For the Love of Fitzgerald
What brings a blogger out of hiatus after nearly a decade?
A. Three thriving children.
B. The bluelines of a book.
C. A need to write about a great love.
I blogged long before my dentist had one. I blogged when I had to explain to people what it was. I blogged when I was free to cover midnight romps in East Side bars with Brazilian bankers who hoped to get some site coverage and a second chance for midnight romps. And people read it. My blog was covered in the The New York Times, and much to my chagrin, the Howard Stern Show—the grossest part of my 15 minutes. In 2003, the Dean of Graduate Studies at FIT asked me, “Why do you write that blog, Deirdre?” I answered, “Because I like it.”
I stopped blogging because my dad told me to. My musings of love and life in New York were well and good in the context of “freelance fashion writer,” but Dr. Deirdre Clemente shouldn’t share personal details with the hoi polio. I turned the blog into a website about my scholarship and followers flittered away.
This blog is about my scholarship and about me. I’ve lived with Fitzgerald for so long, he and his work are at my fingertips. I think about him several times a day—the roughness of my tweed jacket; a magazine profile of Princeton; a gin-and-tonic with my husband in the back yard. Despite a 25-year love affair, I was never tempted to literary criticism or to get an English degree. I am a historian. I study material culture.
So ride with me as Baz Lurhmann lights up the American cultural landscape with the release of The Great Gatsby. Let me wax philosophic about changing social mores in the years following World War I. Forgive the fits and starts of my return to the now-wider, now-wilder world of social media.
I’ve got nearly two decades of academic work to roll out. What do you say, old sport?
Read more about tweed and the fashion of the Ivy League in Fitzgerald and Princeton Style.