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Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald: The Rise and Fall of a Literary Friendship

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Hemingway Vs. Fitzgerald: The Rise and Fall of a Literary Friendship

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Scott Donaldson

We gave it a C+

Setting this cantankerous, influential relationship in relief should make for a compelling tale: When they met in Paris in 1925, Fitzgerald was the literary lion (already acclaimed for This Side of Paradise), and Hemingway a struggling writer. But thanks in part to Fitzgerald’s solicitous support and hero worship of his manly new friend, Hemingway’s reputation soon soared, spawning the famous rivalry that was further complicated by Hemingway’s battles with Zelda and by Fitzgerald’s devastating alcoholism.

While Donaldson (who’s written bios of both figures) again corrects the catty, unflattering portrait of Fitzgerald in Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast by drawing on earlier, more sympathetic letters, his bland portrait is remarkable only in offering no new information on either much-mythologized man. C+