Jacke takes a look at F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby (1925), which has been called by one newspaper “the American masterwork, the finest work of fiction by any of this country’s writers.” But what makes it so compelling? Is it enough to say that it’s about the American dream and disillusionment? (Spoiler alert: Jacke doesn’t think so!)
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was one of the most famous American writers of the twentieth century. His plain, economical prose style–inspired by journalism and the King James Bible, with an assist from the Cezannes he viewed in Gertrude Stein’s apartment–became a hallmark of modernism and changed the course of American literature. In this episode, Jacke and Mike take a look at an author and novel, The Sun Also Rises (1927), they’ve been reading and discussing for decades.
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Everyone always talks about the greatest openings in the history of literature – I’m looking at you, Call me Ishmael – but what about endings? Aren’t those just as important? What are the different ways to end short stories and novels? Which endings work well and why? In this episode, Jacke and Mike take a look at great literary endings, with some assistance from David Lodge, Charles Baxter, Leo Tolstoy, James Joyce, Flannery O’Connor, Samuel Beckett, Iris Murdoch, Uncle Wiggily, The Third Man, Donald Barthelme, Alice Munro, Henry James, E.B. White, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mary Shelley, David Foster Wallace, O. Henry, Ian McEwan, Thomas Mann, and Joseph Conrad.
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) were the pole stars of the Lost Generation, the collection of young American authors who came of age in the Paris and New York of the 1920s. The Hemingway-Fitzgerald relationship has been examined for decades and continues to fascinate. Why are we so drawn to these two authors? What do they represent in American literature? Who was the better author, and why?
Jacke and Mike take a look at the great Hemingway-Fitzgerald debate – and challenge themselves to find ten new things to say about these American icons.
These two have haunted me for years. So beautiful. So doomed.
Ah well, it’s good to see them laughing:
And this – well, this is just fantastic:
More blogging carnage tomorrow. Enjoy the writers laughing…until the twilight sets in… (How’s that for an onward and upward? Onward and upward…into the dying sun and the dark night of fate…!? I’m blaming Scott and Zelda! Poor, poor Scott and Zelda…)