February 22, 2013

"A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: 'There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.'"

That's today's sentence from "The Great Gatsby," here in what we call the "Gatsby" project, where we look at a single sentence out of context and say whatever we want about. Let it beat in your ears for a while until you reach a sort of heady excitement, which is to say, you've got to work yourself into a bit of a mental frenzy wherein it seems really important to arrive at the conviction that there are exactly 4 kinds of people in the world: the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.

14 comments:

edutcher said...

Army snipers say it better, "You can run, but you'll only die tired".

wyo sis said...

Put me in the tired category.

kentuckyliz said...

I alternate between busy and tired.

cf said...

Haha, everyone is tired in our new Utopia, the one we cannot Dis. I came on to say I am definitely in the tired category, and look! everyone else is, too.

I am trying my best to enjoy the decline, and it is best in a tired, reclining mode.

cf said...

Haha, everyone is tired in our new Utopia, the one we cannot Dis. I came on to say I am definitely in the tired category, and look! everyone else is, too.

I am trying my best to enjoy the decline, and it is best in a tired, reclining mode.

B.R. said...

Ann,
Methinks F. Scott is only suggesting 2 types of people: the pursued(tired) and the pursuing(busy). It's just in a nested/mirrored phrase.
Cheers,
B.R.

Smilin' Jack said...

We are all all of them.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coldstream said...

the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.

Makes an excellent album title.

Unknown said...

Do love that phrase. There are those pursuing, those being pursued, and the rest of us, either too busy or tired to bother.

Terry said...

The commentators have missed the important part of the sentence.
It's not:
There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.
It is 'A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement'
The direct object is your friend.

dreams said...

I'm in the tired category, though not physically tired.

Leslie Graves said...

Does Fitzgerald want us to see in this sentence that there's a fifth kind of person: The kind who is a spectator? The kind of person who when any sort of life event like pursuing or busy-ness or fatique bobs into view immediately starts figuring out how to put words on it, rather than continuing to experience it?

Chip S. said...

I don't think they're 4 types of people, but 2 states of 2 types of people: men and women, before and after marriage.