Irregardless Magazine

» » Stuff and Nonsense « «

Francis Cugat’s ‘The Great Gatsby’

In his memoir, A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway famously wrote “I remember being embarrassed by the violence, bad taste and slippery look of it”, also calling the cover art “the book jacket for a book of bad science fiction”, but Francis Cugat’s illustration for The Great Gatsby has endured as one of (if not the) most famous book covers of all time.

The cover art, which Cugat had submitted before the manuscript itself had been finished, had inspired Fitzgerald enough that he even worked it into the story. Many believe the sad blue eyes are reflected in the billboard for Dr TJ Eckleburg.

Charles Scribner III (one of the publishers of The Great Gatsby) details the history of this famous book cover in an essay written while at the University of South Carolina.