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This review is from: The Collected Writings of Zelda Fitzgerald (Paperback)
Before I read this book, I only knew two things about Zelda: she was married to F Scott Fitzgerald, and she spent years in a mental home. So it was quite a surprise to see just what a brilliant and funny woman she was.
In her novel, "Save Me the Waltz", she writes with a hasty, confused style. She lingers over descriptions of flowers, then scurries past the key facts with barely a glance. She stuffs sentences with two, three, or even four metaphors at a go. It's a kind of literary bulimia. She loves to take a phrase and then reverse it to see what comes out. She invents words that we can sort of decipher from their roots or their context. She animates the inanimate so that cities, clouds, roads and trains all act consciously in her universe. For example, she tells us that "the sun... bruised itself on the clotted cotton fields". And yet there is something incredibly new and vital about her style. Its a frantic journey to pretty much nowhere in the end, but there is something wonderful about clinging on to her imagination for the ride. What this book seems to lack is any editing - but we can read her character through its lines, and it is quite likely that editing her would be tough.
For the rest of her works, the letters to Scott are painfully beautiful. Through the fighting, alcohol, and infidelity, comes a steady voice of pain, of adoration, and of isolation.