The Book(s) of Love No. 10: The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

zelda

“All she wanted was to be a little girl, to be efficiently taken care of by some yielding yet superior power, stupider and steadier than herself. It seemed that the only lover she had ever wanted was a lover in a dream.” 

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Lordamercy, wasn’t Zelda Fitzgerald just gorgeous?  She was a dancer before she was Scott’s wife, before she lost the plot and became an alcoholic along with her husband.  Much like Maurice and Sarah in The End of the Affair, you will probably hate Anthony and Gloria, and I don’t blame you.  It’s hard to find anything redeeming in these two characters and their relationship.  Do they actually love each other?  Are they more in love with themselves, their fantasies, and their own youth to ever be in love with another person?  These are things to be discussed.  If Fitzgerald really based this story on his relationship with his wife, then I feel very sorry for them, and hope that at some point there was some real love between them (you can probably tell how I would answer the aforementioned questions).  It’s probably a great read for a day when the most superficial level of romance prevails – Anthony and Gloria go into their relationship expecting that superficiality to sustain them through the years.  It’s painful to watch their illusions crumble around them.

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