subtle tribute

p. 65:

the subtle tribute of knowing nothing whatever about him

Nick reels off a list of over 70 names of people who came to Gatsby’s house that summer.  Both narrator and author sense that the sheer volume of names will give more color than any generalities of crowd description.  These visitors descended upon Gatsby’s lawns and gossiped about their host while getting drunk on his hospitality, they came to be part of the scene, they paid him a subtle and damning and damnable tribute in caring more about the idea of Gatsby than about the actual person.

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