On this day…
10th April, 1925 – The Great Gatsby first published.
The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession for the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan. Considered to be Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.
Fitzgerald—inspired by the parties he had attended while visiting Long Island’s north shore—began planning the novel in 1923, desiring to produce, in his words, “something new—something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned.”.
First published by Scribner’s in April 1925, The Great Gatsby received mixed reviews and sold poorly; in its first year, the book sold only 20,000 copies. Fitzgerald died in 1940, believing himself to be a failure and his work forgotten. However, the novel experienced a revival during World War II, and became a part of American high school curricula and numerous stage and film adaptations in the following decades. Today, The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be a literary classic.
Did You Know?
The Great Gatsby opens with a famous epigraph by the poet Thomas Parke D’Invilliers:
“Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her/ If you can bounce high, bounce for her too/ Till she cry, Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover / I must have you!”
Haven’t heard of him?
That’s because he doesn’t exist.
The character was a creation of Fitzgerald’s in This Side of Paradise.
John Green later stole this idea for the stunning epigraph for The Fault in Our Stars, by the fictional Peter Van Houten.