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The Love of the Last Tycoon (English Edition)
 
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The Love of the Last Tycoon (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait


CHAPTER I

Though I haven't ever been on the screen I was brought up in pictures. Rudolph Valentino came to my fifth birthday party -- or so I was told. I put this down only to indicate that even before the age of reason I was in a position to watch the wheels go round.

I was going to write my memoirs once, "The Producer's Daughter," but at eighteen you never quite get around to anything like that. It's just as well -- it would have been as flat as an old column of Lolly Parsons'. My father was in the picture business as another man might be in cotton or steel, and I took it tranquilly. At the worst I accepted Hollywood with the resignation of a ghost assigned to a haunted house. I knew what you were supposed to think about it but I was obstinately unhorrified.

This is easy to say, but harder to make people understand. When I was at Bennington some of the English teachers who pretended an indifference to Hollywood or its products really hated it. Hated it way down deep as a threat to their existence. Even before that, when I was in a convent, a sweet little nun asked me to get her a script of a screen play so she could "teach her class about movie writing" as she had taught them about the essay and the short story. I got the script for her and I suppose she puzzled over it and puzzled over it but it was never mentioned in class and she gave it back to me with an air of offended surprise and not a single comment. That's what I half expect to happen to this story.

You can take Hollywood for granted like I did, or you can dismiss it with the contempt we reserve for what we don't understand. It can be understood too, but only dimly and in flashes. Not half a dozen men have ever been able to keep the whole equation of pictures in their heads. And perhaps the closest a woman can come to the set-up is to try and understand one of those men.

The world from an airplane I knew. Father always had us travel back and forth that way from school and college. After my sister died when I was a junior, I travelled to and fro alone and the journey always made me think of her, made me somewhat solemn and subdued. Sometimes there were picture people I knew on board the plane, and occasionally there was an attractive college boy -- but not often during the Depression. I seldom really fell asleep during the trip, what with thoughts of Eleanor and the sense of that sharp rip between coast and coast -- at least not till we had left those lonely little airports in Tennessee.

This trip was so rough that the passengers divided early into those who turned in right away and those who didn't want to turn in at all. There were two of these latter right across from me and I was pretty sure from their fragmentary conversation that they were from Hollywood -- one of them because he looked like it, a middle-aged Jew who alternately talked with nervous excitement or else crouched as if ready to spring, in a harrowing silence; the other a pale, plain, stocky man of thirty, whom I was sure I had seen before. He had been to the house or something. But it might have been when I was a little girl, and so I wasn't offended that he didn't recognize me.

The stewardess -- she was tall, handsome and flashing dark, a type that they seemed to run to -- asked me if she could make up my berth.

"-- and, dear, do you want an aspirin?" She perched on the side of the seat and rocked precariously to and fro with the June hurricane, "-- or a Nembutal?"

"No."

"I've been so busy with everyone else that I've had no time to ask you." She sat down beside me and buckled us both in. "Do you want some gum ?"

This reminded me to get rid of the piece that had been boring me for hours. I wrapped it in a piece of magazine and put it into the automatic ash-holder.

"I can always tell people are nice --" the stewardess said approvingly "-- if they wrap their gum in paper before they put it in there."

We sat for a while in the half-light of the swaying car. It was vaguely like a swanky restaurant at that twilight time between meals. We were all lingering -- and not quite on purpose. Even the stewardess, I think, had to keep reminding herself why she was there.

She and I talked about a young actress I knew, whom she had flown west with two years before. It was in the very lowest time of the Depression and the young actress kept staring out the window in such an intent way that the stewardess was afraid she was contemplating a leap. It appeared though that she was not afraid of poverty, but only of revolution.

"I know what Mother and I are going to do," she confided to the stewardess. "We're coming out to the Yellowstone and we're just going to live simply till it all blows over. Then we'll come back. They don't kill artists -- you know?"

The proposition pleased me. It conjured up a pretty picture of the actress and her mother being fed by kind Tory bears who brought them honey, and by gentle fawns who fetched extra milk from the does and then lingered near to make pillows for their heads at night. In turn I told the stewardess about the lawyer and the director who told their plans to Father one night in those brave days. If the bonus army conquered Washington the lawyer had a boat hidden in the Sacramento River, and he was going to row upstream for a few months and then come back "because they always needed lawyers after a revolution to straighten out the legal side."

The director had tended more toward defeatism. He had an old suit, shirt and shoes in waiting -- he never did say whether they were his own or whether he got them from the prop department -- and he was going to Disappear into the Crowd. I remember Father saying: "But they'll look at your hands! They'll know you haven't done manual work for years. And they'll ask for your union card." And I remember how the director's face fell, and how gloomy he was while he ate his dessert, and how funny and puny they sounded to me.

"Is your father an actor, Miss Brady?" asked the stewardess. "I've certainly heard the name."

At the name Brady both the men across the aisle looked up. Sidewise -- that Hollywood look, that always seems thrown over one shoulder. Then the young, pale, stocky man unbuttoned his safety strap and stood in the aisle beside us.

