Autograph manuscript signed of the final four sentences (two paragraphs) of The Great Gatsby (1925)—one of the most memorable and resonant endings in American literature. In the novel's cods (its final two pages), Nick Carraway, on his last night on the East Coast, visits Gatsby's now-deserted estate and reflects on that tragic figure and on the American Dream: "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgasmic [sic] future that year by year receeds [sic] before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning—
"So we beat on, boats against the currents, borne back ceaselessly into the past[.] F. Scott Fitzgerald."
It is of great interest that here Fitzgerald writes the word "orgasmic". In the original manuscript, he wrote "orgastic". When Max Perkins queried this, "Fitzgerald replied, "'Orgastic' is the adjective from 'orgasm' and it expresses exactly the intended ecstacy" (quoted in Bruccoli). In the first edition and in virtually all others, the word is Fitzgerald's choice, "orgastic." (In his 1941 edition, Edmund Wilson incorrectly changed it to "orgiastic".) The mispelling "receeds" is simply pure Fitzgerald.
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