Off the Shelf: The Great Gatsby

Every once and a while I go on a classics tear.  In law school it was the Complete Works of Jane Austen (Vols. I and II - books that my mom has had since her days at Barnard) and then the Brontes sisters, Thackeray, Balzac, anything I could get my hands on.  After a while I transitioned into more contemporary classics like Vonnegut, Bukowski, Joseph Heller and Chuck Palahniuk (the latter two couldn't compare).  And then I was completely enamored of 1920's America: Hemingway. Salinger.  Both Fitzgeralds.  I actually didn't read The Great Gatsby for the first time until I was 25.  I read it in a day and when I finished, I started at the beginning again.  I was living on the Lower East Side at the time and I was quickly addicted to the glamour of Gatsby.  I felt so sad for the characters who seemed to have so much energy and so much fantasy but nowhere to put any of it except parties and affairs and drunken car rides.  I think they wanted better for themselves but their sadness is so pretty, isn't it?  When else have women been so bedazzled?  I'd have loved to be a woman then.  I'd have taken off my stockings and chopped off all my hair and thrown on a bedazzled flapper dress and danced all night.  Wouldn't you?

Now that Baz Luhrman is reviving Gatsby on film (the original film is great, by the way), I thought it'd be a perfect time to give Gatsby another read.  If you haven't - pick up a copy.  It'll take you a day and you can dwindle away the last of the cold weather in a cozy sweater and a teacup full of coffee (or gin! like the prohibition days!).  I can't wait to see the movie.  Gatsby is such a sensational story and I can't imagine a better director to tell (show?) it than Mr. Luhrman.

A still from Baz Luhrman's new Great Gatsby:

And here's the trailer!