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EvilAshLives

Fitzgerald?

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I recently taught The Great Gatsby to my 11th grade class, and came across this passage at the beginning of chapter 3 which got me thinking:

 

"In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another."

 

It's common knowledge that Fitzgerald was friends with Hemingway, who we know enjoyed absinthe. Does anyone know whether Hemingway ever introduced Fitzgerald to the drink?

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I found a reference to Fitzgerald drinking absinthe in "A Short Autobiography":

 

http://www.newyorker.com/books/double-take/the-new-yorkers-1926-profile-of-f-scott-fitzgerald

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=Tm-aQYp-EfsC&pg=PA249&lpg=PA249&dq=fitzgerald+absinthe&source=bl&ots=3-JG3PdnFQ&sig=a-IMyOQ6HugbfrYvx0tn7wX6q5w&hl=en&sa=X&ei=B0opVeShOI7joAToxoH4Aw&ved=0CD4Q6AEwBzgK#v=onepage&q=absinthe&f=false

 

From those dates it looks like he had his first try of absinthe before meeting Hemingway.

 

 

1919

The Sazzarac Cocktails brought up from New Orleans to Montgomery to celebrate an important occasion.

 

1920

Red wine at Mollat’s. Absinthe cocktails in a hermetically sealed apartment in the Royalton. Corn liquor by moonlight in a deserted aviation field in Alabama.

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Glad to be of service. :euro:

 

Here is some more information about the "absinthe cocktail party"

The story is also mentioned in a letter from Zelda to F.S.:

 

There was Georges appartment and his absinth cock-tails and Ruth Findleys gold hair in his comb, and visits to the “Smart Set” and “Vanity Fair” — a collegiate literary world puffed into wide proportions by the New York papers.

http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/04/03/zelda-scott-fitzgerald-marriage-letter/

 

From the clues given, 'Royalton,' 'Georges', et. We can find the host of that absinthe cocktail party:

George Jean Nathan,

A drama critic who was very important to launching Fitzgerald's career.

http://reading.cornell.edu/reading_project_06/gatsby/nathan.htm

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I don't know how historically accurate it is, but the film Beloved Infidel starring Gregory Peck and Deborah Kerr had no shortage of implications that Fitzgerald was fond of drinking. I haven't seen it in a while and I don't remember if there were any specific references to absinthe in the film, or Hemingway. Hollywood films are historically accurate, y'all know.

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Beloved Infidel is focused on the last few years of Fitzgerald's life, late 30's to 1940. Well past the age of absinthe, or his friendship with Hemingway

Fitzgerald's problems with the bottle are very well know. Gin seems to be his poison of choice..

 

As for how Fitzgerald felt about absinthe, I really can't find that much interest. A drink here and a mention there, I would not put him on a "famous absinthe lovers" list.

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