“He wasnot even a Catholic, yet that was the only ghost of a code that he had,” says Fitzgerald of the hero in This Side of Paradise.
Religion is a predisposition quite separate from the intellect, which may reinforce or undermine it, and Fitzgerald had that sense of the infinite, of life’s mystery which we associate with the religious temper. He was capable of awe. His sister remembered him as a devout boy who lost his religion at Princeton, where he came under such pagan influences as Wilde, Swinburne, Wells, and the early Huysmans. John Peale Bishop and Edmund Wilson had a similar effect on him; Wilson, especially, was a belligerent skeptic, as if on guard against the Protestant divines in his ancestry. [James Creese, an editor on the Nassau Lit, recalled a young professor who talked with Fitzgerald about his religion and came away with the impression that he was undergoing some sort of spiritual crisis.]
With sights set on worldly acclaim, Fitzgerald had been drifting from the Church though not without a struggle. For a while he would go religiously to Mass and make a point of not eating meat on Friday, then sink back into hedonism. The make-weight on the side of his religion was Father Fay whom he had been seeing off and on—at Princeton, at Newman where Fay was now headmaster, at Deal Beach where Fay’s mother had a home. Fay yearned and brooded over his disciple, who reminded him in certain ways of his own youth. “There are deep things in us,” Fay wrote Fitzgerald, “and you know what they are as well as I do. We have great faith, and we have a terrible honesty at the bottom of us, that all our sophistry cannot destroy, and a kind of childlike simplicity that is the only thing that saves us from being downright wicked.”
Fay told Shane Leslie, a young Irish author visiting this country, that Fitzgerald thought it very clever and literary to leave the Church, but that he was rebelling against his upbringing and they must do their best to keep him in. Leslie had influence with Fitzgerald; he was handsome and well-connected and had been at Cambridge with Rupert Brooke. In Fitzgerald’s presence he and Fay would discuss the grandeurs of Catholicism, its saints, statesmen, and intellectuals, its Augustines, Richelieus, and Newmans. Fitzgerald drank it all in, later remarking that Fay and Leslie made the Church seem “a dazzling, golden thing, dispelling its oppressive mugginess and giving the succession of days upon gray days, passing under its plaintive ritual, the romantic glamour of an adolescent dream.”
Fay had been chosen to head a Red Cross mission to Russia where, as a trusted friend of Cardinal Gibbons, he saw himself playing a role in the restoration of Catholic unity, now that the Revolution had cut the Greek Orthodox Church from its Tsarist moorings. He wanted Fitzgerald to accompany him as an aide, with the rank of Red Cross Lieutenant. “Whether you look at it from the spiritual or temporal point of view,” wrote Fay, “it is an immense opportunity and will be a help to you all the rest of your life.”
Fitzgerald was persuaded—by the adventure and secrecy of it, if not by the ideals involved. While waiting for the trip to materialize, he spent July at the home of John Peale Bishop in Charles Town, West Virginia, where he wrote “a terrific lot of poetry mostly under the Masefield-Brooke influence.” (One of the poems, which Poet Lore bought but never published, was his first sale.) He went to Confession and talked a great deal of becoming a priest. Mrs. Bishop feared he might convert her son, but Bishop laughed it off, saying that so weak a character as Fitzgerald would never convert anyone.
In September the Russian venture fell through because of the Bolshevik triumph, and Fitzgerald went back to Princeton to begin his senior year though his one idea was to get into uniform. During the summer he had taken exams for a provisional appointment to Second Lieutenant in the regular army, which meant he was likely to see combat sooner than if he were in the reserves. He wrote Edmund Wilson to find out “what effect the war at close quarters has on a person of your temperament.” Wilson replied that so far he had gotten no nearer the front than the Detroit State Fairgrounds, “where I am associated in the errand of mercy [Wilson was in the Hospital Corps] with the sorriest company of yokels that ever qualified as skilful plumbers, or, an even less considerable eminence, received A.B. degrees from the University of Michigan.”
Awaiting his commission, Fitzgerald roomed in Campbell Hall with John Biggs—later a distinguished judge—who as an undergraduate seemed to share Fitzgerald’s view that writing for the Triangle, The Tiger, and the Lit was of more consequence than one’s academic work. When The Tiger was late to press, Biggs and Fitzgerald were capable of turning out an entire number between darkness and dawn. As a roommate, Fitzgerald had drawbacks. If Biggs’s bed were made and the sheets looked cleaner than his own, Fitzgerald would climb in and go to sleep. He likewise availed himself of Biggs’s books and clothes, though Biggs never saw any evidence that Fitzgerald was financially pressed.
