Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tender Is The Night

I first read The Great Gatsby in high school. I stole the book. It still sits on my shelf. Later, I watched the Jack Clayton adaption, written by Francis Ford Coppola, and I look forward to seeing the Baz Luhrmann one, too. Later still, I played the great Gatsby video game. Somewhere between the movie and the game, I'd also read the book a second time, and maybe a third time. I still get the itch to pick it up and read it (or load it onto my ereader). It's a great novel, and a short one. But it wasn't until a few years ago, i.e. about a decade after high school, that I read anything else by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Tender Is The Night. It was nothing like Gatsby, not as elegantly written and not as compact, which made it a disappointment, but that's about as smart a reaction as hating cats because they're not dogs. Time passes. I remember Gatsby as a whole. I remember impressions from Tender Is The Night. Impress yourself with this:
Nicole seized Dick's arm crying, "Look!" Dick turned in time to see what took place in half a minute. At a Pullman entrance two cars off, a vivid scene detached itself from the tenor of many farewells. The young woman with the helmet-like hair to whom Nicole had spoken made an odd dodging little run away from the man to whom she was talking and plunged a frantic hand into her purse; then the sound of two revolver shots cracked the narrow air of the platform. Simultaneously the engine whistled sharply and the train began to move, momentarily dwarfing the shots in significance. Abe waved again from his window, oblivious to what had happened. But before the crowd closed in, the others had seen the shots take effect, seen the target sit down upon the platform.
I have the urge to read both novels again.