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Both ernest hemingway and f scott fitzgerald were

both ernest hemingway and f scott fitzgerald were

They were the first great celebrities among American writers. The glamorous F. Scott Fitzgerald — with his even more glamorous wife Zelda at. How did the lives of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald compare? Both were fairly ambivalent about this type of work, but Fitzgerald especially. Correct answer ✓✓ to the question ➔ Both Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald were -
both ernest hemingway and f scott fitzgerald were

Both ernest hemingway and f scott fitzgerald were -

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Ernest and Mary Hemingway on safari in Africa, 1953-1954 © neftali/Shutterstock

Fitzgerald loved the south of France. He arrived after World War I and rented out a villa, Belle Rives (now a hotel) where he held wild parties and helped introduced jazz to the region (by inviting all the US jazz greats to stay at his house and play). Both men were part of the “Lost Generation”; people who came of age during World War I, who spent their lives chasing their demons, desperate to forget about the horrors of war. It is at the Belles Rives that Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda ceaselessly entertained their social set, which included the Hemingways. It is also here that Fitzgerald began to write Tender is the Night. The nearby Hotel du Cap is the fictional setting for the book.

The Hotel Belles Rives in Antibes where Fitzgerald lived when it was a villa

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Two Kinds of People

A pair of new biographies reveals what made F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway so different as men and artists.

Of the writing of biographies of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, there is, it seems, no end. Two more have just come down the pipeline, and the prospect of reading them tempted me to cap the quote and add that “much study is a weariness of the flesh.” Nor was it encouraging that both are biographies à thèse: David S. Brown’s Paradise Lost: A Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald, written by a professor of history, purports to show that Fitzgerald was a “cultural historian” first and foremost, while Mary V. Dearborn’sErnest Hemingway: A Biography proudly bills itself as the first Hemingway biography to be written by a woman. As everyone who reviews books knows all too well, most of them can be judged quite easily by their covers, so I expected a double-barreled dose of pulpit-punching obviousness. What I ended up getting was something gratifyingly different.

While neither book glitters with high literary style — always a deficiency when mere mortals dare to write about the lives of major novelists — both are written soberly and well, and their authors manage to steer clear of the rigid thesis-mongering to which Earl Long alluded when he said that Henry Luce, the single-minded founder of Time and Life, was “like a man that owns a shoe store and buys all the shoes to fit himself. Then he expects other people to buy them.” To be sure, neither book is “definitive” in the way that, say, W. Jackson Bate’s Samuel Johnson is the book to read about Dr. Johnson if you’re only reading two, but the fact that so many biographies of Hemingway and Fitzgerald have been written suggests that there is something about them that will forever elude easy definition.

If they had much else in common, I’m damned if I know what it is, though a case can be made that they shared a fair amount of doubt about their masculinity. Hemingway, needless to say, was a textbook bully, snuffling out weakness in others in order to paper over his own middle-of-the-night terrors. It says everything about him that he gossiped in print about the size of Fitzgerald’s penis. As for Fitzgerald, he was a charming, chronically unsure drunk who doubted everything about himself but the size of his talent, about which he had no doubts at all. They were far too ill sorted to be friends but went through the motions anyway, which is one reason we persist in thrusting them into the same Bruckner-and-Mahleresque pigeonhole: Scott & Ernest, Inc., Great American Writers of the Lost Generation.

The trouble with Hemingway, seen from the privileged vantage point of hindsight, is that he looks increasingly like a great influence but not a great author in his own right. No 20th-century writer would leave a deeper mark on his contemporaries, and as late as 1948, Evelyn Waugh, no respecter of reputations, unhesitatingly described him in print as “one of the most original and powerful of living writers.” Yet all but the very finest of his short stories now sound mannered and artificial, while the novels come off as little more than sustained exercises in mirror-gazing and pose-striking. I would like to like him more than I do, but the truth is that I find him almost unreadable, and my chronic distaste for his work is more than merely an allergy.

