I was planning to catch up with Baz Luhrmann’s wild hip-hop version of The Great Gatsby on video, but three recent things seem to be pointing me towards going back to the actual book instead.
1) For the past month, I’ve been dipping in and out of Ernest Hemingway’s “Moveable Feast” about his early days in Paris. (This is the fifth or sixth time I’ve read this, the last time being when I finished The Paris Wife and wondered how much of the story of “Hem and Hadley” was true.) The chapters about Hemingway’s friendship/rivalry with the more successful F. Scott Fitzgerald stand out for both their laugh-out-loud-weirdness and for his sharp-eyed disapproval of Scott and Zelda’s wastrel lifestyle. But amidst all that disdain Hem has nothing but admiration for Scott’s new book The Great Gatsby, which has made me want to read it again.
2) Then this weekend I came across the New York Times essay “Audiobooks and the Return of Storytelling” by T. M. Luhrmann (an American professor of anthropology, no relation to Baz, I presume) who starts off her paean to the joys of audiobooks by extolling some evocative passages from none other than The Great Gatsby. Really made me want to listen to the actual prose, not watch a Baz interpretation of it.
3) The final sign that I need to go back and read the book is the essay I read yesterday by novelist Robert Stone "The Book That Changed My Life". He writes about reading The Great Gatsby 5 times, saying “Sometimes you have to read a great work many times over before it opens its most exquisite secrets to you.” A call to go back and reread Gatsby if ever I’ve heard one.
Now I just have to move it up to the top of my 2014 reading list. Hard when there’s so many good-sounding books I haven’t read even once yet….
PS I didn’t remember that there were naked women in the eyes of the classic Great Gatsby cover artwork until digging up the above image.
"Writer of a Certain Age" by @Fay_Weldon http://nyti.ms/1eY7I36 @nytimesbooks
Similar theme amongst these graphics… http://ebks.to/1cMOYAG via @ebookfriendly