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Introduction

William Blazek
Affiliation:
Liverpool Hope University
Laura Rattray
Affiliation:
University of Hull
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Summary

After the publication of The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald's landmark text of American literary modernism, in April 1925, the reading public would wait nine years for the appearance of the writer's next novel, Tender Is the Night, published on 12 April 1934.

Such a laboured birth of his fourth novel had never been the writer's original intention. In May 1925, only two weeks after the issue of Gatsby, Fitzgerald had confidently outlined ambitious (if vague) plans for the new work to his editor at Scribner's, Maxwell Perkins: ‘The happiest thought I have is of my new novel – it is something really NEW in form, idea, structure – the model for the age that Joyce and Stien [sic] are searching for, that Conrad didn't find’ (Kuehl and Bryer 104). In December of that year, Fitzgerald assured Perkins: ‘My novel should be finished next fall’ (Kuehl and Bryer 127). In April 1926, the writer instructed his literary agent: ‘The novel is about one fourth done and will be delivered for possible serialization about January 1st. It will be about 75,000 words long, divided into 12 chapters, concerning tho this is absolutely confidential such a case as that girl who shot her mother on the Pacific coast last year. In other words, like Gatsby it is highly sensational’ (Life in Letters 140–41).

Increasingly, however, Fitzgerald's letters were peppered with anxious references to the slow progress of the ‘new’ novel and with optimistic estimates of the time required to complete future sections of the work.

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Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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  • Introduction
  • William Blazek, Liverpool Hope University, Laura Rattray, University of Hull
  • Book: Twenty-First Century Readings of 'Tender is the Night'
  • Online publication: 05 June 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.5949/UPO9781846314308.001
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  • Introduction
  • William Blazek, Liverpool Hope University, Laura Rattray, University of Hull
  • Book: Twenty-First Century Readings of 'Tender is the Night'
  • Online publication: 05 June 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.5949/UPO9781846314308.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • William Blazek, Liverpool Hope University, Laura Rattray, University of Hull
  • Book: Twenty-First Century Readings of 'Tender is the Night'
  • Online publication: 05 June 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.5949/UPO9781846314308.001
Available formats
×