Today marks the 126th birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald—and now you can celebrate (sedately) by reading the autograph manuscript of The Great Gatsby, or the 2-page Ur-Gatsby, which Fitzgerald abandoned shortly after writing, or corrected galleys of Trimalchio, which was the novel’s working title. The Princeton University Library has digitized these documents, among other Fitzgerald manuscripts, and they’re online for the public to browse.
Fittingly, Princeton’s Fitzgerald Collection also includes papers linked to his novel This Side of Paradise, which he began writing while still enrolled at Princeton. Though he struggled with dyslexia and eventually dropped out to join the army, at Princeton Fitzgerald met writers Edmund Wilson and John Peale Bishop, who would become his close friends. Edmund Wilson would later call This Side of Paradise “not really about anything . . . [and] one of the most illiterate books of any merit ever published.” Tough love!
You can browse the Fitzgerald Collection here.