Monday, October 07, 2002

Fascinating story about the search for the "real" Jay Gatsby. I wasn't aware of this search, but it only makes sense it would originate in Columbia. Last year I visited the "Fitzgerald room" in Thomas Cooper Library of the University of South Carolina. It allegedly holds more Fitzgerald material than any other single place in the world, and it doesn't take more than one good look around the place to believe it. Tons of pictures, every conceivable version of the books printed, much of Fitzgerald's library, Fitzgerald's notes, drafts, letters, cancelled checks, account books -- you name it and they have it.

On its face this story sounds plausible, but I suspect the eternally dyspeptic Matthew Bruccoli -- who has probably forgotten more about Fitzgerald than most people will ever learn -- is probably right when he says "All of Fitzgerald's heroes turn into Fitzgerald before the novel is over."

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