lost generation writers By Jon Lewis
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My Vocabulary

My Vocabulary | lost generation writers By Jon Lewis | Scoop.it

Courtship-is the period  on a couples relationship which procedes there engagement.

 

correspendence- remote communication betwenn peole like letters and emails.

 

aimlessness- quality of lacking any definte purpose.

 

virtuously- in a morral manner he acted morraly under the circumstances

 

sociability- the relative tendency with ones fellows

 

governesses- a woman employed to teach children in a private household

 

egotism- the pracitice of talking and thinking about oneself excessively because of an undue sense of self-importance.

 

 

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Book 1, Chapter 2. Spires and Gargoyles. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. 1920. This Side of Paradise

Book 1, Chapter 2. Spires and Gargoyles. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. 1920. This Side of Paradise | lost generation writers By Jon Lewis | Scoop.it

 

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940)

CHAPTER 2 
Spires and Gargoyles

summary


Amory moves into Princeton and meets his roommates, Kerry and Burne Holiday. Together, they try to adjust to their new environment, going to movies and getting catcalled by upperclassmen. Attempting to gain status in the class, Amory first goes out for football, but after an impressive start, is sidelined by an injury. He then joins the newspaper, "The Daily Princetonian." Yet he and Kerry notice that they are still not among the elite of the class. They resign themselves, and decide to just have fun for the remainder of the year.

Amory strikes up a friendship based on talking about books with the avid reader, Tom D'Invilliers. Tom interests Amory in many new authors, and Amory introduces Tom to the social life of the college. World War I begins in Europe but Amory takes little interest in it, concentrating instead on his successes at the newspaper and the Triangle Club, the musical theater group he has joined.

On the Triangle Club's trip across the country, Amory is introduced to a new young American social world. The narrator explains how the old world of the "belle" and her gentlemen callers had been replaced by the looser, more risqué world of the popular daughter, the "P. D.," who drinks, smokes cigarettes and kisses men quite casually. Amory, who is quite handsome, greatly enjoys this scene and is very successful in it.

One such very experienced and attractive P. D., named Isabelle, meets Amory at the Minnehaha Club in Minnesota, and the two fall in love within a day. When Amory returns to Princeton, they maintain a rapturous correspondence of love letters.

Because of his involvement in the newspaper, Amory had become somewhat of an elite man on campus. He plays the social scene well and is admitted into the Cottage, one of the elite clubs on campus. Amory remembers his sophomore spring as one of the happiest times of his life--such as when he, Alec Connage, Dick Humbird, Jesse Ferrenby and Kerry go down to the coast for a weekend. They go with no money and survive by sleeping outside and ridiculously underpaying for nice meals, all the while being drunk and boisterous. Amory idealizes Dick Humbird--the way he walks, talks, and acts--as the paradigm of social grace, even when he learns that Dick comes from "new money" and is not of the old elite class.

Tom and Amory reflect on how much the social world at Princeton has made Tom conventional, and the wild times continue. Amory goes to a party in New York with friends. Upon returning, he discovers that Dick Humbird has crashed the other car and been killed in the accident. After this sobering incident, Isabelle arrives to go to the prom with Amory. The two are very much in love. Amory goes for a visit with Isabelle's family at their estate on Long Island.

Commentary

Amory's desire to adapt himself to established social systems and his obsessive analysis of these systems continue at Princeton. When sidelined from football, he seeks to achieve "success" in other ways. Amory's relationship with Tom serves to highlight this obsession with social success, but also shows his ability to remain an individual in that system. When Tom arrives at Princeton, he does not notice or care much for the campus politics that so interest Amory. The literary friendship that they share expands Amory's mind; at the same time, Tom's dress and bearing become more and more socially conventional. Tom's change inspires him with regret at what he might have done had he not given in to social pressure, while Amory seems to emerge unscathed. This ability for Amory to absorb what is best from people and emerge better for it while those around him experience regret offers insight into his egotism and adaptability.

Amory plays the social game well and earns admission to one of the elite social clubs on campus. His acceptance by the old establishment that these clubs embody signals the degree to which he has adapted himself and has banished the influence of his mother, but it also signals a departure from his true self.

Amory's idealization of Dick Humbird provides another key to understanding his fascination with social grace. Dick represents all that Amory is striving to become. The fact that Dick does not come from "old money" confuses Amory's valuation to some extent, but only serves to better highlight the utmost importance he places on sociability. Amory simply loves the way that Dick acts and is less concerned about Dick's social credentials.

Dick's death haunts Amory for the rest of the narrative. It is his first exposure to the random brevity of life. Also, metaphorically, it marks the extinction of the ideal man; all of Dick's graces could not shield him from his accidental death. This scene may have some impact on dissuading Amory from striving toward this ideal.

