Prime Tender Is the NightAuthor F. Scott Fitzgerald –

Set On The French Riviera In The Late S, Tender Is The Night Is The Tragic Romance Of The Young Actress Rosemary Hoyt And The Stylish American Couple Dick And Nicole Diver A Brilliant Young Psychiatrist At The Time Of His Marriage, Dick Is Both Husband And Doctor To Nicole, Whose Wealth Goads Him Into A Lifestyle Not His Own, And Whose Growing Strength Highlights Dick S Harrowing Demise A Profound Study Of The Romantic Concept Of Character, Tender Is The Night Is Lyrical, Expansive, And Hauntingly Evocative

10 thoughts on “Tender Is the Night

  1. says:

    When Fitzgerald finished this gem, he was stunned by the poor reviews it received I honestly think it s a profoundly true and powerful book than Gatsby ever will be His effortless and viceral writing tells a story of such complex and accurate human relationships, I often find myself reflecting on Dick Diver as a friend I should check up on, and part of me thinks I spent a year of my youth hanging out on the French Riveria having too much to drink, but somehow pulling it off sophistication Now that I sound like a lunatic, I must express this is not normal for me The world and characters really got under my skin After my first reading I woke myself by weepingand I was weeping for the characters That has never before or since happened to me It is a work of profound beauty and pain about the resilience of the human spirit If you re feeling the world is too glib, I feel this is a great antidote.

  2. says:

