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Cornell Connections

Fitzgerald never traveled to Ithaca, but Cornell figures prominently in his life, as it was a Cornell alumnus who launched his literary career and a long time Cornell English professor who helped to restore his lost reputation and establish him as a major American writer.

  • On The Great Gatsby by Dan McCall, Cornell Professor 1966-2005

    Dan McCall is Professor Emeritus of American Studies at Cornell University. He has been teaching Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby for many years.

  • Arthur Mizener, Cornell Professor 1951-1973

    Arthur Mizener, who taught English at Cornell from 1951 to 1973, wrote the first critical biography of Fitzgerald, The Far Side of Paradise (1951), a work that enjoyed both critical and popular success and is credited with initiating a revival of interest in Fitzgerald, an interest that continues to this day with the selection of The Great Gatsby for Cornell University’s 2006 New Student Reading Project.

  • George Jean Nathan ('04) Drama Critic

    Smart Set

    George Jean Nathan, Class of 1904, was the co-editor of the literary magazine, The Smart Set: A Magazine of Cleverness. In the spring of 1919 Nathan paid a then unknown and struggling Fitzgerald—who had written 19 stories and received 122 rejections over the previous year—the sum of $30 for his story, “Babes in the Wood.” It was Fitzgerald’s first commercial story sale.