daisy’s place


There are some that believe King and Lake Forest may have even helped Fitzgerald come up with the initial idea for Gatsby. In his 2005 book, The Perfect Hour, which attempts to piece together King’s relationship with Fitzgerald, James L. M. West III points to a story that she wrote and shared with Fitzgerald in 1916. West suggests that Fitzgerald may have used the untitled piece “in search of material and inspiration,” pointing out a handful of similarities between King’s somewhat crude short story and Fitzgerald’s masterpiece. West also points out that the story makes clear that King was aware of Fitzgerald’s habit of observing her and her friends; one of her characters, a writer named “Scott Fitz-Gerald” keeps a card file on his old girlfriends. Indeed, Fitzgerald’s writing process sometimes involved him scouring old letters and journals in order to jog his memory or kick-start his creative drive. One batch of documents may have included a 227-page binder filled with transcripts of King’s letters, which she had asked him to destroy in a letter on July 7, 1917. The first page of the batch reads, “Strictly Private Letters: Property of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Not Manuscript).”

more from Jason Diamond at Paris Review here.