July 31, 2012

"Smoking meant a lot to her sometimes."

"She worked very hard and it had some ability to rest and relax her psychologically. She was a widow and she had no close relatives to write to in the evenings, and more than one moving picture a week hurt her eyes, so smoking had come to be an important punctuation mark in the long sentence of a day on the road."

ADDED: "The New Yorker this week is publishing a story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 'Thanks for the Light,' that it rejected three-quarters of a century ago.
Turning the story down in 1936, the editors said that it was “altogether out of the question” and added, “It seems to us so curious and so unlike the kind of thing we associate with him and really too fantastic.”

It’s not hard to see why they thought so....


NotquiteunBuckley said...


NotquiteunBuckley said...

Was Buckley, William Frank Junior that is, around?

What was he saying, and why?

Does it apply today, what Buckley thought and wrote about?


So, as is usual, it's a WhoHow.

*Buckley changed the world and stars are around him even when unwarranted in the eyes of some and my definition of star is broad as Paris Hilton.

edutcher said...

People died young then.

Interesting little vignette; Fitz understood Catholicism better than a lot of the self-proclaimed lapsed Catholics who talk about the "guilt" of it.

Michael K said...

Fitzgerald was a drunk and a jerk but he could write. Hemingway, who could write better, hated him.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.
— Orson Welles

A good artist should be isolated. If he isn't isolated, something is wrong.
— Orson Welles

Almost all serious stories in the world are stories of failure with a death in it. But there is more lost paradise in them than defeat.
— Orson Welles

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch.
— Orson Welles

So who is this Fitzgerald chap, but a lesser drunkard than, oh, perhaps, ah, Mr. Jackie Fuckin' Gleason?

He's no Buckley/Welles.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

The proprietor, a law professor, could incur liability due to my ignorance; but not malice, ever.

Really. Sure, sure, that company out of Vegas might not be excelling, but who is excelling is beyond me and the concept of possibility is more than I can think around, frankly.

So, if we could all contribute, because of my mistake, now, and forever, I would think "that's cool."

Thank you.

yashu said...

I enjoyed that. It's a little Raymond Carveresque.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"You don't reconcile the poles. You just recognize them."

Unless you are Rock Star Romney uniting the Poles, and Democrats the "P" means people of Poland, a great people with history too beautifully dramatic to encompass shortly, though I try.

ricpic said...

Such cruelty in disallowing people a little release from the demands placed on them.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"I think I should indicate why I am here In Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds."


Madison, more than most any, but the worst, needs Sarah Palin back, this timed welcomed as if Madison were a proud democracy, of, by, for, the people of America, and nothing less.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

It's bigger than me, or you.

Think of being Iowahawk, like R. Pryor or maybe A. Kaufman.


Where's his money? He's proven his free market value comedic wise, yet he isn't paid for his (valuable you assume) comedy skills.


You don't think the answer involves the 99% bullshit?

It is bullshit, the 99% shit, and those trying to advance the boundaries of reality will succeed until they don't.

Iowahawk hasn't succeeded financially which means Democrats are right in that they give money to people that influence whereby Republicans thank God they got hind teat, exponentially bigger than yours.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Byline of brutality this link is not, but "close enough."

The greatest artist nonKatyPerry might well quite be Iowahawk.

Pay that man.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

I will say this once; with this done am I.

David Burge is our William F. Buckley Jr.

traditionalguy said...

King's Letters from a Birmingham jail are well spoken. But by what quantum theory does King have anything to do with Madison, Wisconsin?

yashu said...

NotquiteunBuckley, Iowahawk is indeed a national treasure.

And thanks for the link to the Orson Welles quotations, they're great, I love him.

creeley23 said...

Last summer I read several of Fitzgerald's early short stories. I loved the ending to The Ice Palace, wherein a Southern belle returns to the South after almost marrying into a Northern family.

Sally Carrol Happer, resting her chin on her arm, and her arm on an old window-seat, gazed sleepily down over the spangled dust whence the heat waves were rising for the first time this spring. She was watching a very ancient Ford turn a perilous corner and rattle and groan to a jolting stop at the end of the walls. She made no sound, and in a minute a strident familiar whistle rent the air. Sally Carrol smiled and blinked.

"Good mawnin'."

A head appeared tortuously from under the cartop below.

"'Tain't mawnin'."

"Sure enough!" she said in affected surprise. "I guess maybe not."

"What you doin'?"

"Eatin' green peach. 'Spect to die any minute."

Clark twisted himself a last impossible notch to get a view of her face.

"Water's warm as a kettla steam, Sally Carrol. Wanta go swimmin'?"

"Hate to move," sighed Sally Carrol lazily, "but I reckon so."

William said...

Sometimes you stretch out for the green light, and sometimes the light stretches out for you.

creeley23 said...

“It seems to us so curious and so unlike the kind of thing we associate with him and really too fantastic.”

That might make sense to those who have only read "The Great Gatsby" and maybe, "Tender is the Night." But if you read more Fitzgerald, you realize what an odd, cockeyed writer he was. How else to account for "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," to name two frankly bizarre stories that are closer to fantasy than any other genre...

The real problem The New Yorker editors had with "Thanks for the Light" was its religious / semi-miraculous ending.

dbp said...

I'm kind of surprised The New Yorker ever published this.

They have never been in the business of publishing the kind of pro-spiritual stories that one might find in places like Reader's Digest and over time, smoking has become taboo.

So, if not then, why now?

I loved the story, but I am not an editor at The New Yorker.