Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgeralds' third book, The Great Gatsby (1925) stands solo as his supreme achievement.

T.S. Eliot claims he read it three times and viewed it as the first step of American fiction since Henry james.

"The charm and beauty of the writing," notes H. L. Mencken's praise of it, as well as the sharp social sense of this new American humor, is caught in a conflict of spiriuality in a web of our own commercial life.

Spirituality is about awakening the sleeping self and attuning one's self to be aware once more in a time and society when so many, so much is numbed by so much work, shopping, sex, drugs, caffeine, gambling, or, your own addictive and attachment disorder.

Both boisterous and tragic, this story is motivated by whimsical magic and a simple pathos that is realized with economy and restraint.

This reader found the book to be curious, mystical (head over heel in love with the Creator and meaning in one's living) and glamorous.

A current critique of culture today, the tome takes a deeper slice at American life than hithrto has been essayed by Mr. Fitzgerald, Edwin Clark of the New York Times noted in April, 1925.

It brings to life a tale of the 20s when gin was thenational drink and sex was the national obsession.

Like much of today's tale, sad to confess.

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