Monday, March 6, 2017

Tender is the NIght

There is a 1986 miniseries version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, Tender is the Night. I discovered it today on the 123movies site and tolerated a mere 15 minutes or so of the thing before logging out in disappointment. The actors are wrong, the dialogue is wrong, the delivery of the lines is wrong, the mood is wrong, the atmosphere is wrong, the screenplay is wrong, the focus is wrong. In short, it's just wrong. 

Tender is the Night, published in 1934, was Fitzgerald's 4th, and last complete novel. For me, the novel is far beyond his previous efforts, far beyond even The Great Gatsby, in its presentation of story, its perfection of style, the fullness of characters, the flow of the prose. It is, as Ernest Hemingway noted after Fitzgerald's death, so good that it's scary. One looks at the accomplishment and is in awe.

For me, this novel has settled in to some part of my person. It is like something that happened, a memory. It is either part of me, or I am part of it. And how in the word did Fitzgerald do that? 

I've read the darn thing four times now since somewhere in the early 1980s; and, coincidentally, may embark upon a fifth reading, having seen the book in the Gramedia store here. This in itself is actually a bit weird, as Gramedia pretty much sells only books in the Indonesian language, and books that are either by Indonesian authors or are translations of contemporary western bestsellers. This copy of Tender is the Night is in English and on a table apart from the other bookshelves. 

Perhaps it has followed me here. 

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