Herbert Hoover was the president of the United States when the Stock Market in Wall Street crashed and the whole world descended into the Great Depression. Despite his lifelong reputation as a man of extraordinary managerial skills, Hoover was overwhelmed by the scope and depth of the crisis.
At some point, doggedly cornered by the press and his political rivals to put forward some solution to the economic meltdown, all he managed to say was: “What this country needs is a great poem.”
The Great Gatsby is nowadays considered Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, and one of the best novels published in what has been called “the American century”. (On a side note, when such expressions are coined it usually means that the Golden Age has passed, and the American century might be over…)
The title in a story is like a person’s face: often the first thing you notice, and the first thing that either catches your attention or leaves you cold.
A title that doesn’t fit can burden a book or a film with the expectations it raises. It can also carry it an extra mile. Ask Steven Soderbergh and his Sex, Lies and Videotape (which of course started the 90s trend of trifecta titles, as in “This thing, That thing and also that other thing“).