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(Uproxx)   "Couldn't you boil this book down to 'biatches Be Crazy'?" - Colbert's most excellent analysis of The Great Gatsby   (uproxx.com) divider line 76
    More: Cool, The Great Gatsby, Gatsby, LeVar Burton, Drew Magary, F. Scott Fitzgerald  
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2546 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 10 May 2013 at 12:22 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-10 04:54:24 PM

Plant Rights Activist: shortymac:
/I was really sad that I was the pretty much the only one who wasn't sleeping when we were listening to the AUDIO BOOK in HONORS English class.

[encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com image 221x228]


The other students in the class complained in class that it was "too boring to read" so the teacher decided to try the audiobook.

The teacher was kinda not 100% involved in the teaching because his wife was having a difficult pregnancy and was out a lot.

HOWEVER, upon discovering that only a few kids in class had seen "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" he stopped the lesson and we watched that instead.

Yeah, even then I was pissed too, it's a SHORT BOOK, have some patience. It's not that hard.

/Got A+'s all year though
 
2013-05-10 04:57:27 PM

DrZiffle: biatches be gettin' truculent.


/obscure


Not if you're an Esquire subscriber.
 
2013-05-10 05:02:16 PM

Plant Rights Activist: shortymac:
/I was really sad that I was the pretty much the only one who wasn't sleeping when we were listening to the AUDIO BOOK in HONORS English class.

[encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com image 221x228]


I would highly recommend audiobooks of traditionally difficult novels. They definitely add a different dimension to the narrative, and can help put boring passages in perspective so that you can actually get something out of them.

Then again, I'm a literature nerd.
 
2013-05-10 05:15:09 PM

devilEther: NateAsbestos: devilEther:
mcmnky:

I don't get either of these references... :(

mine is Bradley Cooper's character's response to A Farewell to Arms in the film Silver Linings Playbook.
mcmnky is commenting on the lengthy sentences found in the books of Marcel Proust.


Ah, never saw SLP, and I've never read Proust. So it makes sense I was in the dark :P
 
2013-05-10 05:16:39 PM

PizzaJedi81: Old Man and the Sea.


This is the one that turned my husband off to fiction altogether.  He hasn't read a work of fiction since middle school that wasn't required.  That story isn't boring; it's soul-crushing.


/best part of last night's episode was the Reading Rainbow bit.
 
2013-05-10 05:21:30 PM
It wasn't the worst novel I read for high school. That is still reserved for, "The Mayor of Casterbridge."
 
2013-05-10 05:22:59 PM

Jekylman: Plant Rights Activist: shortymac:
/I was really sad that I was the pretty much the only one who wasn't sleeping when we were listening to the AUDIO BOOK in HONORS English class.

[encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com image 221x228]

I would highly recommend audiobooks of traditionally difficult novels. They definitely add a different dimension to the narrative, and can help put boring passages in perspective so that you can actually get something out of them.

Then again, I'm a literature nerd.


I'm a literature nerd myself and I don't like audiobooks, I tend to tune them out.

People are whiners IMHO, most of these classic high school novels are short, it's not like someone is asking you to read War and Peace.

/I tried to read that and I got bored
 
2013-05-10 05:26:53 PM
Someone explain how Daisy represents the death of the American Dream. I have people say that i a major theme.  Is it because despite Gatsby being really rich his new money couldn't get him some top shelf old money pussy meaning that it doesn't matter how rich you are it is what country club your father belonged to.
 
2013-05-10 05:31:26 PM

Mad_Radhu: Plant Rights Activist: did they just link the entire episode piece by piece on their website?

They usually do that the day after to get the ad revenue. Shows like Colbert don't have the kind of long term rerun potential like Seinfeld, so they realistically only have a day or two to make their money off of it.


Which is why I find it so annoying that every single episode of classic Saturday Night Live on. Netflix contains the full Weekend Update segment. They edit the episodes so that most of them only contain about 40% of the original content, so why do they waste it with old WU? Who could possibly want to watch an old Brad Hall or Kevin Nealon WU where they talk about 30-year old news stories that aren't even worth a footnote in a history textbook? It pisses me off to think of the great comedy that I'm being deprived of watching. I don't understand why Lorne Michaels thinks anyone wants to watch this.

/rant off
 
2013-05-10 05:32:59 PM
Did he get to the part where he bails his politician sister out of jail?

Oops...that's the Failed Gatsby
 
2013-05-10 06:09:10 PM

Faddy: Someone explain how Daisy represents the death of the American Dream. I have people say that i a major theme.  Is it because despite Gatsby being really rich his new money couldn't get him some top shelf old money pussy meaning that it doesn't matter how rich you are it is what country club your father belonged to.


