Cover image for This side of paradise
Title:
This side of paradise
Author:
Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940.
Publication Information:
New York : Barnes & Noble Books, [1996]

©1996
Physical Description:
255 pages ; 21 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780760700136

9780760700129
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Eggertsville-Snyder Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Author Notes

F(rancis) Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896. He was educated at Princeton University and served in the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1919, attaining the rank of second lieutenant. In 1920 Fitzgerald married Zelda Sayre, a young woman of the upper class, and they had a daughter, Frances.

Fitzgerald is regarded as one of the finest American writers of the 20th Century. His most notable work was the novel, The Great Gatsby (1925). The novel focused on the themes of the Roaring Twenties and of the loss of innocence and ethics among the nouveau riche. He also made many contributions to American literature in the form of short stories, plays, poetry, music, and letters. Ernest Hemingway, who was greatly influenced by Fitzgerald's short stories, wrote that Fitzgerald's talent was "as fine as the dust on a butterfly's wing." Yet during his lifetime Fitzgerald never had a bestselling novel and, toward the end of his life, he worked sporadically as a screenwriter at motion picture studios in Los Angeles. There he contributed to scripts for such popular films as Winter Carnival and Gone with the Wind.

Fitzgerald's work is inseparable from the Roaring 20s. Berenice Bobs Her Hair and A Diamond As Big As The Ritz, are two short stories included in his collections, Tales of the Jazz Age and Flappers and Philosophers. His first novel The Beautiful and Damned was flawed but set up Fitzgerald's major themes of the fleeting nature of youthfulness and innocence, unattainable love, and middle-class aspiration for wealth and respectability, derived from his own courtship of Zelda. This Side of Paradise (1920) was Fitzgerald's first unqualified success. Tender Is the Night, a mature look at the excesses of the exuberant 20s, was published in 1934.

Much of Fitzgerald's work has been adapted for film, including Tender is the Night , The Great Gatsby, and Babylon Revisited which was adapted as The Last Time I Saw Paris by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1954. The Last Tycoon, adapted by Paramount in 1976, was a work in progress when Fitzgerald died of a heart attack on December 21, 1940, in Hollywood, California. Fitzgerald is buried in the historic St. Mary's Cemetery in Rockville, Maryland.

(Bowker Author Biography)


F(rancis) Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896. He was educated at Princeton University and served in the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1919, attaining the rank of second lieutenant. In 1920 Fitzgerald married Zelda Sayre, a young woman of the upper class, and they had a daughter, Frances.

Fitzgerald is regarded as one of the finest American writers of the 20th Century. His most notable work was the novel, The Great Gatsby (1925). The novel focused on the themes of the Roaring Twenties and of the loss of innocence and ethics among the nouveau riche. He also made many contributions to American literature in the form of short stories, plays, poetry, music, and letters. Ernest Hemingway, who was greatly influenced by Fitzgerald's short stories, wrote that Fitzgerald's talent was "as fine as the dust on a butterfly's wing." Yet during his lifetime Fitzgerald never had a bestselling novel and, toward the end of his life, he worked sporadically as a screenwriter at motion picture studios in Los Angeles. There he contributed to scripts for such popular films as Winter Carnival and Gone with the Wind.

Fitzgerald's work is inseparable from the Roaring 20s. Berenice Bobs Her Hair and A Diamond As Big As The Ritz, are two short stories included in his collections, Tales of the Jazz Age and Flappers and Philosophers. His first novel The Beautiful and Damned was flawed but set up Fitzgerald's major themes of the fleeting nature of youthfulness and innocence, unattainable love, and middle-class aspiration for wealth and respectability, derived from his own courtship of Zelda. This Side of Paradise (1920) was Fitzgerald's first unqualified success. Tender Is the Night, a mature look at the excesses of the exuberant 20s, was published in 1934.

