I finished it again this weekend. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve read it twice in the last ten days. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve listened to it two more times on audio tape as I drive to and from work.
I even checked out critical essays about it from the libraryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âsomething I vowed never to do again after I graduated from collegeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âand started to read them. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s how I knew I was sick.
IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m talking about a book called ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe Great Gatsby.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m not entirely sure why this book has taken over my life, but I have some theories. I ask myself, why now? I read it in high school and once about a year and a half ago because it played a part in a story I was writing, but in neither of those instances did it really take hold of me.
Sometimes I think a moment in your life reacts to a work of art like pure oxygen to an open flame. Eighteen months ago is a short time back, but I didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t identify with either Jay Gatsby or Nick Carraway quite like I do now. Something must have changed. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s as if I had to grow into appreciating what Fitzgerald was trying to say about the past, the future, and the vain dreams that lie in between.
So, I ask you, what works of art, be they books, films, or songs have obsessed you? And at what time in your life? And why?
CanÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think of anything? Try reading ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe Great GatsbyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â by F. Scott Fitzgerald; this April marks eighty years since it was first published. The first review in The New York World called it ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œA dud.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Uh, they were wrong.