It's because Americans have this idea that with enough hard work you can be considered equal to those born into wealth.

It is one of the most fundamental ideals of our cultural identity and mythos, we revolted and threw off the shackles of aristocracy! All Men are Created Equal!

Americans are pretty much in denial on how classcist they are... granted we are not as classcist as say England and other old world countries, but parental income is still the most important factor in a child's future success.

If you doubt it's importance, it's one of the primary reasons why we still don't have a single payer health care because of the whole "they just aren't working hard enough!" rhetoric.

TL;DR: Despite ALL of Gatsby's success, Daisy decides to marry her old money asshat of a husband and stays with him. Americans deny it, but class still very much matters in our society.
 
2013-05-10 06:17:07 PM

shortymac: Jekylman: Plant Rights Activist: shortymac:
/I was really sad that I was the pretty much the only one who wasn't sleeping when we were listening to the AUDIO BOOK in HONORS English class.

[encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com image 221x228]

I would highly recommend audiobooks of traditionally difficult novels. They definitely add a different dimension to the narrative, and can help put boring passages in perspective so that you can actually get something out of them.

Then again, I'm a literature nerd.

I'm a literature nerd myself and I don't like audiobooks, I tend to tune them out.

People are whiners IMHO, most of these classic high school novels are short, it's not like someone is asking you to read War and Peace.

/I tried to read that and I got bored


As did I. But I listened to the audiobook of War and Peace and it seemed like a different book. I had a 1 hour work commute each way at the time, so that helped.
 
2013-05-10 06:53:27 PM

shortymac: Faddy: Someone explain how Daisy represents the death of the American Dream. I have people say that i a major theme.  Is it because despite Gatsby being really rich his new money couldn't get him some top shelf old money pussy meaning that it doesn't matter how rich you are it is what country club your father belonged to.

...

TL;DR: Despite ALL of Gatsby's success, Daisy decides to marry her old money asshat of a husband and stays with him. Americans deny it, but class still very much matters in our society.


I think Daisy's characterization as being representative of the American Dream is based on Gatsby's somewhat shallow fascination with her. Her attractive traits are that she's beautiful, and that she's rich. That's it. Every other aspect of her is negative: she's materialistic, selfish, shallow, stupid, and a bad mother and wife. All of these are fairly obvious to Nick, but Gatsby is blind to all her faults, focusing solely on her beauty and wealth. In that sense, she's a metaphor for the "American Dream" of prosperity and comfort, but Fitzgerald wants the reader to see that focusing on Daisy (i.e. material success and social status), to the exclusion of nearly everything else in his life (the struggles and suffering of the working class, and the vapidity of the single-minded pursuit of wealth and status) makes Gatsby a hollow human being who, Nick ultimately decides, isn't really worthy of his initial admiration.

In other words, Gatsby represents the American Dream of striving to obtain wealth and status (Daisy), regardless of anything else. Nick initially admires that, but after coming to understand all of Daisy's faults, ultimately comes to see that pursuit as distasteful and unfulfilling.
 
2013-05-10 07:02:04 PM
My required reading in GCSE English (High School equivalent I'd guess) for American literature was "To Kill A Mockingbird," (which is bloody great, and arguably a better GAN than Gatsby) and "The Glass Menagerie."

Beyond that it was Shakespeare, and i think we did "The Hobbit" in 9th grade.
 
2013-05-10 07:21:32 PM
Problems I have with "The Great Gatsby"

1) It's credited to F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I can't possibly believe it. It reads nothing like his other works, which do read similar. Proper credit: Zelda Fitzgerald (and she was nuts). Try "Saved by the Waltz" for similar craziness.

2) Gatsby is called Great.

C'mon. The guy's a creepy stalker and should have been *jailed*.

3. Nick, Nick, Nick.

He knew someone was going to try to kill Gatsby, and COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT. He chose not too, giving him about as much agency as a freaking Twilight heroine.
 
2013-05-10 07:25:26 PM
Jekylman:
I would highly recommend audiobooks of traditionally difficult novels. They definitely add a different dimension to the narrative, and can help put boring passages in perspective so that you can actually get something out of them.

Then again, I'm a literature nerd.


I'm not questioning the use of audiobooks.  For an individual they're great but when you have a classroom of highschoolers sit through one that's just a recipe for disaster.
 
2013-05-10 08:04:03 PM
Myrtle and Jordan were pretty crazy.

Daisy was shallow, but not crazy.

Jay Gatsby himself was actually pretty crazy.
 
2013-05-10 09:26:05 PM
Want to know why this is required high school reading? Because the original, full title was "The Great Gatsby: The Downfall of an American Capitalist".

Don't worry, young comrades, there is a better way!
 
