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by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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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.