F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the first draft of his first novel in army training camps between the years 1917 and 1918. The working title was The Romantic Egoist. By February of 1918, Fitzgerald had submitted his first full draft of the novel to Charles Scribner’s Sons only to have it be rejected. In October of 1918, Fitzgerald submitted a revised version to Scribner’s and again it was rejected. Finally, in 1918 the third version of The Romantic Egoist re-titled This Side of Paradise was accepted and published by Charles Scribner’s Sons.
This Side of Paradise made Fitzgerald a literary celebrity before his twenty-fourth birthday. The book sold out in a mere twenty-four hours and would go on to sell more than 49,000 copies by the end of 1921, just after its twelfth printing. This Side of Paradise was not Fitzgerald’s first published work; he had already published numerous other creative works, including poetry and short stories. It was however This Side of Paradise that impressed most critics with its originality, vitality and style. James L. West in his book The making of This Side of Paradise concludes, “the novel occupies an important place in Fitzgerald's career. Its lively reception and commercial success launched him as the "Prophet of the Jazz Age," the spokesman for his generation, and This Side of Paradise is one of the major reasons for his fame today” (6). 1 Fitzgerald was praised for accurately recording the current fads of speech, behavior, dance and literature. Many critics praised This Side of Paradise for presenting post war American youth, as it had not been done before, with a mixture of wit and genius. The abundance of poetry in th...
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...ie, which it was not.”3
Meyers, Jeffrey, Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994.
Miller, James E., F. Scott Fitzgerald: His Art and His Technique, New York: New York University Press, 1967.
Mizener, Arthur, F. Scott Fitzgerald, New York: Thames and Hudson, 1972.
West, James L. W., The Making of This Side of Paradise, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983.
1 West, James L. The Making of This Side of Paradise (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1983), p.6.
2 Miller, James E., F.Scott Fitzgerald: His Art and His Technique (New York University Press, New York, 1964, p.35.)
3 Mizener, Arthur, F. Scott Fitzgerald (Thames and Hudson, New York, 1987, p. 48.)
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