"Are you Cecelia Brady?" he demanded accusingly, as if I'd been holding out on him. "I thought I recognized you. I'm Wylie White."

He could have omitted this -- for at the same moment a new voice said, "Watch your step, Wylie!" and another man brushed by him in the aisle and went forward in the direction of the cockpit. Wylie White started, and a little too late called after him defiantly.

"I only take orders from the pilot."

I recognized the kind of pleasantry that goes on between the powers in Hollywood and their satellites.

The stewardess reproved him:

"Not so loud, please -- some of the passengers are asleep."

I saw now that the other man across the aisle, the middle-aged Jew, was on his feet also, staring, with shameless economic lechery, after the man who had just gone by. Or rather at the back of the man, who gestured sideways with his hand in a sort of farewell, as he went out of my sight.

I asked the stewardess: "Is he the assistant pilot?"

She was unbuckling our belt, about to abandon me to Wylie White.

"No. That's Mr. Smith. He has the private compartment, the 'bridal suite' -- only he has it alone. The assistant pilot is always in uniform." She stood up. "I want to find out if we're going to be grounded in Nashville."

Wylie White was aghast.

"Why?"

"It's a storm coming up the Mississippi Valley."

"Does that mean we'll have to stay here all night?"

"If this keeps up!"

A sudden dip indicated that it would. It tipped Wylie White into the seat opposite me, shunted the stewardess precipitately down in the direction of the cockpit, and plunked the Jewish man into a sitting position. After the studied, unruffled exclamations of distaste that befitted the air-minded, we settled down. There was an introduction.

"Miss Brady -- Mr. Schwartze," said Wylie White. "He's a great friend of your father's too."

Mr. Schwartze nodded so vehemently that I could almost hear him saying, "It's true. As God is my judge, it's true!"

He might have said this right out loud at one time in his life -- but he was obviously a man to whom something had happened. Meeting him was like encountering a friend who has been in a fist fight or collision, and got flattened. You stare at your friend and say: "What happened to you?" And he answers something unintelligible through broken teeth and swollen lips. He can't even tell you about it.

Mr. Schwartze was physically unmarked; the exaggerated Persian nose and oblique eye-shadow were as congenital as the tip-tilted Irish redness around my father's nostrils.

"Nashville!" cried Wylie White. "That means we go to a hotel. We don't get to the coast till tomorrow night -- if then. My God! I was born in Nashville."

"I should think you'd like to see it again."

"Never -- I've kept away for fifteen years. I hope I'll never see it again."

But he would -- for the plane was unmistakably going down, down, down, like Alice in the rabbit hole. Cupping my hand against the window I saw the blur of the city far away on the left. The green sign "Fasten your belts -- No smoking" had been on since we first rode into the storm.

"Did you hear what she said?" said Mr. Schwartze from one of his fiery silences across the aisle.

"Hear what?" asked Wylie.

"Hear what he's calling himself," said Schwartze. "Mr. Smith!"

"Why not?" asked Wylie.

"Oh nothing," said Schwartze quickly. "I just thought it was funny, Smith." I never heard a laugh with less mirth in it: "Smith!"

I suppose there has been nothing like the airports since the days of the stage-stops -- nothing quite as lonely, as somber-silent. The old red-brick depots were built right int...

