Today would have been F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 116th birthday, and though millions of students are required to read novels like The Great Gatsby, one critic of his first work , This Side of Paradise, was incensed at his treatment of the powerful classes.
For every writer, artist and rebel out there who feels under the gun of societal pressure to DO SOMETHING with their lives, Fitzgerald’s words may give you the strength to fight another day.
Here’s a small excerpt from the letter featured at Brain Pickings.
Your letter riled me to such an extent that I’m answering immediately. Who are all these ‘real people’ who ‘create business and politics’? and of whose approval I should be so covetous? Do you mean grafters who keep sugar in their ware houses so that people have to go without or the cheap-jacks who by bribery and high-school sentiment manage to control elections…
… Who in hell ever respected Shelley, Whitman, Poe, O. Henry, Verlaine, Swinburne, Villon, Shakespeare ect when they were alive. Shelley + Swinburne were fired from college; Verlaine + O Henry were in jail. The rest were drunkards or wasters and told generally by the merchants and petty politicians and jitney messiahs of their day that real people wouldn’t stand it And the merchants and messiahs, the shrewd + the dull, are dust — and the others live on…
Full story at Brain Pickings.
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