In which I celebrate an historic union
One hundred years ago yesterday–on 3 April 1920–F. Scott Fitzgerald of Minnesota and Zelda Sayre of Alabama were married at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. They had known each other a year and a half and the letters were intense.
Scott had recently been the latest whippersnapper to burst onto the literary scene with the publication of his novel This Side of Paradise, whose heroine he had amended to resemble Zelda more closely. The pair were soon to become a power couple of the New York intelligentsia, only to then move to Paris and become elders of the expat intelligentsia.
Being true equals in passion, ambition, and tempestuousness, they shared a life fraught with disagreement and darkness (mental illness, institutionalization, alcoholism, etc.); but the fair bit I’ve read about them also suggests tremendous devotion. While I’m not one to wax about soul mates, the personal and global events they experienced together and the unique ways in which they were able to complement and destroy each other collectively make for a fascinating story. All against the backdrop of one of the most infamous time periods in Western history. These two are synonymous with that decade; their relationship, to me, symbolizes it.
Here’s to an unforgettable romance. Raise a glass.
Image: Literary Hub