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The Last of the Novelists: F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Last Tycoon
     

The Last of the Novelists: F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Last Tycoon

by Matthew J. Bruccoli
 

Re-creating the author’s intention from the manuscripts, this study shows that Fitzgerald regarded none of his material as final but, rather, as material toward a novel quite possibly about the Ameri­can Dream—a respectful study of the American business hero.

 

 

Mr. Bruccoli’s transcription and

Overview

Re-creating the author’s intention from the manuscripts, this study shows that Fitzgerald regarded none of his material as final but, rather, as material toward a novel quite possibly about the Ameri­can Dream—a respectful study of the American business hero.

 

 

Mr. Bruccoli’s transcription and anal­yses of the manuscripts and notes for the unfinished novel serve two related purposes: they enable us to gauge the state of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work-in-progress at the time of his death and thereby to reassess this work properly.

Examination of Fitzgerald’s drafts re­veal that he regarded none of this mate­rial as finished. There are no final drafts—only latest working drafts. After Chapter One there are no chapters, and even this is marked for rewrite. And Fitzgerald’s undated last outline pro­vides only topics or ideas for the thir­teen unwritten episodes.

 

The Last Tycoon has always been read as a Hollywood novel—a novel about the movies. It is far from certain that the title was final, but it is clear that Fitzgerald conceived Monroe Stahr as a “tycoon.” Fitzgerald’s tentative title “The Love of the Last Tycoon: A West­ern” is instructive: it connects Stahr with all the other poor boys who went West to seek their fortunes.

“I am the last of the novelists for a long time now,” Fitzgerald wrote in a note for The Last Tycoon. His statement does not refer to technique or to form, Mr. Bruccoli claims; it can be under­stood only in terms of theme and char­acter. Stahr exemplifies Fitzgerald’s be­lief in the American Dream—decency, honor, courage, responsibility, and the possibilities of the American life—and Fitzgerald regarded himself as the last of the American novelists writing on this great theme.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809308200
Publisher:
Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date:
09/01/1977
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.88(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author

Matthew J. Bruccoli is Jefferies Pro­fessor of English at the University of South Carolina.

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