings. When he declares his love openly instead of through the tale he invents for her, she responds dutifully rather than emotionally:
"Listen," said the man to the little girl, "I love you."
"I love you too," said the little girl, smiling politely… .
"Oh, I love you," he said.
"I know, Daddy," she answered, abstractedly.16
These two brief but telling exchanges, in which the adverbs are crucial, express Fitzgerald's fear that he could not reach his daughter's deepest feelings, and emphasize the fragility-and possible loss-of her love.
In February 1930 the Fitzgeralds crossed the Mediterranean to Algiers and traveled 250 miles southeast to the desert oases of Bou Saada and Biskra-the setting of Andre Gide's The Immoralist (1902). This journey, during which they saw the naked Arab dancers, provided the background for "One Trip Abroad" and was mentioned in Tender Is the Night. Zelda also described the Arabian Nights setting, which reminded her of Valentino's The Sheik, in an essay of 1934:
The Hotel de l'Oasis was laced together by Moorish grills; and the bar was an outpost of civilization with people accentuating their eccentricities. Beggars in white sheets were propped against the walls, and the dash of colonial uniforms gave the cafes a desperate swashbuckling air… The streets crept through the town like streams of hot white lava. Arabs sold nougat and cakes of poisonous pink under the flare of open gas jets… In the steep cobbled alleys we flinched at the brightness of mutton carcases swung from the butchers' booths.
This journey was meant to help them forget the bad times and perhaps avert the impending crisis. But Zelda was seasick on the way home, and the trip merely delayed the inevitable tragedy.
Many of Fitzgerald's friends-besides Dos Passos, Hemingway and the Murphys-had observed Zelda's increasingly strange and disturbing behavior. Ellen Barry, a Riviera friend, said: "Zelda was thought to be outrageous, like a child, but not crazy." Morley Callaghan noticed that she was extremely restless and had the unnerving habit of laughing to herself for no apparent reason. One evening she came down the stairs in a lovely gown, stood staring at John Biggs, stepped out of her evening slippers and "asked in indescribably ghastly tones: 'John, aren't you sorry you weren't killed in the war?'" And Rebecca West, an acute observer, recalled: "There was something very appealing about her. But frightening. Not that one was frightened from one's own point of view, only from hers."17
Sometimes, however, she did frighten others and put their lives in danger. In September 1929, driving on the steep and curving Grand Corniche near Cannes, Zelda suddenly exclaimed: " 'I think I'll turn off here,' and had to be physically restrained from veering over a cliff." This terrifying incident inspired one of the greatest scenes in Tender Is the Night when Nicole, after riding on a ferris wheel (as Zelda had done with Dos Passos), cracks up and tries to drive the car, with Dick and their children, off a high road. On another occasion, Zelda "lay down in front of a parked car and said, 'Scott, drive over me.' " Fitzgerald, drunk and angry enough to call her bluff, "started the engine and had actually released the brake when someone slammed it on again."
Zelda's breakdown finally occurred in April 1930 when they were living in the rue Pergolese. Early that month, when she began to panic about being late for her dancing lesson, Oscar Kalman, who was lunching with them, offered to take her to the studio in a cab. But she remained extremely anxious, shook uncontrollably and tried to change into her ballet costume in the narrow taxi. As they ran into a traffic jam, she leapt out of the cab and started running toward the distant studio. Fitzgerald persuaded her to stop the lessons and rest for a while. But she soon returned to them and, at the end of April 1930, broke down completely.
A few months later, as Scott and Zelda struggled to understand what had happened to them, he recounted, in a poignant letter to her, the events that seemed to mark their mutual self-destruction. He refused to attach blame, however, and felt they had to take responsibility for their own behavior:
The apartments that were rotten, the maids that stank-the ballet before my eyes, spoiling a story to take the Trubetskoys to dinner, poisoning a trip to [North] Africa. You were going crazy and calling it genius-I was going to ruin and calling it anything that came to hand. And I think everyone far enough away to see us outside of our glib presentation of ourselves guessed at your almost megalomaniacal selfishness and my insane indulgence in drink. Toward the end nothing much mattered. The nearest I ever came to leaving you was when you told me you thought I was a fairy in the rue Palatine… I wish The Beautiful and Damned had been a maturely written book because it was all true. We ruined ourselves-I never honestly thought that we ruined each other.18
1. Letter from John Barrymore to Fitzgerald, n.d. (c. early 1927), Princeton; Letter from Lois Moran Young to Mizener, c. April 1948, Princeton; Quoted in Mizener, Far Side of Paradise, p. 348; Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night, pp. 3-4.
2. Fitzgerald, Correspondence, pp. 247, 240; Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby, p. 10; Quoted in Mizener, Far Side of Paradise, p. 227; Fitzgerald, Correspondence, p. 206.
