"The Beautiful and the Damned", by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1)

I started this book by F. Scot Fitzgerald after reading “Tender is the Night” partly as I did not want to lose the author’s style once I had tapped into it. But I am struggling with it (but I was saying this also over “Tender is the Night” in the beginning).

The main character “Anthony” is the bored intellectual of his day. Nothing happens in his life, he moves along it without touching the sides. The little I have read about the “flapper” period shows such a character, the superficiality, the benign empty chatter, the need to not be serious (except for a serious light heartedness).

But since the suggested introduction of the heroine (or should I say anti-heroine) the story suddenly has a life, a purpose… it becomes interesting. Why? Her (Gloria’s) character is just as superficial as Anthony’s. Her talk of her legs, the light-hearted chatter, the superficiality, is suggested. There is a similarity between the modernist man and modernist woman. There is no romance indicated, no sex, no love, a few kisses in the back of a car, the relationship between the sexes is empty-headed, occasionally fueled with helium.

Whatever the reason the book suddenly becomes readable. The woman gives it a new life, which is strange as she has not even enter the dialogue yet, except in the 3rd person narrative. Perhaps the dullness of the book was the boredom (and boring) life style of the man, yet the suggested happy-go-lucky life style of the woman creates a picture of fun (to the reader – a man) and a novelty.

Let’s see how the book (and my interest) develops.


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