Location

Room 223, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

Keywords

l’ecriture feminine, affect theory, Zelda Fitzgerald, art

Abstract

Zelda Fitzgerald’s Save Me the Waltz is a novel in which art, text, and body intersect to become one. Her writing techniques, though often criticized, preserve the artistic liberation and affective state for which Fitzgerald seems to strive. She eliminates the line between the artist and her work, creating a novel that opens up to aspects of feminist theory. Zelda Fitzgerald’s texts become performative, constructing her own identity through her writing and painting, just as Alabama, the main character of Save Me the Waltz, strives to do so with her dancing. Like Fitzgerald herself, Alabama removes the barrier between body and art. Both Fitzgerald and Alabama’s artistic compositions are attempts to perform their affective state. Because Save Me the Waltz was written during one of Fitzgerald’s psychotic breaks, many critics dismiss her writing style as obscure and excessively hazy; however, with the application of French feminist Helene Cixous’ idea of l’ecriture feminine combined with Paul Atkinson and Michelle Duffy’s implementation of affect theory in modern dance, Save Me the Waltz reveals itself to be Zelda Fitzgerald’s attempt to perform her affective state within the patriarchal environment she is confined. Simultaneously it is an effort to liberate her creative spirit.

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Apr 2nd, 9:00 AM Apr 2nd, 10:15 AM

Consumed by the Broken Staccato: A Feminist Reading of Zelda Fitzgerald’s Save Me the Waltz

Room 223, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Zelda Fitzgerald’s Save Me the Waltz is a novel in which art, text, and body intersect to become one. Her writing techniques, though often criticized, preserve the artistic liberation and affective state for which Fitzgerald seems to strive. She eliminates the line between the artist and her work, creating a novel that opens up to aspects of feminist theory. Zelda Fitzgerald’s texts become performative, constructing her own identity through her writing and painting, just as Alabama, the main character of Save Me the Waltz, strives to do so with her dancing. Like Fitzgerald herself, Alabama removes the barrier between body and art. Both Fitzgerald and Alabama’s artistic compositions are attempts to perform their affective state. Because Save Me the Waltz was written during one of Fitzgerald’s psychotic breaks, many critics dismiss her writing style as obscure and excessively hazy; however, with the application of French feminist Helene Cixous’ idea of l’ecriture feminine combined with Paul Atkinson and Michelle Duffy’s implementation of affect theory in modern dance, Save Me the Waltz reveals itself to be Zelda Fitzgerald’s attempt to perform her affective state within the patriarchal environment she is confined. Simultaneously it is an effort to liberate her creative spirit.