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F SCOTT FITZGERALD - American short-story writer and novelist known for his depictions of the Jazz Age the 1920s With the glamorous Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald embarked on a life of parties and money spending which he depicted in such novels as THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED 1922 and THE GREAT GATSBY 1925 a story of the loss of romantic illusions and an ironic comment on the connection between love and money The work is widely considered Fitzgeralds finest It was my first inkling that he was a writer And while I like writers - because if you ask a writer anything you usually get an answer - still it belittled him in my eyes Writers arent people exactly Or if theyre any good theyre a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person Its like actors who try so pathetically not to look in mirrors Who lean backward trying - only to see their faces in the reflecting chandeliers From The Last Tycoon 1941 He was born in St Paul Minnesota He was given three names after the writer of The Star Spangled Banner to whom he was distantly related In 1913 Fitzgerald entered Princeton University He left his studies in 1917 because of his poor academic records and took up a commission in the US Army Demobilised in 1919 Fitzgerald worked briefly in New York for an advertising agency His first story Babes in the Wood was published in The Smart Set The turning point in his life was when he met Zelda Sayre herself an aspiring writer and married her in 1920 In the same year appeared Fitzgeralds first novel THIS SIDE OF PARADISE originally entitled The Romantic Egoist which he had started while in the army Its hero Armory Blaine studies in Princeton serves in WW I in France At the end of the story he finds that his own self-centeredness has been the cause of his unhappiness
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