Tales from the Jazz Age
Tales of the Jazz Age (1922) is a collection of eleven short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Divided into three separate parts, according to subject matter, it includes one of his better-known short stories, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". All of the stories had been published earlier, independently, in either Metropolitan Magazine (New York), Saturday Evening Post, Smart Set, Collier's, Chicago Sunday Tribune, or Vanity Fair. The Jelly-Bean: This is a Southern story, with the setting laid in the small Lily of Tarleton, Georgia. Fitzgerald wrote that he had "a profound affection for Tarleton, but somehow whenever I write a story about it I receive letters from all over the South denouncing me in no uncertain terms." Written shortly after his first novel was published, the author also collaborated with his wife on certain scenes. The story momentarily follows the life of a "jelly-bean", or idler, named Jim Powell. An invitation to a dance with the old crowd revives his dreams of social advancement and love, until the consequences of drink and power of money come through and ruin them. The Camel's Back: In the short introduction to this short story, Fitzgerald wrote, "I suppose that of all the stories I have ever written this one cost me the least travail and perhaps gave me the most amusement." The story, he confessed, was written "with the express purpose of buying a platinum and diamond wrist watch which cost six hundred dollars", and took seven hours to finish. Though it was the least-liked story by Fitzgerald in the volume, it was included in the O. Henry Memorial Collection (of the O. Henry Award) of 1920. May Day: Published as a novelette in the The Smart Set in July, 1920, "May Day" relates a series of events which took place in the spring of the previous year, during the "general hysteria" which inaugurated the Jazz Age. Porcelain and Pink: A play, published in The Smart Set in January, 1920.
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