    How is one to feel about a protagonist who frequently displays signs of elitism, sexism, bigotry and homophobia, finds himself worryingly attracted to young girls, has no goal in life except to make himself useful to damsels in distress, and drinks away his career and marriage, ending up a mere shadow of his former self Is one supposed to regard him as a tragic hero Is one to sympathise with him And if one does sympathise with him, is that because of the way he was written, or rather because we are aware that he is a thinly veiled version of the author himself, a giant of early twentieth American literature Those were some of the questions I pondered after reading Tender Is the Night, F Scott Fitzgerald s last finished novel, and possibly his most autobiographical one Set in France and Italy in the 1920s, it tells the story of two wealthy American expats, Dick and Nicole Diver largely based on the author and his wife Zelda , who seem to others the most glamorous couple ever, as fine looking a couple as could be found in Paris , but are finding their private lives increasingly less glamorous We first see the couple through the eyes of Rosemary Hoyt, a young and naive American actress holidaying in Europe Rosemary falls madly in love with suave Dick, but also admires angelic Nicole After about 130 pages during which Rosemary hangs out with the Divers and nearly embarks on an affair with Dick, the narrative stops and goes back in time to tell the story of Dick and Nicole s marriage, which is considerably complicated than Rosemary realises Nicole, it turns out, has a history of mental illness, and Dick is both her husband and the doctor treating her a recipe for disaster, obviously Being a tale of needy people, broken relationships, loss of purpose and wasted potential, Tender Is the Night is quite a depressing read, and one s appreciation of it largely depends on one s tolerance for that kind of thing If you like your books bleak and tragic, chances are you ll appreciate Tender Is the Night If not, you might want to steer clear of it.I generally love a good tragedy, but I confess I wasn t overly impressed with Tender Is the Night For a book which has garnered so many rave reviews, I found it remarkably flawed Fitzgerald himself seems to have somewhat agreed with me Despite referring to Tender Is the Night as his masterpiece and being shocked by its lack of critical and commercial success, he began reconstructing it a few years before his death, placing the flashback chapters at the beginning and making all the textual alterations required by this change However, he died before he could finish the project, or perhaps he abandoned the project as not worth completing no one seems to know for sure A friend of his, Malcolm Cowley, then completed the revision, and for years this was the standard edition of the book However, the Cowley version has fallen into scholarly disfavour or so Penguin informs me , and several publishers, Penguin included, now use the first edition, the one that Fitzgerald thought needed revision Apparently, there are no fewer than seventeen versions of the novel extant, which says much about how satisfied Fitzgerald was with his own work My guess Not very much.I read a version based on the first edition of the book, and to be honest, I can see why Fitzgerald felt it needed some work Tender Is the Night felt very disjointed to me To a certain extent, this was because of the aforementioned non linear structure, which felt a bit jarring to me However, as far as I m concerned, that is not the book s only problem, nor even its biggest one What most annoyed me was the way in which the perspective keeps shifting Fitzgerald uses an omniscient narrator in Tender Is the Night, but not consistently so the story is always written from a certain character s perspective Sometimes the perspective is Rosemary s, sometimes it s Dick or Nicole s even the minor characters have stretches of the story told from their perspectives, often on the same page as a main character s perspective To me, these shifts in point of view often felt haphazard, not to mention a little jarring I didn t think they were particularly effective, either, as they hardly build on each other and don t provide any information that couldn t be gleaned from a regular omniscient narrator I may be in a minority here, but I think the book would have benefited from a consistent approach to perspective The story itself is a bit haphazard, as well It occasionally drags, it has little plot, and there are quite a few scenes and storylines which don t really go anywhere Among several other seemingly unlikely scenes, the book contains a murder, a shooting and a duel, none of which is fully integrated into the story, and none of which is given proper significance Scenes are introduced and then left so randomly that you have to wonder why Fitzgerald bothered to include them at all At the risk of being unkind and judgemental, I guess that s what being an alcoholic will do for an author it gives you wild ideas, but prevents you from carrying them out properly.Which brings me to the characterisation I ll probably get a lot of flak for this, but I felt that Fitzgerald s vaunted characterisation was a bit off in this novel Many of the minor characters are sketchily drawn, whereas the main characters are described well sometimes brilliantly so , but never properly explained While Fitzgerald does a good and occasionally excellent job of sharing his protagonists feelings, he hardly ever bothers to explain their motivations This particularly bothered me in the parts written from Dick Diver s point of view, as Dick is supposed to be a psychiatrist By rights, he should be analysing people actions and motivations all the time, and asking lots of questions However, Dick hardly ever asks questions He does not even ask himself questions He never wonders why he is so drawn to young girls, or what it is in him that causes him to need to be their saviour He just observes other people in a way of which any intelligent person trained psychologist or not would be capable, and then describes their behaviour in a few felicitous phrases For this and other reasons, I didn t buy Dick Diver as a psychiatrist Fitzgerald may have read up on psychology and undoubtedly learned a lot from the doctors who treated his own wife , but I never found his alter ego convincing as a psychiatrist, let alone a brilliant psychiatrist To me, Dick has writer written all over him.It s a pity I kept finding such flaws, because Tender Is the Night obviously had the potential to be amazing It has all the right ingredients interesting albeit snobbish and bored characters, powerful themes, evocative albeit frequently vague writing, you name it And the story certainly doesn t lack in pathos It is quite harrowing to watch Dick Diver, a supposedly brilliant and popular man who never lives up to his potential and is increasingly torn asunder by money, alcoholism and his failed marriage to a mentally ill woman, go to pieces, becoming, in his own words, the Black Death I don t seem to bring people happiness any The fact that this was Fitzgerald writing about himself, about his own frustrations and shattered dreams, adds considerable poignancy to the reading experience Even so, Tender Is the Night ended up leaving me fairly cold, as I simply didn t care for Dick enough to be genuinely moved by his descent into failure While others may find Dick a swell guy, I myself found his complacency and lack of purpose grating, his alcoholism exasperating, and his brilliance skin deep I seem to be alone in this opinion, but I stand by it In summary, then, I enjoyed and admired aspects of Tender Is the Night, but I don t think they add up to a great whole While I appreciate Fitzgerald s brutal honesty and the masterful way in which he evokes mutual dependence, isolation and frustration, I can t shake off the feeling that the book could have been much better than it ended up being And this pains me, as I hate wasted potential as much as Fitzgerald himself seems to have done As it is, Tender Is the Night is in my opinion not just a book about wasted potential, but an example of wasted potential It is fitting, I suppose, but no less disappointing for that.3.5 stars, rounded down to three because I really didn t like it as much as many of the books I have given four stars lately.

