Francis Scott Fitzgerald: The great Author

Textbook, 2013

211 Pages


Table of Contents

Expatriate American Authors in Paris
The Expatriate Artist Community in France
Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in France
Disillusionment in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises
Disillusionment in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Summary and Conclusion

The Clash of Ideals in the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald
This Side of Paradise - Introducing the Golden Girl
The Great Gatsby – Distrusting the Rich
Babylon Revisited
The Last Tycoon
Works Cited

An Analysis of The Contextual Influences of Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s Work
Reference List
URL References:

Go on talking,’ said the big man
“Let’s not get to know anybody, but just stay together”
“So many smart men go to pieces nowadays”
“Hollywood: This is no art - this is an industry”




Expatriate American Authors in Paris

Disillusionment with the American Lifestyle as Reflected in Selected Works of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald

Von Michael Grawe, 2001


Paris has traditionally called to the American heart, beginning with the arrival of Benjamin Franklin in 1776 in an effort to win the support of France for the colonies’ War of Independence. Franklin would remain in Paris for nine years, returning to Philadelphia in 1785. Then, in the first great period of American literature before 1860, literary pioneers such as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Nathaniel Hawthorne were all to spend time in the French capital. Henry James, toward the close of the nineteenth century, was the first to create the image of a talented literary artist who was ready to foreswear his citizenship. From his adopted home in England he traveled widely through Italy and France, living in Paris for two years. There he became close friends with another literary expatriate, Edith Wharton, who made Paris her permanent home. Between them they gave the term “expatriate” a high literary polish at the turn of the century, and their prestige was undeniable. They were the ‘in’ cosmopolitans, sought out by traveling Americans, commented on in the press, the favored guests of scholars, as well as men and women of affairs.

This thesis investigates the mass expatriation of Americans to Paris during the 1920s, and then focuses on selected works by two of the expatriates: Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (1926) and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925). The specific emphasis is on disillusionment with the American lifestyle as reflected in these novels. The two books have been chosen because both are prominent examples of the literary criticism that Americans were directing at their homeland from abroad throughout the twenties.

In a first step, necessary historical background regarding the nature of the American lifestyle is provided in chapter The Expatriate Artist Community in France. This information is included in order to facilitate a better understanding of what Hemingway and Fitzgerald were actually disillusioned with. Furthermore, that lifestyle was a primary motivating factor behind the expatriation of many United States citizens. Attention is given to the extraordinary nature of the American migration to Paris in the twenties, as the sheer volume of exiles set it apart from any expatriation movement – before or since – in American history. Moreover, a vast majority of the participants were writers, artists, or intellectuals, a fact which suggests the United States during the 1920s was not a supportive environment for such people. Therefore, this study investigates the socio-political factors, and the disillusionment that resulted from America’s involvement in World War I, which also motivated the exile. After that, the second part of chapter The Expatriate Artist Community in France examines the allure of Paris as a destination. It explains why the expatriates chose to gather in such large numbers in the French capital rather than in other European cities. The focus is on the development of an American literary expatriate community within Paris, detailing the amenities which the city offered, and the permissive environment that led Gertrude Stein to declare: “Paris was where the twentieth century was.”[1] In addition, this section looks at the changes which occurred in the expatriate community during the 1920s. The chapter concludes with information about some of the important members of the American literary sphere in Paris.

Biographic information on the early lives of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald is provided in chapter Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in France. The purpose of this section is to illustrate the development of each author’s respective personal disillusionment with the American lifestyle, and to recount the events which led them to leave the United States. Moreover, Hemingway and Fitzgerald represent different aspects of the expatriate experience. Hemingway became part of the American literary community in Paris, whereas Fitzgerald initially lived on the French Riviera for a year, and moved to Paris after completing The Great Gatsby. Despite the authors’ divergent experiences, however, France provided them both with a basis for comparative as well as objective analysis of American life. Accordingly, chapter Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in France examines Hemingway’s and Fitzgerald’s differing personal lives in France, as well as the effect their residence abroad had on the two novels in question. As the focus of this thesis is on The Sun Also Rises and The Great Gatsby, the biographies are restricted to events which occurred before the publication of those two novels.

The work Hemingway and Fitzgerald produced in France asserts their respective disillusionment with the American lifestyle, portraying its identifying characteristics and negative consequences. Certainly, both novels indict a society that has lost its ethical bearings, and both comment unfavorably on the socio-political climate in the United States. Furthermore, Hemingway and Fitzgerald each emphasize a moral confusion in which money becomes the principal measurement. Chapter Disillusionment in Hemingway’s The Sun also rises looks at The Sun Also Rises, wherein Hemingway focuses on a group of expatriates in Paris and on a trip to Spain. The chapter analyzes the portrayals of disillusionment in the novel: an insular American community in Paris; the loss of values experienced by the postwar generation; the American legislation of morals; capitalism, and a search for values not based on commerce. This section concludes with a look at the images Hemingway provides as a contrast to the American lifestyle. Chapter Disillusionment in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby moves on to examine The Great Gatsby, which concerns a wealthy community on Long Island, New York. Fitzgerald’s expressions of disillusionment in the novel are primarily based on money: the destructive effects of wealth and materialism; the corruption and moral disorder in America; as well as the enshrinement of commerce as a new religion. Finally, the chapter examines Fitzgerald’s portrayal of the American Dream as corrupted by materialism. From Europe to America, the two novels examined in this thesis utilize different settings to express the same theme: the authors’ disillusionment with the lifestyle of their homeland, America.

The Expatriate Artist Community in France

The “Lost Generation” of American Expatriates

There have always been varied motives for self-exile, just as many different Americans have gone abroad. Yet Ishbel Ross, in his study of Americans who have left their homeland, notes that “the artists and writers have most consistently fed the expatriate flame,”[2] leaving behind the limitations of American culture, and seeking an atmosphere of tradition. This “flame” reached its peak with the Americans who went to Europe after World War I, an artistic mass migration which was the largest ever made from the New World.[3] According to A Handbook to Literature, “expatriate” is a term “applied to those who leave their native lands and reside elsewhere,” further stating that this move is usually voluntary.[4] Moreover, an expatriate is a person who has withdrawn from residence in or allegiance to his or her native land, who has become disillusioned with that country and seeks a more welcoming environment.

Whereas historically the expatriates had been isolated individuals, the number of gifted writers and artists who settled in Paris during the 1920s created a group effect. Ross states that it was authors such as “Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald” who “shook up the literary world, as both writers and personalities.”[5] The Americans who went to France after the war became members of what Gertrude Stein described as the “Lost Generation.” The term originated from an incident in the summer of 1925, when Stein’s car was being repaired in a French garage. The garage owner lamented that workers aged between twenty-two and thirty did not learn fast and he was unable to teach them. He said to Stein, “C’est une génération perdue.”[6] Stein later repeated the remark in conversation with Ernest Hemingway, extending it to include the moral chaos of the then-current generation of expatriates whom Stein felt had no respect for anything.

The generation was “lost” in the sense that its inherited values were no longer relevant in the postwar world. Many of the young people had been in the war and had received at least psychic, if not also physical wounds. Members of the generation felt lost in an America which was increasingly devoted to materialism and the cult of the dollar, as opposed to the development of culture and the arts. The United States seemed provincial, emotionally barren, and politically repressive to the writers who were “lost” in that they felt a spiritual alienation from their homeland. Hemingway would later use Stein’s remark as the epigraph to The Sun Also Rises, a novel which has been credited with giving a “literary expression” to “the general atmosphere of postwar disillusionment.”[7]

There can be little doubt that World War I had a major impact on the new literary generation which was emerging in America at that time. Many young writers then in college enlisted in one of the ambulance corps attached to a foreign army, those being the organizations which promised to carry them abroad with the least delay. Young and idealistic, proportionately very few of them waited to be drafted, and for many their first real experience of life was on the European battlefields. The staggering number of deaths began to erode the idealistic sentiments of the participants; the soldiers grew to distrust authority as personified by those who had planned and ordered the attacks.[8] Moreover, this lack of trust was mirrored in the American population. President Woodrow Wilson ran for his second term with the campaign slogan, “He kept us out of the war.”[9] However, America entered the war only a few months after Wilson’s re‑election in 1916. As a result, the prevailing sentiment was one of disillusionment, that the nation had been misled. This, in turn, was reflected in literature. As Mark Schorer has pointed out, disillusionment with the American system is the distinguishing characteristic of postwar American writing.[10]

After the war ended, the young intellectuals who had been abroad faced a return home which was disenchanting and disorienting due to the rising commercialism and intolerance of postwar America. During the early 1900s American culture was becoming urban instead of rural, with the flow of population towards urban areas being greater than that to the West. Whole cities were thrust rapidly from a quiet provincialism into the midst of the machine era. Consequently, they were without those cultural traditions and institutions which a more slowly developing community accumulates. The focus on commerce and materialism hindered the creation of a community with roots, while urban life, and the rapidity of social change had an averse effect on individuality. The middle class existence was becoming secure, unexciting, and bland.