2013-05-10 10:06:27 PM

NateAsbestos: OMatS was incredibly hamfisted and overrated... I didn't hate A Farewell to Arms though, even if it was his maserbatory revenge-fantasy against that nurse who snubbed him in Italy.


I was definitely the opposite because I wasn't a huge fan of AFtA but I loved Old Man. I can't exactly remember why it was because I read both books that semester but I was definitely much more affected by OMatS.

Also, slate me as another person who was absolutely seduced by Fitzgerald's pros. For many years Gatsby was one of my favorite books despite the fact I found every character within to be a repugnant example of a human being for one reason or another.

But whatever... F*ck the Jazz Age.
 
2013-05-10 10:46:52 PM

ristst: I still can't figure out how this book tops the list of the greatest American novels.

I had to read it in college and I damned near didn't survive the ordeal (it was the most boring book I've ever read).


On the upside: it's short.

I actually like Gatsby.  Ethan Frome, on the other hand....
 
2013-05-11 12:03:05 AM

PizzaJedi81: ristst: (it was the most boring book I've ever read).

You've obviously not read The Scarlet Letter.


I see that, and raise you A Separate Peace.
 
2013-05-11 12:17:11 AM

Jekylman: Plant Rights Activist: shortymac:
/I was really sad that I was the pretty much the only one who wasn't sleeping when we were listening to the AUDIO BOOK in HONORS English class.

[encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com image 221x228]

I would highly recommend audiobooks of traditionally difficult novels. They definitely add a different dimension to the narrative, and can help put boring passages in perspective so that you can actually get something out of them.

Then again, I'm a literature nerd.


I tried reading Crime and Punishment twice, and then I tried the audiobook. I couldn't finish that, either. Merciful God, they made the incredibly cool crime of thrill kill murder dull as dishwater. I hear the last chaper is really good though.
 
2013-05-11 12:19:18 AM

Uzzah: shortymac: Faddy: Someone explain how Daisy represents the death of the American Dream. I have people say that i a major theme.  Is it because despite Gatsby being really rich his new money couldn't get him some top shelf old money pussy meaning that it doesn't matter how rich you are it is what country club your father belonged to.

...

TL;DR: Despite ALL of Gatsby's success, Daisy decides to marry her old money asshat of a husband and stays with him. Americans deny it, but class still very much matters in our society.

I think Daisy's characterization as being representative of the American Dream is based on Gatsby's somewhat shallow fascination with her. Her attractive traits are that she's beautiful, and that she's rich. That's it. Every other aspect of her is negative: she's materialistic, selfish, shallow, stupid, and a bad mother and wife. All of these are fairly obvious to Nick, but Gatsby is blind to all her faults, focusing solely on her beauty and wealth. In that sense, she's a metaphor for the "American Dream" of prosperity and comfort, but Fitzgerald wants the reader to see that focusing on Daisy (i.e. material success and social status), to the exclusion of nearly everything else in his life (the struggles and suffering of the working class, and the vapidity of the single-minded pursuit of wealth and status) makes Gatsby a hollow human being who, Nick ultimately decides, isn't really worthy of his initial admiration.

In other words, Gatsby represents the American Dream of striving to obtain wealth and status (Daisy), regardless of anything else. Nick initially admires that, but after coming to understand all of Daisy's faults, ultimately comes to see that pursuit as distasteful and unfulfilling.


th00.deviantart.net

Looks like somebody earned at least a 4 on their AP Lit.
 
2013-05-11 03:40:12 AM

ecl: Great Expectations gets my vote for shallow and pedantic litereary bores.


Dickens serialized, and was paid by the word. Good stories, but they're so overstuffed that it's a pain to read him.

\Of course, I love Victor Hugo...
\\He just goes off on Tangents.
 
2013-05-11 03:43:32 AM

KatjaMouse: For many years Gatsby was one of my favorite books despite the fact I found every character within to be a repugnant example of a human being for one reason or another.


That's kind of the point of it. "fark the Jazz Age" was more or less what the book was about.
 
2013-05-11 08:11:51 PM

PizzaJedi81: NateAsbestos: The tipping point was when I realized that a sentence I was reading had started two pages back... fark me.

And yet, when Lemony Snickett did it, it was hiLARious. Go figure.

The other book that blew goat chunks: Old Man and the Sea.


joegleason1982.files.wordpress.com

Yeah, all of you guys biatching about Scarlett Letter or Gatsby have nothing on the sheer boredom of reading a goddamn Hemingway book.  farker didn't off his stoic ass soon enough!

This book is about  a man trying to catch a fish!  That's it.  And it's not even in an exciting Moby Dick way.  Imagine reading Moby Dick, except it's actually your 5 year old kid in a bathtub playing with boats and a whale, and he's retelling the story.  That is the level of lowered expectations from this book.
 
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