"Babylon Revisited," universally regarded as one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's most accomplished stories, was first published in the Saturday Evening Post on 21 February 1931. Readers of the story in the Post encountered the text within a nexus of bibliographic codes – from the placement of the story in the magazine, to the illustrations that accompany it, to the advertisements and other materials that surround it, to the more general editorial context of the Post during the early days of the Depression. Yet very little scholarly attention has been paid to these textual, paratextual, and visual materials framing its publication, despite their importance in shaping contemporary reception of the work. Through an examination of how these editorial elements promoted a reading of the story that supported the ideological stance espoused by the Post in 1930-1931, I demonstrate how attention to such evidence is necessary for understanding how Fitzgerald and his works were positioned for contemporary readers and critics alike. Given the importance of the slicks in the careers of many American literary writers in the first half of the twentieth century, such an approach has far-reaching implications for our understanding of American literary history as well.


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pp. 351-373
Launched on MUSE
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