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1951.02F. 斯科特-菲茨杰拉德传

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F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography
Success came swiftly to F. Scott Fitzgerald, and it was the tragedy of his life that after the popularity of his short stories and the praise he merited with The Great Gatsby, he did not mature to carry out the still bigger hooks which he sate in his mind. The causes of his failure have been sensitively analyzed by ARTHUR MIZENBR in his compassionate biography, of which this is the third and final installment. He shows the loyal encouragement which Fitzgerald received from his editor. Max Perkins; his friendships with Hemingway, Edmund W ilson. and John Peale Bishop; and what Zelda and her illness meant to the novelist. The complete book, under the title The Far Side of Paradise, will he published by Houghton Mifflin on February I.

By Arthur Mizener
FEBRUARY 1951 ISSUE
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by ARTHUR MIZENER

14
IN the spring of 1924 Fitzgerald and Zelda Neck suddenly decided that their life in Great Neck was impossible, financially and socially, and that they would go to France and “live on practically nothing a year.” They were escaping, Fitzgerald thought, “from extravagance and clamor and from all the wild extremes among which we had dwelt for five hectic years, from the tradesmen who laid for us and the nurse who bullied us and the couple who kept our house for us and knew us all too well. 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 and with a capital of just over seven thousand dollars.” They would find, as Fitzgerald knew all too well by the time he wrote that, that they could not so easily leave their old selves behind, but for the moment they were full of optimism.


By June they had found a satisfactory place to live at St. Raphael, a large and handsome place with extensive gardens called the Villa Marie. There they settled for the summer. They bought a Renault “a six ehevaux,” Fitzgerald grew a mustache and gradually surrendered to the French barbers’ idea of how his hair ought to be cut, and they soaked in the sun long hours on the beach. For a while t hings went along so well that Fitzgerald wrote Perkins optimistically, “We are idyllicly settled here and the novel is going fine— it ought to be done in a month. . . .”They were planning to go home in the autumn when Gatsby was finished.

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But in July there was a serious crisis in their lives. When they had first come to St. Raphaël they had met a French aviator by the name of René Silvé. He was a dark, romantic fellow with a classically handsome profile and curly black hair and he almost immediately fell deeply and openly in love with Zelda. This was a familiar experience for Fitzgerald though he never altogether accustomed himself to it. But when Zelda in her turn began to show an interest in Silve it was another matter. The affair came to a quick and violent climax and, apparently after one or two noisy and undignified scenes set off by Fitzgerald, Rene departed.

The effect of this experience on Fitzgerald was enormous. He had given himself completely to his feelings about Zelda, and if those feelings changed during the course of their marriage, he never imagined that he loved her less or she him. He had never acquired the twenties’ habit of tolerating casual affairs. He remained all his life essentially the boy who was shocked as an undergraduate by his classmates’ casual sex life. Sexual matters were always deadly serious to him, a final commitment to the elaborate structure of personal sentiments he built around anyone he loved, above all around Zelda. His attitude was the attitude of Gatsby toward Daisy, who was for him, after he had taken her, as Zelda was for Fitzgerald, a kind of incarnation. “The emotions of my youth,” he said, “culminated in one emotion,” his feeling for Zelda. It was the damage done to this structure of sentimerits which was most disturbing in the Sllvé a flair.

A month after the crisis he noted that they were “close together” again and in September that the “trouble [was] clearing away.” But long afterwards lie wrote in his Notebooks: “That September 1924 I knew something had happened that could never be repaired.”

By some odd quirk Fitzgerald found that this crisis scarcely a fleeted his ability to work. “It’s been a fair summer,” he wrote Max Perkins. “ I’ve been unhappy but ray work hasn’t suffered from it. J am grown at last.” That last sentence was one he was to repeat half hopefully and half ironically for the rest of his life. In August he had gone on the wagon and begun to get a great deal of good work done on his novel. Early in November he sent it off to Scribner’s, though he was anxiously revising almost up to the day of publication; he was particularly dissatisfied with Chapters VI and VII. “I can’t quite place Daisy’s reaction,” he wrote Perkins. As late as February 18, 1925, he cabled Perkins, HOLD UP GALLEY FORTY FOR BIG CHANGE. This change involved cutting five or six pages from the heart of the quarrel between Gatsby and Tom and rewriting the whole passage.

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Meanwhile Zelda had been reading Roderick Hudson and as a result they decided to spend the winter in Rome. Fitzgerald wrote a Post story as quickly as he could after dispatching the novel, in order to provide ready money, and they got away about, the middle of the month. It was not a happy winter. Fitzgerald was in a state of tension after three months of hard work on his novel and there were unresolved difficulties in their relation left over from the previous summer. It was not until after Christmas, when Fitzgerald again went on the wagon, that they were at peace. “Zelda and I,” Fitzgerald wrote John Bishop, “sometimes indulge in terrible four day rows that always start with a drinking party but we’re still enormously in love and about the only truly happily married people I know.” They clung hard to this conviction and made it true for themselves. But they hated Rome. They were always cold and they never could habituate themselves to the petty thievery which they found was a standard part of all relations with landlords, waiters, and taxi drivers in Italy.

In January both Fitzgeralds were sick and they decided to go to Capri to recover. Scott merely had grippe and was soon better but Zelda had a painful attack of colitis which she could not shake off. She was, with periods of temporary improvement, ill for a full year with it.

Fitzgerald himself was full of optimistic talk about starting a new novel, especially to Perkins, whom he always imagined he deceived more than he did about his periods of idleness; he did almost nothing during this spring except to worry about Zelda’s illness and about the reception of Gatsby and, in his anxiety, to drink more heavily than, as he knew, he should. He was behind financially, as he always was after a spell of working on a book; he had borrowed to the limit against the expected royalties on Gatsby and owed Reynolds three stories, only one of which he actually got. written during the spring.

The reception of his novel worried him most; he had committed all his forces in it and he realized that he was now old enough to be judged without qualification for his youth, lie had made a supreme effort with Gatsby; it was for him a test case of whether, in spite of his popularity and the critics’ hesitations about his earlier work, he could develop into a good novelist. As he waited, therefore, for its publication he became more and more nervous, not simply over whether it would be a financial success but over whether it would be considered good by the people whose judgments he respected.

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Just before Gatsby was to appear—publication date was April 10 — they decided to return to Paris, driving north from Marseilles in their car (the car, as usual, broke down, at Lyons, and they went the rest of the way by train). April 10 caught them in the south of France and Fitzgerald, Ins anxiety now beyond all reason, cabled Perkins on April 11, less than twenty-four hours after publication, ANY NEWS.

15
EARLY in May, 1925, the Fitzgeralds reached Paris and there they rented an apartment at 14 rue de Tilsitt for the rest of the year, SALES SITUATION DOUBTFUL, Perkins cabled about Gatsby. EXCELLENT REVIEWS. The sales continued to be, by Fitzgerald’s standards, mediocre, though the reviews were the best he had ever had. By the time Gatsby was published, his debt to Scribner’s was something over $6200; by October the sales were just short of 20,000 copies, a sale slightly below what would have covered this debt. By February a few thousand more copies had been sold and the book was dead.

Fitzgerald had written Bishop, “We want to come back but we want to come back with money saved and so far we haven’t saved any.” He had hoped Gatsby would make him the kind of money he wanted. This was to hope for a miracle, but Fitzgerald yvas an optimistic young man and events had conspired, by producing a series of brilliant successes for him, to convince him that if he did his best he would attain fame and fortune. Such expectations were a part of the pattern he had been brought up on, and if he had outgrown much of his upbringing, he had not lost his conviction that money in large quantities yvas the proper reward of virtue.

He showed his usual mixture of naïveté and insight about this attitude. From the day he announced he would be satisfied with a sale of 20,000 copies of This Side of Paradise he had continued to assume that a novelist should gel very large returns for his work, “If,’ he wrote Perkins about Gatsby, “[my next novel] will support me with no more intervals of trash I’ll go on as a novelist. If not I’m going to quit, come home, go to Hollywood and learn the movie business . . . there’s no point in trying to be an artist if you can’t do your best. ‘ This is a sensible statement — Fitzgerald knew what he could command in Hollywood —except that Fitzgerald’s idea of “support is fantastic.

His writing, even without the “trash,” had supported him more than adequately up to this time. Omitting what he got from everything that might be thought trash and including only his novels and the six best short stories he had so far written, he had averaged between $16,000 and $17,000 a year during his career as a writer (his total income from 1920 to 1924 inclusive was $113,000, a little better than $22,500 a year).

This income ought to have supported them, and Fitzgerald knew it. “I can’t reduce our scale of living,” he continued in his letter to Perkins, “and I can’t stand this financial insecurity. . . . I had my chance back in 1920 to start my life on a sensible scale and lost it and so I’ll have to pay the penalty. . . . Yours in great depression.” Put why did he feel his chance had been lost at the start? A man who intends to be a serious writer in the twentieth century knows that he will be lucky to average a quarter of Fitzgerald’s income over a lifetime; and it is hard to believe anyone could be so subject to extravagance that he would have to sacrifice his whole career to it, especially when he is a man — as Fitzgerald was — powerfully driven to succeed in that career and at the same time tortured — as again Fitzgerald was — by debt.

The answer to these questions lies in Fitzgerald’s imaginative involvement with wealth and in the way its effect was reinforced by the belief in “airing the desire for unadulterated gaiety” which he and Zelda shared. It was difficult enough that Fitzgerald’s imagination drove him to try to live like a man of inherited wealth and that their extravagance and inefficiency always made that life cost more than it needed to. It was worse that, until tragedy struck them, they sought innocently and sincerely for that “orgiastic future” that haunted Gatsby. Fitzgerald’s imagination saw the meaning of their experience. No one will ever improve on Gatsby’s attempt to imitate the life of inherited wealth or his devotion to the “orgiastic future” as a commentary on Fitzgerald’s life. And his imagination could realize and evaluate this attitude because he was committed to it in practice. Ill’s financial dilemma was more than the penalty he paid for having failed to start his life on a sensible scale; it was what he paid for the theme of his finest work.

Fitzgerald later described this summer of 1925 in Paris as one of “1000 parties and no work ”; he was worried about his drinking. It was easy to make a joke of it, as Hemingway, of whom they were beginning to see a great deal, did in The Torrents of Spring: “It was at this point in the story, reader, that Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald came to our home one afternoon, and after remaining for quite a while suddenly sat down in the fireplace and would not (or was it could not, reader?) get up and let the fire burn something else so as to keep the room warm.” Fitzgerald was beginning to be drunk for periods of a week or ten days and to sober up in places like Brussels without any notion of how he had got there.

