Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Crack-Up

In 1936, thirty-nine year old F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about his experiences with mental illness for Esquire here.
... I had been only a mediocre caretaker of most of the things left in my hands, even of my talent.
After a period of recuperation:
I shall manage to live with the new dispensation, though it has taken some months to be certain of the fact. And just as the laughing stoicism which has enabled the American Negro to endure the intolerable conditions of his existence has cost him his sense of the truth -- so in my case there is a price to pay. I do not any longer like the postman, nor the grocer, nor the editor, nor the cousin’s husband, and he in turn will come to dislike me, so that life will never be very pleasant again, and the sign Cave Canem is hung permanently just above my door. I will try to be a correct animal though, and if you throw me a bone with enough meat on it I may even lick your hand.
He died in 1940.