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by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Is a writer allowed to have regrets? Certainly. Is she allowed to air them publicly? I mean, yeah, it’s a free internet, why not? Do I want to hear a single additional word about the world of Harry Potter from J. K. Rowling that is not in the form of another book? No, not particularly.
Most art from Warhol to present leaves me eye rolling and/or giggling. It finally helped me to understand the contents of the Whitney Museum as more than bad practical jokes.
Paradoxically, this is the reason to write and read about Zelda, because she deserved a life much more interesting than the one that she got. Interesting to her, that is, a life she could have given her energy and talents to, not just a life made interesting by famous friends and European capitals.
My quest to find the great tech novel -- something sprawling and social and occurring inside the Teach-Up and outside the restaurant and around the home of the displaced shopowner and the H1B-visa programmer -- is in itself a kind of solutionism. Novels are captured social data. You want a snapshot of nineteenth century French provincial bourgeois life? There’s an app for that: it's called Flaubert. And that's before we consider the novel as an aggregator of human data of the biggest, most nebulous kind. You want a map of the human heart? Whose heart? What century? There's an app for that too.
I used to feel that the novel output of Fitzgerald was like the literary version of the Myers Briggs test: whichever one a person favored was some fundamental indicator of his or her personality.
As usual, to compose my Year in Reading is to confront my failures.