Books of Literature by Nobel Prize Winning Authors: 2020 Challenge discussion

The Beautiful and Damned
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The Beautiful and the Damned > The Beautiful and Damned: Book One

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Dianne post comments on book 1 here


Tracey (traceyrb) | 365 comments So far I do not like Anthony and his condescension towards others (especially females and the poor) but Fitzgerald does prepare us for this in the opening page with the description of him as 'opinionated, contemptuous functioning from within outward...'
Although I did feel sorry for him in the description of his childhood and holding off fear of death and loneliness with 'reading in bed until he was tired and often fell asleep with the lights on' and his greatest happiness being stamp collecting. An attempt to order and control his environment maybe.


Dianne it is hard for me to read this! I hate the insipid dialogue, the stupidity of the women, how even smart women are described as those that have a "smattering of literary misinformation." Anthony is aimless and devoid of ambition, his days being described as "a jelly-like creature, a shapeless, spineless thing, had attained Mesozoic structure. It was marching along surely, even jauntily, toward a climax, as a play should, as a day should. He dreaded the moment when the backbone of the day should be broken, when he should have met the girl at last, talked to her, and then bowed her laughter out the door, returning only to the melancholy dregs in the teacups and the gathering staleness of the uneaten sandwiches."

UGH!


message 4: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 263 comments I take it that this book is not like The Great Gatsby?


Dianne It is not!! Some beautiful writing, but no. I don't like reading dialogue either, and there is a lot of that. But I will see if the plot thickens.


Dianne On the one hand I want to feel sorry for Anthony because he is such a victim of inertia in light of his anticipation of future wealth, but he is such a slug! Even his attempts at writing seem half hearted. Gloria is just devoid of any character whatsoever, I am glad I have never met anyone like her!! Do you think these two have any sense of real ambition and self worth?


message 7: by Tracey (last edited Oct 16, 2016 11:03PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tracey (traceyrb) | 365 comments Dianne wrote: "On the one hand I want to feel sorry for Anthony because he is such a victim of inertia in light of his anticipation of future wealth, but he is such a slug! Even his attempts at writing seem half ..."

It seems that both characters are trapped in a world devoid of purpose. Out of the 2 I like Anthony better than Gloria but really they are both at this point shallow. Anthony seems aware that his life is pointless. He feels that he has no talents to share.
Fitzgerald does describe this frivolous lifestyle very well.


Tracey (traceyrb) | 365 comments I have just read about the marriage of Scott and Zelda and the book parallels the incidents in their life. Zelda was diagnosed with mental ill-health and looking at the way Scott portrays Gloria, I feel that he is writing about his wife. It would explain Gloria's disinterest in others and lack of focus on anything not about herself. She doesn't seem to make friends but drifts from one engagement to another.


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