  3. says:

    I don t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember Somewhere inside me there ll always be the person I am to night If you were to meet Dick and Nicole Diver at a party, a restaurant, or on the beach, you would leave them feeling as if you had been in the presence of greatness They are both witty, charming, gorgeous, majestic, sexy, and in command of whatever situation they find themselves in They are the sun and moon merged together, and no one shines brighter in the daylight or in the moonlight They are what many aspire to be, but few will ever achieve, the suave assurance of the Diver couple As Rosemary Hoyt, a burgeoning movie starlet, says after meeting them, The Divers made her want to stay near them forever She loves them both, but she wants a part of Dick for herself She might be naive, but even she senses that to break them apart dissipates the magic of the two of them together The Divers are at the height of their power when Rosemary meets them Nicole Warren is obscenely rich, and Dick is a successful, published psychologist They met when Nicole was suffering a mental breakdown Dick brought her back from the brink They were interested in Nicole s exterior harmony and charm, the other face of her illness She led a lonely life owning Dick who did not want to be owned The Warren family is used to owning everything in their universe She is so beautiful and tragic, and Dick, like most of us, wants to preserve lovely things He is on the verge of reaching the pinnacle of his profession He is breaking new ground and getting noticed by the top men this is 1929 in his field That drive he has to succeed erodes as he starts to enjoy the life on the Riviera than the life in a clinic in Zurich Who wouldn t Aren t we supposed to enjoy being rich Dick is well aware that there is only a small window in every smart man s life to experience success You ve taught me that work is everything and I believed you You used to say a man knows things and when he stops knowing things he s like everyone else, and the thing is to get power before he stops knowing things F Scott and Zelda FitzgeraldIt is impossible to separate F Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda Sayre from the characters populating his novels Their almost mythical love affair and the disastrous unraveling of their lives are mined heavily by Scott for his novels and stories Zelda was often exasperated to find something gay and spirited she had said at a party or something dark and insightful she may have shared in the privacy of the bedroom show up in Scott s writing She was in many ways the subject of all of his writing She was certainly the muse F Scott drank too much, and Zelda slowly slid into madness She died at 47 and he at 44 They had lives used up too quickly Dick has Rosemary fluttering around him like a lovely, lustrous satellite, but Nicole has her numerous admirers, as well Foremost of these is Tommy Barban He sat in the only chair, dark, scarred and handsome, his eyebrows arched and upcurling, a fighting Puck, and earnest Satan He is virile and alive and lustful He lacks Dick s polish and sophistication, but then Dick, as he drinks and , isn t exactly Dick any We can t go on like this, Nicole suggested Or can we what do you think Startled that for the moment Dick did not deny it, she continued, Some of the time I think it s my fault I ve ruined you So I m ruined, am I he inquired pleasantly I didn t mean that But you used to want to create things now you seem to want to smash them up As Dick and Nicole s dependency on one another becomes and uncertain, the influences of others start to drive wedges between them It is like watching the disintegration of a monument They can not find the synergy with other people that they had together, but they can t find it with each other any, either The whole was greater than the sum of their parts Fitzgerald is wonderful at dangling this world of infinite possibility that so infused the 1920s era Living for today, not worrying about tomorrow, and not letting the past be a burden on the present Even as he shows us this glittering world, he begins to inch back the curtain to reveal the darkness that holds it all up To be Dick and Nicole, they must be on the top of their game all the time They are performance artists They dazzle those fortunate enough to be around them, but like most rock stars, they start to feel the pressure to always entertain Alcohol or drugs can take the edge off and temporarily make them feel like themselves, but eventually the centers of who they are become buried under the shimmering facades of the people everyone wants them to be If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  4. says:

    This book is so pointless, you could read the chapters in random order and probably not feel like you d missed much This marks my second and final attempt to read it I almost made it to the halfway point this time If you loved The Great Gatsby, don t get your hopes up for this one to be anything close to that good You ll be disappointed.

