Monday, August 13, 2018

Dear Great Book Guru, I have been invited to a “Great Gatsby Gala.”  It has been many, many years since I read THE GREAT GATSBY.  Any suggestions as to how I should prepare?  
Gatsby Gala Guest
Dear Gatsby Gala Guest, What fun awaits you! First, of course, reread THE GREAT GATSBY.  You will be astonished how much you missed your first time.   Next, I would read Maureen Corrigan’s SO WE READ ON: HOW THE GREAT GATSBY CAME TO BE…. A long time book reviewer for NPR’s Fresh Air show, Corrigan examines the novel with great enthusiasm and personal affection.  She believes it to be indeed the greatest of the Great American Novels with prescient commentary on race, class, and gender.  When first published, it was viewed as a crime noir with its violent deaths, femme fatales, and mobster connections.   Later it was appreciated for its commentary on the quixotic American dream of redemption.  Then for many years, it was seen as a cautionary tale of the danger of passions pursued. Today many readers admire it for its lyrical prose and profound metaphors.  Corrigan traces all of these reactions and then brings us back to her high school in Astoria, Queens where she first read GATSBY. And as Fitzgerald wrote, “so we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past.”  Highly recommended!  

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