But the time was not all spent like that. There was a scheme according to which Fitzgerald and Hemingway and Dean Gauss met once a week for lunch and discussed some serious topic, setting the topic for the next meeting at the end of each session so that they could prepare themselves. Fitzgerald also had the satisfaction of Gatsby’s critical reception. In addition to the handsome reviews, he got many personal letters of great enthusiasm. “It is just four o’clock in the morning,” Deems Taylor wrote him, “and I’ve got to be up at seven, and I’ve just finished The Great Gatsby, and it can’t possibly be as good as I think it is.” Similar letters came from Woollcott and Nathan, from Cabell and Seldes, from Van Wyck Brooks and Paul Rosenfekl. Even better were the letters from Willa Gather and Mrs. Wharton and T. S. Eliot; these overwhelmed the Fitzgerald who stood in awe of distinguished writers: he got the Gausses out of bed at one in the morning to come over and celebrate Willa Gather’s letter. The letter from Mrs. Wharton, with its modesty and its informed comments on the book, meant more to him than all the others, for Mrs. Wharton was a remote and awful figure to ihe young rebels of Paris.

In the fall Owen Davis had made a dramatic version of The Great Gatsby and on February 2, 1926, it opened at the Ambassador Theatre in New York, with James Rennie as Gatsby and Florence Eldridge as Daisy. “. . . as it was something of a sneers d’estime,” Fitzgerald wrote Harold Ober of the play, “and put in my pocket seventeen or eighteen thousand . . . I should be, and am, well contented.” The play’s success also made possible the sale of Gatsby to the movies, from which Fitzgerald received $15,000 or $20,000 more. These windfalls were welcome, for during 1925 and 1926 his total production was seven short stories and a couple of articles.

16
DURING this winter of 1925-1926 Fitzgerald devoted himself to getting Hemingway recognized. At least a year earlier he had recommended Hemingway to Perkins’s attention; now he started to work on all his friends. Glenway Wescott has recalled how Fitzgerald urged him to do something to help Hemingway’s career.

He thought T would agree that The Apple of the Eye and The Great Gatshy were rather inflated market values just then. What could I do to help launch Hemingway? Why didn’t I write a laudatory essay on him? With this questioning, Fitzgerald now and then impatiently grasped and shook my elbow. There was something more than ordinary art-admiration about it, but on the other hand it was no mere matter of affection for Hemingway. . . . I was touched and flattered by Fitzgerald’s taking so much for granted. It simply had not occurred to him that unfriendliness or pettiness on my part might inhibit my enthusiasm about the art of a new colleague and rival.

It did not inhibit Fitzgerald, who hastened to write his own laudatory essay, “How to Waste Material,” for The Bookman.

Hemingway had just finished The Torrents of Spring and had completed the first draft of The Sun Also Rises (the final draft was ready in April).

His publishers, Boni & Liveright, were embarrassed by The Torrents of Spring: Sherwood Anderson was one of their most valuable authors, and The Torrents of Spring is a parody of Anderson. Hut they did not want to lose The Sun Also Rises, and Hemingway would be legally free lo take it elsewhere if they rejected The Torrents of Spring. It is hardly surprising that Boni & Liveright were convinced Hemingway deliberately wrote The Torrents of Spring as part of a plot, devised by him and Fitzgerald, to free him from them. In the end, however, they decided to reject Hemingway’s parody.

Fitzgerald had certainly hoped the matter would work out this way, but there is no reason to suppose Hemingway wrote ihe book for this purpose. “[Ernest’s] book,” Fitzgerald wrote Perkins, “is almost a vicious parody on Anderson. You see I agree with Ernest that Anderson’s Ias1 two books have let even body down who believed in him I think they’re cheap, faked, obscurantic and awful.”

This was Hemingway’s motive. “I have known all along,” he wrote Fitzgerald, “that they could not and would not be able to publish it as it makes a bum out of their present ace and best seller Anderson. Now in 10th printing. I did not, however, have that in mind in any way when I wrote it.” When Boni & Liveright finally rejected The Torrents of Spring, Hemingway turned down offers from several other publishers and signed with Scribner’s.

Though the feeling between them later became less friendly, Fitzgerald never lost his deep admiration for Hemingway’s talent; he paid generous tribute to it in “Handle with Care”: . . a third contemporary had been an artistic conscience to me—I had not imitated his infectious style, because my own style, such as it is, was formed before he published anything, but there was an awful pull toward him when I was on a spot.” As soon as Hemingway had signed with Scribner’s Fitzgerald began to fuss over his work like a maiden aunt. He was particularly worried about The San Also Rises, and Hemingway took to teasing him about his own plans for The World’s Fair.

The Fitzgeralds came back lo America in December, 1926, with the intention of settling down and living a more orderly life, so they started off bv visiting Fitzgerald’s parents, who were now living in Washington, and Zelda’s family in Montgomery. Early in the new year, however, Fitzgerald got a chance to fulfill his old threal to go to Hollywood and learn the movie business; John Considine of United Artists asked him to come out to do a “fine modern college story for Constance Talmadge” (“one of the hectic flapper comedies, in which Constance Talmadge has specialized for years,” the newspapers called it). After some jockeying Fitzgerald agreed to go for $6500 down and $8500 on the acceptance of the story, for they needed the money too much lo refuse the offer even if il was likely to interrupt their program of orderly living.

There was a whirl of parties, night clubs, and practical jokes. At a tea of Lois Moran’s Fitzgerald made himself what one gossip columnist described as “conspicuous by |his] presence” by collecting watches and jewelry from the guests and boiling the whole collection in a couple of cans of tomato soup on the kitchen stove.

When Fitzgerald finally completed his story for Constance Talmadge it was rejected. “At that time,” he said years later, “I had been generally acknowledged for several years as the top American writer both seriously and, as far as prices went, popularly. I . . . was confident to the point of conceit. Hollywood made a big fuss over us and the ladies all looked very beautiful to a man of thirly. I honestly believed that with no effort on my part I was a sort of magician with words. . . . Total result — a great time and no work. I was to be paid only a small amount unless they made my picture — they didn’t.”

As soon as the script was finished the Fitzgeralds left Hollywood. It was reported that they stacked all the furniture in the center of their room at the Ambassador, put their unpaid bills on top of it, and departed; when they got on the train they crawled on tHeir hands and knees the length of the car to reach their compartment, to escape inconspicuously. . . . BOOTLEGGERS GONE OUT OF BUSINESS COTTON CLUB CLOSED ALL FLAGS AT HALF MAST . . . BOTTLES OF LOVE TO YOU BOTH, Lois Moran wired them.

17
THE orderly life, which had been in abeyance during these months, was now revived. With the help of Fitzgerald’s college friend, John Biggs, they found a beautiful old Greek-revival mansion outside Wilmington called Ellerslie. Fitzgerald settled down to an honest struggle to complete his new novel. Me was realistic enough to warn Perkins against any publicity about it, but wired him: EXPECT TO DELIVER NOVEL TO LIBERTY IN JUNE. They made an effort to become a part of the social life in Wilmington and, as they always did when they tried, they charmed everyone and were soon firmly established there.

But Ellerslie did not work out very well. Under the stress of the accumulated disorder of their lives their personal relations were deteriorating into what Fitzgerald later called an “organized cat and dog fight.” Their social success in Wilmington was the signal for that destructive impulse which was the product of Fitzgerald’s unhappiness to assert itself, and he began to be rude to people.

As a part of their struggle for tranquillity they had their parents come for visits. Zelda spent two busy months building a marvelous dollhouse for Scottie, their little girl, now six years: old; she made a set of charming lampshades decorated with découpages of all the houses they had ever lived in; she painted the garden furniture with decorative and ingenious maps of France. They celebrated Christmas, 1927, with an elaborate tree. Fitzgerald put himself on a drinking schedule, though there were occasions like the one where, having made a friend a cocktail and asserted he was not drinking, he idly poured himself a glass of gin and drank it off and then said with evident surprise: “Did I just drink a glass of gin? — I believe 1 did.

He had done a good deal of work on his book during the summer of 1927. He was full of optimism and talked confidently of how what he was now calling The World’s Fair would “before so very long begin to appear in Liberty. The work, however, petered out during the fall, and when Perkins inquired in February, Fitzgerald wrote in despair: “Novel not yet finished. Christ I wish it were!” Work came to a complete stop when they decided to spend tin1 summer of 1928 abroad.

Their immediate reason for going was Zelda s dancing. She had determined suddenly to become a ballet dancer and, almost from one day to the next, had taken to dancing with an intensity which, as one of their friends said, was like the dancing madness of the middle ages. She began to go to Philadelphia two or three times a week to study with Catherine Littlefield and would come home to practice several hours a day in the living room, which was cleared for the purpose. There was something peculiar about this ext rente concentration on dancing and Fitzgerald afterwards said that looking back he thought he could trace evidences of her insanity at least as early as 1927, when she had begun to show a number of disturbing signs, such as going through long periods of unbroken silence.

They arrived in Paris in a haze of alcohol, without reservations or plans. A friend who met them finally got them a place to stay— it was not easy in Paris the summer of 1928. Scottic, who was excited by Paris, kept pointing out the sights as they drove through the city but neither of them was capable of responding. The summer was like that. Twice Fitzgerald wound up in jail. Zelda was starting to take lessons with Egarova and they quarreled over her dancing, for there was some drive in Fitzgerald to destroy her concentration. He appeared unable to endure Zelda s successful - if neurotic — display of will when he fell that selfindulgence and dissipation were ruining him. “It is the loose-ends,” as Zelda said long after, with which men hang themselves.”

Just before they returned to America they had a bitter quarrel during which unbelievable charges were made by both of them. This quarrel led to a break between them which was never really repaired. Late in September, “in a blaze,” as Fitzgerald said, “of work & liquor” (he was trying to finish up “The Captured Shadow for the Post), they came home to Ellerslie. “Thirty-two years old,” Fitzgerald wrote in his Ledger, “and sore as hell about it.” They were broke, though Fitzgerald’s incomeincluding a $6000 advance on his novel — had been $29,737 in 1927 and was running close to that in 1928.

Back at Ellerslie Fitzgerald tried to settle down to his book. In November he wrote Perkins that he was going to send him two chapters a month of the final version until, by February, he would have sent it all. “I think this will help me get it straight in my own mind, he said; “ —I’ve been alone with it too long.” The November chapters were sent, and probably the December ones; but that w as all. Four years later he asked Perkins to ret urn “that discarded beginning that I gave you. . . .”

