In July, I see lavender everywhere: in my garden as it blooms in the sun, in my mind as I write a novel set in Provence, on public street corners, in the books I read. This year, my summer beams that dark purple color. I’m driven to capture its look, its feel, its fragrance in words. Those soft felty leaves, its awakening scent. And I’m interested in how and when lavender has appeared in literature over the centuries.
So I went on a quest to find an inspiring quote about lavender. Instead I stumbled upon its inclusion in this F. Scott Fitzgerald passage in The Great Gatsby. Lavender’s incidentally referred to as a preservative in a larger description of a house. An evocative, beautiful description. If you’re a writer, this will either inspire the heck out of you or make you depressed that you didn’t write it yourself. Either way, it’s a great example of masterful writing to kick off your week. Enjoy.
There was a ripe mystery about it, a hint of bedrooms upstairs more beautiful and cool than other bedrooms, of gay and radiant activities taking place through its corridors and of romances that were not musty and laid away already in lavender but fresh and breathing and redolent of this year’s shining motor cars and of dances whose flowers were scarcely withered. It excited him too that many men had already loved Daisy–it increased her value in his eyes. He felt their presence all about the house, pervading the air with the shades and echoes of still vibrant emotions.
–F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
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