The Great Gatsby (novel, 1925)

I don’t remember when I first read The Great Gatsby.  It may have been in high school, or my first year in college.  I hadn’t thought about the novel much in the intervening decades.  I opted not to see the Baz Luhrmann movie (2013), although I did watch Z: The Beginning of Everything back in 2015.  (It was unceremoniously canceled after one season.)  Then, on January 1, 2021, a singular event caught my attention.  I noticed it listed among those works no longer under copyright protection.  After sheepishly realizing that the novel was almost one hundred years old, I found myself wanting to read it again.  Since my reading habits are undeniably slothlike, I accomplished that goal a year-and-a-half later.

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A Spy in the House of Love (Anais Nin)

A Spy in the House of Love is the fourth novel in the Cities of the Interior collection.  As in previous novels in the series, this one reintroduces several characters who have appeared in previous entries.  In addition to main character Sabina, Jay and Djuna also appear in the latter part of the story.  The story focuses on Sabina, her relationships and her need to understand her desires.

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As I Lay Dying (Novel)

The reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time.

Addie Bundren shares this bit of wisdom from her father in an effort to explain her life and the choices she’s made.  At this point in the story, Addie has actually been dead several days.  Before Faulkner has Addie speak from beyond the grave, Addie has only been featured in several early scenes, where she is lying sick in bed, waiting to die.  Before her death, Addie was closely watching her eldest son while he built her coffin.  She ultimately dies before it is completed, but a promise she extracted from her Anse, her husband, drives the narrative.

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