All About Additional Literary Journal Adventures at Good Books in the Woods…
I got to peek at some incoming journals today, they were hanging out on the owner’s desk…
The American Mercury was an American magazine published from 1924 to 1981. It was founded as the brainchild of H. L. Mencken and drama critic George Jean Nathan. The magazine featured writing by some of the most important writers in the United States through the 1920s and 1930s. After a change in ownership in the 1940s, the magazine attracted conservative writers. The magazine went out of print in 1981, having spent the last 25 years of its existence in decline and controversy. – from Wikipedia
So that’s cool, but the real juice is this, here in the June 1924 edition…
For those who don’t know, “Absolution” is important to fans of The Great Gatsby. Why? Well, you see, the writing of The Great Gatsby has a rich history. It may have been published by Scribner in 1925, but Fitzgerald had several previous versions of the literary classic.
In 1923, he had written 18k words for the book that was destined to become The Great Gatsby but scrapped most of what he had written and began again. These scraps can be found peppered throughout literature under different headings and titles – titles like “Absolution.”
“I’m glad you liked Absolution. As you know it was to have been the prologue of the novel but it interfered with the neatness of the plan,” Fitzgerald wrote his editor. The novel in question was none other than The Great Gatsby.
The above letter is a page from Dear Scott/ Dear Max: The Fitzgerald – Perkins Correspondence.
So many neat things can be found inside the pages of literary journals and I’m enjoying discovering the treasures.
Somewhat unrelated, but definitely something for the Fitzgerald collector that I found while researching this post, are some wonderful embellished journals. The creators have taken the first handwritten page of The Great Gatsby and imprinted it on the cover of leatherbound journals. So beautiful: http://blog.paperblanks.com/2012/09/f-scott-fitzgerald/