Luxury, glitz, money, travel and booze. Two young people and their story, emotionally charged and as real as life itself. Anthony is an educated and cheerful young man, acting as a magnet for both women and men. Gloria is the embodiment of beauty in its purest form, the source of happiness for Anthony and the object of his greatest desire. And he gets it. They both feel self-sufficient. They have a life that satisfies them and a future that looks promising. This is a novel about human dreams that become reality. But what happens after that? And will Fitzgerald's characters be able to bear the consequences of their wishes coming true?
Their life and love is like a tower of cards.Anthony and Gloria are young and carefree until the tower begins to crumble. Their story is about how far money and a hectic life can lead. And Fitzgerald seeks answers to the existential question: Can a person be satisfied with little and still be happy? And the lesson to remember is that happiness should not be taken for granted.
Things are sweeter when we lose them. I know it - because once I wanted something very much, and after a while I got it. It was the only thing I ever wanted so badly, Dot. And when I received it, it turned to dust in my hand.
The story of Anthony and Gloria is almost identical to that of Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre. This makes many people think that in Beauty and the Damned, the author is describing his own story. They met when the writer was 21 and she was only 17. At the time, Fitzgerald was a lieutenant in the army and Zelda was a dancer at a country club.Their love ignites immediately and is as violent and destructive - like themselves. Money keeps them close to each other, and when it is lacking, it separates them. Their love is sometimes like a fairy tale, sometimes like a nightmare. Driven by their uncontrollable lust for life, alcohol, passion and fame, Zelda and Fitzgerald become too emotional and violent. They love each other, hate each other and are jealous, but they can't live without each other.
“Beautiful and Cursed” is a novel about the destructive effect of money and its power over a person's talent. Or a tale of how the beautiful become cursed.
For Francis Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in 1896 in Minnesota, USA. He started writing while still a student. In 1913, Fitzgerald entered Princeton University, but in 1917 he was expelled for truancy and entered the US Army. In 1919, Fitzgerald worked briefly at an advertising agency in New York.At that time, his short story "Fools" was published. He gets thirty dollars for it, and with that money he buys himself a pair of white pants. In 1920, his first novel, Beyond Heaven, appeared and immediately became a bestseller.
In 1924, Fitzgerald went to live in Europe. In 1925, the masterpiece The Great Gatsby was published, which received excellent reviews, but its sales were worse than expected. Fitzgerald gradually began to stumble into alcoholism. In 1926, The Great Gatsby was staged in New York. In the same year, the first film version of the book was released.
Fitzgerald returned to the US in 1937 and settled in Hollywood. He worked on various film scripts but completed only one, Three Comrades (1938), before being fired for unproductiveness. The script is based on the novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque.
In 1939, Fitzgerald began a novel about Hollywood, The Last Tycoon, which he did not finish. Died December 21, 1940 in Hollywood at his girlfriend's apartment.
I. Antennas Pech 9
II. Portrait of a Siren 40
III. The Kiss Connoisseur 89
I. Happy Hours 153
II. Feast 220
III. The Broken Lute 298
I. The Importance of Civilization 355
II. The Importance of Aesthetics 408
III. No matter 458
I. Anthony Petch
In 1913, when Anthony Petch was twenty-five, two years had passed since irony, the Holy Spirit of the age, had enlightened him, at least in theory. The irony was the gloss, the last stroke of the brush, a sort of intellectual Eureka!-and yet, on the threshold of the present story, he had not gone beyond the stage of consciousness. The first impression of him was that he often wondered whether he was not a man without honor and a little mad, or whether he did not shine on the surface of the world some shameless and repulsive layer, like oil on the surface of a clear lake.Of course, these occasions alternated with others in which he considered himself an exceptional youth, infinitely refined and rich in life experience, well-adjusted to his environment, and somehow more significant than all the rest of his acquaintances.
