12 Things Every “The Great Gatsby” Buff Should Know

This celebrated literary classic was almost titled Gold-Hatted Gatsby.

1. The iconic cover art for the novel, created by Francis Cugat, was completed while F. Scott Fiztgerald was still writing the book. He was so enamored of the art work that he incorporated it into the novel.

The cover art was written into the novel through the description of Daisy Buchanan, “girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs”.

2. Fitzgerald started writing The Great Gatsby in 1923, but he ended up discarding most of what he wrote.

Some of what he wrote did appear in the short story “Absolution” which was part of All the Sad Young Men, his third collection of short stories

3. Some alternate titles Fitzgerald considered included, Trimalchio, Gold-Hatted Gatsby and Under the Red, White and Blue.

4. Although it is considered the quintessential American novel, Fitzgerald actually wrote the majority of it while he was living in the French Riviera.

5. Meyer Wolfshiem was based on a real person - Arnold Rothstein, a New York crime boss, who is blamed for fixing the 1919 World Series.

6. Socialite Ginevra King is said to be the inspiration for Daisy Buchanan. She and Fitzgerald dated for two years - before she broke it off.

Ginevea is said to be the inspiration for a few other characters in Fitzgerald’s novels. She reportedly once asked Fitzgerald which character was based on her in The Beautiful and Damned, to which he replied, “Which bitch do you think you are?”

7. Fitzgerald got the idea for “West Egg” and “East Egg” after he moved to Great Neck, NY on Long Island. That area was considered “new money”, while Cow Neck Peninsula, which sat across the bay was where established “old money” lived.

8. The book’s editor, Maxwell Perkins, also edited Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms.

Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is dedicated to his memory.

9. When the novel was first published in 1925 it was not as commercially successful as Fitzgerald’s previous two novels, This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and Damned.

The novel would begin to see a revival twenty years later when around a 150,000 copies were given to the American military during World War II.

10. The Modern Library named The Great Gatsby the second best English-language novel of the 20th century - the first is Ulysses by James Joyce.

11. The novel has been adapted into a film five times.

1926 – a silent movie version.
1949 – starring Alan Ladd, Betty Field, and Shelley Winters.
1974 – starring Sam Waterston as narrator Nick Carraway, with Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan and Robert Redford as Gatsby, the screenplay was adapted by Francis Ford Coppola.
2000 – a made-for-TV movie starring Toby Stephens as Gatsby, Paul Rudd as Nick Carraway and Mira Sorvino as Daisy Buchanan.
2013 – starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire.

12. Truman Capote was the original screenwriter for the 1974 film. In his draft, Nick was a homosexual and Jordan Baker a vindictive lesbian - he was fired and his screenplay was never filmed.

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