Much of Fitzgerald's work has been adapted for film, including Tender is the Night , The Great Gatsby, and Babylon Revisited which was adapted as The Last Time I Saw Paris by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1954. The Last Tycoon, adapted by Paramount in 1976, was a work in progress when Fitzgerald died of a heart attack on December 21, 1940, in Hollywood, California. Fitzgerald is buried in the historic St. Mary's Cemetery in Rockville, Maryland.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 6

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fitzgerald's first novel, about a coterie of Princeton socialites, appears in a 75th anniversary edition. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

The first novel that launched Fitzgerald to literary fame and glory in 1920 is now in the public domain and will undoubtedly be released by a number of publishers. These two editions represent both ends of the spectrum. The Cambridge edition is the latest in its ongoing series of corrected texts of Fitzgerald's work. Aimed at the scholarly audience, it includes an introduction, explanatory notes, and illustrations. The Penguin paperback also has an introduction but is a basic, no-frills edition, which is adequate for the casual reader. Serious American literature collections should stock the Cambridge text, which is probably the finest edition of this novel to date. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

This fine critical edition by West (Pennsylvania State Univ.), an acknowledged Fitzgerald expert and author of The Making of This Side of Paradise (CH, Sep'83), maintains the high standards of "The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald" series. The first edition of Fitzgerald's first novel (1920) was notorious for being riddled with errors of fact, grammar, and spelling. West meticulously identifies these and makes a series of careful decisions (the rationale of which is explained to the reader) as to which should be corrected and which allowed to stand in order to preserve the rhythms of Fitzgerald's flawed but intriguing work. The scholarly apparatus is accessible and exhaustive. The editor provides a comprehensive chronology and introduction detailing the stages of composition from manuscript through the published book, records of variants and alterations in later editions, numerous explanatory notes regarding contemporary references in the novel, and useful illustrations, including facsimiles of sample manuscript pages. This edition will prove quite useful to both advanced scholars and undergraduates. A valuable addition to Fitzgerald scholarship and a desirable acquisition for all academic libraries. B. H. Leeds Central Connecticut State University


Publisher's Weekly Review

Fitzgerald's first novel, about a coterie of Princeton socialites, appears in a 75th anniversary edition. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

The first novel that launched Fitzgerald to literary fame and glory in 1920 is now in the public domain and will undoubtedly be released by a number of publishers. These two editions represent both ends of the spectrum. The Cambridge edition is the latest in its ongoing series of corrected texts of Fitzgerald's work. Aimed at the scholarly audience, it includes an introduction, explanatory notes, and illustrations. The Penguin paperback also has an introduction but is a basic, no-frills edition, which is adequate for the casual reader. Serious American literature collections should stock the Cambridge text, which is probably the finest edition of this novel to date. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

This fine critical edition by West (Pennsylvania State Univ.), an acknowledged Fitzgerald expert and author of The Making of This Side of Paradise (CH, Sep'83), maintains the high standards of "The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald" series. The first edition of Fitzgerald's first novel (1920) was notorious for being riddled with errors of fact, grammar, and spelling. West meticulously identifies these and makes a series of careful decisions (the rationale of which is explained to the reader) as to which should be corrected and which allowed to stand in order to preserve the rhythms of Fitzgerald's flawed but intriguing work. The scholarly apparatus is accessible and exhaustive. The editor provides a comprehensive chronology and introduction detailing the stages of composition from manuscript through the published book, records of variants and alterations in later editions, numerous explanatory notes regarding contemporary references in the novel, and useful illustrations, including facsimiles of sample manuscript pages. This edition will prove quite useful to both advanced scholars and undergraduates. A valuable addition to Fitzgerald scholarship and a desirable acquisition for all academic libraries. B. H. Leeds Central Connecticut State University