The 1920s were the age when a production ethic, that of saving in order to accumulate capital for new enterprises, gave way to a consumption ethic which was needed to provide markets for the new commodities being produced. People were being exhorted to spend, spend, spend, and to believe that they could achieve success in their lives merely by seizing upon the opportunities to make money that society was offering. America was entering a period of unprecedented economic prosperity known as the Boom, the Roaring Twenties, or what F. Scott Fitzgerald named the Jazz Age. Fitzgerald, who began as the spokesman for that age and became its symbol, said of the 1920s:

America was going on the greatest, gaudiest spree in history and there was going to be plenty to tell about it. […] All the stories that came into my head had a touch of disaster in them – the lovely young creatures in my novels went to ruin, the diamond mountains of my short stories blew up […].[11]

Indeed, many authors did go on to “tell about it,” expressing their distaste for and rejection of the commercial ethic which America had embraced. Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is, in part, a biting portrayal of the American obsession with money, as is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. A sense of alienation from the overtly capitalistic nation that America had become was a contributing factor in the mass exodus of writers and artists.

In the United States publishing, like finance and the theater, was becoming centralized, and regional traditions were dying out as areas were transformed into a great unified market for new products. Writers complained that the whole of American culture was becoming false, and that hypocrisy had come to pervade the entire system, with businessmen talking about service when they meant profits. The same social mechanism that fed and clothed the body was neglecting the emotions, closing off the paths toward creativeness and self-expression. John Aldridge notes that, to the young writers, it seemed “life in America was tawdry, cheap, colorless, and given over to the exclusive worship of wealth and machinery […];” that to do one’s “best work in such a society was impossible.”[12] The puritan-industrial culture of America was hostile to the literary artist, therefore many began searching for a new home.

Several intellectuals went to Greenwich Village in New York City, which was then the center of alternative culture in America. However, it was no longer the “Bohemian”[13] refuge it had once been. By 1920 the word itself had become fashionable. People gave bohemian parties, patronized bohemian antique shops and bookstores, and with new businesses opening to take advantage of this trend Greenwich Village began to seem like an imitation of itself. In a very diluted version the Village existence was becoming the lifestyle of the American middle class. As a result, the writers and artists began to look further afield, searching for a place where they would be free to choose their own lifestyles, and express their own opinions. Undoubtedly, the sociological factors were to some extent influential in driving the intellectuals into exile. An article in the Paris Tribune stated:

[…] many an American who feels outraged at living under a government which treats its subjects like a set of naughty children, who shall be told what to drink, to read, to wear, and to see at the theatre, prefers to go into exile.[14]

The political climate in the United States was changing and the 1920s saw the rise of a regressive new Puritanism, of which Prohibition[15] was only one sign. U. S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, in an effort to stop what he perceived to be a communist menace, authorized raids on labor headquarters and private homes. On a single night in January 1920, Palmer’s men arrested some four thousand people in thirty-three different cities.[16] Censorship was increasing, with the United States Post Office and the New York Port Authority having license to intercept mail and destroy material they considered to be salacious or dangerous. James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses was a case in point, with four hundred copies of the book being burned in America during the last weeks of 1922. Afterwards the book had to be smuggled into the country, and was not officially allowed in until 1933.[17] Various Societies for the Suppression of Vice also assumed the role of censor, and it seemed the United States had no interest in fostering the creative spirit. The future expatriates found America “politically naive, puritanically restrictive, and culturally deprived.”[18]

The unrest among young American intellectuals was expressed in a 1921 symposium on Civilization in the United States,[19] edited by Harold Stearns. Stearns, a literary journalist and critic, assembled thirty writers, each of whom contributed an essay on various aspects of modern American life. The topics covered included education, politics, the law, advertising, as well as intellectual life, and the various arts. With few exceptions these thirty contributors were dissatisfied with American life; the overwhelming material values enforced by a standardized and machine-made civilization, and the repressions that go with it. The general consensus was that if a young artist was to preserve his talent he must leave the country, preferably going to Europe where creative life was still possible. Reinforcing that conclusion, Stearns sailed for France soon after delivering the completed book to the publisher. His embarkation date was deliberately chosen: the Fourth of July. Whether because of his example or not, hundreds of young men and women followed him up what Malcolm Cowley called “the longest gangplank in the world.”[20]

Paris as the Center of the Expatriate Community

Paris has, of course, the tradition of guarding the exile.[21]

Disillusioned with the political climate in America, as well as with the wide-spread provincialism and small-mindedness, aspiring writers and artists chose to relocate themselves to Europe, with the majority settling in France. Thus began “[o]ne of the most extraordinary phases in the history of American literary expatriation […] the mass migration of American writers to Paris in the 1920s […].”[22]

There were many factors which contributed to the young intellectuals’ choice of Paris as a new home. For one thing Paris was truly cosmopolitan and carried the reputation not only of tolerating artistic independence but of actually encouraging it. As Gertrude Stein said, “It was not what France gave you but what it did not take away from you that was important.”[23] Leaving its artists alone, Paris nonetheless provided them the accoutrements necessary to art: excellent printers and presses, galleries and bookshops, social companions and intellectuals, patrons and buyers, as well as an unusually accessible and sympathetic press. One of the main advantages of Paris was the freedom and independence it offered to the American expatriates. The very fact that they were foreigners contributed to their sense of liberation, placing them outside of the community expectations and restraints which did exist: “They were not French, they were not part of this society, they were not affected by French mores and prejudices […]. They were separate.”[24]

Paris was also affordable. In 1924 steamship companies created an inexpensive mode of travel, called ‘Tourist Third,’ and introduced cheap transatlantic fares, putting Europe within the financial ‘reach’ of students and artists. Due to the devaluation of European currencies, American dollars often bought a fantastic rate of exchange. In 1920 it took twelve francs to purchase one dollar; in 1925 it took twice that number.[25] Hotel rooms were available at the very cheapest prices, and a complete dinner, including wine, could be had for as little as fifty cents. Consequently, it was possible for Americans to live well with a small amount of money.

Economics also made possible the birth of various small literary magazines and independent presses, giving new writers a chance to be heard. Indeed, since 1912 some eighty percent of America’s most important poets, novelists, and critics were first published in avant-garde little magazines. Titles such as Contact, Broom, Transition and This Quarter could be printed much less expensively in Paris. These and other independent periodicals served primarily as nurturers of art and secondarily as forums for the evaluation of this modern art. Furthermore, as the readership was select the magazines were relatively free from censorship and thus able to print more ‘artistic’ and experimental work.

The number of expatriates grew larger each year. At the end of 1921 six thousand Americans called Paris home, and by September 1924 the city’s permanent American population was thirty thousand and rising.[26] Geographically and socially they were divided in two separate communities. In the aftermath of the war reconstruction operations brought many officials to Paris, with statesmen, economists, bankers, and businessmen all settling in the French capital. These wealthy Americans gathered on the right bank of the Seine, and landmarks of their Paris included the Arc de Triomphe, the nightclubs near the Place Blanche, and the great hotels, especially the Ritz on the Place Vendôme. For some years F. Scott Fitzgerald was to serve as ambassador of literature to that Paris of the rich. In the summer of 1925 he had a literary luncheon each week with Ernest Hemingway, discussing the mechanics of writing, but his function also involved making the rounds of the nightclubs and drinking at the Ritz bar.

The Left Bank was the site of the other expatriate community, that of the writers and artists. Just beyond the Latin Quarter,[27] in the Sixth arrondissement, Montparnasse was already established as the domicile of Parisian artists, and attracted the creative expatriates. For members of the American literary colony life centered around three cafés at the corner of the Boulevard du Montparnasse and the Boulevard du Raspail: the Dôme, the Rotonde, and the Select. Cowley describes these cafés as “great public landmarks,” naming the Dôme in particular as “the place.”[28] It was where one could gossip, borrow money, repay debts, and keep abreast of local news. The Dôme was the first destination of young writers in Paris, hoping to meet friends who had preceded them. It became so well-known as a literary gathering place that the editors of little magazines went there in search of contributors, and American publishers came to ask about young authors. Thus the café was like a market that dealt in literary futures.

In the early 1920s the atmosphere in expatriate Paris was hard-working and productive. However, it changed considerably as the decade wore on, especially after Hemingway’s portrayal of “Lost Generation” life in Paris in The Sun Also Rises (1926). One expatriate, Samuel Putnam, describes the book as a “literary post-mortem,” and notes that it marked “the point of cleavage between the earlier and later batch of ‘exiles’, by embalming in a work of fiction […] the spirit that animated those who came in 1921 or shortly after.”[29] Whereas several of the first expatriates had been in the war, those who arrived in the late twenties were, frequently, of a still younger unscarred generation. Although the earlier exiles had been driven abroad by a hatred of American dullness and Puritanism, primarily they had travelled in search of something – freedom, knowledge, an older culture. Their successors felt the same things, but felt them a little less strongly. Instead of being drawn ahead they were getting away from something. They had no great disillusionment to drown, and often were not genuine writers and artists. For this later batch of expatriates Paris was merely an inexpensive and exciting place to live.

The constant influx of expatriates resulted in Montparnasse becoming more and more Americanized as businesses began to cater to this new clientele. The cafés, including the Rotonde and the Dôme, were redecorated, installed cocktail bars, and even changed their menus in an effort to compete for the new arrivals’ money. Montparnasse came to have a distinct air of showmanship about it, taking on what Putnam describes as “the appearance of a Bohemia made to order […].”[30] It was the rule rather than the exception that Americans living in Paris remained isolated from the lives of the French, tending to associate almost exclusively with other Americans. Although several of the expatriates were fluent in French, the majority had difficulty reading the language and spoke it very poorly.[31]

Within this largely separate community in Paris the changing motivations of the new arrivals were being felt. There was still a good deal of serious writing being done, but the habits of many of the exiles during the twenties were restless and uneven. Once in Europe they could move with freedom while their funds held out, and this they did. Although the rate of exchange was favourable in Paris, elsewhere in Europe it was often spectacular, with prices that changed from country to country, virtually from hour to hour. Consequently, there sprang into being a new race of tourists, “parasites of the exchange,”[32] who wandered through Europe in search of the lowest prices, sooner or later returning to the Left Bank.

