The Romance of Regionalism in the Work of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald: The South Side of Paradise explores resonances of "Southernness" in works by American culture’s leading literary couple. At the height of their fame, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald dramatized their relationship as a romance of regionalism, as the charming tale of a Northern man wooing a Southern belle. Their writing exposes deeper sectional conflicts, however: from the seemingly unexorcisable fixation with the Civil War and the historical revisionism of the Lost Cause to popular culture’s depiction of the South as an artistically deprived, economically broken backwater, the couple challenged early twentieth-century stereotypes of life below the Mason-Dixon line.
From their most famous efforts (The Great Gatsby and Save Me the Waltz) to their more overlooked and obscure (Scott’s 1932 story “Family in the Wind,” Zelda’s “The Iceberg,” published in 1918 before she even met her husband), Scott and Zelda returned obsessively to the challenges of defining Southern identity in a country in which “going south” meant decay and dissolution. Contributors to this volume tackle a range of Southern topics, including belle culture, the picturesque and the Gothic, Confederate commemoration and race relations, and regional reconciliation. As the collection demonstrates, the Fitzgeralds’ fortuitous meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1918 sparked a Southern renascence in miniature.