Book Report: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
11 July 2008, 12:12 PM
Your Humble Blogger seems to have started on a kick of reading novels that were later made into classic stage and movie musicals. This one is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos, and it was very funny indeed. If, that is, you don’t mind the sort of precious-precious humor of Ms. Loos writing in the style of a dumb blonde who thinks she’s smart, and so uses words she doesn’t really understand, misspells things, and generally makes an artless ass of herself. My favorite is in Munich, where Lorelei Lee’s wealthy beau wants to take her to the museums, but Dorothy would rather be with her low-class fellow in the biggest beer hall in the world. “So Dorothy said I could be a high brow and get full of kunst, but she is satisfide to be a Half brow and get full of beer.”
The main thing, though, is Ms. Lee’s outrageously rapacious view of romance, or really of all human relations. There’s no sentiment in her, but then there’s no real wickedness. That’s what distresses Sigmund Freud, who advises her to get some inhibitions. My favorite is when she dismisses the conversation of one of the elderly fellows who dotes on her and tries to impress her with his travels to Tibet. No, that’s a waste of time, not like the other fellow who “always has something quite interesting to talk about, as for instants the last time he was here he presented me with quite a beautiful emerald bracelet.” A girl could talk about something like that until quite late in the evening, no?
Anyway, after Damn Yankees and Gentlemen, perhaps the next one should be How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. Or Seven and a half Cents?
Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,