'One of American literature's most memorable endings' sells for $98,500

A passage of text described by experts as "one of the most memorable and resonant endings in American literature" sold for nearly three-times its $35,000 estimate at Sotheby's, earlier this week.

Bearing the signature of author F Scott Fitzgerald, the final four sentences of his masterpiece The Great Gatsby (1925) are handwritten below a pen and ink portrait of the writer by Robert Kastor.

The framed sheet measures approximately 11 x 9 inches, and was believed to have been dawn and written in Paris in the late 1920s.


The final four sentences of The Great Gatsby, handwritten by
F Scott Fitzgerald himself

In the novel's final two pages, protagonist Nick Carraway visits the eponymous Gatsby's now-empty estate and reflects on the latter's tragic reflection of the American Dream...

"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgasmic [sic] future that year by year receeds [sic] before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the currents, borne back ceaselessly into the past[.]" -  from the Great Gatsby

Notable quirks in Fitzgerald's handwritten copy include use of the word "orgasmic", instead of "orgastic" as it appears in the novel's First Edition and virtually all others, and the misspelling of "receeds".

The historic and one-of-a-kind manuscript realised a final price of $98,500, including buyer's premium.

Other high profiles sales at Sotheby's New York included a tribute handwritten by Mark Twain to his daughter following her death, aged just 24, from spinal meningitis.

Over 64-pages long, the manuscript sold for $242,500 (£164,000).

Elsewhere, for collectors who missed out on the Sotheby's sale, a one-of-a-kind handwritten personal note of thanks signed by Twain is currently for sale on the market.

 

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