The narrator's description of the social world that Amory encounters on his Triangle Club trip is an important historical description (along with the portrait of Rosalind later on). Fitzgerald reveals a new world of looser sexual mores that horrified some of his contemporary readers, while exhilarating and inspiring others. Depictions of scenes like these secured Fitzgerald's position as the chronicler of a new generation.

Amory's experiences with Isabelle serve to introduce a new mode of interaction and reveal Amory's capacity in and propensity toward love. In a moment, he is in love and throws himself wholly into the role of lover, embracing romance with eagerness and innocence.




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the lost generation writers

the lost generation writers | lost generation writers By Jon Lewis | Scoop.it

During the 1920's a group of writers known as "The Lost Generation" gained popularity. The term "the lost generation" was coined by Gertrude Stein who is rumored to have heard her auto-mechanic while in France to have said that his young workers were, "une generation perdue". This refered to the young workers' poor auto-mechanic repair skills. Gertrude Stein would take this phrase and use it to describe the people of the 1920's who rejected American post World War I values. The three best known writers among The Lost Generation are F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos. Others among the list are: Sherwood Anderson, Kay Boyle, Hart Crane, Ford Maddox Ford and Zelda Fitzgerald. Ernest Hemingway, perhaps the leading literary figure of the decade, would take Stein's phrase, and use it as an epigraph for his first novel, The Sun Also Rises. Because of this novel's popularity, the term, "The Lost Generation" is the enduring term that has stayed associated with writers of the 1920's.

The "Lost Generation" defines a sense of moral loss or aimlessness apparent in literary figures during the 1920s. World War I seemed to have destroyed the idea that if you acted virtuously, good things would happen. Many good, young men went to war and died, or returned home either physically or mentally wounded (for most, both), and their faith in the moral guideposts that had earlier given them hope, were no longer valid...they were "Lost."

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Book 2, Chapter 3. Young Irony. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. 1920. This Side of Paradise

Book 2, Chapter 3. Young Irony. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. 1920. This Side of Paradise | lost generation writers By Jon Lewis | Scoop.it

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940)

book two 

The Education of a Personage

In the summer of 1919, after several years of courtship, Zelda Sayre broke up with the 22-year-old Fitzgerald. After a summer of heavy alcohol use, he returned to St. Paul, Minnesota where his family lived, to complete the novel, hoping that if he became a successful novelist he could win Zelda back. While at Princeton, Fitzgerald had written an unpublished novel called The Romantic Egotist and ultimately 80 pages of the typescript of this earlier work ended up in This Side of Paradise.[1]

On September 4, 1919, Fitzgerald gave the manuscript to a friend to deliver to Maxwell Perkins, an editor at Charles Scribner's Sons in New York. The book was nearly rejected by the editors at Scribners, but Perkins insisted, and on September 16 it was officially accepted. Fitzgerald begged for early publication—convinced that he would become a celebrity and impress Zelda—but was told that the novel would have to wait until the spring. Nevertheless, upon the acceptance of his novel for publication he went and visited Zelda and they resumed their courtship. His success imminent, she agreed to marry him


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Book 1, Chapter 1. Amory, Son of Beatrice. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. 1920. This Side of Paradise

Book 1, Chapter 1. Amory, Son of Beatrice. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. 1920. This Side of Paradise | lost generation writers By Jon Lewis | Scoop.it

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940)

BOOK ONE 
The Romantic Egotist

 summary

 

 

 

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 of 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. 5 "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 to-day, 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 to-morrow and go searching for sunshine." 10 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." 15 "This son of mine," he heard her tell a room full of awestruck, 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.

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lost generation writers

lost generation writers | lost generation writers By Jon Lewis | Scoop.it

introduced by the American writer G. Stein, referring to Western European and American writers whose works, published in the 1920’s in the wake of the tragic experience of World War I (1914–18), expressed a profound disillusionment with capitalist civilization. Among the writers of the “lost generation” were E. Hemingway, W. Faulkner, J. Dos Passos, F. S. Fitzgerald, E. M. Remarque, and A. T. Kristensen.

In a broad sense, the lost generation was made up of people who had been through the war. Spiritually traumatized by this experience, they lost their faith in bourgeois virtues and became keenly aware of their alienation from society. The protest of writers of the lost generation is characterized chiefly by moral and ethical fervor. By the 1930’s the theme of the lost generation had lost much of its poignancy. After World War II (1939–45) some of the attitudes of the lost generation were expressed in the work of the “beat generation” (USA), the “angry young men” (Great Britain), and the “generation of returning soldiers” (Federal Republic of Germany).

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