The Great Gatsby: An Edition of the Manuscript

F. Scott Fitzgerald (Author) James L. W. West III (Editor)
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This edition presents the manuscript of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, the earliest full version of the novel that survives. Study of this manuscript reveals much about the composition of the novel - about the development of its characters and themes and the revision of its language. Fitzgerald reworked the manuscript, putting it through several drafts and continuing to edit until a few weeks before publication. The period of its creation was an amalgamation of his talent, inspiration, and self-discipline which resulted in a masterpiece. An introduction by James L. W. West, III, the general editor of the series, gives the compositional history of the novel; a bibliographical commentary by Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts at Princeton University Library, describes the manuscript and gives the story of its preservation, acquisition, and restoration. The reading text is presented without emendation and with a minimum of editorial apparatus. This edition will allow critics, teachers, and students to study The Great Gatsby as a fluid text, evolving and progressing toward its final form from its very earliest incarnation.

Product Details

Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
June 07, 2018
5.86 X 8.76 X 0.77 inches | 0.01 pounds
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About the Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and educated at Princeton, where he was a leader in theatrical and literary activities. He began writing his first novel, This Side of Paradise, while serving in the army. Its publication in 1920 established him as the spokesman for the Jazz Age. His major novels include The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night.
James L. W. West III is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University.
Don C. Skemer is Curator of Manuscripts, Princeton University Library, New Jersey.


'Like a jazz album offering multiple takes on a single tune, the value of this edition lies in the access it offers to the creative process. Comparing it to the novel published in April 1925 reveals the decisions Fitzgerald made as he revised his greatest work and supplies fascinating insights into its evolution ... Seeing The Great Gatsby as it might have been shows that Fitzgerald's drive for perfection matched that of his beloved hero.' Sarah Graham, The Times Literary Supplement