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F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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9780521402309: F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald)
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Since its publication in 1925, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's account of the American dream gone awry, has established itself as one of the most popular and widely read novels in the English language. Until now, however, no edition has printed the novel exactly as Fitzgerald intended. The first edition was marred by errors resulting from Fitzgerald's extensive rewriting in proof and the conditions under which the book was produced; moreover, the subsequent transmission of the text introduced proliferating departures from the author's words. This critical edition draws on the manuscript and surviving proofs of the novel, together with Fitzgerald's subsequent revisions to key passages, to provide the first authoritative text of The Great Gatsby. This volume also includes a detailed account of the genesis, composition, and publication of the novel; a full textual apparatus; crucial early draft material; helpful glosses on the peculiar geography and chronology of the book; and explanatory notes on topical allusions and historical references that contemporary readers might otherwise miss. Fitzgerald's masterpiece is thus brought closer to a cross-section of readers, more accessibly and more authentically than ever before. Matthew J. Bruccoli has published widely. He is the author of Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1980) and editor of New Essays on The Great Gatsby (CUP, 1985).

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Review:

In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem.

Book Description:

This critical edition of The Great Gatsby draws on the manuscript and surviving proofs of the novel, together with Fitzgerald's subsequent revisions to key passages to provide the first authoritative text of one of the classic works of the twentieth century.

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