Ashes to Ashes: Mourning and Social Difference in F. Scott Fitzgerald's Fiction

Synopsis

"Just months before F. Scott Fitzgerald's birth, his two elder sisters died. Though as an adult, Fitzgerald sensed that his sisters' deaths contributed somehow to his career as a writer, previous biographers and critics have not explored at length why he felt this way. Drawing upon archival material, Jonathan Schiff finds that in doting upon their son as a replacement for their daughters, Fitzgerald's parents unsuccessfully warded off their desire to grieve. Fitzgerald, in turn, wavered throughout his life between a desire to serve as familial rescuer and a resistance to that role. Such circumstances encouraged his inclination toward depression and self-destructiveness, though they also fostered his exuberant efforts to transgress normative gender roles and accept the culturally unmanly role of empathizing with others' grief. Ashes to Ashes will appeal to a wide variety of readers. Those unfamiliar with psychoanalysis will especially appreciate the author's avoidance of jargon, while psychoanalytic experts will be interested in his use of both traditional and contemporary psychoanalytic literature." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved