Scott and Ernest: The Authority of Failure and the Authority of Success
by Matthew J. Bruccoli


Although I didn’t know it, this book began on the night of 24 June 1972, when Frazer Clark, James Jones, and I tried to visit all the bars mentioned in The Sun Also Rises. Our first stop was the Dingo (now the Bar Basque). In October 1976 I read a paper on the Fitzgerald / Hemingway relationship at the University of Alabama Hemingway Conference. Then I started writing Scott and Ernest.

My chief debts are to Scottie Fitzgerald Smith and Mary Welsh Hemingway for access to the evidence. Both of them read this book in typescript. Alexander Clark and the always-helpful staff at the Princeton University Library made it possible for me to work with the Fitzgerald Papers. Jo August, William Johnson, and Robert Stocking assisted my research in the Hemingway Papers at the Kennedy Library. Cara White asked many useful questions while typing this book. Charles Mann generously shared his Hemingway research with me. My Arlyn vetted the drafts and tried to remove the infelicities of style. Vernon Sternberg and Margaret Duggan made useful recommendations for improving the working draft. Susan Walker and Karen Rood helped with final preparation of the typescript. The late James Charters wrote me long letters about Paris in the old days. I am also obligated to Morrill Cody and Duncan Chaplin for searching their memories. Carlos Baker, Hemingway’s biographer, patiently answered question after question. William Nolte, Head, Department of English, University of South Carolina, provided travel help at key points. Albert Erskine, my editor, always improves my work.

I am grateful to be at the University of South Carolina, where I can get my work done.

Matthew J. Bruccoli 19 March 1977


October 1924: Fitzgerald recommends Hemingway to Maxwell Perkins of Charles Scribner’s Sons. 
10 April 1925: Publication of The Great Gatsby.

