In that article he wrote the now famous line that, "the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise"
The article describes Fitzgerald's sense of personal failture as not beng counted among the giants. He would likely be diagnosed as depressed or at least experiencing dysthymia. However, that does not mean there are not flashes of profound insight and even prophecy. He writes: "I saw that the novel, which at my maturity was the strongest and supplest medium for conveying thought and emotion from one human being to another, was becoming subordinated to a mechanical and communal art that...was capable of reflecting only the tritest thought, the most obvious emotion. It was an art in which words were subordinate to images...". In the digital age, even though the written word is still a medium of communication (e.g Facebook, blogs, and twitter), images are now supplanting even these with Instagram, Pintserest, and even You Tube. Thus, Fitzgerald's crack up is coupled with the devaluation of the novel and by extension novelists. The novel as a medium has not disappeared but it does not have nearly the currency it once does. And even in Russia, I am not sure that the novel is the glue that binds culture.
After abandoing all pretense, making a clean break, he finally writes that he has "now at last become a writer only".
That brings us to his famous quote about holding two opposing ideas in the mind at once. One should see that things are hopeless and yet still be determined to make them otherwise. That is indeed a first rate intelligence. To acquire such an intelligence, one has to be prepared to enter the arena and run the emotional gauntlet required to break through, or "crack-up", to that other side. Many of us are on, and in, that journey and while we may not be where F Scott Fitzgerald was, we but can see glimpses of ourselves reflected in his experience. Some withdraw as he does, others break into compassionate, equanimity such as the Dominican friar Meister Eckhart who advised us to learn to live without a why; or in Muslim tradition, Rumi who eschued identification with any external identity, and even the famous Jewish sage from the Acts of Apostles, Gamaliel who said of those who were on a different journey, "Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail." Either way, all of us in one way or another will experience a “crack up” - the only question is how to handle it. The answer to that question can only come from a first-rate intelligence.