Sunday, March 7, 2010
Rereading again. This time it's The Great Gatsby. Actually I should clarify this, I'm listening to the audio version on C D told by Alexander Scourby. Oh, he is an excellent reader..just the right intonations for each character. I don't own the 1974 film that starred Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston and Karen Black but that was an excellent portrayal. Way back then I really wasn't convinced though that Mia Farrow or Robert Redford could portray Daisy and Gatsby..I guess I had their other rolls too vivid in my mind to allow them to cross into my imagination of my beloved book. Yes, I felt it had been written for my eyes..I have read that many people have thought this, too. I discovered this book in the high school library when I was 15. I was working in the library at the time and something called to me to pick it up. I felt an amazing calmness as I began reading it...I'll never forget that feeling. It took me back to a time that seemed familiar and a time that I longed to return. I feel the same way now after all these years and just listening to it continues that longing. I remember seeing the movie when it came out in 1974. I was amazed that seeing the billboard of Dr. T. J. Eikelberg and the road winding through the ash heaps was just like I had pictured in my mind. I was truly amazed. Fitzgerald's descriptions are so spot on that probably everybody had the same illusion painted in their minds. Over the years I have played over in my head what a friend asked me when I told her that I wouldn't have cast Mia Farrow for Daisy or Robert Redford for Gatsby. She asked me some 35 years ago who I would have chosen. I honestly couldn't come up with one person I would have cast for those two parts...but now in retrospect I believe they were properly cast. I think I didn't believe they were "believable" because they were the "in vogue" actors of the day. I felt they cast them to load the box office. Mia did an excellent job though, but I still cannot get my head around Robert Redford~although I am coming around to that mind set. I was very pleased with Sam Waterston portraying Nick (I've always been in love with him and his observing nonjudgmental ways) and Lois Chiles was excellent for the aloof Jordan Baker. Karen Black was the epitome of Tom's "girl". She has the voluptuousness and vitality of a secretly kept woman... she filled my imagined character as did Bruce Dern~he excellently carried off all the narcissism and non-empathy of Tom Buchanan.
I've read a lot of blogs and critiques of The Great Gatsby over the past 35 years and I am not the only one who is enthralled with this writer and this book~alas, sigh, it wasn't written just for me.