“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy": First Modern Library of The Great Gatsby; Inscribed by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott.$35,000.00
Item Number: 37020
New York: The Modern Library, 1934.
First Modern Library edition of the author’s masterpiece, with the first appearance of Fitzgerald’s new introduction. Octavo, original green cloth. Inscribed by the author on the half title page, “For Lillian Abercrombie at the beginning of a tour of work F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some rubbing to the extremities and some small chips. Housed in a full custom morocco box. The first Modern Library edition of The Great Gatsby was a resounding commercial failure, and many copies were remaindered with the caption “discontinued title” printed on the jacket’s front panel. The present copy represents one of the earlier, non-remaindered copies, and like all of the first Modern Library editions of The Great Gatsby, features Fitzgerald’s new introduction, with his own, now-famous take on his masterwork: “I think it is an honest book, that is to say, that one used none of one’s virtuosity to get an effect, and, to boast again, one soft-pedalled the emotional side to avoid the tears leaking from the socket of the left eye, or the large false face peering around the corner of a character’s head. If there is a clear conscience, a book can survive — at least in one’s feelings about it. On the contrary, if one has a guilty conscience, one reads what one wants to hear out of reviews. In addition, if one is young and willing to learn, almost all reviews have a value, even the ones that seem unfair.”
In 1922, Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Cyril Connolly called The Great Gatsby one of the half dozen best American novels: "Gatsby remains a prose poem of delight and sadness which has by now introduced two generations to the romance of America, as Huckleberry Finn and Leaves of Grass introduced those before it" (Modern Movement 48). Consistently gaining popularity after World War II, the novel became an important part of American high school curricula. It was the basis for numerous stage and film adaptations. Gatsby had four film adaptations, with two exceptionally big-budget versions: the 1974 version starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, as well as Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 version starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carrie Mulligan. Fitzgerald’s granddaughter praised Lurhmann’s adaptation, stating “Scott would be proud.”
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"If you liked The Great Gatsby, for God's sake read this. Gatsby was a tour de force but this is a confession of faith": First Edition of Tender Is the Night; Inscribed by F. Scott Fitzgerald To Hollywood Producer Harry Joe Brown
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934.
First edition of the work which Fitzgerald considered to be his finest. Octavo, original green cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper with a full page inscription, “For Harry Joe Brown – late of the 17th Infantry Brigade. Wounded in Hollywood 1920-1940. – from his fellow dough boy F Scott Fitzgerald Encino, 1939.” The recipient, Harry Joe Brown was a Hollywood producer, who Fitzgerald noted meeting in late 1939: “Somewhere around this time [September 1939] Harry Joe Brown called me over to Twentieth Century Fox on a Sonja Heine picture” (Letter to the Berg-Allenberg Agency, 23 February 1940). Fitzgerald had been contracted as a writer by Metro Goldwyn Meyer Studios in the July of 1937, initially for six months. His contract was then extended for another year, but when this lapsed in December 1938 MGM did not renew it. Over the next two years, Fitzgerald freelanced for numerous studios on a number of films, including Everything Happens at Night for which Brown was an associate producer. An excellent near fine example in a very good first issue dust jacket with some light wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1935.
First edition, first state, with pages 349-52 uncancelled and with “catch it” reading on page 351. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Isabel Owens Hoping we’ll both be able to look back to this winter as a bleak exception, in a business way from F. Scott (“Old Scrooge”) Fitzgerald.” The recipient, Isabel Owens worked full-time as Fitzgerald’s Baltimore secretary from 1932-36. She continued part-time in this role until his death in 1940. In addition to her secretarial duties, Owens acted as a foster mother to the Fitzgeralds’ daughter Scottie and companion to Zelda. In near fine condition with the spine gilt bright in a very good dust jacket with some strengthening to the folds. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A wonderful association copy.