I was inspired to write this post by a recent publication saying that F.S. Fitzgerald’s Great Neck (NY) house has been put on the market for $3.8 mln.
The residence was built in 1918 and Fitzgerald lived there with his with, Zelda, from 1922 through 1924. It is believed that he wrote The Great Gatsby (1925) in this 5000-square-foot Mediterranean style home.
Trivia: The house has got seven bedrooms, several fireplaces, a music room and six and a half bathrooms. [source]
This year we are celebrating the 90th anniversary of The Great Gatsby publication with Charles Scribner’s Sons.
It is a novel that you cannot forget, especially that it has had so much impact on popular culture. Most recently, Gatsby’s Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties were presented in Baz Luhrmann’s film version (2013), starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
It’s a colourful and exuberent adaptation which could easily be turned into a musical (which is not surprising if we think of Lurhmann’s other great productions, such as Moulin Rouge! ).
The vividness of colours and the splendor of the parties are overwhelming at times. The novel is much more nostalgic, sentimental and intimate. It carries a lot of allusions to modernist poetry (especially T.S. Eliot).
In a narrative structure, it is Nick Carraway’s clarity of thought and his coolness of judgement that makes Gatsby’s loneliness so aparent.
On the one hand, the novel can be treated as Fitzgerald’s disillusionment with the razzmatazz of the 1920s Long Island, with the consequences of one’s choices and a desperate need to be noticed.
Yet, when all the fences and defenses are put down, it is a novel about pure love.
This is perhaps why Gatsby’s parties are a festival of the carpe diem philosophy: seize the day as if there was no tomorrow:
There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. […]
The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. (The Great Gatsby, Chapter 3, pp.45-46 [Penguin Classics, 1994].
Despite his initial aloofness, Nick is finally hooked on the glamour of Gatsby’s parties. Who wouldn’t be impressed?
How do I imagine a party in the Gatsby style? Quite predictably, in glitter, black, white and gold of the art déco. It is a wonderful garden party, most preferably – a wedding party.
How to get married with style? Take a look at the inspirations that I’ve found:
I’ve got two wedding parties scheduled this summer (two weeks in a row). My wishes to all the newlyweds: have all your days as happy as your wedding day and have your lives as clear as crystals sprinkled with stardust.