This Side of Paradise (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780198848110

F. Scott Fitzgerald; Philip McGowan
304 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
May 2020
Oxford World's Classics
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  • 2020 marks the centenary of the publication of F. Scott's Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise.
  • This Side of Paradise establishes the first fictional terrains for Fitzgerald's investigations of American individualism, sexuality, the emerging rebellion of teen years, and the questioning of perceived routines of American innocence.
  • Positions This Side of Paradise in relation to Fitzgerald's live interest in cinema and media developments of his time, his flirtation with socialism in the closing sections of the novel, and his development of Amory through childhood to young adulthood.
  • Fitzgerald's importance as the definer of his times, whether as the chronicler of the Jazz Age or the finest writer of the American Depression, continues into the twenty-first century, and his enduring popularity across all reading constituencies remains the case almost eight decades after his death.

The wise writer, I think, writes for the youth of his own generation, the critic of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward.
Following the education and young life of Amory Blaine, from indulged only child to disillusioned war veteran, This Side of Paradise is a thinly veiled account of Fitzgerald's time as a Princeton undergraduate and an aspiring writer set against the turbulent background of adolescence, first loves, and the outbreak of World War I. Amory moves through a dynamic whirl of exuberant youth, university escapades and adventures home and abroad as one of a new, restless American generation.
This Side of Paradise ensured immediate fame as well as notoriety for F. Scott Fitzgerald. Not only Fitzgerald's bestselling novel during his lifetime, it was also the work against which each of his later novels was measured. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of This Side of Paradise: without it, the writing career of one of the twentieth-century's most popular novelists would have been immeasurably different. Brilliant and original in style and structure, brimful of literary experimentalism and fearless originality, it was a spectacular launching for Fitzgerald's career, and instantly stamped him as the bard of the Jazz Age.

About the author: 

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Edited by Philip McGowan, Queen's University Belfast; President, European Association for American Studies; Executive Board Member of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society
Philip McGowan (Queen's University Belfast; President, European Association for American Studies; Executive Board Member of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society). He has written chapters and articles on F. Scott Fitzgerald and carnival, cities, and architecture have appeared in the Fitzgerald Review and other journals/collections (e.g. Blazek and Rattray's Twenty-First Century Readings of Tender Is the Night, 2007; Harold Bloom's The Great Gatsby, 2010; Bryant Mangum, F. Scott Fitzgerald in Context, 2013).

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