"once again, to zelda"
|zelda & scott fitzgerald in "midnight in paris"|
last week i read "the great gatsby" for the third or fourth time. i saw tobey maguire on kelly & michael and decided that i wanted to read it again before i saw the movie. [i still haven't seen the movie, but it's on the to do list.]
anyway, this time around it struck me differently than before. i think in part it struck me differently because i noticed the dedication page, and while it did not surprise me, i had never noticed it before. the dedication page simply says, "once again, to zelda."
i have learned more about scott fitzgerald [and zelda] since the last time i read this story, and with the dedication in the back of my mind, i couldn't help but wonder if daisy somehow represented zelda to scott. i know that he used pieces of their life in his works, but more than that i couldn't help but wonder if scott felt as though his eternal hope - the green light at the end of the dock - was zelda in the past.
knowingly, or unknowingly, was it that scott really loved the idea of zelda, the zelda that he knew when he first met her, and she had become someone different in his mind? he had tried his whole life so desperately to impress her, to win her back to himself, but she was too wrapped up in herself, and her life to be who she was previously.
did he see himself as gatsby? hoping against hope that what he once had with her would come back to him? and by the end of it did he realize that maybe it was all for naught? that she was gone?
yet the ending still held true - that despite the story, despite gatsby's fate, did he still believe in the hope of the past?
"so we beat on, boats against the current,
borne back ceaselessly into the past."
how much of his life did he build around the idea of what he needed to be for her? her family didn't approve of him. originally she didn't want to marry him because she didn't think he could provide for her. his writing was his livelihood, and that writing, including gatsby which is arguably the greatest american novel, was written for her.
but if it is largely an autobiographical work, then what does that say about scott's life with her?
sometimes, upon further inspection, perceived reality shows up as it really is - nothing more than a striking façade.
maybe scott said in his fictional work what he could not admit to himself in reality. he feared that what he held so tightly to in his life would turn out not to matter at all in the end.
and it begs the question. will the things, the people, the places, the what-have-yous, that i hold so tightly to in this life, matter in the end?