Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald, one of the most free-spirited and flamboyant couples, mark 100 years of their literary honeymoon this weekend. According to a report in The Guardian, to date and the publication of Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise will be celebrated by readers reading the text at various online events.
“This wasn’t just a book when it came out – it was a cultural event. “We have had to get creative [because of Covid-19 restrictions] and so we set up a Facebook reading,” Dr Kirk Curnutt, director of the F Scott Fitzgerald Society was quoted as saying.
Their marriage took place at the St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and though beset with problems, it is still regarded as one of the most celebrated moments in literary history. Zelda had apparently put forth a condition that she will not marry him till he was a successful author. The rest, as they say, is history.
“This Side of Paradise is a bold, almost cocky novel, and it came from nowhere. The novel is important because it is his first one and not because it is especially well-crafted,” McGowan added. “It sold better than The Beautiful and Damned, [The Great] Gatsby or Tender is the Night,” ” Philip McGowan, editor of a new Oxford World Classics print of the book, was quoted as saying to the Observer.
“He had been an advertising copywriter, and socialite Zelda Sayre wouldn’t have anything to do with him. He had to convince her he was going somewhere,” said Curnutt.
The celebration will take place in different ways. The report states that a local Montgomery bookshop, Read Herring, will be be giving away copies of three short stories by Fitzgerald. They will be set in a fictionalised version of the town and published by NewSouth Book.