For many Americans in the 1920s it was cheap and chic to become a temporary expatriate, and residence in Paris became an ‘in’ thing. Prior to the twenties a majority of Americans were still committed to puritan views on sexual morality, and the idea that life is a serious business. The difference after World War I was that hedonism spread to the traditionally conservative middle classes. As a result, an expatriate life was seen as a chance to celebrate without concern for the future. People talked about the intolerance and stupidity at home in America, but it seemed that what they really wanted was the freedom to be irresponsible. There were numerous parties and drunken escapades. One of the expatriates, Robert McAlmon, was to sum up that time: “Those were the days of passion, love and intoxication.”[33]

Despite the hedonistic life style of many American exiles, Paris, especially at the beginning of the 1920s, was the international capital of literature, art, and music. Writing about the prospect of expatriation, Cowley said, “Indeed, to young writers like ourselves, a long sojourn in France was almost a pilgrimage to Holy Land.”[34] Gertrude Stein had settled there in 1902, and her house later became an important port-of-call for recently arrived expatriates. Ezra Pound, after leaving the United States for London in 1908, moved to Paris some years later. Several of the culture heroes of American writers were also in Paris: James Joyce, Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Valéry, and André Gide, to name a few. So it was that “almost everyone worshipped by the postwar generation”[35] could be found in the French capital.

Gertrude Stein, one of the early American exiles, came to Paris in 1903 to take up residence with her brother Leo in the combined studio and pavilion at 27 Rue de Fleurus. The two were interested in art and began to study and buy paintings, soon amassing a collection of works by such artists as Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, Gaugin, and Toulouse-Lautrec. Leo was the original collector, but after he and his sister began to quarrel about the relative merits of Cubism it was Gertrude who went on to earn a reputation as an expert on modern art. Visiting tourists and artists of all nations flocked to the Stein studio to study new pictures, and it soon meant réclame to have Gertrude Stein buy and display one’s work. Saturday evenings were instituted as a weekly salon for visitors, when anyone might call, inspect the canvases, and be received by Stein. The artists themselves became a great attraction at these gatherings, with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse among those who regularly put in an appearance. It would be several years, however, before Stein achieved her international reputation as the mothering director of a group of American writers in Paris, and as an author in her own right.

Throughout her first decade in France Stein devoted considerable energy and thought to her writing, developing the style which would bring her both fame and notoriety. Repetition of phrases, suggestive allusions, and the absence of punctuation were trademarks of her work. Stein’s first published book, Three Lives (1909), attracted considerable praise in America, and a collection of her experimental word-portraits, Tender Buttons (1914), excited several young writers and furthered her reputation as literary experimentalist. The editors of many of the vanguard literary magazines asked Stein for contributions to launch their publications, and her poetry and prose appeared in such titles as the Little Review, Broom, This Quarter, Close Up, and Transition.[36] Her relationships with the editors were often short-lived, partly because the magazines were transient, folding after a few months or a season, but also because she was extremely jealous of her reputation and took offence when an editor seemed to devote too much attention to such rivals as Ezra Pound or James Joyce. By 1914 Stein had become a fixture of Parisian life, a necessary port of call for visitors from England and the United States. Leo moved out of the Rue de Fleurus salon, and, together with her lifetime companion and lover Alice B. Toklas, Stein continued to receive visitors. Ernest Earnest notes, “Whatever their reasons for coming to Paris most literary expatriates sought an introduction to Gertrude Stein.”[37]

Two of the more noted visitors were Sherwood Anderson and Ernest Hemingway. Anderson, who had made his name with Winesburg, Ohio (1919), and Poor White (1920), had been excited by his discovery of Stein’s prose, and had come to Paris in part to seek an audience with her. He was taken to the salon by Sylvia Beach, owner of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, to whom he had expressed his admiration of Stein’s talent. Stein was delighted by the homage of Anderson, the first successful writer to say she had influenced him,[38] and the two became good friends. Indeed, Anderson was one of the few members of the literary community with whom Stein maintained a friendly relationship. Included in this select group were the expatriate author and publisher Robert McAlmon, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, for whose writing Stein always had a great respect. In The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Stein wrote: “Fitzgerald will be read when many of his well known contemporaries are forgotten.”[39]

Ernest Hemingway, whom Anderson provided with a letter of introduction, was also a favorite guest for a time, spending many hours discussing art, literature, and the craft of writing. He and Stein drifted apart after a few years but even late in life Hemingway acknowledged the impact of Stein’s writing method. In A Movable Feast, written shortly before his death in 1961, he noted Stein had “discovered many truths about rhythms and the uses of words in repetition that were valid and valuable and she talked well about them.”[40]

Ezra Pound was another of the early expatriates, having left America in 1908. He had arrived in London with a small book of privately printed poems and from that minor beginning he soon acquired a considerable reputation. That reputation was achieved largely through Pound’s vivid appearance and brashly self-confident public manner, but it was enhanced by his work for little magazines such as Poetry and the Dial (both in Chicago), the Little Review (New York) and the Egoist (London). Pound functioned as foreign correspondent, editor, drama or music critic, or talent scout. By 1920 he had tired of London and moved to Paris, where he quickly became one of the most colorful figures on the Left Bank. Pound was well-known for his Bohemian appearance – velvet jacket, beret, painter’s smock – and for his ability to find promising authors. He was one of the first in Paris to recognize the talents of Ernest Hemingway, who described him as “the man I liked and trusted the most as a critic […].”[41] Pound’s earlier literary discoveries included the poet Hilda Doolittle, James Joyce, and T. S. Eliot. He was responsible for the publication of Eliot’s The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock which appeared in the Chicago-based magazine Poetry in 1914. Pound also edited Eliot’s masterpiece The Waste Land, reducing the original draft by at least a third.[42]

Pound spent only four years in Paris but he was at the center of literary activity during his time there. For himself he continued writing poetry, as well as experimenting with sculpting and composing, but much of his time was devoted to his efforts on behalf of other writers. He acted as an unpaid agent, read and criticized poetry, and cajoled editors into publishing work by new authors. His exemplary gesture of generosity toward others was his Bel Esprit scheme, designed to provide worthy authors with an annual income to finance their becoming full-time writers. Pound’s first target was T. S. Eliot. Together with Nancy Barney, a wealthy expatriate who had a famous literary salon on the Left Bank, Pound set about collecting subscriptions. Uninformed of the project and not wanting to leave his job, Eliot refused the money and the scheme fell apart, but the spirit of generosity which had motivated it remained. Malcolm Cowley, who knew Pound in Paris, notes, “He had fought to win recognition for the work of other writers at a time when much of his own work was going unpublished, and he had obtained financial support for others that he could as easily have had for himself.”[43]

Sylvia Beach was another significant member of the expatriate community, achieving international renown with her publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1922. Beach arrived in Paris 1916, intending to pursue a career in journalism. A year later she decided to open a bookstore in either New York City or London, specializing in French literature, but soon discovered there was no market for such a business. Beach’s partner, Adrienne Monnier, herself the owner of a French bookstore, convinced her to establish a shop on the Left Bank, near Monnier’s. Opening for business in 1919, Shakespeare and Company was the first combination English-language bookshop and lending library in Paris. Most of the early customers were French, and it was not until several months later that the expatriates began to discover the shop. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas were the first Americans to visit the premises on the Rue de l’Odéon, and they began to spread the news of the store during the Saturday evening salons at their home. Beach was encouraged to appear at the salons, and she brought several American writers to meet Stein since they were often too nervous to approach her directly.

It was the release of Joyce’s famed masterwork in 1922 that focused the attention of the expatriates on Shakespeare and Company. Beach became friends with Joyce soon after his arrival in Paris in 1920, and he told her of his difficulties in getting Ulysses published. Early the following year Beach took on the job, little realizing what an enormous task it would be. Several typists refused to work on sections of the book, and Robert McAlmon recalls how at one point “the husband of the English typist […] destroyed some forty pages of the original script of Ulysses, because it was obscene.”[44] McAlmon later completed the work himself. Making sense of the many alterations to the text was also a difficult task. Beach had agreed to allow Joyce unlimited access to proofs for corrections and he took full advantage of the opportunity, writing a third of Ulysses on page proofs. Despite the added work and expense, Beach stood by her decision. Janet Flanner notes:

That Ulysses became the sort of book it is is largely due to her [Beach], for it was she […] who decided to allow Joyce an indefinite right to correct his proofs. It was in the exercise of this right that the peculiarities of Joyce’s prose reached their novel flowering.[45]

To create the book itself, Beach engaged the services of the Master Printer Darantière who was not deterred by the reputation of the book.[46] On February 2, 1922, after an exhausting amount of work, the first copy of Ulysses was placed on the display in the window of Shakespeare and Company. One resident of Paris cheered that it was “like the flag of freedom on the Left Bank.”[47]

Beach’s contribution to expatriate life was immeasurable. Not only did she carry, and thus promote the expatriates’ books and little reviews, but Shakespeare and Company also became a social center of the exiles’ world. From 1919 until 1941 her bookshop was a literary mecca, a meeting place, post office, money exchange, and a reading room for the famous and soon-to-be famous of the avant-garde. Beach herself was later described by Eugene Jolas as “probably the best known woman in Paris.”[48]

Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in France

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, like so many others of his generation, had his youthful illusions destroyed in World War I. A growing feeling of displacement and alienation led him to leave the United States; he joined the stream of expatriates traveling to France. In Europe Hemingway experienced a sense of escape from the pressure for conformity, which was “possibly the most oppressive feature of American life.”[49] Nothing in Hemingway’s life, before or after, would match the importance of the years that were centered in Paris. He was twenty-two years old when he arrived in France, December 1921, carrying a sheaf of stories aimed at the popular market in America. Hemingway’s exposure to such literary mentors as Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound in Paris enabled him to hone and refine his early attempts at writing. He began to develop his own style, and the techniques for which he would later become famous. It was there that Hemingway formulated his renowned ‘iceberg theory’, based on the idea of deliberate omission:

If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.[50]

Furthermore, it was in Paris that Hemingway began to develop the idea that in order to survive morally, a hero must regulate his behavior by code; one which would make life tolerable by conferring a certain dignity. Moreover, a hero should demonstrate self-possession by adhering to unwritten rules of life. These concepts became part of the Hemingway Code.[51]

Despite the fact that Hemingway became one of the more renowned literary expatriates in Paris, fame back home in America took longer to achieve than in France. His first literary recognition came from little magazines in Europe, where stories such as “Indian Camp”, “Cross-Country Snow”, and “Big Two-Hearted River” appeared, all of which were rejected by national magazines in the United States. It was not until the publication of Hemingway’s first major novel, The Sun Also Rises, in 1926 that he became well-known in his homeland. The novel was credited with summing-up “the self-sensed hopelessness of a generation.”[52] The lessons about writing which Hemingway learned in Paris stayed with him throughout his career. After Hemingway’s death Alfred Kazin said: “Probably no other American writer of our time has set such a stamp on modern literature.”[53]

The Road to France – Hemingway’s Early Years

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. An upper-middle-class suburb of Chicago, Oak Park was a very restrictive environment in which to grow up. The sale of alcoholic beverages had been forbidden there since the 1870s, not a single black family lived within the village’s limits before World War I, and so numerous were its churches that the community was known as ‘Saints’ Rest.’ It was here that Hemingway spent the first eighteen years of his life, acquiring early an acute sense of the limitations of his culture as a result of the rigid attitudes of his parents and neighbors. Hemingway would later declare he had always hated Oak Park.[54]

The Hemingways owned a holiday cottage at Walloon Lake in northern Michigan, where the six children spent their summers. Accompanying his father on medical calls to a nearby camp of Ojibway Indians was Hemingway’s first experience of a different cultural environment, and in sharing the Indians’ way of life he established a basis from which his parents’ culture fell into a startlingly narrow perspective. The events and emotions of Hemingway’s summers in Michigan would feature in the Nick Adams stories written about those years – “Ten Indians”, “Indian Camp”, “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife”, “The End of Something”, and “Three-Day-Blow”.

Graduating from high school in 1917, Hemingway seized the first opportunity for getting away from the rigidity of Oak Park. Instead of going to college he moved to Missouri to take a job as a cub reporter at The K ansas City Star. It was here that Hemingway began to study the craft of writing. He was expected to follow The Star ’s style sheet which recommended the use of short sentences, vigorous English, and very few adjectives. Hemingway later praised the style sheet as ”the best rules I ever learned for the business of writing. I’ve never forgotten them.”[55]

That was the same year that America entered World War I and Hemingway, like a schoolboy anxious to see the big game, was eager to enlist. “I can’t let a show like this go on without getting in on it,”[56] he wrote to his sister Marcelline. Volunteering as a Red Cross ambulance driver, Hemingway was assigned to a unit in Italy, and arrived in Milan in June 1918. From there he was sent to Schio, a post which for Hemingway was too distant from the action. Finding ambulance driving tedious, and wanting to get close to the fighting, he volunteered to run a Red Cross canteen at Fossalta di Piave, where the combat was said to be intense. Just after midnight on July 8, Hemingway was near the front lines when a trench mortar bomb exploded nearby, seriously wounding himself and the other men.

At the Red Cross hospital in Milan where Hemingway spent the next three months, he underwent several operations to remove the shell fragments lodged in his legs and body. It would take years before the encounter with death, the traumatic experience of being wounded, would leave Hemingway’s mind. At the time of the explosion he was tremendously idealistic - he had been in Italy for a very short time and had not seen the horrors of the western front – and seems to have genuinely believed all the war propaganda. He patriotically told his parents:

The mother of a man that has died for his country should be the proudest woman in the world, and the happiest. And how much better to die in all the happy period of undisillusioned youth, to go out in a blaze of light, than to have your body worn out and old and illusions shattered.[57]

The confrontation with death proved to be one of Hemingway’s most vital and obsessive themes, and he came to believe that serious injuries purified men who endured them, that you “have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously.”[58]

After recuperating in Milan, Hemingway returned to the United States in January 1919 as a minor celebrity. His letters home to his parents had brought him local renown, with both The Kansas City Star and Oak Leaves, an Oak Park weekly, reporting on the heroic exploits of “the first American wounded in Italy.”[59] For months after his return, Hemingway was much in demand; for a small fee he spoke at social clubs, church societies, and the local high school. His adventures during the war were further elaborated as Hemingway became doubtful about his heroism and insecure about his noncombatant role. “They’ve tried to make a hero out of me here,” he wrote to a friend in Italy. “But you know and I know that all the real heroes are dead. If I had been a really game guy I would have gotten myself killed off.”[60]

Hemingway’s experiences had weakened his already shaky sense of belonging to the cultural pattern affirmed in America. His observation of the tolerance of conduct strongly disapproved at home made it difficult for him to treat with respect the morality of Oak Park and its inhabitants. Hemingway later wrote of his troubled return to America in the short story “Soldier’s Home”. Hemingway’s sister Marcelline noted: “For Ernest it must have been something like being put in a box with the cover nailed down to come home conventional, suburban Oak Park living, after his own vivid experiences.”[61] Hemingway’s mental state deteriorated after the initial euphoria of his homecoming, and his psychological problems became more serious than his medical ones. He began to experience insomnia, and had a total inability to sleep without a light on for fear he might die in the night. The sleepless man often appears in Hemingway’s fiction. Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises, Frederic Henry in A Farewell to Arms, and the American lieutenant in “Now I Lay Me” are among those who suffer insomnia and dread the dark.

In December 1919 Hemingway spent the winter in Toronto, Canada, and began contributing stories to The Toronto Star, continuing to write for the newspaper when he returned to the United States in May 1920. Meanwhile he was also working on fictional short stories. In the summer of 1920, Hemingway moved to Chicago where he wrote articles for a local magazine. He spent a year in the city, forming a plan to leave the constraints of life in America and return to the less restrictive culture of Italy. Hemingway met two significant people in Chicago, the first of whom was Hadley Richardson, a young woman from St. Louis. She and Hemingway fell deeply in love and were married in September 1921, intending to leave for Italy soon afterwards. Early in 1921 Hemingway met Sherwood Anderson, whose Wineburg, Ohio (1919) had brought him literary fame. Impressed with Hemingway’s abilities, Anderson referred him as “a young fellow of extraordinary talent who was instinctively in touch with everything worth-while going on.”[62] Anderson convinced the Hemingways to move to Paris, where he felt the future of literature was being forged. Moreover, Anderson had several useful connections in the city. He wrote Hemingway letters of introduction to Sylvia Beach, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce and Ezra Pound, all of whom Anderson had met during his visit.

Once the Hemingways had decided on Paris things fell into place very rapidly. Ernest Hemingway was offered a regular job on The Toronto Daily Star, and it was agreed that he would become the foreign correspondent. That small income would be supplemented by the money from Hadley’s trust fund, which provided enough for them to live comfortably in Paris. On December 8, 1921, the Hemingways set sail for France.

Life in Paris

To have come on all this new world of writing, with time to read in a city like Paris where there was a way of living well and working, no matter how poor you were, was like having a great treasure given to you.[63]

Ernest Hemingway was a presence on the Left Bank before he won reputation as a published author. Cowley recalls:

[…] a young man named Hemingway, who sometimes came to the Dôme for his morning coffee, was writing a new kind of very short stories and showed them to people in manuscript, or sometimes read them aloud. […] There was a chaffering about those early stories [among the café patrons] that preceded the later bidding and bargaining among critics.[64]

Hemingway never became a regular at the Dôme. He regarded with contempt the American bohemians who crowded the tables there, describing them as “loafers,” who spent their time talking about what they were going to do but never doing it.[65] For his part, Hemingway was attempting to find a simple and unadorned style of writing, telling himself, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”[66]

Although he avoided the dilettante would-be writers, Hemingway’s range of acquaintance among the expatriate literati slowly expanded, and he formed some of the most influential friendships of his life during 1922. An important step in Hemingway’s continental education came when he joined Sylvia Beach’s lending library at Shakespeare and Company in January, and began reading works by authors such as Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoevski, Joseph Conrad, and Gustave Flaubert. Hemingway and Beach began a friendship which would last for nearly forty years, and later he would say of her, “No one that I ever knew was nicer to me.”[67]

Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein were also significant influences on Hemingway during his early years in Paris. Pound offered useful criticism of Hemingway’s writing, and helped to make the novelist’s earlier work sharper and tighter, by eliminating unnecessary adjectives and adverbs, and tutoring Hemingway in techniques of economy and precision. “Use no superfluous words,” he taught, “no adjective which does not reveal something. … Go in fear of abstractions.”[68] Stein encouraged Hemingway’s literary efforts, and reinforced the idea of writing prose sparsely and economically. Commenting on some early work she said: “There is a great deal of description in this […] and not particularly good description. Begin over again and concentrate […].”[69] Stein also emphasized the elimination of complex sentence structure, and the repetition of the same word rather than the use of synonyms.

