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Tender Is the Night is one of the most interesting examples in 20th century fiction of reversing the usual social metaphors. Dr. Dick Diver, a psychiatrist, is examined as a case of mental health. He is also placed in a classic woman's role, that of the desired, amiable beauty sought after by all and sundry. These juxtapositions of the usual social perspectives allow the reader to touch closer to the realities of human need and connection, by piercing our assumptions about what is "right and proper."

The story begins from the perspective of Rosemary Hoyt, an 18-year-old motion picture star, recuperating on the Rivera. One day she goes to the beach and becomes entranced by the Divers, Dick and Nicole, a golden couple with whom she immediately falls in love. Beautiful, young, rich, and looking for adventure, she quickly sets out to capture Dick who is the most wonderful person she has ever met.

Later, the story shifts to Dick's perspective and traces back to the beginnings of his marriage to Nicole. She had formed an accidental attachment to him (a classic psychiatric transference) while residing in a mental hospital. He returned her friendship, and found it impossible to break her heart. They married, and he played the role of at-home psychiatrist tending her schizophrenia. All went well for years, but gradually he became weary of his role. His weariness causes him to re-evaluate his views on life . . . and the psychological profile of Dr. Diver, charming bon vivant, begins.

The tale is a remarkably modern one, even if it was set in the 1920s. Fitzgerald deeply investigates the meanings of love, humanity, and connection. In so doing, he uncovers some of the strongest and most vile of human passions, and makes fundamental commentaries about the futility of fighting against human nature. The result is a particularly bleak view of life, in which the tenders may end up more injured by life than those they tend. What good is it to please everyone else, if they offend rather than please you instead?

The character portrayals of Rosemary Hoyt, Dick Diver, and Nicole Diver are remarkably finely drawn. I can remember no other book where three such interesting characters are so well developed. You will feel like each of them is an old friend by the time the novel ends.

If you have ever had the chance to read Freud, the novel will remind you of his writings. There is the same fine literary hand, the succinctness and clarity of expression, and the remorseless directness of looking straight at the unpleasant. I felt like I was reading Freud rather than Fitzgerald in many sections.

This book should open up your mind to thinking about which social conventions you observe that leave you uncomfortable . . . or which are in contradiction to your own nature. Having surfaced those misfitting parts of your life, I suggest that you consider how you could shift your observation of conventions to make them more meaningful and emotionally rewarding for you.

Be considerate because it pleases you to be, not as a ruse to obtain love!
0Kommentar6 von 6 Personen haben dies hilfreich gefunden.. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 12. März 2001
We meet Dick Diver en route to Dohmler's mental clinic in Zurich, where he used to work as a psychologist and now only visits. The reader learns that Dick and Nicole - the two forthcoming main-characters of the novel - met months before. Nicole Warren, who is a patient in Dohmler's clinic has been writing letters to Dick and both somehow got very fond of eachother. For Dick on one hand Nicole becomes a case study, on the other he falls deeply in love with her. They marry, Nicole gives birth to a girl (Topsy), her state of mind seems to brighten up and they move to the French Riviera. The Divers in fact form the high society of Cannes, always surrounded by their friends: the McKiscos, the Norths and a few other American tourists, by whom Rosemary Speers, a rising young star from Hollywood, and her mother are introduced to Dick an Nicole. From the first moment they meet, Rosemary is completely infatuated with Dick and after some time of resisting the temptation he also falls in love with her. The Norths, the Divers and Rosemary decide to spend a few days in Paris, where Dick feels that the tension between him and Nicole is growing and finally confesses his love to Rosemary. After two people getting murdered right in front of them, the group leaves the city. The Divers go back to the Riviera with the Norths and Rosemary to Italy to shoot a new movie. Due to Dick neglecting her and to all the chaos they had to live through the past weeks, Nicole is getting very unstable again. Dick does not want to take this responsibility anymore and opens a new clinic with a friend in Lausanne. His alibi is to be better able to care for Nicole. But this is also too much for him, so that during a long break from work he travels through Europe. On his voyage he learns of Mr. North having been killed and also his father's death. He is so confused, that he decides to visit Rosemary in Naples, after not having seen her for 3 years. Their relationship now seems strangely distant, but they are still fond of eachother. Back in Cannes Dick frustrates and flees into the high-society, which lets him meet an earlier acquaintance again: the Frenchman Tommy Barban, who has always shown interest in Nicole and because of whom she later divorces Dick for. He, in fact, has anticipated all of this and when also the relationship to Rosemary turns out to be a failure he decides to be a better father for Topsy from now on and moves back to the United States to practice general medicine.
I chose to work with this book, because an excerpt of it was given to us in one of our exams. Right away I thought the book would be interesting to read, due to the different languages that are used and also due to the big drama and strange constellation of people that I could find in even such a small piece of a 500 page book. Actually those 500 pages were, what shocked me at first, but once one starts reading Tender is the Night one realizes that it is never really boring. So many different, weird people with so many problems, so many interesting relations, affairs and feelings between them, so many different places, so many emotions and such a complicated, but still easily understandable and interesting plot make the novel absolutely worth reading. Fitzgerald's style is demanding but easy to read and even with not knowing every single word, the storyline still remains clear and gripping. In the end one feels like one really knows what is happening inside the characters and why they act how they do - a fact that is sometimes missing in other novels.
0Kommentar6 von 6 Personen haben dies hilfreich gefunden.. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
Tender Is the Night is one of the most interesting examples in 20th century fiction of reversing the usual social metaphors. Dr. Dick Diver, a psychiatrist, is examined as a case of mental health. He is also placed in a classic woman's role, that of the desired, amiable beauty sought after by all and sundry. These juxtapositions of the usual social perspectives allow the reader to touch closer to the realities of human need and connection, by piercing our assumptions about what is "right and proper."

