The Library Books Readathon has been going great so far!
I made some good headway on Friday, then on Saturday morning I finished The Happiness Project. I spent the rest of the day generally avoiding the Fitzgerald books, since prior to that I had only been reading snippets at a time, and after The Happiness Project (a very quick and easy read), I wasn't sure I could handle that much wit, sarcasm, and irony all in one sitting.
But on Sunday, I finally got into them. I'm still working on the book of essays, but I easily finished On Writing, a slim little volume of collected quotes. Some were taken from essays I'd already read, so I had an opportunity to see them in and out of context.
On Writing, to be honest, was not quite as delightful as I expected it to be, and I think it's because Fitzgerald is just better in context. When I read the quotes as part of the essays, they were much funnier and more sarcastic; when taken apart, it seems like Fitzgerald is more serious than maybe he would have wanted to be. But then again, this is really a book I should have just kept by my bedside for a while, to pick up and read a few quotes every night; instead, I read it straight through like a novel. (Since it was a library book, I didn't have much other choice.) But there were some gems in it.
I'm still working on Fitzgerald's essays and I've made good progress, but I'm not sure I'll be able to finish them this week, since I also have a ton of school reading to do. I've been reading sonnets for my Shakespeare class, and I need to finish A Midsummer Night's Dream by Friday. Yikes! But thankfully I already know that play pretty well, so it shouldn't be too hard.
Aha! I was wondering what this Fitzgerald "On Writing" would be like. It sounds exactly like a book of Hemingway stuff about writing that I have. Which is delightful, but definitely not to be read all at once like a novel. Come to think of it, I think it's called "On Writing" too -- maybe they're a series? Hmm.ReplyDelete
Hm, maybe so? I would be interested to read a similar book of Hemingway quotes. Speaking of Hemingway, I found it kind of funny how many of Fitzgerald's quotes had to do with him. Fitzgerald seemed to be quite the Hemingway admirer!Delete
IIRC, quite a few of Hemingway's involved Fitzgerald too. Him giving Scott advice and so on.Delete
I wonder if they thought equally highly of each other? It's always seemed to me that Fitzgerald liked Hemingway more than Hemingway liked Fitzgerald, but I can't say that I've ever studied the question. A lot of Fitzgerald's quotes sounded somewhat like, "Now, Hemingway, there's one of the truly great writers of today," or "Hemingway said this, and it's simply brilliant" (of course, Fitzgerald was much more eloquent than that; I returned the book already, or I would find one or two of them). He did say some things that were critical, but he sure did write a lot about how awesome Hemingway was.Delete
From what I've read, particularly Hemingway's memoir A Moveable Feast (my fave of his books), he was Fitzgerald's mentor while they lived in Paris. So that would make sense.Delete
I remember it like it was yesterday...ReplyDelete
"F. Scott Fitzgerald on Writing" by Larry W. Phillips
"Hemingway On Writing" by Larry W. Phillips
Larry W. Phillips
For me, it was yesterday... just dug out "Hemingway on Writing" yesterday to check something I wanted to refer to. Very inspiring and useful collection.Delete
Definitely! It was one I wish I could have kept. May be buying in the future. Thank you!Delete
--Larry W. Phillips