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Book Excerpt: The Great Gatsby

apollina baker

I have been meaning to re-read The Great Gatsby all summer.  I keep carrying it in my bag but never open it up because there always seems to be something more pressing or important to read.  Well, I finally started it this morning on the metro ride to work and so far, it makes me very happy.  I wanted to share Fitzgerald's introductory description of Gatsby's character, it's marvelous.

Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction -- Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.  If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away.  This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under than name of the "creative temperament" -- It was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which is not likely I shall every find again.  No-- Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men."