Excerpts

Excerpts

Book One The Romantic Egotist Amory, Son of Beatrice Amory Blaine inherited from his mother every trait, except the stray inexpressible few, that made him worth while. His father, an ineffectual, inarticulate man with a taste for Byron and a habit for drowsing over the Encyclopædia Britannica, grew wealthy at thirty through the death of two elder brothers, successful Chicago brokers, and in the first flush of feeling that the world was his, went to Bar Harbor and met Beatrice O'Hara. In consequence, Stephen Blaine handed down to posterity his height of just under six feet and his tendency to waver at crucial moments, these two abstractions appearing in his son Amory. For many years he hovered in the background of his family's life, an unassertive figure with a face half-obliterated by lifeless, silky hair continually occupied in "taking care" of his wife, continually harassed by the idea that he didn't and couldn't understand her. But Beatrice Blaine! There was a woman! Early pictures taken on her father's estate at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, or in Rome at the Sacred Heart Convent-an educational extravagance that in her youth was only for the daughters of the exceptionally wealthy-showed the exquisite delicacy of her features, the consummate art and simplicity of her clothes. A brilliant education she had-her youth passed in renaissance glory, she was versed in the latest gossip of the Older Roman Families; known by name as a fabulously wealthy American girl to Cardinal Vitori and Queen Margherita and more subtle celebrities that one must have had some culture even to have heard of. She learned in England to prefer whiskey and soda to wine, and her small talk was broadened in two senses during a winter in Vienna. All in all Beatrice O'Hara absorbed the sort of education that will be quite impossible ever again; a tutelage measured by the number of things and people one could be contemptuous of and charming about; a culture rich in all arts and traditions, barren of all ideas, in the last of those days when the great gardener clipped the inferior roses to produce one perfect bud. In her less important moments she returned to America, met Stephen Blaine and married him-this almost entirely because she was a little bit weary, a little bit sad. Her only child was carried through a tiresome season and brought into the world on a spring day in ninety-six. When Amory was five he was already a delightful companion for her. He was an auburn-haired boy, with great, handsome eyes which he would grow up to in time, a facile imaginative mind and a taste for fancy dress. From his fourth to his tenth year he did the country with his mother in her father's private car, from Coronado, where his mother became so bored that she had a nervous breakdown in a fashionable hotel, down to Mexico City, where she took a mild, almost epidemic consumption. This trouble pleased her, and later she made use of it as an intrinsic part of her atmosphere-especially after several astounding bracers. So, while more or less fortunate little rich boys were defying governesses on the beach at Newport, or being spanked or tutored or read to from "Do and Dare," or "Frank on the Mississippi," Amory was biting acquiescent bell-boys in the Waldorf, outgrowing a natural repugnance to chamber music and symphonies, and deriving a highly specialized education from his mother. "Amory." "Yes, Beatrice." (Such a quaint name for his mother; she encouraged it.) "Dear, don't think of getting out of bed yet. I've always suspected that early rising in early life makes one nervous. Clothilde is having your breakfast brought up." "All right." "I am feeling very old today, Amory," she would sigh, her face a rare cameo of pathos, her voice exquisitely modulated, her hands as facile as Bernhardt's. "My nerves are on edge-on edge. We must leave this terrifying place tomorrow and go searching for sunshine." Amory's penetrating green eyes would look out through tangled hair at his mother. Even at this age he had no illusions about her. "Amory." "Oh, yes." "I want you to take a red-hot bath-as hot as you can bear it, and just relax your nerves. You can read in the tub if you wish." She fed him sections of the "Fêtes Galantes" before he was ten; at eleven he could talk glibly, if rather reminiscently, of Brahms and Mozart and Beethoven. One afternoon, when left alone in the hotel at Hot Springs, he sampled his mother's apricot cordial, and as the taste pleased him, he became quite tipsy. This was fun for a while, but he essayed a cigarette in his exaltation, and succumbed to a vulgar, plebeian reaction. Though this incident horrified Beatrice, it also secretly amused her and became part of what in a later generation would have been termed her "line." "This son of mine," he heard her