Wednesday, 16 January 2008

How to make me swoon in 50,000 words.

The Great Gatsby led the Fitzgerald rediscovery and restoration of 1945-50 because it is a miracle--though not his only miracle. Literary miracles are the work of writers who come closer than other writers to expressing what is in their minds through innate genius augmented by control, technique, craft.
-Matthew J. Bruccoli
The University of South Carolina, 1992

The last book I read I read and then read again. I read it again as I do on the first of every year, read it again and wondered at all the people in the world who've never once picked it up, or picked it up and read the Cliff's Notes instead, or picked it up and thought, "Nah. I think I'll read Gossip Girls.

I've written about this book twice before, and certainly there is nothing I could say about it that hasn't already been said. So rather than write again about my very favorite book, I will instead write about my very favorite subject: moi.

You cannot really know me I've always said until you've read this book, and the first person to try and know me was my college sweetheart. Unfortunately for him, or me, or what the fuck ever, he decided to read it only after heartlessly dumping me. My own boyfriend, aliterate as he is, has avoided it these seven years past, ostensibly because of "all that shit written all over the pages." I read my books with pencil in hand, you see, and as time has flittered by I've run out of room for all my notes.

I have also always said that you can tell when I've been reading Salinger because I start plagiarizing Salinger of course. But what is less well known is that I plagiarize Scott with every word I ever try to write. For example [said in the voice of Hermione Granger, via Emma Watson, circa Sorcerer's Stone], in a section of my most very most prized possession and labeled in pencil in this particular margin with perfect structure!:
The largest of the banners and the largest of the lawns belonged to Daisy Fay's house. She was just eighteen, two years older than me, and by far the most popular of all the young girls in Louisville. She dressed in white and had a little white roadster and all day long the telephone rang in her house and excited young officers from Camp Taylor demanded the privilege of monopolizing her that night, 'anyways for an hour!'
Of course I would label this passage perfect; it holds everything I love so dearly: hyperbole, polysyndeton, parallel structure. It is the formula for every paragraph I seem to write nowadays.

And so my secret is out: I am a total fraud.

Gamecocks, ho.

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