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The introduction to this volume charts the fortunes of The Great Gatsby from its mixed reception and disappointing sales on publication in 1925, through its increasing popularity in the 1940s, to its critical and popular elevation from the standing of an important 'period piece' to that of an undisputed classic of American literature. Of the five essays that follow, one traces this revival in greater detail, and another sets the book in the context of the perennial quest for the 'great American novel'. Two other essays examine the central from the perspective of a practising contemporary novelist.
Series editor's preface; 1. Introduction Matthew J. Bruccoli; 2. Gatsby's long shadow Richard Anderson; 3. Money, love, and aspiration in The Great Gatsby Roger Lewis; 4. The idea of order at West Egg Susan Resneck Parr; 5. The Great Gatsby and the Great American Novel Kenneth E. Eble; 6. Fire and freshness: a matter of style in The Great Gatsby George Garrett; Notes on contributors; Selected bibliography.