Monday, September 24, 2007

So We Beat On...

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born today in St. Paul in 1896. He died in 1940 and is buried in Rockville, Maryland (Fitzgerald's father, a Confederate sympathizer, was originally from Maryland). Go here to see his grave (his wife, Zelda, and daughter, former Washington Post reporter Scottie Fitzgerald Lanahan Smith, are also buried here).

Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was influenced by New Jersey's Hall-Mills case (involving a Johnson & Johnson heiress; see Henry C. Phelps, "Literary History/Unsolved Mystery: The Great Gatsby and the Hall-Mills Murder Case," ANQ 14.3 [2001]: 33-39). I wrote an article for Mystery Scene in 1999 on some youthful attempts by Fitzgerald to write mysteries, most of them unsuccessful ("F. Scott Fitzgerald: Mystery Writer?" MS #65). There is a promising ghost story, "The Room with Green Blinds" (1911), in which a young man inherits his grandfather's house and a mystery with it. The story can be found in The Apprentice Fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald (ed. John Kuehl, Rutgers UP, 1965).

For an interesting article by Charles Scribner III on the original cover art for The Great Gatsby, go here.

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