Hemingway spent most of 1922 working to improve his writing, as well as submitting articles to The Toronto Star. However, his efforts in prose and fiction did not begin to achieve public notice until 1923, a year which saw the first appearance of this work in print. The January issue of Poetry magazine (Chicago) contained six of his poems, and six of his prose sketches appeared in the spring 1923 edition of the Little Review (New York). In August 1923 Robert McAlmon, of the Contact Publishing Company in Paris, brought out Hemingway’s first book, Three Stories & Ten Poems.

It was McAlmon who offered Hemingway the opportunity to attend his first bullfight, inviting him along on a trip to Spain. The experience was a meaningful one for Hemingway as he discovered a focal metaphor for his writing and himself. He later said that he was attempting to write, “commencing with the simplest things, and one of the simplest things of all and most fundamental is violent death.”[70] For Hemingway, the killing of the bull represented a symbol of man’s victory over the domain of death. His admiration of the matador’s artistry, and courage in the face of death, would later be expressed in the character of Pedro Romero in The Sun Also Rises.

The Hemingways sailed for Toronto in August to prepare for the birth of their baby, a son who was born on October 10, 1923. Ernest Hemingway went to work full time for The Toronto Star, but he did not get along with the new editor and resigned at the end of December. The family sailed back to Paris in January 1924, where Hemingway took a job as assistant editor of The Transatlantic Review, an English-language magazine which had just been launched. The Review only lasted for one year before lack of money forced its closure, but it was a valuable outlet for Hemingway’s fiction, publishing his early Nick Adams stories, and several articles.

In March 1924 Bill Bird of the Three Mountains Press in Paris published in our time.[71] It was a collection of vignettes which formed a blueprint of what Hemingway was attempting stylistically and a definition of the attitudes he was forming about his experiences. Hemingway later declared:

I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty […] was to put down what really happened in action; what the actual things were which produced the emotion you experienced.[72]

He was to continue this technique of recording “what really happened” in his fiction, seeking to produce an emotion; he found good material in his trip to the festival of San Fermin in 1925. The celebrations were overrun with people, and there were tensions among the members of Hemingway’s group. After the fiesta he began to record his version of recent events, a work which would become The Sun Also Rises.

Up until 1925 Hemingway’s name was largely unknown in America, but that was soon to change. Combining the material from his two books with nine new stories resulted in a manuscript which was accepted by Boni and Liveright (New York). The book was published on October 5, 1925. In Our Time marked Hemingway’s American debut and it received favorable reviews. Yet, widespread references to the influence of Sherwood Anderson angered Hemingway.[73] He promptly wrote The Torrents of Spring (1926), an obvious and deliberate satiric parody of Anderson, who was then Boni and Liveright’s best-selling author. The firm rejected the manuscript, providing Hemingway with the means of breaking his contract.

In February 1926 he signed with Charles Scribner’s Sons (New York), at the request of Maxwell Perkins. An editor at Scribner’s, Perkins had received an enthusiastic letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald describing in our time as “remarkable” and Hemingway as “the real thing.”[74] Fitzgerald later read the typescript of The Sun Also Rises and recommended that the first two chapters be cut; advice which Hemingway accepted. The Sun Also Rises was published on October 22, 1926.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald was already an established writer when he arrived in France in May 1924. The publication of his first novel, This Side of Paradise (1920), had catapulted him to fame at the age of twenty-three. Author Sinclair Lewis predicted that “Fitzgerald is going to be a writer the equal of any young European.”[75]

Fitzgerald did not become a permanent member of the expatriate community in Paris; initially he lived on the French Riviera, and moved to Paris after completing The Great Gatsby. He did, however, spend a total of six and a half years in Europe. Fitzgerald was in France much of that time, and his residence there had a meaningful effect on his writing. By leaving America Fitzgerald gained a sense of perspective on his homeland which enabled him to bring his disillusionment into focus. It is significant that The Great Gatsby, which one critic describes as “the most damaging criticism of it [the American Dream] in American literature,”[76] was written in France. The country provided Fitzgerald with a background against which to measure the value and worth of his compatriots, and America itself. In a 1927 interview, he compared France and the United States: “The best of America drifts to Paris. France has the only two things toward we drift as we grow older – intelligence and good manners.”[77]

The Road to France – Fitzgerald’s Early Years

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota, but spent the first twelve years of his life moving from city to city. It was not until his father lost his job as a traveling salesman in 1908 that the family returned to St. Paul, financially dependant on the inheritance of Fitzgerald’s mother. Her funds were sufficient to enable the family to live in the Summit Avenue area, one of the wealthiest parts of the city, but only in apartments or rented houses. In a neighborhood of imposing houses known by their owners’ names – railroad tycoon James J. Hill had a mansion on Summit Avenue – Fitzgerald was keenly aware of his family’s inadequacies, and he felt like an outsider among his wealthy friends.

Fitzgerald’s insecurity increased at Princeton University, where he was up against the most complex system of social stratification he had yet encountered. The aspiring writer felt he was a member of the lower classes, and wanted to be at the top of the Princeton social ladder. He was a poor student, preferring reading and writing to dull assignments. However, Fitzgerald gained prestige through his writing for the University magazines, The Princeton Tiger, and the Nassau Literary Magazine. During Fitzgerald’s junior year at Princeton his first big romance, with a wealthy Chicago debutante, fell apart after it was pointedly remarked that poor boys should not think of marrying rich girls.[78]

When America entered World War I in 1917, Fitzgerald signed up for three weeks of intensive military training. Following his twenty-first birthday, Fitzgerald was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the infantry. However, he did as badly as an army officer as he had as a college student, devoting all his energies to writing. In a sustained burst of work, which was to be typical of his later writing habits, he completed a 120,000-word manuscript, entitled “The Romantic Egoist.”[79] Fitzgerald submitted the manuscript to Scribner’s, a publishing house which had close ties with Princeton. The novel was rejected when it was first submitted, but Fitzgerald did not give up hope. In October 1918, Fitzgerald’s army unit was sent to Long Island, New York, to await embarkation for France. However, before they were shipped out, the Armistice was reached on November 11, 1918, and Fitzgerald’s inglorious army career was at an end. As he was considered “unusually dispensable,”[80] Fitzgerald was one of the first officers to be discharged, and he moved to New York City in February 1919.

While stationed at Camp Sheridan, in Alabama, Fitzgerald had met and fallen in love with Zelda Sayre, an unconventional and extroverted Southern belle. The two were engaged, but Zelda was cautious about marrying an unpublished writer with no money, and insisted that Fitzgerald establish himself in a career before the wedding could take place. Fitzgerald’s plan was to succeed in a job which would allow them to marry as soon as possible, so he began work at a New York advertising agency, composing cards for trolley cars. In addition, he attempted to make extra money by writing magazine fiction. Fitzgerald was bored by the dull routine of his work, and discouraged by the endless rejection slips he received from the magazines, so he quit the job and returned home to St. Paul.

Fitzgerald spent the summer of 1919 holed up at his parents’ house, rewriting the novel which he now called This Side of Paradise. The period of concentrated work on the novel transformed Fitzgerald from an unemployed amateur into a professional writer. He began reworking his material from Princeton’s Nassau Literary Magazine, as well as revising his rejected stories, four of which were accepted by the Smart Set. This acceptance was encouraging because the magazine had an influential position under the editorship of H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan. The publication of the story Head and Shoulders in The Saturday Evening Post ’s February 1920 issue marked Fitzgerald’s first appearance in a mass-circulation magazine, and it soon became the major market for his stories. He initially enjoyed writing the popular stories that were making his name known, but developed a pattern of regarding his career as doubled or divided – separated into serious novels and commercial short stories.

This Side of Paradise was published on March 26, 1920, received considerable public acclaim, and made Fitzgerald instantly famous. The novel expressed the revolt against prewar respectability; its hero and heroines became models for unconstrained behavior. This Side of Paradise also captured the spirit of disillusionment that followed World War I, portraying a new generation “grown up to find Gods dead, all wars fought, all faith in man shaken.”[81] The phenomenal sales success of Fitzgerald’s novel[82] provided the author with enough money to support himself and Zelda; the two were married in April. However, Fitzgerald never forgot that he had nearly lost Zelda because of lack of money. Years later he wrote:

During a long summer of despair I wrote a novel instead of letters, so it [the affair] came out all right, but it came out all right for a different person. The man with the jingle of money in his pocket who married the girl a year later would always cherish an abiding distrust, an animosity, toward the leisure class […].[83]

He saw his rise from poverty to affluence as an illustration of the terrible, meaningless power of money. Fitzgerald naïvely expected all his books to achieve a similar success to This Side of Paradise, thus he lived up to what he imagined his future income would be. He felt that the good life in America was only open to those with wealth and he strove, therefore, to become a member of the community of the rich. Yet, Fitzgerald could find nothing to interest him in the means of achieving a life of wealth. Arthur Mizener, in his biography of Fitzgerald, notes that he had “a deep-seated moral distrust of the whole process of money-making […].”[84] Given that Fitzgerald’s fame and fortune coincided with the beginning of the Boom, when all of America became devoted to materialism, he came to feel that such a society was shallow and untrustworthy.

