Sub­texts

Pasatiempo - - In Other Words -

Fic­tion is stranger than fic­tion

Lit­er­ary tra­di­tion­al­ists who ar­gue that you shouldn’t mess with well-known works may be for­given for form­ing a mob to run au­thors Jonathan and Tad Richards out of town. The broth­ers in­sist that F. Scott Fitzger­ald and Ernest Hem­ing­way never ex­isted. But they also ar­gue that Nick Car­raway and Jake Barnes, long be­lieved to be lit­er­ary cre­ations of Fitzger­ald and Hem­ing­way (Car­raway is the nar­ra­tor of Fitzger­ald’s The Great Gatsby while Barnes is the nar­ra­tor of Hem­ing­way’s The Sun Also Rises), were real char­ac­ters and that they, the Richards boys, have un­earthed the long-lost letters of Car­raway and Barnes.

The re­sult is the epis­to­lary novel Nick & Jake (Red Thrush Pub­li­ca­tions; www.nickand­jake.org). Tad and Jonathan Richards read ex­cerpts from the book at 6 p.m. Satur­day, Oct. 30, at Col­lected Works Book­store, 202 Gal­is­teo St., 988-4226. Join­ing the Richard­ses are ac­tors Alan Arkin, Ali MacGraw, and Al­li­son Roper.

Set in the first half of 1953, Nick & Jake mixes real and imag­ined char­ac­ters into a com­pli­cated plot in­volv­ing an Amer­i­can-driven coup in Iran (pre­pos­ter­ous, of course), the Commie-chas­ing sen­a­tor, Joseph McCarthy, and Chris­tine Jor­gensen, re­port­edly the first per­son to have sex-change surgery in Europe. Sex scenes from the book will prob­a­bly not be re-cre­ated dur­ing this staged read­ing — per­haps be­cause there are very few of them, aside from the slip­per limpet in­ci­dent. (See page 191.)

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