The Great Gatsby

Francis Cugat, older brother to the Rumba King, Xavier Cugat, illustrated the cover for F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic 20th century novel, ‘The Great Gatsby‘, written in 1925. Even though no other book art has been attributed to him, this cover is one of the most famous in modern literature. The title of this illo is ‘Celestial Eyes‘, depicting the haunted eyes of the main protagonist, Daisy, above an exploding world of amusement parks and skyscrapers, foreshadowing the tragedy to come. Apparently, Fitzgerald knew about the cover as he was writing the novel, saying to his publisher at Scribner’s, Maxwell Perkins,  ”For Christ’s sake, don’t give anyone that jacket you’re saving for me. I’ve written it into the book…’

…one of Cugat’s preliminary sketches…

 ’The reference is found at the end of chapter four. Narrator Nick Carraway states, “Unlike Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, I had no girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and binding signs…”

…thanks BookTryst…and read Charles Scribner III’s elucidation of the cover and the book here

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