my neighbor’s house

p. 43: 

There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights.

It’s too easy, perhaps, to pick the first sentence in this chapter, introducing the otherworldly excess of Gatsby’s legendary summer parties.  But I love this simple and plain sentence, it’s like a single pure note that begins a symphony of prose – after this Fitzgerald goes into extensive description of the expense that Gatsby takes to cater to every whim of his spoiled jaded guests.  And it is that note that Nick first hears, before he’s invited, before he attends any event at his neighbor’s estate.  Just that music carried on the warm summer air over to his little cottage sandwiched between mansions, introducing the mystery of wealth on the other side.

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