duminică, 17 martie 2013

Zelda & Scott

Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald epitomised the roaring twenties. He was a famous novelist and she was an eccentric novelty. The crash of the stock markets put an end to the decade of boom and bust in American history and, sadly so, marked the downfall of the golden couple. Alcoholism and mental instability took hold of their relationship, transforming it into a tangle of jealousy and resentment. In 1930, Zelda was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and admitted to a sanatorium, while Scott moved on to Hollywood, in an attempt to recapture his lost glory. Their only daughter, Scottie, was raised by other people. 

Below, a few excerpts from letters sent by Zelda to Scott while at the Sheppard Prat sanatorium.  

Zelda francis mothershome 1921
Dear Scott,

It’s ghastly losing your mind and not being able to see clearly, literally or figuratively—and knowing that you can’t think and that nothing is right, not even your comprehension of concrete things like how old you are or what you look like.

Where are all my things? I used to always have dozens of things and now there doesn’t seem to be any clothes or anything personal in my trunk—I’d love the gramophone.

What a disgraceful mess—but if it stops our drinking it is worth it, because then you can finish your novel and write a play and we can live somewhere and can have a house with a room to paint and write like we had, with friends for Scottie and there will be Sundays and Mondays again which are different from each other and there will be Christmas and winter fires and pleasant things to think of when you’re going to sleep—and my life won’t lie up the back-stairs of music-halls and yours won’t keep trailing down the gutters of Paris—if it will only work, and I can keep sane and not a bitter maniac—

Dear Scott,

I have not the slightest indication of what your intentions are towards me. After five months of suffering and misery and isolation, at least the pathological side of my illness has disappeared. For the rest, I am a woman of thirty and, it seems to me, entitled to some voice in decisions concerning me. I have had enough and it is simply wasting my time and ruining my health keeping up the absurd pretense that a lesion in the head is curable. Will you make the necessary arrangements that I leave here and seek some satisfactory life for myself or shall I write to Daddy that he should come over? … I believe three months is the usual limit of these sorts of struggles and I have no intention of any longer internment. If you want an idea of what it’s like, you might pass up your next tennis game.


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