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SOMETIMES MADNESS IS WISDOM by Kendall Taylor

SOMETIMES MADNESS IS WISDOM

Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald: A Marriage

By Kendall Taylor

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-345-44715-8
Publisher: Ballantine

A joint biography of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald by cultural historian Taylor, who dwells on the disintegration of their marriage and Zelda’s slow descent into madness. To this day, the Fitzgeralds remain the most enduring icons of Jazz Age insouciance. They were married in 1920, only after the social-climbing Scott had become rich and famous with the success of This Side of Paradise, and they spent a great part of the next decade in France. There, Scott wrote, drank, and managed to alienate most of his friends with his alcoholic rages. Zelda studied ballet, gave birth to her only child, and gradually withdrew into a private world. Although Zelda was undoubtedly schizophrenic (she had shown signs of madness from an early age), Taylor maintains that her inability to put up with Scott’s alcoholism and her own frustrated artistic impulses (she could well have been a professional dancer, and she was a good writer as well) pushed her over the edge sooner than she would have gone on her own. Scott returned, broke, to the US during the Depression and became a hack writer in Hollywood, while Zelda was committed to an asylum. They both died in their 40s.

Nothing new here, but a decently told account all the same.