"F. Scott Fitzgerald." The Nation, April 25, 1945. Also the introduction, with added material, to The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: New Directions, 1945.
It is not what we may fittingly say on all tragic occasions, but the original occasion for these words is strikingly apt to Fitzgerald. Like Milton’s Samson, he had the consciousness of having misused a gift of strength- “‘I had been only a mediocre caretaker . . . of my talent.” And the parallel carries further, to the sojourn among the Philistines and even to the maimed hero exhibited and mocked for the amusement of the crowd-readers of the New York Evening Post of September 25, 1936, will remember a front-page feature story-in which the sick and Incoherent Fitzgerald was “interviewed” in a Southern nursing home, and they will find a special pleasure in the recovered pom and fortitude which marked Fitzgerald’s words in the few but vindicated years that were left to him.