Crazy Sunday by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Author: Francis Scott Fitzgerald
Published: The American Mercury (October 1932)
Genre: Short Story
1. Crazy Sunday Synopsis
“Crazy Sunday” revolves around Joel Coles, a young writer in Hollywood, who attends parties and social gatherings, where he interacts with various people in the industry. He is particularly drawn to Stella Calman, the wife of director Miles Calman. Throughout the narrative, there are themes of jealousy, insecurity, and the complex dynamics of relationships in the glamorous yet superficial world of Hollywood.
As the story progresses, Joel’s interactions with Stella and other Hollywood insiders reveal the intricate web of social connections and the constant scrutiny within the industry. When tragedy strikes, with news of Miles Calman’s death in a plane crash, the story delves into the emotional turmoil experienced by Stella and Joel’s struggle to navigate the situation. It highlights the transient nature of fame and the impact of personal relationships in the lives of those in the entertainment business. Overall, the story explores themes of ambition, insecurity, and the fragility of human connections against the backdrop of the Hollywood scene.
2. Crazy Sunday Summary
Joel Coles, a young writer in Hollywood, receives an invitation to Miles Calman’s tea party, a notable director. It’s a mark of his rising career. At the party, he’s flattered by Stella Calman’s attention, who introduces him to others. Joel engages in conversation with Stella and later with Nat Keogh, a well-paid but irresponsible actor.
The gathering is lavish, but Joel feels a sense of social unease in Hollywood, where everyone watches each other and seeks associations that enhance their reputation. He reflects on Stella’s beauty and vulnerability, marked by the recent birth of her child. Despite feeling a connection with Stella, Joel remains cautious in the Hollywood social scene. As a singer performs, he and Nat join the audience to listen, leaving a sense of intrigue and tension in the air.
Joel Coles, a young writer in Hollywood, attends a party at Miles Calman’s house, feeling grateful for the opportunity. He is flattered by Stella Calman’s attention and decides to entertain the guests with his comedic performance. While he impersonates a Hollywood producer, the response is mixed, with some guests unresponsive and others snickering. However, Stella remains supportive and appreciative, which boosts his confidence. After the performance, he experiences a moment of self-disgust, fearing he made a fool of himself in front of Hollywood insiders. The next day, he slinks around the studio lot and receives a telegram from Stella inviting him to another event. Overjoyed by the unexpected gesture of kindness, he feels rejuvenated despite his previous embarrassment.
Joel Coles spends a Sunday with Miles and Stella Calman, a Hollywood couple experiencing marital turmoil. Stella confides in Joel about Miles’ jealousy and his psychoanalysis sessions. Later, Stella invites Joel to an event when Miles is away. At work, Joel engages in script revisions, and by Wednesday, he learns that Miles has canceled a trip to a football game due to his concerns about Stella’s fidelity. Joel reassures Miles but is frustrated by Miles’ lack of confidence in Stella. Despite the complexities of their relationship, Joel agrees to accompany Stella to the Perrys’ party, where Miles eventually invites him to join them as he wants someone sympathetic to talk to.
Joel waits for Stella at the Hollywood Theatre but misses the dinner. Stella arrives in an exquisite dress and reveals that Miles, her husband, who had initially canceled his trip to the Notre Dame game, may have left to watch her. After the theater, Stella suggests they skip a nightclub opening and go to her house. On the way, she expresses doubt about Miles’ location and claims he might have faked telegrams. Joel becomes angry but admits his affection for Stella. However, Stella confesses her love for Miles and uneasiness about the situation. They share a moment, but then Joel decides to leave as he realizes Stella’s love for her husband.
Joel spends Sunday with Stella, but their evening is interrupted by shocking news: a telegram arrives saying that Stella’s husband, Miles Calman, died in a plane crash near Kansas City. Stella initially believes it’s a scheme by Miles but eventually falls into distress. Joel contacts a doctor and friends for help. Stella desperately pleads for him to stay, but he leaves, overwhelmed by the tragedy and the void Miles leaves behind.
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