05 July, 2013

Quotable Friday (12)


I love reading quotations. Whether they’re funny, wise or poignant, I love those snapshots into the human mind; I love the beauty of language. There aren’t always easy ways to crowbar great passages from novels or thoughtful quotations into ordinary blog posts, so on Fridays I’m letting them speak for themselves. - See more at: http://madebythepotter.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/quotable-friday-11.html?showComment=1371491921793#c981660885711428646
I love reading quotations. Whether they’re funny, wise or poignant, I love those snapshots into the human mind; I love the beauty of language. There aren’t always easy ways to crowbar great passages from novels or thoughtful quotations into ordinary blog posts, so on Fridays I’m letting them speak for themselves.

This week I am gritting my teeth and quoting from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitgerald. With the arrival of the new film, the world appears to have gone mad for Gatsby. I first read the book in my mid-teens and really disliked it. So many people told me I must've been mistaken, last month I read it again. I still didn't like it. However, I now admit the writing is superb. There were one or two lines I had to read over again just to take in their sheer understated brilliance and sharp insight into the human mind. Here are a few gems...

"Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of  the few honest people that I have ever known."

"His count of enchanted things had diminished by one."

"So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star."

"I was reminded of something-an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words, that I heard somewhere a long time ago. For a moment a phrase tried to take shape in my mouth and my lips parted like a dumb man's, as though there was more struggling upon them than a wisp of startled air. But they made no sound and what I had almost remembered was uncommunicable forever.”

4 comments:

  1. I'd forgotten there was a fair sprinkling of humour in it. I love Nick's description of Gatsby's regular party guests:

    "And the Catlips and the Bembergs and G Earl Muldoon, brother to that Muldoon who afterwards strangled his wife... Benny McLenahan arrived always with four girls. They were never quite the same ones in physical person but they were so identical one with another that it inevitably seemed that they had been there before... and young Mr Brewer who had his nose shot off in the war... and Miss Claudia Hip with a man reputed to be her chauffeur..."

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    1. I laughed a good handful of times - it was just in between the laughs that I wasn't having any fun!

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  2. Rather poetic and slightly wistful. What's different about your reading of the book this time, apart from the passage of time?

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    1. I think I just appreciated the writing more. Although I don't rate based on how good a book is, now I've been writing for a few years my enjoyment of a book is much more swayed by the quality of the writing. I still didn't go mad for it though - 6 out of 10, rather than 3!

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