Vol. 17 No. 1 1950 - page 18

to "run faster, stretch out
arms farther" in a pursuit that he half
understood was self-defeating even as he gave more and more of his
time and energy to it; it was also that the man who wanted to
"achieve ... to be ... wise, to be strong and self-controlled" stood
always at the elbow of the man who wanted "to enjoy, to be prodigal
and open-hearted ... to miss nothing," reminding the former that he
was marking time, that he was not doing anything except waste his
gift and strain his resources writing commercial stories under terrible
pressure-sometimes all night long- in order to pay for the party.
Moreover, in spite of the expensive party, they were lonely and
confused; "Within a few months after our embarkation on the Metro–
politan venture we scarcely knew any more who we were and we
hadn't a notion what we were," he said. In the dazed confusion of this
life Fitzgerald's old habit of falling into a mood of lofty assurance, in
which he innocently advised all comers for their own good and talked
endlessly about his importance, reasserted itself. He was axactly like
Richard Carmel, who, in this respect, is half a portrait and half a
gloomy prediction of his creator's future (Richard Carmel actually
wrote the novel called
The Demon Lover
which Fitzgerald had pro–
jected the year before).
The author, indeed, spent his days in a state of pleasant madness.
The book was in his conversation three-fourths of the time-he wanted
to know if one had heard "the latest"; he would go into a store and in a
loud voice order books to be charged to him, in order to catch a chance
morsel of recognition from clerk or customer. He knew to a town in what
sections of the country it was seIling best; he knew exactly what he
cleared on each edition, and when he met anyone who had not read it,
or, as it happened only too often, had not heard of it, he succumbed to
moody depression.
He read all the publicity about his being "the youngest writer for
whom Scribner's have ever published a novel" and took it quite seri–
ously. He was even persuaded to say that
This Side of Paradise
"a novel about Flappers written for Philosophers." Heywood Broun,
better than any critic in New York, put his finger on this brash qual–
ity in both the book and its author:
We have just read F. Scott Fitzgerald's
This Side of Paradise
(Scribner's), and it makes us feel very old. According to the announce–
ment of his publishers Mr. Fitzgerald is only twenty-three, but there were
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