From Publishers Weekly

Literary detective Bruccoli has produced a remarkable feat of scholarship in this welcome critical edition of the novel Fitzgerald began during his final year (1940) while working in Hollywood as a screenwriter. Generally considered a roman a clef, the story charts the power struggle of self-made, overworked producer Monroe Stahr (modeled on MGM producer Irving Thalberg) with rival executive Pat Brady (a stand-in for MGM head Louis B. Mayer). It is also the story of Stahr's love affair with young widow Kathleen Moore and is (partly at least) narrated by Cecelia, Brady's cynical daughter who is hopelessly in love with Stahr. After Fitzgerald's death in December, his conflicting drafts for the novel were reworked by Edmund Wilson, who spliced episodes, moved around scenes and altered words and punctuation. Bruccoli, Fitzgerald biographer and editor of Cambridge's critical edition of The Great Gatsby , has restored Fitzgerald's original version and has also restored the narrative's ostensible working title, one that implies that Hollywood is the last American frontier where immigrants and their progeny remake themselves. Equally significant are other entries in this volume: Bruccoli's informative introduction; letters by Fitzgerald, Wilson and Maxwell Perkins; facsimiles of Fitzgerald's notes and drafts; and textual commentary, including helpful explanations of the novel's numerous topical references.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 281 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 139 pages
  • Editeur : Green Light (31 décembre 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B006S3GIN6
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  31 commentaires
27 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Luminous and Fresh 21 mai 2002
Par Chelle - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
It's really a shame that Fitzgerald never had the chance to finish this novel. Or, for that matter, to have written just a chapter or two more.
In Monroe Stahr, the hero and last tycoon, Fitzgerald has created a character to rival Gatsby's charisma--in fact, if Stahr had been more fully developed, as the working notes included with text hinted that he would have been, it's very possible that he would have exceeded Gatsby in that regard. Stahr is ultimately a compelling man of mixed personas, and because of such you care about him, you wonder at him, and you're almost happy that Fitzgerald was never able to doom him to the tragic ending that he had in mind.
The most wonderful aspect of this novel is that it seems to me as though Fitzgerald was taking some kind of risk with it. I cannot put my finger on exactly what makes this so, but there is a different mood, a different energy to it. It's like we're seeing what Fitzgerald could have been like, unburdened of care and freshly in love with writing and life. It's a side of this superb writer that I would have dearly liked to have seen more of.
I thoroughly enjoyed *The Love of the Last Tycoon*--I realized, perhaps even moreso than after reading Gatsby, that Fitzgerald's romanticism shines in everything that he does, adding a luminous quality to his prose that proved ellusive to a great number of his peers.
21 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Recommended Reading 21 avril 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Don't be mislead by the three-star rating. This was clearly going to be a four- or five-star book, except that Fitzgerald died after completing only the first 17 of 30 intended "episodes." The writing is his most economical since Gatsby, and the setting of Hollywood provides good fodder for Fitzgerald's recurring theme of scandal among the wealthy or celebrated. The story is related, for the most part, by a woman, the daughter of a well-known producer, about events that occurred five years ealier, when she was in college and in love with a dynamic young producer named Monroe Stahr. Though she loves him from a distance, her somewhat obsessive interest in the man is a useful way to relate his story. The writing was at times vintage Fitzgerald, sometimes recognizably unfinished, but always worth the experience. The notes, letters and outlines included in the version I read were extremely interesting and worth their inclusion. This is a book that I don't think anyone can read without saying, "I wish he had finished this." This is also a book that I recommend to anyone who appreciates and enjoys the writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Last Achievement 2 juin 2002
Par Matthew Hovious - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This work derives part of its importance from what it says about Fitzgerald at the untimely end of his career: fans of his earlier work will be pleased to see that this final tome showed all the hallmarks of becoming another masterpiece. By 1940, when "Tycoon" was written, FSF hadn't written a book in six years. But the familiar voice, though muted, had not been lost.
The lapse provides welcome proof of the endurance of Fitzgerald's talent over time. We can only imagine what biting, incisive insights he would have come up with if magically sent to chronicle the 1990s.
Fitzgerald's "Unfinished Symphony" is presented in this Scribner paperback edition in a way that will appeal to both casual readers and serious students. Leading Fitzgerald expert Matthew Bruccoli has assembled the fragments of this book into a gripping and highly readable narrative, and the publisher has included a detailed preface exploring FSF's thoughts at the genesis of the work, as well as a selection of working notes which will delight writing students looking for some insight into the workings of a great mind.
This book tells the story of Monroe Stahr, an early Hollywood producer who makes his mark on the industry almost at its very inception. Stahr's word is law within his studio, and a single order from him is enough to reshape, delay or outright kill a film in process. Since the death of his wife, actress Minna Davis, Stahr's job is his life - a life that illness and overwork threaten to cut short. But a chance sighting of englishwoman Kathleen Moore brings back a flood of old memories and new desires. Stahr's pursuit of Moore leads him briefly into the world outside the studio, and then her actions leave him reeling from the blows just when his rivals gang up against him.
The book is truncated at a very unfortunate point, Episode 17 of 30 - the precise point at which events begin to turn against Stahr. To finish the book in our minds, we can visualize the ending put forth in Fitzgerald's surviving notes, though we have not his words to shape it for us. But even in unfinished form, this book is still worth reading, if only to revisit one last time the mind that produced phrases such as this, in describing loops of unedited film hanging in a projection room: "Dreams hung in fragments at the far end of the room, suffered analysis, passed --- to be dreamed in crowds, or else discarded."
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "great book" 11 mars 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This is a fantastic book! Though unfinished, THE LAST TYCOON lives up to the supreme writing style of Fitzgerald's which was set forth in THE GREAT GATSBY. Judging from Fitzgerald's notes, published at the end of the novel, Fitzgerald had hoped for THE LAST TYCOON to be his master work. I really liked this book and I recomend it to other fans of F. Scout Fitzgerald.
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A glimpse of an artist at work 31 août 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Writers are endlessly second-guessing their work habits, their ideas and their purpose. As a novelist myself, I found this work-in-progress comforting, because it showed that even the greatest writers struggle with "The Process." Fitzgerald's inherent talent shines through, despite the incomplete nature of the work. The notes and other addenda helped shape the story even further for me, leaving it perhaps more fascinating for the wonder of what Fitzgerald might have done had he not died so young. I have groused in the past about the release of several Hemingway books after his death, and none has come close to the feeling of this unfinished work, but I cannot dispute the value to the reader of seeing these words, these last words, of one of America's greatest novelists. I am happy I got the chance.
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