Friday, March 14, 2008
And so I finish my Praxis II prep with a true great, an era caught bright and gleaming as though in amber by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I've visited West and East Egg twice before; I've driven past the optician's billboard, and stood confounded by the shore in the dark with Jimmy Gatz. But I was surprised to note during a third reading how much of The Great Gatsby I'd forgotten, most particularly its sudden violence, which seems the least forgettable bit. I suppose in ten or fifteen years I'll forget it again, but the cocktails, laughter, and drunken flappers will remain, and a vague sense of tragic Gatsby, willing himself into a world bent on excluding him, hands out toward that green lamp by Daisy's dock.
Again, I'm reluctant to rank, but this is one of the greatest novels of all time. The structure, the expansive and mysterious symbols, the themes which grow to include the sad fatigued corruption of an entire continent, the compact elegance with which a gigantic story is told--marvelous!
I took a personal day tomorrow with the intention of reading a few Shakespeare plays and brushing up on some fine points of grammar for the test Saturday. Sadly, tonight I'm feeling wretchedly sick in the sinuses. Not a good time to get a bug. Hopefully it's nothing and I'll shake it off ASAP.