Gatsby Redux

I want to try to get started restoring older blog posts later this upcoming week. Midterm grades are due, and I’m still behind, so I don’t see having time to start until after that.

I did briefly want to share some of my experience teaching The Great Gatsby this year. About midway through the book, one of my students said she was sitting outside reading the book, and at least five older students stopped to tell her how much they loved the book. Another shared that he didn’t want the book to end because it was his favorite book this year. Discussing this book with my students has been a treat. My Honors class was asked to read a segment of Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran (when Nafisi’s students put Gatsby on trial) for Monday, and I’m really looking forward to that discussion. I really wish I had taken the time to record some of my students’ insights earlier this week; now it’s Friday, and I’m too tired to do them justice!

Each year, students invariably ask about the book’s cover, Celestial Eyes by Francis Cugat. If you teach Gatsby, you might want to point your students to “Celestial Eyes: From Metamorphosis to Masterpiece.” It is a very interesting essay about the evolution of one of the most famous book covers in American literature. Also, you may be interested to learn that it was on this date, March 10, in 1948 that Zelda Fitzgerald died in a fire that swept through Highland Mental Hospital.

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