  5. says:

    I mean it begins badly, tails off a bit in the middle, and the less said about the ending the better.Occasionally, there are books that leave you at a loss as to how to dismiss them Reading this I kept thinking of a line from Stoppard s The Real Thing There s something scary about stupidity made coherent I can deal with idiots, and I can deal with sensible argument, but I don t know how to deal with you Tender is the Night is not stupid, but it is, if you like, triviality made coherent The story of a wealthy married couple going through a mid life crisis, it s such a nothingy narrative couched in formally perfect prose that attacking it feels like swinging at a ghost the disparity between form and content is dizzying It s like watching Stephen Hawking spend half an hour punching something into his speech computer, only to hear it reel off a haiku about Joey Essex.Where to start Construction wise, it s a complete mess Fitzgerald realised this, and was still rearranging chapters until he died, hoping for a rehabilitation which the novel has eventually found it was panned on release In its original, and most commonly printed, form, the first hundred and twenty pages introduce a baffling profusion of characters with no discernible story, at which point the narrative drops back a few years to set up the main couple of Dick and Nicole, a charmless pair of socialites based fairly closely on F Scott and Zelda.A chronological reordering might, perhaps, solve some of the problems, although personally I would advocate cutting the opening section altogether, dropping the middle bit, and then drastically abridging the end section, so that you re left with a slim pamphlet consisting of a nice speech about the First World War, some good descriptions of Zurich, an extramarital fumble in a French hotel room, and then a speedy conclusion Job done.Instead it just goes on and on, retailing anecdotes about peripheral characters who seem to spend the whole book going through a series of boring encounters designed only to highlight the period s casual racism, homophobia and misogyny It s difficult to overstress how little I cared about anyone in here The settings Nice, Rome, Lausanne should provide colour, but in fact they have few distinguishing features, becoming interchangeable stops on a general American eye view of Yurp In Gatsby I had loved Fitzgerald s nocturnal flights of melancholy prose here, instead, he seems to be in a sort of Hemingway mode, all flat cynicism and brittle dialogue and bitter comments about the opportunistic memory of women.Most of all, perhaps, I hated the equation drawn between professional productivity and personal happiness The long, drawn out decline and fall which comprises the latter half of the novel tries to show that Dick is a failure as a man because he never completed his book and because he develops a greater affection for his children Don t get me wrong, Dick is well he s a dick, isn t he but all the same, I thought it seemed a bit unfair to argue that because he chooses not to fight to keep his adulterous wife, and instead ends up practising medicine in a tiny town in New York state, that he s somehow therefore an archetypal symbol of a wasted life.

  6. says:

