First Lines and Life’s Fine Print

Lost In The Algorithms — Odyssey # 36

George Kalantzis

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Revisiting Fitzgerald’s “This Side of Paradise,” Stein’s critique smacks me: the fate of our stories might just hinge on the first sentence. It’s a sobering thought, especially when nursing a double espresso, contemplating the wild ride that’s been life and fatherhood.

Fitzgerald, known as the Godfather scribe of the Jazz Age, knew the score.

His stories kick off with a bang, laying bare the human saga with an elegance that’s damn near surgical. There’s a longing in his lines, a more than familiar hunger — the same drive keeps me hammering away at the keys, even when the muse is playing hard to get.

In the tapestry of “This Side of Paradise,” I see reflections not just of a bygone era but of my own tangles with the pen and the perils of the playground. It feels like a dance—the art of stringing words together and steering a little human through the chaos of growing up.

And let’s talk about that elephant in the room — masculinity. It’s like walking a tightrope, where one misstep could send you tumbling into a pit of outdated clichés or woke warfare. Raising a daughter in this maze, I’m all for empowerment but also navigating the fine line between championing strength and losing sight of vulnerability.

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George Kalantzis

George is a professional storyteller, a dad to a sassy and adventurous eight year-old girl, and the author Of Nowhere To Go