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visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

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Monday
May132013

Gilded Cages- On Fitzgerald- Quotes from the Great Gatsby 

I have revisited my high school curriculum and reread Fitzgerald's third book, seen the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby with Mia Farrow and today's (in theaters now) Great Gatsby version. With the relevancy to today's economic world, and my own struggles pursuing the 'Daisy'-lined streets of the American Dream... I'm enraptured with Nick Caraway's observant inside/outside character, I can honestly say I am enthralled in Fitzgerald's vision. So I thought I would share a trip down my literary lane with just some of my favorite quotes from each chapter of the book.

This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name "creative temperament" - It was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which is not likely I shall ever find again. No- Gatsby turned out alright at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 1

photo by m.diaz Bergdof Goodman's Holiday Window

Her eyebrows had been plucked and then drawn on again at a more rakish angle but the efforts of nature toward the restoration of the old alignment gave a blurred air to her face.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 2

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 groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breadth; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp joyous moment the center of a group, and then excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 3

"Anyhow, he gives large parties," said Jordan, changing the subject with an urban distaste for the concrete. "And I like large parties. They're so intimate . At small parties there isn't any privacy."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 3

Bison head detail by M.Diaz
The tears coursed down her cheeks- not freely, however,for when they came into contact with her heavily beaded eyelashes they assumed an inky color, and pursued the rest of their way in slow black rivulets.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 3

A dead man passed us in a hearse heaped with blooms, followed by two carriages with drawn blinds, and by more cheerful carriages for friends. The friends looked out at us with the tragic eyes and short upper lips of southeastern Europe and I was glad that the sight of Gatsby's splendid car was included in their somber holiday.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 4

Daisy was popular in Chicago, as you know. They moved with a fast crowd, all of them young, rich and wild, but she came out with an absolutely perfect reputation. Perhaps because she doesn't drink. It's a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue, and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is blind that they don't see or care.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 4

Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeful splendor.

He wants to know, continued Jordan, "If you'll invite Daisy to your house some afternoon and then let him come over."

The modesty of the demand shook me. He had waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths- so that he could 'come-over' some afternoon to a strangers garden.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 4

Scrapyard Trumpet photo by M.Diaz
A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 4

We passed a barrier of dark trees, and then the facade of Fifty-ninth street, a block of delicate pale light, beamed down into the park.,

Unlike Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, I had no girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs...

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 4

The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain. I had to follow the sound of it for a moment, up and down, with my ear alone, before any words came through. A damp streak of hair lay like a dash of blue paint across her cheek, and her hand was wet with glistening drops as I took it to help her from the car.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 5

He hadn't once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 5

...not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 5

self-portrait detail by m.diaz
But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the washstand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor. Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace. For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 6

It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 6

But what had amused me then turned septic on the air now.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 6

-appalled by its raw vigor that chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short-cut from nothing to nothing. She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 6

...some authentically radiant young girl who with one fresh glance at Gatsby, one moment of magical encounter, would blot out those five years of unwavering devotion.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 6

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Window photo by m.diaz
So the whole caravansary had fallen in like a card house at the disapproval in her eyes.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 7

...and it occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 7

...but he had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself- that he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities- he had no comfortable family standing behind him, and he was liable at the whim of an impersonal government to be blown anywhere about the world.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 7

There was a quality of nervous despair in Daisy's letters. She didn't see why he couldn't come. She was feeling the pressure of the world outside, and she wanted to see him and feel his presence beside her and be reassured that she was doing the right thing after all.

For Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids and pleasant cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm of the year, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in new tunes....At the gray tea hour there were always rooms that throbbed incessantly with this low, sweet fever, while fresh faces drifted here and there like rose petals blown by the sad horns around the floor.

...And all the time something within her was crying for a decision. She wanted her life shaped now, immediately- and the decision must be made by some force - of love, of money, of unquestionable practicality-

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 8

He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 8

On the last night, with my trunk packed and my car sold to the grocer, I went over and looked at that huge incoherent failure of a house once more.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 9

"Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead," he suggested. "After that my only rule is to let everything alone."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 9

...the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter- to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther....and one fine morning-

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Chapter 9

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Reader Comments (2)

Truly great writer. Although i am not into hollywood much it does seem that there could be a fresh audience for the message. It is a joy to hear expressions that somehow becomes much grander than the words or even the obvious content....
thank you for your selections

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbluedemon

Before all the hoopla surrounding the new movie, I knew little about The Great Gatsby other than the famous last line that you quote, "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." Between the current attention to the work, and your post, I'm now planning to read it - and see the movie. I'd be very interested in knowing more about why each, or some, of the quotes appeal to you…. I may comment more myself once I get more familiar with the book. Thanks!

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmbAna

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