Today we celebrate 115 years since the birth of Zelda Fitzgerald, who was American novelist, dancer, socialite, who also liked to paint. She was called by her husband, Scott F. Fitzgerald, the first American flapper. According to Huffington Post, in the public mind Zelda and Scott became interchangeable with the reckless yet somehow idealistic characters of his fictions, from This Side of Paradise to The Great Gatsby.
This is a transcript I did from one of the performances found online of the play inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald. There are actually the first 10 to 15 minutes of the show, which I think captures very well a slight glimpse of her spirit.
“You know it’s strange, but I cannot tolerate friends anymore. I can only tolerate enemies. You see where that puts me? It makes me unfit to live in the world. Oh, well, what the hell! We are all iconic class one way or another aren’t we?
Don’t ever fall in the hands of psychiatrist, unless you feel very Faustian. He will destroy your soul.
I’ve climbed enough stairs to get to Heaven.
Excuse me for smiling. People think I thought of something witty. The fact is my smile is uncontrolable and it terrifies me.
The fact is that I’m simply a neurotic woman, who’s reached the end of her physical resources and i’s exhausted. I have a mission behind these walls. I’ve got to tell the world a lot of things, things about God and the end of the world and dying. This generation is so spiritually densed, it thinks all I am getting is a new begging powder.
I’m going crazy! Don’t you wanna come along?
Don’t look so smug. You’re in here with me, you know.
I didn’t realize that dancing was the refuge from the chaos in our lives. Scott’s refuge was the bottle. Do you know what they called him? F. Scoth Fitzgerald. I guess there is nothing so indicative of civilization than the solace that people seek. I’ll probably never dance again. My muscles are getting so flatty.
I got in a quarrel with the dance teacher. I told her that I could not do steps for the spirit of the music. I told her she is a cow. And she told me she couldn’t be a cow. And I said: A cow does not try to be a cow it’s just is one.
Scott says when he first saw me in 1918 , he thought my hair looked honey yellow. It was after my highschool graduation. Scott was a first leutenant. I saw him standing at the edge of the dance floor watching me walze. He was beautiful as men are not meant to be, violet eyes and drak lashes and a straight nose and a sensitive mouth. His hair looked green gold under the soft lights. Masculine beauty that I’ve never seen before. He was slightly but extaticly intoxicated. It was a radiant night of soft conspiracy. The dance floor was smoking the aspirations. I felt bodyless a like phantom as I moved into his waiting arms, without any other introduction, a tender and an inevitable gravity, taking me and unflonding me there. I thought he secretly possessed the ability to fly. He would spurr his name in my ear with a kind of alcoholic modesty. ”
(Zelda Fitzgerald: The last flapper one woman show, William Luce, 1984 play)