tell a room full of awe-struck, admiring women one day, "is entirely sophisticated and quite charming-but delicate-we're all delicate; here, you know." Her hand was radiantly outlined against her beautiful bosom; then sinking her voice to a whisper, she told them of the apricot cordial. They rejoiced, for she was a brave raconteuse, but many were the keys turned in sideboard locks that night against the possible defection of little Bobby or Barbara. . . . These domestic pilgrimages were invariably in state; two maids, the private car, or Mr. Blaine when available, and very often a physician. When Amory had the whooping-cough four disgusted specialists glared at each other hunched around his bed; when he took scarlet fever the number of attendants, including physicians and nurses, totalled fourteen. However, blood being thicker than broth, he was pulled through. The Blaines were attached to no city. They were the Blaines of Lake Geneva; they had quite enough relatives to serve in place of friends, and an enviable standing from Pasadena to Cape Cod. But Beatrice grew more and more prone to like only new acquaintances, as there were certain stories, such as the history of her constitution and its many amendments, memories of her years abroad, that it was necessary for her to repeat at regular intervals. Like Freudian dreams, they must be thrown off, else they would sweep in and lay siege to her nerves. But Beatrice was critical about American women, especially the floating population of ex-Westerners. "They have accents, my dear," she told Amory, "not Southern accents or Boston accents, not an accent attached to any locality, just an accent"-she became dreamy. "They pick up old, moth-eaten London accents that are down on their luck and have to be used by some one. They talk as an English butler might after several years in a Chicago grand opera company." She became almost incoherent- "Suppose-time in every Western woman's life-she feels her husband is prosperous enough for her to have-accent-they try to impress me, my dear-" Though she thought of her body as a mass of frailties, she considered her soul quite as ill, and therefore important in her life. She had once been a Catholic, but discovering that priests were infinitely more attentive when she was in process of losing or regaining faith in Mother Church, she maintained an enchantingly wavering attitude. Often she deplored the bourgeois quality of the American Catholic clergy, and was quite sure that had she lived in the shadow of the great Continental cathedrals her soul would still be a thin flame on the mighty altar of Rome. Still, next to doctors, priests were her favorite sport. "Ah, Bishop Wiston," she would declare, "I do not want to talk of myself. I can imagine the stream of hysterical women fluttering at your doors, beseeching you to be simpatico"-then after an interlude filled by the clergyman- "but my mood-is-oddly dissimilar." Only to bishops and above did she divulge her clerical romance. When she had first returned to her country there had been a pagan, Swinburnian young man in Asheville, for whose passionate kisses and unsentimental conversations she had taken a decided penchant-they had discussed the matter pro and con with an intellectual romancing quite devoid of soppiness. Eventually she had decided to marry for background, and the young pagan from Asheville had gone through a spiritual crisis, joined the Catholic Church, and was now-Monsignor Darcy. "Indeed, Mrs. Blaine, he is still delightful company-quite the cardinal's right-hand man." "Amory will go to him one day, I know," breathed the beautiful lady, "and Monsignor Darcy will understand him as he understood me." Amory became thirteen, rather tall and slender, and more than ever on to his Celtic mother. He had tutored occasionally-the idea being that he was to "keep up," at each place "taking up the work where he left off," yet as no tutor ever found the place he left off, his mind was still in very good shape. What a few more years of this life would have made of him is problematical. However, four hours out from land, Italy bound, with Beatrice, his appendix burst, probably from too many meals in bed, and after a series of frantic telegrams to Europe and America, to the amazement of the passengers the great ship slowly wheeled around and returned to New York to deposit Amory at the pier. You will admit that if it was not life it was magnificent. After the operation Beatrice had a nervous breakdown that bore a suspicious resemblance to delirium tremens, and Amory was left in Minneapolis, destined to spend the ensuing two years with his aunt and uncle. There the crude, vulgar air of Western civilization first catches him-in his underwear, so to speak. Excerpted from This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
