Thursday, 7 July 2011

F.Scott Fitzgerald The Beautiful and The Damned

I couldn't find an image of Malc's Copp Clark edition of the novel. The above is an autographed 1922 Scribners first edition.

The Beautiful and Damned, first published by Scribner's in 1922, is F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel. The novel provides a portrait of the Eastern elite during the Jazz Age, exploring New York Café Society. As with his other novels, Fitzgerald's characters are complex, especially in their marriage and intimacy, much like how he treats intimacy in Tender Is the Night. The book is believed to be largely based on Fitzgerald's relationship and marriage with Zelda Fitzgerald.

It tells the story of Anthony Patch (a 1920s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon's fortune), his relationship with his wife Gloria, his service in the army, and alcoholism.

Toward the end of the novel, Fitzgerald references himself via a character who is a novelist by quoting this statement given after the novel:

"You know these new novels make me tired. My God! Everywhere I go some silly girl asks me if I've read 'This Side of Paradise.' Are our girls really like that? If it's true to life, which I don't believe, the next generation is going to the dogs. I'm sick of all this shoddy realism."

While researching this post, I discovered that a movie had been made of the novel in the same year.Directed by William A. Seiter and released by Warner Brothers in their early years. This film, based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel published in the same year, starred Kenneth Harlan and Marie Prevost. It is 70 minutes long.
There are no known surviving prints of the film; it is likely a lost film. See more images here.

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