資料彙整   /   作家  /  Francis Scott  Fitzgerald  法蘭西斯•史考特•費茲傑羅
Francis Scott  Fitzgerald
法蘭西斯•史考特•費茲傑羅
圖片來源:http://www.upress.state.ms.us/catalog/fall2003/conv_f_scott_fitzgerald.html
主要文類:Novel
資料提供者:Ron Tranquilla;Evelyn Sung/宋怡緻
關鍵字詞:American Literature Survey 2; Major American Novelists

 

法蘭西斯•史考特•費茲傑羅

1896-1940

小說家、詩人、劇作家、編劇、短篇小說家

Evelyn Sung/宋怡緻

 家庭背景

 求學階段

 婚姻生活

 著作

 晚年

 

 家庭背景

法蘭西斯•史考特•費茲傑羅於一八九六年九月二十四日生於明尼蘇達州的聖保羅市,是家中的獨子。父親愛德華•費茲傑羅雖具有高貴的氣質,一輩子卻未曾得志。母親茉莉•麥奎蘭的家族於一八四三年自愛爾蘭移民至美國,在聖保羅市建立一家大型的雜貨店。茉莉•麥奎蘭是名古怪又有決斷力的女性,也是個過分寵愛孩子的母親。由於費茲傑羅的祖父法蘭西斯•史考特•克伊是美國國旗的設計者,愛德華深深引此為傲,並常跟費茲傑羅講述家族貴族般的光榮歷史,但事實上,真正在美國功成名就的,是母親這邊地位不及於貴族的家族。傳記家傑弗瑞•梅爾曾說過:「費茲傑羅有個溫文儒雅的父親和一個精明幹練的母親。」愛德華在一九零八年失業,自此家庭的經濟重擔便靠母親這邊的遺產支撐。靠著這些遺產,費家試著維持貴族般,或至少中上階層般的生活方式。父親的不得志和費家為勉強撐起特定生活方式的艱苦,深深影響了費茲傑羅的寫作風格和寫作動機。他的許多作品都反映出對財務危機的懼怕,以及個人對寫作生涯的企求與觀感。對他來說,雖然小說是一個人藝術成就的象徵,但為星期六晚報(Saturday Evening Post)撰寫一些可以賺錢的短篇小說,是比較重要而迫切的。

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 求學階段


預備學校


費茲傑羅在紐澤西的一所天主教學校唸書時,深深受到神父係格尼•費的影響。《塵世樂園》This Side of Paradise裡達西神父(Monsignor Darcy)這個人物的創作靈感便來自費神父。費神父將費茲傑羅引入藝術與文學的世界,並讓他一瞥天主教教義中,強調經驗的美和富足的一面。此種強調經驗的美與富足的精神,成了費茲傑羅寫作時力圖捕捉的一種神韻。他日後曾在一篇回顧文章中表示:「費神父是我一生中所認識,最具浪漫情懷的人。」


普林斯頓大學


一九一三年至一九一七年間,費茲傑羅就讀於普林斯頓大學,也是他致力於成為一個作家的主要階段。這段期間,他開始嘗試撰寫短篇小說、詩、戲劇、書評,甚至為Nassau Literary Magazine 和普林斯頓的趣味雜誌Princeton Tiger寫笑話。 另外,費茲傑羅也為學校社團(Triangle Club)的戲劇演出撰寫抒情詩。同時,他也在學校認識了日後成為詩人的約翰•皮耶•畢許、評論家兼作家的艾德蒙•威爾森,並和這些未來的名人建立終生的友誼。費茲傑羅閱讀的範圍亦相當廣泛,從王爾德到馬肯濟,伯納蕭到威爾斯。費茲傑羅在普林斯頓求學時,社交生活和學術生活皆十分活躍,但在一九一六年時因學業成績不良而被退學。他雖於隔年復學,卻因一次世界大戰的爆發而始終沒有完成在普林斯頓大學的學業。