Book One The Romantic Egotist Amory, Son of Beatrice Amory Blaine inherited from his mother every trait, except the stray inexpressible few, that made him worth while. His father, an ineffectual, inarticulate man with a taste for Byron and a habit for drowsing over the Encyclopædia Britannica, grew wealthy at thirty through the death of two elder brothers, successful Chicago brokers, and in the first flush of feeling that the world was his, went to Bar Harbor and met Beatrice O'Hara. In consequence, Stephen Blaine handed down to posterity his height of just under six feet and his tendency to waver at crucial moments, these two abstractions appearing in his son Amory. For many years he hovered in the background of his family's life, an unassertive figure with a face half-obliterated by lifeless, silky hair continually occupied in "taking care" of his wife, continually harassed by the idea that he didn't and couldn't understand her. But Beatrice Blaine! There was a woman! Early pictures taken on her father's estate at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, or in Rome at the Sacred Heart Convent-an educational extravagance that in her youth was only for the daughters of the exceptionally wealthy-showed the exquisite delicacy of her features, the consummate art and simplicity of her clothes. A brilliant education she had-her youth passed in renaissance glory, she was versed in the latest gossip of the Older Roman Families; known by name as a fabulously wealthy American girl to Cardinal Vitori and Queen Margherita and more subtle celebrities that one must have had some culture even to have heard of. She learned in England to prefer whiskey and soda to wine, and her small talk was broadened in two senses during a winter in Vienna. All in all Beatrice O'Hara absorbed the sort of education that will be quite impossible ever again; a tutelage measured by the number of things and people one could be contemptuous of and charming about; a culture rich in all arts and traditions, barren of all ideas, in the last of those days when the great gardener clipped the inferior roses to produce one perfect bud. In her less important moments she returned to America, met Stephen Blaine and married him-this almost entirely because she was a little bit weary, a little bit sad. Her only child was carried through a tiresome season and brought into the world on a spring day in ninety-six. When Amory was five he was already a delightful companion for her. He was an auburn-haired boy, with great, handsome eyes which he would grow up to in time, a facile imaginative mind and a taste for fancy dress. From his fourth to his tenth year he did the country with his mother in her father's private car, from Coronado, where his mother became so bored that she had a nervous breakdown in a fashionable hotel, down to Mexico City, where she took a mild, almost epidemic consumption. This trouble pleased her, and later she made use of it as an intrinsic part of her atmosphere-especially after several astounding bracers. So, while more or less fortunate little rich boys were defying governesses on the beach at Newport, or being spanked or tutored or read to from "Do and Dare," or "Frank on the Mississippi," Amory was biting acquiescent bell-boys in the Waldorf, outgrowing a natural repugnance to chamber music and symphonies, and deriving a highly specialized education from his mother. "Amory." "Yes, Beatrice." (Such a quaint name for his mother; she encouraged it.) "Dear, don't think of getting out of bed yet. I've always suspected that early rising in early life makes one nervous. Clothilde is having your breakfast brought up." "All right." "I am feeling very old today, Amory," she would sigh, her face a rare cameo of pathos, her voice exquisitely modulated, her hands as facile as Bernhardt's. "My nerves are on edge-on edge. We must leave this terrifying place tomorrow and go searching for sunshine." Amory's penetrating green eyes would look out through tangled hair at his mother. Even at this age he had no illusions about her. "Amory." "Oh, yes." "I want you to take a red-hot bath-as hot as you can bear it, and just relax your nerves. You can read in the tub if you wish." She fed him sections of the "Fêtes Galantes" before he was ten; at eleven he could talk glibly, if rather reminiscently, of Brahms and Mozart and Beethoven. One afternoon, when left alone in the hotel at Hot Springs, he sampled his mother's apricot cordial, and as the taste pleased him, he became quite tipsy. This was fun for a while, but he essayed a cigarette in his exaltation, and succumbed to a vulgar, plebeian reaction. Though this incident horrified Beatrice, it also secretly amused her and became part of what in a later generation would have been termed her "line." "This son of mine," he heard her tell a room full of awe-struck, admiring