Today in 1847 Joseph Pulitzer was born in Mako, Hungary and is most famously known for establishing the Pulitzer Prize. A pipe dream of mine is to win a Pulitzer for Drama, never mind the fact that I've never finished writing a play AND that I'm not American and therefore ineligible. It's my prerogative to be ridiculous and far-fetched in my dreaming (though I consider it bold and daring) especially as life and society tends to limit us to the here and now in reach.
In keeping with today's literary themes, one of my favourite novels was published today in 1925: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. As I've just finished a book for my book club, the fiction portion of my reading plate is empty so today I'm beginning Tales of the Jazz Age, a collection of eleven short stories by Fitzgerald. I'm so swamped with lines and research right now that I liked the idea of small, short stories I could absorb and enjoy in portions. I've already read The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons so really only have 10 to go, but I'll be trying to read one a day until I'm finished them.
As for music, well the Jazz age provides far too much and choosing is nearly impossible as I love so much of it. Funnily enough when I was younger my cousin's Dad Ken loved jazz and being a child I just didn't understand the obsession. Now I fully understand...jazz is life. Just sitting around listening to this music takes me to another time, a period drama in my head, with red lips, smouldering eyes, and swing dancing. I was hoping to take classes at 3rd Street Swing in WeHo when I moved to LA but have been too busy with everything else. When I get some more time and money (ha!) I'm definitely going to get my swing on. Ever since I saw Swing Kids as a child I've wanted to dance with Christian Bale and Robert Sean Leonard against the regime. So here's It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got that Swing by the Duke and Ella (another Fitzgerald for good measure).And I couldn't resist sharing this version with video of Duke Ellington's band (without Ella):
"He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced - or seemed to face - the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself."- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Ch. 3