Rereading F. Scott Fitzgerald

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It has long been assumed that F. Scott Fitzgerald was inspired by American and British sources, however, this study takes the first look at continental literature as a possible source of Fitzgerald’s writing and finds that there was massive borrowing. Most saliently, the vast the influence of Alain-Fornier’s Le grand Meaulnes on Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is demonstrated in detail for the first time, while other chapters consider the influence of Tolstoy, Ibsen and Strindberg on Fitzgerald’s fiction. Though largely focused on The Great Gatsby, this study does cover the full life and work of this important American author who continues to draw in new readers every year with his Roaring Twenties version of the American Dream.


“Reader beware! Just when you thought it was safe to go into a bookstore or library again or when the remnants of the “Jazz Age” had been sold off at some literary rummage sale; just when it looked as if everything that could possibly be said about the great American author had been said, along comes Dr. Edward Ford with a ‘rereading’ of Fitzgerald’s works. All of a sudden the old themes are looked over again, and once more there appears to be something new to say about Fitzgerald.” – Dr. Lyman L. Leathers, Emeritus Professor, Ohio Wesleyan University

“This book sets Fitzgerald’s fiction, particularly The Great Gatsby, in informative and original contexts by demonstrating the many influences upon his works, thus correcting the mistaken but widespread impression that Fitzgerald was a semi-lettered, ‘natural’ writer. Instead, Dr. Ford shows Fitzgerald to be a widely-read, astute and clever writer who absorbed literary influences ... and adapted them to his own various literary purposes ... Dr. Ford’s approach is original and insightful ...” – Professor Shaun O’Connell, Department of English, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Table of Contents

Preface by Lyman L. Leathers
1 Introduction
2 This Side of Paradise
3 Tolstoy’s Influence
4 Ibsen’s Influence
5 The Influence of August Strindberg’s A Dreamplay
6 The Beautiful and the Damned
7 The Influence of Alain-Fournier’s Le grand Meaulnes
8 Conrad, Fournier, and Fitzgerald
9 The Phoenix and the Underworld Voyage
10 Short Stories
11 Tender is the Night
12 The Last Tycoon
13 Fitzgerald’s Legacy
Works Cited

Other Literature - American Books

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