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Swingin' Scotty

Jazz me up, Scotty

Few great writers are as closely associated with the era in which they worked as is F. Scott Fitzgerald. He so perfectly captured the temper of his times that his very name conjures images of flappers dancing the Charleston, streams of bathtub gin being poured down willing throats, and a "Lost Generation" of wildly misbehaving American expatriates in Europe.

In honor of "nothing in particular except that he's a major literary figure and well loved," says Jean Trebbi, executive director of the Florida Center for the Book, the center presents a seven-part series of lectures and discussions on Fitzgerald's life and work titled "F. Scott Fitzgerald: Voice of the Jazz Age." Asst. Prof. Kathleen Dixon Donnelly of Florida International University, American literature professor Dr. John Childrey of Florida Atlantic University, and Lt. Col. James Meredith of the U.S. Air Force Academy lecture .

This Monday, Meredith portrays Fitzgerald and his times through discussion and samples of silent films and music from the Jazz Age. He's followed by three Saturday-afternoon illustrated lectures on Fitzgerald's life by Donnelly and three Wednesday-afternoon book discussions by Childrey.

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's time in New York City is examined November 2; the writer's life on the Riviera (obligatory as a member of the aforementioned Lost Generation) is the subject November 9; and Fitzgerald in Hollywood takes front and center November 16. These lectures focus on his complicated and difficult relationship with his wife and on his early literary successes; his place in the circle of American writers and wannabes living in France; and the time he spent in Hollywood as a screenwriter, trying to rebuild his career. They all take place from 1-3 p.m. at the North Regional/BCC Library in Coconut Creek.

The book discussions include The Great Gatsby on October 30, Tender Is the Night on November 6, and The Last Tycoon on November 13. These are from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Main Library in Fort Lauderdale.

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