Friday, September 08, 2006

Will the real Jay Gatsby please stand up?

An excellent article titled Professor, private investigator team up in search of the real 'Great Gatsby', which gives a look at the man purportedly behind Fitzgerald's title character. Some detail is given on Max von Gerlach, who Zelda Fitzgerald said was the inspiration for Jay Gatsby.

However this excerpt highlights the uncertainty of that claim:
"Jay Gatsby is not a biographical figure," Bruccoli says. "Fitzgerald … created a character from a variety of sources."

However, Bruccoli says, Gerlach was one of the figures who helped shape the Gatsby composite. Gatsby's character — giving all for the love of a woman — was pure Fitzgerald. "All of Fitzgerald's heroes turn into Fitzgerald before the novel is over," Bruccoli says. But other traits — his mysterious past, his wealth — supposedly were based on Gerlach.

No comments: