Tender is the Night

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Tender is the Night

“Servant trouble…political worries…almost neurosis…drinking increased…arguments with Scottie…quarrel with Hemingway…quarrel with Bunny Wilson…quarrel with Gerald Murphy…breakdown of car…tight at Eddie Poe’s…sick again…first borrowing from mother…sick… ‘The Fire’…Zelda weakens and goes to Hopkins…one servant and eating out.” (Mayfield 207)

A short excerpt from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Ledger provides a small sample of the many hurdles Fitzgerald struggled to overcome while slaving away nine years with Tender is the Night.

The labor which accompanied Fitzgerald’s fourth novel was not anticipated by the author. He had first envisioned Tender is the Night to be “something really new in form, idea, and structure—the model for the age that Joyce and Stein are searching for, that Conrad didn’t find”(Scribner 1). But disease, relative poverty, and heartbreak plagued Fitzgerald and repeatedly interrupted his work on the novel.

Tender is the Night finally appeared on April 12, 1934. But despite Fitzgerald’s high expectations of hot reviews, the reception was, at best, luke warm. The novel sold only thirteen thousand copies and left Fitzgerald’s ego bruised and his hopes of its estimable success unfulfilled. Ernest Hemingway offered little praise. The characters, he believed, were “beautifully faked case histories rather than people” (Mayfield 209). Similarly unimpressed, Hal Borland of the Philadelphia Ledger remarked on April 13, 1934, “Most of the themes [of Tender is the Night] seem better fitted for clinical studies than for fiction. Fitzgerald’s novel is admirably done, and its dozens of cross-currents are well handled. But it is not the important nov...

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...the critics’ reception of Tender is the Night. Though short in length, Scribner reveals several excerpts from Fitzgerald’s letters and personal writings which present for the readers a more personal view of Fitzgerald, the author.

http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/fitzgeraldbio.html

This website lists Fitzgerald’s published works and offers a detailed biography of the author himself. The highlighted texts serve to differentiate different eras in Fitzgerald’s life. The site also offers several links wherein additional information regarding influential people and events can be researched.

http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald.com

This website summarizes Fitzgerald’s life as well as the general reception of his novels. It also touches on the many hurdles Fitzgerald came across during his nine years of struggling with his fourth novel, Tender is the Night.
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