Maybe it’s a recent trend, but why why why do people think that seeing the major motion picture of a book is the same as reading the book itself? Simply unacceptable. Let’s bring “well-read” back into style.
I’m responding egregiously solely because I’ve witnessed this foul assumption arise around works of my forever favorite author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Just because because you’ve seen another one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s starring films doesn’t mean you understand, or even begin to fathom, the gravitas of the world that Fitzgerald created in that body of text.
The final words of The Great Gatsby.
“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…And one fine morning—
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
If you have only seen the movie, you certainly don’t pick up on the nuances of this final knife twist. Pick up the book, it’ll ruin your life for the better.
Better yet, let’s address another qualm of mine: why do “notable works” of Fitzgerald begin and end with The Great Gatsby? Why aren’t Tender is the Night or This Side of Paradise well-recognized, except to a select few? Are those books meant to be kept secret?
Let these two excerpts take you into their clutches.
From a chapter break entitled Egotist Food for Consumption.
“Don’t let yourself feel worthless; often through life you will really be at your worst when you seem to think the best of yourself; and don’t worry about losing your “personality,” as you persist in calling it; at fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the brilliant melancholy brilliance of the moon, and when you are my age you will give out, as I do, the genial golden warmth of 4pm.You are bound to go up and down, just as I did in my youth, but do keep your clarity of mind, and if fools or sages dare to criticize don’t blame yourself too much.”
From a later portion of the book: let it be known that I’ve replaced the names with he/she to eliminate spoilers.
“His love waned slowly with the moon. At her door they started from habit to kiss goodnight, but she couldn’t not run into his arms, nor were they stretched to meet her as in the week before. For a minute they stood there, hating each other with a bitter sadness. But as he had loved himself in her, so now what he hated was only a mirror. Their poses were strewn about the pale dawn like broken glass. The stars were long gone and there were left only the little sighing gusts of wind and silences between…but naked souls are poor things ever, and soon he turned homeward and let new lights come in wit the sun.”
In conclusion, let’s agree to read more books and be not only well-read, but well-versed too. 🙂