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 婚姻生活


費茲傑羅於一九一七年十月被徵召入伍,但從未被派遣到海外作戰。當他駐紮在阿拉巴馬州,蒙哥馬利附近的沙利丹營區時,認識並愛上了年方十八的塞爾妲。塞爾妲為法官之女,行事風格前衛。雖然兩人家世財力相差懸殊,費茲傑羅十分認真且執著的看待這份感情。他不斷的寫作賺錢,包括許多短篇小說和長篇小說《塵世樂園》This Side of Paradise,該書甚至得到電影公司的青睞而賣得電影拍攝的版權。費茲傑羅與塞爾妲於一九二零年在紐約結婚,婚後幾年費氏夫婦的足跡遍及各大城市:紐約、康乃狄克州的西港市、長島的Great Neck、歐洲、並在聖保羅市生下他們的女兒。他們從不曾在一個城市停留太久,也從沒有一個真正的家。他們總在豪華的旅館落腳,或是租用當地的大莊園。他們放任自己於狂飲與宴會之中,就像費茲傑羅筆下那親密且大膽的愛人、那破除習俗者。費茲傑羅也因這樣的生活方式,被視作「爵士年代」的代表。

為了維持高水準的生活方式,費茲傑羅持續的向出版社Scribner 和經紀人哈爾德•歐伯借錢,但之後長篇小說銷售量青黃不接,讓他陷入了更巨額的債務之中。所幸短篇小說的銷售,和為雜誌社撰寫文章的收入,減輕了他財務上的負擔,並讓他能有時間繼續投入長篇小說的創作。一九二四年,費氏夫婦的婚姻開始出現裂痕。塞爾妲和一個法國飛行員譜出了短暫的戀曲,費茲傑羅對酒精的依賴變的越來越深,並常常於酒吧間流連忘返。因此而被冷落了的塞爾妲將生活重心轉移至學習芭蕾和其他的課程,並於年近三十時致力於成為一個作家。一九三零年,塞爾妲經歷嚴重的精神崩潰,並開始於療養院接受住院治療,並在療養院度過餘生。

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 著作


短篇小說


雖然費茲傑羅埋怨為了要維持夫婦倆二零年代奢華的生活方式,他把時間都花在撰寫能賺錢的短篇小說之上,但在這些商業寫作中,的確有一些不朽的作品。"The Ice Palace"和 "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" 是費茲傑羅第一部短篇小說集Flapper and Philosophers (1920)中的佳作。前者描述一個生長在南方的女孩,拜訪未婚夫居住的北方時所產生的隔閡與不適應,後者則為當代年輕女子豎立了前衛新潮的鮮明形象。而科幻故事"The Diamond as Big as the Ritz",和以戰時的紐約為背景的"May Day",則是第二部短篇小說集Tales of the Jazz Age (1922) (譯《爵士年代的故事》)中的勝選。第三部短篇小說集All The Sad Young Men (1926) (譯《所有悲哀的年輕人》)中,最受歡迎的故事就屬"Winters Dreams"、"Absolution"和 "The Rich Boy"。此部小說集是費茲傑羅最受好評的一部。一位評論家寫道:「《所有悲哀的年輕人》裡的幾個故事蘊含著動人的細膩,敘事手法雖拘泥於形式但卻絲毫不損費茲羅貫有的寫作才華。」然而,當他第四部短篇小說集Taps at Reveille (譯《號音》) 於一九三五年出版時,受到的評論卻寥寥無幾。布萊爾認為此種乏人問津的情況,正暗示著讀者和評論家已對費茲傑羅專寫爵士年代為主題的作品失去興趣。

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長篇小說


《塵世樂園》This Side of Paradise (1920)是費茲傑羅的首部長篇小說,也是最具個人傳記色彩的一部,更是首部描述生長在爵士年代年輕人的作品。小說中主人翁們的行為—隨意的親吻和縱飲,對待父母那種不恭敬的態度—某種程度上彰顯了當時對舊傳統的抗拒,而贏得了讀者的心。然而,仍有評論家認為《塵世樂園》結構上集結了詩、短篇小說、甚至費茲傑羅較早時寫的一些戲劇,是一種不成熟的寫作方式,不免有淪為一種嘗試性寫作的嫌疑。儘管如此,《塵世樂園》表達出的一種難言的精神與活力,仍為評論家所稱道。


