Tender is the Night, F Scott Fitzgerald

Tender is the Night

Like most women, she liked to be told how she should feel, and she liked Dick’s telling her which things were ludicrous and which things were sad.

F Scott Fitzgerald really bothers me.  He really really does.  Not that I don’t enjoy his stories of travel and high society and booze and scandal and all that, but ever since reading the story of how he treated poor Zelda and seeing more and more the inherent sexism in his writing, I care considerably less and less for him.

I’ve always been meaning to read Tender is the Night, which is very critically acclaimed, even so far as be said one of the top 100 novels of our time, but I find myself only mostly interested in reading it as part of an investigation into its author.  I really just wanted my low opinion of Fitzgerald to be reinforced, so take care in reading this review because as always I got what I wanted.  Tender of the Night may be a little more complex than I first was willing to believe.  It begins a story of a Doctor Divers and his wife Nicole who meet a very pretty young actress named Rosemary while in France.  Rosemary falls in love with the Doctor, he tries to keep her at bay, and then the story slowly unfolds the backstory of the Doctor and his wife, a most scandalous past including incest, mental anguish, schizophrenia, and a marriage made to solve it all.

The story ends in a place I was not expecting, but nevertheless it never really solves the gender issues in the text, little gem of quotes like the one above, which I find myself repulsed by.  Yes, it’s a sweeping story, easy to read, and sometimes exciting.  But it’s also just really insipid… Can we please just get over Fitzgerald already?  Thank you.

More enchanting than this novel, I get to include a reading from not one resident from the International Student House in D.C., but three!  I asked one of my floor-mates and one of the absolutely dearest women in the house, Sweet, who is from Taiwan, if she would like to read for me.  She asked if she could do The Great Gatsby, but since I’ve already read that we compromised with Tender as the Night.  When Sweet began to read, two of the other women she is rarely without, and also two residents of ISH, Celine and Camille came by and helped Sweet with some of the French pronunciations.  I suggested we record all of it.   finished Tender is the Night listening to an audio book on my to Edmonton.  The woman reads quite eccentrically, but I can’t say she’s more of a favourite of mine than Sweet, Camille and Celine. Enjoy!

Books Read: 15

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