Tuesday, May 21, 2013

F Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda & The GREAT Gatsby!

Hi Sweeties...
With the new remake just being released, I thought maybe it would be fun
to talk 'GATSBY' for a minute! I have always LOVED F Scott Fitgerald's
timeless classic, 'The Great Gatsby', taken place right after World War I,
during The Roaring 20's, The Jazz Age & Prohibition. This story is
filled with richly textured characters, often tragically flawed, but
completely believable & relateable inside their own tragedy!

I created a Paper Doll Series using the scrumptious design
of the period, that can be found HERE at my ETSY Shop
if you want to take a PEEK! ;)

Daisy Buchanan, the beautiful, young socialite, who embodies the
essence of the original flapper. She's selfish & self absorbed,
married to a millionaire, but finds herself still excited by
her ex~beau, the mysterious & charming
millionaire, Mister Jay Gatsby.

F Scott Fitzgerald wrote 'The Great Gatsby' in 1925 & sets his
novel in 1922 on Long Island, New York. This is a period when
the Art Deco movement had reached the United States, having
originated in France & was in full swing as a design inspiration.
I LOVE Art Deco & had so much fun using period
pieces for my 'Gatsby' Paper Dolls!!

Jay Gatsby was a young officer when he first met Daisy in
1917 & is still obsessed with her, when he moves into his
extravagant mansion across the bay from the Buchanan's.

When Jay Gatsby returns from the war, he reinvents himself, changing his
name from Gatz to Gatsby & making a fortune, possibly bootlegging
during prohibition, along with other unsavory ventures, although
this remains left up to the readers imagination. 

This story is so fulled with interesting & compelling characters...
there is Nick, Daisy's cousin & the narrator of the story,
Tom, Daisy's millionaire, brutish & flandering  husband,
Jordan Baker, Daisy's aloof & snobbish long time friend,
Myrtle Wilson, Tom's mistress & rival for Tom's attentions,
& George Wilson, the hard working & mistreated husband
of Myrtle, who eventually takes matters into his own
hands with disastrous & tragic results.

The story of F Scott Fitzgerald & his obssession & wife, Zelda Sayre
Fitzgerald, is the stuff that great novels are made. But yet again,
they themselves were so tragic & flawed just
like the characters in his books.

Born Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, he was named after his famous
2nd cousin, 3times removed & writer of The Star Spangled Banner.
Scott had a gift for writing & literature & went to Princeton to hone
his skill. He dropped out of school to join the Army during World
War I, but was never deployed & as a 2nd Lieutenant, he met
the young socialite Miss Zelda Sayre of Montgomery,
Alabama & was immediately enchanted by her.

At the time they met, Zelda was a beautiful, southern debutante just
out of high school & highly free spirited. Scott called her the 'First
American Flapper'. She was a talented ballerina & artist in her own
right. After a broken engagement due to the fear Fitzgerald could not
adequately support her, they were finally married in 1920. With the
success of his novels 'This Side of Paradise', 'The Beautiful & the
Damned' & 'The Great Gatsby', they became Celebrities of New
York & were infamous for their extravagant, alcohol filled parties,
during a period when the country was forced to pursue abstinence.

 But they had a tempestuous marriage filled with jealousy, resentment
& tiraids, with Scott retreating more into alcoholism & Zelda into
madness. Their's was most definitely a case of art imitating life. In
1930 Zelda was diagnosed with schizophrenia & placed in the first
of many metal institutions where she received treatment, but also
pursued her passion for art & writing. As F Scott's book writing
career waned, in 1937 he moved to Hollywood to try his hand at
screenwriting, leaving Zelda in hospitals's on the East Coast.

{hope by zelda fitgerald, 1944}

So...come to find out, Zelda & I have something more in common
then just being crazy, Zelda created & painted her OWN paper dolls!


Mama Bear...

Papa Bear...
& Little Bitty Baby Bear,
 & MANY more! How COOL is that!!

Sadly, this not so happy fairy tale, was destined to end badly. F Scott,
who had been drinking heavily since college, died of a heart attack
in Hollywood, CA in 1940 at 44 & poor Zelda died in a fire that
broke out in the kitchen of the Highland Hospital in North
Carolina in 1948, at the age of 48. So incredibly tragic,
like the ending of Gatsby, but their legacy left us
with an amazing vision of a time long past.

A time of red hot jazz, of women shedding their locks
& showing their legs for the first time in history, of drinking &
dancing & smoking & excess. A time that will never come again,
and I am so grateful to be able to see it through the rose colored
glasses of their eyes, however flawed they may have been. It was
the JAZZ AGE & I so wish I could have lived it!!