A cultural "omniblog" covering matters literary as well as theatrical, musical, historical, cinematic(al), etc.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Bonus Quote of the Day (F. Scott Fitzgerald, on the ‘Curious Case’ of a Scholar’s Benefactor)
wholesale hardware business prospered amazingly. In the fifteen years between
Benjamin Button’s marriage in 1880 and his father’s retirement in 1895, the
family fortune was doubled—and this was due largely to the younger member of
to say, Baltimore eventually received the couple to its bosom. Even old General
Moncrief became reconciled to his son-in-law when Benjamin gave him the money
to bring out his History of the Civil War
in twenty volumes, which had been refused by nine prominent publishers.”—F.
Scott Fitzgerald, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” in Tales of the Jazz Age (1922)
image accompanying this post comes, of course, from the 2008 film adaptation of
the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, with Brad Pitt in the title role. Believe
it or not, I still, despite my love for all things Fitzgerald, never gotten
around to seeing this movie, even with all its Oscar nominations. (Maybe because
it was reputed to have not a whole lot to do with the original material.) I don't know, therefore, if this slice of Button's life showed up on screen (though my guess, from the film still, is that Pitt is here approximately the same age that Button would have been).
odder thing, though, is that I had never gotten around to reading the short
story itself. That is, until last week, when I listened to it, chapter by
chapter, across several days, in an audio recording through Spotify. Perhaps
because my eye couldn’t travel down the page to glance at what might come next,
my surprise became greater—and my guffaw louder—when I heard the above quote.
some point, I intend to write about this amazing—and uncharacteristic—foray by
Fitzgerald into speculative fiction. (In case you hadn’t heard, the title
character experiences the aging process in reverse.)
But for now, I’ll confine
myself to saying that, though contemporary major publishers would be even more
reluctant to publish General Moncrief’s vanity project, he would probably possess
even more ways than back then in seeing it into print. It’s just one more
example of how, as Fitzgerald wrote just a few years later, the very rich “are
different from you and me.”
I'm a librarian (no, NOT a "cybrarian" or "information scientist" or any of the other trendy terms the profession has come up with), as well as a freelance writer/researcher; my political leanings are contrarian, much to the dismay of friends on the left and right, and so I will give anyone looking for my vote exactly what they deserve -- the back of my hand