I like what he says, but with reservations, which I explained to my roommate as follows (Read the letters before you read my response! Form your own opinions before you take mine into consideration.):
Thanks, Mary! I've recently had a breakthrough with Fitzgerald (I think, although, I wonder if it's possible to think you've had a breakthrough, or, if it's a genuine breakthrough, you just know it) where I realized where he goes wrong, or perhaps I should say doesn't go far enough, even though he's going right. My hypothesis is that Evelyn Waugh is the answer to Fitzgerald's hopelessness. Same struggles, same lost hopelessness and yearning in the characters, but somehow Waugh's figure it out, even if they're miserable along the way. Now, all of that being said, I suspect that the reason I don't want to swallow this Fitzgerald advice whole is that it isn't whole. I like what he says, and I agree with it , but I think it's only part of the truth; he doesn't go quite far enough, even though he's going right. What I'm driving at is that he's missing the necessary emphasis on the reasonable aspect of writing; he circumlocutionally implies its eventual presence in his talk of the style and technique that come with time, but the heavy emphasis that he puts on the heartfelt, heartrending, heartaching heartbreak aspect, which is necessary, lacks the tempering that it needs. Or perhaps, not tempering, because if you temper it it loses what makes it it, but maybe addition.Yes, I just quoted myself. I hope you're okay with that. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on his advice, and on my reaction to it. All writers have an opinion on the writing process. Please, do tell.
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