Joycean Elements in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: Aspects of Burlesque, Shadowing, Dichotomies and Doubling


Tanner, Barney, former John Hay Fellow at Columbia and author


Independent Scholar, with a commendatory foreword by Professor Gavin Jones, D/English, Stanford University

This research monograph argues that Scott Fitzgerald consciously used a variety of Joycean devices in THE GREAT GATSBY and these devices were the result of close readings of Joyce’s DUBLINERS and ULYSSES. The monograph breaks new ground in Fitzgerald scholarship and has implications for Joyceans as well. The author’s research was first begun under the mentorship of Professor Wallace Stegner and has lasted over 35 years. Tanner also benefited from a correspondence with Edmund Wilson prior to Wilson’s death.

This study sets out to prove that Fitzgerald modeled numerous elements of GATSBY on elements found in Joyce’s ULYSSES. FSF imitated Joyce’s use of the first letter in each of the parts of ULYSSES. There Joyce alluded to two matters (1)the first names of his characters and (2) the logical steps of a syllogism. Fitzgerald enriched this device. He developed three parts in his novel (3-3-3) and used the first and last letters of each of his 9 chapters for two purposes : to repay in a bold and playful way his debt to Joyce and to honor Ernest Renan, famed for his LIFE OF JESUS,and a source of burlesque techniques employed in Gatsby. This is just one example of a number of research issues raised by Tanner, a number new to Fitzgerald scholarship.

Other chapters deal with FSF imitation of Joyce’s “Araby” in Fitzgerald’s story “Absolution”(a precursor to Gatsby), sources for Christian allusions and direct allusions to ULYSSES, the shadowing and doubling of characters, patterns of imagery and numeracy in topics and theme. The work contains two appendices including a significant comparison of Trimalchio and THE GREAT GATSBY.

Fitzgerald Studies, Joyce Studies, 20th C.Literature American and Irish, Literary Criticism, History of the Novel
Release Date: 
Cloth: 1-933146-25-7
Trim Size: 
6 x 9

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