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Like some sort of epic grandeur

"My whole theory of writing I can sum up in one sentence. An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next and the schoolmasters of ever afterward." -F. Scott Fitzgerald

When Fracis Scott Key Fitzgerald set about writing his third novel, he had just come off a large dissapointment. His comedy, the Vegetable premiered to unreceptive audiences and damning reviews. But out of the dust of that play of a novelist- a humorous look at the excesses of the Jazz Age and the American Dream, rose the threads of what is universlally considered his masterpiece- The Great Gatsby.

The title charcter is a boot-egger by trade and a mystery by choice. He has amassed obscene amounts of weath and is courting Daisy Buchanan- a married woman whith whom he fell in love with long ago, with parties and trinkets and displays he hopes will catch her fleeting attention. The story is narrated by Nick Carraway, a relative of Daisy's and in his estimation Gatsby's only friend.

Of course, the focus in Gatsby is the themes of the work, and the writing itself. The ultimate message of the book, of course, remains elusive, but the method in which it is rendered is beautiful.

The Great Gatsby was not an instant best-seller (like Scott's first novel, This Side of Paradise and it recieved lukewarm reviews on publication. However, Gilbert Seldes remarked that "To all the talents, discipline has been added," calling the work "carefully written" and "brilliant." Fitzgerald's writing career continued on towards what he felt was mediocrity- his last novel was published seven years later, and he grew poor and supported himself on short stories before moving to Hollywood to try his hand as a screenwriter. He died in 1940 of a heart attack, leaving his last work- The Last Tycoon- incomplete. However, his friend and critic Edmund Wilson published a series of essays by Fitzgerald, and so his apotheosis began. The 1950s saw an incredible increase in his reputation and fame. Scribner's put out a student's edition, and its place in the American cannon remains unchallanged. It was named the second-best novel of the twentieth century by the Modern Library board (screw James Joyce! Screw 'im, I say!) but it's at the top of the rival list, which I like much better, and Jay Gatsby is at the top of the fictional characters list. But yeah. I like it. And if you do too...well, that's what this place is for.