In honor of the fact that The Great Gatsby is being re-made again as a movie, Bruce and I started re-reading it together this month.
We had both read it in highschool (like everyone else) and at least once since. But to pick it up again last week was startling, because I had forgotten just how good it is! It also seems very fitting timing and in themes to the current season – a story of bohemian sensibilities, restless politics, haves and have nots, and the start of a new summer.
(Image via Wikipedia)
I must confess, I am very excited for the movie as well. It will be interesting to see Jay Gatsby played by Leonardo DiCaprio instead of Robert Redford. Those are some big shoes for Leo to fill – both in a literary and Redfordian sense.
But I am a Baz Luhrmann fan. I love his over-the-top style of movies (some aren’t). There are certain areas I think it works better with than others. His version of Romeo + Juliet was, in my opinion, and amazing rendition in the way that it fully captured the ridiculous levels of drama and passion intended in that story. Youthful love is nothing but passion and drama, after all.
I think Gatsby could work well for the same reasons – the backdrop of that story is extreme excess and intemperance merriment, while the heart of it is a life long obsession with a young love lost. I think Luhrmann may be able to bring to life a beautifully rich version of the story on screen.
Last year Bruce and I went on a scavenger hunt to find F. Scott Fitzgerald’s grave. We found it in a beautiful old cemetery located in Rockville, MD. I was thrilled to discover the epigraph on his tombstone is the closing line from Gatsby:
“So we beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaselessly into the past.”
I heartily recommend picking up this old classic again this summer!