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F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Marketplace
The Auction and Dealer Catalogues, 1935–2006

Compiled and Edited by
Matthew J. Bruccoli
with Judith S. Baughman

An illustrated compendium charting the rise in Fitzgerald appreciation among his readers and collectors

As a student in the 1950s, Matthew J. Bruccoli began collecting books by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a practice that culminated in the development of the Matthew J. and Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald at the University of South Carolina, an unrivaled research archive of materials by and relating to the now-celebrated author. In F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Marketplace, Bruccoli chronicles Fitzgerald's posthumous rise in literary reputation—and the corresponding rise in collectibility of all things Fitzgerald—as evidenced by listings from auction house and antiquarian bookseller catalogues. Of keen interest to bibliophiles and scholars of American literature, this volume serves as a thoughtful examination of the revival of interest in Fitzgerald's life and work over the past seven decades.

Bruccoli approaches the Fitzgerald legacy as a scholar and a bookman, charting the mutually reinforcing relationship between the growth of academic interest in the writer following World War II and the onset of serious Fitzgerald collecting. With new scholarship and new audiences of academic and general readers came renewed efforts to acquire primary source materials as research documents and as collectible artifacts. Galleys, manuscripts, correspondence, business documents, screenplays, inscribed copies, dust jacket variants, and multiple editions of every work began to emerge for sale and with escalating prices. First-edition copies of Fitzgerald novels now sell for significantly more than he earned for writing them.

In his account of the development and sale of Fitzgerald materials, Bruccoli offers a chronology of dates and dollars proving his statement in the introduction that "literature runs on money." The 350 images included here from auction and dealer catalogues illustrate sought-after individual items and distinguished collections; the catalogue entries also document the increasing prices of Fitzgerald materials in the collector marketplace. As many of the items described can no longer be located, these listings serve as a historical record of once-circulating Fitzgerald items.

In addition to the insights offered on the history of Fitzgerald collecting and, by extension, on book collecting in general, this volume grants readers a vivid portrait of Bruccoli—Fitzgerald's staunchest literary advocate, his most devoted collector, and a man for whom "writers matter more than anyone else because books and literature matter more than anything else."

Matthew J. Bruccoli (1931–2008) was the Emily Brown Jefferies Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of South Carolina and the leading authority on the House of Scribner and its authors. He was the editorial director of the Dictionary of Literary Biography and the author or editor of some one hundred books.

Judith S. Baughman is the author of F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Literary Masters series, editor of the 1920s volume in the American Decades series, and coeditor of books about Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and John Hall Wheelock.

"Bruccoli and Baughman's F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Marketplace is an invaluable resource not only for Fitzgerald students and scholars but also for anyone interested in the dramatic increase in the market value of archival material in twentieth-century American literature. Because quite a few of the inscribed books, letters, and manuscripts it describes—and of which in numerous cases it supplies facsimiles—are now in private hands and thus inaccessible to the public, it provides a previously overlooked and frequently very useful source of new primary documents for the study of the life and work of one of our greatest fiction writers."—Jackson R. Bryer, professor emeritus of English, University of Maryland, and president, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society

 
 

 

book jacket for F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Marketplace


 

REFERENCE | LITERARY STUDIES
(2009)
6 x 9
320 pages
350 illustrations
ISBN 978-1-57003-799-3
hardcover, $44.95s
 
 

 
 
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