This side of paradise
by F. Scott Fitzgerald on 2018-05-28
This Side of Paradise was published on March 26, 1920, with a first printing of 3,000 copies. The initial printing sold out in three days. On March 30, four days after publication and one day after selling out the first printing, Fitzgerald wired for Zelda to come to New York and get married that weekend. Barely a week after publication, Zelda and Scott married in New York, on April 3, 1920.
The book went through 12 printings in 1920 and 1921, for a total of 49,075 copies. The novel itself did not provide a huge income for Fitzgerald. Copies sold for $1.75, for which he earned 10 percent on the first 5,000 copies and 15 percent beyond that. In total, in 1920 he earned $6,200 ($82,095.27 in 2015 dollars) from the book. His new fame enabled him to earn much higher rates for his short stories.The book is written in three parts.
"Book One: The Romantic Egotist"—The novel centers on Amory Blaine, a young Midwesterner who, convinced that he has an exceptionally promising future, attends boarding school and later Princeton University. He leaves behind his eccentric mother Beatrice and befriends a close friend of hers, Monsignor Darcy. While at Princeton he goes back to Minneapolis, where he re-encounters Isabelle Borgé, a young lady whom he had met as a little boy, and starts a romantic relationship with her. At Princeton he repeatedly writes ever more flowery poems, but Amory and Isabelle become disenchanted with each other after meeting again at his prom.
"Interlude"—Following their break-up, Amory is shipped overseas, to serve in the army in World War I. (Fitzgerald had been in the army himself, but the war ended while he was still stationed on Long Island.) Amory's experiences in the war are not described, other than to say later in the book that he was a bayonet instructor.
"Book Two: The Education of a Personage"—After the war, Amory falls in love with a New York debutante named Rosalind Connage. Because he is poor, however, this relationship collapses as well; Rosalind decides to marry a wealthy man, instead. A devastated Amory is further crushed to learn that his mentor Monsignor Darcy has died. The book ends with Amory's iconic lament, "I know myself, but that is all-".This Side of Paradise blends different styles of writing: it is, at times, a fictional narrative, at times free verse, and at times a narrative drama, interspersed with letters and poems from Amory. In fact, the novel's odd blend of styles was the result of Fitzgerald's cobbling his earlier attempt at a novel, "The Romantic Egotist", together with assorted short stories and poems that he had composed but never published. The occasional switch from third person to second person gives the hint that the story is semi-autobiographical.This Side of Paradise is the debut novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was published in 1920. Taking its title from a line of Rupert Brooke's poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post–World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is an attractive Princeton University student who dabbles in literature. The novel explores the theme of love warped by greed and status seeking. The novel famously helped F. Scott Fitzgerald gain Zelda Sayre's hand in marriage due to its success.