Fitzgerald’s commission came through the end of October, and in November he reported to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for three months’ officers’ training. He felt that his youth—and for that matter, the youth of his whole generation—was now officially over. “If we ever get back [from the war],” he wrote his Cousin Ceci, “and I don’t particularly care, we’ll be rather aged—in the worst way. After all life hasn’t much to offer except youth and I suppose for older people the love of youth in others.”
In a letter to his mother he laid aside such world-weary posturing and told her bluntly, “About the army please let’s not have either tragedy or Heroics because they are equally distastful to me. I went into this perfectly cold bloodedly and don’t sympathize with the
‘Give my son to country
ect ect ect
because I just went and purely for social reasons. If you want to pray, pray for my soul and not that I wont get killed—the last doesn’t seem to matter particularly and if you are a good Catholic the first ought to.
“To a profound pessimist about life, being in danger is not depressing. I have never been more cheerful. Please be nice and respect my wishes.”
After Princeton, an army post on the plains of Kansas was like going to prison. The winter was exceptionally severe, and the trainees slept fifteen to a room with their belongings in trunks at the foot of their beds. The captain in charge of Fitzgerald’s platoon was a blue-eyed West Pointer with a crumpled grin named Ike Eisenhower.
While envisioning himself a hero in the field, Fitzgerald could not conceal his boredom with the preliminary steps. He wrote or slept through lectures on “Trench Behavior,” “Sniping and Being Sniped,” and “The Lewis Gun.” In close-order drill he was the only man in his squad of eight who wasn’t made acting corporal for a week (someone had to be corporal twice rather than entrust the squad to the vagaries of Fitzgerald). On a hike he put a piece of stove pipe in his knapsack to lighten it while making it appear he was carrying the prescribed load. He was apprehended and penalized, but he did not reform. In subtle ways he continued to ridicule the process of becoming an officer, and though he found a few congenial spirits among the graduates of Eastern colleges, most of his fellows looked down on him as soft, spoiled, and immature.
The truth was that he resented the army for taking up his time when he wanted to get on with the real business of becoming an author. Weekends, there were dances in Kansas City, but Fitzgerald spent his free hours in a corner of the officers’ club at Fort Leavenworth where, amid smoke, conversation, and rattling newspapers he was turning out a novel. In October he had showed a manuscript to Father Fay, who declared it “first-rate stuff.” He showed it to Gauss also, hoping the professor would recommend it to his publisher, but Gauss felt it wasn’t good enough, even when Fitzgerald brought it back with every paragraph changed. Now, at Leavenworth, he was redrafting and expanding the whole thing, inspired by the belief that he was soon going off to be killed. On the successive weekends of three months he wrote a hundred and twenty thousand words, sending each chapter to a typist in Princeton as he completed it. Meanwhile he lived in the “smeary pencil pages. The drills, marches and Small Problems for Infantry were a shadowy dream. My whole heart was concentrated upon my book.”
He had been corresponding with John Peale Bishop, an infantry officer likewise stifled by camp routine. “Oh Scott,” wrote Bishop, “I am hungry, hungry for beauty, for poetry, for talk, for kindly mirth, for subtle wit, for quiet hours and peace, for nights and late risings, for tweed knickerbockers, and cafe au lait, for all things I have not, for the sight of you and T. M. and Alex and Bunny, for a mistress, for love, for religion, for shirred eggs, for my copy of [Rupert Brooke], for all things severally and collected which the military profession has rudely banished from life.” Bishop had recently published a book of verse, and Fitzgerald sent him installments of the novel, which Bishop found lacking in particularity. “Stephen does the things every boy does,” he said. “Well and good, I suppose you want the universal appeal. But the way to get it is to have the usual thing done in an individual way.” Bishop also complained that the book wasn’t subjective enough. “That’s where the immense superiority of Youth’s Encounter [by Compton Mackenzie] comes in. You give the acts of the boy. Mackenzie the mind and soul, moving through the action.” In subsequent drafts Fitzgerald would take these criticisms to heart.
In March he sent the completed manuscript of The Romantic Egotist to Shane Leslie, who proofread it and submitted it to Scribners, asking them to keep it no matter what they thought of it, for Leslie wanted Fitzgerald to go overseas feeling that he was at least a potential Rupert Brooke. “You may depart in peace,” wrote Leslie, “and possibly find yourself part of the Autumn reading banned by the Y.M.C.A. for use among troops.”
