Abstract

This essay deals with three memoirs on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sheilah Graham's Beloved Infidel (1958), Tony Buttitta's After the Good Gay Times (1974), and Frances Kroll Ring's Against the Current (1985). These texts are representative examples of an interesting sub-genre of memoir I have labeled the “secondary memoir,” which takes as its focus the author's time with some other person, giving us a “moderated image” of that person, in this case F. Scott Fitzgerald. The secondary memoirs on Fitzgerald have been critically neglected and deserve scholarly attention, though they do present some problems. Although we might question the objectivity (or, conversely, the subjectivity) of each, these secondary memoirs present an image of Fitzgerald more comprehensive than the passing mentions in the memoirs of Cowley and Stein, and more sincere than the apparently contrived scenes in the memoirs of Hemingway and Callaghan. Graham, Buttitta, and Ring elegantly fill in the gaps, moderating between the rigid lines of serious scholarly study of Fitzgerald's life and the loose, superficial scribbles of the Fitzgerald myth.

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