On Gatsby, Tweets, and Hammocks, Etc.

I've been quiet on the blog lately, just catching up with life and books after the play, dealing with some real life situations with my friends, not feeling real chatty.  

The Great GatsbyOne book that I just re-enjoyed was the new audio version of "The Great Gatsby," in prep for the movie, of course.  According to the book blurb on Goodreads, this new audio edition was authorized by the Fitzgerald estate.  It is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain).  It's incredible.  If you have a desire to go see the movie, consider listening to this first so you get it all.  It is just a 4 hour investment, well worth your time.  And you might just get to have a conversation with your teen that goes something like this:

My teen recently tweeted:


Me:  Perhaps that is the point.

(Note that I usually stay far away from engaging my teen through a tweet.  Far, far away.  But I couldn't resist).

My teen:

 no...there is no point in it having no point. 

(Wow.  He actually responded.  Shocked into stupor.  Note that I honestly felt just like him as a teen when I encountered it in high school, but no need to tell him that).

 Me:  Bingo. Isn't that a life statement of those times? What the author was saying? Why it ends the way it does? 

My Teen:

mom I don't need an English lesson right now..

(Yeah, I freely admit, I got carried away). 
 Me:   Sorry dear! Enjoy your day  . . . 

“Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.”

I have to confess that Gatsby rather reminds me of Hammocks, Etc.  -- pictures friends have posted on my Timeline.  

Because ever since I wrote about finding time to read, in my blog post On Reading and Hammocks my friends like to post Hammock and other pics on my Timeline. 

This one reminds me of the way Gatsby went ALL OUT for Daisy.  I mean, if the Gatsby Estate was a hammock, with all its lights and pleasing setting, this would be THE HAMMOCK that Gatsby chose.  

“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”

 And this totally fits with that whole Gatsby mentality:

"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

Which I completely agree with (buy the shoes!), being a child of the '80s and all.

Somehow, this pic found its way on my timeline, not a hammock but close, and it TOTALLY represents how Gatsby sat in his little boat and pined away for that one special girl.  It sums up Daisy, with her rich voice.  It sums up the dream of Daisy, which can't possibly live up to the reality.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Sometimes the jury is out on Daisy. 
“She’s got an indiscreet voice,” I remarked. “It’s full of-“
I hesitated.
“Her voice is full of money,” he said suddenly.

  Is she really as shallow as she ends?  Or is she just stuck -- like this picture of a hammock posted by a friend on my page.  Up a tree, stuck in a beautiful cage.  

“I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life."

 This hammock reminds one of the nice neat little house of narrator Nick Carraway, just all  simple but substantive, like Nick himself:

“Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.”

I mean, it is definitely the "there when you need" it kind of hammock.

I'm afraid that this picture does not express the American attitude of the time.

“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”

(And that is why they got in trouble, right!) This picture sums it up much better.  

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”

 Or maybe it is because, unlike my husband,  Tom didn't post this on Daisy's Facebook page and pretend like she posted it (or Tom wouldn't have, given the chance):

"They’re a rotten crowd’, I shouted across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together."
Well, that is, maybe Tom would have in the end, because they seem to have been made for each other after all.  
“All I kept thinking about, over and over, was 'You can't live forever; you can't live forever.”

And that, -- OLD SPORT -- is the True Story of how "The Great Gatsby" reminds me of Hammocks, Etc.  (Can't Wait for the Movie!!  It is in Paris starting at 10pm on Thursday night, anyone going???)

*All quotes by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Great Gatsby."


Robyn Whyte said…
Like you, I re-read the book in prep for the movie, which has been a long time coming, btw. I must admit when I was a teen, I didn't get it. Perhaps instead of a book club discussion we could have a movie club discussion?
Sydney Young said…
Only if inspired by a good book! Which is usually the way of it, right. : )

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