So this is the beginning of my adventure into the classics of literature. I have really no clue what The Great Gatsby will involve, it’s just one of those books I’ve always hear about, but never knew what actually happens in it. With the new movie coming out soon, it came back into my attention, it had been sitting on my shelves for a little while (since the classics are so cheap, and the orange Penguin Books ones are cheaper still, I decided to get a copy, which means there’s no cool cover for mine). In Australia, the book is in the public domain, in the US however, it is yet to get out of copyright, so you may want to find a physical copy if you want to read a long, or a really cheap ebook version (since it won’t be free until it gets into the public domain) . On the Project Gutenberg Australia website you can find the book here.
The book was first published in 1926 by American writer, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. And has been made into FIVE movies! The original cover, which you can take a look at online here, which was painted by Francis Cugat, it’s really stunning (I would have liked to put it online here, but since it’s an original painting by Cugat, it’s still under copyright… pity this wasn’t around 2100!).
In my copy, there is a pretty lengthy introduction, which I’m going to skip, because they always tend to really spoil the book. I guess they think that people will know what’s going on in the book, so they just write an introduction giving some of the history of the book and analysis, but for me, I’d prefer not to know. So I’ll take a look at the introduction after I’ve read the book, just to see if it is at all interesting and beneficial.
There are only 9 chapters, which I’m hoping to get done in as many posts, but we shall see if I’m able to do so. There is a dedication at the start, “once again to Zelda”, who is Fitzgerald’s wife, and you can find out more about her on Wikipedia and if you’re really interested in dedications (which always tend to have interesting stories) there is a book on this topic Once Again to Zelda:The Stories Behind Literature’s Most Intriguing Dedications by Marlene Wagman-Geller.
The book starts with a quote:
“Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
Till she cry “Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!”
–THOMAS PARKE D’INVILLIERS
D’invilliers, is incredibly a pen-name for Fitzgerald! Which is quite unexpected, obviously he couldn’t find a quote that suited the book. It is an interesting little epigraph, and I have no idea what it is really connected to, if at all, because sometimes it really doesn’t look like the quotes really mean anything.
I think that’s a good enough introduction to The Great Gatsby, and I’m very excited to start reading it!
Tomorrow is ANZAC Day, which is a little fitting since The Great Gatsby was published not long after World War One. I won’t be reading The Great Gatsby tomorrow, I’ll start that Friday. I hope all of you who are able to, get out to a dawn service or watch a local march.
You’ll notice I have a new header, with a great photo, Copyright by Moyan Brenn, whose blog you can find in the link, and the original photo can be found here, and is being used under Creative Commons Attiribution, No Derivatives.