This was his more normal state, which made him cheerful, pleasant, and very attractive to intelligent men and to all women. At such times he thought that one day perhaps he would perform some fine and sublime deed, which the elect would appreciate, and in time he would join the twinkling stars in the misty undefined firmament, somewhere between death and immortality. Until the time came for this effort, he would be Anthony Petch-not the portrait of any man, but a decidedly dynamic personality, too self-willed, haughty, subject to the times-a man who knew there could be no honor, and yet had his honor; who knew the sophistry of bravery and yet was brave.
A worthy man and his gifted son
Anthony felt a sense of social security from the fact that he was the grandson of Adam J. Pech, as he would feel if the roots of his family tree led to the Crusaders across the ocean. This is inevitable: Virginians and Bostonians in a sense held to an aristocracy based entirely on money principles and believed that it led to we alth.
Adam J. Petch, better known as "Cross Petch," had left his father's farm in Terrytown in 1861 to join the New York Cavalry Regiment. After the war, he had returned home as a major, jumped into the maelstrom of Wall Street, and into the tumult, excitement, admiration and malfeasance had managed to amass seventy-five million dollars. He expended his energies on these pursuits until he was fifty-seven years of age. Then, after a severe attack of multiple sclerosis, he decided to focus the rest of his life on the spiritual revival of the world and became the first reformer among reformers.Seeking to surpass the magnificent efforts of Anthony Comstock, after whose grandson he was named, he de alt a series of various blows and defeats to liquor, literature, vice, art, medicine, and Sunday theaters. Under the influence of the insidious disease which eventually afflicts most of us, his mind angrily indulged in all the resentments of the age. From an armchair in the study of his Terrytown estate, he waged a battle against a powerful hypothetical enemy-a battle that lasted for fifteen years, during which he had emerged as a raging maniac possessed by an idea-fixation, an unpredictable troublemaker and an insufferable a bore. In the year beginning the present story he was tired, his campaign had proved futile, 1861 was slowly creeping towards 1895, his thoughts often drifted in the direction of the Civil War, sometimes to his dead wife and son, and almost never to his grandson his anthony.
Early in his career, Adam Petch had married an anemic thirtysomething, Alicia Withers, who had brought him a hundred thousand dollars and an impeccable reputation in New York banking.Quickly and rather bravely she had given birth to a son for him, but as a result of this act she seemed to have completely lost her vital energy, after which she had disappeared into the shadowy chambers of the nursery. The boy, Adam Ulysses Petch, became a die-hard clubber, fitness enthusiast, and tandem cyclist-at the astonishing age of twenty-six, he had begun his memoir, New York Society as I Saw It. According to rumors of her design, this work was much desired by publishers, and they competed to bid for it, but after his death it proved so obscenely verbose and insurmountably boring that it did not even appear as a private edition.
This Chesterfield of Fifth Avenue married at twenty-two. His wife's name was Henrietta Lebrun, known in Boston as "the contr alto of society," and the only child of this union was named, at the request of his grandfather, Anthony Comstock Patch. When he went to Harvard, Comstock dropped from his name, sank into oblivion, and was never heard from again.
Young Anthony had one picture of his mother and father together - he had looked at it so much during his childhood that it had almost acquired the impersonality of a piece of furniture, but anyone who entered his bedroom looked at it with interest. It showed a 1990s dandy, lean and handsome, standing next to a tall dark-haired lady in a muff and a barely-there tourniquet on her dress. Between them stood a boy with long brown curls, dressed in a velvet suit a la Lord Fauntleroy. This was Anthony at age five, the year his mother died.
His memories of the Boston "society contr alto" were rather hazy and musical. She was a woman who sang, sang, sang in the music parlor of their house on Washington Square-sometimes surrounded by guests, the men with their arms folded, leaning silently on the backs of the sofa, and the women with their hands in their laps, as now and then they whispered something to the men, and always applauded very lively, making guttural noises after every performance of hers; she often sang to Anthony alone, in Italian or French, or in some strange and unintelligible dialect which she supposed the negroes of the South spoke.
