F. Scott Fitzgerald and American psychiatry: A new letter

James L.W. West

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A previously unpublished four-page letter written by F. Scott Fitzgerald to one of his readers in the spring of 1936 reveals a considerable lack of confidence in psychotherapy. The reader, Joan Tyson, had come upon two of Fitzgerald's now-famous Crack-Up essays in Esquire magazine and had written to him suggesting that he seek psychiatric help. Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda Sayre, had been undergoing treatment for mental illness since 1930, but without much progress, and Fitzgerald had lost confidence in such therapy. In his response to Mrs. Tyson he writes of psychoanalysts: "I would never consider trusting myself to what passes for psychology-psychiatry in this country. How could someone not up to your ankles in intelligence + character help you. By some miracle? some act of God?"

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Imago
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Music
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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