You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
Let there be no mistake Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald reigns in St. Paul these early days of Summer 2017. Fitzgerald fans have been preparing for eons — reading and re-reading, explicating, exploring the fine points of Fitzgerald’s works and world.
The schedule of events – academic, social and other – will keep the Saintly City planning and parsing until – and no doubt after – the 14th Annual International F. Scott Fitzgerald Society Conference meeting in St. Paul June 25-July 1. http://www.fitzgerald2017.org
Exploring the program is a glorious introduction to Fitzgerald. Though you may not have plumbed the depths of the hometown hero you can claim a bit of literary chauvinism, even if your only brush with Fitzgerald is skimming the text for sophomore English or a glorious summer afternoon lost in Jazz Age society.
No need to wait for the grand event. On Wednesday, June 21 the Show Gallery will sponsor a pre-conference event. Fitzgerald scholar David Page, author of F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota: The Writer and His Friends at Home will share the stories he has found while doing research. Page will share stories of the places and people Fitzgerald describes, snippets of local lore he discovered in his extensive study of the writer’s letters, scrapbooks and diaries. June 21, 6:00 PM at the Show Gallery, 346 North Sibley in St. Paul’s Lowertown.
The following Wednesday evening, June 28, Anne Margaret Daniel will offer a public reading from I’d Die for You: And Other Stories, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. http://www.startribune.com/review-i-d-die-for-you-stories-of-f-scott-fitzgerald/420017193/ The reading will be at 7 pm at Common Good Books, 38 Snelling Avenue South in St. Paul.
This is just a taste of what promises to be a grand frenzy of Fitzgerald festivities! There’s still time to brush up a bit on Fitzgerald lore. Though the best prep would be to take time to re-read a Fitzgerald classic, rime is fleeting so here are some last-minute options:
- For a brief summary of Fitzgerald’s life and work, try this from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/kteh/amstorytellers/bios.html
- For a somewhat more extensive backgrounder, try this: http://www.biblio.com/f-scott-fitzgerald/author/26
- For a quick overview of Fitzgerald’s St Paul roots, take a look at this from the NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/01/travel/f-scott-fitzgerald-st-paul.html?_r=0
- Or simply reflect on one of Fitzgerald’s quotable quotes, possibly this timely thought: When people are taken out of their depths they lose their heads, no matter how charming a bluff they may put up.