What is it about Hemingway that so many of today’s readers find so off-putting? The fact that he proved to be so imitable is a big part of the problem, and it didn’t help that most of the imitation was popularization. Among other things, the author of “The Killers” inadvertently invented the detective story, not to mention film noir, and inspired a generation of hack writers, all of them men, who longingly mistook his self-constructed legend for reality. Herein lies the real strength of Dearborn’s book, which is that she has, as she puts it, “no investment in the Hemingway legend. . . . I cannot see what the legend has to offer to a female reader.” All she cares about is how a hack reporter came to write such exquisitely wrought stories as “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” and “Hills Like White Elephants” and, in time, to blow his brains out, and she tells that story clearly, intelligently, and with a realistic but disillusioned sense of admiration for so sadly flawed a man and writer. Hemingway, she says,

seemed to find it difficult to give and receive love, to be a faithful friend, and, perhaps most tragically, to tell the truth, even to himself. By the end of World War II, and while still in his forties, he had done himself out of many of the rewards of the good life: He had three failed marriages behind him, had few good friends, was not writing well, and had surrounded himself with flunkies and sycophants. . . . Even at his peak, sentimentality and a garrulous streak sometimes crept into his writing.

While nothing in Paradise Lost is as concisely penetrating as this, Brown has the advantage of writing about a vastly more attractive person — though one who was no less self-destructive, and who went about the process of his self-destruction far more efficiently, entering into a marriage with a woman whose mental instability sucked him dry and drinking to self-flagellating excess in a futile attempt to tolerate the intolerable. All things considered, it is something of a miracle that Fitzgerald produced anything good enough to be read after his death, much less that he somehow managed to turn himself almost by sheer force of will into a full-fledged master.

To read about Fitzgerald’s career is to be put in mind of the characteristically astute remark that H. L. Mencken made about The Great Gatsby, his masterpiece: “There is evidence in every line of hard and intelligent effort.” Not only is Gatsby a miracle of craft, a novel short enough to aspire to perfection and good enough to approach it, one in which every character is memorable and every sentence unostentatiously lapidary, but Fitzgerald also wrote a not inconsiderable number of short stories of which the same things could rightly be said.

At the same time, there was far more to him than his craftsmanship. Brown is squarely on the mark when he says that Fitzgerald’s work embodies “the disquieting notion that we have drifted far from our inheritance as the children of pioneers to fashion a culture that teaches its young to love too much the privileges and protections of wealth.” That is why it retains its immediacy: If anything, we have drifted farther still in the same disorienting direction, and Fitzgerald, like so many moralists, knew that he was himself exemplary of the flaws of the culture whose frivolity he chronicled and indicted. This knowledge is the source of the gravity that heightens the force of his best work, whose lightness of touch cannot conceal its ultimate seriousness, a seriousness that makes the Hemingway of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms look like a mere merchant of self-pity by comparison. Yet he remained a romantic to the last, as well as a true believer in the promise of the Midwest that spawned him and that he regarded to the end of his life as “the warm center of the world.”

In the end, it’s hard not to suppose that Hemingway and Fitzgerald were, quite simply, two kinds of people, one of whom never wrote a more self-revealing sentence than “Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee” and the other of whom summed himself up no less completely when he spoke of Jay Gatsby’s “extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again.” Perhaps that was what made Fitzgerald the greater artist and better man: He knew that the readiness is all.


    2017 Recommended Summer Reading

    The Working Class Republican: How Reagan Won the Blue Collar Vote

    ”Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign”

– Terry Teachout is the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal, the critic-at-large of Commentary, and the author of biographies of Louis Armstrong, George Balanchine, Duke Ellington, and H. L. Mencken. Billy and Me, his second play, opens in December at Palm Beach Dramaworks. This essay originally appeared in the August 28, 2017, issue of National Review.


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F. Scott Fitzgerald, the literary wizard behind The Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night, was married to a woman named Zelda (a talented painter and writer in her own right).

