When we posted a recitation of “Ode to a Nightingale,” a reader noted that F. Scott Fitzgerald also made a recording of the Keats poem. That audio is great, but on the occasion of the author’s birthday, we thought we’d share another: Fitzgerald doing Othello’s act 1, scene 3 monologue. Keep in mind that the future writer trod the boards while at Princeton; while he may not recite like a trained Shakespearean, his reading is clear, emotive, and confident. And if you’ve never heard his voice, it’s a pleasure of a whole different kind.
On this day in 1919, Maxwell Perkins accepted twenty-two-year-old F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise for publication. The novel had started as a shorter piece called The Education of a Personage; following a breakup with future wife Zelda Sayre, Fitzgerald became determined to achieve success and overhauled, expanded, and retitled the book.