Posts Tagged ‘Hemingway’

Solid Fame ©

I wanted to try my hand at sea fishing like the way Hemingway did; so when I had a chance I chartered a boat for a day. Suppose I tell you the name of the boat was Harry Morgan. Wouldn’t you think I was far gone into it? I mean the Hemingway thing?
Call it a beginner’s luck I caught the strangest looking fish as soon as I learned to cast a line. The captain of the boat said, ‘It is a flounder. No doubt of that.’
It was not a Marlin that I had hoped for but a flounder. A monster of a flounder!

I said that it was a flounder but with the most peculiar habit of weeping. Captain Bill looked at my catch and gave a cry. He had never seen such luck as I had. The fish began to beat its tail, ‘Give my life back and I shall fulfill your wildest dream.’
The captain was standing next to me and I asked, ‘What shall I ask him, Bill?’
‘Fame! Fame!’ the captain hissed in my ear. So I told the flounder, ‘Make me famous.’
The fish wanted to know ‘famous for what?’
I couldn’t give the specifics so I said, ‘Fame, it is not all that difficult?’
The fish said my wish was granted.
At the end of the day I headed to the nearest bar. I knew what fame meant. ‘I shall be on every one’s lips.’ I said to myself.
The bar where fishermen frequented was choking full. But as soon as I stepped in those who hung out made way for me. I knew I was famous. They were all looking at me and in their envy I knew the flounder was a genius.
While ordered for a shot of whiskey I heard one comment, ‘He is very famous!’
‘Famous for what?’
A pause. The first voice spoke, ‘I dunno.’
It was greeted with a guffaw. I saw red and I went back to the end of the wharf. I was alone, and called out, ‘Flounder, flounder.’
The flounder surfaced and asked, ‘what will you be now?’
‘I want to hunt and kill a lion.’ The flounder said, ‘Go and you shall indeed kill one.’
I went to Africa for big game hunting. I shot my first lion and I went home. I was on every one’s lips. But no single one spoke in my favor and they all damned for having killed one of the last two remaining lions.
I was upset. And I had no use for such fame.
So I went to my flounder. I said, ‘Flounder make me famous. This time make it certain it is for solid reasons.’
The flounder said, ‘There is now only one way you can secure your fame. Are you ready for desperate measures?’
I answered, ‘yes.’
He whispered into my ears and I directly went back to Africa and killed the last lion.
Next day the papers were full of it. I was the cynosure of all eyes. People paid money to be photographed in my company. They wanted my autograph. Celebrities vied with one another to dine with me. They even followed me everywhere, cheering me all the way. In fact they never had enough of me.
‘Whoever heard of a flounder riding our streets? Or bagging a lion!’ So sang they all.
There is even a proverb, ‘getting a load of Flounder Fred’ meaning one is famous in whichever way you looked.( reprinted from Elves Bells)

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(FRANCIS) SCOTT (KEY) FITZGERALD (American) (1896 – 1940)


The American version of the myth of the Dying God flowered with the Jazz age he helped to create and then wilted in obscurity till his death. His books are light hearted adolescent day dreams brilliantly observed with increasingly tragic overtones. “It was fun when we all believed the same things. It was more fun to think we were all young to live together or die together. And none of us anticipated this great loneliness.” ‘This Side of Paradise’ (1920) was a bestseller, his stories include some of his best work (‘The Rich Boy’, ‘Babylon Revisited’). ‘The Great Gatsby’ (1925) is one of the most perfect American threnodies on lost youth and the Prohibition era. Then followed the slow decline for which his wife Zelda was partly responsible. “She wanted me to work too much for her and not enough for my dream…. I struggled on…… till my heart collapsed and all I cared about was drink and forgetting”. (To his daughter in 1938). In those last years he wrote his near masterpiece ‘Tender is the Night’, faithfully depicting the break-up of his marriage and was at work on an unfinished Hollywood novel ‘The Last Tycoon’. His wife was burned to death in a fire in an mental home in 1947. His blend of irony regret and lyrical enjoyment, Gatsby’s ‘neat sad waltz’ has appealed to many other writers.


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