F Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby Limited Editions Club

--- "Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it."

This is the Limited Editions Club edition of The Great Gatsby, published in 1980, featuring an introduction by Charles Scribner III of Scribner and Son, the publisher of esteemed writers like Ernest Hemingway and Edith Wharton. Indeed, collectors of Modern American literature will instantly recognize the Scribner seal and the letter "A", two important first edition markings for some canonical work.

In the introduction, Charles Scribner noted that The Great Gatsby did not sell well when it was first published, and that 15 years later (when Fitzgerald passed on) there were still 3,000 second print copies in the Scribner warehouse. Although the book was never out of print in Fitzgerald's lifetime, sales never reach the 75,000 copies that he had hoped for.  

This LEC edition is limited to two thousand copies and was signed at the colophon by Fred Meyer, who provided the illustrations. Fred Meyer also illustrated another of LEC's Fitzgerald - Tender is the Night. His bold style accentuated the decadence and moral decay of Gatsby's Jazz age, and provided the zing to my Great Gatsby Gala. I also love Meyer's beautiful rendition of the fashion details that made the book chic.

This illustration is referring to the gold-hatted, high bouncing lover on the citation page.

"The only completely  stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house."

"'My dear,' she told her sister in a high, mincing shout, 'most of these fellas will cheat you everytime.'"

"The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing upstairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile."

"'There is a nice restaurant here,' said Mr. Wolfsheim, looking at the Presbyterian nymphs on the ceiling."

"I came into her room half an hour before the bridal dinner and found her lying on her bed as lovely as the June night in her flowered dress - and as drunk as a monkey.  She had a bottle of Sauterne in one hand and a letter in the other."

"Daisy's face, tipped sideways beneath a three-cornered lavender hat, look out at me with a bright ecstatic smile. 'Is this absolutely where you live, my dearest one?'"

"In the music room Gatsby turned on a solitary lamp besides the piano. He lit Daisy's cigarette from a trembling match, and sat down with her on a couch far across the room, where there was no light save what the gleaming floor bounced in from the hall."