Exeter, Devon UK • Jun 15, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Arts & Lit ‘The Great Gatsby’ released from copyright

‘The Great Gatsby’ released from copyright

The Great Gatsby is out of copyright, and Olivia Garrett anticipates the book's new life in the public domain.
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‘The Great Gatsby’ released from copyright

Image by Girl With Red Hat

The Great Gatsby is out of copyright, and Olivia Garrett anticipates the book’s new life in the public domain.

When Gatsby was stretching a quivering hand out towards that green light on the docks, I wonder why Nick never considered what else it could be: a spaceship? A portal? Kermit the Frog? All of these could become a reality in the coming months thanks to The Great Gatsby’s release from copyright.

Its been 95 years since F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic tale of champagne-fuelled frenzy and male possessiveness. The dulcet tones of Nick Carraway, who sounds oddly like Spiderman, combined with the mysterious likeability of his infamous neighbour have led to the sale of over 25 million copies since its release. An incredible novel with a legacy steeped in both Baz Luhrmann-style glitz and secondary school curriculum drab, this story has never left our sights.

Thousands of writers will now be looking to put their own spin on this world of glamour and aggression

The novel’s popularity, and the fact that it has been scrutinised so closely, from the economic symbolism down to every single ‘Old Sport’, makes its release from copyright particularly exciting. Whether necessary or not, thousands of writers will now be looking to put their own spin on this world of glamour and aggression, with some already having a head-start. Michael Farris Smith, author of Desperation Road, wrote Nick back in 2014-15, with the thought that the unremarkable narrator who connects with the reader and yet leaves only a feeble impression, deserved his own story. Dwelling on his part in the war, PTSD, and the road that took him to Gatsby’s door, Smith is doing his best to give Nick Carraway the Wide Sargasso Sea treatment. It was only after writing that Smith realised the copyright issues involved with releasing the text, and so has had to wait these last six years for a release date.

Nghi Vo’s The Chosen and the Beautiful will tell the story of a Vietnamese born Jordan Baker…

While Nick is a somewhat conventional extension of the classic, there are plenty of fanfiction style oddities to come. For instance, if your inner 13-year-old still yearns for the days of Twilight, then look no further than The Great Gatsby Undead, published the day after the original was released from copyright. We can only hope that Tom Buchanan gets mauled and pray for a scene where Gatsby and Edward Cullen exchange tactics in stalking. Or, if you’re looking for something a bit more up to date, then consider Jay the Great (a modern retelling), The Gay Gatsby, or possibly even the upcoming graphic novel by K Woodman Maynard. If I had to give a personal recommendation, however, it would be Nghi Vo’s The Chosen and the Beautiful which will tell the story of a Vietnamese born Jordan Baker, a character whose aloof attractiveness has enthralled far more than Nick Carraway in the last century. Her unrevealing nature combined with a twist will surely make an interesting read when it is released in June.

Yet most bizarrely of all, there have been mass cries for a muppet version, which admittedly, I’d pay to see. So, for now, all we can do is wait and see what tempting or terrifying revamps are produced, and perhaps pray that we don’t end up with another 50 Shades of Grey situation.

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