S + Z forever: Exploring the life of Scott and Zelda fitzgerald
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In discussing Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald's life, it is impossible not to mention her author husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Scott scholars can mention Zelda in passing; Zelda's biographers, however, are forced to dedicate much more ink to Scott and his influence on Zelda's life. Zelda is also often discussed merely as a muse to the great Fitzgerald. The truth remains, however, that Zelda Fitzgerald was a creator and writer in her own right. Rather than fight against the influence of Scott over Zelda, however, I have chosen to highlight the close link between the couple and illustrate the ways in which each influenced the other. From early on, Scott scholars tended to glorify him while either ignoring or condemning Zelda for her perceived slights to their hero. More recently, Zelda has found a small and growing community filled with scholars of her own. In their camp, Scott is chastised and railed against for his own shortcomings. It is my view that there is no one person to blame or uphold, that the Fitzgeralds were two sides of the same coin. They simultaneously brought out the best and the worst traits in one another. Scott and Zelda were each living with mental illness. They were both wild dreamers. They were both intensely creative. They both had a propensity for self-implosion. Try as I might neither I nor any other scholar will be able to speak Zelda's name without mentioning Scott. They are eternally linked.