Fitzgerald licks the wounds of the “suspicion and hostility” that greeted his masterpiece, The Great Gatsby: “Until Mencken spoke for it the reviews were angry and childish. Now of course, it has become a best seller”
Incredible and exceedingly uncommon ALS, one page, 8 x 10.5, no date, but postmarked September 23, 1925, Rue de Tilsitt, Paris. Letter to Miss Lane Pride. In full: “Thank you for your most kind and cordial letter—I think that my first books must have antagonized a lot of people because I know that so many approached them with suspicion and hostility; for the first months there were hardly any sales at all, and until Mencken spoke for it the reviews were angry and childish. Now of course, it has become a best seller. Let me tell you how much I appreciate your writing to me—and how much I hope that future books won’t send you scurrying back to your original opinion.” The letter has been tastefully dry-mounted and simply float-matted, then framed to an overall size of 1.75 x 14. Central horizontal and vertical fold, a mild shade of overall toning, a few creases and scattered wrinkling, and a couple light ink lines to upper right, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed in Fitzgerald’s hand.
After enduring a general sense of rejection and disdain from critics for his previous works, Fitzgerald finally found favor with the 1925 release of The Great Gatsby. The groundbreaking novel served as a deviation from his previous works, including This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, and Tender is the Night, all of which gravitated around themes of marriage, intimacy, and the evils of a decadent lifestyle. According to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, Fitzgerald saw the novel as a ‘purely creative work — not trashy imaginings as in my stories but the sustained imagination of a sincere and yet radiant world.’ The fresh perspective he poured into his opus turned a previously scorned perception into one of broad literary acclaim: “Let me tell you how much…I hope that future books won’t send you scurrying back to your original opinion.” An historically significant and rare letter, providing revealing statements on the work that would catapult Fitzgerald to greatness. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.