In the spring of 1929 their two-year lease on Ellerslie ended and, writing the whole thing off ns a bad investment, they set off for Europe once more. Fitzgerald explained to Perkins that he could not work in Delaware but that, once abroad, he would finish the novel by October.

He became more difficult as he became more unhappy over his inability to get control of himself. He understood their trouble, but this knowledge only made his predicament more painful to him. He fancied that people were beginning to avoid him and that there was even in Hemingway’s attitude a certain coldness. He took to brooding darkly over compliments until he had persuaded himself they were ironic and insulting. On the strength of a remark of Gertrude Stein’s comparing “his flame” with Hemingway’s, he wrote Hemingway a belligerent letter about his air of superiority. Hemingway replied with painstaking care.

Fitzgerald’s attitude throughout his quarrels with Hemingway shows how extensive the breakdown in his discipline was and how embittered he had become. In his suffering he struck out, blindly and unreasonably, at the people and things that mattered most to him.

18
IT WAS a heartbreaking time for Zelda too; she had been encouraged about her dancing that summer and she had reached the time when she ought to have been getting some professional offers. It was the moment of success or failure. All winter she kept hoping the people who came to the studio were emissaries of Diaghilev ready to offer her at least, bit parts in one of his ballets; and each time they turned out to be people from the Folies Rergeres “who thought they might make her into an American shimmy dancer.” In February, “because it was a trying winter and to forget bad times,” they took a sight-seeing trip to Algiers.

When they got back to Paris from their trip, Zelda, lighting off the knowledge of failure, went back to dancing harder than ever. She appeared frighteningly tensed up. Early in April, at a large luncheon at their apartment in the rue Pergalese, she became so nervous for fear she would be late for her dancing lesson that an old friend offered, in the middle of luncheon, to take her to it. In the cab she was badly overwrought, shook uncontrollably, and tried to change into her ballet costume as they drove along. When they got into a traffic jam, she leapt out and started running. This episode was so disturbing that Zelda was persuaded to stop her lessons for a rest. Rut she soon returned to them, and, on April 23, she broke down completely.

At first in her illness she would not see Fitzgerald at all, carrying over into her hallucinations many of the fantastic suspicions which had been a growing pari of their quarrels from as far back as the fall of 1928. This suspicion of him gradually faded out. But her general condition did not improve; there were long periods of madness interspersed with periods of relative lucidity throughout the summer. During the calmer times she painted a little and wrote a great deal, producing a libretto for a ballet and three short stories. There is something at once pathetic and frightening about the persistence of her will to produce during I his period.

When Zelda did not improve, Fitzgerald decided to take her to Switzerland, where, he was told, the finest psychiatric care in Europe was to be had. They went to Montreux, where a number of specialists were called in; they agreed on the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Fitzgerald was told that out of every four such cases one made a complete recovery, and two made partial ones. But there followed a summer and fall of dreadful anxiety; with no letup except for a single hour in September, the terrible hallucinations and the violent eczema which characterized Zelda s case continued through 1930, and Fitzgerald remembered with special horror “that Christmas in Switzerland” when Scottie came on from Paris and he tried to make it gay for her. There is a faint echo of what Zelda must have gone through in her description of Alabama’s delirium in Save Me the Waltz.

Apart from fortnightly trips to see Scottie, who had been left in Paris with a governess in order that her education might not be interrupted, he stayed close to Zelda in Switzerland most of the time. “[Nervous trouble],” said Zelda with that simple courage which characterized her attitude toward her illness, “is worse always on the people who care than on the person who’s ill.” It was Fitzgerald’s nature to feel deeply the suffering of the person he most loved. Moreover, despite the doctors’ assurances that Zelda’s trouble went back a long way and that nothing he could have done would have prevented it, Fitzgerald had a deep feeling of guilt about it. He knew how much he was to blame for the irregularity of their lives; he knew what he had contributed to that “complete and never entirely renewed break of confidence” which had occurred in Paris in 1928; he knew—however unreasonable Zelda may have been about her dancing—how much harder he had made it for her. When the doctors told him that he “must not drink anything, not even wine, for a year, because drinking in the past was one of the things that haunted [Zelda] in her delirium, they were the voice of his own conscience.

Late in January, 1931, Zelda got well enough to spend whole days out skiing, and Fitzgerald’s hopes that she was “almost well — really well” rose. She continued to improve until by spring she was able to travel a little. Toward the end of ihe summer they ventured farther, to Munich and Vienna. By September Zelda was well enough to go home, and they motored — “that is, we sat nervously in our six horse-power Renault” — to Paris and sailed for America, where they went to Montgomery with some idea of settling down quietly there. For a month or so they played golf and tennis and house-hunted, and Fitzgerald, as on all such homely occasions, found life dull.

When Metro-Goklwyn-Mayer asked him to do a revision on a script of Katherine Brush’s RedHeaded Woman, he was glad to go to Hollywood.

While Fitzgerald was in Hollywood, Judge Sayre died. At first Zelda seemed to take the shock well, but her father was important to her and his death was bound to affect her gravely. The first sign of trouble was an attack of asthma. Fitzgerald took her to St. Petersburg hoping the climate might help her, but she grew worse, and then, at the end of January, she broke down mentally again. This breakdown was a stunning blow to them. They had fought hard to believe Zelda was really well and their personal relations had recently been much happier. By this time he had read enough about schizophrenia to know that each attack made a final recovery less likely. He was a long way from giving up, but he was frightened and depressed.

He took Zelda to Baltimore for treatment and returned to Montgomery to await word from the doctors. A little more than a month later — it was written in six weeks, mostly while she was in the hospital — Zelda sent Perkins the manuscript ot her novel, Save Me the Waltz (“we danced a Wiener waltz, and just simply swop’ around”). Like everything else she wrote, it was a brilliant piece of amateur work written at remarkable and disturbing speed. A suspicion of Scott — the result of that fierce desire to succeed on her own and outdo him which haunted their devotion — made her send the book directly to Perkins.

Zelda did not improve, and that spring Fitzgerald moved himself and Scottie from Montgomery to Baltimore. Here they settled down as near Zelda as possible.

19
ALL this disappointment and suflering had its effect on Fitzgerald. His drinking increased, and it made him subject to fits of nervous temper and depression and less capable of providing the regulai life Zelda needed. It also affected his work, for in spite of his attempts to persuade himself then, and later, that he could work only with the help of gin. be was as inefficient as most people when he had been drinking.

Yet in spite of these handicaps, he managed to make a home and a life for the three of them in the intervals when Zelda was well enough to leave the sanitarium. He was fighting to save Zelda and to save himself, for the two things seemed to him inextricable. Over and above his love for Zelda and his desire to save her, he had invested too much ot his emotional capital in the relation he and Zelda had built together to be anything but an emotional bankrupt if that relation failed. “I should, said one of the people who knew him best at this time, “have felt he was much more to blame [about Zelda] if he had grown a little bored by, or indiflerent to, her tragedy . . . than if he had grappled with it daily, and failed, as he did. No one could watch that struggle and not be convinced of the reality of his concern and suffering. He was, of course, a man in conflict with two terrible demons, — insanity and drink . . . but he appeared to be giving blow for blow; there was hope in him and Hashes of confidence.

It was a dogged fight, with many lost battles, a last stand of the Fitzgerald who had believed that “Life is something you dominated if you were any good.” In the end he lost both his objectives, and he knew for all his “flashes of confidence” how desperate the battle was.

He got down at last to steady work on his novel, Tender Is the Sight. The evidence suggests that the version of the novel he had projected about 1929 and had got some work done on was now diastically revised again.

He wrote Perkins in January, 1932. “I am replanning [my novel] to include what’s good in what I have, adding 41,000 new words and publishing. Don’t tell Ernest or anyone — let them think what they want.” That supercilious Hemingway ghost who spent all his time thinking Fitzgerald would never write seriously again was a projection of his own conscience with which he haunted himself, it was one of his sharpest spurs. “Am going on the water wagon from the first of February to the first of April,” he wrote Perkins a little later, “but don’t, tell Ernest because he has long convinced himself that I am an incurable alcoholic. . . .” Like this one, many of Fitzgerald’s fantasies began to get nearer the surface at this time and to threaten to intrude on his daily life.

But his book was going so well that in momentary enthusiasm he wired Perkins: THINK NOVEL CAN SAFELY HE PLACED ON YOUlt LIST FOR SPRING. Zelda’s third breakdown ended this hope.

In spite of illness and alcohol, Fitzgerald got the manuscript of Doctor Diver s Holiday to Perkins the following October. Fie distrusted a title with the word doctor in it because he thought it might frighten readers off, but he did not think of Tender Is the Sight until just before 1 he novel began to run in Scribner’s Magazine, and even then its adoption was delayed because Perkins thought it had no connection with the story. But Perkins was enthusiastic about the book.

By now serious financial difficulties were beginning to accumulate for him. With his decline in popularity as the proletarian decade got under way and with his concentration on the writing of Tender Is the Night. he turned out only nine stories in 1932 and 1933 — six in the first year and three in the second. As t he depression became more serious, the prices for Ids Post stories began to fall from the old $4000 to $3300 or $3000 and, occasionally, to $2500. His book royalties in these years totaled $50. The result was an income less than hall what it had been in 1931, and this includes over $5000 iu advances on Tender Is the Night. From this tune until he went to Hollywood in 1937 Fitzgerald continued to fall behind financially .

Unwiliing to give up hope, Fitzgerald was still trying to help Zelda, and whenever he could would take her from the sanitarium for long walks. One warm spring day, as they were silting under the trees. Zelda, hearing a train approaching on a nearby branch line, leapt up and started to run toward it to throw herself under it. Fitzgerald caught her just short of the embankment as the train passed. With the increase of such dangerous impulses they tried, on the advice of the doctors, a sanitarium in upstate New York. But Zelda only grew worse there and in May had to be brought back to Baltimore in a catatonic state.

For the next six years, except for brief periods of relative stability, she was confined to various hospitals and gradually, along with his other hopes, Fitzgerald began to give up his belief in herevenlual recovery. “I left my capacity for hoping,” he said, “on the little roads that led to Zelda’s sanitarium.” Little by little he evolved an altitude which would protect hint against the terrible temptation to believe in her reasonableness and to try to persuade her to be well. “Zelda,” he kept telling himself, “is a case, not a person.” For the rest of his life, however, he kept having to light this battle over again, for the psychological wrench involved in writing off the investment of love and happiness and effort they had both made in their relation was more than he could ever quite manage.

