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Becoming Kuan Yin: The Evolution of Compassion
Stephen Levine
Collected Stories of William Faulkner
William Faulkner
The Glass Key
Dashiell Hammett
The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492 (Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation)
Peter Cole
Accent on Form: An Anticipation of the Science of Tomorrow
Lancelot Law Whyte
The Expert versus the Object: Judging Fakes and False Attributions in the Visual Arts
Ronald D. Spencer
War and Peace
Larissa Volokhonsky, Richard Pevear, Leo Tolstoy
The Position of Things: Collected Poems 1961-1992
Adriano Spatola
The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain (Mandarin Chinese and English Edition)
Cold Mountain (Han Shan)
Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald [book: The Great Gatsby]. First impressions, having just read it for the first time this month: questions I'm asking myself [aloud].It's sure fun enough, to a point. The overall form of the book seems as flawless as a prize orchid, or a jewel of great price. It can be read a night. The language is often dazzling, even dizzying. The story itself is very poignant, with deep ironic commentary on the American way of life. Yet do these traits speak well ... or can they also speak against its accepted greatness: ... the form so perfect, almost like Hollywood formula, formulaic, so worked over, over and over, paint-by-the-nubmers, little space for chance to take place during composition, for genuine surprise ... ... as much an extended short story or novella as a novel ...... firework bursts of brilliant writing that captivate, scintillate, intoxicate, but are they [author: F. Scott Fitzgerald]'s aper├žus, or the narrator's, our "faceless narrator," who happens upon the lives of Gatsby and Daisy ... himself without any great pretensions. That is, does the language assist the forward motion of the story, or undercut it? [see [author: F. Scott Fitzgerald]'s future attempts to gather such scintilla, [book: The Crack-Up] ... atmospheres and snapshots in search of a subject ... as if working backwards ... ... might the book over-reach a bit, aiming at an allegory of America, as the author had originally hoped? ... is Gatsby ever fully portrayed as a person? He seems more like Fitzgerald's own attempt to write of himself as seen in a mirror, from the third person, or someone he's seen at a party, yet doesn't get beyond the surface of the glass, the mask ... the appearance ... ... am I a sloppy reader or is the final handling of the backstory of George & Myrtle a bit arch [it's a spoiler how that becomes linked to the front story, but it seems such an arch accident of the road ... ... is the novel, in general, primarily an image of truth, or a record of manners? If the latter, as here, [book: The Great Gatsby] deserves five stars [ yes, literature has come to that: the star-rating system]. Yet such uses of the novel, fiction, seem to limit / constrict the medium's full potential, as mined by [author: Joseph Conrad], [author: Gustave Flaubert], [author: Marcel Proust], [author: Henry James], [author: James Joyce], [author: Virgina Woolf], [author: [author: John Dos Passos], [author: William Faulkner]. [author: Somerset Maugham] came in when the novel was still being seen as "image of truth" and turned the fatal switch with [book: Of Human Bondage]: novel as pot-boiler; the best-seller.I still rank [book: Absalom, Absalom! as the Great American Novel, in my book, as the fruition of a series of novels beginning with [book: Flags in the Dust] and forming a kind of prequel, if you will, to [The Sound and the Fury]; although [book: The U.S.A. Trilogy] is a close contender, as is [author: Thomas Wolfe]'s magnum opus. My favorite book of [author: F. Scott Fitzgerald] remains [book: The Pat Hobby Stories], along with some other of his post-Jazz Age stories. P.S. ... I wonder if a case might be made for a remake of a movie adaptation ... replacing the Silicon Valley Dot.Com Boom for the East Coast Jazz Age ... would you cast Kevin Spacy as Gatsby? ... who would you cast as Daisy? ... etc.And that's my book report.Wishing you all Good Reads.GG