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The Beautiful and Damned [Anglais] [Relié]

F Scott Fitzgerald
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Extrait

CHAPTER I

ANTHONY PATCH

In 1913, when Anthony Patch was twenty-five, two years were already gone since irony, the Holy Ghost of this later day, had, theoretically at least, descended upon him. Irony was the final polish of the shoe, the ultimate dab of the clothes-brush, a sort of intellectual "There!" -- yet at the brink of this story he has as yet gone no further than the conscious stage. As you first see him he wonders frequently whether he is not without honor and slightly mad, a shameful and obscene thinness glistening on the surface of the world like oil on a clean pond, these occasions being varied, of course, with those in which he thinks himself rather an exceptional young man, thoroughly sophisticated, well adjusted to his environment, and somewhat more significant than any one else he knows.

This was his healthy state and it made him cheerful, pleasant, and very attractive to intelligent men and to all women. In this state he considered that he would one day accomplish some quiet subtle thing that the elect would deem worthy and, passing on, would join the dimmer stars in a nebulous, indeterminate heaven half-way between death and immortality. Until the time came for this effort he would be Anthony Patch -- not a portrait of a man but a distinct and dynamic personality, opinionated, contemptuous, functioning from within outward -- a man who was aware that there could be no honor and yet had honor, who knew the sophistry of courage and yet was brave.

A Worthy Man and His Gifted Son

Anthony drew as much consciousness of social security from being the grandson of Adam J. Patch as he would have had from tracing his line over the sea to the crusaders. This is inevitable; Virginians and Bostonians to the contrary notwithstanding, an aristocracy founded sheerly on money postulates wealth in the particular.

Now Adam J. Patch, more familiarly known as "Cross Patch," left his father's farm in Tarrytown early in sixty-one to join a New York cavalry regiment. He came home from the war a major, charged into Wall Street, and amid much fuss, fume, applause, and ill will he gathered to himself some seventy-five million dollars.

This occupied his energies until he was fifty-seven years old. It was then that he determined, after a severe attack of sclerosis, to consecrate the remainder of his life to the moral regeneration of the world. He became a reformer among reformers. Emulating the magnificent efforts of Anthony Comstock, after whom his grandson was named, he levelled a varied assortment of uppercuts and body-blows at liquor, literature, vice, art, patent medicines, and Sunday theatres. His mind, under the influence of that insidious mildew which eventually forms on all but the few, gave itself up furiously to every indignation of the age. From an armchair in the office of his Tarrytown estate he directed against the enormous hypothetical enemy, unrighteousness, a campaign which went on through fifteen years, during which he displayed himself a rabid monomaniac, an unqualified nuisance, and an intolerable bore. The year in which this story opens found him wearying; his campaign had grown desultory; 1861 was creeping up slowly on 1895; his thoughts ran a great deal on the Civil War, somewhat on his dead wife and son, almost infinitesimally on his grandson Anthony.

Early in his career Adam Patch had married an anaemic lady of thirty, Alicia Withers, who brought him one hundred thousand dollars and an impeccable entré into the banking circles of New York. Immediately and rather spunkily she had borne him a son and, as if completely devitalized by the magnificence of this performance, she had thenceforth effaced herself within the shadowy dimensions of the nursery. The boy, Adam Ulysses Patch, became an inveterate joiner of clubs, connoisseur of good form, and driver of tandems -- at the astonishing age of twenty-six he began his memoirs under the title "New York Society as I Have Seen It." On the rumor of its conception this work was eagerly bid for among publishers, but as it proved after his death to be immoderately verbose and overpoweringly dull, it never obtained even a private printing.

This Fifth Avenue Chesterfield married at twentytwo. His wife was Henrietta Lebrune, the Boston "Society Contralto," and the single child of the union was, at the request of his grandfather, christened Anthony Comstock Patch. When he went to Harvard, the Comstock dropped out of his name to a nether hell of oblivion and was never heard of thereafter.

