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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

GREATEST AMERICAN NOVELS #4

UPDATE: Court is open Thursday and Friday. 

Now comes the fun and easy part. We knew the top four novels before we begin this endeavor and for us, the only question was whether the Great Gatsby came in at 4 or 3?

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald. There is nothing more American than the concept of excess wealth, decadence, and "making it" in finance: The American Dream. Throw in Jazz, the roaring twenties, a murder, sex, the Plaza Hotel, a spurned lover, and finally, a return to middle western sensibilities, or in Nick Carraway's case, a literal return to the midwest.  This Novel encompasses one aspect of the American Experience, one part of the theme of America. The novel stands alone in it's cautionary tale of American greed and excess until perhaps, Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities. But the Great Gatsby is a giant in it's own right, casting a shadow over the genre it created. We again looked for and  choose a novel that changed the conversation and discourse of the literary world. 
We were fascinated to learn that upon publication the novel received mixed reviews and did not sell well, and that when Fitzgerald died in 1940, he believed he was failure and that his work was doomed to be discarded and forgotten. Nothing could be further from the truth and TGG often is listed as The Great American Novel. 

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

while you all are bragging about how well read you are, a historic event happened today. weed is legal in colorado-- which makes it the coolest state in the country. if they had beaches it would be the greatest place on earth. obama gets mad props for letting it happen. best thing he has done since he got in office be a landslide..

cysco kid
aka lead dunce

Anonymous said...

Gatsby is novella not novel.

Anonymous said...

Bonfire of the Vanities does not merit comparison with The Great Gatsby, which by the way, is a novel, not a novella.

Rumpole said...

Define novella vs novel and explain why Gatsby is a novel. And btw- Gatsby is listed as a novel in any generally accepted list of novels.

Anonymous said...


A "novella" is longer in length than a short story and shorter in length than a "novel."

The Naked and the Dead at 750 pages is a Novel.

The Great Gatsby at 144 pages is clearly a Novella, under the classic definition.

Who cares.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if this stupid list will be done by 2015?

Anonymous said...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/02/3848744/miami-appeals-court-throws-out.html

the trialmaster said...

A trial tip from the TRIALMASTER. Never ever try a case against a pregnant woman.

Anonymous said...

Whether a book is a novel as opposed to a novella is partially based on length but more importantly on whether there are chapters and more than one plot line developed. And you are right, the great majority of literary scholars consider The Great Gatsby to be a novel.

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