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Living Literature 2016

‘Living Gatsby’

“Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!”

Jay Gatsby

In 2016, Living Literature launched with a celebration of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Audiences were invited to travel back in time to 1922, exploring the tastes, sights, smells and sounds of Gatsby’s lost world, with guidance from experts in the history of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Prohibition-era New York. Guests explored the sumptuous surroundings of Senate House in an immersive, stimulating and theatrical re-imagining of Fitzgerald’s literary foray into the pomp and extravagance of Jay Gatsby’s ostentatious world.

The programme included talks on F.Scott Fitzgerald and prohibition from Professor Sarah Churchwell, a Q&A with the London Gin Club on Fitzgerald’s bathtub gin recipe, recreated for the first time in 95 years especially for the event, and a special talk on fragrance from perfumer Sarah McCartney who created a one-off perfume inspired by the 1920s. The event also included gin tastings, dancing, an array of historical cocktails, bootleggers, food inspired by the period, live 1920s jazz and archive material from the period.

For news on our 2017 event ‘Living Proust’, click here.