Henry James died on 28 February 1916. He wasn’t always a humourless looking middle-aged man. Briefly, a long time ago, he was a humourless looking yet dapper young man.
Young Henry James
QUOTE: “It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.”
SOME WORKS: Roderick Hudson; Washington Square; The Portrait of a Lady; The Bostonians; What Maisie Knew; The Wings of the Dove; The Golden Bowl; Daisy Miller; The Aspern Papers; The Turn of the Screw.
Call me conflicted. Go ahead, do it! I am openly ambiguous about F. Scott Fitzgerald as a writer, yet I have never been able to completely escape The Great Gatsby’s allure. Or that of Tender is the Night. Or This Side of Paradise. Or many of his short stories (I’m looking straight at you, The Diamond as Big as the Ritz). There is so much to admire, and so much to question. However, I am going to leave that for another day (as I am working on a new Fitzgerald essay). The Great Gatsby, for all of Hollywood’s money and resources, has never been satisfactorily adapted to film. The Alan Ladd/Betty Field version (directed by Elliot Nugent, 1949) and the Robert Redford/Mia Farrow iteration (directed by Jack Clayton, 1974) are both so-so. Although I write extensively on silent cinema, I have never seen the lost (?)1926 Herbert Brenon directed film starring my hometown movie star (and early Academy Award winner) Warner Baxter, with Lois Wilson as Daisy. Although a good actor, he seems entirely miscast. So much so, that I am really intrigued. Until then, we have this:
Make of it what you will. I’m not sold, but I will probably see it anyway. Unlike HBO’s Hemingway & Gellhorn, which looks so bad that my soul hurts.
We recently checked out the hot new taco/tequila/whiskey place in an “up-and-coming” part of town that we frequent. (Note: In this case, “up-and-coming” means semi-gentrified with a side order of flying bullets.) A stack of these cards was sitting on the bar.
“The Dirty Bird”
The food was good, the tequila was excellent. Seeing Hunter S. Thompson looking up at me from behind dark glasses was a bit of unexpected fun. Now, on to the other side:
Red Headed Stranger Recipe Card
Hmmm, ginger and bitters are two of my favourite things. I’ll probably go back just to try this. Oh, and let’s face it: I’m a sucker for dead writers. If they put a Virginia Woolf Gin Fizz on the menu, I’ll never leave.