T.S. Eliot Writes to F.Scott Fitzgerald

FABER AND GWYER LTD. Publishers 24 Russell Square, London, W.C.1. 31st December, 1925
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Esqre., % Charles Scribners & Sons, New York City.

Dear Mr. Scott Fitzgerald,
The Great Gatsby with your charming and overpowering inscription arrived the very morning that I was leaving in some haste for a sea voyage advised by my doctor. I therefore left it behind and only read it on my return a few days ago. I have, however, now read it three times. I am not in the least influenced by your remark about myself when I say that it has interested and excited me more than any new novel I have seen, either English or American, for a number of years.

When I have time I should like to write to you more fully and tell you exactly why it seems to me such a remarkable book. In fact it seems to me to be the first step that American fiction has taken since Henry James….

By the way, if you ever have any short stories which you think would be suitable for the Criterion I wish you would let me see them.

With many thanks, I am,
Yours very truly, T. S. Eliot

P.S. By a coincidence Gilbert Seldes in his New York Chronicle in the Criterion for January 14th has chosen your book for particular mention.


5 thoughts on “T.S. Eliot Writes to F.Scott Fitzgerald”

  1. STRENGTH OF EXPRESSION. Thomas Eliot is interesting for more than one reason. In terms of literary creation, for example, few writers have pushed themselves further than Thomas Eliot.
    DEPTH OF EMOTION. It was a measure of Thomas Eliot’s stature as a poet and a dramatist that he could so absorb different influences that he could express through them a universal emotion with an authenticity that was neither strained nor condescending. Therefore, the words that W.H. Auden once wrote in memory of William Butler Yeats seem to apply to Thomas Eliot – “… your gift survived it all; / The parish of rich women, physical decay; / Yourself”.
    ULTIMATELY. What else? Thomas Eliot was convincingly a… classic writer. He may have seemed conservative then, but today his poetry endures as more challenging and genuinely innovative than some of the “free-for-alls’ that were once considered the cutting edge of literary expression.

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