yellow cocktail music

p. 44:

The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music and the opera of voices pitches a key higher.

Fitzgerald has built his description of the party over two pages, starting with the music wafting over to the neighbors, laying out details of pickup, preparation and cleaning, describing the food and the orchestra and the bar.  With this sentence, he launches into cosmic connection, keying the turning of the earth to the ramp up to what you think must be the climax of the party, that yellow cocktail music finding just the right shade for twilight tipping into darkness, the cacophony of voices making an opera.  This sentence feels like the snap of a pitcher’s wrist as a fastball leaves his hand and hurtles to the batter.

Well, it certainly invites metaphor anyway, and that’s something I love about reading this book:  it presents such stunningly crafted phrases that your own mind is jarred loose into a way of looking at words that is more creative than you are otherwise capable.

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