Abstract

While many scholars have pointed to the close relationship of “Winter Dreams,” which Fitzgerald referred to as “A sort of 1st draft of the Gatsby idea,” to The Great Gatsby, most have used the revised 1926 version collected in All the Sad Young Men to support their comparisons of story to novel. The text of “Winter Dreams” in Fitzgerald’s third short story collection, however, is a dramatically revised version of the original story that appeared in the December 1922 issue of Metropolitan Magazine. A reading of the Metropolitan version of “Winter Dreams,” when done with the holograph manuscript of The Great Gatsby, the galley proofs, the revised galley proofs of the novel, and the novel itself in mind, suggests that at many stages of the composition of Gatsby, Fitzgerald had the Metropolitan text of “Winter Dreams” close at hand as he composed Gatsby . He borrowed near-exact phrasings from the story and placed them in the novel, and he appropriated key dramatic elements in the relationship between Dexter Green and Judy Jones in the story and integrated them with subtle changes that can be tracked through the various stages of composition of Gatsby into the relationship between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Fay Buchanan. In the end, the Metropolitan version of “Winter Dreams” reveals itself to be the text that most clearly bears out Fitzgerald’s description of the story as “A sort of 1st draft of the Gatsby idea.” Examining The Great Gatsby after a close reading of the Metropolitan version of “Winter Dreams” shows story and novel to be much more closely related than has previously been considered.

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