Young Anthony had one picture of his father and mother together -- so often had it faced his eyes in childhood that it had acquired the impersonality of furniture, but every one who came into his bedroom regarded it with interest. It showed a dandy of the nineties, spare and handsome, standing beside a tall dark lady with a muff and the suggestion of a bustle. Between them was a little boy with long brown curls, dressed in a velvet Lord Fauntleroy suit. This was Anthony at five, the year of his mother's death.

His memories of the Boston Society Contralto were nebulous and musical. She was a lady who sang, sang, sang, in the music room of their house on Washington Square -- sometimes with guests scattered all about her, the men with their arms folded, balanced breathlessly on the edges of sofas, the women with their hands in their laps, occasionally making little whispers to the men and always clapping very briskly and uttering cooing cries after each song -- and often she sang to Anthony alone, in Italian or French or in a strange and terrible dialect which she imagined to be the speech of the Southern negro.

His recollections of the gallant Ulysses, the first man in America to roll the lapels of his coat, were much more vivid. After Henrietta Lebrune Patch had "joined another choir," as her widower huskily remarked from time to time, father and son lived up at grampa's in Tarrytown, and Ulysses came daily to Anthony's nursery and expelled pleasant, thick-smelling words for sometimes as much as an hour. He was continually promising Anthony hunting trips and fishing trips and excursions to Atlantic City, "oh, some time soon now"; but none of them ever materialized. One trip they did take; when Anthony was eleven they went abroad, to England and Switzerland, and there in the best hotel in Lucerne his father died with much sweating and grunting and crying aloud for air. In a panic of despair and terror Anthony was brought back to America, wedded to a vague melancholy that was to stay beside him through the rest of his life.

Past and Person of the Hero

At eleven he had a horror of death. Within six impressionable years his parents had died and his grandmother had faded off almost imperceptibly, until, for the first time since her marriage, her person held for one day an unquestioned supremacy over her own drawing room. So to Anthony life was a struggle against death, that waited at every corner. It was as a concession to his hypochondriacal imagination that he formed the habit of reading in bed -- it soothed him. He read until he was tired and often fell asleep with the lights still on.

His favorite diversion until he was fourteen was his stamp collection; enormous, as nearly exhaustive as a boy's could be -- his grandfather considered fatuously that it was teaching him geography. So Anthony kept up a correspondence with a half dozen "Stamp and Coin" companies and it was rare that the mail failed to bring him new stamp-books or packages of glittering approval sheets -- there was a mysterious fascination in transferring his acquisitions interminably from one book to another. His stamps were his greatest happiness and he bestowed impatient frowns on any one who interrupted him at play with them; they devoured his allowance every month, and he lay awake at night musing untiringly on their variety and many-colored splendor.

At sixteen he had lived almost entirely within himself, an inarticulate boy, thoroughly un-American, and politely bewildered by his contemporaries. The two preceding years had been spent in Europe with a private tutor, who persuaded him that Harvard was the thing; it would "open doors," it would be a tremendous tonic, it would give him innumerable self-sacrificing and devoted friends. So he went to Harvard -- there was no other logical thing to be done with him.

Oblivious to the social system, he lived for a while alone and unsought in a high room in Beck Hall -- a slim dark boy of medium height with a shy sensitive mouth. His allowance was more than liberal. He laid the foundations for a library by purchasing from a wandering bibliophile first editions of Swinburne, Meredith, and Hardy, and a yellowed illegible autograph letter of Keats's, finding later that he had been amazingly overcharged. He became an exquisite dandy, amassed a rather pathetic collection of silk pajamas, brocaded dressing-gowns, and neckties too flamboyant to wear; in this secret finery he would parade before a mirror in his room or lie stretched in satin along his window-seat looking down on the yard and realizing dimly this clamor, breathless and immediate, in which it seemed he was never to have a part.

