jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens

p. 11:

The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens – finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run.

Possibly the most memorable description of a residential lawn in all of literature. I find it just oddly breathtaking. It’s incredibly cinematic – like a long, graceful tracking shot in a movie – and this was written in 1924, I don’t think any movie had a tracking shot like this yet. Fitzgerald has a cinematographer’s eye, the visions in his head flow out into his prose – it’s not surprising he tried his hand at screenwriting late in his career. Read it again, let your mind become the disembodied camera swooping over the lawn, the sundials and brick, the fiery colors of the gardens, and up, up, up the walls with the green vines. Amazing, isn’t it?

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