Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Great Gatsby and other legends

Of course I had to go on and read The Great Gatsby which I supplemented with The Crack-Up, The Complete Pat Hobby Stories and Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda. Gatsby is fresh as the early morning dew before the sprinklers and their false rainbows are turned on. Effortlessness is such hard work and it requires a level of anxiety that does not stifle the rising image or the phrase that is like a clew that brings a writer out of the maze. Scott kept a notebook full of such glow-worm phrases. Like those lights they cheered by a momentary illumination that did not last long enough to be a distraction. There are very few of those 'look at me no hands' phrases in Gatsby, more in Tender and Pat Hobby was punched in the mouth by Hemingway. Some crack about Priapus Maximus.

What happened? Of AA he said:
AA can only help weak people because their ego is strengthened by the group, I was never a joiner.
But like the man said, he was a member of Alcoholics Enormous before it was invented and it would only have helped him as a repository of stories. Was Pat Hobby rock bottom, an excellent prognosis? If it wasn't, it was a good foundation anyways. But the party was over and it was time to go. In the apartment of his inamorata, a proper title for a gossip columnist, as he was eating a Hershey bar and making notes in the latest Princeton Alumini Weekly the cloakèd figure with a scythe called. That last phrase would have been one that might have made it to his notebook, without the mower. Leave out the mower.

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