The Great Gatsby – Scott Fitzgerald
January 20, 2014 § 2 Comments
Songs have a way of influencing me. When I say “influence”, I mean in a big way.
I never wanted to read this book. Ever. The only time I picked it up (before now) was when my brother was reading it for Literature class at school. I’ve heard of it, of course, and I knew it was one of those “must-read” books of all time. But I just never wanted to read it.
I knew it was about some rich guy in a big house hosting huge parties. And I never got why a story like this could be so popular. The one-line synopsis just made it sound like a really “nothing” story.
So I simply was never interested.
Until I heard Lana del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” over the radio one day.
I loved the song so much that I Googled it when I got home. That’s how I found out it was a song in the movie, The Great Gatsby. And I thought to myself, how can a song so painfully beautiful be part of a “nothing” story?
Songs attach themselves to stories. That’s what it’s like for me. And when I kept playing the song on my computer, I found myself drawn, sucked in, completely overwhelmed. I have to find out what the story is about. I have to get to to know Gatsby and his sickeningly rich life.
I have to read that book.
I didn’t expect a love story. It’s a different kind of love story from, say, Erich Segal’s Love Story. But I don’t think there’s quite any other way to describe it.
It’s a solid love affair.
At times, I felt like I was having the love affair with Gatsby. Perhaps it was Nick’s way of describing him, infatuated as he was with Gatsby himself.
He (Gatsby) smiled understandingly – much more than understandingly. 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 eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favour. 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.
And then, out of nowhere, I fall head over heels for Daisy. I never would have taken her for my type, and she really isn’t the type of girl I would normally go for. Heck, even on my bad days I stay far away from the Daisys of the world.
But Daisy Buchanan charmed her way into my heart when I least expected it. She pulled and tugged at my heartstrings with those dainty little fingers, cleverly manipulating all those feelings. Before I knew it, I was drowning.
Daisy began to sing with the music in a husky, rhythmic whisper, bringing out a meaning in each word that it had never had before and would never have again. When the melody rose, her voice broke up sweetly, following it, in a way contralto voices have, and each change tipped out a little of her warm human magic upon the air.
There is no end to this love affair. And with Lana del Rey’s achingly beautiful voice asking me over and over, “Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?”, I’m fully tempted to say, forever and ever.