The truth about F Scott Fitzgerald’s viral alleged quarantine letter
You’ve probably seen on social networks a letter from F Scott Fitzgerald written in quarantine in the 1920s talking about stocking up on alcohol. Here’s the truth about it.
Don’t be fooled. Social networks and their very rapid flow of information certainly manage to confuse one or the other. This time, we speak about the alleged letter written by F Scott Fiztgerald during his quarantine in Spain in the 1920s. The truth is that it was not written by the novelist, but by a comedian.
Supposedly, the writer had written this letter during his quarantine in the south of France during the Spanish flu. This pandemic attacked the whole world between January 1918 and December 1920. A very common point of comparison to the current situation of coronavirus.
Fitzgerald never wrote this letter. Actually, an idea of Nick Farriella, a writer for McSweeney’s comedy website. In the letter, the comedian exaggerated the most common stereotypical habits, his cocktail preparations, lyrical phrases, and … fighting with fellow writer Ernest Hemingway.
In one part, he says:
The officers have alerted us to make sure we have a month’s worth of needs. Zelda and I have stocked up on red wine, whiskey, rum, vermouth, absinthe, white wine, sherry, gin, and, sir, if we need it, brandy. Please pray for us.
This letter is clearly a parody, but despite this, it went viral and many internet users believed that the letter was originally from Fitzgerald. According to Reuters, by March 19, the letter had been shared nearly 3,000 times on Facebook and 1,500 times on Twitter.
— Nick Farriella (@nick_farriella) March 18, 2020
The McSweeneys website pointed to a disclaimer:
“NOTE: this is a parody work and not an actual letter written by Fitzgerald.”
A little humor during these tense times! Check your information carefully.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.
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