JackFavell wrote:Maybe this is the reason it is such a classic? That you come back and see it so differently as a mature person? I felt the same way when I re-read Gatsby a few years back - I read it every so often, but in the last few years I've had less patience with Gatsby and Nick and Daisy. Rather than thinking it a grand love story it is to me a story of friendship in the face of modern age selfishness. Love can't exist in such a practical vacuum, not between a man and woman, and only tentatively between two men.
I've never liked Vronsky quite either, he's too callow in the end for my liking, but I bet GIlbert could have given it a wonderful spin had there been such a thing as miniseries back then. Gilbert was smart enough to have caught the romance of him, but also that waning passion that drove him away as well. I could see him portraying the anger, irritation and guilt equally as well as the love scenes. It sounds weird but I think you'll know what I mean when I say he would have had the depth to play shallow perfectly. Maybe shallow isn't exactly the word for Vronsky, maybe it's just the same things that brought them together passionately are the things that make their relationship dip and sway over the edge into frustration and even boredom at the end.
I reread The Great Gatsby a few months ago, I felt just the same about them as you, I also listened to Tender is the Night, I had the same reaction, the stories are very similar, Gatsby being the more polished by Tender perhaps being more biographical. I've never seen the film of Tender but knew it was Jennifer Jones as Nicole which I could see as great casting when she was young. I saw William Holden as Dick, I've no idea if he played him, I almost don't want to know so firmly did I hold Holden in my head when listening.
I know what you mean about Vronsky, it's what I meant too and I've always disliked him because of what he cost Anna but as I'm older it's far more shaded, I still don't like him but he meant to stay with her, he just can't cope with her lack of status and her disintegration which he helps. Anna, I don't hold as much sympathy with her as I did the first couple of times I read, then I thought she was caught up in something she couldn't stop now I think she could and she could have had had Vronsky too. It's so multi-layered. The downside of audiobooks is the amount of times I have to press stop as a child wants a drink or something, it does interrupt the flow, whereas I'd put aside quiet time for reading with audiobooks I'm quite greedy.
I like the sound of the cat poems, Masha, it's made me chuckle.