I was already reading A Moveable Feast when I was visited by two Modernists last weekend, and they got me all riled up again about Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Hemingway.
There’s a part in A Moveable Feast in the chapter titled “Hawks Don’t Share” where Hemingway remarks that in the tumultuous period of desperate drinking after The Great Gatsby was published and before he realized Zelda was crazy that F. Scott Fitzgerald managed to write one decent story: “A Rich Boy”.
If you’d like to read it, here: A RICH BOY
I think the best things Fitzgerald ever wrote beside Gatsby were The Pat Hobby Stories, which are deceptively simple, cringe-worthy stories about Pat Hobby—the lowly hack screenwriter—and his embarrassing mishaps in Hollywood. They are as awkward as early reality tv and perfect in that I dare you find a word you’d change after reading one of those stories.
A Rich Boy is a good story, long, but extremely well written. It drags a bit at times, but not because of the language (it remains light, tight and illuminative), maybe because of the amount of language (it covers 30 years in the life of it’s main character). It’s a sad tale, and seems to be written by the same man Hemingway pinned to paper in the final chapters of A Moveable Feast: a man with a heavy understanding of the demons of alcoholism and the unbelievable reasons for loving found in the private compartments of the heart.
It’s aight. But read Pat Hobby.
For the record, my favorite lines in A Moveable Feast :
“That’s Hilaire Belloc,” I said to my friend. ”Ford was here this afternoon and cut him dead.”
“Don’t be a silly ass,” my friend said. ”That’s Alestair Crowley, the diabolist. He’s supposed to be the wickedest man in the world.”
“Sorry,” I said.