The Crack-Up Critical Reception History

1103 WordsJul 15, 20185 Pages
The Crack-Up Critical Reception History “…it was funny coming into the hotel and the very deferential clerk not knowing that I was not only thousands, nay tens of thousands in debt, but had less than 40 cents cash in the world and probably a $13. deficit in the bank.” This entry in Scott Fitzgerald’s Notebooks, about the time he spent in Hendersonville, North Carolina – washing his own linen and living on canned meats and food (Cody) – is a good summation of the state he was in when he began to write his “Crack-Up” essays. Persuaded by Esquire editor Arnold Gingrich to write something to earn his advance from the magazine (Bitonti), Fitzgerald did just that and “The Crack-Up,” “Pasting it Together,” and “Handle with…show more content…
In 1945, after Fitzgerald’s death, the publication of The Crack-Up served to revive public interest in Scott. The volume was “warmly received, and has become a standard volume in the Fitzgerald canon” (Bruccoli 494). After the end of Fitzgerald’s career and life, the essays served as a fascinating look at a man who thought he was at the end of his rope. Joseph Wood Krutch of the NY Herald Tribune Book Review praised Fitzgerald’s “artistic sincerity which compelled him to strive for something more than merely … temporary commercial success” (Bryer 107). Time’s review remarked on the honesty of the work and the fact that it removes the gloss of the Jazz Age, leaving the reader “staring at the clogged ash trays and unwashed glasses of the morning after” (Bryer 105). The sentiment of the volume prompted Tremaine McDowell to comment in the Chicago Sunday Tribune that “it is futile to wish that he were alive and writing today, for Scott Fitzgerald looking forward with assurance to his 70th birthday would not be Scott Fitzgerald” (Bryer 107). A.C. Spectorsky of the Chicago Sun Book Week took the common criticisms of the essays and turned them around, providing one of the more insightful critical comments about The Crack-Up, which he calls “the perfect tribute to [Fitzgerald’s] life and work, for it is incomplete,

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