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Papa Cosa
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Posted: 02 September 2005 at 11:31pm | IP Logged Quote Papa Cosa

 

  My wife and I recently went to Mt Dora, Florida and stayed at the Lakeside Inn.  It reminded us both of West - East -Egg of Fitzgerald fame.  As we strolled around town we searched the used book stores but without luck.  As soon as we got back home I purchased the book which I havent read since high school.  It's better than I remembered. 

  It's just great.  I have This Side of Paradise as well.  I'm surprised I havent read more of his work.

  Papa Cosa

 

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hijo
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Posted: 17 September 2005 at 5:05pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Papa C: I agree with you. Gatsby is great. So are many of his short stories.

He does appear, however, on close reading - and perhaps unfair comparison with John O'Hara (Appointment in Samarra) - to have burned out as quickly as he did brightly.

He was a very good, very romantic/tragic writer.

Funny, isn't it, that people now try and emulate Hemingway more than Fitzgerald? Especially considering some still think of Gatsby as a premier murder mystery rather than a literary masterpiece and Hemingway is credited with considering Gatsby as great as it really was.

They always say your second book (novel) has to be better than your first, and that's why Farewell To Arms was so widely credited with making Hemingway's fame - even though his real "second book (actually his first)" was Torrents of Spring. I think Gatsby was Fitzgerald's second as well. But does anyone remember his first?

Part of the distinction allegedly made by EH was that Fitzgerald became dependent on writing for income, and therefore on selling for income, while Hemingway was able to write for himself and not money. I'm sure marrying wives who support you as opposed to who have to be supported in various sanitoriums also helped...

Best,
T
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docnme
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Posted: 17 September 2005 at 5:31pm | IP Logged Quote docnme

hijo, like always, you hit that nail right on the head,(at least in my opinion) Yes, because Fitzgerald was writing to make a living made the difference. All of E.H.'s wives had enough money to tide him through the tough times.

Best, docnme



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Mike Galvin
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Posted: 18 September 2005 at 8:48pm | IP Logged Quote Mike Galvin

Hijo, It was This Side Of Paradise, published in 1920.

Mike
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Posted: 19 September 2005 at 9:12am | IP Logged Quote HemingwayCenter

Interestingly, The Great Gatsby didn't sell that well despite its critical acclaim.  It barely sold the first printing of 25,000 copies in its first year and it barely made up for the advance that Scribners gave Fitzgerald for the novel.

This Side of Paradise (which to me is almost unreadable today) was a much bigger bestseller in 1920-21 selling over 50,000 copies and made Fitzgerald rich and famous. 

By the late 20's Fitzgerald was able to command upwards of $4,000 dollars for short stories sold to the Saturday Evening Post, but he hated the fact that he had to put out such forumulaic fiction to fund the extravagent lifestyle of he and Zelda.    Shortly after he realized that Gatsby wasn't going to be a big money maker he started planning on heading to Hollywood to start writing for the movies where he knew there was easy money to be made.   It took him a while to make that move to LA but it's kind of sad that by the age of 28-29 he was already on the way down creatively, and it is a sobering thought that he only lived to the age of 44. 

 



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Papa Cosa
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Posted: 05 October 2005 at 10:58pm | IP Logged Quote Papa Cosa

 

  This Side Of Paradise wasn't that great(Gatsby).  It was really hard to get into and I found myself looking for excuses to read something else.  Both Hem and Fitz had sad ends but I think Fitz's life was even more depressing.  Papa Lived and Fitz simply faded into nothing. 

  Papa Cosa

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anne-marie
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Posted: 10 October 2005 at 3:58am | IP Logged Quote anne-marie

nice comments i am currently studying a level english and was asked the question by my tutor (great gatsby) this novel was written in the 1920's. why is it still so widely read? could you help me on this one because i think the book is sh*t and cannot even attempt in reading the book because it is so borin
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Peter Krynicki
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Posted: 10 October 2005 at 11:35am | IP Logged Quote Peter Krynicki

The tragedy is that what Gatsby wants he cannot attain so all of his striving is for nothing. He wants to go back and have his current relationship be the same as it was at first. This cannot happen because Daisy is now married, has at one time loved Tom and has a child. She actually agrees to go with Gatsby and leave Tom, but Gatsby says she must say she never loved Tom and that she will give up her child. So it is not a question of what she can do. She cannot be again what she once was, in love only with Gatsby.

 

I think Gatsby actually realizes this at the point at which he goes floating in the pool. He has acepted what has happened and now intends to live based on this acceptance.

 

Pjk

 

 l  

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tobycole
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Posted: 10 October 2005 at 10:46pm | IP Logged Quote tobycole

anne-marie,

  I think you are showing some good learning skills in trying to find help. In my opinion, the book is taught because it has several stories going on: Gatsby, the vehicular homicide of Myrtle Wilson, the murder of Gatsby, the set up of George Wilson to kill Jay Gatsby, and the cover-up of the fact that Daisy was driving.  All of these events are set in a very interesting time in American history.  And, maybe most importantly, it is written by an author who has a masterly command of the craft of writing.  I am taking a writing course and Gatsby is the book we are reading.

  Let me suggest that you go to chapter three and find the section where Nick is leaving the party after saying good night to Gatsby.  He sees "Owl Eyes".  It begins with "A man in a long duster had dismounted...."

  What follows is funny!  I don't know if you know who Burns & Allen or Lewis&Martin or Abbott & Costello are, and I admit I do not know any current comedy teams; but,  this passage when read out-loud is great comedy.   It is good stuff!  Read it out-loud and remember that Owl Eyes is the comedian and the other voice is the straight man who feeds the comedian the funny lines.  Fitsgerald is just having fun.  He can't be totally bad if he can goof-off this well. 

    Maybe if you can like some part of the book you can at least get through this section of your year.  And, I would keep in mind that Fitsgerald is painting a picture of the times.  He doesn't seem to like what he sees. 

   Any way, good job on asking for help. 

 



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kitty_stobling
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Posted: 11 October 2005 at 9:30pm | IP Logged Quote kitty_stobling

I actually started reading hemingway because i got into fitzgerald first. Though Gatsby I think is his best, his subsequent works ( particularly Tender is the Night) deserve much credit, too. My question is, has anybody read the Crack-Up? If so, does it merit a reading? I've heard it really wasn't actually so much a novel,  but a bunch of essays or something like that.
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