On May 18, 1946, publication of "The Decision." The New Yorker. Hellbox.

Francis Townsend had great plans for his future. He had a medical degree. He was going to interne at a Pittsburgh hospital, and he had a woman he wanted to marry.

His uncle, who had raised him, stopped him: "No, boy," he said. "I'm sorry to say you can't have any of those things. You can never practice medicine, and you can't marry .... Do you know that both your father and your mother died in an institution? .... it wasn't consumption, France, it was mental.....You won't have to worry about money. I've fixed that at the bank. Give yourself plenty of time to pick and choose (what you want to do). You'll decide on something."

So Francis Townsend spent the rest of his life in his family's seacoast village drinking, reading and sleeping.

I suspect this story is based on someone John O'Hara may have known.

On May 18, 1958, publication of "Novelist Likes the Film Translation." New York Herald Tribune.

John O'Hara's ambitions about writing the screenplay for The Great Gatsby never materialized because the price was too high for the film rights.

"The reason I wanted to write a talking-picture version of the Fitzgerald novel was that I had seen the silent version and had admired it enormously ...... But even now I can remember my exultation at the end of the picture when I saw that Paramount had done an honest job, true to the book, true to what Fitzgerald had intended. My favorite Fitzgerald novel (Tender is the Night) had not yet been written, but the movie had done right by Our Boy with the best he had written to date. Roughly ten years later I was sure that I could do an even better job through the new camera techniques and audible dialogue."

Matthew Bruccoli,The O'Hara Concern, page 138.

The silent version was made in the late twenties. Three more Gatsby movies were made - 1949, 1974 and 2012. I have no plans to see the latest one.

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