Jay Gatsby’s Back

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Jay McInerney explains why the American classic The Great Gatsby, the last book that Hannah Kingsley-Ma and Kate Geiselman loved, is making a resurgence this year.

After all, Jimmy Gatz “invents a hero called Jay Gatsby and then inhabits this creation, just as we hope to reinvent ourselves, some day, any day now, almost certainly starting tomorrow.”

“Ultimately, Jay Gatsby’s story mirrors Fitzgerald’s, a poor boy who falls in love with the golden girl and performs heroic feats in order to win the hand of the princess… In this story the hero gets the girl. Gatsby’s love story seems almost plausible in light of Fitzgerald’s. Although the vagueness of the source of his wealth is almost glaring, the Horatio Alger story, in which poor boys work their way up to wealth and power, was ingrained in the American psyche.”

Read more here.


You can find Charley Locke's journalism on WIRED, tweets @CHARLEY_LOCKE, and drawings on her parents' fridge. You can also sometimes spot Charley imperiously making book recommendations while managing the McSweeney's Pop-Up Shops. More from this author →