A Very Attractive "Gatsby" in the Rare First Issue Dust JacketF. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925.
First edition, first printing, with "chatter" on p. 60, line 16, "northern" on p. 119, line 22, "it's" on p. 165, line 16, "away" on p. 165, line 29, "sick in tired" on p. 205, lines 9-10, and "Union Street station" on p. 211, lines 7-8. Octavo (7.4375 x 5.125 inches). , 218 pages.
Publisher's green B cloth (linen-like grain) with front cover lettered in blind and spine ruled and lettered in gilt. Top and bottom edges trimmed. Minimal rubbing to extremities, minor expert recoloring to small portions of upper edge and lower corner of front cover, slight dampstain to top edge, just extending onto front endpapers. Otherwise a very clean copy. Previous owner's faint pencil inscription, dated June 12, 1925, on front free endpaper. In the original color pictorial dust jacket by F. Cugat (first printing of jacket with a lowercase "j" in "Jay Gatsby" on the rear panel at line 14, hand-corrected in ink). The jacket has some slight dampstaining to the front and rear panels and has been professionally restored, primarily at the folds and edges, just affecting a small portion of one letter on the front panel and a small portion of the lower rule on the rear panel. The jacket spine is totally unfaded. A very attractive example of this legendary rarity. Housed in a full dark blue morocco book-backed clamshell case decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt.
"Fitzgerald reached a large public with This Side of Paradise (1920); an adolescent collegiate best-seller influenced by Rupert Brooke and Compton Mackenzie. It is all the more to his credit that he should have moved on to this light-hearted masterpiece of the boom years (one of the half-dozen best American novels) which won the instant acclaim of Eliot. There is evidence of weakness and there are shifts of emphasis in 'Gatsby', but it 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" (Connolly, The Modern Movement, 48).
"Francis Cugat's painting for F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is the most celebrated-and widely disseminated-jacket art in twentieth-century American literature, and perhaps of all time...Like the novel it embellishes, this Art Deco tour-de-force has firmly established itself as a classic...Cugat's rendition is not illustrative, but symbolic, even iconic: the sad, hypnotic, heavily outlined eyes of a woman beam like headlights through a cobalt night sky. Their irises are transfigured into reclining female nudes. From one of the eyes streams a green luminescent tear; brightly rouged lips complete the sensual triangle. No nose or other discernable facial contours are introduced in this celestial visage; a few dark streaks across the sky (behind the title) suggest hairlines. Below, on earth, brightly colored carnival lights blaze before a metropolitan skyline" (Bruccoli, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: A Literary Reference, pp. 160-161).
Bruccoli, Fitzgerald, A11.1.a.
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