Tonawanda News

Opinion

May 19, 2013

Fitzgerald's 'Gatsby' a ceaseless classic

Tonawanda News — I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I somehow had never read until last week one of our seminal works of literature, read by most in high school English class, “The Great Gatsby.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s spellbinding tale of the origins and opulence of one Jay Gatsby is a really, really good book. Maybe perfect. If there are flaws, a reader more attuned to such criticism than me could make the case. I won’t.

The only thing more embarrassing than admitting I’d never read it was the reason: I wanted to see the movie adaptation done by director Baz Luhrmann. 

As I turned each lush page I fell under the spell so many have before me — engrossed in the over-the-top imagery, extravagant parties and the towering love story between Gatsby and his femme fatale, Daisy. 

The book captures the Roaring Twenties in all their glory but it wasn’t until the film adaptation that I realized just how much it speaks to my time.

Lurhmann smartly juxtaposes the glitzy classic New York images of Gatsby’s world with a modern score including a 1990s hip hop anthem by the rapper Jay Z, one of the film’s executive producers.

It was watching Gatsby, depicted cooly by Leonardo DiCaprio, driving that crazy yellow car set to Jay Z’s “100$ Bill” that I realized just what a modern adaptation would look like — and how much it says about how we live today.

By today’s standards, Jay Gatsby is a pimp. Not a literal one in the sense he forces women into prostitution — though there’s no shortage of material along those lines in the book or the movie. 

Gatsby is a pimp in the sense there’s nothing too over the top not to try. Swap out the flapper girls for some strippers, make the champagne Cristal instead of Dom Perignon, turn the yellow roadster into a tricked out Escalade. Instead of West Egg, Long Island, the story probably takes place in the OC. In less than five moves you get from Gatsby to “The Real Housewives.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: In defense of the Common Core They've become the two dirtiest words in education, but the Common Core is very much worth defending.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Bits and pieces from out and about Ever since it was restored and opened, the Hotel @ Lafayette in downtown Buffalo has fascinated me. Last Monday, the Preservation Buffalo Niagara offered a tour of the hotel led by developer Rocco Termini.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.


    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leffler Mug 041114 [Duplicate] LEFFLER: 'Need to know' a double-edged sword Inquisitive doesn't begin to describe me. I must know everything. About everything. I hate being in the dark. I guess that's what makes my career choice so very obvious. I think "must know everything" is at the top of most journalists' trait lists.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wallace, Amy BW mug WALLACE: Airplane coverage has gone awry I don't know about you, but I am so sick of the cable news stations' constant coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook
Front page
NDN Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest