Gatsby le Magnifique/The Great Gatsby (book review) F. Scott Fitzgerald

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

Philippe Jaworski (Translator)


211015: do not know how much i was translating while reading, and how much is memory, but it seems to read well in French. a lot of vocabulary learned, as i have been told, if you want to learn french... just read! as this is favourite, english original on one page, french translation opposite, this is not difficult. interesting to read phrases familiar in another language. sentiment definitely plays strong role here, and i can sympathise with readers who find it too obvious in symbols, too transparent, but this keeps it concise, readable, teachable. i do not sympathise with readers who are morally offended by the characters. i believe they are rounded, real, well-sketched by our ambivalent narrator. still favourite in either language...


150116: please read this (again if necessary) as i enjoy reading all the other readings here on GR... read this was possibly/partly inspired by [book:The Lost Estate|983730]...


121119 later (seventh?) review: read this yet again at least seven times now (once a year... 2016,17,18,19), 6th read is inspired by critical/bio work [book:So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures|20454072] i just decided to reread it to see if i can catch the romance. beautiful, cruel, heartbreaking. gatsby is the kind of man a seventeen year old would imagine, yes even if i was probably only fifteen when i first read it... i grew up comfortably, secure, not poor but not society... but yes, since that first uneducated reading (not for class) i wanted to be gatsby... perhaps i should think about what it has meant in my adult romantic life...?(19)


but i could always identify with his romantic readiness. i can still understand such romantic obsession, even more years since. so i rec this to all my efriends just to give it a chance, read it again, marvel at the clarity, the design, the concision, the lyrical passages... i found this particular copy designed as mock-pulp (161213), and have to remember it is related to popular culture of its time. this is now another world almost a hundred years past but it is not dated... it is forever... i will be able to quote the last paragraphs forever...


first review on goodreads: what is there to say of this? short novel that contains far more than word count suggests, the only thing i can mention is that this is very definitely sentimental favorite, as probably the first novel i saw as art capital A. read first when i was fifteen, read many times in years (decades...) since, this cruel romance encapsulates both how i wanted then and maybe want even now to believe that my self is something i can entirely create (before i had read any existentialism...), and how, whether this is worthwhile, the way to live is to love and do everything for love... heartbreaking in my youth, only after many realtime relationships can i question these ideas, these characters, these maybe illusions... it remains something i can recommend maybe to any woman who is interested in figuring me out. i can quote many lines, i can quote the ending paragraphs, i can only wish i could ever write anything so simple, beautiful, and pure...

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