Happy-Go-Lucky Book Review. “Zelda.” by Nancy Milford.
by Cashmere Wrap & Macadamia Nuts
I knew F. Scott Fitzgerald books, but before the lecture of “Zelda” I never quite understood how deeply personal and biographical they were. Biography written by Nancy Milford gives a detailed overview of Mrs. and Mr. Fitzgerald life, taking a reader on a journey through decades and places, quoting correspondence and personal notes written over the years by this extraordinary couple, allowing a glimpse into their personality and complicated relationship.
Zelda, the notorious and eccentric wife of a great american writer who made a name for himself in the jazz era, was a complex and difficult personality. She was fearless and unstoppable, scandalous and passionate. She and Scott lived a glamorous life, that was dangerously close to his stories. Drama of their life was set between French Riviera, Switzerland, New York and other locations favored by the international jet set. In the roaring twenties they became a living legend, icons of the new era, impersonalization of trends and tastes.
Life in the spotlight, seeking for constant attention, driven by the need to exceed all that was done before at all cost, overshadowing own legend in the fumes of alcohol and all night parties, left a mark. Its weight was especially heavy on Zelda who slowly, but gradually, fell into insanity. Her initial eccentricity became a dangerous mania, separating her from loved ones, from her passions and finally – from life outside an institution.
I found the book really interesting and truly captivating. It presents a life story of two remarkable personalities, who couldn’t live together and at the same time couldn’t live apart. “Beautiful and Damned”, who experienced many “sides of paradise”, but never reached a safe harbor.