Late April 1925: First meeting of Fitzgerald and Hemingway in the Dingo Bar, rue Delambre, Paris.
 5 October 1925: Publication of In Our Time.
26 February 1926: Publication of All the Sad Young Men.February 1926: Hemingway goes to New York to meet Maxwell Perkins at Scribners.
 28 May 1926: Publication of The Torrents of Spring.
Summer 1926: Hemingways join the Fitzgeralds and Murphys at Juan-les-Pins. The Fitzgeralds turn the villa Paquita over to the Hemingways and move to the Villa St. Louis. Fitzgerald reads typescript of The Sun Also Rises.
 Fall 1926: Hadley and Ernest separate.
 22 October 1926: Publication of The Sun Also Rises.
December 1926: Fitzgeralds return to America. 
January 1927: Fitzgerald goes to Hollywood to write “Lipstick” (unproduced) for United Artists. 
March 1927-March 1929: Fitzgeralds rent “Ellerslie,” near Wilmington, Delaware. 
 May 1927: Hemingway marries Pauline Pfeiffer.
 14 October 1927: Publication of Men Without Women.
April-August 1928: Fitzgeralds spend spring and summer in Paris.April 1928: Hemingways make first visit to Key West, Florida.
19-20 November 1928: Fitzgeralds and Hemingways attend Yale-Princeton football game at Princeton; the Hemingways spend the night at “Ellerslie.”
6 December 1928: Fitzgerald delivers cash to Hemingway at North Philadelphia Station following the suicide of Dr. Hemingway.
March 1929: Fitzgeralds return to Europe.May-October 1929: Serialization of A Farewell to Arms in Scribner’s Magazine.
June 1929: Fitzgerald and Hemingway in Paris. Fitzgerald reads typescript of A Farewell to Arms.
June 1929: Hemingway and Callaghan box in Paris; Fitzgerald is timekeeper.
 27 September 1929: Publication of A Farewell to Arms.
 24 November 1929: Account of Hemingway-Callaghan bout appears in New York Herald Tribune.
April 1930: Zelda Fitzgerald has breakdown in Paris. In June she is placed at Prangins Clinic near Geneva. 
September 1931: Zelda Fitzgerald is released from Prangins. Fitzgeralds return to America permanently. 
September 1931-May 1932: Fitzgeralds rent a house in Montgomery, Alabama. 
October 1931: Fitzgerald and Hemingway meet—probably in New York.
December 1931: Fitzgerald goes to Hollywood to work on Red-Headed Woman at MGM. 
February 1932: Zelda Fitzgerald has second breakdown; is placed at Phipps Clinic of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. 
May 1932-November 1933: Fitzgerald rents “La Paix” near Baltimore. 
 25 September 1932: Publication of Death in the Afternoon.
7 October 1932: Publication of Zelda Fitzgerald’s novel, Save Me the Waltz. 
January 1933: Fitzgerald and Hemingway meet in New York.
 27 October 1933: Publication of Winner Take Nothing.
 December 1933-February 1934: Hemingways on safari in Africa.
January-April 1934: Serialization of Tender Is the Night in Scribner’s Magazine. 
12 April 1934: Publication of Tender Is the Night. 
May 1934: Zelda Fitzgerald’s third breakdown. 
October 1934: Publication of “In the Darkest Hour,” the first Philippe story. 
20 March 1935: Publication of Taps at Reveille.25 October 1935: Publication of Green Hills of Africa.
1935-1937: Fitzgerald in North Carolina, mostly staying at the Grove Park Inn, Asheville. The “crack-up” period. 
April 6, 1936: Zelda Fitzgerald is placed in Highland Hospital, Asheville, N.C. 
February 1936: Publication of “The Crack-Up” in Esquire. 
August 1936: Publication of “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” in Esquire.
 March 1937: Hemingway goes to Spain as war correspondent for NANA.
4 June 1937: Fitzgerald and Hemingway meet in New York when Hemingway addresses American Writers’ Congress.
July 1937: Fitzgerald moves to Hollywood, under contract to MGM. Meets Sheilah Graham. 
July 1937: Final meeting of Fitzgerald and Hemingway in Hollywood at showing of The Spanish Earth.
 15 October 1937: Publication of To Have and Have Not.
 14 October 1938: Publication of The Fifth Column and The First Forty-Nine Stories.
January 1939: Termination of Fitzgerald’s MGM contract. 
Late summer 1939: Fitzgerald begins writing The Last Tycoon. 
 27 October 1940: Publication of For Whom the Bell Tolls.
 27 November 1940: Hemingway marries Martha Gellhorn.
 December 1940: Hemingway buys the Finca Vigia, outside of Havana.
21 December 1940: Fitzgerald dies of a heart attack at Sheilah Graham’s apartment, 1443 N. Hayworth, Hollywood. 
27 October 1941: Publication of The Last Tycoon. 
 May 1944-March 1945: Hemingway in London and France as Collier’s correspondent.
12 August 1945: Publication of The Crack-Up. 
 14 March 1946: Hemingway marries Mary Welsh.
June 1947: Death of Maxwell Perkins.
10 March 1948: Death of Zelda Fitzgerald in a fire at Highland Hospital. 
 7 September 1950: Publication of Across the River and into the Trees.
 8 September 1952: Publication of The Old Man and the Sea.
 October 1954: Hemingway is awarded the Nobel Prize.
 2 July 1961: Hemingway commits suicide in his home at Ketchum, Idaho.
 5 May 1964: Publication of A Moveable Feast.


The first time I ever met Scott Fitzgerald a very strange thing happened. Many strange things happened with Scott but this one I was never able to forget. He had come into the Dingo bar in the rue Delambre where I was sitting with some completely worthless characters, had introduced himself and introduced a tall, pleasant man who was with him as Dunc Chaplin, the famous pitcher. I had not followed Princeton baseball and had never heard of Dunc Chaplin but he was extraordinarily nice, unworried, relaxed and friendly, and I much preferred him to Scott.
A Moveable Feast

