Thoughts on Save Me the Waltz, Phantoms in the Brain and How the Light Gets In
Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald
Zelda Fitzgerald is one of those endlessly intriguing figures who seems like a character herself – if she hadn’t existed, someone would have made her up. Save Me the Waltz, the only novel she ever published and something of a roman à clef, gives us a beautiful glimpse into her life, from growing up in Alabama, to falling in love with a talented man on the brink of fame, to her desperate quest to become a professional ballerina.
If I have my facts right and I’m not just caught up in literary myth, I believe she wrote it as a kind of therapy while she was staying in a mental institution. and apparently old Scott threw a bit of a tantrum over it. Which isn’t all that surprising- the husband character, David Knight, who we can assume is based on him, is talented and charming but also pretty arrogant, dismissive and vaguely misogynistic (although to be fair, this is the 1920s we’re talking about.) More to the point, although Alabama and David start out deliriously in love, throughout the novel their relationship deteriorates into one that is largely silent, strained and disconnected. (more…)