3. Fitzgerald, Correspondence, p. 480; Quoted in Donaldson, Fool for Love, p. 54; Quoted in Milford, Zelda, pp. 269, 215, 300; Letter from Lois Moran Young to Mizener, February 26, 1951, Princeton. In 1935 Lois married Clarence Young, who became assistant secretary of commerce and vice president of Pan American Airlines. She had one son and later lived in Sedona, Arizona, where she died in 1990. See "Lois Moran Young Dead at 81; Musical Star and Movie Actress," New York Times, July 15, 1990, 1:22.
4. Fitzgerald, Correspondence, p. 217; Quoted in Milford, Zelda, p. 168; See Gilbert Harrison, The Enthusiast: A Life of Thornton Wilder (1983; New York, 1986), pp. 109-110.
5. Edmund Wilson, "A Weekend at Ellerslie" (1952), The Shores of Light (1952; New York, 1961), pp. 373, 378-380, 382-383.
6. Quoted in Milford, Zelda, p. 168; Fitzgerald, Letters, pp. 511-512; Quoted in Turnbull, Scott Fitzgerald, p. 186; D. H. Lawrence, The Lost Girl (1920; New York, 1968), p. 318.
7. Andre Chamson, "Remarks of Andre Chamson," Fitzgerald-Hemingway Annual, 5 (1973), 74; Fitzgerald, "A Night at the Fair," Afternoon of an Author, pp. 15-16. See James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916; New York, 1964), p. 16; Herbert Gorman, "Glimpses of F. Scott Fitzgerald," Fitzgerald-Hemingway Annual, 5 (1973), 116.
8. Zelda Fitzgerald, Save Me the Waltz, Collected Writings, p. 114; Letter from Scottie Fitzgerald Lanahan to Mizener, July 5, 1950, Princeton; Zelda Fitzgerald, Save Me the Waltz, pp. 79, 118. See Gennady Smakov, "Lubov Egorova," The Great Russian Dancers (New York, 1984), pp. 19-25, which reproduces several photographs of Egorova.
9. Fitzgerald, "Two Wrongs," Taps at Reveille, p. 205; Quoted in Mellow, Invented Lives, p. 338; Sheilah Graham, The Rest of the Story (New York, 1964), p. 234. Zelda's Ballerinas is reproduced in Mellow's biography.
10. Quoted in Dennis Brian, The True Gen: An Intimate Portrait of Ernest Hemingway by Those Who Knew Him (New York, 1988), p. 79; Quoted in A. E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway (New York, 1966), p. 121; Hemingway, Selected Letters, p. 291.
11. Callaghan, That Summer in Paris, pp. 189, 161, 157, 126.
12. Ibid., pp. 214-215; Hemingway, Selected Letters, p. 302; I. M. P. [Isabel Paterson], "Turns with a Bookworm," New York Herald Tribune, November 24, 1929, sec. XII, p. 27; Callaghan, That Summer in Paris, pp. 243, 247. This fight had assumed epic proportions in Hemingway's mind by 1951, when he told Mizener: "Scott let the first round go thirteen minutes" (Selected Letters, p. 716). In 1964, after even greater distortions, Archibald MacLeish had to refute a claim that Fitzgerald had injured Hemingway's head with a jagged piece of skylight! See MacLeish, "The Bruiser and the Poet," Times Literary Supplement, September 3, 1964, p. 803.
13. Fitzgerald, Ledger, p. 183; Quoted in Mellow, Invented Lives, p. 353; Quoted in Mizener, Far Side of Paradise, pp. 229, 220.
14. Fitzgerald, Correspondence, pp. 291, 248-249; Saul Bellow, Herzog (New York, 1964), p. 5.
15. Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, p. 235; Fitzgerald, "One Trip Abroad," Afternoon of an Author, pp. 144, 161, 162, 164.
16. Milford, Zelda, pp. 318-319; Interview with Scottie's friend Marie Jemison, Birmingham, Alabama, January 12, 1992; Fitzgerald, "Outside the Cabinet-Maker's," Afternoon of an Author, pp. 138, 141.
17. Zelda Fitzgerald, "Show Mr. and Mrs. F. to Number--," Crack-Up, pp. 51-52; Interview with Ellen Barry; Henry Dan Piper's interview with John Biggs, Wilmington, June 22, 1945, courtesy of Professor Piper; Quoted in Milford, Zelda, p. 130.
18. Quoted in Turnbull, Scott Fitzgerald, p. 173; Fitzgerald, Correspondence, p. 241.
Next: chapter 9.
Published as Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography by Jeffrey Meyers (NY. Harper-Collins, 1994).