Wed Feb 13, 2013, 05:47 PM
cali (103,265 posts)
the most searing indictment of the American rich ever written.
It's Fitzgerald's "The Diamond As Big As the Ritz". Surreal, funny and nasty as hell.
Here are a couple of choice bits. Not that the entire story isn't choice:
"Jasmine, the elder daughter, resembled Kismine in appearance--except that she was somewhat bow-legged, and terminated in large hands and feet--but was utterly unlike her in temperament. Her favorite books had to do with poor girls who kept house for widowed fathers. John learned from Kismine that Jasmine had never recovered from the shock and disappointment caused her by the termination of the World War, just as she was about to start for Europe as a canteen expert. She had even pined away for a time, and Braddock Washington had taken steps to promote a new war in the Balkans--but she had seen a photograph of some wounded Serbian soldiers and lost interest in the whole proceedings. But Percy and Kismine seemed to have inherited the arrogant attitude in all its harsh magnificence from their father. A chaste and consistent selfishness ran like a pattern through their every idea. "
"It's absurd," commented Kismine. "Think of the millions and millions of people in the world, laborers and all, who get along with only two maids."
"There go fifty thousand dollars' worth of slaves," cried Kismine, "at prewar prices. So few Americans have any respect for property."
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the most searing indictment of the American rich ever written. (Original post)
|Spider Jerusalem||Feb 2013||#8|
Response to cali (Original post)
Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:16 AM
Spider Jerusalem (19,015 posts)
8. Ah yes, Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby is arguably "the great American novel", and on close examination it's kind of subversive; the overarching theme is the hollowness and falsity and bitter lies at the heart of the "American dream"--the idea that one can become anything one wants? Not so much; Gatsby, for all his self-reinvention, can't, really; and material wealth and its trappings don't make him happy, either (and the rich don't come off well there either; Tom and Daisy Buchanan are empty, shallow materialists careless of the damage they leave in their wake).