Thus begins Ernest Hemingway’s posthumously published account of his friendship with F. Scott Fitzgerald—which portrays Fitzgerald as a drunk, a weakling, a hypochondriac, an irresponsible writer, a nuisance, an embarrassment, as both sexually insecure and wife-dominated, and even questions Fitzgerald’s taste in ties. It is a highly convincing recollection, utilizing Hemingway’s reportorial skills and his “rat-trap memory” for details. Moreover, this first encounter is documented by a witness: Fitzgerald’s Princeton friend Duncan Chaplin was there, too. But Chaplin was not in the Dingo bar on the rue Delambre that spring day in 1925. Chaplin was not in Paris. Chaplin was not even in Europe in 1925. After fifty years Duncan Chaplin has no recollection of ever having met Hemingway: “I left Genoa for home about Dec. 15-to Jan. 15-1920 & did not return to Paris after my short stay in 1919—” (to MJB, 26 November 1976). Chaplin served with the U.S. Naval aviation in Italy from August 1918 to the end of 1919. Since Hemingway was with the Red Cross in Italy from June 1918 to January 1919, it is possible that they met in Italy and that Hemingway’s memory later moved Chaplin to the Dingo.

Perhaps it was someone else—another Princetonian. But Chaplin is carefully identified as part of the sense of exact recall Hemingway develops in these memoirs. As the scene is set up, it has to be Chaplin. One wrong detail undermines the whole thing: all of it has to be right. Hemingway’s error about Dunc Chaplin opens larger questions about the Fitzgerald/Hemingway relationship, for Hemingway is the only source for some of the most widely repeated anecdotes about Fitzgerald.

No one has ever really had total recall, and it is well to remember that Hemingway wrote A Moveable Feast more than thirty years after the events he reports. In 1956 the porters at the Paris Ritz reminded Hemingway that he had left two small trunks there in 1928, which turned out to be full of material from his early Paris days. This discovery had a catalytic effect on the writing of A Moveable Feast; but there is no evidence that any of the Paris sketches were salvaged from those trunks. The recollections were written between 1957 and 1960. Hemingway provided a warning in his Preface: “If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.”

The best-known anecdote about Fitzgerald appears in Hemingway’s 1936 story, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”: “He remembered poor Scott Fitzgerald and his romantic awe of them [the rich] and how he had started a story once about them that began ’The very rich are different from you and me.’ And how someone had said to Scott, ’Yes they have more money.’ But that was not humorous to Scott. He thought they were a special glamorous race and when he found they weren’t it wrecked him just as much as any other thing that wrecked him.” The only true thing in the passage is the quotation from Fitzgerald’s story “The Rich Boy”—which did not begin the story. The rest never happened—or, at least, it didn’t happen that way. In 1936 Maxwell Perkins, the legendary editor of Fitzgerald and Hemingway at Charles Scribner’s Sons, lunched with Hemingway and the critic Mary Colum. When Hemingway announced, “I am getting to know the rich,” Mary Colum replied, “The only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money.” The mechanism of Hemingway’s reaction seems appallingly clear: a standard way to get rid of an embarrassment is to assign it to someone else. In this case “poor Scott,” whose “Crack-Up” articles were appearing in Esquire, provided an easy target.

These instances in which Hemingway’s testimony about Fitzgerald is demonstrably untrustworthy indicate that an examination of all the evidence in the Scott/Ernest case is required. Since some of the anecdotes about these two figures have become commonplaces of American literary history, the record should be set straight. There are excellent biographies of both Fitzgerald and Hemingway —particularly Carlos Baker’s Hemingway: A Life Story—but in these volumes the focus is necessarily on the subject of the biography, so that the relationship between the two writers has not been fully scrutinized. A documentary reconstruction of their friendship and estrangement enlarges our understanding of these geniuses—especially of Hemingway, who became his own greatest creation.

