"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
Considering The Great Gatsby's iconic status an American classic, my expectations were exceedingly high but suffice it to say, this novel did not disappoint. There are writers and then there is F. Scott Fitzgerald who is in a whole different league of his own. His highly polished style can be a little stuffy at times but it oozes cool sophistication and wit that perfectly capture's the posh 1920's jazz era. I kept thinking to myself while reading it: "Damn, I sure wish that I could write like this guy!" The Great Gatsby is a splendid, beautifully written and scathing indictment of American culture during a specific time period when the country was undergoing radical social and political change in terms of class. It is also a cynical and accurate depiction of the crumbling American dream after WWI caused by rampant moral depravity and superficial materialism. The corruption of moral and ethical values with greed and selfishness creates displacement in the individual where a self-identity is tied only to wealth and social rank. The novel's preoccupation with nostalgia and the attempt to re-establish the past is most heartfelt. It seems that nothing much has changed with American culture since the 1920's and perhaps Fitzgerald was right, maybe that green-light will always be out of reach.
Read from April 24 to 25, 2011