By Robert Beuka

Fitzgerald's the nice Gatsby is generally visible because the essential 'great American novel,' and the large physique of feedback at the paintings bears out its importance in American letters. American Icon lines its reception and its canonical prestige in American literature, pop culture, and academic event. It starts by means of outlining the novel's serious reception from its e-book in 1925, to very combined reports, via Fitzgerald's dying, while it have been nearly forgotten. subsequent, it examines the posthumous revival of Fitzgerald stories within the Nineteen Forties and its intensification through the recent Critics within the Fifties, targeting 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 many years, stressing how critics of contemporary many years have unfolded learn of the industrial, sexual, racial, and historic facets 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 lots into which it used to be at first discarded, but in addition that it has turn into a part of the material of yank tradition in a manner that few different works have.

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

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Most of the newspaper obituaries were, if not dismissive, less than enthusiastic regarding the question of Fitzgerald’s literary merit. ’ When it was published in 1925 this ironic tale of life on Long Island at a time when gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession (according to the exponents of Mr. Fitzgerald’s school of writers), it received little acclaim” (“Scott Fitzgerald,” 23). An anonymous follow-up the next day in the Times elaborated on the idea of unfulfilled artistic promise, speculating that in recent years, “Fitzgerald, and others of his time, were really ‘lost’ — that they could not adjust themselves to the swift and brutal changes of these times.

In the thirties people like Fitzgerald were pushed out by this new breed” (88). Part of the critical problem for Fitzgerald lay in the rapidly increasing remoteness of the world he described. The reviewer for the New York Sun makes this case in a review of Taps at Reveille: “It is hard, in these days of the depression, to be fair to Mr. Fitzgerald. The children of all ages — from 13 to 30 — that decorate his pages seem as remote today as the Neanderthal man” (in Bryer, 346). Nafisi, with the benefit of historical perspective, expands upon the problem and puts it in the context of Fitzgerald’s career trajectory: “The Great Gatsby was published in 1925 and Tender Is the Night in 1934.

S essay from the Winter, 1944 Virginia Quarterly Review, “An Invite with Gilded Edges,” lays some groundwork for a critical reevaluation. While arguing, along the lines of Leo and Miriam Gurko, that Fitzgerald’s “greatest weakness, ironically, was that he was so completely of his time and of his country” (134), Weir also seems to sense that Fitzgerald’s superior ability in capturing his moment would give his best work a value more lasting than that of his contemporaries. He argues, for example, that Fitzgerald’s “natural” eye for time and place makes, by comparison, “the careful reconstructions of Dos Passos seem mechanical and artificial” (134).

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