|Carey Mulligan plays Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby|
Diamonds by Tiffany & Co
There is something really retro about summer that makes us all dreamy and sleepy. Thinking back to past times, the 1960s flower children and the Summer of Love, and back further to that carefree era between the wars. Especially if you are old enough that when you were little elderly relatives told stories of that time, showed black and white photos and allowed you to play with broken diamanté and faux opal necklaces. Tea dances, beaded dresses, dancing on tables and in fountains. Real fur coats and feather boas. Aunties who made Prohibition Gin in the bathtub. Cars that were designed purely for looks rather than ergonomically. Diamonds, emeralds and pearls for the well off.
|Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson|
You can imagine that Daisy Buchanan became the Grandmother of some 60's Flower Child who ran away to Laurel Canyon to live with a musician taking some of Daisy's jewels with her.
|The San Francisco Cliff House|
|Flappers Dancing the Charleston atop the Sherman Hotel|
Chicago, December 11, 1926
It is hard to think of a more romantic story than The Great Gatsby. Only a few equals come to mind, Breakfast At Tiffany's, Gone With The Wind, Wuthering Heights.
I have always been torn between F. Scott Fitzgerald's tragic hero whose dreams of eternal love are let down by squalid reality, and Hemingway's Earthy scars and all portrayal of life. I cannot shake from my mind the oft quoted literal exchange between the two of them via their books.
Fitzgerald is quoted as saying: “The rich are different from you and me.” And, Hemingway is quoted as responding: “Yes, they have more money."
While Hemingway had his inner demons. His incessant need to kill wild things and the loss of his wife in a car crash in Africa. At least he had his 6 toed cats, whose progeny still hold court for the tourists at his residence in Key West. Like Fitzgerald he became one of his own characters when he chose to take his boat out and shoot himself at sea.
|Hemingway and one of his cats|
|Like his books, the cats live on|
No summer ever goes by that I do not think of them both. And Zelda, or Daisy, come to think of it.
The ability of a storyteller to bring life to their creations which live on to enthral future generations long after their own demise is nothing short of magic. And it is rare.
|Daisy Buchanan played by Carey Mulligan|
Daisy Buchanan is one such character and one cannot help but know there is a lot of his wife Zelda in Daisy and a lot of himself in Gatsby.
To those who do not understand Gatsby must seem a loser. He fails in his dream and he loses the one thing he cared about, Daisy, who he did it all to obtain. The green light at the end of Daisy's dock which Gatsby is always reaching for symbolises the American Dream that money can bring you happiness and you will get your Daisy. He is not a loser, he stayed true to his dream and it is instead Daisy who lets the hero down. She choses money instead of love and she is happy with that. Is he a fool? Hemingway probably thought so and yet envied him.
Like Zelda Daisy is captivating and you cannot help but fall for her. Yet she is ultimately disappointing. But it was her ability to shine which attracted us. And of course she had great diamonds.
|The Tiffany Daisy ring for The Great Gatsby|
F. Scott-Fitzgerald was a customer of Tiffany's and Zelda and he both wore their jewels. For the film Tiffany gave archive access to the directors and created a collection which Zelda would have approved of.
You can watch a short video on youtube about how the collaboration was born and worked for the film.
Tiffany and The Great Gatsby
I'm pleased that the film has been remade to bring the story of Gatsby and Daisy, and F Scott-Fitzgerald and Zelda to a new generation, but it does not and cannot reach the intensity of the book. I don't think anyone ever will.