Later this month Sotheby’s will be auctioning the second highlights from “the library of an English bibliophile”. Included in the mix are rare editions, in dust-jackets, of Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night, The Sound and the Fury, Tarzan of the Apes and The Maltese Falcon.
I’ve always been partial to the cover of Tender Is The Night but Booktryst has an excellent post on why The Great Gatsby dust-jacket is so rare that the expected sale price of the book in the upcoming auction is between $160,000 and $180,000.
The painting on the cover was originally titled Celestial Eyes by Francis Cugat.
Celestial Eyes - Francis Cugat, 1924. Gouache on paper.
Charles Scribner II (of the publisher Charles Scribner’s Sons) has an excellent lecture on the Gatsby cover: Celestial Eyes – from metamorphosis to masterpiece.
And for those of you who don’t have a lazy $190,000 laying around you can always pick up a t-shirt from Out of Print Clothing.
Hemingway was not one for pretension, literary or otherwise. In a famous incident at Costello’s, a New York writers’ haunt, he found just the opportunity to make those feelings known. After drinking in back with friends, he passed John O’Hara at the bar. O’Hara was carrying an Irish blackthorn walking stick (shillelagh) and Hemingway began to mock him for it. Defensively, O’Hara claimed that it was “the best piece of blackthorn in New York.” Hemingway immediately bet him fifty dollars that he could break it with his bare hands. Then in one swift move he smashed the walking stick against his own head, snapping it in half. The broken pieces hung over Costello’s bar for many years.
He was, however, fond of mojitos, a drink invented at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba, where Hemingway drank them:
6 fresh mint sprigs
1 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. light rum
Crush 5 mint sprigs into the bottom of a chilled highball glass. Pour in lime juice, simple syrup, and rum. Fill glass with crushed ice. Garnish with lime wedge and remaining mint sprig. Sometimes a splash of club soda is added.
Just a little something for a Friday afternoon, or perhaps for a sunny spring weekend.
Great American Writers and Their Cocktails : NPR.
Not much of the early life of Fitzgerald makes its way into his fiction however the writer kept a ledger where he detailed information about his childhood: the birth of his sister; crying on the first day of school; a birthday party to which no one showed.
I can’t seem to find a definitive reference so the details here might be apocryphal but it is too amusing and disturbing not to include:
When F. Scott Fitzgerald was 6 years old he had a birthday party to which nobody came. He waited on the porch all afternoon in his freshly pressed suit but nobody showed, so at last he went inside and ate his entire birthday cake, including several candles.
– via Tumblr