Curiously enough he found in senior year that he had acquired a position in his class. He learned that he was looked upon as a rather romantic figure, a scholar, a recluse, a tower of erudition. This amused him but secretly pleased him -- he began going out, at first a little and then a great deal. He made the Pudding. He drank -- quietly and in the proper tradition. It was said of him that had he not come to college so young he might have "done extremely well." In 1909, when he graduated, he was only twenty years old.

Then abroad again -- to Rome this time, where he dallied with architecture and painting in turn, took up the violin, and wrote some ghastly Italian sonnets, supposedly the ruminations of a thirteenth-century monk on the joys of the contemplative life. It became established among his Harvard intimates that he was in Rome, and those of them who were abroad that year l... --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Revue de presse

“Full of precisely observed life.” —Arthur Mizener --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Détails sur le produit

  • Relié: 420 pages
  • Editeur : Norilana Books (30 octobre 2008)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1607620022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607620020
  • Dimensions du produit: 2,7 x 15 x 22,6 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 518.102 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
  • Table des matières complète
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Comment un livre scolaire devint pure plaisir... 28 février 2005
Par Un client
Format:Broché
Un titre pas très folichon, il faut le dire!A quoi s'attendre quand on nous promet de nous parler de "beautiful" et de "damned" people? Et bien à un vrai bon livre comme on en fait rarement aujourd'hui! Du coup on regrette qu'il n'existe plus un Fitzgrald pour nous raconter ce qu'est la vie.En plus, bizarrement, ce qu'y était bon pour décrire la société américaine des années 20 serait toujours aussi bon pour la société actuelle. Hasard, génie littéraire de Fitzgerald qui a su mettre le mot juste ou bien simplement les hommes ne changent-ils pas? Heureusement, le livre échappe à quelque commentaire que ce soit et n'est que pure description: de quoi laisser le lecteur libre de toute appréciation personelle...c'est encore mieux!
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 Un jeune Fitzgerald 31 mai 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
On retrouve dans ce livre de jeunesse les préoccupations de l'auteur mais ce livre n'est pas abouti. Il faut attendre "The great Gatsby". C'est un peu futile.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5  178 commentaires
233 internautes sur 248 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 VERY TOUCHING, VERY WELL DONE 10 avril 2004
Par Heather Negahdar - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
"It is seven thirty on an August evening. The windows in the living room of the gray house are wide open patiently exchanging the tainted inner atmosphere of liquor and smoke for the fresh drowsiness of the late hot dusk. There are dying flower scents upon the air, so thin, so fragile, as to hint already of a summer laid away in time."

This is the story of a young couple Anthony and Gloria Patch living out their days to the hilt in New York City as they await the death of Anthony's grandfather, Adam Patch from whom they expect to inherit his massive fortune.

Gloria is a spoilt child from Kansas City turned into a sophisticated and most beautiful woman. Gloria does not intend to lift a finger to do any domestic work in the home, no matter how slight; while Anthony who considers himself an aesthete, finds it quite hard to get his act together and instead of buckling down to some work, prefers instead to hang with his wife and their friends on nightly binges. They drink and eat in the classiest restaurants and hotels, rent the most expensive apartments, travel out to the West in the spring time driving plush cars, wearing top-of-the-line clothing and just generally living it up high on the hog, as they wait.

Meet Maury Noble who is Anthony best friend who spends his time between New York and Philadelphia; Richard Caramel who has just completed writing a book and looking for new ideas for a second one. Joseph Bloeckman from Munich who started out small in America and is now a big shot in Show Biz. Also the quiet Jewess Rachael Barnes and Muriel Kane who is young, flirtatious and sometimes a bit too talkative and Tana the Japanese housekeeper of the Patches.

