Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rereading a Classic: The Great Gatsby

The National Endowment for the Arts has selected F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as one of its selections for the program, The Big Read. This inspired me to reread it earlier this week. I had forgotten how concise but dense the novel is, as I read it in one day at the beach, around time with friends and family, a jigsaw puzzle, and reading a magazine I picked up in Savannah last weekend.

This was my second time reading the 1925 classic, the first having been in 1995 for a high school English class. I remember pondering the question of Gatsby’s greatness then. I think I argued against it based on his failure to win Daisy Buchanan’s heart, and his tragic death. I think I can still agree with my earlier answer, but I have to say that I marvel at how well Gatsby had his partygoers and other West Egg residents convinced of his greatness. I know, though, that everything fell apart in the end. I can think of a few celebrities and politicians who have accomplished a similar feat, only to have it all come crashing down. I’m going to keep this in mind as I begin Elizabeth Edwards’ Resilience.

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