F. Scott Fitzgerald
“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” F. Fitzgerald penned these and other classic lines in his novel, The Great Gatsby. Written in 1925, it has become one of the most read American novels about “The Jazz Age” and remains a timeless look at the elusiveness of dreams and the problem of living in the past.
The Seelbach Hotel
Because of the hit movie, The Great Gatsby, set in and around Long Island, New York, most people have heard of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel. What isn’t as commonly known is that much of the inspiration for that novel came from the time that Fitzgerald spent in the state of Kentucky. He lived there while he was in training with the Army. On his weekends off of training, Fitzgerald would often visit the historic Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville. The idea for the character of Jay Gatsby came from a gangster and bootlegger who frequented the hotel’s game rooms and drinking rooms. Fitzgerald met him on a number of occasions.
The Great Gatsby
Like most American high school students, my kids all read The Great Gatsby. Recently, my son had the opportunity to see the Seelbach for himself. The hotel still stands in its original location and has a restaurant where you can still get a fine meal in a very elegant setting. Even if you just go to the entrance of the hotel, you get a sense of its grandness.
The Seelbach Hilton Hotel is the third stop on our Kentucky Author Adventures Trail.
Rebecca Blake Beech