The novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 – 1940) perfectly captured the spirit of the 1920s. His best-known novel, The Great Gatsby, made him an instant success and subjected both Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, to intense publicity. Much of that attention was negative, dwelling on Fitzgerald’s battles with alcohol and Zelda’s mental breakdown. It is evident in this letter, written just before their marriage, the extent of their devotion to each other.
Please, please don’t be so depressed — We’ll be married soon, and then these lonesome nights will be over forever — and until we are, I am loving, loving every tiny minute of the day and night — Maybe you won’t understand this, but sometimes when I miss you most, it’s hardest to write — and you always know when I make myself — Just the ache of it all — and I can’t tell you. If we were together, you’d feel how strong it is — you’re so sweet when you’re melancholy. I love your sad tenderness — when I’ve hurt you — That’s one of the reasons I could never be sorry for our quarrels — and they bothered you so — Those dear, dear little fusses, when I always tried so hard to make you kiss and forget —
Scott — there’s nothing in all the world I want but you — and your precious love — All the material things are nothing. I’d just hate to live a sordid, colorless existence — because you’d soon love me less — and less — and I’d do anything — anything — to keep your heart for my own — I don’t want to live — I want to love first, and live incidentally — Why don’t you feel that I’m waiting — I’ll come to you, Lover, when you’re ready — Don’t don’t ever think of the things you can’t give me — You’ve trusted me with the dearest heart of all — and it’s so damn much more than anybody else in all the world has ever had —
How can you think deliberately of life without me — If you should die — O Darling — darling Scott — It’d be like going blind. I know I would, too, — I’d have no purpose in life — just a pretty — decoration. Don’t you think I was made for you? I feel like you had me ordered — and I was delivered to you — to be worn — I want you to wear me, like a watch — charm or a button hole boquet — to the world. And then, when we’re alone, I want to help — to know that you can’t do anything without me.
I’m glad you wrote Mamma. It was such a nice sincere letter — and mine to St. Paul was very evasive and rambling. I’ve never, in all my life, been able to say anything to people older than me — Somehow I just instinctively avoid personal things with them — even my family. Kids are so much nicer.
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