Tuesday, April 9, 2013


TUES MAY 14                  
7.30p.m.-9.00p.m.
HAMILTON ROOM, CENTRAL BRACNH
HAMILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
JOHN S PORTER 

F SCOTT FITZGERALD AND THE PERFECT SENTENCE 
 
Gertrude Stein said that he wrote naturally in sentences. T.S. Eliot said that The Great Gatsby was the first advance in fiction since Henry James. Hemingway said Fitzgerald wrote with the delicacy of the dust on a butterfly’s wing. John Updike said that the Fitzgerald style was built on a combination of poetry and aper├žu.



For Fitzgerald, style was a matter of colour and pattern, music and mood. There are good sentences in all his books, but the ones in The Great Gatsby bloom like irrepressible Roses of Sharon on the edge of winter. As the Japanese novelist Murakami says, “the beauty of Fitzgerald’s fluent, elastic prose lies in his ability to alter tone, pattern, and rhythm to create infinitesimal shifts in atmosphere.”



“There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”



J.S. Porter reads and writes in Hamilton. His latest book is Lightness and Soul: Musings on Eight Jewish Writers (Seraphim Editions, 2011).