Oh, To Be A Genius At 29

07May09

Reading The Great Gatsby earlier in this year was an incredible experience, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to join The Fountainhead and A Catcher In The Rye in my list of annual reads. So, I wasn’t completely surprised when I came across the following comment from the famous Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami, in his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. 

 Gatsby really is an outstanding novel. I never get tired of it, no matter how many times I read it. It’s the kind of literature that nourishes you as you read, and every time I do I’m struck by something new, and experience a fresh reaction to it. I find it amazing how such a young writer, only twenty-nine at the time, could grasp – so insightfully, so equitably, and so warmly – the realities of life. How was this possible? The more I think about it, and the more I read the novel, the more mysterious it all is. 

I agree with every single word of the above – and if you haven’t read The Great Gatsby yet, please do. If you have, what do you think? Do you agree? Does it make you want to read more of Fitzgerald’s work?  

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2 Responses to “Oh, To Be A Genius At 29”

  1. Some of Fitzgerald is top notch, especially some of the short stories. But it was not always so, as I learned when I read his first novel, This Side of Paradise. It is a young man’s book and he is really full of himself: http://silverseason.wordpress.com/?s=this+is+a+juvenile+book

    What a young man is full of in 1920 dates very quickly. By 2000 and something, it seems merely quaint.

    • Thanks for commenting on my blog for the first time.

      I’m sorry you didn’t think the world of This Side Of Paradise. Maybe I’m just being generous, but, it was written when he was twenty-three, so I’m likely to be more forgiving. It’s interesting also, I think, as to how his writing evolved between this and Gatsby! I’d be curious to read his first novel for that very reason alone.


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