More than a movie: How far will influence of 'Great Gatsby' go?
“I think active librarians who are trying to be on top of demand pay a lot of attention to movies, and what movie’s coming out when, so that they have extra copies of the books, so that they’ve built displays around the books — both to promote the book itself and similar books.”
Granted, it’s not uncommon for movie theaters to be welcoming the arrival of a new film adapted from popular literature. But that said, few books could so easily serve as a gateway to as much other literature as “The Great Gatsby.”
“That’s where you’d get the opportunity to promote other Jazz Age writers like (Ernest) Hemingway, or other books that for one reason or another seem similar to Fitzgerald,” Ott said.
Yet the possibilities for "Gatsby” movie-goers to turn over a new literary leaf don’t end with household names like Hemingway. As Library Journal Book Review assistant editor Annalisa Pesek points out, the 1920s represent an intriguing decade in modern literature, when many American authors were living abroad as expatriates and writing about their experiences as artists outside of America. A significant number of writers were publishing their impressions of the period, mostly without the fanfare of some of their contemporaries.
“The 1920s saw an expanding community of artists, writers, publishers and critics, who effectively created a new literary 'scene' both at home in the U.S. and abroad," Pesek said. "The artistic achievements of these years are unmatched — 'Ulysses' being one example. So the period remains one of intrigue."
For those who enjoy reading “The Great Gatsby,” Pesek suggests picking up lesser-known works from the same era such as “That Summer in Paris” by Morley Callaghan and “Memoirs of Montparnasse” by John Glassco.
“Many of the insider texts are not by famous authors,” she said. “But (they all) tell their story via being there and writing about everything they saw and did. Fitzgerald’s life and work fits the description of intrigue as ‘The Great Gatsby’ was set in 1922, and is known as an iconic addition to the literature — and now another movie.”
Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-236-6051.
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