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2002-08-05 - 1:36 p.m.

'In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.

"Whenever you feel like criticising anyone," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

...in consequence, I'm inclined to reserve all judgements, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores...

...I am still afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.'

If you recognise the above passage, I like you already, and you'll probably like what I have to say. If not, you owe it to yourself to read "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I don't really intend this to be a diary per se. More a creative outlet, inspired by the events (be they personal or global) of my day, week or year. I plan on plundering music and literature as I have just done, as it inspires me. That or this will be the sole entry, due to a rapid return to apathy.

"The Great Gatsby" is a story of the collapse of the American Dream, and the ultimate victory of the ruthless realist over the romantic dreamer. But the message to me is clear- while the dreamer may ultimately fail, he fails with his integrity intact. Between the dreamer and the realist is the narrator, Nick Carraway. He has an air of arrogance about him, as he pertains to be an impartial and impeccable judge of character- filled with just enough cynicism to not follow the path of the dreamer, but enough hope and faith in basic human decency to hold the realist in absolute contempt.

I see myself as Nick Carraway, more than any other character in literature. By merely suggesting that I have fulfilled the first requirement- that air of arrogance. But I believe in love and humanity- I am an atheist but sometimes these things in particular almost make me feel spiritual.

An acquaintance of mine described Nick Carraway as a sycophant- which I had to look up in the dictionary before I could decide whether I agreed or not. I'm always happy to learn new words, especially big ones :)

"a self seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite"

Then I had to look up "servile". Dammit.

"slavishly submissive or obsequious; fawning"

So in essence he keeps up appearances, is always nice to people whether they deserve it or not, and yields to them- but does so for his own personal gain.

A very interesting thought. But Nick is filled with genuine sympathy and genuine anger at times, and not for self seeking reasons. I'd say Nick is an intriguing mix of sycophant, samaritan and egotist. I am Nick Carraway.

Everything I do is with other people in mind. I am selfless, yet possibly sycophantic. I am outwardly humble, and inwardly arrogant. I am self loathing yet narcissistic.

I am Jack's overactive vocabulary (that is a "Fight Club" reference- watch it now!)

I am a walking contradiction.

 

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