F. Scott Fitzgerald's Racial Angles and the Business of Literary Greatness

Overview

This book charts Fitzgerald's use of racial stereotypes to encode the dual nature of his literary ambition: his desire to be on the one hand a popular American entertainer, and on the other to make his mark among the elite members of an international literary field. Taking his cue from some under-appreciated stories, Michael Nowlin argues that Fitzgerald's early use of tropes from blackface minstrelsy anticipated his race-inflected treatment of divided artist figures in the major novels from The Beautiful and ...

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Overview

This book charts Fitzgerald's use of racial stereotypes to encode the dual nature of his literary ambition: his desire to be on the one hand a popular American entertainer, and on the other to make his mark among the elite members of an international literary field. Taking his cue from some under-appreciated stories, Michael Nowlin argues that Fitzgerald's early use of tropes from blackface minstrelsy anticipated his race-inflected treatment of divided artist figures in the major novels from The Beautiful and Damned to the unfinished The Love of the Last Tycoon. At issue in all these novels, both formally and thematically, is the dynamic state of the modern, multi-faceted, and ethnically diverse American cultural field Fitzgerald was constantly re-negotiating in order to meet his goal of long-term literary success.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Nowlin's scholarly and interesting book illuminates the street-of-dreams intersection where Fitzgerald the literary artist confronted his counterpart, the popular fiction writer."--Scott Donaldson, Biographer of Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael Nowlin is Associate Professor of English at the University of Victoria in Canada. He has edited Broadview Editions of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (2007) and Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence (2002), and published several articles in the field of twentieth-century American literature in such journals as American Literature, Arizona Quarterly, and the Journal of American Studies.

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Table of Contents

F. Scott Fitzgerald, "the Cultural World," and the Lure of the American Scene
• The Racial Make-up of the Entertainer in Two Early Post Stories
• Early Success, Holy Irony, and the Cultural Field of The Beautiful and Damned
• "Trashy Imaginings" and the Greatness of The Great Gatsby
• "The Model for the Age": The Distinction of Tender Is the Night * "A Gentile's Tragedy": Bearing the Word About Hollywood in The Love of the Last Tycoon
• "Dearly Beloved": The Black Face of Fitzgerald's Ambition

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