Saturday, 10 April 2010

On this day...

F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' was published in 1925. Despite its modern recognisability, 'The Great Gatsby' was never intended to be the novel's title. 'Gatsby; Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires', 'Trimalchio in West Egg', 'Under the Red, White, and Blue' and 'Gold-Hatted Gatsby' were all cited as alternatives preferred by Fitzgerald. Indeed it was his wife, among others, who persuaded him to chose the one we now know; a title Fitzgerald himself described as, 'only fair, rather bad than good'.

Although it gained positive reviews, the book did not have the commercial success of Fitzgerald's previous works, and was even pointed to as evidence of his failings. Yet the book saw a revival, partly sparked by distribution of 150,000 copies to the American military in World War Two. This critique of the American Dream, is now thought of as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century.

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