Abstract

The name Hasbrouk as used by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his 1937 story “A Full Life” obliquely references both the French photographer Hazebroucq and the American reformist editor John Whitbeck Hasbrouck (1821–1906), the former reference pointing to dramatic events in the lives of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald on the French Riviera in 1924, while the latter invokes the parallel lives of Lydia Sayer and Zelda Sayre as emancipated women who threw in their lots with famous husbands. The name proves instrumental in uncovering the covert strategy used by Fitzgerald to assess the role of Zelda Sayre in his personal as well as his professional life, resulting in an all but total indictment of her behavior, which had culminated in an affair with the French naval aviator Edouard Jozan that Fitzgerald fully considered an adulterous one. In the protracted course of its composition, “A Full Life” ceased to be an item intended for publication and became a confessional piece instead. Fitzgerald’s indictment of his wife thus stands as his candid and honest verdict, although possibly subject to some mitigation in his final years.

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