A new memoir has begun in the Believer magazine, with the first installment just published. It's by Robert Atwan, writing as "Thomas Buchanan." Yes, that Tom Buchanan, Daisy's husband, Nick's Yale frenemy, Gatsby's nemesis.
For an answer I turned to my friend Erica Wagner, the literary editor of the London Times. She told me that Greene may well be entering the no-man's land between currently fashionable writers, be they alive or dead, and the enduring classic authors such as Hemingway, Wodehouse and Dickens.
The "crazy" Zelda that has emerged in our popular imagination is as much Scott's making as The Great Gatsby itself. This is, in and of itself, part of the F. Scott legacy. His work depended on Zelda's silence.
Hollywood adaptations of great novels tend to unnerve devoted readers. The effort seems hubristic and slightly profane, akin to painting a second Sistine Chapel or adding a chorus to King Lear. Perfection, by definition, can't be improved upon, and it seems suspect even to try.
Gatsby is all the rage just now, especially Baz Luhrmann's movie rendition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby. And you must have some water-cooler-worthy questions to toss out because, from what I can gather, it's all anybody is talking about.
I walked away from this movie wishing I could thank Baz Luhrmann in person for inviting us to his decadent party, but also with the urge that I need to throw out my current wardrobe and chop off my long hair for a new look.
With all the fanfare around the new movie version of The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann with a screenplay by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce, it's a great time to go back to the book and be reminded of F. Scott Fitzgerald's elegant, graceful writing.
Much is being asked this week of how "true" or "faithful" to the novel Baz Luhrmann's movie is. These words of passionate fidelity are somewhat misplaced, always, when speaking of translating any artistic work from one medium to another.
Thirty-nine years ago, as a very young Courier-Journal reporter, I traveled south by train to Montgomery, Alabama, to connect with the world that novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, knew in the early part of the 20th century.
Much of American Literature is a consideration of our ability to head to the frontier, reinvent ourselves, free ourselves of the shackles of the past, the tragic fate of birth in a particular place. This is rather uniquely explored in The Great Gatsby.
Princeton, and Princeton's campus buildings themselves, matter more in Fitzgerald's non-collegiate fictions than critics have noted. The influence of the place didn't end with This Side of Paradise. Its echoes in Gatsby are physical and profound.
The problems start with Nick Carraway, whose role as the book's narrator is justified on screen by placing him in a sanitarium -- the film's invention -- where he has been diagnosed as "morbidly alcoholic."