His memories of the gallant Ulysses, the first man in America to wear turned lapels on his jacket, were much clearer. After Henrietta Lebrun, Péchs had "joined another choir," as the widowed husband remarked in a hoarse voice from time to time. Father and son lived on the grandfather's estate in Terrytown, and Eulessius came every day to Anthony's nursery, where for nearly an hour he would say pleasant and sweet words. He kept promising Anthony hunting and fishing trips and trips to Atlantic City, "oh, soon," but none of them materialized. They did take a trip though. When Anthony was eleven years old, they went abroad to England and Switzerland, and there, in Lucerne's finest hotel, his father died in sweats, puffs, and screams of suffocation. In a panic of despair and terror, Anthony was sent back to America, where he sank into a vague melancholy that never left him for the rest of his life.
Character's Past and Personality
Eleven years old, he experienced the horror of death. His parents had died within the space of six years, and the memory of his grandmother had faded so imperceptibly that only after her death, for the first time since her marriage, her personality had held an undeniable superiority over her own drawing-room. And so, for Anthony, life became a struggle against death, which was waiting around every corner. As a concession to his hypochondriacal imagination, he had developed the habit of reading in bed - it soothed him. He read until he was tired, and often fell asleep without turning off the lamp.
Until the age of fourteen, his favorite pastime was his stamp collection-huge and extremely complete for a boy-which his grandfather ludicrously believed helped him improve his knowledge of geography. Anthony corresponded with half a dozen Stamp and Coin firms, and it was seldom that the mail did not bring him new binders or packets of advertising copy-there was a mysterious fascination in tirelessly shifting his acquisitions from binder to binder.Stamps were his greatest happiness, and he scowled nervously at anyone who interrupted him while he was dealing with them. They ate up his monthly money, but he spent whole nights contemplating their varied and colorful opulence.
At the age of sixteen, the boy led a closed life, was silent, completely different from Americans, experiencing polite embarrassment from his peers. He had spent the previous two years in Europe with a private tutor who convinced him that Harvard was what he needed, that it would "open doors" for him, that it would be an incomparable charge, that it would endow him with countless sacrifices and devotions. friends. And he entered Harvard - logic did not allow any other option.
Indifferent to the social system, for a while I lived alone in a room in Beck Hall - a thin, dark-haired boy, of medium height, with a shy and sensitive mouth. His allowance was quite generous. He laid the foundations of his library by buying from a traveling antiquarian first editions of Swinburne, Meredith, and Hardy, and a yellowed letter signed by Keats, and later found that he had been charged an astonishingly exaggerated sum.He became a dapper dandy, amassing a rather poignant collection of silk pyjamas, brocaded dressing gowns and ties that were too bright to wear. In these magnificent satin robes he contemplated himself before the mirror in his room, or else he lay sprawled on the armchair by the window and looked out into the yard, vaguely aware of that breath-taking, immediate tumult with which he seemed never to be sympathetic.
Unbelievably, in his years of study, he found himself occupying a certain position in his class. He realized that he was seen as a rather romantic person, a scholar, a self-absorbed person, a colossus of erudition. It amused him, but secretly he also enjoyed it - he started going out, at first a little bit, then for a long time. It got him hooked. He drank - mildly and according to established norms. It was said that if he hadn't entered college so young, he might have "achieved extraordinary success." In 1909, when he graduated, he was only twenty years old.
Then he went abroad again – this time to Rome, where he alternately wasted his time on architecture and painting, took up playing the violin, and wrote terrible Italian sonnets, probably the musings of some thirteenth-century monk on the joys of performance with contemplation of life. Among his close friends at Harvard it was rumored that he was in Rome, and those of them who traveled abroad that year sought him out, and discovered with him, in a series of moonlight walks, many things of the city-older than The Renaissance and, in fact, even from the entire republic. Maury Noble, of Philadelphia, for example, stayed two months, and together they realized the peculiar charm of Latin women, and experienced the pleasant feeling of being young and free in a civilization that was free but old. Many of his grandfather's acquaintances called on him, and if he had asked, he could have been persona grata (Well received (Latin. - B. pr.)) in diplomatic circles - in fact he found himself increasingly inclined towards sociability, but the long years of adolescence spent in haughtiness and the resulting introversion still defined his demeanor.