《大亨小傳》The Great Gatsby (1925),《夜未央》Tender is the Night (1934),和《最後大亨》The Last Tycoon (1941)三部作品被視為費茲傑羅最好的長篇小說。 《大亨小傳》以其複雜、緊密的敘事結構,和明確的二元對立主題勝出。貧與富、新富與舊富、東部與西部間的對立,有錢人事不關己的冷漠,美國夢的華而不實,以及當代人的粗鄙庸俗,都是《大亨小傳》觸及的主題。若說《大亨小傳》著重的是高超的寫作技巧,那麼《夜未央》著重的便是內心信仰的告白。《夜未央》的主人翁是費茲傑羅筆下性格最複雜的角色,能創造出如此複雜的角色,反映出費茲傑羅對自己心理層面的了解已臻於成熟的境界。費茲傑羅在《夜未央》所欲傳達的,是一種寄生的狀態,意即一個人健康上的復元是建立在另一個人的犧牲之上。這樣的模式,明顯的像極了費茲傑羅和塞爾妲間的婚姻。《最後大亨》在費茲傑羅死後,由艾德華威爾森彙集他的手稿出版。小說是描寫一個具有傳統領袖特質的電影製作人,如何在有缺陷的性格的影響下,仍舊揚名於美國。

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創作主題


概括言之,費茲傑羅的作品或探討金錢和權力對有權有勢者的影響,或財力普通的年輕男子愛上美麗、富有、卻往往殘酷的女子時的絕望與痛楚。他筆下的男主人翁歌頌理想的同時,往往忘了現實的殘酷。對費茲傑羅而言,似乎只有在想像的世界裡,情感上的強度才得以維持,而唯有在夢裡,才可以暫且遠離那令人心驚的日常生活。亞瑟•梅蘭爾表示,費茲傑羅在文學上的貢獻,在於他對美國社會百態充滿想像力的剖析與洞察。他的作品碰觸到美國人生活中所面臨的道德困境—財富雖能成就繁華與奢華,但有錢人心中卻少了一份高度細膩的情感。費茲傑羅認為只有溫和而有教養的窮人,如《大亨小傳》裡的蓋次比,《夜未央》裡的狄克•戴弗,《最後大亨》裡的門羅•斯塔爾,才真正擁有這種高度細膩的情感。

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 晚年


一九三七年,費茲傑羅再度嘗試編寫劇本。儘管他受歡迎的程度逐漸下滑,甚至自稱自己正處於一種「道德淪喪」的階段,米高梅電影公司(MGM)仍給他一千美金的週薪。在好萊塢,費茲傑羅曾參與電影《三勇士》(Three Comrades) 的編劇,但其他的劇本皆不受青睞,而他寫的短篇小說也僅能以每個250美金的價格出售,使他的生活每況愈下。雖然他和專欄作家席拉•葛拉罕的戀情,使他在生活上比較有人照料,他喝酒喝的很兇的習慣還是不改。當時,他已經徹底失去了塞爾妲,他們的女兒也已經在唸大學,費茲傑羅開始撰寫《最後大亨》。一九四零年費茲傑羅死於突發的心臟病,留下這本未能完成的長篇小說。

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Francis Scott Fitzgerald

1896-1940

Novelist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, author of short stories

Evelyn Sung/宋怡緻

 Family Background

 School Years

 Marriage Life

 Writing

 Late Years

 

 Family Background

Francis Scott Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota, the only son of Edward and Mollie (McQuillan) Fitzgerald. His father, Edward Fitzgerald, had beautiful manners but was never a success. His mother, Mollie McQuillan, whose family emigrated from Ireland in 1843, and built a substantial grocery store in St. Paul, was an eccentric, decisive woman and very protective for his only son. Because Fitzgerald's grandfather, Francis Scott Key, had penned the "Star-Spangled Banner," Edward took great pride in such an honor and often told his son the stories with his patrician, Confederate past, though it was Mollie's less patrician ancestor that made themselves successful in America. As the biographer Jeffrey Meyers puts it, Fitzgerald "was the son of a weak father and strong mother."   Since Edward Fitzgerald lost his job in 1908, the finance of the Fitzgeralds had weighed on Mollie McQuillan's side. The Fitzgeralds lived on Mollie's inheritance and strove to maintain a patrician or at least an upper-middle class lifestyle. His father's failure and such struggles for maintaining certain lifestyle had an influence on Fitzgerald's writing, in which he revealed his fear of financial difficulties, and his concern for what kind of writing career he was going to pursue—for him, writing lucrative short stories for the Saturday Evening Post market would be more important and urgent than novels, though he personally considered his novels more like artistic achievements.

