Sunday, May 16, 2010

Book Report: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

If the Roaring Twenties have a flavor on this side of the Atlantic, it tastes like F. Scott Fitzgerald writes. There is a beauty and a despair in his writing which makes it incredibly memorable. The parallels between his time and our own, the widening gap between rich and poor not just economically but culturally and, to a certain extent, morally, are chilling at times.

As often happens with classics, I find myself in way over my head and I can only sense the greater themes moving somewhere just out of my sight, like ripples on the surface marking the passage of something larger underneath. (I mix a mean metaphor).

Ulysses Rating: 3 - I enjoyed this.


Erin Lee Ware said...

One of the best ending images and lines in that book:

Looking at the green light at the end of Daisy's dock: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

Ulysses said...

Only one of the numerous arresting images in that book. Many of them were nautical, tied into Gatsby's "birth" aboard Dan Cody's yacht.

The ending reminded me a great deal of the last line of Joyce's "The Dead:"

His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

We are lucky that so many have a gift for revealing the power and beauty of words.

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