Tender is the Night

Well, I finally finished reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night.  The edition I have is a Penguin Modern Classics and it begins with an introduction and notes by Richard Godden, a professor of American Literature at the University of Keele.  Now, Professor Godden may be quite brilliant and just over my head but if you buy this edition or borrow it from the library I recommend you just skip the introduction.  I stopped reading it before half way through.  First, without having read the story, I didn’t know what he was talking about.  Second, he offers at least two contradictory readings of what the story might be about, admits it, doesn’t seem to clarify his ideas and he seems to be obsessed with the idea of paternal incest (which does exist in one instance) being persistent through several characters and in hidden anagrams and even draws the occult into it as being a major influence or theme.  That’s about where he lost me.  This is one of those cases where I think it’s best to just read the story, think about it for yourself, and lose yourself in the wonderful, evocative language of F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I’m going to reserve any in-depth observations until I have read Zelda’s work, Save Me the Waltz.  I’m visiting with my dad and left her work at home so I’m reading a Maeve Binchy novel called A Week in Winter in the meantime which I will be reviewing shortly.  (I love her stories, so will do an overview of both the author and her writing.  If you haven’t read anything by her, you should try to get one; there are many to choose from and all of them are interesting in different ways.) If you are a Maeve Binchy fan, tell us which is your favourite book and why?  Love to hear from you.


About mysm2000

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I've developed a myriad of interests based on literature I've read and music I've heard. I've followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.
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