January 20, 2013

"He went out of the room calling 'Ewing!' and returned in a few minutes accompanied by an embarrassed, slightly worn young man, with shell-rimmed glasses and scanty blond hair."

Imagine having a blond, bespectacled man somewhere in your house, going to fetch him, while yelling his name — his name being the implausible Ewing — and then, upon production, this Ewing character is embarrassed and slightly worn.

I know, that's not the sort of situation you've got at your house, and it's not my house either, but it is Gatsby's house, here in our Gatsby project, where we read one sentence from "The Great Gatsby" — out of context — every day, because, well, no one remembers why.

It's a bit like the way you're looking at a sunset with 2 companions, and the lady can only come up with the idea of pushing you around on one of the pink clouds, and the guy is trying to leave, and you're perfectly desperate, and you hear yourself saying I know! I'll get Ewing!

14 comments:

wyo sis said...

Not Jeeves?

Maguro said...

JR or Patrick?

Ann Althouse said...

Guess what Adlai E. Stevenson's middle name is?!

edutcher said...

I went to school with a couple of guys named Ewing, and there was a teacher by that name, too.

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe everyone should have a Ewing... or perhaps a naked robot Ewing... tucked away in a back room... to be brought out... in his eyeglasses, with his insufficient hair... whenever the social gathering needs new oomph.

Hagar said...

Does anyone understand why?

sydney said...

Mr. Ewing sounds like he may be fatigued with the job of working for Gatsby, if that's who was calling him. We can't tell from the sentence. And maybe a little ashamed of his job, too.

Astro said...

Actually I'd be more likely to say "I'll get going."

madAsHell said...

It's all a dream SueEllen.

Yeah....I'm pretty sure that you aren't going to get 200 comments with posts like this. I think this is a Hemingway, and London crowd. Maybe Poe, and Twain as well.

traditionalguy said...

What ever his status or occupation, poor Mr. Ewing is unworthy of being remembered with his first name.

The master shouts his last name like a roll call.

But then Gatsby was an officer in the Great war and was used to giving soldiers loud orders.

If only Jay's money had been enough to empower him to order Tom and Daisy's lives as he saw fit...but he was never able to do that.

Chip Ahoy said...

Oh man, it's exactly like when you're watching the sunrise at Haleakala and you're freezing your buns off up there and a couple nearby goes, "Hey Buddy, aloha, will you take our picture, please?" And you go, "Yeah, sure, you know, you two are going to make perfect sweet silhouettes against a breathtaking spectacular background." And they go, "Yay, huh, what?" And you're thinking to yourself, "I know, I'll go look for James and ask for a blanket."

creeley23 said...

I'd have guessed Raymond Chandler as the author of that line had I read it blind.

It paints a vivid picture.

deborah said...

That's a good sentence.

I'm ready to move on. Suggestion: take suggestions for a new book, choose the ones you like, then have a poll.

Crunchy Frog said...

What was Ewing doing when his master called? Was his fly unzipped when he hurried into the room? Was there lipstick on his collar?

Inquiring minds want to know.