Through all this, he was struggling with the proofs of Tender Is the Night Sick — he was more and more in the hospital now for two or three days at a stretch getting himself straightened out - and tired as he was, the proofs seemed to him endless. But he finally fought his way through them and Tender Is the Night was published on April T2, 1934.

Fitzgerald waited anxiously for the rex lews of Tender Is the Night. It was not just a matter of being taken serimtslv or even of making monex now. It was a question of his ability to believe in himself. When the character of the reviews and the sales — Tender fa the A ight sold around l.‘h000 copies — became clear, his morale dropped lower than it ever had before. This was the biggest battle he had lost yet.

He was working now in a night mare of discouragement about his writing and of despair about Zelda — she grew worse rather than belter all year and of worry over finances. In June he spent what he called “a crazv week in New York" and collapsed when he got home, lie was in the hospital for some lime, got out in July, and then had to go back again, lie was beginning to find himself in dangerous financial st rails. “The bills really begin,” he noted in his Ledger in Julx : in September it was ‘finances now serious’ and in November “l)ebt bad.”

20
EVER since he had got into financial straits, Fitzgerald had thought of trying to get to Hollywood again. During 1936 he had worked to find a job there, and in August he got an offer to go out and do a story “of adolescents around seventeen,”

The contract was to be for four weeks at $1500. Because of a bad shoulder he had to refuse, but by the following April he had another feeler. In June, 1937, he arrangement was completed. He was to go In MGM for six months at $1000 a week with an opt ion for twelve mont hs more at $1250. This option was in due course picked up. Since one of his main motives for going to Hollywood — though not the only one — was to pay his debts, the first thing he did was to make an arrangement with his agent, Harold Ober, to do so. His plan was to deposit his salary with Ober, who would then give him $400 a month, to support himself, keep Scottie in school and Zelda in the sanitarium. Pile rest was to be set aside for taxes and pax mtails against his debts to Ober and Perkins and, later, Scribner’s. These debts amounted, according to his own estimate, to something like $30,000 at the time. He maintained substantially this arrangement until his debts were paid.

But though the clearing of these “terrible debts” was very important to him, he also felt something of the old fascination of Hollywood and the old desire to conquer it. It was a place that he had never got the best of. It was this feeling of excitement that stayed with him, so that when he was making jottings for The Last Tycoon he reminded himself of “my own fears when I landed in Los Angeles with the feeling of new worlds to conquer in 1937. . . .” And it was with this ambition to conquer that he tackled his job. He spent much of his spare time having pictures run off for him and studying other writers’ scripts, and he kept a file of noles on the pictures lie had seen. As late as November, when he had finished a revision of A Yank at Oxford and was hard at work on Three Comradea, he called himself “a semi-amateur” at movie construction (“though I won’t be that much longer”), lie was determined, this time, to do a good job, to give everything he had. For a while he kept completely sober, and as long as lie was under contract to MGM he only went on an occasional bust.

In April, 1938, they ran into censorship trouble over Infidelity and, with most of a good and difficult script already done, Fitzgerald had to drop it. It was never revived. For the duration of his contract with MGM he worked on The Women and Madame Curie. Because of his disappoint ment wit h his movie work he began to think of his writing again.

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He had not got a screen credit for his work on The Women and he had been replaced on Madame Cane after two months. ‘Pints, as he came to the end of his contract, he had not had a credit since Three Comradea and the contract was not renewed.

The summer of 1939 was for Fitzgerald a struggle against illness and financial troubles. He was unable to get a job in pictures until September, when he worked — unsuccessfully for a week at United Artists on Raffles. “I am so tired of being old and sick,” he wrote a friend it bout the outbreak of the war; — would much rather be a scared young man peering out over a hunk of concrete or mud toward something I hated. . . .”

But toward the end of the month he got himself together and went to work on the novel for which he had been planning and making notes for more than a year. Collier’s had shown real interest in the idea and had agreed to pay him $25,000 or $30,000 for the serial rights if he would submit fifteen thousand words that they liked.

The possibility that he might be financially able to devote six months to a novel and be released from the drudgery of dull movies was wonderful to him, and his mind began to work in the old way to focus and arrange the host of impressions of Hollywood which had, since 1932, been gathering in the back of his mind like the elements of a myth. The hundreds of pages of notes for The Last Tycoon, from which Edmund Wilson made a selection for Ins edition of the book, constitute an inexhaustibly perceptive portrait of a place and time which is far richer than the relativelv small portion of these notes Fitzgerald got organized in the six chapters of the novel he completed before he died. They show how intact his talent was and how much it had matured, for all his physical and nervous exhaustion.


He went to work with all the energy he could muster. By the end of November he had completed six thousand words — probably the first chapter — and asked Eittauer for a decision. It was very little to go on and Eittauer wanted to DEFER VERDICT UNTIL FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF STORY. But Fitzgerald was in his usual financial difficulties he had borrowed money in order to send his daughter to Vassar. He cut off negotiations with Collier’s abruptly and wired Perkins: PLEASE RUSH COPY AIR MAIL TO SATURDAY EVENING POST. . . . I GUESS THERE ARE NO GREAT MAGAZINE EDITORS LEFT. . . . But like Collier’s the Post wanted more to go on, and there was no more, so that nothing came of this plan either.

He worked on the novel as steadily as he could until April, when he took another movie job. By that time he had worked out in some detail nearly all of the six chapters which were completed at his deat h.

He finished the movie script, called Cosmopolitan, at the end of June: there was a month and a half of revising and dickering to see if Shirley Temple could be interested in the part of Victoria (the Honoris of the story), and then the script was shelved. Except for some minor doctoring jobs, this was the last picture Fitzgerald did.

Though Fitzgerald had been working steadily through the summer, he had not been well, and he began drinking again as soon as Cosmopolitan was completed. He was far from well even wlien be was not drinking. With ihe money he collected from his picture work in September and October, he was able to devote himself to his novel and he determined to finish it.

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Late in November he had a serious heart attack — how serious is shown by the fact that almost for the first time in his life he belittled instead of exaggerating an illness. “I’m still in bed but managing to write and feeling a good deal better. It was a regular heart attack this time and I will simply have to take better care of myself,” he wrote Scoltie. Me stopped drinking altogether, and, spending most of his time in bed, got down to hard work on The Last Tycoon. He knew exactly what he wanted to do: “I want to write scenes that are frightening and inimitable. I don’t want to be as intelligible to my contemporaries as Ernest who as Gertrude Stein said, is bound for the Museums. I am sure I am far enough ahead to have some small immortality if I can keep well.” Much of the actual writing of the book must have been done at this time.

But whether he could have fulfilled the promise of this beginning we can never be sure, Like so much else in bis life, his heroic effort to finish his last novel canto too late; and the luck which might have kept him alive until he had finished was not with him. He had predicted to Perkins in the middle of December that he could complete a first drafl by January 15, and at the rate he was going he might have done so: on December 20 he completed the first episode of Chapter VI. The next day he had a second, fatal heart attack.

Not long before he died Fitzgerald scribbled on an odd scrap of paper a few imperfect lines for a poem he never got time to finish. As if conscious to the last of a need to tell his story, he was writing his own epitaph.

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Your books were in your desk
I guess and some unfinished
Chaos in your head
Was dumped to nothing by the great janitress
Of destinies.
The novel he wanted so desperately to complete was unfinished: the reputation in which he found his justification was only a faint echo (all his life he saved clippings about himself; at the end there were only a few scattered sentences from The Hollywood Reporter to be clipped). And be was, be knew, dy ing. Eike Gat shy, who felt that if Daisy had loved Tom at all “it was just personal.” Fitzgerald loved reputation, the public acknowledgment of genuine achievement, with the impersonal magnanimity of a Renaissance prince. His aim was to give that chaos in his head shape in his books and to see the knowledge that he had done so reflected back to him from the world. He died believing he had failed.

Now we know belter, and il is one of the final ironies of Fitzgerald’s career that lie did not live to enjoy our knowledge. A decade after Fitzgerald’s death, more of his work is in print than at any time during his life, and his reputation as a serious novelist is secure.

(The End)




F. 斯科特-菲茨杰拉德。传记
菲茨杰拉德迅速获得了成功,在他的短篇小说大受欢迎以及《了不起的盖茨比》获得好评之后,他并没有成熟地实施他心目中更大的目标,这是他人生的悲剧。亚瑟-米赞布(ARTHUR MIZENBR)在他富有同情心的传记中敏感地分析了他失败的原因,这是第三部分,也是最后一部分。他展示了菲茨杰拉德从他的编辑那里得到的忠诚的鼓励。他展示了菲茨杰拉德从其编辑麦克斯-帕金斯那里得到的忠诚鼓励;他与海明威、埃德蒙-威尔逊和约翰-皮尔-毕晓普的友谊;以及泽尔达和她的疾病对这位小说家的意义。全书以《天堂的远方》为题,将于2月1日由霍顿-米夫林出版。

作者:阿瑟-米泽纳
1951年2月号
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作者:阿瑟-米泽纳

14
1924年春天,菲茨杰拉德和泽尔达-内克突然决定,他们在大脖子的生活在经济上和社会上都是不可能的,他们要去法国,"一年下来几乎一无所有"。菲茨杰拉德认为,他们是在逃避,"逃避奢侈和喧嚣,逃避我们生活了五年之久的所有疯狂的极端行为,逃避为我们铺床的商人和欺负我们的护士,以及为我们看家并对我们非常了解的夫妇。我们要去旧世界,为我们的生活寻找新的节奏,带着一种真正的信念,即我们已经将旧的自我永远地抛在身后,并且带着刚刚超过七千美元的资本。" 正如菲茨杰拉德写下这段话时非常清楚的那样,他们会发现,他们不可能如此轻易地将旧的自我抛在身后,但就目前而言,他们充满了乐观主义。


到了6月,他们在圣拉斐尔找到了一个令人满意的住处,一个大而漂亮的地方,有广阔的花园,叫玛丽别墅。他们在那里定居了一个夏天。他们买了一辆雷诺 "a six ehevaux",菲茨杰拉德留起了胡子,并逐渐向法国理发师关于他的头发应该如何剪的想法投降,他们在海滩上长时间地沐浴着阳光。有一段时间,事情进展得很顺利,以至于菲茨杰拉德乐观地写信给珀金斯说:"我们在这里田园诗般地安顿下来,小说进展得很好--应该在一个月内就能完成。. "他们计划在秋天盖茨比完成后回家。

