Fitzgerald, Francis Scott Key (1896-1940).
The Great Gatsby. New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925.
8° (200x136 mm). , 218 pages. Original green cloth, blind stamped title on upper cover, spine lettered in gilt. Dust jacket in first issue, with lowercase 'j' in 'jay Gatsby' on the back hand-corrected in ink. Repairs to the spine of the dust jacket, including 1-inch piece at the foot, affecting the publisher's imprint. Preserved in custom drop-back box. A very good copy, spine ends and corners slightly bumped.
First edition, first printing, and first state of the text, as well as the first issue of the iconic and exceedingly rare dust jacket of this masterpiece of American literature. The Great Gatsby “remains a prose poem of delight and sadness which has by now introduced two generations to the romance of America, as Huckleberry Finn and Leaves of Grass introduced those before it” (Connolly).
The dust jacket for The Great Gatsby was designed by the Spanish artist Francis Cugat (1893-1981), who symbolically echoed the events narrated in Fitzgerald's novel, depicting two enigmatic female eyes staring, in the blue of a night sky and above bright red lips, over Coney Island scene below. It is probably the most famous and intriguing cover executed in the history of American literature.
“Francis Cugat's painting for F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is the most celebrated and widely disseminated jacket art in twentieth-century American literature, and perhaps of all time. After appearing on the first printing in 1925, it was revived more than a half-century later for the 'Scribner Library' paperback edition in 1979; more than two decades (and several million copies) later it may be seen in classrooms of virtually every high school and college throughout the country. Like the novel it embellishes, this Art Deco tour-de-force has firmly established itself as a classic. At the same time, it represents a most unusual, in my view, unique form of 'collaboration' between author and jacket artist” (Charles Scribner III).
The present copy respects all the issue points of the correct first printing: “chatter” on p. 60, line 16; “northern” on p. 119, line 22; “it's” on p. 165, line 16; “away” on p. 165, line 29; “sick in tired” on p. 205, lines 9-10, and “Union Street station” on p. 211, lines 7-8.
Buccoli A11.I.a; Connoly 48; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 282.