Fitzgerald had intended to begin writing his second novel after the wedding, but the newly-weds’ flamboyant lifestyle – residing in a series of hotel rooms, jumping into fountains, riding on the roofs of taxis – meant he found it difficult to settle down to work. He had to write several magazine stories to make some money. However, the stories that earned the most were usually those that left him the most dissatisfied: the magazines were devoted to the superficial world of American popular appeal, whereas Fitzgerald wanted to be recognized for his literary talents.

After Zelda found she was pregnant the Fitzgeralds moved to St. Paul, where their daughter was born on October 26, 1921. By this time Fitzgerald had succeeded in completing his second novel and was hard at work revising it. The Beautiful and Damned was published in March 1922, to a somewhat mixed critical reception, and steady sales. By the summer of 1922 he was planning his third novel, writing to Maxwell Perkins in July: “I want to write something new – something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned.”[85] However, a year would go by before Fitzgerald started serious work on the novel that became The Great Gatsby (1925).

In September 1922, the Fitzgeralds moved to Great Neck, an affluent town on the north shore of Long Island. At that time many millionaires and celebrities from show business owned homes in Great Neck; some of the lavish houses and parties provided the inspiration for Jay Gatsby’s. The first half of 1923 was a time of parties and drinking while Fitzgerald waited for his play The Vegetable to find a backer. Unfortunately for Fitzgerald, the play, a satire on the corruption of Washington politics, was a disaster, closing only a few weeks after the opening in November 1923. If The Vegetable had premiered a year or so later it might have had a better reception, after the Teapot Dome scandal exposed the true corruption of President Harding’s administration.[86] The introduction to a 1976 published edition of the play notes: “Fitzgerald’s political fantasy contained far more truth than the audience was prepared to take in.”[87]

Fitzgerald’s increased disillusionment with the American lifestyle is evident in his magazine articles that attacked the American “wasting class,” which he described as
“the most shallow, most hollow, most pernicious leisure class in the world.”[88] This concept would later be embodied by the Buchanans in The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald was unable to concentrate on his novel because of the distractions at Great Neck; he and Zelda decided to leave America and go to France. As Fitzgerald wrote in one of his articles: “We were going to the Old World to find a new rhythm for our lives, with a true conviction that we had left our old selves behind forever.”[89] On May 3, 1924, the Fitzgeralds sailed for Europe.

Life on the Riviera

Unlike Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald arrived in France with his success and popularity well established. Thus, he was not seeking literary mentors, but rather quiet and solitude in which to work on his new novel. To this end he avoided the potential distractions of the expatriate community in France, spending only ten days in the city en route to the French Riviera. On the coast the family initially stayed in a hotel, but soon rented a house at St. Raphaël. It was there that they became friends with Gerald and Sara Murphy, a couple who provided the more appealing characteristics of Dick and Nicole Diver in Fitzgerald’s novel Tender is the Night (1934). The Murphys were a wealthy, elegant couple who offered lavish hospitality to many leading French and American artists in the 1920s. Names associated with the couple eventually included those of writers Archibald MacLeish, John Dos Passos, and Ernest Hemingway; painters Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Juan Gris; and the composer Igor Stravinsky. Fitzgerald later wrote of his time on the Riviera that “whatever happened seemed to have something to do with art.”[90]

It was during that summer that Fitzgerald first encountered the work of Ernest Hemingway, when a friend loaned him a copy of in our time, the Three Mountain Press edition of prose sketches. Fitzgerald wrote to his editor Maxwell Perkins about the author whom he felt had a “brilliant future;”[91] although the two writers were yet to meet, Fitzgerald continued to promote Hemingway’s career, insisting that Perkins contact him.

Fitzgerald worked steadily on his new novel, which had the working title “Among the Ash Heaps and Millionaires,” making significant progress. His plan was to trace the decay of American idealism through the shattered romance between a rich girl and

a poor boy who achieves financial success. In a letter to a friend, Fitzgerald wrote,

“That’s the whole burden of this novel – the loss of those illusions that give such color to the world that you don’t care whether things are true or false as long as they are partake of the magical glory.”[92] In October 1924, he sent Perkins the typescript of his novel, by then known as The Great Gatsby. Perkin’s response was enthusiastic, calling it “an extraordinary book, suggestive of all sorts of thoughts and moods,” and noting Fitzgerald’s “immensely effective”[93] irony. Fitzgerald continued revising the novel for several more months, dispatching the final version to New York in February 1925. A short time later, the family moved to Paris to await the novel’s release. The Great Gatsby was published on April 11, 1925.

Disillusionment in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises

The Expatriates and Their Way of Life

The Sun Also Rises[94] opens in Paris where Hemingway’s disillusionment with the American lifestyle is indicated by his portrayal of the expatriates and their way of life. As one reviewer noted: “Any country’s condition can be conducted from the vices and virtues of the expatriates. In them the native attributes are in excess […].”[95] The reader is introduced to a group of Americans who are living in France but feel uncomfortable in a foreign environment, for instance Robert Cohn, who is “fairly happy, except that, like so many people living in Europe, he would rather have been in America […].” (SAR 13) Cohn and his compatriots are a reflection of Hemingway’s personal experiences in Paris, where he found that the majority of expatriates had simply transplanted their American attitudes and habits to a foreign city, creating an ethnocentric community. By 1925, when Hemingway wrote the novel, Paris had an American hospital, library, cathedral, and Chamber of Commerce, as well as American movie theaters, banks and newspapers, all of which helped to create a mini-America abroad. Similarly, the expatriate community in the novel is a microcosm of American society.

The expatriates in The Sun Also Rises live in a very insular world, associating only with each other, as depicted in the scene of the Americans’ dance at the bal musette: “Five nights a week the working people of the Pantheon quarter danced there. One night a week it was the dancing-club.” (SAR 27) In these two sentences Hemingway conveys the complete separation of the two groups, where the Americans have their “dancing club,” a term which implies exclusivity, on a night when the Parisians do not go to the bal musette. Furthermore, Hemingway is making a subtle judgment of the two nationalities’ lifestyles by describing the French as “working people,” who have presumably earned the right to go out dancing. The Americans, on the other hand, simply take over the premises once a week. This concept of a separate expatriate world is reinforced when Jake and Brett leave the bal musette and go to the Café Select, where they meet “most of the crowd who had been at the dance.” (SAR 36)

Virtually all of the characters who are introduced in the early chapters are Americans; there are no important French characters in the novel, and we never see French life. Indeed, Jake Barnes inhabits a Paris so thoroughly Americanized that it is seldom even necessary to speak French, although he is able to do so. Hemingway makes mocking reference to the other characters’ difficulties with the language, as in the bal musette scene where Jake notes that Mrs. Braddocks “in the excitement of talking French was liable to have no idea what she was saying.” (SAR 26) Another American at the bal musette speaks French “very rapidly,” and does not seem “so proud and astonished as Mrs. Braddocks at its coming out really French.” (SAR 26)

Not only do the Americans live in a Paris seemingly devoid of French people, but they also perpetuate the restrictions of their environment by not seeking contact outside of the expatriate community. Instead they remain within a culturally-limited sphere of acquaintance, with the exception of Jake, who associates with French people, and knows the language. However, he cannot escape the insistent presence of the American world. After fleeing in disgust from the bal musette, where the “whole show” makes him “sick,” (SAR 29) and the expatriate crowd at the Café Select, he retreats to the quiet and solitude of his flat. Checking his mail he discovers a wedding announcement from an American couple whose daughter is to be married. “I knew neither the girl nor the man she was marrying. They must be circularizing the town. It was a funny name. I felt sure I could remember anybody with a name like Aloysius.” (SAR 38) Hemingway devotes two of these four statements to the message that the family is unknown to Jake, despite the fact he is receiving something as personal as a wedding announcement from them. The phrase “circularizing the town” further reduces the announcement to the level of cheap advertising, something which is being sent out to all of the Americans in Paris.

The frustration of trying to break out from the insular community of expatriates is given ironic emphasis at the beginning of Book II, when Jake and Bill Gorton go out to dinner at Madame Lecomte’s restaurant, only to find it crowded with Americans. “Some one had put it in the American Women’s Club list as a quaint restaurant on the Paris quais as yet untouched by Americans, so we had to wait forty-five minutes for a table.” (SAR 82) Jake has obviously been to the restaurant in the days before it was popular, because Madame Lecomte mentions that he does not eat there anymore. Jake’s reply leaves no doubt as to his reason: “Too many compatriots.” (SAR 82) It seems there are other Americans who want to see French Paris, but advertising the location of such an “untouched” restaurant to the expatriate community guarantees it will be overrun by their fellow countrymen.

