This book, by the acclaimed biographer of Hemingway, is the first to analyze frankly the meaning as well as the events of Fitzgerald's life and to illuminate the recurrent patterns that reveal his inner self. Meyers emphasizes Fitzgerald's alcoholism, Zelda's illnesses and her doctors, Fitzgerald's love affairs both before and after her breakdown, and his wide-ranging friendships, from the polo star Tommy Hitchcock to the Hollywood executive Irving Thalberg. His writer friends included Ring Lardner, John Dos Passos, James Joyce, Edith Wharton, and Dorothy Parker. His friend and lifelong hero, Ernest Hemingway, was a harsh critic of both his behavior and his novels, but Fitzgerald accepted this with remarkable humility. Meyers portrays the volatile connection between these two writers and Fitzgerald's marriage to the schizophrenic Zelda with insight and poignancy. Meyers also discusses Fitzgerald's fascinating relationship with his daughter, Scottie. Exercising a fine critical balance, he details Fitzgerald's weaknesses but ultimately reveals a man capable of fierce loyalty and great moral courage.
In 1920, at the age of thirty-five, Amedeo Modigliani died in poverty and neglect in Paris, much like a figure out of La Bohéme. His life had been as dramatic as his death. An Italian Jew from a bourgeois family, “Modi” had a weakness for drink, hashish, and the many women—including the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova—who were drawn to his good looks. His painting thrived on chaos, but his bohemian lifestyle, combined with a youthful case of tuberculosis, eventually took a fatal toll.
His friends included Picasso, Utrillo, Soutine, and other important artists of his day, yet his own work stood apart, generating little interest while he lived. Today’s art world, however, acknowledges him as a master whose limited oeuvre—sculptures, portraits, and some of the most appealing nudes in the whole of modern art—cannot satisfy collectors’ demand.
With a lively but judicious hand, biographer Jeffrey Meyers sketches Modigliani and the art he produced, illuminating not only this little-known figure but also the painters, writers, lovers, and others who inhabited early twentieth-century Paris with him.
Joseph Conrad brings to light new information about Conrad's life and its impact on his fiction: new models emerge for his characters, including Heart of Darkness' Kurtz, and Meyers also examines in great detail Conrad's relationship with the wild and beautiful American journalist Jane Anderson.
This second set compliments the first 68 volume set of Critical Heritage published by Routledge in October 1995.