Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Champagne wishes

Current book: Tender Is the Night
Pages read: 61 - 128

Well, Rosemary and the Divers head north to Paris, where they gad around the city spending money, staying up late, and pretty much establishing themselves as the dissipated rich. They don't do very much that's worth remarking upon, but the interlude is clearly meant to show us the character of the Divers' lives. We do learn that they've got children, apparently somewhere that's not Paris or the beach, and whom, I have to say, they seem to be neglecting rather shamefully. Anyway, one night, after a party, Rosemary tells Dick that she loves him and wants him to make love to her. He refuses, but apparently the proposition is enough to cause him to fall in love with her. They recognize that their love is wrong, but decide to entertain the idea of an affair, it seems, while concealing their affection from Nicole. It's important to hide it not only because it's immoral, but also because Nicole is prone to depression and already recognizes the fact that her marriage is deeply flawed.

Meanwhile, the Divers' friend, Abe North, who, it's been established, is an alcoholic, leaves for some important destination that I can't remember. It turns out that he actually returns to Paris the next day, pursued by a scandal in which he and an African-American man are accused of theft and fraud. Another African-American has been wrongly accused of the crime, and somehow, in the confusion, Abe North shoots the second guy and leaves his corpse in Rosemary's room. I'm not really sure why this is important, but it happens. Dick immediately comes to Rosemary's aid and uses his credentials as a doctor to get the hotel to cover up the scandal, which, it's implied, could ruin Rosemary's acting career simply by her association with it.

Well, I'm annoyed, predictably. Events just don't seem to have any logical explanation, and that's obnoxious. Also, there's the fact that, once again, all of the characters are sort of feckless and shallow. I don't know, Fitzgerald. I just don't know.

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