Old Reliable

Colby and I are part of a book club with a twist. Sounds scandalous, no? In actuality, it’s more structured than scandalous: we choose our monthly book by selecting authors in alphabetical order. This month we’re reading Nicholas Evans’ The Horse Whisperer. Next month, I’m going to suggest we go with Fitzgerald. And while we’re at it, I’m going to suggest we go with Gatsby.

I think it would be nice to revisit this forever-love prior to the release of the upcoming movie remake. What do you think of that preview? It’s artsy-bizarre, just the way I like it. But while cool, I think the experience of the movie will–as it usually does–perform a featherweight spring when weighed on the mighty scales of girthy Gatsby.

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Is there anyone in this world who doesn’t swoon at the sight of this cover art? It haunts and swirls and sucks you in with its sadness. And that’s a mere first impression.

Gatsby, for me, was all about distance and divide. The eyes convey square opposition, judgment,  remoteness…that is, until you see those plump, reclining ladies.

In my mind, the selective facial features transport concrete hollowness, while the timbre of the face, wistful and elegiac, longs for something seen from an adverse perspective, something isolated and exclusive to the horizon line.

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You know that saying, youth is wasted on the young? Sometimes I feel that way about Gatsby. There are some texts, some pieces of art, that just make you feel more alive. Gatsby, as far as I can tell, does this for most people. It didn’t make me “more alive” as a fifteen-year-old, but it does now, and I hope it always will. All this to say I have my doubts about the movie’s ability to force and influence as the book does.

Of course, I’m book-biased. And let’s not shy away from one self-satisfying comparison: I’m a little kooky and my husband’s a wonderful writer, a tiny bit like Zelda and Scottie. So it’s up to you Leo, bring it home.

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Finally, to round out the Gatsby themes, I’m going to add a layer of superficiality and want by saying that I covet this sweatshirt. Can you blame me?

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3 thoughts on “Old Reliable

  1. HI, Natalie: I’m looking forward to the movie. I was disappointed to hear its release date’s been pushed back from Christmastime to next summer. With Baz Luhrmann directing, one thing’s for sure, the movie won’t be your father’s “Great Gatsby”. I like the lead actors, Carey Mulligan and Leo DiCaprio.

    • I was surprised to hear of the delay, too! Nuts. How did you feel about Moulin Rouge? I always felt it was pretty but weird…

  2. HI, Natalie: I never saw Moulin Rouge. When Luhrmann’s “Romeo and Juliet” came out, I enjoyed it very much. I don’t know how well it holds up 16 years later. It was released in 1996. I must’ve been in a romantic mood that year to be as enthralled with it as I was. : )

    It goes without saying, Luhrmann is highly imaginative. I think Gatsby will be a good vehicle to let his creativity go wild.

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