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The Love Songs of F. Scott Fitzgerald

By Kirk Curnutt
According to literary legend, the author of The Great Gatsby sold his soul. Perpetually cash-strapped, F. Scott Fitzgerald spent much of his twenty-year career cranking out popular fiction for the Saturday Evening Post and other high-paying “slicks.” While Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and William Faulkner racked up double digits in the novels column, Fitzgerald completed a paltry four and a half, with only one of them (Gatsby, of course) truly great. By contrast, he produced 160 short stories, earning a total of $241,453 off the genre – more than $3 million in today’s dollars.

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The Blaines of Lake Geneva

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896–1940) was born in St Paul, Minnesota, and named after his second cousin three times removed, the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner”. He went to Princeton University, but dropped out, eventually joining the Army in 1917. In honor of the anniversary of the publication of This Side of Paradise on 26 March 1920, we dug up this excerpt from this great novel.

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Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age camel

On 24 September 1896, F. Scott Fitzgerald was born. While remembered today for his masterpiece The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald made his living off short stories. He chronicled life of the 1920s and 30s with unparalleled versatility, whether as parody, tragedy, fantasy, or romance. His attitude to the charisma and vices of America’s privileged was complex and often ambivalent. This dichotomy is reflected in the following from “The Camel’s Back.”

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9780199744572

The real secret behind Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is one of the best-known American novels, but weirdly, and strangely reflective of Gatsby himself, one of the least understood. The much-awaited Baz Lurhmann version of The Great Gatsby opens in the United States tomorrow, and like Gatsby himself — as a new trailer reminds us — the novel is “guarding secrets.”

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“Gatz” at the Public: A Great Gatsby or Just an Elitist One?

By Keith Gandal
Want a quick, but apparently reliable measure of how elitist you are? Go see the 7-hour production of Gatz, in which all 47,000 words of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby are, in the course of the play, enunciated on stage. (If you dare and can afford to.) If you love every minute of it and find time flying by, you’re probably, well, an arts snob; if you find your reaction mixed, your mind drifting in and out, and your body just plain giving out, well, you’re likely more of a populist.

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An Independence Day reading list from Oxford World’s Classics

By Penny Freeman
For this month’s Oxford World’s Classics reading list, we picked some of our favorite American classics in honor of Independence Day. There’s no better holiday to celebrate America’s iconic writers, and their great works, than the Fourth of July. Whether you were assigned to read these books in class, or keep meaning to pick up a few of those classics you missed out on, we have something for everyone on the list.

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An Oxford World’s Classics American literature reading list

There’s something about the frenzied vigor of snowflakes, shopping outings, and journeys back home, that make us want to take a break and curl up with a good book. The classics are always a perfect pick for a good read during the holiday season. We compiled some of the best books from American literature to read when you’re looking to escape into a story. Which is your favorite?

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Bestsellers: a snapshot of an age

To celebrate World Book Day this week, we take a look at what John Sutherland thinks about why we read bestsellers and what they say about the age in which they were published, in his Very Short Introduction to Bestsellers.

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New Directions in Literary Criticism:
Studying War and the Military

Keith Gandal is Professor of English at Northern Illinois University. He is the author of The Virtues of the Vicious: Jacob Riis, Stephen Crane and the Spectacle of the Slum and Class Representation in Modern Fiction and Film. He is also the author of a novel, Cleveland Anonymous. His most recent book The Gun and […]

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Memory and the Great War

In honor of the 100th anniversary of World War I, we’re sharing an excerpt of Sir Hew Strachan’s The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War. Get a sense of what it was like to live through this historic event and how its global effects still impact the world today.

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