The Last Tycoon
The Last Tycoon is a description of the real Hollywood of the 1930s with its ruthless moguls, broken hack-writers, faded actors, alcoholism, and promiscuity. But it is perhaps most notable for its portrayal of the tycoon Stahr, the artist-autocrat who was, as the novelist Dan Jacobson has written, ‘…the closest Fitzgerald ever came to making an adult embodiment of what he hoped or desired for himself and his society’.
One of the tragedies of modern literary history is that Scott Fitzgerald died before completing the book, but this volume contains a fascinating synopsis of the rest of the story which has been put together from the author’s notebooks.
‘I would rather have written this unfinished novel than the total works of some widely admired American novelists’ — J.B. Priestley.
In Scott Fitzgerald, as in many writers of genius, there was something of the seer. He gave a name to an age – the Jazz Age – lived through that age, and saw it burn itself out. ‘He was better than he knew, for in fact and in the literary sense he invented a “generation”… he might have interpreted them and even guided them, as in their middle years they saw a different and nobles freedom threatened with destruction.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St Paul, Minnesota, and even as a schoolboy in St Paul, and later at Princeton, he was writing. In 1917, he left Princeton for the army – but didn’t get to France – and wrote in his spare moments. Then came This Side of Paradise – the first of his novels – followed by two volumes of short stories, and at last, The Great Gatsby, which alone would assure his place among writers of major stature.