Vol. 17 No. 1 1950 - page 19

times during our progress through the book when we suspected that this
was an overstatement. Daisy Ashford is hardly more naive.... None of
Fitzgerald's characters ever puts his hands down for a second. There is
too much footwork and too much feinting for anything solid and sub–
stantial being accomplished. You can't expect to have blood drawn in any
such exhibition as that.
" ... for some days [after this attack]," Fitzgerald remembered, "I
was notably poor company." Nonetheless he tried to meet Broun's
onslaught by inviting him to lunch and, as he himself put it later, "in
a kindly way [telling] him that it was too bad he had let his life slide
away without accomplishing anything. He had just turned thirty.... "
Broun's response to this well-meant advice was to print complete an
interview Fitzgerald presently gave in which he told how he had
become a great writer, and to remark at the end of it: "Having
heard Mr. Fitzgerald, we are not entirely minded to abandon our
notion that he is a rather complacent, somewhat pretentious and al–
together self-conscious young man." Fitzgerald was not consoled by
Perkins' tactful suggestion that "we consider all this sort of thing as
advantageous." The boy who, full of dreams of the glories of prep–
school life and of his own heroic role in it, had quickly made a bad
name for himself at St. Paul Academy and at Newman had reap–
peared. So amused were Bishop and Wilson at this sudden excess of
greatness that they sent Fitzgerald a list of items for a "Proposed ex–
hibit of Fitzgeraldiania for Chas. Scribner's Sons." It included "Three
double malted milks from Joe's [a popular undergraduate eating place
in Princeton] ... Overseas cap never worn overseas ... 1 bottle of
Oleaqua [a much-publicized hair tonic sold by Jack
shop in Princeton] ... Entire Fitzgerald library consisting of seven
books, one of them a
and two made up of press clippings ...
First yellow silk shirt worn by Fitzgerald at the begining of his great
success ... Mirror."
In May he and Zelda decided to achieve peace and to collect
their souls in the country; to this end they began to investigate West–
chester County and near-by Connecticut. Of course they needed a
car, and "a man sold them"-the phrase is eloquent of what hap–
pened-"a fine but collapsible Marmon." Zelda did not improve it
when she "drove it over a fire-plug and completely de-intestined it."
"About once every five years," as Fitzgerald said, "some of the man-
1...,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18 20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,...100
Powered by FlippingBook