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但在7月,他们的生活出现了严重的危机。当他们第一次来到圣拉斐尔时,他们遇到了一位名叫勒内-西尔维的法国飞行员。他是一个黝黑、浪漫的家伙,有着古典的英俊轮廓和黑色的卷发,他几乎立刻就深深地、公开地爱上了泽尔达。这对菲茨杰拉德来说是一种熟悉的经历,尽管他从未完全习惯于这种经历。但当泽尔达开始对西尔维感兴趣时,这又是另一回事。这件事迅速达到了激烈的高潮,显然,在菲茨杰拉德掀起的一两个喧闹和不体面的场面之后,雷内离开了。

这次经历对菲茨杰拉德的影响是巨大的。他把自己完全交给了对泽尔达的感情,如果这些感情在他们的婚姻过程中发生了变化,他也从未想象过他对她的爱会减少,或者她对他的爱会减少。他从来没有养成二十多岁的人的习惯,不能容忍随便的事情。他一生中基本上都是那个在大学时被同学们随意的性生活所震惊的男孩。性的问题对他来说总是致命的严肃,是对他围绕着他所爱的任何人,首先是围绕着泽尔达建立的个人情感的精心结构的最后承诺。他的态度是盖茨比对黛西的态度,在他带走她之后,黛西对他来说,就像泽尔达对菲茨杰拉德一样,是一种化身。"他说:"我年轻时的情感,"在一种情感中达到了顶峰,"他对泽尔达的情感。在《Sllvé a flair》中,对这种情感结构的破坏是最令人不安的。

危机发生后一个月,他注意到他们又 "亲密无间 "了,而在9月,"麻烦[正在]清除 "了。但很久之后,谎言在他的笔记本中写道 "1924年9月,我知道发生了一些永远无法弥补的事情"。

由于某种奇怪的怪癖,菲茨杰拉德发现这场危机几乎没有转瞬即逝,他的工作能力。"这是一个很好的夏天,"他写给马克斯-珀金斯。"我一直不开心,但光线工作并没有因此受到影响。我终于长大了"。这最后一句话是他在余生中半希望半讽刺地重复的一句话。8月,他坐上了马车,开始在他的小说上做了大量的好工作。11月初,他把小说寄给了斯克里布纳出版社,尽管他几乎一直在焦急地修改,直到出版之日;他对第六章和第七章特别不满意。他给珀金斯写道:"我不太清楚黛西的反应,"他说。迟至1925年2月18日,他给珀金斯发了电报:"把《GALLEY FORTY》挂起来,进行大的改动。这一改动涉及到从盖茨比和汤姆之间的争吵的核心部分删去五、六页,并重写整个段落。

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与此同时,泽尔达一直在阅读罗德里克-哈德森,因此他们决定在罗马过冬。菲茨杰拉德在写完小说后尽快写了一篇《邮报》,以便提供现成的钱,他们大约在本月中旬离开。这不是一个快乐的冬天。菲茨杰拉德在为他的小说辛勤工作了三个月之后,处于紧张状态,他们之间的关系还有前一个夏天遗留下来的未解决的困难。直到圣诞节后,当菲茨杰拉德再次上马车时,他们才得以安宁。"菲茨杰拉德写道:"泽尔达和我,"约翰-毕晓普,"有时会沉浸在可怕的四天的争吵中,总是以酒会开始,但我们仍然非常相爱,是我认识的唯一真正幸福的夫妻。他们努力坚持这一信念,并使之成为自己的事实。但他们讨厌罗马。他们总是很冷漠,而且他们永远无法适应小偷小摸的行为,他们发现这是在意大利与房东、服务员和出租车司机的所有关系中的一个标准部分。

一月份,菲茨杰拉德夫妇都病了,他们决定去卡普里岛养病。斯科特只是得了流行性感冒,很快就好了,但泽尔达得了痛苦的结肠炎,她无法摆脱。她的病情虽然有暂时的好转,但却整整病了一年之久。

菲茨杰拉德本人对开始新的小说充满了乐观的谈论,特别是对珀金斯,他总是想象自己在闲置期间欺骗了珀金斯;在这个春天,他几乎什么都没做,只是担心泽尔达的病和盖茨比的接受情况,并且在焦虑中,比他知道的那样,喝得更多。他在经济上已经落后了,就像他在写完一本书后总是落后一样;他已经把盖茨比的预期版税借到了极限,还欠雷诺兹三篇小说,其中只有一篇他在春天真正写完了。

他的小说的接受情况最让他担心;他把自己所有的力量都投入其中,他意识到自己现在已经老到可以不受限制地评判自己的年轻,在《盖茨比》中他做出了最大的努力;对他来说,这是一个考验,尽管他很受欢迎,评论家对他早期的作品也有疑虑,但他能否发展成为一个好的小说家。因此,在等待出版的过程中,他变得越来越紧张,不仅仅是担心它是否会取得经济上的成功,还担心它是否会被那些他尊重的人认为是好作品。

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就在《盖茨比》出版前--出版日期是4月10日--他们决定返回巴黎,从马赛开车北上(汽车像往常一样,在里昂抛锚,剩下的路他们就坐火车走了)。4月10日,他们在法国南部遇到了菲茨杰拉德,Ins的焦虑已经到了无以复加的地步,在4月11日,即出版后不到24小时,给珀金斯发了电报:"有消息。

15
1925年5月初,菲茨杰拉德夫妇到达巴黎,在那里他们在蒂尔西特街14号租了一间公寓,在这一年的剩余时间里,销售情况不稳定,珀金斯在电报中提到了盖茨比。优秀的评论。按照菲茨杰拉德的标准,销售情况仍然平平,尽管评论是他有史以来最好的。到《盖茨比》出版时,他欠斯克里布纳公司的债务已超过6200美元;到10月,销售量只差2万册,这个销售量略低于支付这笔债务的数额。到了2月,又卖出了几千册,这本书已经死了。

菲茨杰拉德曾写信给毕晓普,"我们想回来,但我们想带着攒下的钱回来,到目前为止,我们还没有攒下任何钱。" 他曾希望盖茨比能让他赚到他想要的那种钱。这是对奇迹的希望,但菲茨杰拉德是一个乐观的年轻人,而且事件已经合谋,为他创造了一系列辉煌的成功,使他相信,如果他尽力而为,他将获得名声和财富。这种期望是他成长模式的一部分,如果他已经超越了他的大部分教养,他也没有失去他的信念,即大量的金钱是美德的适当回报。

他对这种态度表现出他一贯的天真和洞察力。从他宣布他将满足于《天堂这一边》的2万册销售量那天起,他就一直认为,一个小说家应该为他的作品获得巨大的回报。"如果,"他在帕金斯关于盖茨比的书中写道,"(我的下一部小说)将支持我不再有垃圾的间隔,我将继续当一个小说家。如果不能,我就不干了,回家,去好莱坞学习电影业务......如果你不能做到最好,那么努力成为一名艺术家就没有意义。'这是一个明智的声明--菲茨杰拉德知道他在好莱坞能得到什么--只是菲茨杰拉德对 "支持是奇妙的。

他的写作,即使没有 "垃圾",到这时为止,对他的支持已经足够了。撇开他从所有可能被认为是垃圾的东西中得到的东西,只包括他的小说和他迄今为止写的六个最好的短篇小说,在他的作家生涯中,他平均每年有16,000至17,000美元的收入(他从1920年到1924年的总收入为113,000美元,比每年22,500美元好一点)。

这笔收入本应支持他们,菲茨杰拉德也知道这一点。"我不能减少我们的生活规模,"他在给珀金斯的信中继续说,"我不能忍受这种经济上的不安全感。. . . 早在1920年,我就有机会在合理的规模上开始我的生活,但我失去了这个机会,所以我必须付出代价。. . . 你在大萧条中。" 把为什么他觉得他的机会一开始就失去了?一个打算在二十世纪成为严肃作家的人知道,他将很幸运地在一生中平均获得菲茨杰拉德收入的四分之一;很难相信有人会如此受制于奢侈,以至于不得不为此牺牲自己的整个职业生涯,特别是当他是一个人--就像菲茨杰拉德那样--有强大的动力在这个事业上取得成功,同时又被债务所折磨--菲茨杰拉德又是如此。

这些问题的答案在于菲茨杰拉德对财富的想象力,以及他和泽尔达共同拥有的 "宣泄对不加修饰的快乐的渴望 "的信念是如何加强其效果的。菲茨杰拉德的想象力驱使他试图像一个继承了财富的人那样生活,而他们的奢侈和低效总是使这种生活的代价超过它所需要的,这已经很困难了。更糟糕的是,在悲剧发生之前,他们天真而真诚地寻求那个困扰着盖茨比的 "狂欢的未来"。菲茨杰拉德的想象力看到了他们经历的意义。没有人会在盖茨比试图模仿继承财富的生活或他对 "狂欢的未来 "的奉献上有所改进,作为对菲茨杰拉德生活的评论。而他的想象力可以实现和评价这种态度,因为他在实践中致力于此。伊尔的财务困境不仅仅是他为未能在合理的规模上开始他的生活而付出的惩罚;这是他为他最好的作品的主题所付出的代价。

菲茨杰拉德后来将1925年在巴黎的这个夏天描述为 "1000个聚会,没有工作";他为自己的饮酒而担忧。这很容易成为一个笑话,就像海明威一样,他们开始大量看到海明威,在《春天的洪流》中。"就在这个时候,读者,有一天下午,F-斯科特-菲茨杰拉德先生来到我们家,待了好一会儿,突然坐在壁炉里,不愿意(或者是不能,读者?菲茨杰拉德开始在一周或十天的时间里喝醉,并在布鲁塞尔这样的地方清醒过来,却不知道自己是如何到达那里的。

但时间并不都是这样度过的。有一个计划,根据这个计划,菲茨杰拉德和海明威以及迪安-高斯每周见面吃一次午饭,讨论一些严肃的话题,在每次会议结束时确定下次会议的主题,以便他们能够做好准备。菲茨杰拉德还对《盖茨比》的批评性评价感到满意。除了帅气的评论外,他还收到了许多热情洋溢的私人信件。"现在是凌晨四点,"迪姆斯-泰勒写信给他,"我必须在七点起床,我刚刚完成《了不起的盖茨比》,它不可能像我想的那样好。" 类似的信来自伍尔科特和内森,来自卡贝尔和塞尔德斯,来自范-维克-布鲁克斯和保罗-罗森菲克尔。更棒的是维拉-盖尔和沃顿夫人以及T.S.艾略特的信;这些让对杰出作家充满敬畏的菲茨杰拉德不知所措:他在凌晨一点把高斯夫妇从床上叫起来,过来庆祝维拉-盖尔的信。华顿夫人的信,带着它的谦虚和对这本书的知情评论,对他来说比其他所有的信都重要,因为华顿夫人对巴黎的年轻叛逆者来说是一个遥远而可怕的人物。

