Flappers and Philosophers

Front Cover
Createspace Independent Pub, 2010 - Fiction - 148 pages
F. Scott Fitzgerald followed up his smash debut novel, "This Side of Paradise," with "Flappers and Philosophers." This 1920 collection of short stories contains several of Fitzgerald's signature pieces, including "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" and "Benediction." Though "Flappers and Philosophers" was F. Scott Fitzgerald's first short story collection, he was already a master of the genre. The stories in this classic are an entertaining group, brimming with the spirit of youth. Fitzgerald shows considerable skill in depicting horror in ``The Ice Palace'' as well as ``The Cut-Glass Bowl.'' Although Fitzgerald wrote to H.L. Mencken that ``Bernice'' was ``trash,'' the story is strong in showing the workings of peer pressure and popularity seeking. ``Flappers and Philosophers'' was dedicated to Fitzgerald's wife, the spirited and mercurial Zelda. Fittingly, we meet a Zelda on the very first page -- Ardita Farnam of ``The Offshore Pirate.'' ``Pirate'' is a romance that dwarfs contemporary Harlequin-type gruel. Most of the stories have at least one good plot twist. ``Dalyrimple Goes Wrong'' and ``Head and Shoulders'' are the best of the twisters. Though F. Scott Fitzgerald is known best today for "The Great Gatsby," that novel was a commercial flop during Fitzgerald's lifetime. It was "Flappers and Philosophers," together with "Tales of the Jazz Age," that led pre-Depression America to fall in love with F. Scott Fitzgerald, pushed him to celebrity and paid his bill. Fitzgerald may not have been overly fond of his short stories, but his writing skill and insight continue to shine in "Flappers and Philosophers."

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User Review  - DanielSTJ - LibraryThing

I did not feel that this collection was a decent one. All of the stories, in my opinion (and especially towards the latter end) fell apart and I was not entranced by the characters or the setting ... Read full review

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User Review  - madepercy - LibraryThing

I am still amazed at the intense life experience at such a young age. Even though the themes are often about "coming-of-age", FSF's depth of maturity and comprehension of the deeper side of social ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

F(rancis) Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896. He was educated at Princeton University and served in the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1919, attaining the rank of second lieutenant. In 1920 Fitzgerald married Zelda Sayre, a young woman of the upper class, and they had a daughter, Frances. Fitzgerald is regarded as one of the finest American writers of the 20th Century. His most notable work was the novel, The Great Gatsby (1925). The novel focused on the themes of the Roaring Twenties and of the loss of innocence and ethics among the nouveau riche. He also made many contributions to American literature in the form of short stories, plays, poetry, music, and letters. Ernest Hemingway, who was greatly influenced by Fitzgerald's short stories, wrote that Fitzgerald's talent was "as fine as the dust on a butterfly's wing." Yet during his lifetime Fitzgerald never had a bestselling novel and, toward the end of his life, he worked sporadically as a screenwriter at motion picture studios in Los Angeles. There he contributed to scripts for such popular films as Winter Carnival and Gone with the Wind. Fitzgerald's work is inseparable from the Roaring 20s. Berenice Bobs Her Hair and A Diamond As Big As The Ritz, are two short stories included in his collections, Tales of the Jazz Age and Flappers and Philosophers. His first novel The Beautiful and Damned was flawed but set up Fitzgerald's major themes of the fleeting nature of youthfulness and innocence, unattainable love, and middle-class aspiration for wealth and respectability, derived from his own courtship of Zelda. This Side of Paradise (1920) was Fitzgerald's first unqualified success. Tender Is the Night, a mature look at the excesses of the exuberant 20s, was published in 1934. Much of Fitzgerald's work has been adapted for film, including Tender is the Night , The Great Gatsby, and Babylon Revisited which was adapted as The Last Time I Saw Paris by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1954. The Last Tycoon, adapted by Paramount in 1976, was a work in progress when Fitzgerald died of a heart attack on December 21, 1940, in Hollywood, California. Fitzgerald is buried in the historic St. Mary's Cemetery in Rockville, Maryland.

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