07 May 2007

This side of paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Date: May 6, 2007
Recommendation: Although quite good, I would suggest Great Gatsby instead


This is Fitzgerald at the beginning, before the Great Gatsby. But those who have read Gatsby will recognize the author in his depiction of youth in the inter-war years. This side of paradise tells the story of Amory Blaine, the semi-fictional depiction of the author himself. The reader follows Amory from youth through to Princeton, in to the war, through no less than 3 romances and ends with Amory's self-realization with the famous line "I know myself - but that is all-".

There are times when I greatly enjoyed the novel, but at other times, Fitzgerald seems to take on too much, and strays too far off course. Agreeably, it is difficult to create such a full character as Amory by not stretching the limits, but Fitzgerald simply seems to "gumbify" him too much!

Finally, I leave you with this. On which side of paradise do you currently find yourself? The novel's protagonist is constantly soul searching, presumably by understanding himself he will find paradise? But as we are left with uncertainty at the novel's end, I'm left with asking, what side is Amory on? And in looking at my own life, which side am I on?


Anonymous said...

First, WHEN did you read/ listen to this? Last time I saw you it wasn't even started, I don't think. Sigh...this probably means you're ahead of me in Owen Meany too, huh? I will beat you one day.....eventually....by a page or two....maybe... :o)

I loved your blog -- made me actually want to re-read the Great Gatsby!

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