Sincere kudos to the serious Fitzgerald readers of FitzFirst@Four for a truly original – and inspiring – program. Just when we may think we have read and heard everything there is to read and know about F. Scott Fitzgerald this devoted discussion group is sponsoring a program on the theme “Finding the Center of Fitzgerald’s Catholic Faith.” The program is unique because it offers a Fitzgerald-themed tour of the Cathedral of Saint Paul led by Cathedral archivist and local resident Thomas Flynn.
The free and open event is set for Sunday, May 1, 2016, 2:00 p.m. at the Cathedral.
As described in promotional materials, the program “will weave together the common themes found in Fitzgerald’s works that reflect his Catholic heritage and upbringing.” Tour leader, Tom Flynn, a Fitzgerald scholar and collector, has served as archivist of the Cathedral of Saint Paul for fifteen years.
Event planners advise attendees that, “although the format will not allow for a discussion of Fitzgerald’s many Catholic-themed works, attendees may wish to review three related stories as examples of his writings on the subject.” The recommended stories include these:
- “Benediction,” first published in 1920 in Flappers and Philosophers, tells the story of a young woman who, on her way to a tryst with her lover, stops to visit her much older brother who is soon to be ordained a priest.
- “Absolution,” published in 1924 and later in All the Sad Young Men, focuses on a young Catholic boy who confesses to the priest what in his mind is a mortal sin.
- “Thank You for the Light”, written in 1937, was originally held from publication by The New Yorker, then finally published in August 2012. The narrative relates the tale of a travelling sales rep who stops into church just for a what she expected to be a quick visit.
FitzFirst@Four is a monthly discussion series about Fitzgerald’s short stories and their historical counterpoints. Each event focuses on a different short story with a presentation from a guest expert on events, locations and history referenced in Fitzgerald’s work. Regular FitzFirst@Four program are at 4:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month at Common Good Books in St. Paul.
To learn more about the discussion group or to view and listen to video and audio reports of past FitzFirst@Four events check, their lively website at www.fitzgeraldinsaintpaul.org. For a quick refresher on the history of the life and work of Fitzgerald, check this handy “Fitzgerald Capsule History”: http://access.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/9609_fitzgerald/fitztime.htm’