Literary Disco Talks
The Great Gatsby
Julia Pistell, Rider Strong, and Tod Goldberg Yearn for the Green Light
This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod go back to high school (or college), to discuss that unavoidable book that at some point you had to read, were told you should read, or you actually did read (or at least skimmed!).
“The plot, the crime novel, and the characters are all interesting, but really it’s the writing. No one in America can escape how good this writing is.”
“I have been trying to write the scene where Nick runs into Tom at the end of the book for my entire career. Every time I have two men who hate each other and find each other strange, I’m trying to write that scene.”
“I read it in college once. I never had to read it in high school, so it wasn’t until my freshman year when I took a Modern Novel course. I read it in the context of early 20th-century novels. It always made a lasting impression, but in the context of a class where you are reading Faulkner and James Joyce and Rudyard Kipling . . . and full of so many great books. . . . But sitting down and reading this book in two sittings I just can’t get over how good it is. It has all the things that I remember: the themes, the meaning. I didn’t get anything new from the book . . . but I got so much from the book for how well it’s written. . . . Its brevity is such a strength. You can experience it in one day of reading . . . and that’s why it’s so pleasurable. There’s not a wasted sentence. It feels like just the right a mount of experience where this tells me everything I need to know about these people’s entire lives and you’re really only talking about three months of their lives.”