The Great Gatsby

‘The Great Gatsby’ Turns 90: Five Things You Might Not Know About the Classic Novel

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a staple of high school English classes and “best books” lists, from 20th Century books to American novels to the greatest novels ever written. Therefore although some Gatsby fans have merely ogled Leonardo DiCaprio or Robert Redford in the titular role (in one of the unspectacular film adaptations of a hard-to-adapt novel) most of us have actually read the book. To us, it may feel like Tom and Daisy Fay Buchanan, Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby have always been around. But did you know Gatsby languished in obscurity for years? The American classic, which celebrates 90 years of publication today, has a backstory as convoluted and fascinating as the enigmatic, self-made Gastby’s himself.

To celebrate Fitzgerald’s critique of, and ode to, jazz age capitalistic excess, here are five interesting angles on the novel and its history for your consideration. … Read More

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The 25 Most Homoerotic Friendships in Literature

Homoeroticism refers to same-sex desire, not necessarily consummated. Critics have long found evidence of that desire in some of the cherished close friendships in classic literature. Looking at books this way adds depth not only to our understanding of the original works, but to our understanding of how complex and layered human relationships can be. Here are 25 queer, or queer-seeming, friendships in classics from the 19th century through today. Some are up for debate, and some are obviously more than just friendships — but all share an element of friendship and… Read More

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‘So We Read On’ and Why We Should Keep Fighting About ‘The Great Gatsby’

In Sigrid Nunez’s book The Last of Her Kind, the central character, Georgette, meets her troubling, troubled, wonderful friend Ann when they are both students at Barnard College in New York. I can remember, quite clearly, that school for Georgette consists of her writing a long paper, “Why The Great Gatsby Is Not a Great Book.” … Read More

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James Franco and Random Fitzgerald Endorse Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’

So apparently, not everyone hates Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Here are two (very important) people that liked it. One… Read More

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What Was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Attitude Toward Homosexuality?

There has been much ado about The Great Gatsby in recent months, for obvious reasons. And with that ado has come a resurgence of interest in Nick Carraway’s unclear sexual orientation — something you probably missed as a high school sophomore, but is obvious with even a little attention as an adult reader. Earlier in the year, in an article at Salon, Greg Olear pointed out that nagging passage that suggests Nick’s homosexuality, nestled in between those ellipses and coming directly off of a blatant penis joke. And today in The Atlantic, Noah Berlatsky argues that Baz Luhrman’s new film adaptation suffers from not being gay enough, and thereby undermining Nick’s character and eliminating his connection to Gatsby based on “their shared need for deception.” … Read More

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Why Can’t Hollywood Get ‘The Great Gatsby’ Right?

Hollywood took its first stab at adapting The Great Gatsby for the screen only a year after its publication, and has been trying intermittently ever since — and, for the most part, failing. What is it about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic that makes it so impossible, so utterly untraslatable? It’s certainly not that the film industry hasn’t been trying hard enough: Baz Luhrmann’s new film is the fifth official adaptation. In the course of a week, I watched all of them that can be seen (and another, looser adaptation besides), and came up with a few theories. … Read More

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Was ‘The Great Gatsby’ The Last Great New York Novel?

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby stands out as the finest of his four completed novels because it’s an empathetic satire that delivers the author’s most aggressive attack on New York’s high society. I’ve read it maybe five times, although I prefer the first half because I think that’s where the magic happens. It’s when all three of the novel’s parties take place, and where Fitzgerald’s psychological complexity thrives most — the simultaneous worship and disdain for wealth and celebrity that characterizes his body of work. It’s often praised as a top contender for the Great American Novel, but Gatsby also remains as the best New York novel I’ve ever read because it so fully embodies the city in the time during which it was written, while continuing to speak to readers (and especially New Yorkers) of every generation. … Read More

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How to Make Great Gatsby Deviled Eggs

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15 Awesome ‘Great Gatsby’ Tattoos

You may think you’re a fan of The Great Gatsby, but how committed are you really? Lots of folks have proven their love of Fitzgerald’s masterpiece by inking its words and images on their bodies — the floating face of the classic cover and the final lines are perennial favorites in this regard. After the jump, check out some of the greatest Gatsby tattoos from around the web. … Read More

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