F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, is a savage and haunting satire of the young, rootless postwar generation who live intent only on the pursuit of wealth and decadent pleasure. Anthony Patch is a 1920s socialite and the presumptive heir to a tycoon's fortune. His marriage to the beautiful but selfish Gloria is idyllic at first, but the union slowly disintegrates as reality sets in and their sole goal becomes Anthony's grandfather's fortune. Gloria's beauty fades, and Anthony's drinking takes its toll.
Charting the corrosive attraction of wealth and malign influence, The Beautiful and Damned is also a vivid portrait of early-twentieth-century New York and the sights and sounds of the city's burgeoning night life.
This edition includes a detailed account of the composition of the novel, a textual apparatus, a chronology of composition, and, uniquely, three versions of the ending. Explanatory notes situate The Beautiful and Damned in its times and deepen the reader's understanding of Fitzgerald's sources for the novel.
Fitzgerald?s second novel, a devastating portrait of the excesses of the Jazz Age, is a largely autobiographical depiction of a glamorous, reckless Manhattan couple and their spectacular spiral into tragedy. Published on the heels of This Side of Paradise, the story of the Harvard-educated aesthete Anthony Patch and his willful wife, Gloria, is propelled by Fitzgerald?s intense romantic imagination and demonstrates an increased technical and emotional maturity. The Beautiful and Damned is at once a gripping morality tale, a rueful meditation on love, marriage, and money, and an acute social document. As Hortense Calisher observes in her Introduction, ?Though Fitzgerald can entrance with stories so joyfully youthful they appear to be safe?when he cuts himself, you will bleed.?
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