The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald This novel is probably impossible to remark on in any significant manner here, and who cares what I think about it, anyway, right? But I liked Gatsby for its portrait of the Twenties, and the evocative language that cements its people into a believable, if fallible, mindset and its places into the movements we know and see of the world. Like so: That’s my Middle West — not the wheat or the prairies or thelost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth, and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow. I am part of that, a little solemn with the feel of those long winters, a little complacent from growing up in the Carraway house in a city where dwellings are still called through decades by a family’s name.The novel is unbelievably memorable like this, in its pieces, which makes for half of the love it should receive, I think. There are other obvious things to remark on -- the automobile accident, Gatz' fate, and is this all a great invention for the gap between rich and poor, those beautiful and the damned? -- but unlike Hemingway where you feel the poetry of the language points you to a direction of understanding, Fitzgerald seems at times to speak either with feints toward allegory or with a flavor of distance such that interpretation beyond the recitation of events can feel like a reach beyond the original intent. Which is probably, you could presume, why we're all asked to read it so often, and why we come back around to it so much: because we can't answer such questions even when they are asked about ourselves.