THE FAR SIDE OF PARADISE by Arthur Mizener
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THE FAR SIDE OF PARADISE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An absorbed, absorbing biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald which catches much of the fevered excitement of a charmed and driven life, commutes a sympathy for the man which does not dim his fallibilities, invests his writing with a stature it was not to receive until recently. Here are the qualities of the youth he was never to grow out of:- the extravagance, the childlike simplicity, the romantic heroism, the intensity of idealization; and on the other hand, the social uncertainty, the self-indulgence, the flagellation of failure. There are the early years at home, at boarding school, at Princeton, and the constant desire to ingratiate which often aggravated, the facile talents, the academic irresponsibility. There is the first love for Ginevra King which gave the ""substance to an ideal"", the later love for Zelda which lasted a lifetime, but which in the first years of marriage was hampered by the pressure of making money- and still more money, and in the last years by the guilt of her crackup. And there is the sequence of his stories and novels; the stories which were written to ease their extravagances and violated his conscience; the novels which were seriously intended, conceived, which derived from his life and which defined that period, that golden boom of ""splendid generosities, outrageous corruptions""... There's the definite fascination here of success- and of failure, of a life which had its high expectations only to end in drink and a sad, lost disillusion.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1950
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin