The I.O.U.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, now dead, has released a new short story in the New Yorker magazine. More precisely, Fitzgerald’s estate (or whomever has proprietary rights over this previously unpublished work) just published “The I. O. U.”, originally penned in 1920. This little tale is likely to defy your expectations if you have only read The Great Gatsby. It is a rather simple story which seems to be written for a single punch line. However, I find it quite satisfying. In this work, I see a conflicted Fitzgerald: an author yearning to stay true to his conception of Literature, but frustrated by a publishing industry inherently more responsive to mass appeal. He shakes his fist at pop-cultural garbage while adding to the heap. But what I like most about this story is that it reminds me of the thin wire Fitzy walks with 1925’s Gatsby. That he balances the competing demands of making Gatsby both so consumable and Modernistic is what makes the novel a masterclass of craftsmanship.

read it here.

printable version here.


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