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Discuss F Scott Fitzgerald (1 Viewer)

Cipher2

Senior Member
I'm reading Tender is the Night and after last reading Bret Easton Ellis' Echo Park(still reading it actually), wow does it seem involved. I know little about Fitzgerald, but I am looking for an angle or context to understand the writing.

Basically, I read from a Harvard guide that The Great Gatsby is considered one of the finest American novels. But that wasn't on sale for 2 quid in Oxfam.

I actually came to Fitzgerald from Brett Easton Ellis who has been compared to Fitzgerald on the back of one of books(can't remember which). But to be honest the comparison seems a little far-fetched from what I have read thus far...
 

Arin

Senior Member
Tender is the Night is essentially a retelling of Fitzgerald's own life, fictionalized in various aspects of course, but at the core his own experience. His wife was mentally ill and institutionalized. He led a very sad, painful life after that. I think that's why this book is so complex in its style and kind of all over the place---mimicking his life, and any person's life really. You can see he really is a truly amazing writer, but I think the book gets almost oppressive in its nature because of the discombombulation it portrays and the pain it is wrought from. I thought it was worth it, though. It's definitely an interesting peak in the life of the very rich and glamorous people of the twenties---also touched upon in The Great Gatsby as well (which, in my opinion, is better because of its smoother nature and more directed approach). He did know how to string really beautiful sentences together, too.
 

Cipher2

Senior Member
The language is superior to anything I have read yet never superfluous. A great study for an aspiring writer.
 

a.jordan

Member
While I've never read that particular novel, I know that his diction and devices within the Great Gatsby as well as his knowledge of the roaring twenties has given me a great respect for him as an author. :mrgreen:
 
S

Synaesthesia

Yeah I read Great Gatsby and didn't enjoy it at all. Just wasn't a fan of his writing. Anyone read Appreticeship of Duddy Kravitz?
 

strangedaze

Senior Member
I've read Duddy and Gatsby. I like them both. As for Bret Easton Ellis, the subject matter seems on par, but their styles are pretty disparate.
 

simon woodhouse

Senior Member
I thought Gatsby was a good book, but like many of the so-called classics, I couldn't see what made it so great. Also, it seemed a bit on the short side to me.
 

A_MacLaren

Senior Member
Isn't a book only as long as the story?
I had a whole comment lined up for this, but I just this moment realised strangedaze had done it for me, and in few words. I've got to start using the word 'disparate' in sentences.
 

JP Wagner

Senior Member
In response to the various opinions of Fitgerald I offer the following:

Fitzgerald was one of the most prominent american authors to date. His work the Great Gatsby was a masterpeice. For those who do not get what was so great about it, it is simply this:

The theme of the dream. It really had nothing to do with the characters or the 20's as much as it had to do with the theme of the dream. The obvious dream in the story was Gatsby's dream to reclaim Daisy. It was as proven an impossible and somewhat foolish dream. However, the dream itself almost washed Gatsby clean of all of his sins because of the fact that he did it all for the dream and for Daisy. It can also be compared to several greek myths. In terms such as the waste of money feasts, and the fact that he pushed a rock up the hill but it came crashing down on him.

Yes, the Great Gatsby was short, but don't forget Old Man in the Sea, the pulitzer prize winner by Hemingway was far shorter. A story's size doesn't matter, the contents do.

F. Scott Fitzgerald in my humbe opinion deserved the Nobel Prize in Literature, for which he was nominated for and didn't win. I find him much more worthy than some who won it, like Faulkner.

In my opinion, people who do not appreciate the Great Gatsby, just haven't uncovered it fully.

Thats all from me.
 
W

writingviper

F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of the great American writers! I have read most of his short stories, a few essays, The Great Gatsby, and part of Tender is the Night.

From what I understand, Fitzgerald could churn out story after story to support himself while he wrote his novels. He had a tremendous knack for figuring out what the public wanted, and then giving it to them.

I'm planning on reading Tender is the Night during the summer - it's on my reading list.

But I will say that the formula: length of book = quality is totally false and should not even be a consideration when judging the merits of a book (unless it was written by a complete amateur, and Fitzgerald was no amateur). Some of the best books and stories I have read are the shorter ones. On the other hand, I have read some 1000page + novels that are absolutely mesmorizing!!!

Sometimes, to fully appreciate a book, it needs to be read more than once. With each reading will come a new understanding of something you previously never noticed. Reading is not a passive activity, it requires that your mind be fully engaged. Reread. Reread. Reread.

-Brad
 

andreaypich

Senior Member
JP Wagner said:
In my opinion, people who do not appreciate the Great Gatsby, just haven't uncovered it fully.

Agreed. Sometimes if I'm unsure about a book that's considered a classic I do some research and read on it's structure, symbols, etc. I really should notice these things when reading, but sometimes my mind's more concentrated in something else.
 
B

buried

One of the best short stories I've ever read was "Babylon Revisited." I strongly recommend it.
 

strangedaze

Senior Member
i studied babylon revisited - liked it a lot. gatsby was pretty good.

as an aside, ive read that fitzy had a thing for feet - a revulsion to his own and a strong attraction to those of his lady friends. thought that was interesting.
 

Cipher2

Senior Member
If you have not read any fitzgerald read gatsby before "tender is the night". The latter might put you off. It did me.
 

burnitdown

Senior Member
Tom Wolfe, who writes about "status," is on a similar vein to Gatsby. Both are more realistic and more thought-provoking than anything I've seen come out recently (excepting, of course, Wolfe's latest, which was in the last couple years).
 

TWariner

Senior Member
I'm a big fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I've only read two of his books so far, but I like them both. Tender is the Night is kind of sad, but such good writing, as usual. My favorite is The Great Gatsby! What an awesome book! I always heard it was THE greatest American novel and I believe it. His style of writing is amazing.
 
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