Wednesday, November 7, 2018

‘Borne back ceaselessly into the past’ — Trump, racism and ‘The Great Gatsby’




     Tom Buchanan does not shine in “The Great Gatsby.”
     Rather, he lurks in shadow, eclipsed by Jay Gatsby, the pink-suited millionaire mobster of the title, not to mention Buchanan’s wife Daisy, an effervescent flapper based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great love, Zelda Sayre.
   
   Buchanan was a Yale classmate of the 1925 novel’s narrator, Nick Carraway, who calls him, “one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven,” a rich brute in riding clothes, “a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat.”     

      Fitzgerald gives Buchanan exactly one intellectual passion.
     “Civilization’s going to pieces,” Buchanan interjects violently. “I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read ‘The Rise of the Colored Empires’ by this man Goddard?”
     Carroway hasn’t, so Buchanan explains:
     “Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be — will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.”

     A thinly-disguised reference to an actual book, “The Rising Tide of Color: The Threat Against White World Supremacy,” written by Lothrop Stoddard, published in 1921.
     Almost a century old, yet as if ripped from the headlines.
     The bad thing about World War I, Stoddard writes, is how it weakened “white race-unity” and set the stage for “the subjugation of white lands by colored armies.”

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2 comments:

  1. Never over.
    Never.
    How sad.
    How true.

    ReplyDelete
  2. while some forest fires may be the result of the changing climate, many are the result of government regulation and lack proper forest management. i.e. the government. still others are the result of traditional causes present through eons. lightning. the most common cause of fires is human activity, but not the type that contributes to climate change, smoking, driving and unattended fires.

    ReplyDelete

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