The Love of the Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The Love of the Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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The Love of the Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Love of the Last Tycoon, edited by the preeminent Fitzgerald scholar Matthew J. Bruccoli, is a restoration of the author’s phrases, words, and images that were excised from the 1940 edition, giving new luster to an unfinished literary masterpiece. It is the story of the young Hollywood mogul Monroe Stahr, who was inspired by the life of boy-genius Irving Thalberg, and is an exposé of the studio system in its heyday.

“Literary detective Bruccoli has produced a remarkable feat of scholarship in this welcome critical edition of the novel Fitzgerald began during his final year (1940) while working in Hollywood as a screenwriter. Generally considered a roman a clef, the story charts the power struggle of self-made, overworked producer Monroe Stahr (modeled on MGM producer Irving Thalberg) with rival executive Pat Brady (a stand-in for MGM head Louis B. Mayer). It is also the story of Stahr’s love affair with young widow Kathleen Moore and is (partly at least) narrated by Cecelia, Brady’s cynical daughter who is hopelessly in love with Stahr. After Fitzgerald’s death in December, his conflicting drafts for the novel were reworked by Edmund Wilson, who spliced episodes, moved around scenes and altered words and punctuation. Bruccoli, Fitzgerald biographer and editor of Cambridge’s critical edition of The Great Gatsby , has restored Fitzgerald’s original version and has also restored the narrative’s ostensible working title, one that implies that Hollywood is the last American frontier where immigrants and their progeny remake themselves. Equally significant are other entries in this volume: Bruccoli’s informative introduction; letters by Fitzgerald, Wilson and Maxwell Perkins; facsimiles of Fitzgerald’s notes and drafts; and textual commentary, including helpful explanations of the novel’s numerous topical references.” Publishers Weekly

“Left unfinished and in rough form at the time of Scott’s untimely death at age 44, these 17 existing-out of 31 planned-episodes were reassembled in 1993 by scholar Bruccoli according to the author’s notes.” Library Journal