Personal relationships within the expatriates’ limited world are often formed because of it. In the case of Jake Barnes and Robert Cohn, they have become friends in a way typical of expatriates, inasmuch as they are drawn together more by being Americans abroad than by a similarity of temperament and values. Jake notes that Cohn had two friends, Braddocks and himself: “Braddocks was his literary friend. I was his tennis friend.” (SAR 13) Aside from such superficial ties as games of tennis and bridge, or shared meals, Jake and Cohn are vastly different. Jake is a working newspaperman who is earning his way in France. He speaks the language, knows the people, and avoids bohemian hangouts. Cohn, by contrast, does not have a job, does not know the language, and has come to Paris because it is the place for young writers to be. Thus, from the start, the two are polar opposites within the expatriate experience. The worker who has paid and is still paying for what he enjoys in Europe is juxtaposed with the Montparnasse dilettante who is emulating the model of an expatriate artist.

The idea of Jake being different from the others is highlighted in a conversation between him and Bill Gorton at Burguete, when Bill facetiously identifies Jake with Cohn’s bohemian form of expatriation:

You’re an expatriate. You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed with sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see? You hang around cafés. (SAR 120)

This popular stereotype of the expatriate pertains more to Cohn than to Jake and thus serves to distinguish Jake from the phoniness and role playing of that stereotype. He may drink a great deal, and be obsessed with sex – or rather, the idea of it – but he has not lost touch with the soil, as he fishes, swims, and enjoys bullfights. Furthermore, Jake works hard, and because of this he never thinks of himself as an expatriate. The others, by contrast, do not work. Cohn gets support checks from his mother; Mike Campbell, a bankrupt, gets a family allowance; Brett Ashley lives on support money from her second husband. Although the novel’s main characters have come to Paris seeking a feeling of liberation, their lives in the city are actually rather decadent and pointless. Their days are spent doing nothing but sitting in cafés, eating and drinking, talking about writing, and gossiping about other people. Early in 1922, Hemingway described the expatriates crowding the tables of the cafés at Montparnasse in derogatory terms, “the scum of Greenwich Village” who made the Café Rotonde “the leading Latin Quarter show place for tourists in search of atmosphere […].”[96] Those ideas are still apparent in The Sun Also Rises, albeit in a more subdued version. Jake observes: “No matter what café in Montparnasse you ask a taxi-driver to bring you to from the right bank of the river, they always take you to the Rotonde.” (SAR 49) Obviously, the Rotonde is the in place for expatriates to go. In an early version of the novel’s opening chapter Jake insisted that the reader understand he was not one of those who wasted their lives:

I always felt about the Quarter [Montparnasse] that I could sort of take it or leave it alone […]. Those who work have the greatest contempt for those who don’t. The loafers are leading their lives and it is bad form to mention work.[97]

For Jake work is the test for distinguishing the man of character from the expatriate poseur, and it differentiates him from the others.

It is noteworthy that when Jake and Bill leave the confines of the Parisian community for a trip to Spain the first people they encounter are Americans. On the train they meet a man and his family who are representative of the type of people Jake left America to get away from. The husband boasts of having “some of the best fishing in the State of Montana,” (SAR 92) even though he “never cared for it anyway,” (SAR 92) while the wife repeats a railway advertising slogan current at the time: “See America first!” (SAR 91) Samuel Putnam recalls his parents quoting the slogan to him when he dreamed of going to Europe, and notes that it represented the “thinking of the great American masses.”[98] Jake and Bill learn that the train is in fact full of Americans, “seven cars of them from Dayton, Ohio,” (SAR 91) a conservative city in the Midwest. Bill describes the pilgrims as “Goddam Puritans,” (SAR 91) leaving no doubt as to his feelings about Puritanism in his homeland. This meeting of tourists also serves as a reminder to the expatriates that they themselves have not become part of the local community, but instead remain eternal outsiders.

The “Lost Generation” of Americans

Since its publication in 1926 The Sun Also Rises has come to be indelibly associated with the epigraph, “You are all a lost generation,” attributed to Gertrude Stein. Having heard the phrase from a garage owner, Stein repeated it to Hemingway in reference to the disillusionment of those who had come of age during World War I. Hemingway was so taken with the remark that he recounted Stein’s anecdote in an unpublished foreword to the novel. Furthermore, he included the term in a list of possible titles: The Lost Generation, Perdu, Lost.[99]

An important cause of exile for many expatriates was their alienation from the apathetic American people who seemed indifferent to the devastating results of the war. In addition, the prevailing sentiment was that the war should be forgotten so that things could get back to normal, something which Hemingway had experienced personally in his return home after being wounded in Italy. Feelings of detachment, disjointedness, and social alienation were common at that time. Thus Carlos Baker, in his biography of Hemingway, noted that the Lost Generation catch-phrase “seemed to sum up for many people an aspect of the social history of the nineteen-twenties.”[100]

In The Sun Also Rises Hemingway created a portrayal of the cultural dislocation and psychological malaise that were the legacy of World War I. Except for the bullfighter, Pedro Romero, the novel’s major characters are all “lost” expatriates from either the United States or Great Britain who are trying to fill a void in their lives, but have found only an empty existence in Paris. Very early in the novel Georgette, a French prostitute, tells Jake: “Everybody’s sick. I’m sick, too.” (SAR 23) At first it seems she is referring to a venereal disease, yet later in the text it is revealed that Georgette has her “yellow card,” (SAR 36) proving she is disease-free. In fact, Georgette’s comment refers to a society where the members are infected with an emotional sterility and the world is without values. Her statement is given expression in the succeeding scene at bal musette, which Hemingway fills with sexual behavior and attitudes that, to his mind, lack honesty and completeness: prostitution, impotence, and homosexuality. He implies that there will never be fulfillment in those lives, only the pathos of a spiritual impotence.


[1] Gertrude Stein, Paris, France (New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1970), p. 11.

[2] Ishbel Ross, The Expatriates (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1970), p. 5.

[3] It was not only the writers who were going to Paris, but also composers, such as George Gershwin and Virgil Thomson; the pioneering photographer Man Ray; and painters, for example, Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood. See: John Bainbridge, Another Way of Living. A Gallery of Americans Who Chose to Live in Europe (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1969), p. 7.

[4] C. Hugh Holman and William Harmon, A Handbook to Literature. 6th ed. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), p. 186.

[5] Ross, The Expatriates, p. 234.

[6] Cited in: Kenneth S. Lynn, Hemingway (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), p. 333.

[7] Samuel Putnam, Paris Was Our Mistress: Memoirs of a Lost & Found Generation (New York: Viking Press, 1947), p. 69.

[8] See: Malcolm Cowley, A Second Flowering: Works and Days of the Lost Generation (New York: Viking Press, 1973), pp. 4-12. An expatriate author, Cowley was himself an ambulance driver for France during the conflict. He explains that the incredibly high death toll began to change the moral atmosphere of the war (p. 5) because the incessant battles in which so many soldiers died had not had decisive outcomes but had instead “subsided in exhaustion” (p. 4).

[9] Cited in Dalton Gross and Maryjean Gross, Understanding ‘The Great Gatsby’: A Student Case Book to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1998), p. 7.

[10] See: Mark Schorer, Sinclair Lewis: An American Life (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961), p. 246.

[11] F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up, With Other Uncollected Pieces, Note-Books and Unpublished Letters, ed. Edmund Wilson (New York: New Directions, 1964), p. 87.

[12] John W. Aldridge, After the Lost Generation: A Critical Study of the Writers of Two Wars (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1951), p. 12.

[13] The use of the term “Bohemian” to describe an unconventional lifestyle stems from Henri Mürger’s book Scènes de la vie de Bohème, a romanticized portrayal of the lives of artists and writers in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Published in the 1840s it became a bestseller and was later sentimentalized in Puccini’s opera La Bohème. The popularity of the bohemian image also owes much to George du Maurier’s runaway success, Trilby (1894), also set in the Latin Quarter. See: Humphrey Carpenter, Geniuses Together: American Writers in Paris in the 1920s (London: Unwin Hyman, 1987), pp. 10-14.

[14] Alex Small, “Thirst for Booze and for Liberty Sends Americans Abroad,” Paris Tribune, 20 Sept. 1929; here reprinted in Hugh Ford, The Left Bank Revisited: Selections From the Paris Tribune; 1917-1934 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1972), p. 51.

[15] The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, ratified by Congress 16 January, 1919, stated that “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.” See: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), “The Constitution: Amendments 11-27” ( html, 20 Dec. 2000). The National Prohibition Act, or Volstead Act, enacted into law in October 1919, provided stringent enforcement guidelines. See: NARA, “untitled” ( 19/28/19-2762a.jpg, 20 Dec. 2000).

[16] Arlen J. Hansen, Introduction, Expatriate Paris: A Cultural and Literary Guide to Paris of the 1920s (New York: Arcade Publishing, 1990), p. xxiii.

[17] Charles M. Oliver, Ernest Hemingway A to Z: The Essential Reference to the Life and Work (New York: Facts On File, 1999), p. 201.

[18] Shari Benstock, Women of the Left Bank: Paris, 1900-1940 (London: Virago Press, 1987), p. 99.

[19] Harold E. Stearns, Civilization in the United States: An Inquiry by 30 Americans (New York: Harcourt, 1922)

[20] Malcolm Cowley, Exile’s Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920’s (New York: Viking Press, 1951), p. 79.

[21] From Ludwig Lewisohn, used as the epigraph in Arlen J. Hansen’s Expatriate Paris: A Cultural and Literary Guide to Paris of the 1920s.

[22] Malcolm Bradbury, The Expatriate Tradition in American Literature. BAAS Pamphlets in American Studies. 9 (Durnham: University of Durnham Press, 1982), p. 31.