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 School Years

Prep school

Fitzgerald studied at the Newman School, a Catholic Prep school in New Jersey and where he fell under the influence of Father Sigourney Fay, who was to be fictionalized as Monsignor Darcy in Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise . Father Fay introduced him to the worlds of arts and letters, and another side of Catholicism, which emphasizes the "beauty and richness of the experience [Fitzgerald] would always try to capture in his writing."   Fitzgerald later wrote in a review-essay that "[Father Fay] came into my life as the most romantic figure I had ever known."  

Princeton Years

Fitzgerald went to Princeton from 1913 to 1917. These are the central years for Fitzgerald's development to be a writer. He wrote short stories, poems, plays, book reviews, and even jokes for the Nassau Literary Magazine and the humor magazine Princeton Tiger. He also composed lyrics for the university's Triangle Club productions. It was also during these years that Fitzgerald made acquaintances with the future poet, John Peale Bishop, the future critic and writer, Edmund Wilson, who became his intellectual conscience, and such friendships turned out to be lifelong ones. He read wildly and voraciously, from Oscar Wilde to Compton Mackenzie, and from Bernard Shaw to H. G. Wells. Although he was socially and literally successful in Princeton, he was forced to withdrawn because of low grades in 1916. He returned in the following year but never graduated due to the intervention of the Great War.

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 Marriage Life

Fitzgerald applied for a commission in the U.S. Army in October 1917, but never served oversea. While he stationed at Camp Sheridan near Montgomery, Alabama, he met and soon fell in love with the eighteen-year-old Zelda Sayre, the daughter of a judge, a belle of shockingly unconventional behavior. Fitzgerald pursued Zelda with vigor and will, though he was penniless while Zelda's family was much wealthier. He wrote prolifically and composed the novel, This Side of Paradise, whose film rights were sold later, and many other short stories to make money. Fitzgerald and Zelda got married in New York in 1920. They spent their time in different cities, New York, Westport in Connecticut, and Great Neck in Long Island, Europe, and had their daughter born St. Paul . They never stayed long in one city and never had an owned home. They lived luxuriously in hotel or renting large estates in the United States and Europe . They indulged themselves in heavy drinking and parting. They were the darling couple, the daring ones, the rule breakers, leading the lifestyle of characters chronicled in his novels. Fitzgerald therefore gained a reputation as the symbol of the Jazz Age.

To support such high standard of living, Fitzgerald continually borrowing money from Scribner and his literary agent, Harold Ober, yet the poor sale of his later novels even further put him in debt. Only the sale of his short stories, the income from the magazine market could alleviate his financial situation and allow him to devote time to his novels to some extent. Fitzgerald's marriage started to get stranded in 1924, when Zelda had a brief liaison with a French aviator and the husband became more steadily dependent on liquor. Often left alone while Fitzgerald toured to the bars, Zelda shifted her focus into ballet, taking lessons and beginning so hard for a writing career in her late twenties. In 1930 Zelda suffered a mental breakdown, and started to accept hospitalizations in the sanatoriums, where she spent the rest of her life.