women one day, "is entirely sophisticated and quite charming-but delicate-we're all delicate; here, you know." Her hand was radiantly outlined against her beautiful bosom; then sinking her voice to a whisper, she told them of the apricot cordial. They rejoiced, for she was a brave raconteuse, but many were the keys turned in sideboard locks that night against the possible defection of little Bobby or Barbara. . . . These domestic pilgrimages were invariably in state; two maids, the private car, or Mr. Blaine when available, and very often a physician. When Amory had the whooping-cough four disgusted specialists glared at each other hunched around his bed; when he took scarlet fever the number of attendants, including physicians and nurses, totalled fourteen. However, blood being thicker than broth, he was pulled through. The Blaines were attached to no city. They were the Blaines of Lake Geneva; they had quite enough relatives to serve in place of friends, and an enviable standing from Pasadena to Cape Cod. But Beatrice grew more and more prone to like only new acquaintances, as there were certain stories, such as the history of her constitution and its many amendments, memories of her years abroad, that it was necessary for her to repeat at regular intervals. Like Freudian dreams, they must be thrown off, else they would sweep in and lay siege to her nerves. But Beatrice was critical about American women, especially the floating population of ex-Westerners. "They have accents, my dear," she told Amory, "not Southern accents or Boston accents, not an accent attached to any locality, just an accent"-she became dreamy. "They pick up old, moth-eaten London accents that are down on their luck and have to be used by some one. They talk as an English butler might after several years in a Chicago grand opera company." She became almost incoherent- "Suppose-time in every Western woman's life-she feels her husband is prosperous enough for her to have-accent-they try to impress me, my dear-" Though she thought of her body as a mass of frailties, she considered her soul quite as ill, and therefore important in her life. She had once been a Catholic, but discovering that priests were infinitely more attentive when she was in process of losing or regaining faith in Mother Church, she maintained an enchantingly wavering attitude. Often she deplored the bourgeois quality of the American Catholic clergy, and was quite sure that had she lived in the shadow of the great Continental cathedrals her soul would still be a thin flame on the mighty altar of Rome. Still, next to doctors, priests were her favorite sport. "Ah, Bishop Wiston," she would declare, "I do not want to talk of myself. I can imagine the stream of hysterical women fluttering at your doors, beseeching you to be simpatico"-then after an interlude filled by the clergyman- "but my mood-is-oddly dissimilar." Only to bishops and above did she divulge her clerical romance. When she had first returned to her country there had been a pagan, Swinburnian young man in Asheville, for whose passionate kisses and unsentimental conversations she had taken a decided penchant-they had discussed the matter pro and con with an intellectual romancing quite devoid of soppiness. Eventually she had decided to marry for background, and the young pagan from Asheville had gone through a spiritual crisis, joined the Catholic Church, and was now-Monsignor Darcy. "Indeed, Mrs. Blaine, he is still delightful company-quite the cardinal's right-hand man." "Amory will go to him one day, I know," breathed the beautiful lady, "and Monsignor Darcy will understand him as he understood me." Amory became thirteen, rather tall and slender, and more than ever on to his Celtic mother. He had tutored occasionally-the idea being that he was to "keep up," at each place "taking up the work where he left off," yet as no tutor ever found the place he left off, his mind was still in very good shape. What a few more years of this life would have made of him is problematical. However, four hours out from land, Italy bound, with Beatrice, his appendix burst, probably from too many meals in bed, and after a series of frantic telegrams to Europe and America, to the amazement of the passengers the great ship slowly wheeled around and returned to New York to deposit Amory at the pier. You will admit that if it was not life it was magnificent. After the operation Beatrice had a nervous breakdown that bore a suspicious resemblance to delirium tremens, and Amory was left in Minneapolis, destined to spend the ensuing two years with his aunt and uncle. There the crude, vulgar air of Western civilization first catches him-in his underwear, so to speak. Excerpted from This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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