Learning From F. Scott Fitzgerald.


F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1937, June 4

F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1937, June 4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently finished The Great Gatsby. I’d never read F. Scott Fitzgerald before and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fitzgerald is one of those writers, like Hemingway and Gertrude Stein that are considered classic American writers. Hemingway is one of my favorite writers.

I remember after I read A Farewell to Arms and felt such sadness for Frederic Henry and all he’d been through. It was after reading that book only six years ago, yes I’m behind in my classics, but I’m getting caught up, gradually, that I learned what real writing was about. Sure,  I’ve read a lot of books, but reading Hemingway changed what I thought about writing and how I wrote.

In reading Gatsby I found a writer that wrote in a way that is passionate, poetic and oftentimes symbolic.

My writing is frantic, poetic and symbolic. The first one of these is because I’m in such a rush to get the words out that I don’t focus enough on what the words say to the reader. Fitzgerald focused on these things, at least in my eyes.

He took things from his life and incorporated them into his writing, this is clear in a lot of his later work that was published in the Saturday Evening Post. They reflect his struggles with his wife and her problems as well as his life.

My writing is taken directly from my childhood as well as my adolescent years. These stories are ones I wish to write, but have had trouble with the actual writing. The reasons for these are the personal attachment I have for the writing, as well as the characters.

As I’ve read more about Fitzgerald in the past week, I’ve discovered a writer I can emulate, but hope to achieve the talent of, I can dream, right?

Gatsby was a book that I’d intended to read for a long time. More because of his relationship with Hemingway, who is one of my writing idols, than anything else.

I feel the book is something I can aspire to. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style, and I can’t wait to read another Fitzgerald book, possibly This Side of Paradise, which was his first book.

What are your thoughts on Fitzgerald and his writing, or The Great Gatsby? Answer in the comments.

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3 Responses to Learning From F. Scott Fitzgerald.

  1. Reading great writers makes writers great. You named two of the best.
    It saddens me that schools have watered down literature/ publishers provide adaptations and so many of the universal classics are passed over to provide room for more “relevant/diverse” literature.
    So glad you have discovered authors that speak to you. Enjoy the journey and get ready to write. It ought to be fun

    • My wife and I have looked at some of the books in B&N that we read when we were younger and are amazed at how condensed a lot of them are. Books like Treasure Island, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland are shorter so they can be sold because students aren’t taught to read big books. The first time I bought me son a real book, and not the ones that are rewritten to be read by a different generation he was afraid and didn’t think he could read it, but he did, and he continues to read books above his grade level, just like I did.

      Thanks for your comments Philosopher!

      • Kids’ abilities are ‘way underestimated.
        There used to be an old phrase about riding horses over jumps “You throw your heart over and the horse will follow” Found that actually works very well with kids.
        Read on!

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