What would Fitzgerald say about the belated popularity of his novel, The Great Gatsby? “Thanks, it’s the bee’s knees, but what took so long?” The book was out of print at the time of Fitzgerald’s death in 1940. In fact, all of his books were out of print. He was writing screenplays in Hollywood for a living, drinking excessively, and fighting extreme depression. Like Jay Gatsby, he had once been a “gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,” but those days had slipped away, and F. Scott had become a burnt out shell. Sadly, the book had not been well received when it was first published in 1925. Readers ignored it during The Great Depression, and it wasn’t until the late 1940s that the book started to gain some momentum. According to an article in Wikipedia this was sparked by the 150,000 copies which had been handed out to the American military during WWII. Now, of course, the novel is established as a bona fide American classic, and that is perhaps due to two major factors: high school English and Hollywood. It strikes me as rather ironic that Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, the only one of his novels that I truly admire, was rescued from oblivion by a mostly moribund public education system and a greedy, money-obsessed entertainment industry. There have been 6 movie adaptations of the book, and Hollywood seems perfectly appropriate as a rescuer, given the theme of The Great Gatsby.
Causes Anthony Maulucci Supports
Greenpeace, Amnesty Inernational, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Save the Children