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I'm rereading Gatsby currently to teach this summer, and noted a moment where
Fitzgerald invokes (to my ear) the teasing nostalgia and vague suggestion of
something mystical that you'll see a lot of in _Four Quartets_.  Here's the
quote, after Gatsby finishes telling Nick that "of course you can" turn back
time:
         Through all he said, even through his appalling sentimentality, I was
reminded of something--an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost
words, that I had heard somewhere a long time ago.  For a moment a phrase
tried to take shape on my mouth and my lips parted like a dumb man's, as
though there was more struggling upon them than a wisp of startled air.  But
they made no sound and what I had almost remembered was uncommunicable forever.

I'd be very interested in reading Eliot's reactions to the book.  The extent
to which Fitzgerald was writing a take on Dante's idealization of human
romance (in this case, more the reverse--an incarnation of Gatsby's pure
idealism into a human romance) would, I think, have been of interest to TSE.

Steve Marsden
Texas A&M University








frank kretschmer <[log in to unmask]> said:

> Peter,
> > There is actually a part in Gatsby in which the a rubbish dump on the
outskirts of NY (and by this, pars pro toto, the City) is described pretty
much as a "waste Land", i.e. the "valley of ashes" passage at the beginning of
chapter two. On the second page of chapter two (at least in my edition) this
scenery is even called explicitly "the waste land". (including the gorgeous
images of "the eyes of Doctor Eckelburg" watching over the scenery)
> > So there is surely an affinity to Eliot on the side of Fitzgerald here. I
don't really know about the other way round however.
> > Yours,
> > Frank
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: Peter Montgomery 
> To: [log in to unmask] 
> Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 2:34 PM
> Subject: Eliot and Gatsby
> > > I would appreciate some help locating
> the place at which Eliot refers to Fitzgerald's
> GATSBY as the one novel he liked (or some such
> sentiment). Thanks,and
> Cheers,
> Peter
> [log in to unmask]
> > --