Sunday, June 17, 2012

Old Sport!

F. Scott Fitzgerald. Yet another Libran who had trouble with his finances. After Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, I am hunting for Libran authors who were neither associated with insanity nor had had pecuniary troubles. Short and sweet.

Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, 
Till she cry ‘Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!’ -
Summarized it all.

After reading wiki about Fitzgerald, it was only Leonardo de Caprio playing Gatsby in my mind.
I learnt about mojito, mint julep, musical instruments, postern, pompadour, flowers like jonquils, hawthorns, Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, dog breeds like Airedale and therefore puli.

Few lines that I liked, few lines that amused me, few lines that touched something somewhere…

‘Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’

‘Most of the confidences were unsought—frequently’ and ‘intimate  revelation ‘ reminded me of my situation. With rahu in cancer, many a times, I feel like a sink, when people, grandmas and grandpas, even 2 psychologists, 2 non practising advocates, pour out; and I listen; trying hard not to let that tear drop trickle down my cheeks. And the moment, it is a cancerian girl, I feel like running away, but I sit and smile my silly smile.

… ‘a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.’…

‘I  wanted  no  more  riotous  excursions  with  privileged  glimpses into the human heart.’
…. I participated in that delayed Teutonic migration known as the Great War.’

I told him. And as I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler.
just as things grow in fast movies—I had  that  familiar  conviction  that  life  was  beginning  over again with the summer.

It was a body capable of enormous leverage—a cruel body.

They  were  both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if  they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.

Almost any exhibition of complete self-sufficiency draws a stunned tribute from me.

It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again.

Tom  Buchanan  compelled  me  from  the  room  as though he were moving a checker to another square.

It’s up to us who are the dominant race to watch out or these other races will have control of things.’ made me curious about ‘The Rise of the Coloured Empires’ by this man Goddard

‘All right,’ I said, ‘I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll  be  a  fool—that’s  the  best  thing  a  girl  can  be  in  this world, a beautiful little fool.’
‘Sophisticated—God, I’m sophisticated!’
... as though the whole evening had been a trick of some sort to exact a contributory emotion from me

You can’t stop going with an old friend on account of rumors and on the  other  hand  I  had  no  intention  of  being  rumored  into marriage.

About Tom’s mistress….The fact that he had one was insisted upon wherever he was known.

The supercilious assumption was that on Sunday afternoon I had nothing better to do.
….but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some  women  can…

Taking out my handkerchief I wiped from his cheek the remains of the spot of dried lather that had worried me all the afternoon…

…..whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos and low and high drums.
…..introductions  forgotten  on  the  spot…

About Gatsby’s smile….It  understood you  just  so  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 I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.’
...... Most  of  the  remaining  women  were now having fights with men said to be their husbands.

But I  am  slow-thinking  and  full  of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires, and I knew that  first  I  had  to  get  myself  definitely  out  of  that  tangle back home.

Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.

The smile comprehended Montenegro’s  troubled  history  and  sympathized  with  the  brave struggles  of  the  Montenegrin  people.

I saw him opening a chest of rubies to ease, with their crimson-lighted depths, the gnawings of his broken heart.
If I were to collect any precious stone, it would be a golden yellow sapphire, kanagapushparagam. 

Decades ago, I liked diamonds, but venus’ excess scares me, its jupiter’s wisdom that I need.

cuff buttons… composed of oddly familiar pieces of ivory. ‘Finest specimens of human molars… made me squirm.

He  had  waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed star-light  to  casual  moths  so  that  he  could  ‘come  over’  some afternoon to a stranger’s garden.

There are only the  pursued,  the  pursuing,  the  busy and the tired.’

Once more it was pouring  and  my  irregular  lawn,  well-shaved  by  Gatsby’s gardener,  abounded  in  small  muddy  swamps  and  prehistoric  marshes.  There was nothing to look at from under the  tree  except  Gatsby’s  enormous  house,  so  I  stared  at  it, like Kant at his church steeple, for half an hour.

……a dishevelled man  in  pajamas  was  doing  liver  exercises  on  the  floor…wonder what those exercises were…

I  think  he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of  response  it  drew  from  her  well-loved  eyes.


No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.
All the while, I have just heard of woman’s heart being as deep as the ocean.

The  truth  was  that  Jay  Gatsby,  of  West Egg,  Long  Island,  sprang  from  his  Platonic  conception  of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything,  means  just  that—and  he  must  be  about  His Father’s Business, the service of a vast, vulgar and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a  seventeen-year-old  boy  would  be  likely  to  invent,  and  to this conception he was faithful to the end.

Human  sympathy  has  its  limits and  we  were  content  to  let  all  their  tragic  arguments  fade with the city lights behind.

I disliked him so much by this time that I didn’t find it necessary to tell him he was wrong.

They had never been closer in their month of love nor communicated more profoundly one with another than when she brushed silent lips against his coat’s shoulder or when he touched the end of her fingers, gently, as though she were asleep.

his eyes leaking  isolated  and  unpunctual  tears.  He had  reached  an  age where  death  no  longer  has  the  quality  of  ghastly  surprise, ....

....So  we  beat  on,  boats  against  the  current,  borne  back ceaselessly into the past...

You  said  a  bad  driver  was  only  safe  until  she  met  another bad driver

They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then re-treated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made….

I shook hands with him; it seemed silly not to, for I felt suddenly as though I were talking to a child.
So we  beat  on,  boats  against  the  current,  borne  back ceaselessly into the past


I read the ebook leisurely, dragging over 2 days and it was sheer coincidence, when my kutti friend listened to this book in 2+ hours today. I never cease to be amazed by his memory, to recite the lines flawlessly after listening just once. He is perfect with pronunciations, seeing this world with only 20% vision.

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