Sunday, October 11, 2009

On "The Thespian" by Bruce J. Friedman (7124 words) ****

One of my favorite F. Scott Fitzgerald books is The Pat Hobby Stories, a collection of stories about a washed-up hack of a screenwriter. From what I've read by critics, these stories are not considered to be Fitzgerald at his best. And certainly the stories pale in comparison to his great works. But they're fun, and put together, they create a real feel for a particular character and time. Friedman's story "The Thespian" seems reminiscent of the Fitzgerald pieces--a story of a burnt-out screenwriter given a shot at a film that turns out to be much less than things he would like--and much less than his gloriful past. For whatever reason, I'm quite often drawn to stories of people on the way down. Perhaps that's because even when we're succeeding, there's always a feeling that what we're doing isn't grand enough. Maybe it's just the movies that do it to us, the way they make everything seem more important and beautiful than our real and largely insignificant lives. Read the story here at Pif.

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