Lecture Series and Readings

The Merc

In early 1996 the Mercantile Library of New York and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society sponsored a Centennial Lecture Series, "The Romantic American: F. Scott Fitzgerald and His World." On 10 April John Callahan, Odell Professor of Humanities at Lewis and Clark University and author of The Illusions of a Nation: Myth and History in the Novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald, spoke on Fitzgerald and the 1920s. The following week Ruth Prigozy, Professor of English at Hofstra University and author of The Stories and Essays of F. Scott Fitzgerald, offered thoughts on the public and private lives of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. On 25 April Matthew J. Bruccoli, Jefferies Professor of English at the University of South Carolina and author of the standard biography Some Sort of Epic Grandeur, discussed Fitzgerald as a professional writer in the marketplace. In the final lecture, on 1 May, Alan Margolies, Professor of English at John Jay College, CCNY, and editor of F. Scott Fitzgerald's St. Paul Plays, examined Fitzgerald's career in Hollywood.

The Players

On the evening of 8 October, The Players, at 16 Gramercy Park in New York City, sponsored a dinner and celebration of Fitzgerald's life and work. Among the participants in the post-dinner program were Prof. Matthew J. Bruccoli, who discussed the reasons for Fitzgerald's extraordinary reputation; actor Keir Dullea, who presented a scene from John Kane's The Other Side of Paradise, a one-man show about Fitzgerald; actress Beth Lincks, who read from Zelda Fitzgerald's writings; film-maker Gwinn Owens, who spoke about making his 1963 Fitzgerald documentary, Marked for Glory; writer Budd Schulberg, who recalled his experiences with Fitzgerald during his last years in Hollywood; Ring Lardner Jr., who talked about his father's friendship with Fitzgerald in Great Neck; and newspaper columnist, Sidney Zion, who commented on the impact Fitzgerald's work had on him in his youth.

Westhampton Beach, New York

On 6 December the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center and the Westhampton Cultural Consortium co- sponsored a staged reading from Budd Schulberg's revised theatrical adaptation of The Disenchanted. A fund-raising event for the Performing Arts Center, which is renovating an Art Deco movie theater for its theatricals, the reading was held in the ballroom of a private Gatsby-like home in Westhampton Beach. Schulberg offered pre-performance remarks, and actors presented scenes featuring Manly Halliday (based on Fitzgerald), Jere Halliday (based on Zelda Fitzgerald), Shep Stearns (based on Schulberg himself when he was a young screenwriter), and Victor Milgrim (based on Hollywood producer Walter Wanger, for whom Fitzgerald and Schulberg had worked--with disastrous consequences- -on the movie Winter Carnival). The performance was followed by a champagne and dessert reception.
The material above first appeared in the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1996 (Detroit, Washington, D.C., London: Bruccoli Clark Layman/Gale Research, 1997). Reproduced by permission.

Fitzgerald Centenary Comments

This page updated 12 November 1997.
Copyright 1997, the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.
URL http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/centenary/lectures.html