Monday, June 11, 2012

Tender Is the Night

It seemed like a good idea to pick up a masterpiece from one of America's greatest writers and immerse myself in some deathless prose and this new effort to read F. Scott Fitzgerald's second-best known work had its rewards.

For instance: "Amiens was an echoing purple town, still sad with the war, as some railroad stations were:--the Gare du Nord and Waterloo station in London. In the daytime one is deflated by such towns, with their little trolley cars of twenty years ago crossing the great gray cobble-stoned squares in front of the cathedral, and the very weather seems to have a quality of the past, faded weather like that of old photographs. But after dark all that is most satisfactory in French life swims back into the picture--the sprightly tarts, the mean arguing with a hundred Voilas in the cafes, the couples drifting, head to head, toward the satisfactory inexpensiveness of nowhere."

But Fitzgerald is famously a captive of his times and his racism and anti-semitism are rude and offensive. Since I'm not a student who must finish the book, I'm abandoning it about halfway through after a "nigger scrap" resulted in a dead "Negro" who is mostly viewed as an embarrassment.

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