But Fitzgerald didn’t go overseas. On March 15th he joined the Forty-fifth Infantry Regiment at Camp Taylor near Louisville, Kentucky. He was put in command of a company, and one day when the regiment was marching back from town through a blizzard, the general chanced by on horseback. Fitzgerald had his arm up against the snow, and the general, tapping him on the shoulder, asked who he was. Fitzgerald gave his name without taking his arm down. Unaware of the august presence, he failed to salute and call his company to attention. When they got back to camp, there was an order from the general for the whole regiment to march to town again.
In mid-April the Forty-fifth Infantry moved to Camp Gordon, Georgia, and two months later to Camp Sheridan, Alabama, where Fitzgerald was transferred to the Sixty-seventh, then forming from a nucleus of the Forty-fifth. The two regiments were brigaded as part of the newly-organized Ninth Division and brought up to combat strength preparatory to going overseas. Fitzgerald, now a first lieutenant, was assigned to a headquarters company, which entitled him to wear boots and spurs. He blossomed out in a pair of yellowish boots, the only ones in the division, which he persisted in wearing despite constant ribbing.
Camp Sheridan was near Montgomery, where Jefferson Davis had been inaugurated and where the first Confederate banner had floated from the capitol dome. A town of about 40,000, itwas dominated by a clique of Confederate sons and daughters proud of their rural backwardness. Each morning Negro drovers herded cattle down the main residential street, and in September when the cotton had been baled, a procession of mule-drawn drays took it through town to the warehouse. Negro women in calico dresses and bright bandanas sat on the bales plucking banjos or laughing with the children, while the men in straw hats and overalls roused their dust-caked beasts with a crack of the whip or a loud “Geet-opp!”
Among the townspeople there lingered resentment against the Yankees, though a final accord between North and South was being reached at the Country Club dances, to which the officers of Camp Sheridan had a standing invitation. Fitzgerald was there every Saturday night, a trim figure in his Brooks Brothers uniforms with the high, snug collars of the period. There was a dash about him, a greyhound leanness and elegance. His pallor accentuated the cameo incisiveness of his profile, and full face his long-lashed, dreamy eyes conquered with their fragile beauty of expression. You sensed his conceit of ambition, yet a kind of modesty made him responsive to and admiring of the qualities in others. Back of it all was the play of his catchy mind, forever weaving stories from the life around him. If such and such a person found himself in these unique circumstances, what would happen? Fitzgerald would take you aside and tell you all about it.
With his novel off his hands he succumbed to a vague restlessness, which may have had something to do with Ginevra King’s impending marriage. He wrote his cousin, “Do you know, Sally, I believe that for the first time in my life I’m rather loan-some down here—not lonesome for family and friends or anyone in particular but lonesome for the old atmospheres—a feverish crowd at Princeton sitting up till three discussing pragmatism or the immortality of the soul—for the glitter of New York with a tea dance at the Plaza or lunch at Sherries—for the quiet respectable boredom of St. Paul.”
Father Fay—newly become a Monsignor and looking, he said, like a Turner sunset in his full regalia—caught Fitzgerald’s mood and tried to steady him. “The fear of God,” wrote Fay, “is your greatest protection—as it is mine, nor could you rid yourself of it if you would—it will all ways be there. As to women—It is not a convention that holds you back as you think, but an instinct that if you begin you will run amuck.” Fitzgerald made a grave mistake, said Fay, to believe he could be a romantic without religion. “The secret of our success is the mystical element in us. Something flows into us that enlarges our personalities and when that flows out of us our personalities shrink. I should call your last two letters rather shrivelled.”
Fay thought Fitzgerald’s faith would eventually clarify, but Fitzgerald wasn’t so sure. He felt rather pagan at the moment. Religion seemed to have so little connection with life.
The dancing class was giving its annual carnival at the Grand Theater in Montgomery. Three little girls in white Pierrot costumes, their pointed hats made tall and stiff with buckram, came out of the wings skipping rope. One of them skipped across the stage without a faux pas. A second knocked her hat over her eyes and fled weeping into the arms of her mother. The third, whose name was Zelda Sayre, knocked her hat completely off, got her feet caught in the rope, fell down, and proceeded to get worse entangled. But she seemed to be enjoying herself. She made it appear that her predicament had been rehearsed, and she brought the house down.
