2. F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age --------------------------------------- Previous - Next - Contents
Coming Home : by Michael Furtner

Last night (October 25, 2008) I recorded Por qué, a Jazz waltz I wrote in 2002. That brings the total number of my online recordings to 10. I will probably do more of them once I am settled in at the Sunshine Coast next month.

Phonograph in the Caruso Restaurant, Sorento I watched some TV, went to bed but could not get to sleep, so I kept reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's book 'Tender is the Night'. I really find it a fascinating read. His style of expression is so totally different and unique, it sets (in my mind) him and Ernest Hemingway apart as the two most innovative modern writers of the 20th Century.

His way of expressing, describing and associating events, people, places, situation, etc. fluctuates between impressionistic and downright surrealistic. You need to read rather slowly and think through what he writes in order to absorb the true picture.

Let me give you a couple of small cameo descriptions of his so that you get some idea of his style.
The two main characters of the book, Dick and Nicole, are listening to some old records (Nicole's sister has sent from America) on a portable phonograph one evening in a garden in Switzerland :

The thin tunes, holding lost times and future hopes in liaison, twisted upon the Swiss night. In the lulls of the phonograph a cricket held the scene together with a single note .........

Here is how Dick feels about Nicole :

He (Dick) was enough older than Nicole to take pleasure in her youthful vanities and delights, the way she paused fractionally in front of the hall mirror on leaving the restaurant, so that the incorruptible quicksilver could give her back to herself.
He delighted in her stretching out her hands to new octaves now that she found herself beautiful and rich.

Fitzgerald (reputedly) gave a name to the age he lived in : the Jazz Age. How appropriate, because one could describe his writing too as creative, unique improvisations over known and existing chord progressions (the world we know and live in).

Next Page - Top of Page

Copyright © 2010 Michael Furstner