Fitzgerald and Flappers

When F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote “The Beautiful and Damned,” the screen version of which is current at the Locus Theatre, he immortalized the flapper.

“I sometimes wonder,” says Mr. Fitzgerald, “whether the flapper made me or I made her. At any rate, we both should be grateful to one another. My story has helped her to understand herself, and it has made the world of non-flappers appreciative and tolerant.”

The idea of writing the story of “The Beautiful and Damned,” he says, dawned on him when he realized that the girl of today is different from her sister of the past.

“I picked on the flapper because she is independent and bravely unconventional. She has more leeway and is a bit of an iconoclast in regard in a thousand and one things of daily life. She refuses to do things simply because it’s the ‘proper thing’.” Those I saw when I used to run down from Princeton University to New York on week-ends fascinated me, and I decided that here was a rich character waiting to be exploited. I wanted something different, not the sweet, wishy-washy type of girl heroine who is virtuous and uninteresting, marries after a pallid romance and then—curtain. I found the type I was searching for and turned her into Gloria Gilbert, heroine of my story.


Published in unlocated newspaper (1922).