F. Scott Fitzgerald: Trimalchio: An Early Version of 'The Great Gatsby' / Edition 1

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Overview

This is the first edition ever published of Trimalchio, an early and complete version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald wrote the novel as Trimalchio and submitted it to Maxwell Perkins, his editor at Scribner's, who had the novel set in type and sent the galleys to Fitzgerald in France. Fitzgerald then virtually rewrote the novel in galleys, producing the book we know as The Great Gatsby. This first version, Trimalchio, has never been published and has only been read by a handful of people. It is markedly different from The Great Gatsby: two chapters were completely rewritten for the published novel, and the rest of the book was heavily revised. Characterization is different, the narrative voice of Nick Carraway is altered and, most importantly, the revelation of Jay Gatsby's past is handled in a wholly different way. James L.W. West III directs the Penn State Center for the History of the Book and is General Editor of the Cambridge Edition of the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is the author of William Styron: A Descriptive Biography (Random House, 1998).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Cambridge edition of Trimalchio is for scholars and Fitzgerald fanatics...Trimalchio has shown me a new way to love Gatsby. I'm compelled into a vast aesthetic contemplation: I dream of The Great Gatsby as it might have been, greater still-" Adam Begley, New York Observer

"...the principle reason to read Trimalchio is to observe a masterpiece taking form through the process of revision. Even those not easily caught up in textual detective stories may take an interest in puzzling out the effect of the changes..." Scott Donaldson, Star Tribune

"West provides a meticulous and comprehensive critical apparatus...this fine edition will be of significant interest to Fitzgerald scholars and students." Choice

"West provides a meticulous and comprehensive critical apparatus...this fine edition will be of significant interest to Fitzgerald scholars and students." Choice

"...I enjoyed every second of Trimalchio...had it been published as the legitimate text it would probably still be considered a masterpiece." Christopher Fischbach, Rain Taxi

"Treat yourself to a copy...This new version is an earlier draft of Fitzgerald's novel, and it seems even better than the one finally published." Press Democrat

"Fitzgerald enthusiasts are advised to acquire a copy immediately." The Times

"Raw and edgy, Fitzgerald's prose practically dances across the page. For all of its subtle, flawed deviations from the finished work, the book possesses a charm that Fitzgerald never realized so completely again." Missouri Review

Library Journal
As the title explains, Fitzgerald's initial take on what we know as Gatsby was somewhat different when he first delivered the manuscript to Scribner editor Max Perkins in 1924. Perkins made several suggestions on changes, and Fitzgerald went to work revising the story, eventually altering the title as well. In this earlier version, narrator Nick Carraway's personal life outside of his dealings with Daisy and Gatsby has a larger role, but the meat of the story remains the same. Nonetheless, considering the novel's importance to American letters, academic libraries should purchase. Publics can play it by ear. In addition to the text, this edition features numerous photos and scholarly notes, etc. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

Meet the Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald

James L. W. West is Distinguished Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, where he is a Fellow in the Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies. His most recent book is William Styron, A Life (1998).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (real name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 24, 1896
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Paul, Minnesota
    1. Date of Death:
      December 21, 1940

Table of Contents

Chronology of composition and publication; Introduction: 1. History of the text; 2. Editorial principles; Trimalchio; Record of variants; Explanatory notes; Illustrations; Appendix 1. Perkins' letters of criticism; Appendix 2. Note on Trimalchio; Appendix 3. Note on eyeskip.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2002

    Interesting... but very overpriced

    I purchased this book because I am a huge Gatsby fan, and I was not disappointed with the contents of Trimalchio, however for the price (31 dollars) I was expecting an impressive looking book that I would be proud to display. What I got, instead, was a book about the size of the paperback edition of Gatsby with an ugly cover to boot. If you are as vain as I am and the appearance of a text is almost as important as the actual contents, this book is not for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

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