Zelda—so-named for a gypsy queen who had turned up in her mother’s reading—came from distinguished forebears on both sides. Her father’s uncle, John Tyler Morgan, had been a general in the Civil War and afterwards one of Alabama’s most illustrious senators, while her father, Anthony Dickinson Sayre, was a judge on the Alabama Supreme Court. A Jeffersonian democrat and an idealist, this strait-laced old Roman and pillar of his profession had married Minnie Machen, daughter of a Kentucky senator. In Montgomery the Sayres were respected burghers who made no effort in society. Mrs. Sayre was musicaland had once aspired to the opera, but now she devoted herself to her family and her garden and wrote poems for the local newspaper, while the judge lived in the law and read history for amusement. [On her father’s side Zelda was also related to General John Hunt (“Raider”) Morgan, the famed Confederate guerilla. Fitzgerald doubtless knew the standard biography of him by Basil Duke, which may account for the name Basil Duke Lee (hero of the Basil stories).]
Zelda was the baby in a family of five children. As with Fitzgerald, her parents seemed almost old enough to be her grandparents. She inherited her father’s brilliance and her mother’s generosity, but in other respects she was completely unlike her staid, conservative parents who did not know what to make of their beautiful duck egg. A child of nature, her spirit had something in common with the Greek poetic idea of the demigod or super-human, who is freed from that terror of environment which makes for conformity. Her mother’s adored, she stood up to the judge from her earliest years. He would tell her to do something and she would say, “Look here, ‘old Dick’ [her mother’s name for him], I’m not going to do that”—and get away with it. As a bored little girl of ten or eleven, she had telephoned the fire department to say a child was stranded on the Sayres’ roof. Then she climbed the roof and kicked away the ladder, so as not to disappoint the firemen when they came.
If people criticized her, they were also amused, and everyone agreed she was “smart and keen as a brier.” During her senior year at Lanier High she played the part of England in a pageant of the Allied Nations, enacted before the Montgomery Rotary Club. Midway in her speech she was supposed to say, “Interrupted in these benevolent pursuits, for three years I have been engaged in bloody warfare,” but after “interrupted” her memory failed. She repeated the word several times and then with a dazzling smile said, “Gentlemen, I have been permanently interrupted,” and left the hall amid thunderous applause.
Zelda was brave as any boy. Playing foxes and hounds, she jumped over fences with the best of them, while at the gravel pit she dove off the crane which few dared even to climb, ducking the other swimmers as she rose. On picnics, rather than ride in a car with the girls, she got a boy to take her on his motorcycle. Sitting on a pillow (rear seats had not been invented), she would urge him to go faster, and if they hit a bump which sent them sprawling, her enthusiasm was no less. Her admirers were constantly put to the test; the only justification for women, she used to say, was the need for a disturbing element among men.
The first thing one noticed about her looks was the exquisite coloring. Her skin was pink and white and flawless, and her honey-gold hair, very thick and live, grew beautifully around her face. If her sharp nose was perhaps a little beaky, her thin mouth was sensual and alluring, and her deep blue eyes challenged and taunted, the modeling of chin and cheek and brow giving the whole a fragile force.
Clothes meant nothing to Zelda. Supple and boyish, she looked her best in a drenched bathing suit with her hair streaming down. But she also looked well in the ragged middy blouses she wore to school, not to mention the evening dresses her mother made for her. Decked in fluffy organdy beneath a wide-brimmed hat with streamers, Zelda was the very incarnation of a Southern belle. She had a tendency to slouch and sometimes her slip would be showing or a strap hanging down, but such minor defects were obliterated by her golden softness, her lilting grace, the sparkling deviltry in her eye. Zelda had a sweet side too, she was gracious and feminine, though underneath was that touch of the hoyden which accents a woman’s character, giving it piquancy and strength.
Her flaw was lack of discipline. She wanted to romp, and in her eagerness to sample life she was like a bucking bronco or a heap of bees. Lazy, provincial Montgomery was a pillow over her face, and going to sleep at night in her ward-like room with the white bedspread and curtains, she dreamed of being important, of being noticed, though which of her many talents would make her noticeable she had not ascertained.