We are shown the Patches at their very best as the novel starts, with the world at their feet and loaded with cash with which they make very expensive choices. But, as we get further in, we see things begin to change gradually and we realize that those very choices will be their very downfall. It was quite a good read but it could be very heartbreaking at times as we put ourselves into the shoes of the main characters. All lovers of F. Scott Fitzgerald should read this book if you haven't done so already, and those of you who like reading about the ultra rich in the Roaring Twenties this one is for you. It is the kind of book that you feel you will want to read again. It is that good and I shall miss it.
Reviewed by Heather Marshall Negahdar (SUGAR-CANE 10/04/04)
129 internautes sur 141 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Moral depravity personified 23 février 2003
Par Chris Salzer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
The genius of F.Scott Fitzgerald shines brilliantly in this vastly underappreciated classic novel of moral depravity. The pervasive themes of Fitzgerald include moral corruption, profligate behavior, agnosticism, selfishness, narcissism, egocentrism, and of course, a sick obsession with money and alcohol. These themes permeate all too well throughout the beautifully written The Beautiful and Damned(pardon the pun).
Released in 1922, 2 years subsequent to the seminal This Side of Paradise and 3 years prior to the magnum opus The Great Gatsby, incomprehensibly, The Beautiful and Damned was not well received critically nor financially. As a result, history has erroneously filed it under the dubious sophomore jinx category. Strange it may seem, I vehemently disagree. As you read this book, you witness first-hand the maturation of an amazing writer. No American writer of the 20th Century can compare to the profound power and unwavering genius that is F.Scott Fitzgerald. If you enjoyed The Great Gatsby, you will no doubt enjoy this work - an equally beautifully writen and tragic tale of aspiring morally depraved young Americans in pursuit of The American Dream.
"Remarkable that a person can comprehend so little and yet live in such a complex civilization."
42 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 When life takes a turn 13 octobre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Fittingly, this was the last of Fitzgerald's novels that I read. And I apparently saved the best for last. In this enrapturing portrayl of young lovers who are attracted by their differences in the beggining yet destroyed by their similarities in the end (the need of wealth). I find this perhaps one of Fitzgerald's finest literary achievements. He has it all working for him in this novel, his character development is excellent, I feel as though I could recognize Anthony or Gloria on the street if they were to saunter my way. Fitzgerald truly breaks his own mold on this terrific literary achievement. He not only tells a wonderful story of two young lovers but he also parallels it with a very strong supporting cast of characters to Anthony and Gloria. Much can be understood of the lead characters by reading into the supporting characters, focus on Anthhony's grandfather for example. The rosy picture which is so commonly printed by the media of the rich has never been so wonderfully redone with vibrant color as Fitzgerald waves his "paint brush" through all the old misconceptions of the rich and into something truly brilliant: Real life. Fitzgerald was indeed touched with brilliance, and never has it ever been more evident than in his wonderful novel :The Beautiful and Damned." An absolute must read.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must-read--before it's made into a movie 22 décembre 2009
Par T. M. Teale - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Nearly ninety years after its first publication, _The Beautiful and Damned_ is still a shockingly relevant account of the entitlement class, the children of the rich or privileged who don't know how to navigate through life without big money. And, it's a New York City novel--written as only a mid-westerner can. It seems to me that because New Yorkers are too much in the middle of it to see themselves clearly, an intelligent "outsider" like F. Scott Fitzgerald must come along. To write as well as he did, Fitzgerald let the city inhabit him. New York got into his blood, and he recorded it in narrative right down to the dirt under the carpet. Fitzgerald's details lead the reader into the depths of the beautiful and doomed couple, the Gloria-Anthony entanglement, as they are part and parcel of the extremes of poverty and wealth (in the World War I era or the roaring 20s).

I don't know how Fitzgerald knew what he knew about the human psyche, or specifically about how a young man might react when he is good-looking and swimming in money and New York, but Fitz's life at Princeton University among this set of people gave him the environment in which to observe; Fitzgerald supplied the story around which the narrative coheres. Of course, there are autobiographical elements to this novel--a lot of himself and Zelda--but what the literary art requires is critical distance. To put his main characters through some shameful scenes, Fitzgerald had to know what tough love is in the New York City context. He had to put his couple to the test, people who from birth had relied on the "religion" of charm and money. And the author had more than just critical distance: F. Scott had them down right! Every expression, every word. Gloria: "This is life! Who cares for the morrow." And you can see Anthony deciding to have one more drink, his speech becoming slurred, his manners maudlin. While Anthony and Gloria wait for his inheritance, we find out what they're made of.

