Monthly Archives: April 2014

Gatsby in 1925…Gatsby in 2014?

GatsbyF. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” was released on this date (April 10) in 1925.  It was a critical success, but not a big seller.  The second printing left thousands of unsold copies in the warehouse.  How this must have discouraged Fitzgerald, who was likely hoping for a commercial success to help with his mounting debt. Why wasn’t it popular in its own time, and what about this novel has earned it a place in American literature and on every High School’s mandatory reading list? I’m sure volumes have been written on the answers to these questions, but now I wonder about a new one.  How would Fitzgerald fare in today’s publishing environment?  If Gatsby failed to sell, would he have been dropped by his publisher as a commercial flop?  Would he have turned to self-pub in order to find an audience? How many undiscovered Fitzgeralds are there out there now with a story that is not considered “commercially viable”?


Filed under Book Review