CHARGE (What was the author trying to say?): To explore how Zelda Fitzgerald’s affair with Edouard Jozan affected the plot of The Great Gatsby.
FACTS: The book retraces the familiar story of the Fitzgeralds’ courtship, marriage, and dissolute lifestyle. Scott encouraged Zelda’s flirtations with other men asd it left him free to write. As the Fitzgeralds lived an extravagant lifestyle, they realized their income was sufficient to maintain them. They relocated to San Raphael, France, where the dollar had a very good exchange rate. As Scott “started a new novel and retired with strict seclusion and celibacy” Zelda met Edouard Jozan, a French Naval pilot to whom she was immediately attracted. Some have implied that Scott threw the two together to provide “more emotional stimulation that would help his writing.” Scott considered jealousy the biggest aid to making monogamy work. The affair lasted five months, but the author believes that “When one compares Scott’s first draft of The Great Gatsby with its final version, the influence of the Jozan affair becomes evident.” The book goes on to chronicle the almost current institutionalization of Zelda for much of their marriage, and the tragic end of Scott, Zelda, and their daughter Scottie.
VERDICT(Was the author successful?) : Not guilty. There was sparse evidence of the connection and the book was filled with references to relatively obscure celebrities with whom this reader was unfamiliar.#