Today is F. Scott Fitzgerald's birthday, and obviously, as one of my favourite authors, he deserves a tribute.
He was born on the 24th of September 1869, and died of a heart attack on the 21st of December, 1940. His legacy of great American novels consists of such essential classics as The Great Gatsby, The Beautiful and Damned, This Side of Paradise, Tender is the Night and The Last Tycoon.
For me, and for countless other readers and writers, Fitzgerald's work is inspirational. The atmosphere of his work effortlessly transports you to the Jazz Age. He weaves around you a palace of words that tantalises all your senses, lets you smell smokey rooms, lets you feel salty sea spray in summertime, lets you hear traffic on New York streets and silverware in French cafes, and the voices of people so absurd and marvellous that they are bigger than life. He has taught me one of the greatest lessons - to read and write with all the senses, and yet no one can do it quite so brilliantly as he does.
He is timeless. I don't believe that there was ever an author from any era who so perfectly painted a picture of their time and place. He gives colour to an era of which the only memories are black and white photographs. As the works of Monet, Renoir, Degass and Davinci are significant to the art world, so his portraits of life, both tragic and triumphant, are to the literary world.
So happy birthday, Francis. Thank goodness that you lived as you did.
|Francis, Zelda and Frances Scott Fitzgerald|