Writing that provide a clear sense of Fitzgerald's seriousness about writing
F. Scott Fitzgerald on Authorship assembles Fitzgerald's public and private writings on his trade and craft. The forty-six selections in this volume construct an autobiographical account of Fitzgerald's twenty-year endeavor to maintain careers as a commercial writer and as a literary artist, and they correct misconceptions that have impeded a proper assessment of his professionalism and have distorted his reputation as a man of letters.
In a substantial introduction to the volume, Matthew J. Bruccoli positions Fitzgerald as a case history for the profession-of-authorship approach to American literary history as formulated by William Charvat. Bruccoli challenges familiar myths about Fitzgerald's squandering of fortunes and literary genius, and he exposes the error of segregating Fitzgerald's magazine and movie work from his novels.
In his own words, Fitzgerald corrects the most condescending and irksome notion about him—that he was a literary ignoramus who wrote brilliantly without knowing what he was doing. As these letters, notebook entries, book reviews, and articles clearly indicate, Fitzgerald reached usable conclusions about the craft of writing, the discipline of authorship, and the obligations of literature.
Matthew J. Bruccoli (1931–2008) was the Emily Brown Jefferies Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of South Carolina and the leading authority on the House of Scribner and its authors. He was the editorial director of the Dictionary of Literary Biography and the author or editor of some one hundred books.
Judith S. Baughman is the author of F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Literary Masters series, editor of the 1920s volume in the American Decades series, and coeditor of books about Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and John Hall Wheelock.
"This is a valuable contribution to the Fitzgerald canon, as it offers readers a coherent, well-developed view of Fitzgerald's view on one of the subjects closest to his heart."—Welford Taylor, Bostwick Professor of English, University of Richmond.