秋天,欧文-戴维斯制作了《了不起的盖茨比》的戏剧版本,1926年2月2日,它在纽约的大使剧院开演,詹姆斯-雷尼扮演盖茨比,弗洛伦斯-埃尔德里奇扮演黛西。"......因为它是一种冷笑话,"菲茨杰拉德在谈到该剧时写道,"并在我的口袋里放了一万七千或一万八千个......。我应该是,而且现在也是,很满足的。" 该剧的成功也使《盖茨比》被出售给电影公司成为可能,菲茨杰拉德从中又得到了15,000或20,000美元。这些意外之财是值得欢迎的,因为在1925年和1926年期间,他的总产量是七个短篇小说和几篇文章。

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在1925-1926年的这个冬天,菲茨杰拉德致力于使海明威得到认可。至少在一年前,他就向珀金斯推荐了海明威;现在他开始为他所有的朋友做工作。格伦韦-韦斯科特曾回忆起菲茨杰拉德如何敦促他为海明威的事业做一些事情。

他认为T会同意,《眼睛的苹果》和《伟大的盖茨》在当时的市场价值相当膨胀。我可以做什么来帮助海明威的发展?我为什么不为他写一篇赞美的文章?带着这样的疑问,菲茨杰拉德不时不耐烦地抓着我的胳膊肘摇晃。这里面有比普通的艺术欣赏更多的东西,但另一方面,这也不是单纯的对海明威的感情问题。. . . 我对菲茨杰拉德如此理所当然的做法感到感动和受宠若惊。他根本没有想到,我的不友好或小题大做可能会抑制我对一个新同事和竞争对手的艺术的热情。

这并没有抑制菲茨杰拉德,他急忙为《读书人》写了自己的赞美文章《如何浪费材料》。

海明威刚刚完成了《春之声》,并完成了《太阳照常升起》的初稿(定稿于4月完成)。

他的出版商Boni & Liveright对《春天的洪流》感到很尴尬。舍伍德-安德森是他们最有价值的作家之一,而《春天的洪流》是对安德森的模仿。但他们不想失去《太阳照常升起》,而且如果他们拒绝《春天的洪流》,海明威在法律上可以自由地把它带到其他地方。博尼和利维莱特相信海明威故意写《春之声》,作为他和菲茨杰拉德设计的阴谋的一部分,以使他摆脱他们,这一点并不令人惊讶。然而,最后他们决定拒绝海明威的模仿。

菲茨杰拉德当然希望事情会这样发展,但没有理由认为海明威是为了这个目的而写这本书。菲茨杰拉德写道:"[欧内斯特的]书,"帕金斯,"几乎是对安德森的恶毒模仿。你看,我同意欧内斯特的观点,安德森的第1、2本书甚至让相信他的人的身体都感到失望,我认为它们是廉价的、虚假的、蒙昧的和可怕的。"

这就是海明威的动机。"我一直都知道,"他在给菲茨杰拉德的信中说,"他们不可能也不可能出版这本书,因为它使他们现在的王牌和畅销书安德森变成了一个流浪汉。现在是第10次印刷。然而,我在写这本书时,丝毫没有想到这一点。" 当波尼和利弗莱特公司最终拒绝了《春之声》时,海明威拒绝了其他几家出版商的邀请,与斯克里布纳出版社签约。

虽然他们之间的关系后来变得不那么友好,但菲茨杰拉德从未失去对海明威才华的深深敬佩;他在《谨慎处理》中慷慨地赞扬了海明威:......第三个当代人对我来说是一种艺术良知--我没有模仿他富有感染力的风格,因为我自己的风格,比如说,是在他发表任何东西之前形成的,但当我在一个地方时,有一种可怕的对他的牵引。" 海明威与斯克里布纳出版社签约后,菲茨杰拉德就开始像对待少女的姨妈一样,对他的作品大加干涉。他特别担心《圣也崛起》,而海明威则拿自己的《世界博览会》计划来取笑他。

1926年12月,菲茨杰拉德夫妇回到美国,打算安顿下来,过一种更有秩序的生活,因此他们开始拜访菲茨杰拉德的父母,他们现在住在华盛顿,泽尔达的家人在蒙哥马利。然而,在新年伊始,菲茨杰拉德有机会实现他的老梦想,即去好莱坞学习电影业务;联艺公司的约翰-康斯丁(John Considine)请他出来为康斯坦丝-塔尔马奇(Constance Talmadge)拍摄一个 "精美的现代大学故事"("康斯坦丝-塔尔马奇多年来一直擅长的忙碌的艳舞喜剧之一",报纸称之为)。经过一番争夺,菲茨杰拉德同意首付6500美元,接受故事后再付8500美元,因为他们太需要钱了,不能拒绝这个提议,即使它可能会打断他们有序的生活计划。

派对、夜总会和恶作剧层出不穷。在洛伊丝-莫兰的一次茶会上,菲茨杰拉德收集了客人的手表和珠宝,并在厨房的炉子上用几罐西红柿汤煮沸,使自己被一位八卦专栏作家形容为 "引人注目"。

当菲茨杰拉德最终为康斯坦斯-塔尔马吉完成他的故事时,它被拒绝了。"当时,"他多年后说,"几年来,我被公认为是美国顶尖的作家,无论是严肃的还是就价格而言,都是受欢迎的。我......自信到了自负的地步。好莱坞对我们大惊小怪,对一个30岁的男人来说,女士们都显得非常漂亮。我真诚地相信,不费吹灰之力,我就是一种语言的魔术师。. . . 总的结果是--玩得很开心,没有工作。我只得到一小笔钱,除非他们拍我的电影--他们没有。"

剧本一完成,菲茨杰拉德夫妇就离开了好莱坞。据报道,他们把所有的家具堆放在大使酒店房间的中央,把未付的账单放在上面,然后离开;当他们上了火车后,他们手脚并用地爬过整个车厢,到达他们的包厢,以不引人注意的方式逃走。. . . 私酒商倒闭 棉花俱乐部关闭 所有旗帜下半旗 . . . 洛伊丝-莫兰给他们发来了几瓶爱的饮料。

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在这几个月里一直停滞不前的有秩序的生活,现在又恢复了。在菲茨杰拉德的大学同学约翰-比格斯的帮助下,他们在威尔明顿郊外找到了一座美丽的希腊复兴式老宅,名叫埃勒斯利。菲茨杰拉德安下心来,诚实地努力完成他的新小说。我很现实地警告珀金斯不要对它进行任何宣传,但给他发了电报。预计在6月向自由派交付小说。他们努力成为威尔明顿社会生活的一部分,而且,正如他们尝试时总是做的那样,他们吸引了所有人,并很快在那里站稳了脚跟。

但埃勒斯利的工作并不顺利。在他们生活中累积的混乱压力下,他们的个人关系正在恶化,变成菲茨杰拉德后来所说的 "有组织的猫狗大战"。他们在威尔明顿的社交成功是那种破坏性冲动的信号,这种冲动是菲茨杰拉德不快乐的产物,他开始对人无礼。

作为他们争取安宁的斗争的一部分,他们让父母来探望。塞尔达花了两个月的时间为他们的小女孩斯科蒂(Scottie)建造了一个奇妙的娃娃屋,她现在六岁了;她做了一套迷人的灯罩,上面装饰着他们曾经住过的所有房子;她在花园家具上画了装饰性的、巧妙的法国地图。1927年的圣诞节,他们用一棵精心制作的树来庆祝。菲茨杰拉德把自己安排在一个喝酒的时间表上,尽管有一些场合,比如有一次,他给朋友调了一杯鸡尾酒,并声称自己不喝酒,他闲着没事给自己倒了一杯杜松子酒,一饮而尽,然后明显惊讶地说:"我刚才喝了一杯杜松子酒吗?"我相信是的。

在1927年夏天,他为他的书做了大量的工作。他充满了乐观,并自信地谈到他现在称之为 "世界博览会 "的东西将 "在不久之后开始出现在利比里亚"。然而,这项工作在秋天逐渐停止,当珀金斯在2月询问时,菲茨杰拉德绝望地写道。"小说尚未完成。天哪,我希望它能完成!" 当他们决定在1928年夏天出国时,工作就完全停止了。

他们去的直接原因是泽尔达的舞蹈。她突然决定要成为一名芭蕾舞演员,而且,几乎从一天到另一天,都在以一种强烈的方式跳舞,正如他们的一个朋友所说,这就像中世纪的疯狂舞蹈。她开始每周去费城两三次,向凯瑟琳-利特菲尔德学习,回家后在客厅里每天练习几个小时,客厅是专门为这一目的清理的。菲茨杰拉德事后说,回顾过去,他认为他至少可以在1927年追踪到她精神错乱的证据,当时她已经开始表现出一些令人不安的迹象,例如经历长时间的不间断的沉默。

他们在酒精的朦胧中抵达巴黎,没有预约或计划。一个遇见他们的朋友终于为他们找到了住处--1928年夏天的巴黎并不容易。对巴黎感到兴奋的斯科蒂克,在他们开车经过这座城市时,不断地指出那些景点,但他们两人都没有能力作出回应。那个夏天就是这样。菲茨杰拉德两次锒铛入狱。泽尔达开始和埃加洛娃一起上课,他们为她的舞蹈而争吵,因为菲茨杰拉德有某种动力要破坏她的注意力。他似乎无法忍受泽尔达成功的--如果是神经质的--意志展示,当他认为自我放纵和挥霍正在毁掉他时。"正如泽尔达在很久之后所说的,"这是人上吊的松散的东西,"。

就在他们回到美国之前,他们发生了一场激烈的争吵,期间两人都提出了令人难以置信的指控。这场争吵导致了他们之间的决裂,而这种决裂从未真正得到修复。9月下旬,正如菲茨杰拉德所说,"在工作和酒的狂欢中"(他正试图为邮报完成《被俘的影子》),他们回到了埃勒斯利的家。"三十二岁了,"菲茨杰拉德在他的《导报》上写道,"而且痛得要命。" 他们破产了,尽管菲茨杰拉德的收入(包括他的小说的6000美元预付款)在1927年是29,737美元,在1928年也接近这个数字。

回到Ellerslie的菲茨杰拉德试图安下心来写他的书。11月,他写信给珀金斯,说他打算每月给他寄两章最后的版本,直到2月,他将全部寄出。他说:"我想这将有助于我在自己的脑海中理清思路;"--我已经独自面对它太久了。" 11月的章节已经寄出,可能还有12月的;但这就是全部。四年后,他要求珀金斯归还 "我给你的那个被丢弃的开头。. . ."

