It occurred to me that while I love reading and adore a good story, I am not as well read as I would like to be. As I contemplated this, the idea struck me to create a blog, chronicling my journey through classic literature. I felt that if I shared my insights as I read through each book that the horizons of some mysterious reader of mine would be broadened. If not, well, then, at least I'll know that I enjoyed the ride. Be forewarned though, there be spoilers here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Bit Lazy, But we Continue On . . .

My initial lust and zeal to dive headlong into the world of classic literature took a bit of a cooling off period over the past several days, and although it pains me to admit it, I have decided that I am going to be a bit lazy and not write up my own character summery as previously promised.  See enclosed link to find an adequate character summery list via Character Summary

I was at first discouraged while attempting to write up the character list I had promised because it seemed more like work than fun, but once I decided that I wasn't going to continue on with the effort of that list, diving in and reading became something quite lovely for me.

Chapter 8

While at the party hosted by the Divers, finally, to Rosemary's delight, she finds herself alone with Dick.  Idyllically, they walked away from the house, the party guests, and Dick's wife to stand together lo0oking over the Mediterranean.

The night was beautiful and the setting serene when Dick casually admitted to Rosemary that the reason for throwing the party was solely to end the summer season with a bang by effectively putting together people who would clash with each other, hopefully to watch them self-implode for his entertainment. Also, that he wished the season to end violently instead of fading out wistfully.  But then, by way of this admittance, Dick invites Rosemary to join him and Nicole in Paris while they see off a mutual friend, Abe North as he leaves for America.

Of course Rosemary would love nothing more than to see Paris with Dick, a place that she admits she hasn't seen since she was a child at school, but as they talked, Rosemary was given the impression that Dick was steering her toward a friendship with Nicole.  This would not do . . .

Rosemary reiterated to Dick the fact that she fell in love with him the first time she saw him.  Dick, a young man who is infinitely comfortable with the world and the people in it when they behave exactly as he plans, allowing him the comfort of his pre-rehearsed speeches without putting the undue pressure on him to come up with opinions and things to say spontaneously.  This encounter with Rosemary was now going its own way and no longer adhering to his plan so Dick vainly tried to push her away only to end up laughing together with her as they walked back up to the terrace and the rest of the guests who were all being ushered politely away.

As she and her mother leave for the night, Rosemary watched out the car window as Nicole graciously bid everyone goodnight, she wondered just what it was that Mrs. McKisco had seen in the upstairs bathroom . . .

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

And so it begins . . .

Tender is the Night
F. Scott Fitzgerald

It feels slightly, well to be honest, quite a bit more than slightly uncomfortable to discuss such beautifully lyrical prose in my clumsy, unrefined way.  My darling husband, who is much better read than I, handed me a small stack of books from our private collection when I asked him to help me pick out my first book.  The books he chose were books that resided in unremarkable bindings and smelled deliciously of age, slightly musty; so smooth an aroma it draws you in to breathe the essence as deeply as your lungs will allow.  I spent a long lingering moment doing just that before quietly choosing one at random and turning the first page.

Then I began reading.

F. Scott Fitzgerald transported me to the French Riviera and immediately I found myself wondering why on Earth have I waited so long and resisted so fiercely delving into the world of classic literature.  There wasn't anything here to be afraid of, or put off by.  Yes, well, there were quite a few new vocabulary words that sent me scampering to find my dictionary, but overall the writing was so amazingly superb that it flowed like warm honey across my starved mental synapses.

In the beginning chapters of Book 1 we meet Rosemary.  Nearly 18, she is well traveled but still quite naive.  Recently having completed a movie called 'Daddy's Girl', Rosemary is enjoying some of the perks that new found notoriety provides.  Recovering from a bout of pneumonia Rosemary is traveling with her widowed mother to recuperate and finds herself enjoying the locale more than she had thought she would at first glance.

You see, Rosemary has fallen in love at first sight with Dick Diver, who in the usual way is married with children.  Not to be discouraged by this fact she makes fast friends with his wife, Nicole, who in turn befriends Rosemary even though her desire for Dick is as plain as day.  If this wasn't messy and complicated enough, Rosemary is also harboring quite the electric lust for Earl Brady a local film producer although she is not quite sure what those feelings are or what to do with them.  Tommy Barban an eccentric young man who runs in the circle of friends with the Diver's happens also to be "especially" fond of Nicole.

Throughout the (very short) seven chapters I have read so far it has been very subtly insinuated that Rosemary's mother is slowly dying of something and as a result is doing whatever is in her power to push her daughter to self-possessed independence and all the experiences life can provide.  There seems to be the promise of just that hanging tantalizingly in the air.

During an eclectically attended dinner party hosted by Dick and Nicole one of their guests goes poking about in the house and returns to the group of guests brimming with unshared gossip about what she has found upstairs in the Diver's house.  Just in time to prevent Violet McKisco from divulging the "scene" she came upon upstairs Tommy says, "It's inadvisable to comment on what goes on in this house."

Well, need I say that this has effectively cause me to impatiently desire to find out exactly what goes on in their house?  I simply can't wait to keep reading so I can find out!  Before I do, though, in my next post I will write up a list with brief descriptions of all the characters we have me so far.

Happy reading!