Thursday, July 24, 2008

Friday Mieography

Meet Zelda. She grew up in a wealthy, yet prim household in Alabama. Even when she was a child, her racy behavior was a common subject of Montgomery gossip.
She was known as a fearless child, spoiled by her mother, and fathered by a stern, remote man. She did not perform well in school, with her failing grades and her careless attitude.
She met Scott Fitzgerald right before the end of world war I. He resented the fact that she was dating other men, she envied him his writing ability and considered him to be weak and indecisive. There were married in the late 1920's. Rivalry festered during their marriage, punctuated by his alcoholism, and her mental deterioration. She was eventually given the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Both of them drank very heavily throughout the '20's.
They originally settled in NYC, and after Scott achieved fame as a writer, they travelled extensively, mostly to Europe. They were constantly in the press.
The parties and copious amounts of alcohol took a toll on their health, and their relationship with each other. The squandered money on things like having their own private bootlegger. While living in Paris Scott began a friendship with Ernest Hemingway. Zelda disliked him from the first, describing him as "phoney as a rubber check". She became convinced that the men were having a homosexual affair. She once, in her jealousy threw herself down a flight of stairs, because Scott was talking to Isadora Duncan.
They had one child, Frances "Scottie" Fitzgerald, who was mostly raised by nannies. Zelda had at least one affair with a french pilot. She wrote many short stories, but they were published under Scott's name. He, himself, used Zelda in many of his stories. He frequently quoted from her personal diaries, and she, in turn, would accuse him of plagiarism.
Zelda became very bored in their marriage, and felt isolated. Scott was determined to keep her home, afraid she would have an affair. She became obsessed with becoming a professional ballet dancer, and apparently had the talent to do it. He discouraged it, and it was too late for her to accomplish her goal, though she practiced up to eight hours a day. Not able to handle it, she had a breakdown, and began to exhibit elements of obsessive-compulsive disorder. She was eventually admitted into a french sanitorium She spent the last eighteen years of her life in various stages of mental distress. During her periods of lucidness, she would write, and paint. She died in 1948, while she was writing her second novel. A fire burnt down the sanitarium she was in in Asheville, North Carolina. Scott had died in 1940, of a heart attack.

* I don't know why I chose Zelda for this. But I never said my mieographies would be about happy, strong women.... this story was kind of tragic. I always wondered if she inspired Daisy, in the Great Gatsby. I am betting so....*


david mcmahon said...

She could so well be the inspiration for Daisy ....

sybil law said...

Actually, I think she did inspire Daisy.
Anyway, I almost named Gilda Zelda. I like their crazy story. Love F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Daryl said...

I do think she did serve as the inspiration for Daisy .. I love the name Zelda .. if we ever get another female cat I am going to call her Zelda


holly said...

finally a gal who doesn't make me look like an underachiever...