Most pleasurable about Fitzgerald's craft is his carefully-controlled technique of letting Anthony and Gloria visit hell (the "damned" in the title) while softening the harsh surgery-like light with well-timed, well-handled, lyrical sentences. In a single beautiful line, the passage of the winter sun describes both Fitzgerald's craft and his beautiful couple's descent: Gloria "lay still for a moment in the great bed watching the February sun suffer one last attenuated refinement in its passage through the leaded panes into the room" (p.173). Fitzgerald knew how to show the attenuated and refined way downhill.

One more thing about the craft of writing: Only the omniscient narrator technique--which Fitzgerald employs--can show characters in shameful acts and show what they're thinking, and the circumstances in which they got there, and how they "need" money in order to "survive." I wonder if now, in nearly 2010, this novel is not more important than in 1922. More than ever, _The Beautiful and Damned_ is a national portrait. (I can see how "spending" money could be the "sex" in the novel.)

Advice: Read this novel while in New York, if possible. The first time I read _The Beautiful and Damned_, I was living near 123rd (me, a Westerner!). I looked up every address in the novel (except for the gray house near Cos Cob, Conn.) and got to know New York through this novel. In fact, I could almost pick out their final apartment in Harlem near 127th.
29 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 My Thoughts of the Beautiful and the Damned 10 octobre 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
My thoughts of: The Beautiful and the Damned
The Beautiful and the Damned, by F.Scott Fitzgerald, is an exciting novel that brings friendship. Love, and confusion of young life all together. "here eyes were gleaming ripples in the white lake of her face; the shadows of her hair bordered the brow with a persuasive unintimate dusk." The author clearly tries to describe the joy and sorrow of finding a new love throughout this novel. Fitzgerald shows the ups, downs, confusions, and oddness of how love begins, lingers, and in some cases, ends.
Anthony Patch begins as a young, well educated, and wealthy man. He acts like a regular young man, engaging in drinking, associating with peers, and finding love. He stumbles upon love through a friend, Richard Caramel, an interesting author. Richard's cousin, Gloria, is an attractive young lady who sparks a flame in Anthony's eyes almost instantly. They create what may be love but gradually realize that alcohol and greed soon replaces it all.
The setting of this novel seems perfectly fit for the story. It switches from one impressive city to the next, Boston and New York City. A big city naturally puts these characters into play. The activities they persue, and every young person dreams of, fall snuggly into Boston Massachusetts and New York City. Dancing, dining out, and drinking, done so often they become almost as natural as breathing, all activate their fancy high life.
The characters in this novel bring back the old fashioned yet, somehow, modern ways of the young. The protagonist, Anthony Patch, signifies a highly opinionated person which shows throughout the story as he places himself in deep discussions with Gloria, the antagonist. The deep discussions also occur with Maury and Richard, some of their closest companions. Maury and Richard both get along great, but they characterize very different people. For instance, Richard loves writing. Writing almost addictively, searching for a new character to create always stays on his mind. Maury, a lot like Anthony, stands as an opinionated person who gives the two much to talk about, which only adds more interest to the story. Gloria conversates as well, but mostly about things only appealing to her. Gloria presents what Anthony and Maury call a "childish" kind of glow. Though she seems childish, this feature actually attracts people to her the most. All the characters play an interesting and important role in this book.
The Beautiful and the Damned, definitely worth reading, shows the realism of everyday life in the 1920's. F.Scott Fitzgerald portrays the life of the young and how easily it might self destruct through greed, material wants, and alcoholism. Fitzgerald proves that the fairytale of married life among the wealthy rarely happens. Money, though abundant, possibly means a lack of love and other ingredients that fuel a healthy life. Money turns into the only reason Gloria stays with Anthony. Though this book may seem fantasy-like at first, it breaks through the candy coated appearance of wealthy life in the early 1920's
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