Wednesday, 4 July 2012

LETTERS OF NOTE: The Not-Yet-Great Gatsby

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Although I'm technically on hiatus, this Letter of Note seemed a timely one to share, considering it's the 4th of July.

In October 1924 F. Scott Fitzgerald had completed the first draft of The Great Gatsby, which would eventually come to be regarded as one of the great American novels. He sent the first draft to his editor Maxwell Perkins with suggestions for alternative titles. Six months later, the novel as we know it was published.

Their correspondence (which can be viewed here) is fascinating, as we see a work of genius as it was a work-in-progress. Some of the alternative titles are interesting - On The Road to West Egg, for instance - as are Fitzgerald's comments that his potential audience must be intelligent since "the lowbrows go to the movies" (I beg to differ).
 
Baz Luhrmann's new adaptation of The Great Gatsby, the sixth attempt to put Fitzgerald's story on film, will be arrived in UK cinemas on Boxing Day. That gives everyone (myself included) enough time to read the damn thing, so we can show off afterwards.

Daniel

P.S. Sticking with supposedly great American novels, I'll be reviewing A Place in the Sun (based on An American Tragedy) soon after I get settled.

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