homo torrid

From Barcelona

ONE The hottest summer in memory (Rodríguez) and record (meteorology) is over. “Is this the end of summer or the end of summer as we’ve known it so far?” he wondered. The New Yorker. And yes: it has been badly lived at the rhythm of a series season. And, of course, far from comedy-sitcom and close to Planetary Horror Story. Pandemic without cure and war without truce. In Spain it was never so hot, and more people died (56% more than for these dates in ’21). Killer tennis ball-sized hail fell and the bees flew. Addiction to TikTok increased, where many announced that they were tired of TikTok. Rosalía released “Despecha” which, by comparison, turns Shakira into The Beatles. Better Call Saul He did not win an Emmy again. She died the very well written Queen of England and the very good writer and King of Redonda. And blues of returning to work / classes, of the September cost where August will be paid, that penance comes to all sin, that there is no fix up so much crack-up

Personally, Rodríguez waiting for a new refrigerator. The not so old died courtesy of planned obsolescence by Philip K. Dick & bladerunner and converted by Steve Jobs into way of life. The difference is that Dick’s replicants/androids are very preoccupied with their implanted memories, while the Zuckerberg Era’s increasingly zombie-than-robotic humans have no problem forgetting everything except consulting networks they fell into and are they fall

Faced with such a scenario (so many alert red lights) Rodríguez decided to move away from the more rapist than orgiastic future and return, once again, to that green light that he saw and read so many times.

TWO And, yes, Rodríguez (re) reads The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald at least once a year (he read it again in March, in the brand new Norton edition, with footnotes and letters and critical comments from the author and those three contemporary stories to the novel — “Winter Dreams “, “Absolution” and “The Rich Boy”– functioning as demos-bonus-proto gatsbystas). And again Jay Gatsby convinced of the possibility of repeating the past: of reclaiming it in the present in pursuit of a better future. Gatsby, of course, is wrong. But not Fitzgerald. And now Rodríguez returns to a novel that is not only perfect but is getting better and better and that, as Greil Marcus explains, “for generations it has been such an insistent force of gravity that it colonized the imagination of his own country and that of those who imagine that country from other places. “Her ghost of him hangs over every typewriter,” Irwin Shaw invoked. And Richard Ford said: “It is written by a person under thirty, but it is a book that matures every time we read it. Over the years I learned that it has more things to teach a mature person than a young person… Also, It’s the best book for a writer to learn how to get characters in and out of rooms.”

But this time Rodríguez does not open it at the beginning but at chapter 7 with so much in-out. There, events precipitate from one of the most steamy scenes in the history of world literature. There, in a suite at the Plaza Hotel (Rodríguez learns that today there is a Fitzgerald Suite in that hotel) the cast of the soap opera meets almost in its entirety. There, Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan and Tom Buchanan and Jordan Baker and Nick Carraway arrange themselves in an almost theatrical composition. And embarrassment and everything that was cracked is completely broken and beyond repair. And the Gatsby facade comes crashing down along with all those “beautiful shirts” floating in airless air. And they all reveal themselves like that “rotten crowd”: that rotten group of beings that don’t reach the ankles of the naive and dreamy and romantic and, yes, gangster Gatsby. There they all are: chewing champagne and dying of heat and more alive than ever. And that liveliness immediately translates into shouting and reproach and violence. And from there they all leave for that formidable last first class parade.

Few times has the temperature risen and risen and will rise like in this feverish episode, Rodríguez thinks, while the newspapers and newscasts do not stop talking about the chill in this European Valley of Ashes that is coming if Rusin (read: Putin’s Russia) decides cut gas and oil and electricity and light (yellow, for now).

THREE And, for Rodríguez, Gatsby is everywhere because what is everywhere is that feeling of wanting to return to the past and not go to the future. And, yes, he is in those tragedy rewrites of him almost not to go in pink suits they are (great monuments to betrayed but still invulnerable male friendship) those Gatsby-Variationen What the crystal key by Dashiell Hammett and the long goodbye by Raymond Chandler and The last Kiss by James Crumley. And there’s more of that in Sal Paradise’s fascination with Neal Cassady in the shifty In the path by Jack Kerouac, or Nathan Zuckerman by Coleman Silk in the human stain of Philip Roth, or in… And, of course, there is much more in Once Upon a Time in America by Sergio Leone (which can almost be seen as a Gatsby: The Missing Years). And Rodríguez returns to see the unbridled gatsby by Baz Luhrmann (which he liked much more than the first time but, of course, for Luhrmann Gatsby and Romeo and Elvis and a young bohemian in Impressionist Paris are exactly the same). And he also reviewed Jack Clayton’s (with a stiff Robert Redford and an insufferable Mia Farrow and a lousy script by Francis Ford Coppola). And he never got to see the 1926 silent and lost version (which seems to have been very faithful to the novel, although there is evidence that Fitzgerald hated it), nor the 1949 one with Alan Ladd. And neither is the 2000 TV show with –what he thinks is a great success– Paul Rudd, who can’t help but be the best Nick of all time. And Rodríguez finds out about the existence of one of which he had no news: G (2002), where jazz mutates to hip-hop and Gatsby is a record mogul and Rodríguez tells himself that it is better not to find him.

FOUR And on a page from Chuck Palahniuk’s autobiographical writing self-help manual —consider this — the author of Fight club (another with powerful and hurt male friendship with self) wonders, with grace and wit, how it is possible that Nick does not save his saintly comrade by revealing to everyone (including the police) that it was Daisy and not Gatsby who ran over Myrtle Wilson. It’s a fair question, but at the same time it shows that Palahniuk didn’t understand Nick at all. Like all apostles –vampirized as well as vampire– Nick needs his messiah to die in order to later own his memory and preach/recreate his gospel according to Nick. Because, mind you, Nick Carraway — unlike Fitzgerald — is not a writer: he is a rewriter. And a rewriter is someone who writes in the heat of a torrid story that, he knows, will never be his. And so, warmly, decide that he has the refreshing consolation of telling it his way.

Now, like at the end of The Great Gatsby –which is not a fairy tale but a haunted tale– here comes the most suffocating autumn that Rodríguez and Europe will ever know; when, exactly one hundred years ago (why not celebrate the date something is first written instead of commemorating when it is published?), Fitzgerald moved into a house in Great Neck, Long Island. And there he came up with the torrid idea for a great novel to take place right there and then and forever and everywhere he reads it and rereads it.

Source: Pagina12

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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