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F. Scott Fitzgerald at Work, F. Scott Fitzgerald at Work, 0817318399, 0-8173-1839-9, 978-0-8173-1839-0, 9780817318390, , , F. Scott Fitzgerald at Work, 0817387706, 0-8173-8770-6, 978-0-8173-8770-9, 9780817387709, , , F. Scott Fitzgerald at Work, 0817358978, 0-8173-5897-8, 978-0-8173-5897-6, 9780817358976,

F. Scott Fitzgerald at Work
The Making of "The Great Gatsby"
Horst H. Kruse

Trade Cloth
2014. 168 pp.
20 figures
978-0-8173-1839-0
Price:  $54.95 s
E Book
2014. 168 pp.
20 figures
978-0-8173-8770-9
Price:  $24.95 d
Quality Paper
2014. 168 pp.
20 B&W figures
978-0-8173-5897-6
Price:  $24.95 s

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby occupies a preeminent place in American letters. Scholars have argued that Jay Gatsby is, in fact, the embodiment of American cultural and social aspiration. Though The Great Gatsby has been studied in detail since its publication, both readers and scholars have continued to speculate about Fitzgerald’s sources of inspiration.
 
The essays in F. Scott Fitzgerald at Work examine fresh facts that illuminate the experiences and source materials upon which Fitzgerald based this quintessentially American masterpiece. They confirm author Horst Kruse’s view that Fitzgerald’s flights of fancy, even at their most spectacular, are firmly grounded in biographical experience as well as in the social, literary, and philosophical circumstances of his era.
 
In the first essay, Kruse reconstructs the life story of the individual who allegedly inspired the character of Jay Gatsby: Max von Gerlach. Kruse recounts his journeys to various archives and libraries in the United States as well as in Germany to unearth new facts about the genesis of the Gatsby characters. In another journey, readers travel with Kruse to Long Island to explore its physical and moral geography in relation to Fitzgerald, specifically the role of certain elite Long Island families in the advancement of the “science of eugenics” movement. The final two essays take Kruse across the globe to various destinations to consider the broader place of The Great Gatsby in American and international intellectual history.
 
Replete with fascinating discoveries and insights, F. Scott Fitzgerald at Work both corrects previous assumptions about The Great Gatsby and deepens our appreciation and understanding of Fitzgerald‘s imagination.

A professor emeritus of English and American literature at the University of Münster, Horst H. Kruse is the author of Mark Twain and “Life on the Mississippi”.
 

“Kruse exerted prodigious effort in producing this exhaustive study of The Great Gatsby. As he writes in his introduction, he tracked down 'material that Fitzgerald either worked with or worked from.' One result of Kruse's efforts is a revealing analysis of Fitzgerald's fascination with Max von Gerlach, the purported model for Jay Gatsby. It turns out that Gerlach was probably only a minor league bootlegger, and that Fitzgerald's interest in him centered around Gerlach's embodiment of the 'quest of identity' that the German immigrant shared with Gatsby. Kruse's meticulous investigation all but solidifies Gerlach as the original for Gatsby. Kruse also turns his attention to the genesis of Tom Buchanan, connecting him to the eugenics movement in vogue during the 1920s and figuring him as an antitype of the Statue of Liberty. In a display of microscopic exegesis, the author offers a dazzling explanation of Fitzgerald's passing reference to 'Kant's window.' Kruse's discussion of Fitzgerald's possible incorporation of other historical and philosophical sources into The Great Gatsby also merits praise. Highly recommended.”
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"[F. Scott Fitzgerald at Work] . . . provides a convincing portrait of a man whose tenacious pursuit of the American Dream speaks to the reality of the life that Fitzgerald breathed into his protagonist."
F. Scott Fitzgerald Review
 

“The great strengths of Kruse's study are its originality, its clarity, and its reliance on fresh material and research. These investigations present many new, striking facets both of Fitzgerald himself and his famous novel, which has become over the past twenty years ‘the’ American novel.”
—James L. W. West III, author of William Styron: A Life and The Perfect Hour: The Romance of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ginevra King

"The great virtue of this study—and, frankly, the fun of reading it—is the way that Kruse's scholarship opens the text up to new, invigorating contexts. Kruse shows how depthless not only Gatsby's interpretation is but also the history that flows through it. At the same time, it's immensely entertaining to follow the author's efforts to establish facts in order to substantiate his readings. I think the method here is as interesting a story as the readings and conclusions."
—Kirk Curnutt, author of The Cambridge Introduction to F. Scott Fitzgerald

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