This Side of Paradise —Looking Back, A Century Later by Sally Koslow
This article has been published on the OUP Blog. It begins:
F Scott Fitzgerald wrote the following words in This Side of Paradise approximately a hundred years ago.
“He fancied that in a hundred years he would like having young people speculate on whether his eyes were brown or blue.”
While speculation on the eye color of Amory Blaine, Fitzgerald’s protagonist, may not currently be top of mind, the author himself, as well as his debut novel, most assuredly are. Recently, I led a discussion of the book in the leafy summer Reading Room of Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library. Mr Fitzgerald, what a shame that you died at 44, believing you were a failure, with copies of The Great Gatsbymoldering in a warehouse and less than $1000 in the bank. Today, that iconic 1925 novel sells more than a half-million copies every year, and remains both a staple on school reading list and a cash cow for its publisher, Scribner’s. Approximately 25,000,000 copies of the novel have been sold worldwide—apart from the 100,000-plus e-books grabbed up annually. By the last count, there were translations into 42 languages.