Thursday, 15 August 2013

Orgastic vs orgiastic or What writers can learn from a close reading of "The great Gatsby"

The last passsage in "The great Gatsby": 
"And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, 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." 

Orgastic: adj of orgasm (OED: the climax of sexual excitement, characterized by intensely pleasurable feelings centred in the genitals), in this case synonymous with "ecstatic". 
Orgiastic: adj of orgy (OED: a wild party characterized by excessive drinking and indiscriminate sexual activity/ an instance of excessive indulgence in a specified activity).
One can learn a great deal about writing from Fitzgerald's novels, "The great Gatsby" especially, and even more when placing side by side "The great Gatsby" and its 1st draft "Trimalchio". I can't think of any writer whose writing is more concise, any writer who can be better than him at saying so much in so few words. 

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