There is no need to aggrandize either F. Scott Fitzgerald or Ernest Hemingway at the other’s expense. Their works will endure for as long as books are read—which is all that really mattered to them. Partisans have been moved to make comparative judgments on Fitzgerald and Hemingway, attempting to defend the stature of one by diminishing the other. This procedure often adduces biographical evidence; but the personal relationship between Fitzgerald and Hemingway has been mythologized. Things that never happened have been printed as facts. What did happen has been distorted.

The mortality rate among literary friendships is high. Writers tend to be bad risks as friends—probably for much the same reasons that they are bad matrimonial risks. They save the best parts of themselves for their work. Moreover, literary ambition has a way of turning into literary competition. If fame is the spur, envy may be a concomitant.

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway had great friendship needs. They both sought admiration and companionship. Hemingway needed an audience. Fitzgerald needed heroes. The cadre of Hemingway’s literary ex-friends is impressive; and his feuds with them were often conducted in print or in public—as he broke with Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, Archibald MacLeish, Donald Ogden Stewart, Robert Mc-Almon, Ford Madox Ford, Morley Callaghan, Harold Loeb, Max Eastman, and Ernest Walsh. Examining the pattern of Hemingway’s friendships—especially during his apprentice period—makes it difficult to avoid the conclusion that young Hemingway had a compulsion to declare his independence from, or non-indebtedness to, writers who could be said to have helped or influenced him. Few of Hemingway’s writer-friends managed to stay the distance: Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and—in a special way—F. Scott Fitzgerald. Hemingway never saw Pound after 1924. Hemingway and Joyce were not close friends. Fitzgerald maintained the outward forms of friendship with Hemingway for fifteen years, until his death in 1940.

A Note on Sources

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s letters to Ernest Hemingway are at the John F. Kennedy Library, Waltham, Massachusetts. Most of these letters are included in The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald, ed. Andrew Turnbull (New York: Scribners, 1963). Hemingway’s letters to Fitzgerald are at the Princeton University Library, as are the Charles Scribner’s Sons archives, which include Maxwell Perkins’ correspondence. Most of the Fitzgerald/Perkins correspondence has been published as Dear Scott/ Dear Max, ed. Jackson Bryer and John Kuehl (New York: Scribners, 1971). Hemingway’s letters to Charles Poore and Arthur Mizener are at the University of Maryland Library. Portions of these letters have been quoted or facsimiled in auction catalogues; see Hemingway at Auction, ed. Matthew J. Bruccoli and C. E. Frazer Clark, Jr. (Detroit: Bruccoli Clark/Gale, 1973). Hemingway’s letters to Malcolm Cowley are quoted from Sotheby Parke Bernet catalogue #4035 (25 October 1977). Hemingway’s letters to Harvey Breit are at the Houghton Library, Harvard University. A standard tool for Hemingway research is Charles W. Mann and Philip Young, The Hemingway Manuscripts: An Inventory (University Park and London: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1969).

Carlos Baker’s Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story (New York: Scribners, 1969) is the standard biography. There are two biographies of Fitzgerald: Arthur Mizener’s The Far Side of Paradise (Boston: Hough-ton Mifflin, 1951) and Andrew Turnbull’s Scott Fitzgerald (New York: Scribners, 1962). Photos of the Fitzgeralds and their friends are reproduced in The Romantic Egoists: A Pictorial Autobiography of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, ed. Scottie Fitzgerald Smith, Matthew J. Bruccoli, and Joan P. Kerr (New York: Scribners, 1974). Two important memoirs of Paris in the Twenties are Morley Callaghan’s That Summer in Paris: Memories of Tangled Friendships with Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Some Others (New York: Coward-McCann, 1963) and Harold Loeb’s The Way It Was (New York: Criterion, 1959). A reconstruction of the events behind The Sun Also Rises is Hemingway and the SUN SET, ed. Bertram D. Sarason (Washington, D.C.: Bruccoli Clark/NCR, 1972). An account of Gerald and Sara Murphy is Calvin Tompkins’ Living Well Is the Best Revenge (New York: Viking, 1971). Two articles examining Fitzgerald’s editorial efforts on Hemingway’s novels are Charles W. Mann and Philip Young, “Fitzgerald’s Sun Also Rises,” Fitzgerald/Hemingway Annual 1970, and Mann’s “F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Critique of A Farewell to Arms” Fitzgerald / Hemingway Annual 1976.