1929年春天,他们在Ellerslie的两年租约结束了,他们把整个事情当作一项糟糕的投资,再次启程前往欧洲。菲茨杰拉德向珀金斯解释说,他不能在特拉华州工作,但一旦出国,他将在10月前完成这部小说。

他变得更加难缠,因为他对自己无法控制自己的情况越来越不高兴。他理解他们的麻烦,但这种认识只会让他的困境更让他感到痛苦。他觉得人们开始躲避他,甚至在海明威的态度中也出现了某种冷漠。他开始暗自思索恭维的话,直到他相信这些恭维是讽刺和侮辱性的。由于格特鲁德-斯坦恩的一句话将 "他的火焰 "与海明威的火焰相比较,他给海明威写了一封关于他的优越感的好战信件。海明威不厌其烦地作了答复。

菲茨杰拉德在与海明威争吵的整个过程中的态度表明,他的纪律被破坏的范围有多大,他变得多么愤懑。在痛苦中,他盲目而无理地打击对他最重要的人和事。

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对泽尔达来说,这也是一个令人心碎的时刻;那个夏天,她的舞蹈一直受到鼓励,她已经到了应该得到一些职业邀请的时候。那是成功或失败的时刻。整个冬天,她一直希望来工作室的人是迪亚吉列夫的使者,准备至少在他的一部芭蕾舞剧中为她提供一些角色;而每次他们都是来自Folies Rergeres的人,"他们认为可以把她变成一个美国的摇摆舞者"。2月,"因为这是一个艰难的冬天,为了忘记糟糕的时光",他们去阿尔及尔观光。

当他们结束旅行回到巴黎时,泽尔达点燃了失败的知识,又开始比以往更努力地跳舞。她显得非常紧张,令人害怕。4月初,在他们位于佩加莱街的公寓举行的一次大型午宴上,她变得如此紧张,生怕自己的舞蹈课会迟到,以至于一位老朋友在午宴中间提出要带她去上课。在出租车上,她严重地过度紧张,无法控制地颤抖,并试图在他们开车时换上她的芭蕾舞服。当他们遇到交通堵塞时,她跳出来开始跑。这个插曲是如此令人不安,以至于塞尔达被劝说停止她的课程进行休息。但她很快又回到了课堂上,而且在4月23日,她完全崩溃了。

起初,她在病中根本不愿见菲茨杰拉德,把许多奇妙的怀疑带到了她的幻觉中,这些怀疑早在1928年秋天就已经成为他们争吵的一个组成部分。对他的这种怀疑逐渐消失了。但她的总体状况并没有改善;在整个夏天,有很长一段时间的疯狂与相对清醒的时期交织在一起。在平静的时候,她画了一点画,写了很多东西,写了一个芭蕾舞剧的剧本和三个短篇小说。在这一时期,她坚持创作的意愿有一些既可悲又可怕的地方。

当塞尔达没有好转时,菲茨杰拉德决定带她去瑞士,有人告诉他,那里有欧洲最好的精神病治疗。他们去了蒙特勒,在那里召集了许多专家;他们同意精神分裂症的诊断。菲茨杰拉德被告知,在每四个这样的病例中,有一个完全康复,两个部分康复。但是接下来是一个可怕的焦虑的夏天和秋天;除了9月的一个小时之外,可怕的幻觉和剧烈的湿疹一直持续到1930年,菲茨杰拉德特别恐怖地记得 "瑞士的那个圣诞节",当时斯科蒂从巴黎来,他试图让她过一个快乐的圣诞节。泽尔达在《拯救我的华尔兹》中对阿拉巴马的精神错乱的描述中,对她所经历的事情有一个微弱的回声。

除了每两周一次去看史考特,为了不打断她的教育,她被留在巴黎的家庭教师那里,他大部分时间都待在瑞士的泽尔达身边。泽尔达说:"[神经衰弱],"她用那种简单的勇气说,这也是她对待疾病的态度的特点,"对关心她的人来说,总是比对生病的人更糟糕。" 菲茨杰拉德的天性是深切感受他最爱的人的痛苦。此外,尽管医生保证泽尔达的问题可以追溯到很久之前,而且他所做的一切都无法避免,但菲茨杰拉德对此有一种深深的内疚感。他知道他对他们生活的不规律有多大的责任;他知道他对1928年在巴黎发生的 "完全的、从未完全恢复的信任破裂 "有什么贡献;他知道--无论泽尔达对她的舞蹈有多不讲理--他让她的生活更加艰难。当医生告诉他,他 "一年内不能喝任何东西,甚至不能喝酒,因为过去喝酒是困扰[泽尔达]神志不清的事情之一,他们是他自己良心的声音。

1931年1月下旬,泽尔达的病好了,可以整日外出滑雪,菲茨杰拉德对她 "几乎好了--真的好了 "的希望大增。她的情况继续好转,直到春天,她可以稍微旅行了。在夏天结束时,他们去了更远的地方,去了慕尼黑和维也纳。到了九月,泽尔达已经好得可以回家了,他们开着车--"也就是说,我们紧张地坐在我们的六匹马力的雷诺车里"--到了巴黎,然后驶向美国,他们去了蒙哥马利,想在那里安静地安顿下来。在一个月左右的时间里,他们打高尔夫球和网球,寻找房子,而菲茨杰拉德,就像在所有这样的家庭场合一样,发现生活很乏味。

当Metro-Goklwyn-Mayer公司要求他对凯瑟琳-布鲁斯的《红发女郎》的剧本进行修改时,他很高兴去了好莱坞。

当菲茨杰拉德在好莱坞的时候,赛尔法官去世了。起初,泽尔达似乎很好地接受了这个打击,但她的父亲对她很重要,他的死必然会对她产生严重影响。麻烦的第一个迹象是哮喘病的发作。菲茨杰拉德把她带到圣彼得堡,希望那里的气候可以帮助她,但她的情况越来越糟,然后在1月底,她的精神再次崩溃。这次崩溃对他们来说是一个惊人的打击。他们曾努力争取相信泽尔达真的很好,他们的个人关系最近也变得更加愉快。这时,他已经读了足够多的关于精神分裂症的书,知道每一次发作都使最终康复的可能性降低。他离放弃还有很长的路要走,但他很害怕,也很郁闷。

他带塞尔达去巴尔的摩治疗,然后回到蒙哥马利,等待医生的消息。一个多月后--它是在六个星期内写成的,大部分是在她住院期间--泽尔达给珀金斯寄去了她的小说《拯救我的华尔兹》的手稿("我们跳了一支维纳华尔兹,只是简单地交换了一下")。就像她写的其他东西一样,这是一部出色的业余作品,其写作速度惊人,令人不安。对斯科特的怀疑--对她自己成功和超越他的那种强烈欲望的结果,困扰着他们的奉献--使她把这本书直接寄给了珀金斯。

泽尔达并没有好转,那年春天,菲茨杰拉德把自己和斯科特从蒙哥马利搬到了巴尔的摩。在这里,他们尽可能地在泽尔达附近定居下来。

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所有这些失望和挫折都对菲茨杰拉德产生了影响。他的酒量增加了,这使他受到神经质脾气和抑郁症的影响,没有能力提供泽尔达需要的有规律的生活。这也影响了他的工作,因为尽管他当时和后来都试图说服自己,只有在杜松子酒的帮助下他才能工作。

然而,尽管有这些障碍,在塞尔达康复到可以离开疗养院的间隙,他还是设法为他们三个人创造了一个家和一种生活。他在为拯救塞尔达和拯救自己而奋斗,因为这两件事对他来说是不可分割的。除了对泽尔达的爱和拯救她的愿望之外,他还在他和泽尔达共同建立的关系中投入了太多的情感资本,如果这种关系失败,他只能成为情感上的破产者。"这时最了解他的一个人说:"如果他对塞尔达的悲剧有点厌烦或不屑一顾,我应该觉得他[对塞尔达]的责任要大得多。......而不是像他那样每天与之斗争,并且失败。没有人能够在看到这种挣扎时不相信他的关切和痛苦是真实的。当然,他是一个与两个可怕的魔鬼--精神错乱和酗酒--发生冲突的人,但他似乎是在以牙还牙;他身上有希望,有信心。

这是一场顽强的战斗,有许多失利的战斗,是菲茨杰拉德的最后一搏,他曾相信 "如果你是个好人,生活是你主宰的东西"。最后他失去了他的两个目标,他知道他所有的 "自信的闪光 "是多么令人绝望的战斗。

他终于踏踏实实地写起了他的小说《温柔的目光》。证据表明,他在1929年左右预计并完成了一些工作的小说版本,现在又进行了大幅度的修改。

他在1932年1月写信给珀金斯。"我正在重新规划[我的小说],以包括我所拥有的好东西,增加41,000个新字并出版。不要告诉欧内斯特或任何人--让他们去想他们想要的东西"。那个傲慢的海明威幽灵整天认为菲茨杰拉德不会再认真写作,这是他自己的良心的投射,他用它来困扰自己,这是他最尖锐的鞭策之一。"从2月1日到4月1日,我将坐上水车,"他稍后给珀金斯写道,"但不要告诉欧内斯特,因为他早已相信我是个不可救药的酒鬼。. ." 像这样,菲茨杰拉德的许多幻想在这个时候开始接近表面,并有可能闯入他的日常生活中。

但他的书进展得很顺利,在一时的热情中,他给珀金斯发了电报。认为小说可以安全地放在你春季的名单上。泽尔达的第三次崩溃结束了这个希望。

尽管生病和酗酒,菲茨杰拉德还是在次年10月将《潜水医生的假期》的手稿交给了珀金斯。菲茨杰拉德不信任带有医生这个词的书名,因为他认为这可能会吓跑读者,但他直到小说开始在《斯克里布纳杂志》上发表前才想到《温柔的目光》,即使如此,它的采用也被推迟了,因为珀金斯认为它与这个故事没有关系。但帕金斯对这本书充满热情。

