is a short story byAmericanwriterF. Scott Fitzgerald. It was included in his 1926 collection

The Rich Boy originally appeared in two parts, in the January and February 1926 issues ofRedbook.

Fitzgerald wrote The Rich Boy in 1924, inCapri, while awaiting publication ofThe Great Gatsby.1He revised it in his apartment at 14 Rue de Tilsitt in Paris the following spring,2at what he described as a period of 1000 parties and no work.3By May 28, 1925, he wrote his literary agent,Harold Ober, that the story was at the typist.4Five weeks later, he sent his editorMax Perkinsa proposed list of stories for his third collection, describing The Rich Boy: Just finishedserious story and very good.5

The Fitzgerald scholarMatthew Bruccolidescribes the story as an extension ofThe Great Gatsby,enlarging the examination of the effects of wealth on character.6The story of Anson Hunter and his love for the dark, serious beauty Paula Legendre, Fitzgerald modeled the Rich Boy of his title onPrincetonclassmate Ludlow Fowler, whod stood as best man at Fitzgeralds wedding.7Fitzgerald sent Fowler the story before publication, explaining, I have written a 15,000 word story about you called The Rich Boyit is so disguised that no one except you and me and maybe two of the girls concerned would recognize, unless you give it away, but it is in large measure the story of your life, toned down here and there and simplified. Also many gaps had to come out of my imagination. It is frank, unsparing but sympathetic and I think you will like itit is one of the best things I have ever done. Fowler requested excisions that Fitzgerald made before the story was collected inAll the Sad Young Menthe following year.

Fitzgeralds friend the writerRing Lardnerdedicee ofAll the Sad Young Menwas such an admirer he told Fitzgerald he wished he could have expanded the story to novel length.8Fitzgerald wrote Max Perkins, this would have been absolutely impossible.citation needed

InThe Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bruccoli calls the story Fitzgeralds most important novelette1and one of Fitzgeralds major stories.9Bruccoli continues,

The Rich Boy is a key document for understanding Fitzgeralds much-discussed and much-misunderstood attitudes toward the rich. He was not an envious admirer of the rich, who believed they possessed a special quality. In 1938 he observed: That was always my experiencea poor boy in a rich town; a poor boy in a rich boys school; a poor boy in a rich mans club at Princeton…I have never been able to forgive the rich for being rich, and it has colored my entire life and works. He knew the lives of the rich had great possibilities, but he recognized that they mostly failed to use those possibilities fully. He also perceived that money corrupts the will to excellence. Believing that work is the only dignity, he condemned the self-indulgent rich for wasting their freedom.

Bruccoli also notes the story contains Fitzgeralds most promiscuously misquoted sentence: They are different from you and me.1Fitzgeralds actual passage runs,

Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves.

The storys first lines are also, as Bruccoli points out, among the authors most famous:

Begin with an individual, and before you know it you find that you have created a type; begin with a type, and you find that you have created–nothing. That is because we are all queer fish, queerer behind our faces and voices than we want any one to know or than we know ourselves. When I hear a man proclaiming himself an average, honest, open fellow, I feel pretty sure that he has some definite and perhaps terrible abnormality which he has agreed to conceal.

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Matthew J. Bruccoli, ed.,

, The Rich Boy, New York: Scribners, 1989. p. 335.

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Matthew J. Bruccoli, ed.,

A Life in Letters: A New Collection Edited and Annotated by Matthew J. Bruccoli.

Andrew Trumball, Scott Fitzgerald, New York: Scribners, 1962. p. 154.

Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: the Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: the Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald Centenary Matthew J. Bruccoli Collection at the University of South Carolina

F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Last of the Belles

Articles with unsourced statements from June 2014

This page was last edited on 18 July 2018, at 13:26

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