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New Essays on F. Scott Fitzgerald's Neglected Stories

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Overview

F. Scott Fitzgerald's short stories are the most critically undervalued and ignored segment of his fiction. Despite the fact that most of his short fiction has been published in various extant collections, critics nonetheless continue to focus primarily on his novels. Moreover, even when they turn their attention to Fitzgerald's stories, they tend to deal with the half dozen most frequently anthologized to the exclusion of the vast majority.

This volume presents twenty-three previously unpublished essays on Fitzgerald's "other" stories. The first section contains close readings of individual stories and ranges chronologically over his entire career—from "The Spire and the Gargoyle" (published in 1917, when Fitzgerald was at Princeton) through such early efforts as "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" (1920) and "John Jackson's Arcady" (1924) down to late stories such as "An Alcoholic Case" (1937) and "The Lost Decade" (1939). The second section includes essays on Fitzgerald's three story groups—the Basil and Josephine stories, the Count of Darkness stories, and the Pat Hobby stories.

By placing these stories within the context of Fitzgerald's total fictional achievement, this collection serves as a resource for a deepened understanding of the intensely autobiographical nature of Fitzgerald's work, offering insights into his methods of composition and his aims, both artistic and human.

The roster of contributors includes long-time Fitzgerald critics such as John Kuehl, Scott Donaldson, and Ruth Prigozy, along with distinguished critics of modern American literature such as Robert Merrill, Alan Cheuse, and James Nagel, and younger scholars like Gerald Pike and Heidi Kunz Bullock. The editor, Jackson R. Bryer, deliberately chose such a diverse group to ensure a variety of critical perspectives. The resulting volume is not the "last word" on these neglected stories; rather, these are the "first words" on stories that will now begin to receive more attention in what will be a continuing discovery of the pleasures in the full range of F. Scott Fitzgerald's fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Presents 23 previously unpublished essays on Fitzgerald's lesser known short stories, containing close readings of individual stories ranging chronologically over his career, and analysis of his three story groups--the Basil and Josephine stories, the Count of Darkness stories, and the Pat Hobby stories. Places the stories within the context of Fitzgerald's total fictional achievement, emphasizing the autobiographical nature of his work, and offers insights into his methods of composition and his aims. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826210395
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jackson R. Bryer is Professor of English at the University of Maryland and author or editor of numerous books, among them Selected Letters of Eugene O'Neill and The Critical Reputation of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
A Style Is Born: The Rhetoric of Loss in "The Spire and the Gargoyle" 9
"Dalyrimple Goes Wrong": The Best of the Neglected Early Stories 24
The Grace of "Benediction" 35
Fitzgerald's Christmas Carol, or the Burden of "The Camel's Back" 50
"Bernice Bobs Her Hair": Fitzgerald's Jazz Elegy for Little Women 58
"John Jackson's Arcady": The Lamentable F. Scott Fitzgerald 74
Climbing "Jacob's Ladder" 89
Distant Idols: Fate and the Work Ethic in "The Bowl" 104
"Outside the Cabinet-Maker's": Fitzgerald's "Ode to a Nightingale" 118
The Southern and the Satirical in "The Last of the Belles" 130
Fitzgerald's Very "Rough Crossing" 138
"The Swimmers": Strokes against the Current 151
"Two Wrongs," or One Wrong Too Many 165
Flakes of Black Snow: "One Trip Abroad" Reconsidered 175
What Fitzgerald Thought of the Jews: Resisting Type in "The Hotel Child" 189
An Unsentimental Education: "The Rubber Check" 206
"What a Handsome Pair!" and the Institution of Marriage 219
Bette Weaver, R.N.: "Her Last Case" 232
The Cartoonist, the Nurse, and the Writer: "An Alcoholic Case" 244
Recovering "The Lost Decade" 253
Initiation and Intertextuality in The Basil and Josephine Stories 265
Philippe, "Count of Darkness," and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Feminist? 291
Will the Real Pat Hobby Please Stand Up? 305
Bibliography 339
Notes on the Contributors 351
Index 357
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