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Tuesday, March 16th, 2004

I started reading Tender is the Night, by Scott Fitzgerald, yesterday. (Picked it up from a street vendor a couple of weeks ago but have been spending my commuting hours on crossword puzzles in the mean time.) It's fun. All the characters are ciphers to me (thus far) except for Rosemary. A nice mix of mannered comedy with something else -- there is an element of mystery or suspense present. A very gentle tension that really points up the jokes. I am about to go look at IMDB to check if there was a movie made of it but am going to say beforehand that I think Gary Cooper should have been in it...

And here it is! Nope, no Gary. Jason Robards is the lead. Jill St. John plays Rosemary.

posted morning of March 16th, 2004: Respond
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Friday, March 19th, 2004

I'm really liking Tender is the Night. The story of Dick's night in Rome (chapter xxii of part 2) just hit me really hard -- it's like Fitzgerald had identified and dissected all of my pretensions to originality, 40 years before I was born.

posted evening of March 19th, 2004: Respond
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Monday, March 22nd, 2004

I finished Tender is the Night this afternoon. I was amused to see Dick ordering Black & White and water when he is with Nicole and Michael -- this is what Kurt Vonnegut ordered when he made his cameo appearance in Breakfast of Champions. And it is -- for that reason -- what I ordered the first time I was ever drinking in a bar, in Montréal, in January of 1988. I got the same response from the bartender that Dick gets -- I'm sorry, we don't have that Scotch, maybe I could fix you up with a Johnny Walker? To this day I have never drunk Black & White, after years of thinking based on one scene from one book that it was what the cool guys drink. I believe this evening marks the second reference to it that I have ever seen.

posted evening of March 22nd, 2004: Respond

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