During her last year at school she began going out with the soldiers from Camp Sheridan. She smoked when it was still taboo for women, and she was not above taking a swig of corn liquor when the men circulated the bottle. She had no prejudice against necking, or “boodling,” as it was known in the local patois, but sitting in a car with an amorous male was hardly her idea of the way to spend an evening, and men who bored her quickly found it out. Though her parents let her do pretty much as she pleased, occasionally the judge would complain. Meeting her at the door one evening, he said, “What do you mean by coming home this hour of night, you hussyl”; to which Zelda replied, “Isn’t that what hussies do?” He forbade her to go to the next party, but she was there.
Zelda met Scott Fitzgerald at a Country Club dance in July, 1918, a few weeks before her eighteenth birthday. The moment his eye rested on her he went up and introduced himself. There was something enchanted, as if predestined, about the coming together of this pair, whose deep similarity only began with their fresh, scrubbed beauty. People remarked that they looked enough alike to be brother and sister, but how much more they resembled each other beneath the skin! For the first time Fitzgerald had found a girl whose uninhibited love of life rivaled his own and whose daring, originality, and repartee would never bore him. With Ginevra, part of the attraction had been the society she came from; with Zelda, it was she alone who made an overwhelming appeal to his imagination. She pleased him in all the surface ways, but she also had depths he fell in love with, without understanding why.
In his free time Fitzgerald was forever going to and from the Sayres’ rented house in not the best section of town, for the judge’s salary was a mere $6,000 and he was used to helping relatives. At the start, he and Mrs. Sayre were favorably impressed by the handsome, polite young officer, who monopolized the porch swing with Zelda and took her for walks down the sandy, rustling roads fragrant with honeysuckle. He often read her things he was working on and profited from her advice. He told her repeatedly that he would be famous. Remembering him at this time, Zelda wrote in after years, “There seemed to be some heavenly support beneath his shoulder blades that lifted his feet from the ground in ecstatic suspension, as if he secretly enjoyed the ability to fly but was walking as a compromise to convention.”
Meanwhile his military career had been prospering less than his romantic one. The headquarters company he commanded was made up of tough immigrants from metropolitan New York, whom it was necessary to dominate. Fitzgerald acquired a notorious strut. A stickler for enunciation, he barked out the orders to his marching men with a ginger that amused some and irritated others. He had a conscientious objector under him and did not realize that he was being gulled when another officer said, “Fitz, if I had that S.O.B. in my outfit I’d get my .45 and take him out alone and make him drill.” Fitzgerald did precisely that, unaware that he might have been court-martialed for turning a gun on an enlisted man.
One day, when his troops complained about the food, Fitzgerald mounted a horse and marched them double time through the sweltering heat. This extraordinary punishment caused a near mutiny, and Fitzgerald was relieved of his command and put in charge of a stokes mortar platoon. During maneuvers he fired some shells—fortunately duds—into a group on the opposite side of a hill, but he distinguished himself when a leaky barge sank in the Tallapoosa River and the men who couldn’t swim had to be rescued. On the whole, he was a conscientious officer, concerned in a dreamy way with the safety and welfare of his platoon, but his good intentions had a way of going awry. For example, enlisted men were not supposed to spend more than $5 a month on Liberty Bonds. During a drive, Fitzgerald got so carried away that he sold some of them bonds amounting to twice their monthly pay, and a superior devoted several days to straightening out the mess. “The prevailing attitude toward Fitzgerald,” a fellow officer recalled, “was that if we were given an important task and told he would be assigned to help us, we would prefer to do it alone. This attitude implied no hostility toward Fitzgerald. Indeed most of us liked him.” [Eighteen years later Fitzgerald used the barge episode in his story “I Didn’t Get Over.”]
In August Scribners returned his novel, praising its originality and making concrete suggestions for improvement. Fitzgerald immediately set to work, and by mid-October a revision of The Romantic Egotist was back at Scribners. It was now turned down definitively, despite the enthusiasm of an editor named Maxwell Perkins. For the time being Fitzgerald would have to content himself with love rather than fame.
Going around with Zelda, to be sure, had brought him a certain notoriety. In any group she made herself the center of attention. If a dance was sluggish, she would turn cartwheels down the floor, or tell the orchestra to play the Highland Fling and do a solo. On a weekend at Auburn she borrowed her escort’s tennis shoes because she was suffering from blisters, and chosen queen of the ball, she waltzed around in the spotlight with her feet flapping in enormous sneakers. But if she was a show-off in one sense, in another she wasn’t at all. Her high jinks were gay outlets, pure self-expression—the more refreshing because she seemed to be playing to the gallery of herself alone.
