Despite collecting dust since 1920, a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published today in The New Yorker, is as topical as ever.
The piece of satire, titled “I.O.U.,” pokes fun at the media and a trend that’s perhaps not so modern: fake news. Fitzgerald’s story follows an ethically-dubious publisher that’s out to sell a book by a doctor who claims he had psychic contact with his deceased nephew—except his nephew isn’t dead.
Throughout his works, the Great Gatsby author explores the theme of the American elite and their quest to leave behind a larger-than-life legacy. It’s evident in this recently published short story too:
“If someone offered me all the money in New York I should not refuse it. I would rather bring out a book that had an advance sale of five hundred thousand copies than have discovered Samuel Butler, Theodore Dreiser, and James Branch Cabell in one year. So would you if you were a publisher.”
“I.O.U.” is part of a collection called I’d Die For You: And Other Lost Stories. Published by Scribner, the book will be available in April.