Vol. 17 No. 1 1950 - page 28

this attitude so successfully precisely because he himself was so com–
pletely committed to it in practice. His financial dilemma was much
more than the penalty he paid for having failed to start his life on a
sensible scale; it was the penalty he paid for the very theme of his
finest work.
They spent the summer of 1925 in Paris making their financial
and personal situation much worse. Fitzgerald himself described the
period as one of "1,000 parties and no work"; they became famous
or at least notorious figures among the thousands of Americans in
Paris. What was worse, Fitzgerald's drinking began about this time
to show the first serious signs of becoming chronic alcoholism. It was
easy enough still to take it merely as a joke as Hemingway, of whom
they were beginning to see a great deal, did in
The Torrents of Spring:
"It was at this point in the story, reader, that Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald
came to our home one afternoon, and after remaining for quite a
while suddenly sat down in the fireplace and would not (or was it
could not, reader?) get up and let the fire burn something else so as
to keep the room warm." But there were ominous signs about it;
Fitzgerald was beginning now to be drunk for periods of a week and
ten days at a time during which he would draw a complete blank,
so that he would, for instance, sober up in Brussels without any notion
of how he got there or where he had been. Dean Gauss, who spent the
summer of 1925 in Paris, remembers receiving a postal card from
Brussels which gave this explanation for a failure on Fitzgerald's
part to make a luncheon engagement. For two months the parties
continued, with the Ritz Bar always as a kind of focus and Fitz–
gerald working his way to Montmartre, alone or with a few last strag–
glers, after the party had disintegrated. Something of the nightmare
quality of the summer can be felt in "Babylon Revisited," and in
Our Type
he described one such evening in detail.
... then six of us, oh, the best the noblest relicts of the evening .
were riding on top of thousands of carrots in a market wagon, the car–
rots smelling fragrant and sweet with earth in their beards-riding
through the darkness to the
Hotel and in and through the lobby–
no, that couldn't have happened but we were in the lobby and the
bought concierge ' had gone for a waiter for breakfast and champagne.
We were making a waiter trap--what was it, something about a waiter
trap, made of-I have forgotten, but I remember with almost the vivid-
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