FITZGERALD, F. Scott (1896-1940). The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925.
8o. Original green cloth (spine a bit dulled, slight wear to extremities); pictorial dust jacket by F. Cugat depicting a woman's face above an amusement park at night (a few tiny chips at edges and corners, central horizontal crease across jacket, vertical crease along spine panel, with some slight rubbing and wear along creases on spine panel).
FITZGERALD'S MASTERPIECE IN A VERY WELL-PRESERVED DUST JACKET
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING, in a first state just jacket, with a lowercase "j" in "Jay Gatsby" on the rear panel hand-corrected in ink. The well-preserved condition of the dust jacket, is presumably due to its having been folded and stored at an early date after publication. Although it bears the resulting creases, the jacket retains its full dimensions (overlapping the board edges) and original finish (virtually unrubbed on side panels).
"The Great Gatsby, as both [Maxwell] Perkins and [Ring] Lardner perceived, is Fitzgerald's most perfectly realized work of art. The novel reveals a new and confident mastery of his material, a fascinating if sensational plot, a Keatsian ability to evoke a romantic atmosphere, a set of memorable and deeply interesting characters, a witty and incisive social satire, a surprisingly effective use of allusions, an ambitious theme and a silken style that seeems as fresh today as it did seventy years ago" (Meyers, p. 122).
Set on the North Shore of Long Island and Manhattan, and inspired by the extravagant social scene Fitzgerald observed during his eighteen-month residence in Great Neck over 1922-24, The Great Gatsby tells the tragic story of the American Dream gone awry as seen through the eyes of a midwestern narrator. The novel went through several failed starts prior to 1924, but it was not until he and Zelda had escaped the New York social scene to the Riviera in May 1924, that he seriously set himself to work on what would become his masterpiece. Although the finished work was admired by virtually all the eminent literary figures of his day, sales did not meet his expectations and only barely paid off his advance from Scribner's.
"In 1925--the year Dreiser published An American Tragedy, Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer and Hemingway In Our Time--Fitzgerald made an impressive leap from his deeply flawed early novels to his first masterpiece" (Meyers, p. 122). The striking dust jacket, designed by Cugat, ranks among the most original and attractive American dust jackets ever produced. Bruccoli A11.1.a; Connolly, The Modern Movement 48.