In early 1996 the Mercantile Library of New York and the F.
Scott Fitzgerald Society sponsored a Centennial Lecture Series,
"The Romantic American: F. Scott Fitzgerald and His World." On 10
April John Callahan, Odell Professor of Humanities at Lewis and
Clark University and author of The Illusions of a Nation: Myth and
History in the Novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald, spoke on Fitzgerald
and the 1920s. The following week Ruth Prigozy, Professor of
English at Hofstra University and author of The Stories and Essays
of F. Scott Fitzgerald, offered thoughts on the public and private
lives of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. On 25 April Matthew J.
Bruccoli, Jefferies Professor of English at the University of
South Carolina and author of the standard biography Some Sort of
Epic Grandeur, discussed Fitzgerald as a professional writer in
the marketplace. In the final lecture, on 1 May, Alan Margolies,
Professor of English at John Jay College, CCNY, and editor of F.
Scott Fitzgerald's St. Paul Plays, examined Fitzgerald's career in
On the evening of 8 October, The Players, at 16
Gramercy Park in New York City, sponsored a dinner and celebration
of Fitzgerald's life and work. Among the participants in the
post-dinner program were Prof. Matthew J. Bruccoli, who discussed
the reasons for Fitzgerald's extraordinary reputation; actor Keir
Dullea, who presented a scene from John Kane's The Other Side of
Paradise, a one-man show about Fitzgerald; actress Beth Lincks,
who read from Zelda Fitzgerald's writings; film-maker Gwinn Owens,
who spoke about making his 1963 Fitzgerald documentary, Marked for
Glory; writer Budd Schulberg, who recalled his experiences with
Fitzgerald during his last years in Hollywood; Ring Lardner Jr.,
who talked about his father's friendship with Fitzgerald in Great
Neck; and newspaper columnist, Sidney Zion, who commented on the
impact Fitzgerald's work had on him in his youth.
Westhampton Beach, New York
On 6 December the Westhampton Beach
Performing Arts Center and the Westhampton Cultural Consortium co-
sponsored a staged reading from Budd Schulberg's revised
theatrical adaptation of The Disenchanted. A fund-raising event
for the Performing Arts Center, which is renovating an Art Deco
movie theater for its theatricals, the reading was held in the
ballroom of a private Gatsby-like home in Westhampton Beach.
Schulberg offered pre-performance remarks, and actors presented
scenes featuring Manly Halliday (based on Fitzgerald), Jere
Halliday (based on Zelda Fitzgerald), Shep Stearns (based on
Schulberg himself when he was a young screenwriter), and Victor
Milgrim (based on Hollywood producer Walter Wanger, for whom
Fitzgerald and Schulberg had worked--with disastrous consequences-
-on the movie Winter Carnival). The performance was followed by a
champagne and dessert reception.
The material above first appeared in the Dictionary of
Literary Biography Yearbook: 1996 (Detroit, Washington, D.C.,
London: Bruccoli Clark Layman/Gale Research, 1997). Reproduced by
This page updated 12 November 1997.
Copyright 1997, the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.