SOME TIME IN THE SUN: The Hollywood Years of Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Nathanael West, Aldous Huxley, and James Agee by Tom Dardis

SOME TIME IN THE SUN: The Hollywood Years of Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Nathanael West, Aldous Huxley, and James Agee

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dardis, former editor of Avon and Berkeley Books, has written a curious, defensive, and inconclusive ""treatment"" of five writers more rewarded than you've been led to believe by their time served in Cheapsville. This book originated in a conversation with Anthony Powell, who remembered meeting Fitzgerald in Hollywood and found him ""healthy and energetic"" in appearance. From this Dardis argues--with a lot of Idler on script excerpts, salary figures, etc.--that all of the standard versions (Mizener, etc.) of a wretched, used, used-up Fitzgerald are false. Faulkner, too, came to Hollywood only to ease the financial pressures of unsalable books; and though he was apathetic about working there, two great movies (The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon) came out of it. As for Nathanael West, after years of travail on junk films he did achieve The Day of the Locust. With Huxley Dardis is on happier ground--and so was Huxley, who really liked Southern California (and also got better material to adapt). Agee, the last of the five, was the only one to whom trim was an art form in itself, and thus a gratifying pursuit. There's a little interesting peripheral material, but all in all Dardis doesn't prove very much, try though he does to show that scriptwriting isn't all hack work and that you can sell your talent without selling your soul to ""buy time for other things."" But with what? ""Hollywood isn't money. It's congealed snow""--to Dorothy Parker, who really disappeared in one of those Famous Writers cubicles.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1976
Publisher: Scribners