[23] Ford, The Left Bank Revisited: Selections from the ‘ Paris Tribune’; 1917–1934; here quoted in Benstock, Women of the Left Bank: Paris, 1900-1940, p. 13.

[24] Ibid., p. 78.

[25] Lynn, Hemingway, p. 149.

[26] Michael S. Reynolds, Hemingway: The Paris Years (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990), p. 236.

[27] Located on the Left Bank, opposite Notre Dame, this area housed the university in medieval times. The Quarter took its name from the fact that the students used Latin to communicate. The area was also known for its Bohemian lifestyle. See: Carpenter, Geniuses Together: American Writers in Paris in the 1920s, p. 10.

[28] Cowley, A Second Flowering: Works and Days of the Lost Generation, pp. 56-58.

[29] Putnam, Paris Was Our Mistress: Memoirs of a Lost & Found Generation, p. 69.

[30] Ibid., p. 67.

[31] Noel Riley Fitch, Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties and Thirties (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1983), p. 101.

[32] Cowley, Exile’s Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920’s, p. 82.

[33] Robert McAlmon and Kay Boyle, Being Geniuses Together: 1920-1930 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1968), p. 143.

[34] Cowley, Exile’s Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s, p. 102.

[35] Cowley, A Second Flowering: Works and Days of the Lost Generation, pp. 53-54.

[36] Karen Lane Rood, ed., American Writers in Paris, 1920-1939, Foreword by Malcolm Cowley (Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1980), p. 368.

[37] Ernest Earnest, Expatriates and Patriots: American Artists, Scholars, and Writers in Europe (Durham: Duke University Press, 1968), p. 252.

[38] Carpenter, Geniuses Together: American Writers in Paris in the 1920s, p. 42.

[39] Gertrude Stein, An Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (New York: Vintage Books, 1961), p. 218.

[40] Ernest Hemingway, A Movable Feast (London: Arrow Books, 1994), p. 16. A memoir of Hemingway’s early years in Paris (1921-26), it is a semi-fictional autobiography which contains scathing portrayals of many of his former friends and acquaintances. In the preface Hemingway wrote: “If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always a chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been regarded as fact.” The book was published posthumously in 1964.

[41] Ibid., p.118.

[42] Reynolds, Hemingway: The Paris Years, pp. 28-29.

[43] Cowley, Exile’s Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920’s, p. 120.

[44] McAlmon and Boyle, Being Geniuses Together: 1920-1930, p. 130.

[45] Janet Flanner, Foreword, in Hugh Ford, Published in Paris: American and British Writers, Printers, and Publishers in Paris, 1920-1939, (London: Garnstone Press, 1975), p. xii.

[46] See: Fitch, Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties and Thirties, p. 80. Ulysses been banned in America in December 1920, having been judged obscene. In addition the book was very long, and the French typesetters (who set the book by hand) were unfamiliar with standard English, much less Joyce’s complex wordplay.

[47] Cited in: Lynn, Hemingway, p. 156.

[48] See: Fitch, Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties and Thirties, p. 41.
Eugene Jolas was a literary critic for the Paris Tribune from 1924 until 1926, at which time he and his wife founded Transition, a well respected little magazine.

[49] Harold T. McCarthy, The Expatriate Perspective: American Novelists and the Idea of America (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1974), p. 147.

[50] Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon (London: Cape, 1963), p. 183.

[51] For an analysis of the components and meaning of the Hemingway Code see: Earl Rovit, Ernest Hemingway, Twayne’s United States Authors Series. 41 (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1963), pp. 107-110; and Jeffrey Meyers, Hemingway: A Biography (London: Paladin Books, 1987), p. 116.

[52] Putnam, Paris Was Our Mistress: Memoirs of a Lost & Found Generation, p. 69.

[53] “Authors and Critics Appraise Works,” New York Times, 3 July 1961 ( specials/hemingway-obit4.html, 20 Dec. 2000)

[54] Lynn, Hemingway, p. 19.

[55] Matthew J. Bruccoli, ed., Conversations with Ernest Hemingway (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1986), p. 21.

[56] Marcelline Hemingway-Sanford, At the Hemingways: A Family Portrait (Boston: Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1962), p. 157.

[57] Carlos Baker, ed., Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1981), p. 19.

[58] Quoted in: Meyers, Hemingway: A Biography, p. 36.

[59] This was not true, but Hemingway had claimed as much in one of his letters, and the information reached the newspapers. See: Lynn, Hemingway, p. 82.

[60] Baker, ed, Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters, p. 21.

[61] Hemingway-Sanford, At the Hemingways: A Family Portrait, p. 184.

[62] Cited in: Lynn, Hemingway, p. 141.

[63] Hemingway, A Movable Feast, p. 117.

[64] Cowley, A Second Flowering: Works and Days of the Lost Generation, p. 58.

[65] Meyers, Hemingway: A Biography, p. 67.

[66] Hemingway, A Movable Feast, p. 12.

[67] Ibid., p. 31.

[68] Quoted in: Reynolds, Hemingway: The Paris Years, p. 29.

[69] Stein, An Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, p. 213.

[70] Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon, p. 10.

[71] Not to be confused with the Boni and Liveright (New York) edition of Hemingway’s In Our Time (1925), which was a different book although it did contain some of the same material. Bird decided the Three Mountains Press edition of in our time (1924) should have the title set in lower-case type. See: Ford, Published in Paris: American and British Writers, Printers, and Publishers in Paris, 1920-1939, p. 105.

[72] Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon, p. 10.

[73] One reviewer noted that the diction in In Our Time was akin to Anderson’s vernacular usages, and another compared the book to Dark Laughter, Anderson’s most recent novel. See: James R. Mellow, Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992), pp. 314-15.

[74] Andrew Turnbull, ed., The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1963), p. 167.

[75] Cited in: Meyers, Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography (London: Macmillan, 1994), p. 77.

[76] Marius Bewley, “Scott Fitzgerald’s Criticism of America,” in Arthur Mizener, ed., F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Collection of Critical Essays (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1963), p. 140.

[77] Cited in: Matthew J. Bruccoli, ed., S ome Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1981), p. 257.

[78] Meyers, Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography, p. 29.

[79] Although it was never published, the surviving pieces of “The Romantic Egoist” show it was so close to This Side of Paradise (1920) as to be a working draft for the novel. See: Bruccoli, S ome Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald, pp. 85-86.

[80] Quoted in: Meyers, Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography, p. 47.

[81] F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1979), p. 282.

[82] The first printing of This Side of Paradise, 3,000 copies, sold out in twenty-four hours. At a time when a sale of 5,000 copies was considered respectable for a first novel the sales reached 50,000 by the end of the year. See: Henry Dan Piper, F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Critical Portrait (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965), pp. 41-42 and p. 119.

[83] Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up, p. 77.

[84] Arthur Mizener, The Far Side of Paradise: A Biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1965), p. 128.

[85] Matthew J. Bruccoli, ed., Correspondence of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1986), p 112.

[86] The Teapot Dome scandal broke in 1923: naval oil reserves on public land had been leased to private oil companies under suspicious circumstances. The Secretary of the Interior, Albert B. Fall, was convicted on a charge of taking a bribe; the corruption could go no higher unless it involved the president himself. President Harding was not directly implicated in the scandal, but his name and that of his administration were tarnished forever. See: Gross, Understanding The Great Gatsby: A Student Case Book to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents, pp. 78-81.

[87] Cited in: Rose Gallo, F. Scott Fitzgerald (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1978), p. 129.

[88] Quoted in Bruccoli, S ome Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald, p. 192.

[89] Cited in: Rood, ed., American Writers in Paris, 1920-1939, p. 133.

[90] Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up, p. 19.

[91] John Kuehl and Jackson R. Bryer, eds., Dear Scott / Dear Max: The Fitzgerald – Perkins Correspondence (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971), p. 78.

[92] Bruccoli, ed., Correspondence of F. Scott Fitzgerald, p. 145.

[93] Ibid., p. 82.

[94] Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995). Hereafter quoted in the text as SAR with page reference in brackets.

[95] K.J.W., rev. of The Sun Also Rises, Boston Evening Transcript, 6 Nov. 1926; here reprinted in Robert O. Stephens, ed., Ernest Hemingway: The Critical Reception (New York: Burt Franklin, 1977), p. 37.

[96] Ernest Hemingway, “American Bohemians in Paris,” Toronto Star Weekly, 25 Mar. 1922; here cited in Mellow, Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences, p. 164.

[97] Frederic Joseph Svoboda, Hemingway & ‘The Sun Also Rises’ – The Crafting of a Style (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1983), p. 135.

[98] Putnam, Paris Was Our Mistress: Memoirs of a Lost & Found Generation, p. 8.

[99] In the original foreword Hemingway noted that, despite the possibility of another and better war, nothing would really matter to his generation; it had been permanently shaped by its experience in World War I, an event already past. He concluded that, to his generation, “the things that are given to people to happen to them have already happened.” See: Svoboda, Hemingway & ‘The Sun Also Rises’ – The Crafting of a Style, pp. 106-108.

[100] Carlos Baker, Hemingway: The Writer as Artist (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972), p. 79.

Excerpt out of 211 pages


Francis Scott Fitzgerald: The great Author
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
ISBN (Book)
File size
1433 KB
francis, scott, fitzgerald, author
Quote paper
Michael Grawe (Author)Laura Deneke (Author)Piers Henriques (Author)Christoph Kronig (Author), 2013, Francis Scott Fitzgerald: The great Author, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Francis Scott Fitzgerald: The great Author

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free