Two weeks ago I reread The Great Gatsby; the first time was in high school. Within the first chapter my gut said, “This is the kind of book that would make a teen want to be a writer,” and as the story progressed I realized what an impact it obviously had on me.
I told you on Day 1 of this series that I kept a reading notebook in high school. The familiar feel of so many lines in this book testified to their place that journal.
Here are some favorites:
“Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope.”
“No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”
“Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry.”
“It was testimony to the romantic speculation he inspired that there were whispers about him from those who had found little that it was necessary to whisper about in this world.”
“It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced — or seemed to face — the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
“Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
“He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnations was complete.”
Sigh. (That’s not a quote.)
Have you read The Great Gatsby? (<—Amazon affiliate link)
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