The couple’s relationship in the best of times could have been defined as intoxicating. They were the power couple of the roaring twenties with larger-than-life personalities, brilliant creative talents and a shared fondness for throwing lavish parties that shook whatever city they were calling home.

But, in the worst of times, their relationship was horrendously toxic, riddled with mutual infidelity, knock-down drag-out fights, extreme jealousy, alcoholism and low blows.


During one of these bouts of the latter, Zelda said something to Scott that derailed him –– so much so that he consulted his friend and contemporary at the time, Ernest Hemingway.

In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway writes of the encounter.

At the time, the two were sitting in a Parisian cafe enjoying a cherry tart and a glass of wine when Fitzgerald confided in him…

“Zelda said that the way I was built I could never make any woman happy and that was what upset her originally. She said it was a matter of measurements. I have never felt the same since she said that and I have to know truly.”

In not so many words, Hemingway told Fitzgerald to meet him in “Le Water” or French slang for “bathroom” so he could have a look to see if what he was fretting about was actually worth fretting about.

Upon closer inspection.

In the bathroom Hemingway had Fitzgerald drop his trousers and upon closer inspection gave him his diagnosis…

“You’re perfectly fine.”

Hemingway recommended that Fitzgerald visit the Louvre and look at the statues and to then go home and look at himself in the mirror “in profile”.

Less technically, Hemingway was telling Fitzgerald that his dick probably appeared smaller when looking down from above.

Then, in very Hemingway-esk language, he shares some wisdom with Fitzgerald regarding what’s really important in regards to one’s penis…

“It is the size that it becomes.”

Literary thinkers have dubbed the historical encounter as “homosexual” which to me is laughable.

The folks who’ve positioned the situation as such have clearly never played sports in high school nor have witnessed the absurdities that take place within a male locker-room.

Having played both high school and college basketball, I can confidently say Hemingway and Fitzgerald’s locker room encounter wasn’t just normal but tame.

(Which, I hope this goes without saying, all sexuality is normal as long as it doesn’t involve animals or adolescents).

But, Sexuality and locker room horseplay aside, I find this moment in Le Water fascinating because it shows us that arguably the two greatest American writers to ever live struggled with insecurity.

(Which, by the way, they’re not the only ones, writers like Neil Gaiman have opened up about their battles with Imposter Syndrome).

Historians have said that even the wildly masculine Hemingway was, at times, described as being effeminate and androgynous (partly male and partly female in appearance).

However, this should be taken with a grain of salt because much of these claims came from Zelda Fitzgerald… and it’s quite clear that she and Hemingway absolutely despised one another.

Again, I find this loathing humorous because it makes these literary gods feel more human –– anyone reading this right now has felt conflicting feelings towards a good friend’s significant other who they feel they shouldn’t be with.

Hemingway believed that Zelda greatly hindered Fitzgerald as a writer and I would agree.

However, my only rebuttal would be that this hindering was very much mutual –– the pair seemed to destroy one another as creatives and people.

Friends & Foes.

For the remainder of Fitzgerald and Hemingway’s lives, they would find that they too had a complicated relationship –– turning from friends to rivals and eventually friends again.

Their rivalry reached a climax when Fitzgerald asked Hemingway to share his thoughts on his novel, Tender Is the Night.

(Apparently, he didn’t hold back with his criticism).

However, the respect for one another’s work seemed to always be there (or at the very least return). Towards the end of Fitzgerald’s life, Hemingway wrote to him… “you can write twice as well now as you ever could”.

Perhaps, the greatest compliment you can give another writer.

And, Fitzgerald regularly referred to Hemingway as the “greatest living writer of our time”.

So, I will leave it at this.

Whether it’s silencing insecurities, navigating challenging intimate relationships or mastering one’s craft… it’s good to have a friend and contemporary.

By Cole Schafer.


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Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald: Admiration, Jealousy, Friendship \u0026 Literature (2000)
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