American Icon: Fitzgerald's the Great Gatsby in Critical and by Robert Beuka

By Robert Beuka

Fitzgerald's the nice Gatsby is generally obvious because the indispensable 'great American novel,' and the vast physique of feedback at the paintings bears out its value in American letters. American Icon strains its reception and its canonical prestige in American literature, pop culture, and academic adventure. It starts off via outlining the novel's severe reception from its booklet in 1925, to very combined experiences, via Fitzgerald's loss of life, while it were nearly forgotten. subsequent, it examines the posthumous revival of Fitzgerald reports within the Nineteen Forties and its intensification through the hot Critics within the Fifties, concentrating on how and why the unconventional started to be thought of a masterpiece of yankee literature. It then strains the expansion of the 'industry' of Gatsby feedback within the resulting a long time, stressing how critics of contemporary many years have spread out examine of the commercial, sexual, racial, and historic elements of the textual content. the ultimate part discusses the larger-than-life prestige Gatsby has attained in American schooling and pop culture, suggesting that it has not just risen from the severe ash tons into which it was once before everything discarded, but in addition that it has develop into a part of the material of yankee tradition in a manner that few different works have.

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Extra resources for American Icon: Fitzgerald's the Great Gatsby in Critical and Cultural Context

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Indeed, as early as 1947, Maxwell Geismar, in The Last of the Provincials: The American Novel, 1915–1925, would discuss Fitzgerald’s geographic imagination, his tendency to project the romantic and moral dilemmas of his fiction onto the national map. Geismar also alludes to the mythic national dimensions of The Great Gatsby when he identifies Jay Gatsby as “a cousin, say, of Huck Finn” (320). Like Twain’s protagonist, Gatsby, for Geismar, represents the American “outsider” (318), whose story is set to “the rhythm and words of an American myth” (320).

Artistically, Fitzgerald’s work, redolent with images of rich boys and rich girls negotiating high society life, fell out of favor with critics of the 1930s who were concerned with the plight of the suffering masses, as well as the ascent of a more proletarian strain in the national literature. Leftist journals such as New Masses, which rose to prominence under the editorship of Mike Gold in the late twenties and thirties, championed a brand of socially engaged writing about the plight of the common man, rejecting what they saw as increasingly irrelevant “bourgeois” literature.

While Schulberg maintained in interviews over the years that Halliday was more a composite portrait of the formerly great writer slumming it in Hollywood than a depiction of Scott Fitzgerald in particular, the direct biographical connection belies this argument. Scholars have debated the effect the portrayal had on Fitzgerald’s reputation, but one thing is certain: The popularity of this novel, as well as its appearance immediately before Mizener’s biography, The Far Side of Paradise (1951), contributed greatly to a renewed public interest in Fitzgerald, in turn adding more fuel to the Fitzgerald revival at the dawn of the 1950s.

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