"a 3-D Gatsby?" ctd.
After seeing still more people pre-hating on the specter of Baz Luhrmann filming a 3-D version of Gatsby, it seems worthwhile to step back and realize what sort of novel can be ruined by a movie version that’s garish, inept, unfaithful, or in any other way bad. It is a novel like my novel.
My novel could be ruined by a crap movie version because even unnervingly attentive readers of this blog probably do not know that my novel exists. My novel could be ruined because it’s not even published. My unpublished novel, unsurprisingly, is not taught in high schools and colleges. Revered writers don’t mention my unpublished novel when they list the one or two books that they’ve returned to again and again — yearly, as a sustaining ritual, in some cases.
Gatsby, in these respects (and possibly a couple of others), is pretty much the opposite of my unpublished novel. Gatsby comes as close as any novel that I can think of to being indestructible. Make a porno version of it; doesn’t matter. Distill it down to a nine-minute rap and compel mildewed finger puppets to spit the rhymes; doesn’t matter.
Nobody — literally nobody — who blames Gatsby itself for a lousy movie version ever stood even the slightest chance of becoming a loving reader of the novel.
So this whole 3-D thing is going to be OK. Right, Mr. Fitzgerald?
… Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
So, in conclusion, simple marching orders for Baz Luhrmann: Don’t be what preyed on Gatsby; don’t be foul dust.