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Remembering Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald_HeadstoneZelda Sayre Fitzgerald, one of America’s greatest literary muses, was born on this day, July 24, in 1900. Her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald dubbed her “The First American Flapper.”

The couple became a symbol of America, the Jazz Age, and the Roaring 20’s. A southern belle from a wealthy family, Zelda was the model for the elusive Daisy that Jay Gatsby ever so longed for and could never quite grasp.

So cheers today to Zelda, a proud woman who refused to live in her famous husband’s shadow. A writer like Scott, her novel Save Me the Waltz will never be as popular as his famous works, The Great Gatsby or Tender is the Night, but together they give us a true insight and picture of America.

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

Zelda and Scott represent an America marked by talent and hard work, as well as mental illness, alcoholism, jealousy and depression. Both strived for the glam, the glitz, and the green light, and for a time they were in fact America’s power couple and seemed to have it all.

But in the end, they were also real people, facing real problems and failures just like the rest of us. Their works share a common theme. They advocated reinventing your life, when necessary, in order to survive. What can be more American than that?

As Zelda wrote about emptying ashtrays in Save Me the Waltz, “It’s very expressive of myself. I just lump everything in a great heap which I have labeled ‘the past,’ and having thus emptied this deep reservoir that was once myself, I am ready to continue.”

The headstone photo above and the following is reprinted from today’s Facebook page of The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson:

Zelda Fitzgerald’s birthday (July 24, 1900 – March 10, 1948.)

Little notice was taken in 1940, when Scott Fitzgerald died, a failure in his own eyes, nor when Zelda followed him, just nine years later. Zelda died in a fire at the mental hospital where she lived – she was in a locked room awaiting electroshock therapy, with no means of escape. Scott and Zelda are buried together with the last line of The Great Gatsby as their epitaph: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”


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3 thoughts on “Remembering Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

  1. Pingback: Remembering Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald |Catching up with Patricia Gay | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

  2. Deborah Schlacks on said:

    She wasn’t from a wealthy family.

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