Posts Tagged ‘f. scott fitzgerald’

I think I should rename this blog – 12 BOOKS. One book a month. That seems to be the going rate right now. Not exactly a bargain. Sorry guys!

I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned for the Kill Your Darlings Culture Club podcast. I was joined by Lorelei Vashti, who writes a weekly column in The Age‘s Green Guide (which used to be my bible in the days of Seaquest DSV) and Anna Krien, author of Into the Woods (one of my favourite books this year). I quite like podcasts, and I hope you like this one. Good company for any drives to the beach you might be taking this Christmas, any holiday baking times, leisurely walks in the park, and also good as a precursor to a nap.

This is the third Fitzgerald book I’ve read, which hardly makes me an expert – I think there are five novels, eight short story collections, some essays, some letters…a veritable font of words. I certainly think that anyone with an interest in Fitzgerald would enjoy reading this – it’s so uneven as to be intimate, and many of his famous themes get a wringing out here. As expected, Fitzgerald writes beautifully about his lovers and society, but there are a couple of surprises here, particularly in form.

Not sure if I will get in another post before Christmas. If not, happy holidays! And if you’re still present hunting, Kill Your Darlings has a nifty $50 subscription, which comes with a free book (your pick of a rather good bunch: Scribe’s New Australian Stories 2, Black Inc.’s Best Australian Essays or Andrew Mueller’s Rock and Hard Places).

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yesterday i turned the great gatsby from a SHOULD into a HAVE DID. i did it quite quickly because, bloody, it is good. but i couldn’t stop from ‘recontextualising’ and superimposing ‘modern accents’ and thinking about marc jacobs eau de parfum. i can see don delillo writing a short novel about a hideous writer ‘bringing gatsby into our times’ and proposing to have planes explode instead of cars, and for the jazz to be atonal. i feared to google this title in case i found an anti-boffin asking ‘so like what happens at the end of the great gatbsy i don’t get it???’ and some answer saying ‘daisy and tom buchanan r having affairs. and they both find out aobut it and get pretty mad lol. and gatsby buys a house and throws massive parties and then i think he kills soemone?’

it turns out i don’t really feel like saying much about the book, mostly because it seems everyone else read this book in year 11. (meanwhile, my main examinable text in english was the movie shine starring geoffrey rush.) it is pretty difficult to believe that gatsby came only three years after the beautiful and damned (my copy of which is likely to remain for some months with its bookmark at page 29, at least until i start hearing that the movie is coming out) with its almost insufferable lack of self-restraint. tony tanner’s amusingly rhetorical but nevertheless compelling introduction in the 1990 edition of the great gatsby states that it was by fitzgerald’s own hand that gatsby was edited and restructured from a messy, confessional thing into its final form. there is a somewhat magical perfection to this book and i think it likely that i will re-read it one day, on purpose.