The Price Was High (Magill's Literary Annual 1980)
The Price Was High includes a surprisingly large percentage of Fitzgerald’s total output. Of the 164 stories he published, The Price Was High collects forty-nine, supplementing a number of previously published collections. Only eight stories remain buried in the magazines where they appeared, because—as Matthew Bruccoli explains—“Scottie Fitzgerald Smith feels that they are so far below her father’s standards that they should be left in oblivion.” All eight stories were published in 1935 or later; for the curious and the unpersuaded, Bruccoli provides the publication data of these uncollected pieces. In addition to the forty-nine magazine stories which previous collections have not included, Bruccoli chose one story, “On Your Own,” from among the few surviving Fitzgerald stories which have never been published; he felt it was the last unpublished story which contained, in Fitzgerald’s words, that “one little drop of something . . . the extra I had.” There are fifty stories, then, which tend to confirm the common notion that Fitzgerald dissipated his great talent writing for the marketplace. In John Dos Passos’ view, Fitzgerald had helped to create, for their generation, the role of the professional writer for the popular market and was “tragically destroyed by his own invention.”
It is precisely this...
(The entire section is 1533 words.)
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