Tuesday, March 15

The Romances of Daisy

He went to her house, at first with other officers from Camp Taylor, then alone.  It amazed him - he had never been in such a beautiful house before.  But what gave it an air of breathless intensity, was that Daisy lived there - it was as casual a thing to her as his tent out at camp was to him.  There was a ripe mystery about it, a hint of bedrooms upstairs more beautiful and cool than other bedrooms, of gay and radiant activities taking place through its corridors, and of romance that were not musty and laid away already in lavender, but fresh and breathing and redolent of this year's motor-cars and of dances whose flowers were scarcely withered.  It excited him, too, that many men had already loved Daisy - it increased her value in his eyes.  He felt their presence all about the house, pervading the air with the shades and echoes of still vibrant emotions.

Chapter 8, The Great Gatsby, (1926). 

I love how Fitzgerald refers to the 'romances'.  He mentions romances 'laid away already in lavender'.  Doesn't this have such a great idea of perfumed pressed flowers, pot-puri sachets in pillowslips and other dear, quaint, old-fashioned things that reserve a beautiful thing.  It is such an exhilarating turn around, however, when he goes on to say how her romances were 'fresh and breathing and redolent of... motor-cars and dances...'.  He just paints her up as a fresh, vibrant little slip of life.  Aren't the words and images used just exciting?

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