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 Writing

Short stories

     Fitzgerald complained that he spent too much time on his short stories simply for the sake of earning money to afford the lifestyle he and Zelda established in the 1920s, yet some of his best work were found in his short stories. In the first collection, Flapper and Philosophers (1920), "The Ice Palace" and "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" are two notable stories. While the former depicts a southern belle's misfit for the northern lifestyle and customs her fiancée holds, the latter fully establishes the daring flapper type in the new fashions of the day. In the second collection, Tales of the Jazz Age (1922), "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz", a fantasy tale, and "May Day", a powerful tale set during the post World War in New York City, are two major pieces. The third collection, All The Sad Young Men (1926), contains three of Fitzgerald's best and most popular stories: "Winters Dreams," "Absolution," and "The Rich Boy."   It won the most successful reaction from the critics. As one reviewer wrote, " All the Sad Young Men contains several stories of compelling fineness, along with more conventional pieces of story telling that are sufficiently amusing with the old Fitzgerald talent."  However, very few publications reviewed Fitzgerald's last collection of short stories, Taps at Reveille (1935). Bryer viewed this lack of critical response as "a further indication that readers and critics were no longer interested in his Jazz Age subject matter."

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Novels

Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise (1920), is his most autobiographical work and the first book to describe the younger generation of the Jazz Age. The activities of its young protagonists—the casual kiss and drink, the rude treatment of parents —partly exemplified the high-spirited refutation of the old order and won reader's hearts. However, some criticized its structure of poems, short stories, and even some earlier play fragments that he had written revealed the immaturity of Fitzgerald's writing ability and the novel merely as an daring writing experiment; even so, some still affirmed its ineffable quality of spirit and vitality.

The Great Gatsby (1925), Tender is the Night (1934), and The Last Tycoon (1941) are considered Fitzgerald's best novels. The Great Gatsby is outstanding in its complex, tightly knit narrative structure, and in its binary opposition—rich versus poor, old rich versus new rich, East versus West, as well as the indifference of wealth, the hollowness of the American success myth, and the sleaziness of the contemporary scene. While The Great Gatsby is a novel of "tour de force," Tender is the Night is about "the confession of faith."   The protagonist is at Fitzgerald 's most complex character and the one who best represents the author's mature understanding of his own psychological makeup. Its theme is parasitism—the health of one person gained at the expense of another—and such facts bear an unmistakable resemblance to Fitzgerald and Zelda's marriage. The Last Tycoon, published posthumously after Edmund Wilson put it together from Fitzgerald's unfinished manuscript, is a story of a movie producer fashioned in the tradition of the great leaders who have contributed to the success of the United States despite flaws in their natures.

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Motifs

To sum up, Fitzgerald's writing touches on themes such as the effects of money and power on those who have too much of them, the poignant dilemma of the young man who is neither poor nor rich but falls in love with a golden girl, wealthy, beautiful, and often cruel. His male characters celebrate the ideal at the expense of the real. It seems that for Fitzgerald, only the world of illusion can sustain their emotional intensity and only in dreams can they shut out the sometimes terrifying everyday world. According to Authur Mezener, Fitzgerald's contribution to literature is his imaginative penetration to the American world. He points out the central moral dilemma of American life—the possibilities of life which are made available by wealth but the lack of a heightened sensitivity among the rich. For Fitzgerald, it is the genteel poor like James Gatz, Dick Diver and Monroe Stahr who really possesses such heightened sensitivity.

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 Last Years

In 1937, Fitzgerald tried once again to do screenwriting, accepting a $1,000 per week salary from MGM, despite his decline in popularity and his own self-declared "moral bankruptcy."  In Hollywood he worked on the film Three Comrades, but other scripts were failures and soon he was so desperate that his stories could only sold for $250 each. He continued to drink destructively, though a relationship with the columnist Sheilah Graham did provide some domestic stability. Zelda was not with him forever, and his daughter was in college. Fitzgerald started to write the unfinished novel The Last Tycoon and died suddenly of a heart attack in 1940.

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References

"F. Scott Fitzgerald." Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale, 2004.

"F. Scott Fitzgerald." Authors and Artists for Young Adults. Vol. 24. Gale Research, 1998.

"F. Scott Fitzgerald." Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography: The Twenties, 1917-1929. Gale Research, 1989.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald."Encyclopedia of World Biography , 2nd ed. 17 Vols. Gale Research , 1998.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. "Dictionary of American Biography, Supplements 1-2: To 1940. American Council of Learned Societies, 1944-1958.

F. Scott Fitzgerald."St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. 5 vols. St. James Press, 2000.

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