    SPOILERS He wished she had no background, that she was just a girl lost with no address save the night from which she had come Tender is the Night is a love story It is also a story about loneliness But mostly, it is about the need to love and belong Dick Diver falls in love with mentally ill woman and marries her But he never truly finds happiness with her He falls in love with an young actress, but he never gets to be with her, because his connection with and his love for his sick wife are too strong And he goes through life alone, leading a battle that cannot be won This is a beautiful and touching book, but it is also adamant in the way it shows what loneliness, what falling in love with the wrong person can do to us Still, does loving a person you cannot be happy with mean that you have truly chosen as much as love is choice the wrong person There are those of us who love those that cannot be reached, that cannot be saved, even those don t love us back For which do we need bigger strength To quit loving such person or to go on loving them Is Dick s growing detachment from Nicole a sign for the diminishing of his love or his loss of hope Can a distinction be made Do we love a person only when we believe there is a chance for them to turn into what we need them to be and for us to be happy with them We dream of finding that perfect person, for the connection that breaks us apart and builds us all over again, but what happens when we meet an already broken person whose pieces are there, waiting for us to pick them up and put the puzzle back together, only to realize that there will always be a piece that will be missing, that won t fit as we need it to I believe that when we love, it is forever Love that dies is no love, unless the object of our love changes severely But maybe sometimes the person hasn t become so different as we think, maybe they are the same, and it us who have changed without realizing it and this has lead to a change of heart Think how you love me I don t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember Somewhere inside me there ll always be the person I am tonight If the person we have grown to love stays forever there, under some form, does the part of us that loves this person goes on existing even while we feel that with another part of ourselves we slip away from our loved one s reach and start needing new horizons, new lands to explore, new hearts to conquer Is there such thing as loving only with a part of yourself or is love something that sweeps you completely and you love with your whole being Do humans have the potential, the depth to love absolutely and completely Or is love fragmented, like we are fragmented Is it possible for the part that loves and the part that stays indifferent or even hates to be two sides of the same coin, two faces of the same feeling Dick Diver goes on loving his wife, but a part of him grows cold This terrible contradiction comes not from weakening of his love for her, but from his inability to connect to her Are love and connection the same thing I thought so I am not so sure any He loves her, but feels disconnected from her He moved on through the rain, demoniac and frightened, the passions of many men inside him and nothing simple that he could see If we are ready to love without connection does that make our love extraordinarily strong or not strong enough Can a man who loves a woman whole heartedly accept only half of her, fragments of her, isn t the strongest kind of love the one that compels us to either have a full possession of somebody or walk away, because we love them too much to bear to have only fragments of them Or is the strongest love the one because of which we are ready to make any sacrifices and accept even the smallest particles, when even the smallest piece is better than nothing, when we are ready to sacrifice our life, our pride, our very essence Dick Diver feels like he has lost an essential part of himself, a part that leaves any real feeling in him incomplete If we sacrifice too much for the loved one, so much as we no longer feel as ourselves, can love survive Does true love transcends all Which is the stronger The love we bear for the other person or our sense of self When the sense of self vanishes, do we keep loving Would Dick have been happier had he left Nicole Would he have been happy with Rosemary I think not When we love somebody, we bear all their baggage, their pain overwhelms us, it becomes a part of us, but the same is valid for their joy, for everything amazing they are and everything amazing they give us We are overwhelmed, but the mere fact that we love someone so deeply as to let ourselves be overwhelmed gives us a sense of security and belonging and fullness He knew that the price of his intactness was incompleteness They made no love that day, but when he left her outside the sad door on the Zurichsee and she turned and looked at him he knew her problem was one they had together for good now Is his love for her weakness or strength Or both When we truly love, how much do we belong to ourselves and how much to the other person There were now no plans than if he had arbitrarily made some indissoluble mixture, with atoms joined and inseparable you could throw it all out but never again could they fit back into atomic scale As he held her and tasted her, and as she curved in further and further toward him, new to herself, drowned and engulfed in love, he was thankful to have an existence at all, if only as a reflection in her wet eyes I believe that no two people are absolutely alike or absolutely different, therefore there is no such thing as an absolute harmony or absolute disconnection The relationship between Dick and Nicole, however strong or weak, keeps on living and tearing him apart When the relationship does not bring us happiness, when the pain prevails, is it still love Does true love mean that no matter the circumstances, we can always find some happiness, some spark there Or do we love even when the passion no longer exists and desperation and emptiness fill our hearts and minds and hang over us and touch us like a pale, cold sun, so alike and unlike the real one that once kept it all alive, but has now melted and disappeared into space, leaving us merely with the memory It was not so much infatuation as a romantic memory She was still his girl Tender Is the Night left me incredibly satisfied and yearning at the same time I wish Scott Fitzgerald had developed Nicole s character Or Rosemary s But with Dick himself being the main focus and how his love and longing, pain and loneliness affect his life and personality, they were of a catalyst for him than actual characters in the novel I think that had Fitzgerald given them personality, this would have been a five star book for me Still, it was a great experience One I am tempted to go back to one day.Read count 1

  7. says:

    To me the title was the best part of the book.

  8. says:

    This is my favorite Fitzgerald book I read it back to back with This Side of Paradise last year, which was an interesting experiment I had the young, beautiful, self confident Fitzgerald and the Fitzgerald of post Zelda s craziness, dark dark alcoholic Fitzgerald Besides showing obviously how much his skills had improved, it showed the sheer range he was capable of as well This is a dark, depressing novel Loss, loneliness, isolation, desolation It does not end well But the sheer power of the prose, and just how completely lost everything is here can t fail to get to you The story is so tight, well put together, flows along without a hitch It sinks you slowly lower and lower and lower until you re hardly aware of just how dark of a place the novel has gone And then all of a sudden things evaporate, and there you are Just like Fitzgerald Wandering off the last page.Really I recommend it to everyone Do give it a try.