About the Author

Matthew J. Bruccoli, Jefferies Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, is a leading authority on F. Scott Fitzgerald and John O’Hara. He has written or edited some thirty volumes in the field of American literature. Among his recent books are The O’Hara Concern: A Biography of John O’Hara and The Romantic Egoists, a pictorial autobiography of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, which he edited with Scottie Fitzgerald Smith and Joan P. Kerr. He is now working on a collection of John O’Hara’s letters and a new collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s letters for Random House.

Dr. Bruccoli, a graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia, lives in Columbia, S.C., with his wife and four children. He is a partner in Bruccoli Clark Publishers.

Рецензия из советского журнала: О Хемингуэе и Фицджеральде

Вышедшая в издательстве «Рэндом хаус», документальная книга Мэттью Брукколи «Скотт и Эрнест» рассказывает о сложных взаимоотношениях двух выдающихся американских писателей XX века — Э. Хемингуэя и Ф. Скотта Фицджеральда. За последние два десятилетия, особенно после опубликования в 1964 г. книги Хемингуэя «Праздник, который всегда с тобой», интерес к этой дружбе значительно возрос. Почти ежегодно публикуются новые материалы, так или иначе связанные с именами Хемингуэя и Фицджеральда. Не обходится, конечно, и без всякого рода сенсационных «мемуаров», носящих зачастую характер великосветских сплетен.

М. Брукколи в своей книге постарался разобраться в огромном количестве документов, упорядочить массу информации и отделить правду от вымысла, действительно имевшие место события от небылиц. По словам обозревателя газеты «Интернэшнл геральд трибюн», Брукколи доказывает, что автором многих из этих анекдотов был… Хемингуэй. Брукколи тщательно сверяет различные «версии» — Хемингуэя и «незаинтересованных третьих лиц» — некоторых эпизодов из жизни Фицджеральда и Хемингуэя и приходит к выводу, что Хемингуэй был иногда «слишком несправедлив к Фицджеральду и чрез» справедлив к самому себе».

К наиболее интересным страницам книги, подчеркивает газета, принадлежат все же не те, что рассказывают о каких-то подробностях личной жизни обоих писателей, а те, где Брукколи приводит письма Фицджеральда Хемингуэю, в которых тот излагает свои критические суждения относительно первых двух нов своего друга «И восходит солнце» и «Прощай, оружие!». По мнению Брукколи, Фицджеральд был очень доброжелательным и справедливым критиком, чье мнение Хемингуэй ценил. Так, по совету Фицджеральда, он переработал некоторые места в «И восход солнце», убрал излишние длинноты в «Прощай, оружие!». Хотя личное отношение Хемингуэя к Фицджеральду, пишет Брукколи, было довольно предвзятым, с его оценкой литературного творчества Фицджеральда нельзя не согласиться. Брукколи цитирует письмо Хемингуэя к известном американскому критику Малькольму Каули, где Хемингуэй критикует роман «Ночь нежна» за то, что «характеры Фицджеральда театральны, ибо он создавал их на основе своего отвлеченно-романтического взгляда на жизнь, а не на основе изучения реальных людей».

Несмотря на то что в книге «Скотт и Эрнест» приводится множество уже известных фактов, главное достоинство книги, по мнению рецензента «Интернэшнл геральд трибюн», заключается в предельной объективности автора.

Иностранная литература, 1977, № 8

Next Chapter 1

Published as Scott And Ernest: The Authority Of Failure And The Authority Of Success (The Fitzgerald-Hemingway Friendship) by Matthew J. Bruccoli (New York: Random House, 1978); later this text was revised as Fitzgerald And Hemingway: A Dangerous Friendship by Matthew J. Bruccoli (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1994).