Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Twofer Tuesday – The Second Time is Great

Many long years ago I read The Great Gatsby. It bored me. I could not imagine what all the fuss was about. What was the point?
I could go on, but I think you’ve realized the problem: me.
Of course I didn’t get it. I was stupid and young and had no context. Books like this require someone to have had a life in order to appreciate them.
I had a rescue copy from a sale decorating my TBR pile and a vague notion that I’d get to it again someday. Then I read Lillian Hellman’s memoir and it gets mentioned several times. I don’t recall the words used, but I think at one point Hellman or someone in her circle told F. Scott Fitzgerald it was brilliant and/or his best work.
Obviously, I’d missed the point when I read it in my teens. I can tell you now, on second reading, that I get it. I’m glad I gave it a second go.

Here’s a sample. I’ve sneaked an extra sentence to round out the paragraph.

“Outside the wind was loud and there was a faint flow of thunder along the sound. All the lights were going on in West Egg now; the electric trains, men-carrying, were plunging home through the rain from New York. It was the hour of a profound human change, and excitement was generating on the air.”
-The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Collier Books, MacMillan Publishing Co. Copyright 1925, Charles Scribner’s Sons.)
I’m still tapping away at Biting The Dust’s obvious errors.
Here’s a sample featuring one of the God-fearing folk in Saintree:

"Roy Hansom went to church to atone for his sins of the week and if he didn’t have sufficient ones, then he’d go to town early to make some. Roy loved the Lord and it was important to him to beg for forgiveness and absolution."
For more, or to find out how to participate, please see the Women of Mystery.
And thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it.

It's the Bag Lady's birthday whether she likes it or not.
How about we slip over to her place and make a fuss?


the Bag Lady said...

I do not recall ever reading 'The Great Gatsby' - saw the movie, of course, but so many years have gone by all I remember is how good Robert Redford looked! (Does this mean I should read the book?)
Your lines totally cracked me up - I know a few people like that!!

And I had planned on letting today slip past unnoticed, but you and my sister seem determined to abuse me of that notion!

Leah J. Utas said...

df Bag Lady, I strongly recommend the book, and until a little while ago I never thought I'd say that. I saw the movie, too, and it bored me as much as the book. I should probably give it a second go, too.

Glad you like my lines. Thanks.

As to your birthday, yeah, good luck letting that one get by. Ha!

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

I'm with you, I remember having a tough time the first time I read The Great Gatsby...I guess I should give it another go, if I ever get my current TBR pile down!
Your God-fearing character sounds great! I'd love to know what new sins he's willing to commit!

Happy B-day to the Bag Lady!

Leah J. Utas said...

Kathleen, thanks. I'm relieved to know it's not just me.

Reb said...

Like Sis, I don't think I ever tried to read "The Great Gatsby" but saw the movie instead. Your lines remind me of what I don't like about organised religion and yes, I too know a few people like that.

Leah J. Utas said...

Reb, I share you views of organized religion. It made that passage fun to write.

Barbara Martin said...

I've never read The Great Gatsby either, but I suspect it's one of those books meant for a mature mind (as in an older person). F. Scott Fitzgerald writes about life a 40 year old would know.

As for your lines, Leah, just what kind of sins is your character getting himself into?

Leah J. Utas said...

That's about the size of it, Barbara. I get it now, but if I read it again in 10 years or so I'll get it even more. I think.

Clare2e said...

I liked your Roy. I suppose it's a sign of my low upbringing that I find that sort of thing raffishly charming.

Consider a fuss made : )

messymimi said...

As a Sunday School teacher, I found this to be very funny. In fact, I think a few of my students have read it and gotten inspired... ;)

Leah J. Utas said...

Clare2e, well thank you.
Messymimi, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's good to have the perspective of someone on that side of matters.