In Europe the war was petering out and Fitzgerald wanted desperately to get into it. John Peale Bishop, just arrived at the front, wrote him a letter describing “a patrol that secured three prisoners in a very real fistfight.” In October Fitzgerald’s division was ordered overseas, and on the 26th he went north as the supply officer of an advanced detachment. Because he stopped off at Princeton and was absent during the unloading in Hoboken, several thousand dollars’ worth of equipment was lost. The flu epidemic delayed embarkation, but finally Fitzgerald marched on board a transport with a steel helmet slung at his side, then orders were reversed and he marched off again and back to quarters at Camp Mills, Long Island. Then the Armistice was signed and there wasn’t any more war. To his everlasting regret, Fitzgerald had missed it. [In 1930 Fitzgerald would describe his feelings about getting into the war as follows: “I can’t remember in life being afraid to go to war. I was firstly then a Roman Catholic, which meant heaven; secondly I thought I’d finished a great novel; thirdly, at the port of embarkation where my progress ended I was so in love with Zelda that I could think of nothing else. I wasn’t even afraid of not doing my stuff, yet I was sure all infantry officers were killed—which was why I’d written my novel in camp.” (Quoted from the dream he wrote out for Margaret Eglov.)]
John Peale Bishop saw it otherwise from the trenches. “We are alive … ,” he wrote. “We shall live, we shall be poor perhaps but O Christ! we shall be free… . Will you honestly take a garret (it may be a basement but a garret sounds better) with me somewhere near Washington Square? Shall we go wandering down to Princeton on fragrant nights of May? … We’ll … climb the stairs of Witherspoon and bellow down the Nass. We’ll chant Keats along the leafy dusk of Boudinot Street and come back to talk the night away.”
Fitzgerald’s behavior at Camp Mills had been so erratic that his commanding officer confined him to quarters, and when it came time to return to Camp Sheridan, he was nowhere to be found. It was rumored he had gone to Princeton the day before. Pulling into Washington in the small hours, his detachment was surprised to see him sitting on an adjacent track with two girls and a bottle. He gave out the story that he had commandeered a private locomotive to take him to Washington by telling the authorities that he had confidential papers for President Wilson. It was one of many fabrications about himself that passed into legend.
Despite his misconduct he now became aide to General J. A. Ryan, commanding the Seventeeth Infantry Brigade. For this “pleasant & chatty sinecure,” as he later called it, he had his good looks and his Princeton background to recommend him; in effect he was the general’s social secretary. During a parade he was thrown from his horse and the general appointed a sergeant to give him riding lessons, but on the whole the job proved congenial.
In January Monsignor Fay died suddenly of pneumonia, and Fitzgerald wrote Shane Leslie that “my little world made to order has been shattered by the death of one man.” How he would miss Fay’s comforting presence, the warmth and glow he cast over youth, the perfect understanding! “I feel,” he wrote Leslie, “as if in a way his mantle had descended upon me—a desire or more, to some day recreate the atmosphere of him.”
When Fitzgerald’s regiment began demobilizing its officers in February, the first to be let go was a lieutenant who had been caught defrauding the government of a small sum of money. The second was Fitzgerald. Not that he had done anything disgraceful, it was just so easy to get along without him. “As an officer,” said a comrade-in-arms, “Fitzgerald was unusually dispensable.”
His discharge came through February 18th, and immediately he set off for New York to make his fortune. He had asked Zelda to marry him, but she was holding out until she was sure he would be able to support her; meanwhile she encouraged the attentions of other men. She was a favorite at proms, and some of Fitzgerald’s most dreaded competition came from the aviators at Camp Taylor who stunted their planes over her house. [It has been falsely supposed that one of Fitzgerald’s principal rivals was the golfer Bobby Jones. Mr. Jones wrote me that though he may have met Zelda, he was several years her junior and is certain he never had a date with her.]
On his arrival in New York he wired her, DARLING HEART AMBITION ENTHUSIASM AND CONFIDENCE I DECLARE EVERYTHING GLORIOUS THIS WORLD IS A GAME AND WHILE I FEEL SURE OF YOUR LOVE EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE I AM IN THE LAND OF AMBITION AND SUCCESS AND MY ONLY HOPE AND FAITH IS THAT MY DARLING HEART WILL BE WITH ME SOON.
Published as Scott Fitzgerald by Andrew Turnbull (New York: Scribners, 1962; London: Bodley Head, 1962).