Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More on Hollywood in the Thirties

Poet John Guzlowski emailed these reading suggestions as follow-up to my post about Fitzgerald in Hollywood:

“Several years ago there was a great book on Writers and Hollywood by Tom Dardis: Some Time in the Sun: The Hollywood Years of F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Nathanael West, Aldous Huxley and James Agee.

“Dardis is wonderful, smart and interesting. He also wrote a great book on drinking and American writers in the 20th cent called The Thirsty Muse. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favor.

“By the way have you read, Fitzgerald's stories about being a writer?* They are collected in his Pat Hobby Stories. They are very good.

“I was crazy about Fitzgerald for a long time and read much about him. Budd Schulberg (who wrote "On the Water Front") worked with Fitzgerald and wrote a very good novel about going on an assignment with him to write a script about a winter carnival at Dartmouth! It's called The Disenchanted. A sad, sad novel.”

*Yes, I love The Pat Hobby Stories, which are on my “favorite books bookshelf.” From the back of my old Scribner’s paperback: “…Fitzgerald was able to satirize not only the vulgar, hallucinatory climate of Hollywood in the late thirties but also his own bitter captivity inside it.” I just reread the first story, where down-on-his-luck Pat thinks he has a way out, only to discover he's more down on his luck and expendable than he had imagined.

From the end of "Pat Hobby's Christmas Wish," the big boss says,

"Like someone should have cracked down on you, Pat. But you were an amusing guy in those days, and besides we were all too busy."

Pat sniffed suddenly.

"I've been cracked down on," he said. "Plenty."

"But too late," said Gooddorf...


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.