Tender Is the Night is a novel by American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was his fourth and final completed novel, and was first published in Scribner's Magazine between January and April 1934 in four issues. The title is taken from the poem "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats. Summary : 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 was Fitzgerald's first novel in nine years, and the last that he would complete. The early 1930s, when Fitzgerald conceived and worked on the book, were the darkest years of his life, and the novel's bleakness reflects his own experiences. The novel almost mirrors the events of Fitzgerald and Zelda's lives, as characters are pulled and put back into mental care, and the male figure, Dick Diver, starts his descent into alcoholism. While working on the book, Fitzgerald was beset with financial difficulties. He borrowed money from both his editor and his agent and wrote short stories for commercial magazines. Dick and Nicole Diver are a glamorous couple who take a villa in the South of France and surround themselves with a circle of friends, mainly Americans. Also staying at the resort are Rosemary Hoyt, a young actress, and her mother. Rosemary is sucked into the circle of the Divers; she becomes infatuated with Dick and is also adopted as a close friend by Nicole. Dick toys with, and later acts upon, the idea of an affair with Rosemary. Author's Biography : Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940), known professionally as F. Scott Fitzgerald, was an American novelist and short story writer, whose works illustrate the Jazz Age. While he achieved limited success in his lifetime, he is now widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote numerous short stories, many of which treat themes of youth and promise, and age and despair. Extrait : A mile from the sea, where pines give way to dusty poplars, is an isolated railroad stop, whence one June morning in 1925 a victoria brought a woman and her daughter down to Gausse’s Hotel. The mother’s face was of a fading prettiness that would soon be patted with broken veins; her expression was both tranquil and aware in a pleasant way. However, one’s eye moved on quickly to her daughter, who had magic in her pink palms and her cheeks lit to a lovely flame, like the thrilling flush of children after their cold baths in the evening. Her fine forehead sloped gently up to where her hair, bordering it like an armorial shield, burst into lovelocks and waves and curlicues of ash blonde and gold. Her eyes were bright, big, clear, wet, and shining, the color of her cheeks was real, breaking close to the surface from the strong young pump of her heart. Her body hovered delicately on the last edge of childhood—she was almost eighteen, nearly complete, but the dew was still on her. As sea and sky appeared below them in a thin, hot line the mother said … The hotel and its bright tan prayer rug of a beach were one. In the early morning the distant image of Cannes, the pink and cream of old fortifications, the purple Alp that bounded Italy, were cast across the water and lay quavering in the ripples and rings sent
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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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Book Description Penguin Books, London, UK, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. Published to mark the sixtieth anniversary of Penguin Classics, a Limited edition #966 of 1000 copies designed by Sam Taylor-Wood housed in a perspex slipcase which has a crack to the top and base, the book itself is as new and unread A heavy book which may qualify for extra postage. Bookseller Inventory # 002861