  9. says:

    638 Tender is the Night F Scott FitzgeraldTender Is the Night is the fourth and final novel completed by American writer F Scott Fitzgerald It 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 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 becomes infatuated with Dick and becomes close to Nicole Dick toys with the idea of having an affair with Rosemary Rosemary senses something is wrong with the couple, which is brought to light when one of the guests at a party reports having seen something strange in the bathroom Tommy Barban, another guest, comes loyally to the defense of the Divers The action involves various other friends, including the Norths, where a frequent occurrence is the drunken behavior of Abe North The story becomes complicated when Jules Peterson, a black man, is murdered and ends up in Rosemary s bed, in a situation which could destroy Rosemary s career Dick moves the blood soaked body to cover up any implied relationship between Rosemary and Peterson It is revealed that, as a promising young doctor and psychiatrist, Dick had taken on a patient with an especially complex case of neuroses This patient is Nicole, whose sexual abuse by her father is suggested as the cause of her breakdown As her treatment progresses, she becomes infatuated with Dick, who in turn develops Florence Nightingale syndrome He eventually determines to marry Nicole, in part, as a means of providing her with lasting emotional stability Strong objections are raised by Nicole s sister, who believes Dick is marrying Nicole because of her status as an heiress Dick is offered a partnership in a Swiss clinic, and Nicole pays for the entire clinic After his father s death Dick travels to America and then Rome in hopes to see Rosemary They start a brief affair, which ends abruptly and painfully Dick gets into an altercation with the police, and Nicole s sister helps him to get out of jail Dick doesn t see how he can be the same person after such a humiliation He gradually develops a drinking problem After this becomes an issue with the patients, Dick s ownership share of the clinic is bought out by American investors following his partner s suggestion Dick and Nicole s marriage breaks down when he becomes increasingly alcoholic and pines for Rosemary, who is now a successful Hollywood star Nicole becomes increasingly aware of her independence She distances herself from Dick as his confidence and friendliness turn into sarcasm and rudeness towards everyone His constant unhappiness over what he could have been fuels his alcoholism, and Dick becomes increasingly embarrassing in social and familial situations Nicole enters into an affair with Tommy Barban Nicole divorces Dick and marries Barban 2011 1388 491 9789643419646 1393 370 9786007443378 20

  10. says:

    i knew a dick once his name was sam, and he was a star people gravitated toward him everywhere he went i did, too he radiated light and fun and when he talked to you, he made you feel like the most important person in the room he partied hard, and he was the type of person you wanted to party with, because it was always a good time he was the son of a diplomat, knew five languages, and always knew exactly what to say or do to get the situation how he wanted it when i was about sixteen, we spent an amazing weekend together, that took us from manhattan to new jersey to connecticut, all for good reason, and it was one of the most memorable weekends of my life we talked very infrequently for the next few years, and then we hit it back up again, online, and he was such a blast to talk to so we made plans to meet up but i was older and wiser then and as much as i wanted to be with him, to breathe in his intensity, his vitality, i was guarded id been burned by then by friends who were fun and energetic but weren t, when it came down to it, there in any meaningful way there was one in particular who taught me that lesson and when sam inevitably disappointed me, i stood my ground i didnt want to be friends with someone like that i said that i wanted to believe he wasnt like that, that he was all the positive things i knew to be true but also reliable that he was reliable but that now i knew he wasnt.i wanted him to fight for me to show me i was wrong if he had insisted, i m sure i would have continued to be friends with him and it wasnt like a hard line was drawn in the sand or anything but he just wasnt interested in continuing a friendship with someone who maybe wasnt as dazzled by him any, i think but as things worked out, that was the last time i spoke to him he died four years ago that they held memorial services in literally ten different countries so, see, i m not exaggerating the effect he had on people i m not sure what my point is, except that dick reminded me of sam and like sam dick was a remarkable character i was so disappointed in his decisions, wanted to be disgusted by his actions but somehow, what i really felt, was empathy love pity there s so much pain in this book, so much longing, so much sorrow i dont know i guess maybe life is just hard for everyone, and when faced head on with that, it s hard to begrudge him his choices.