Reader's Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night

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Tender Is the Night, the novel F. Scott Fitzgerald worked longest and hardest on, has not achieved its proper recognition because the text is peppered with errors and chronological inconsistencies. Moreover, the novel has a concentration of references to people, places, and events that most readers no longer recognize. In Reader's Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Tender Is the Night," Matthew J. Bruccoli corrects the errors and explains the factual details. He also offers a selection of maps, photos, correspondence, and notes that demystify the writing of one of literature's most misunderstood - and underrated - masterpieces. Bruccoli's substantial introduction reconstructs the composition, publication, and initial reception of the novel Fitzgerald forecast so enthusiastically when he wrote to his editor Maxwell Perkins in 1925. Bruccoli chronicles the novel's varied commencements, explains Fitzgerald's final approach to the novel, and addresses key criticisms of the work. Noting that discussion of Tender Is the Night habitually returns to its initial reception, Bruccoli refutes the common belief that the novel failed in 1934 because of a critical conspiracy. He describes Fitzgerald's brooding over the novel's stillbirth and his unsuccessful efforts to republish it in amended form. Comparing Fitzgerald's plan for restructuring the novel with Malcolm Cowley's 1951 edition, Bruccoli assesses the limited impact of the revised novel. After debunking widely held myths and placing the novel in its cultural context, Bruccoli takes readers line by line through the text to clarify characters, terms, geography, and chronology. He answers questions posed by undergraduate and graduate students, high-school and college teachers, general readers, and teachers at foreign universities. In making the text accessible to all readers, Bruccoli restores Tender Is the Night to its proper position in the Fitzgerald canon.

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Reader's companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the night

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As Bruccoli points out in his introduction, this is not a critical study: it does not analyze the putative meanings of Tender Is the Night. Instead, Bruccoli aims to explore briefly the novel's ... Read full review


Editing and Publication
The Authors Final Version
Editorial Rationale
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Matthew J. Bruccoli, Emily Brown Jefferies Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, is the leading authority on F. Scott Fitzgerald and the authors of the House of Scribner.

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