The Beauty in Damnation


Today, I had a wonderful conversation with my mother about the beauty found within F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s prose.  We passionately conversed about various Fitzgerald stories, whilst discussing his effective structure and brilliant insight into the mundane.  It’s as if he found beauty in the most average of things, but his professional perception of the world far exceeded his knowledge of it; he somehow managed to harness it, and translate the beauty he saw into terms that even the damned would find fascinatingly gorgeous.

Many writers, especially of Fitzgerald’s era..actually…of any era, seem tormented by their senses.  Alcoholism, sickness, an insatiable sexual appetite, a willingness to forget, and (unfortunately) a morbid curiosity of death ran amok and many literary geniuses were squelched before they ever truly blossomed.  Fitzgerald’s suffered from severe alcoholism, and can’t even be removed from greats that passed before their time; however, when his pen found the paper he elated the simple and noticed the obscure.  And, for that gift I uphold his esteem slightly higher than others.

Fitzgerald seemed to compartmentalize the overwhelming and focus on components of it as a whole.  This allowed him to find the beauty between negative spaces and chronicle the mundane as extraordinary.  Once compounded and taken as a whole the exquisiteness still remained and, once assembled, was incredibly applicable to larger issues.

Instead of describing the sadness found with life Fitzgerald discussed the would-be sadness of life in such a manner that it’s true splendor was revealed and then the over arching and truly saddening issues could be brought to the limelight and discussed over the pretenses of realism.

Fitzgerald wields a certain spell over my literary sensibilities and once boiled down my mother and I were essentially trading impressions and admiration over the legendary author.  It was a great conversation, and it definitely spurs me to blow the dust of some old novels so that I can be transported back to the first time I first encountered Fitzgerald’s particular brand of genius.

Like a cliché motivational poster found upon the library of Jim Trelease:  “A Book is a Time Machine.”

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