Winter 1946 • Vol. VIII No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 1946 |

F. Scott Fitzgerald

In the Twenties, his heyday, he was a kind of king of our American youth"—so a writer of Fitzgerald's generation remembered him when he died five years ago. It would be pleasant to leave him there, among the fast cars, the bloom of youth, the beat of jazz, ruling from Princeton and Long Island and the Riviera his incoherent kingdom. This would be pleasant and historical; but we cannot do it. We have serious business with one or two of his books, and perhaps with the lesson of his shade,—what he calls back to us, if we care to attend. The king is extremely dead, his subjects are dispersed. We had better be critical, which is to try to save. Some very good readers will wonder whether anything is worth saving. We may agree that this king went in heavily and childishly for fireworks, beautiful in the immediate darkness, a mess of wire and cardboard in the morning. We want something better than lips which are stated to be thrilling and day-dreams drifting over fatuity. But there can

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In 1945, John Berryman won an early KR contest for short fiction, cosponsored by Doubleday, Doran & Co. Berryman achieved his greatest renown as a poet with the publication of 77 Dream Songs in 1964, which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

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