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As a freshman at Princeton, Fitzgerald won the 1914-15 competition for the Triangle Club show with his book and lyrics for Fie! Fie! Fi-Fi!. Although a poor academic showing made him ineligible to perform in the show, his witty lyrics won high praise. The following year he collaborated with Edmund "Bunny" Wilson on another Triangle Club show, The Evil Eye, again winning the competition, again being barred from performing because of his grades. Fitzgerald wrote the lyrics for a third Triangle show, 1916-17's Safety First (written by John Biggs, Jr. and J. F. Bohmfalk), and for the third time academics excluded him from the performances. In addition to these three musicals, he also published at least three plays in Princeton's Nassau Literary Magazine, including "Shadow Laurels" and "The Debutante."
Fitzgerald's interest in dramatic form continued through the early part of his professional career. Entire sections of his first two novels, This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and Damned, take the form of a play, and in 1923, a full length play entitled The Vegetable was published by Scribners but failed its tryout in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Fie! Fie! Fi-Fi!, Fitzgerald's first major success at Princeton, will be performed by the University of South Carolina's Theater Department during the F. Scott Fitzgerald Centenary taking place in Columbia on September 24, 25, and 26, 1996.
submitted by: Michael Cody / [Index]
It presents a brief interlude between a father and daughter as they wait in the car for the mother, who is ordering a doll house for the little girl. To amuse his child, the man invents a fairy tale, complete with princess and ogre, based on the people they see along the street. It is a touching depiction of his attempt to share his daughter's world (though ultimately he cannot) and to express his love. The story is a reflection of Fitzgerald's love for his own little girl, Scottie Fitzgerald. Other stories that feature the father-daughter relationship include "Babylon Revisited" (Post, 21 February 1931) and "On Schedule" (Post, 18 March 1933); but "Outside the Cabinet-Maker's" most economically captures the emotion.
submitted by: Tracy Simmons Bitonti / [Index]
In the late 1920s Fitzgerald wrote a series of autobiographical short stories for The Saturday Evening Post based on his adolescent experiences in St. Paul commonly called the 'Basil stories.' Serialized short stories were a very popular and lucrative magazine feature. Fitzgerald recreated his early dramatic experience in "The Captured Shadow" (29 December 1928).
submitted by: Park Bucker / [Index]
submitted by: Catherine Lewis / [Index]
Three Comrades was the closest Fitzgerald came to being a successful screenwriter. After its completion, various assignments came to nothing, often through no fault of his own. MGM renewed Fitzgerald's original six-month contract for one year in December of 1937, but declined to renew it when it expired a year later.
submitted by: Cy League / [Index]
A habitual rewriter, Fitzgerald reworked the book between serial and book publications. One result of Fitzgerald's tinkering was a revised ending: the concluding two paragraphs of the Metropolitan serial do not appear in the book. In a telegram to Perkins on December 23, 1921, Fitzgerald attributes the decision to delete the final passage to Zelda Fitzgerald's urging, as she dismissed the authorial intrusion in the ending of the serial as "a piece of moralizing." In the book version Fitzgerald deletes this final authorial assessment of Anthony and Gloria Patch so that the reader must draw his or her own conclusions based on the ironic tone of the final scene.
submitted by: Mary Sidney Watson / [Index]
Fitzgerald is jokingly connecting his writing of the novel with the beginning of Prohibition, which went into effect 1 July 1919. His statement, nevertheless, portrays the composition of This Side of Paradise as being very rapid. In fact, he started the novel in November 1917 and-- after having it rejected by Scribners-- began rewriting it in July 1919. The novel was accepted for publication in September. Statements such as "The Author's Apology" contributed to the false image of Fitzgerald as a "natural " but careless writer who dashed off stories and novels between benders.
submitted by: Robert F. Moss / [Index]
This page updated 7 January 1998.
Copyright 1996, the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.