First, in honor of autumn, a passage:
"One autumn night, five years before, they had been walking down the street when the leaves were falling, and they came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight. They stopped here and turned toward each other. Now it was a cool night with that mysterious excitement in it which comes at the two changes of the year. The quiet lights in the houses were humming out into the darkness and there was a stir and bustle among the stars. Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees—he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder."
If you have fifty minutes (and I know you do) lie down on a sofa near your computer and listen to this fascinating lecture from the Yale University online lecture series on YouTube. If there is no couch, then pull up a piece of floor and tuck a pillow under your head. I had forgotten so much about this great American novel, including the fact that FSF expected his experimental book to be a failure. Go on now. Click on Full Screen. We'll explore the professor's lecture in Part II another time.