F. Scott Fitzgerald Tender Is the Night

ISBN 13: 9781439507476

Tender Is the Night

 
9781439507476: Tender Is the Night
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Tender Is the Night is an English language novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was first published in Scribner's Magazine between January-April, 1934 in four issues. It is ranked #28 on the Modern Library's list of the 100 Greatest Novels of the 20th Century. In 1932, Fitzgerald's wife Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was hospitalized for schizophrenia in Baltimore, Maryland. The author rented the "la Paix" estate in the suburb of Towson to work on this book, the story of the rise and fall of Dick Diver, a promising young psychoanalyst and his wife, Nicole, who is also one of his patients. It would be Fitzgerald's first novel in nine years, and the last that he would complete. While working on the book he several times ran out of cash and had to borrow from his editor and agent, and write short stories for commercial magazines. The early 1930s, when Fitzgerald was conceiving and working on the book, were certainly the darkest years of his life, and accordingly, the novel has its bleak elements. It should also be noted that two versions of this novel are in print. The first version, published in 1934, uses flashbacks whilst the second revised version, prepared by Fitzgerald's friend and noted critic Malcolm Cowley on the basis of notes for a revision left by Fitzgerald, is ordered chronologically; this version was first published posthumously in 1951. Critics have suggested that Cowley's revision was undertaken due to negative reviews of the temporal structure of the book on its first release. The title is taken from the poem "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats.

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Review:

In the wake of World War I, a community of expatriate American writers established itself in the salons and cafes of 1920s Paris. They congregated at Gertrude Stein's select soirees, drank too much, married none too wisely, and wrote volumes--about the war, about the Jazz Age, and often about each other. F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, were part of this gang of literary Young Turks, and it was while living in France that Fitzgerald began writing Tender Is the Night. Begun in 1925, the novel was not actually published until 1934. By then, Fitzgerald was back in the States and his marriage was on the rocks, destroyed by Zelda's mental illness and alcoholism. Despite the modernist mandate to keep authors and their creations strictly segregated, it's difficult not to look for parallels between Fitzgerald's private life and the lives of his characters, psychiatrist Dick Diver and his former patient turned wife, Nicole. Certainly the hospital in Switzerland where Zelda was committed in 1929 provided the inspiration for the clinic where Diver meets, treats, and then marries the wealthy Nicole Warren. And Fitzgerald drew both the European locale and many of the characters from places and people he knew from abroad.

In the novel, Dick is eventually ruined--professionally, emotionally, and spiritually--by his union with Nicole. Fitzgerald's fate was not quite so novelistically neat: after Zelda was diagnosed as a schizophrenic and committed, Fitzgerald went to work as a Hollywood screenwriter in 1937 to pay her hospital bills. He died three years later--not melodramatically, like poor Jay Gatsby in his swimming pool, but prosaically, while eating a chocolate bar and reading a newspaper. Of all his novels, Tender Is the Night is arguably the one closest to his heart. As he himself wrote, "Gatsby was a tour de force, but this is a confession of faith."

From the Back Cover:

In Tender Is The Night, Fitzgerald deliberately set out to write the most ambitious and far-reaching novel of his career, experimenting radically with narrative conventions of chronology and point of view and drawing on early breakthroughs in psychiatry to enrich his account of the makeup and breakdown of character and culture.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780684801544: Tender Is the Night

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  068480154X ISBN 13:  9780684801544
Publisher: Scribner, 1995
Softcover

9780007449484: Tender Is the Night (Collins Classics)

Harper..., 2012
Softcover

9780141194066: Modern Classics Tender Is the Night (Penguin F. Scott Fitzgerald Hardback Collection)

Pengui..., 2010
Hardcover

9780684830506: Tender Is the Night

Charle..., 1996
Hardcover

9780141183596: Tender is the Night: A Romance (Penguin Modern Classics)

Pengui..., 2001
Softcover

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