Fitzgerald’s second novel, a devastating portrait of the excesses of the Jazz Age, is a largely autobiographical depiction of a glamorous, reckless Manhattan couple and their spectacular spiral into tragedy. Published on the heels of This Side of Paradise, the story of the Harvard-educated aesthete Anthony Patch and his willful wife, Gloria, is propelled by Fitzgerald’s intense romantic imagination and demonstrates an increased technical and emotional maturity. The Beautiful and Damned is at once a gripping morality tale, a rueful meditation on love, marriage, and money, and an acute social document. As Hortense Calisher observes in her Introduction, “Though Fitzgerald can entrance with stories so joyfully youthful they appear to be safe—when he cuts himself, you will bleed.”
THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED, F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1922 novel, is heavily based on his own troubled marriage as he describes the moral, physical, and financial decline of a beautiful and gifted couple. Anthony and Gloria Patch seem made for each other, and their idyllic relationship is enhanced by their expectations of inheriting Anthony's grandfather's millions. As they live their idle dissatisfied lives, waiting for the money to come their way, Gloria's selfishness and Anthony's alcoholism gradually and irrevocably corrode their feelings for each other. Fitzgerald's second novel is a scathing critique of the moneyed class to which he aspired but that was always, tantalizingly, just out of his reach. One of his saddest, THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED is also one of his most beautifully written books.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
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- August 10, 2010
- August 10, 2010
- F. Scott Fitzgerald