此时,他的严重财政困难开始积累起来。随着无产阶级十年的到来,他的知名度下降,加上他专注于《夜色温柔》的写作,他在1932年和1933年只发表了九篇小说--第一年六篇,第二年三篇。随着经济萧条越来越严重,《Ids Post》故事的价格开始从过去的4000美元降到3300或3000美元,偶尔也会降到2500美元。这些年他的图书版税总额为50美元。结果是收入还不到1931年的大厅,这包括《夜色温柔》的5000多美元预付款。从这个调子开始,直到1937年他去了好莱坞,菲茨杰拉德在经济上继续落后。

不甘心放弃希望的菲茨杰拉德仍在努力帮助泽尔达,只要有机会,他就会把她从疗养院带出来,进行长时间的散步。一个温暖的春日,当他们在树下淤积时。泽尔达听到附近支线上有一列火车驶来,就跳了起来,开始向火车跑去,想把自己扔到火车下。当火车经过时,菲茨杰拉德在离堤岸不远处抓住了她。随着这种危险冲动的增加,在医生的建议下,他们尝试了纽约州北部的一家疗养院。但塞尔达在那里的情况越来越糟,5月份不得不在紧张状态下被带回巴尔的摩。

在接下来的六年里,除了短暂的相对稳定期,她被限制在不同的医院里,渐渐地,连同他的其他希望,菲茨杰拉德开始放弃了对她最终康复的信念。"他说:"我把希望的能力留在了通往泽尔达疗养院的小路上"。渐渐地,他形成了一种高度,这将保护他免受可怕的诱惑,相信她的合理性,并试图劝说她康复。"泽尔达,"他不断地告诉自己,"是一个案例,而不是一个人。" 然而,在他的余生中,他一直不得不重新开始这场战斗,因为将他们两人在关系中的爱情、幸福和努力的投资一笔勾销,所涉及的心理障碍是他永远无法解决的。

在这一切过程中,他一直在与《夜病温柔》的证明作斗争--他现在越来越多地在医院里,一连两三天把自己弄好--尽管他很累,但这些证明对他来说似乎没有尽头。但他最终还是拼命完成了这些工作,《夜色温柔》于1934年4月T2日出版。

菲茨杰拉德焦急地等待着《夜色温柔》的雷克斯利文。这不仅仅是一个被抢走的问题,甚至也不是现在就能赚到钱的问题。这是他相信自己的能力的问题。当评论和销售的特点--《夜色温柔》卖出了大约l'h000册--变得清晰时,他的士气比以前更低。这是他迄今为止输掉的最大一场战斗。

他现在是在对自己的写作感到灰心和对塞尔达感到绝望的夜里工作--她整年都在变坏而不是变好,而且对财政状况感到担忧。6月,他在纽约度过了他所谓的 "疯狂的一周",回家后就崩溃了,在医院里呆了一段时间,7月出院,然后又不得不回去,他开始发现自己处于危险的财务轨道上。"账单真的开始了,"他在7月的账本中指出:9月是 "财务状况现在很严重",11月是 "财务状况不好"。

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自从他陷入财务困境后,菲茨杰拉德就想过要再次进入好莱坞。1936年,他努力在那里找到一份工作,8月,他得到一份邀请,要他出去做一个 "17岁左右的青少年 "的故事。

该合同为期四周,价格为1500美元。由于肩部不适,他不得不拒绝,但到了第二年4月,他又有了另一份意向书。1937年6月,他的安排得以完成。他将在米高梅工作6个月,每周1000美元,还可以选择12个月,1250美元。这一选择在适当的时候被接受了。由于他去好莱坞的主要动机之一--尽管不是唯一的动机--是为了偿还债务,他做的第一件事是与他的经纪人哈罗德-奥伯作出安排,以做到这一点。他的计划是将他的工资存入奥伯,然后奥伯每月给他400美元,以支持他自己,让斯科特继续上学,让泽尔达继续住在疗养院。其余的钱将被留作税款,用于偿还他对奥伯和帕金斯以及后来对斯克里布纳的债务。根据他自己的估计,这些债务当时达到了30,000美元左右。他基本上保持了这种安排,直到他的债务得到偿还。

但是,尽管清偿这些 "可怕的债务 "对他来说非常重要,他也感受到了一些好莱坞的古老魅力和征服它的古老愿望。那是一个他从来没有得到过的地方。正是这种兴奋的感觉一直伴随着他,所以当他为《最后的大亨》做笔记时,他提醒自己 "当我在1937年带着要征服新世界的感觉登陆洛杉矶时,我自己的恐惧。. . ." 正是带着这种要征服的雄心壮志,他处理了他的工作。他花了很多业余时间让人帮他看电影,研究其他作家的剧本,他还保留了一份关于他所看到的电影的资料。直到11月,当他完成了《牛津的美国佬》的修订工作,并正在努力创作《三国演义》时,他称自己是电影创作的 "半业余者"("尽管我不会再做那么久"),这次他决心做好工作,奉献自己的一切。有一段时间,他完全保持清醒,只要谎言与米高梅签订了合同,他就只是偶尔去闯一闯。

1938年4月,他们在《不忠》上遇到了审查问题,由于一个好的、困难的剧本已经完成,菲茨杰拉德不得不放弃它。它再也没有恢复。在他与米高梅的合同期内,他一直在拍摄《女人》和《居里夫人》。由于对电影工作的失望,他又开始考虑自己的写作。

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他在《女人》中的工作没有得到银幕上的荣誉,他在《甘蔗夫人》中的工作在两个月后就被取代了。'品,因为他的合同即将结束,自《三国演义》以来,他没有一个功劳,合同没有续签。

1939年的夏天对菲茨杰拉德来说是一场与疾病和财务问题的斗争。直到9月,他都没能在电影界找到工作,当时他在联艺公司的《莱佛士》中工作了一个星期,但没有成功。"他在战争爆发前写给朋友的信中说:"我已经厌倦了又老又病的生活,我宁愿做一个受惊的年轻人,在一大块混凝土或泥土上向我讨厌的东西眺望。. . ."

但到了月底,他振作起来,开始着手写这部小说,他已经为这部小说计划和做了一年多的笔记。科利尔杂志对这个想法表现出真正的兴趣,并同意支付他25,000或30,000美元的连载权,如果他能提交他们喜欢的15,000字。

他有可能在经济上将六个月的时间用于写小说,并从枯燥的电影工作中解脱出来,这对他来说是件好事,他的头脑开始用老办法集中和安排对好莱坞的大量印象,自1932年以来,这些印象一直像神话的元素一样聚集在他的脑海中。埃德蒙-威尔逊从《最后的大亨》的数百页笔记中,为该书的Ins版做了一个选择,构成了对一个地方和时间的不竭的洞察力,这比菲茨杰拉德在他死前完成的小说的六章中整理的这些笔记的相对小部分丰富得多。它们显示了他的才华是多么的完整,以及他的才华是多么的成熟,尽管他的身体和神经已经疲惫不堪。


他带着他所能调动的所有能量去工作。到11月底,他已经完成了六千字--可能是第一章--并要求艾陶尔做出决定。这篇文章的内容很少,艾陶尔想在故事进一步发展之前推迟作出决定。但菲茨杰拉德陷入了他一贯的财务困境,他借钱是为了把女儿送到瓦萨大学。他突然中断了与科利尔的谈判,并给珀金斯发了电报。请将复印件空运至周六晚间邮政。. . . 我想现在已经没有伟大的杂志编辑了。. . 但和《科利尔》一样,《邮报》也希望有更多的内容,而且没有更多的内容,所以这个计划也没有结果。

他尽可能稳定地创作小说,直到4月,他又接了一份电影工作。那时,他已经完成了六章中几乎所有的细节,这些章节在他去世时已经完成。

他在6月底完成了电影剧本,名为《大都会》(Cosmopolitan):有一个半月的修改和争论,看秀兰-邓波儿是否对维多利亚(故事中的Honoris)一角感兴趣,然后剧本被搁置。除了一些小的医生工作外,这是菲茨杰拉德拍摄的最后一部电影。

虽然菲茨杰拉德整个夏天都在稳定地工作,但他的身体并不好,《宇宙大帝》一完成,他就又开始喝酒。即使在不喝酒的时候,他的身体也远远没有好。9月和10月,他从图片工作中收集到的资金,使他能够全身心地投入到他的小说中,他决心完成它。

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11月下旬,他的心脏病严重发作--有多严重,从他几乎是生平第一次轻描淡写而不是夸大病情的事实中可以看出。"我仍然躺在床上,但设法写东西,感觉好了很多。他写道:"这次是普通的心脏病发作,我必须更好地照顾自己。我完全停止了饮酒,并在床上度过了大部分时间,开始努力创作《最后的大亨》。他很清楚自己想做什么。"我想写出令人惊恐和不可模仿的场景。我不想像欧内斯特那样被同时代的人理解,欧内斯特就像格特鲁德-斯坦因说的那样,是要去博物馆的。我相信,如果我能够保持良好的状态,我就足以拥有一些小小的不朽。" 这本书的大部分实际写作工作一定是在这个时候完成的。

但是,他是否能实现这个开头的承诺,我们永远无法确定,就像之二生活中的许多其他事情一样,他完成最后一部小说的英勇努力太晚了;而可能使他活到完成的运气也没有与他同在。他在12月中旬曾向珀金斯预测,他可以在1月15日之前完成初稿,以他的速度,他可能已经做到了:12月20日,他完成了第六章的第一集。第二天,他又发生了第二次致命的心脏病发作。

在他去世前不久,菲茨杰拉德在一张奇怪的废纸上潦草地写下了几行不完善的诗句,他一直没有时间完成。仿佛最后意识到需要讲述自己的故事,他在写自己的墓志铭。

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你的书在你的桌子里
我想还有一些未完成的
你脑子里的混乱
被伟大的女工倾倒到一无所有
的命运。
他极力想完成的小说没有完成:他为自己找到理由的声誉只是一个微弱的回声(他一生都在保存关于自己的剪报;最后只有《好莱坞报道者》的一些零散的句子可以剪下来)。而且,他知道,他正在死亡。艾克-盖特害羞,他觉得如果黛西真的爱过汤姆,"那也只是个人行为"。菲茨杰拉德喜欢名誉,对真正成就的公开承认,具有文艺复兴时期王子的非个人宽宏大量。他的目的是在他的书中赋予他头脑中的混乱以形状,并看到他所做的知识从世界上反射到他身上。他死时认为自己已经失败了。

现在我们知道,菲茨杰拉德的职业生涯的最后一个讽刺是,他没有活着享受我们的知识。菲茨杰拉德去世十年后,他的作品比他一生中的任何时候都要多,他作为一个严肃的小说家的声誉是安全的。

(The End)

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