What would the US canon look like without Gatsby? Or with a radically altered version? The Globe counts Fitzgerald’s book as one of the 50 greatest ever. (Survey says? MAH! But we can argue that another day.)
How much poorer would our culture be if F. Scott Fitzgerald had, as he originally intended, set The Great Gatsby in the Midwest in 1885, and called it The High-Bouncing Lover? Such a question is impossible to answer, for we can only guess at how barren the U.S. literary landscape would appear without Gatsby’s West Egg mansion in it, just as we can scarcely conceive of a U.S. canon of literature without Fitzgerald himself.
See, I would have taken this a step further and asked what would have happened if it were HP Lovecraft who had written Gatsby instead and Carraway’s face was sucked off by a mass of pulsating tentacles from a beast too horrific to name. Now THAT would be interesting.