Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Off-topic, in a way

Before the trip, before quitting my job, I re-read The Great Gatsby.  Not expecting anything in particular but having almost completely forgotten the novel except for the fact I liked it when I was 15 or whenever.  Many powerful moments in this book, but one line sticks out.  I'm not sure how famous or cliche it is to the literary world, but I don't recall it being quoted too much:

"A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: 'There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.'"

Gatsby is a dangerous book to read when you're 30, unmarried, independent, isolated, etc.  It's forced on high-school kids out of necessity because it is such an important (and accessible for 10th-graders) American novel.  The emphasis seemed to always be on the symbolism of new vs. old in the Roaring 20's, west vs. east, etc. always in a historical context.  Which is right and great, but what floored me re-reading this book is how the personal story of Gatsby (and narrator Nick too) is such a timeless story of dealing with changes in periods of your life, dealing with lost relationships, and living in the moment.  Or at least, creating the elaborate facade of living in the moment.  So for me the quote above provokes some thought, and applies a bit of pressure...

Just putting thoughts down.  Cool cover art too.

No comments:

Post a Comment