8vo (7 1/2 x 5 1/4 ins; 190x 130 mm). Publisher's green linen-like cloth with gilt spine title; gilt faded, edges rubbed. Pictorial dust-jacket designed by Cugat with the "J" corrected by hand as usual supplied from another but appropriate copy; large chip from lower left of front panel, folds rubbed, chipping to ends of spine panel, rear panel with some small chips along edges, some old tape reinforcements along folds. Custom cloth slipcase and chemise with gilt morocco label.
Critc, editor, author, original member and later chronicler of the "Lost Generation" Cowley became one of the most influential figures of American letters, championing generations of authors from Hart Crane and Faulkner (working to returning his works to print), to John Cheever, Jack Keroauc and through to Ken Kesey. His Viking Portable edition of Hemingway is often seen as the most representative complilation of that author's work.
Cowley also had a particular affinity for Fitzgerald's place in the American literary pantheon. His review of Tender is the Night might well provide one of the best summaries of the author's approach, informed not only by a deep familiarity with the work, but his own encounters with Fitzgerald: "Part of him is a guest at the ball given by the people in the big house; part of him is the little boy peeping in through the window and being thrilled by the music and the beautifully dressed women — a romantic but hard-headed little boy who stops every once in a while to wonder how much it all cost and where the money came from" (FSF: The Critical Reaction, p. 324).
Cowley added immensely to the critical reassessment of Fitzgerald begun in the 1940's as initiated by Edmund Wilson after the author's death. Cowley edited the "author's final version" of Tender ... and chose the stories for a new edition of the short fiction that demonstrated Fitzgerald's mastery of the form. The corrections and changes in Fitzgerald's copy of Gatsby copied herein were incorporated by Cowley into the text published in Three Novels by F Scott Fitzgerald in 1951 (which included Tender... and The Last Tycoon along with Gatsby).
The present copy has over 100 corrections, notes and asides on 75 pages, beginning with the dedication, under which Cowley has added"Gertrude Stein" under the printed "Once again to Zelda" with the added note, "He wanted to add GS's name to dedication M.C."
Association copies of Gatsby are a notorius rarity, and the present is made even more noteworthy by the direct relevance to the author's work and lasting resurgence.
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