Saturday, May 11, 2013

F Scott Fitzgerald's gravesite

From The Independent, a column about the obscure burial place of the author of The Great Gatsby:

"When he died in 1940, the writer considered himself a failure. He was an alcoholic, broke, and reduced to writing mostly unused Hollywood screenplays. His marriage had collapsed and Zelda was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. Fitzgerald's family were from Rockville, and though he had never lived there himself, the plan was for his body to be buried at St Mary's in the family plot. But the church refused, on the grounds that he wasn't a practising Catholic. Moreover, noted the parish priest, "we find his books objectionable".

Instead, Fitzgerald was interred in nearby Rockville Cemetery. Few attended the funeral, and the Protestant minister who led the service didn't know who he was. The occasion was an eerie re-enactment of Gatsby's funeral, attended by not a single one of the hundreds of "friends" who went to the sumptuous parties at his Long Island mansion. Eight years later Fitzgerald was joined in death by Zelda. Only in 1975 were their remains moved to St Mary's."

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