He returned to America in 1912 due to one of his grandfather's sudden illnesses and after an extremely tiring conversation with the old man, who was always recovering from his illness, decided to postpone until after his death the idea of living abroad permanently. After much searching, he rented an apartment on Fifty-second Street and seemed to have settled in there.
In 1913, Anthony Petch's process of adapting to the universe was coming to an end. Physically, he had strengthened compared to his college years-he was still too thin, but his shoulders had broadened and his swarthy face had lost the frightened look of his freshman year of college. He was apparently good-natured and tidy, a completely new person – his friends, for example, said they had never seen his hair disheveled. His nose was too sharp, his mouth one of those unfortunate reflections of mood, apt to droop perceptibly at the edges in moments of unhappiness, but his blue eyes were charming, whether animated with intelligence or half-closed as an expression of melancholy humour..
Though he was a man devoid of the symmetry of features which was considered the basis of the Aryan ideal, some people still thought him handsome - moreover, he was very clean, outwardly and in reality, with that peculiar purity springing from beauty.
The Immaculate Apartment
It seemed to Anthony that Fifth and Sixth Avenues were the buttresses of a giant staircase stretching from Washington Square to Central Park. A ride on the second floor of a bus from downtown to Fifty-second Street invariably made him feel as if he were ascending a series of dangerous steps by hand grips, and when the bus wobbled to a stop on his step he almost he eased down on the unreasonable metal supports of the sidewalk.
Then he had no choice but to walk the full half-block to Fifty-second Street, past the row of dreary brownstone houses-and in an instant find himself under the high ceiling of his grand vestibule.This satisfied him perfectly. This was where life began, after all. Here he slept, had breakfast, read and had fun.
The house itself was of some dark material, built in the late 1990s in response to the ever-increasing demand for small housing, each floor completely renovated and let to individual tenants. Of all the four apartments, Anthony's, which was on the second floor, was the nicest.
The lobby had a nice high ceiling and three large windows that gave a nice view down Fifty-second Street. The furniture was a hair's breadth away from any particular style - it lacked stiffness, old-fashionedness, openness and decadence. The room did not smell of smoke or incense - it was tall and painted pale blue. There was a deep chaise longue of the softest brown leather, about which a sleepiness seemed to hover. A tall Japanese screen, abounding in geometric motifs of fishermen and hunters in black and gold, formed a corner alcove for the broad armchair, next to which was a lantern with an orange shade.A smoky, pitch-black shield divided into four sectors could be seen inside the fireplace.
Passing through the dining room – too grand considering the fact that Anthony only ate breakfast at home – and continuing down the relatively long corridor, one came to the heart of the apartment – Anthony's bedroom and bathroom.
Both were huge. Under the ceiling of the bedroom, even the huge four-poster bed seemed only average in size. On the floor was an exotic mat of dark red velvet, into which his bare feet sank like moss. His bathroom, in contrast to the rather pompous appearance of the bedroom, was cheerful, bright, livable and even slightly playful. The walls were hung with framed photographs of four famous actresses of the time: Julia Sanderson as The Sun Girl, Ina Clare in The Quaker, Billie Burke in Beware the Paint, Girl, and Hazel Dawn in The Lady in Pink.. Between Billy Burke and Hazel Dawn hung a reproduction of a vast snowy wasteland lit up by a cold and eerie sun-which Anthony thought symbolized the cold shower.
The bathtub, which had a real bookshelf attached to it, was low and spacious. Next to it was a built-in wardrobe crammed with underwear enough for three men and a collection of neckties. And there was no question of any sparse carpet – instead, the mattress was thick like the one in the bedroom, with a wonderful softness that seemed to massage his wet feet after getting out of the bath.
After all, this was a room where miracles could be done - it wasn't hard to see that this was where Anthony got dressed, did his impeccable hair, in fact did everything but sleep and foods. This bathroom was his pride.