Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gaga over Gatsby

As promised in my last post, I am still talking about the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Some of you might have wondered why I only gave The Great Gatsby a meager nod last go-around.  The answer, which will be abundantly obvious in a few moments, is that I feel the book deserves its own post.

For many, The Great Gatsby is FSF’s best work.  The book continues to be used in high school classrooms and book clubs.  It is praised around the world as a classic and definitive novel about the lifestyles of the rich and famous in the Jazz Age. 

The book’s iconic cover even graces some clothing and other items on the trendy and very current website:  This shirt {and others like it}, plus an iPhone cover and tote bag, are some of the items available from their Gatsby store:

In keeping with all of his writings, Gatsby is filled with events and characters that mirror those on Fitzgerald’s personal life.  Perhaps, it is this intimacy that makes the story so strong and memorable. 
I mentioned in my last post that I love the way that FSF describes things.  

Some of my favorite scenes in The Great Gatsby are ones that give details of JG’s lavish parties.  The first one, read in Chapter 3, is depicted deliciously with lines like:

  • “Men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars…” 
  • “On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold…”
  • “Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word…”

We can also examine Gatsby for the recurring themes of Fitzgerald’s work: beauty, fame, money, love – or a lack thereof.  As with many of his pieces, The Great Gatsby is a constant mix of emotions.  There is lust and passion, anger and greed, jealousy.  There is love, kindness, friendship.  FSF takes us on a rolleroaster, careening around sharp turns, leading us high into the clouds, only to dash our hopes with a quick fall to the bottom.  It is a fabulous ride!

If you haven’t read it, you should.  If for no other reason than to be more aware of the storyline before you see the newest release of The Great Gatsby on film.  I will be in the seats on opening night {May 10th}, hoping against all hope that director, Baz Luhrmann, was able to capture the greatness of Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece.

Happy reading {and watching}!

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