I wasn't a huge fan of the Great Gatsby in high school. I mean, I liked it, but I din't love it. And while I knew it was a famous book for a reason, it never really grabbed me. Then, I started watching Vlogbrothers videos, and I saw John Green's videos about the Great Gatsby.
The way John Green talks about the Great Gatsby persuaded me to see the book in a new light. I've read it again since, and found it significantly more compelling.
Which, to my mind, raises a question: is my affection for the Great Gatsby less legitimate because it's inspired by the evangelism of a vlogger I admire?
I would imagine not. When I first read Gatsby I was a teenage high schooler, insufficiently aware of the existence of the wealthy to contextualize them and, at the time, sufficiently uninspired by the American dream (and not yet sufficiently contemptuous of it) to connect with Gatsby's struggle in a meaningful way.
John's videos persuaded me to look at the story again, this time during the Occupy Wall Street movement and after the market crash. The first time I read it was during the exact parallel of economic times to the time in which it's set, but I didn't yet have that context.
On the other hand, it's not hard to imagine people sneering at me, calling it an affectation that I've come to like a classic book more only after I learned that someone I admire likes it. Considering the frequency with which people raise that sort of criticism (first in a sort of scattershot across the internet, and then, more pointedly, in <sarcasm> serious conversations among friends about my character flaws </sarcasm>) it's hard not to consider whether there's something to it. It's not as though I don't have the insecurity necessary to hammer in wedges of doubt about the things I like and care about.
By the way, this post was inspired by my discovery that there's a Great Gatsby video game. Check it out.