The Great Gatsby

2601 Words11 Pages
The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby belongs to what Harold Bloom tags the “tomb” of literary archetypes, a family of fiction that espouses every facet of the expressive use of language (everything from Shakespeare’s plays to Dickens’ prose). As a participant in this tomb, The Great Gatsby has adopted a convenient persona in the world of twentieth century literature as “the great American novel,” a work that embodies the American thematic ideals of the self-made man, the great American character—Jay Gatsby. In its infancy, the novel received only a taste of the “epic grandeur” that it would later accumulate. Snubbed by certain critics for its all-too-perfect design and shrugged aside by the popular masses, The Great Gatsby was a feat of fiction that, in its time, never knew its fame. The Roots of a Novel: In the Spring of 1924, The Fitzgeralds left for France. There, F. Scott Fitzgerald hoped to indulge his literary appetite without distraction. He wrote The Great Gatsby during the summer and fall in Valescure near St. Raphael, having conceived the story much before then. (Matthew J. Bruccoli considers the final draft the product of a three-year process of evolution that included revisions at a stage when most other writers are finished with their work.) During the winter of 1924-25, The Fitzgeralds traveled to Rome to revise the novel. They were on en route to Paris when it was first published on April 10, 1925. Commercially, the novel was a huge disappointment. The first printing of 20,870 copies at 2 dollars a piece sold slowly, exploding any hopes of reaching Fitzgerald’s desired 75,000 mark. A second printing of 3,000 copies was ordered in August—many ... ... middle of paper ... ...ribner Paperback Fiction : Simon and Schuster; New York; 1992; Pg. 202. [2] Scribner III, Pg. 203). [3] Bruccoli, Pg. 221. [4] http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/fitzgeraldbio.html [5] Bruccoli, Pg. 2221. [6] Mencken, H. L.; My Life As Author and Editor; Alfred A. Knopf; New York; 1993, Pg. 260. [7] Bruccoli, Matthew J.; Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers; New York; 1981; Pg. 221. [8] Bruccoli; Pg. 221. [9] Bruccoli; Pg. 221. [10] Bruccoli, Pg. 220. [11] Bruccoli, Pg. 220. [12] Bruccoli, Pg. 221-222. [13] Scribner III; Pg. 204. [14] Bruccoli, Pg. 494. [15] Bruccoli, Pg. 494. [16] Bruccoli, Pg. 494. [17] Bruccoli, Matthew J.; The Great Gatsby : “Preface”; Scribner Paperback Fiction : Simon and Schuster; New York; 1992; Pg. ix. [18] Scribner III, Pg. 204.

More about The Great Gatsby

Open Document