Wednesday, July 30, 2014
F. Scott Fitzgerald Does Magical Realism
F. Scott Fitzgerald Does Magical Realism By Sarah Jane Abbott | Tuesday, July 29, 2014
We all know F. Scott Fitzgerald as the author of the American classic The Great Gatsby, among other works of realistic fiction with biting social commentary.
What you may not know is that he dabbled in magical realism! The genre has flourished in recent years with works from authors such as Jorge Luis Borges, Laura Esquivel, and Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Márquez becoming bestsellers and book club favorites.Who would have thought Fitzgerald had explored the genre in 1922!
His short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” is the brief story of a man’s life. An unremarkable life, mostly, except for the astounding fact that he ages backwards. Benjamin is born to parents who are wealthy, well connected, and held in high regard in antebellum Baltimore society. When their first child is born, they are extremely dismayed to find that he is not a normal baby at all, but a small, crouched old man, apparently about eighty years of age. They are mortified and concerned for their social position, but they do their best to raise Benjamin like a “normal” boy, dying his white hair black and sending him to kindergarten like the rest of the children.
As he advances in years, he grows stronger and younger, eventually marrying and taking over a business. In his old age, he has finally come full circle and is a small child being “raised” by his grown-up son, Roscoe. - See more