Aug 23, 2013

Short Stories 20-23: A Full Life, The World's Fair, Three Hours Between Planes, News of Paris-Fifteen Years Ago

My plan is to read all of Fitzgeralds short stories and essays.  It seems to come and go in spurts, which is fine.  Currently I have divided the remaining stories into the years published and trying to read through them that way.  Currently I am reading the stories published after his death in 1940.

A Full Life was published in 1988
The World's Fair was published in 1948
Three Hours Between Planes was published in 1941
News of Paris- Fifteen Years ago was published in 1947

A Full Life:
A strange little story of a daring woman who appears in papers for crazy acts and then disappears, but there is one man who follows her escapades and wonders what she is all about.  I didn't feel like this was a complete story, but more like FSF was working out his feelings of helplessness and futility.  So I don't feel like this is a strong piece, but it does feel like he is searching for something, some meaning, and then just when it is within reach it withers away and is never recoverable.

The World's Fair:
Although published after his death, it fits chronologically between Gatsby and Tender, which is good to know while reading it, as it feels like it is just a partial story within a large context.  This story belongs to Tender is the Night, when it was in the Matricide story line, which was completely abandoned before taking a different tack to the story.  There are some wonderful descriptions in this little piece.  I wrote more about it here.

Three Hours Between Planes:
I believe this is one of the stories he had been working on at the end of his life while he was getting his confidence back and writing well once again.  It is a great little story about a man who has a layover and looks up his long lost crush of his youth.  The meet and have a little tryst.  It is soon discovered that Nancy who thought this Donald was the Donald of her memories, was wrong, and discovers too late that he is someone who she barley remembers.  I love this one.

Oh and it looks like someone made a short film about it... Three Hours Between Planes

News of Paris-Fifteen Years Ago: (Collected in Afternoon of an Author)
This is another story he was working on in the last years of his life.  It was found in his among his papers, but was unfinished, and it reads as such.  But it does have promise, although I thought the story line was a tad confusing and had to read it twice.