Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald has a certain Carolina charm.
"He liked certain things about the South. The luxuriousness of it, its attention to the past," USC Sumter English professor Park Bucker said.
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald had the South on his mind when writing "The Great Gatsby."
A character in the novel, Tom Buchanan, is based on Aiken native and the greatest polo player ever, Tommy Hitchcock Jr.
"He often used obviously real people as inspiration, but Tom Buchanan is such a negative character in the book. If there is a major villain of the book I guess it would have to be Tom Buchanan. He's such a brute," Bucker said.
Tina McCarthy says that inspiration is felt all the way in Aiken. Especially in the Willcox Hotel.
"His mother, Mrs. Hitchcock, actually helped finance the hotel for Mr. Frederick Willcox who built and created The Willcox," McCarthy said.
The Willcox is celebrating the re-release of the Great Gatsby by bringing back the 1920s ambiance.
"We're doing a Great Gatsby tasting menu which our chef has done a lot of research in keeping with the food and the menus of the actual 'Great Gatsby' as well as several specialty cocktails that we're serving throughout the entire month of May," McCarthy said.
Right here in Columbia, USC is displaying some items from their 4,000 volume collection. And Bucker says "The Great Gatsby" might have been named something very different.
"He originally wanted the title 'Trimalchio' and of course nobody knows who Trimalchio is, which is why they said you can't use that as the title of the book. It's from a Roman poem about a famous party giver," Bucker said.
Whether you're a Fitzgerald fan or not, the Palmetto state is celebrating his love of the South.
"We're really just tipping our hats to Mr. Fitzgerald for writing the book," McCarthy said.
Pieces from USC's Fitzgerald collection will be on display for the public until the 13th in the Hollings Special Collections Library.
The Willcox is celebrating "The Great Gatsby" all month with a tasting menu and specialty cocktails.