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|Title||:||As ever, Scott Fitz: Letters between F. Scott Fitzgerald & Harold Ober 1919-40|
|Number of Pages||:||441 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
As ever, Scott Fitz: Letters between F. Scott Fitzgerald & Harold Ober 1919-40 Reviews
I didn't find what I was looking for in this book: letters from FSF to his editor regarding the writing and development of The Great Gatsby. Other novels and short stories are described, but the Gatsby material (some of which I've seen reproduced in other books/papers) is conspicuously absent.Despite the absence of that material, this is a good reproduction of Fitzgerald's rather idiosyncratic writing style in correspondence. His handwriting was not always the clearest, and the editing here is done quite faithfully. You get a real sense for the character of Fitzgerald in a way that I haven't gotten from several biographies. For instance, it is interesting (and possibly telling, given their relationship and careers) that Fitzgerald consistently misspelled Hemingway's name as "Hemmingway" even after receiving letters from his editor that had the correct spelling. I can't say exactly what I think that means... though I have a theory, but it is strangely compelling evidence that they were less than chummy.Those familiar with the author's biography will find other aspects of his life appear with due tragic inevitability. The deterioration of Zelda comes in dribs and drabs throughout these letters, and Fitzgerald's own state of mind in various points of his life also appear in various ways. The highpoints of literary success, the slide into superfluity, the Hollywood years... it all plays out like a play seen through a smokey mirror.Ober's letters are much more concise, to the point and business-like. He was, after all, a professional dealing with something of a debutante, and his stability is certainly one of the things that appealed to Fitzgerald. He is quite friendly--often in a touching and charming way--but one never gets a sense that he's unaware of his role in that relationship, and he is careful to maintain his position in it--very much to his credit.The text is, overall, very well organized and the transcription done with the apparent ease of dogged effort, so I can't fault the book for that reproduction. It is odd that the letters I was specifically looking for didn't appear in this particular book, because I know they exist--I've seen quotes, excerpts and even reproductions. Only a handful of letters regarding The Great Gatsby appear in this volume, and only after the publication of the book. So, barring some sort of strange circumstances of which I remain ignorant, I do fault it for that lack. However, I'll only deduct a star for that personal disappointment even if it isn't entirely fair to rate a book on that basis alone. After all, The Great Gatsby was/is Fitzgerald's most lasting and popular work, so the absence of that material is notable.I doubt most folks are going to pick up a book like this one unless they have a particular interest in Fitzgerald or epistolary works on the whole (guilty for both of those things for me) and I can really only recommend it to folks of either stripe. Readers of Fitzgerald's work who want to know more about the man who banged out that work would be better off with a biography or two before picking up a book like this one. However, should the interest survive the story of his life in more traditional form, a book like this one would be a good next step.
Harold Ober was Fitzgerald's literary agent for most of his career. This is an interesting glimpse into their relationship, and how shopping stories about worked in those times. Honestly, it's amazing that Mr. Ober put up with Fitzgerald's money-grubbing ways for so long - infinite patience and professionalism, that man.
The book illuminated the relationship between F. Scott and his agent, allowing insight to the literary process during the 20th century.