Friday, March 27, 2009

Ceaselessly into the Past

I think about The Great Gatsby a lot. And by a lot, I mean that I could probably read and reread this book only and have a fine understanding of the entire world. Fitzgerald was one of the great ones; his insecurity and brokenness gave him the insight to write the perfectly imperfect character.

I don't know what it is about the last lines of the book, but since reading it for the first time in 12th grade, I haven't been able to shake them.

I think it captures the spirit of the book in perfect prose. For the few hundred pages before these lines, Gatsby had been crafting and destroying himself, trying to regain his past "Beating against the current." I love the wind-out-of-your-sails brand of hopelessness it evokes.

"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning-- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

What's the best paragraph you've ever read?


Otana said...

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me,“Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

Revelation 21:1-5

shannon nicole said...

The Author's Note to Don Miller's Through Painted Deserts will always be a favorite

Seaner said...

WOW Otana. Thank you.