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Online peek into Fitzgerald's life

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- An intriguing peek into the daily scribbles and life of author F. Scott Fitzgerald is now available online, just weeks before the opening of the movie The Great Gatsby.

Researchers from the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library put a digital version of the famed author's handwritten financial ledger on their website last week, making it available for the first time for all readers, students and scholars.

"This is a record of everything Fitzgerald wrote and what he did with it, in his own hand," said Elizabeth Sudduth, director of the Ernest F. Hollings Library and Rare Books Collection.

During a recent visit to the library's below-ground rare-book vault, Sudduth took the original 200-page book out of its clamshell protective cover. The ledger's yellowed pages -- with Fitzgerald's elegant, measured cursive strokes -- are a throwback to life before computer spreadsheets. The ledger shows Fitzgerald's tally of earnings from his works, the most famous of which is the novel The Great Gatsby. The ledger lists his many short stories, books and adaptations for stage and screen.

With the May 10 release of a new Gatsby movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Sudduth said library officials expect an upswing in interest in its Fitzgerald collection. The ledger online is at: http://library.sc.edu/digital/collections/fitzledger.html.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 29, 2013 D2

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