The story begins from the perspective of Rosemary Hoyt, an 18-year-old motion picture star, recuperating on the Rivera. One day she goes to the beach and becomes entranced by the Divers, Dick and Nicole, a golden couple with whom she immediately falls in love. Beautiful, young, rich, and looking for adventure, she quickly sets out to capture Dick who is the most wonderful person she has ever met.

Later, the story shifts to Dick's perspective and traces back to the beginnings of his marriage to Nicole. She had formed an accidental attachment to him (a classic psychiatric transference) while residing in a mental hospital. He returned her friendship, and found it impossible to break her heart. They married, and he played the role of at-home psychiatrist tending her schizophrenia. All went well for years, but gradually he became weary of his role. His weariness causes him to re-evaluate his views on life . . . and the psychological profile of Dr. Diver, charming bon vivant, begins.

The tale is a remarkably modern one, even if it was set in the 1920s. Fitzgerald deeply investigates the meanings of love, humanity, and connection. In so doing, he uncovers some of the strongest and most vile of human passions, and makes fundamental commentaries about the futility of fighting against human nature. The result is a particularly bleak view of life, in which the tenders may end up more injured by life than those they tend. What good is it to please everyone else, if they offend rather than please you instead?

The character portrayals of Rosemary Hoyt, Dick Diver, and Nicole Diver are remarkably finely drawn. I can remember no other book where three such interesting characters are so well developed. You will feel like each of them is an old friend by the time the novel ends.

If you have ever had the chance to read Freud, the novel will remind you of his writings. There is the same fine literary hand, the succinctness and clarity of expression, and the remorseless directness of looking straight at the unpleasant. I felt like I was reading Freud rather than Fitzgerald in many sections.

This book should open up your mind to thinking about which social conventions you observe that leave you uncomfortable . . . or which are in contradiction to your own nature. Having surfaced those misfitting parts of your life, I suggest that you consider how you could shift your observation of conventions to make them more meaningful and emotionally rewarding for you.

Be considerate because it pleases you to be, not as a ruse to obtain love!
0Kommentar1 von 1 Personen haben dies hilfreich gefunden.. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 23. Februar 1999
When I critique a literary work, I often consider the same elements that any other critic may: plot, theme, diction, style, etc. However, it is a rare occurrence when someone reads a story to which he/she can absolutely relate. After all, literature is best at providing a person with a way in which to be entertained, yet learn something about him/herself. In my case, I read Tender Is The Night during a period when I was breaking up with my girlfriend. If it were not for this situation, I would not have appreciated this work, but due to my circumstances, I became especially interested. I found that I could relate to many of Dick Diver's emotions, while at the same time I realized the genius with which Fitzgerald writes this novel. I knew that a person could learn a lot about him/herself through reading since literature can act as a mirror which people can see themselves, but I never knew that reading could create such an intimate experience that would hit me so close to home. Nevertheless, this book is one of the greatest literary works that I have ever read, and I would suggest that this would be a great novel for anyone who enjoys tragic human behavior.
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am 4. November 1998
This book was the book written right after the famous of Fitzgerald's writings, The Great Gatsby. Tender Is the Night took him six years to write and it was very close to his heart since some scholars believe that this book represented his down fall after his wife Zelda died. Also, many have stated that this is second best book, but I will say otherwise and call it his best book which he wrote.
This book will seem very boring at the beginning because the main character, Dick Drive will not appear until the end of the second chapter, and will also talk about certain "plots" or other games which are not relevant to the story. Nevertheless, the plot will start to build when Rosemary starts to fall in love with Dick and the point where the story starts to cook with gas is at the Driver's party.
Throughout the book, there are points that will leave you in suspense, and will also get you to motivate you to read more into the story to see what happens. One example is why did Dick marry Nicole. Though the story, their marriage has a facade over it, when they are around a crowd, they act with love and is flawless, yet when they are by themselves, it is a whole different world. They act very unfriendly, the couple do not really talk to each other or get into arguments. The Driver's marriage is not strong, and the weakness will lead up to chaos and the conclusion of the book.
Also, in the book many subplots will make the book even more suspenseful to read. The subplots I believe are what keep you going in this book because it will show that true life is not just one problem (like having an affair) there are many. Some include, what happened in the restroom, why is Mr. North hiding, and the overall one, how did Dick and Nicole get married. When they are first introduced into the book, they do not give the answer right away, you must read and continue reading the solution to the subplot, and then will lead you to the main one.
Finally, I really found this book to be a great one. The main characters are great, the story plot is good, but the only bad item is how it would throw me off the track when another problem arrived. The effort of the six years that Fitzgerald actually paid off, although he was not as successful with this book.
0Kommentar4 von 5 Personen haben dies hilfreich gefunden.. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 23. Dezember 2000
Es ist bewegend, wie intensiv und unbarmherzig sich Francis Scott Fitzgerald in diesem Werk mit seinem eigenen Schicksal auseinandersetzt. Das Leben als "expatriate" in Europa, geprägt durch Oberflächlichkeiten und der permanenten Suche nach Vergnügen führt zu einem zwangsläufigen Realitätsverlust. Ganz extrem erlebt dieses F.S. Fitzgerald am Beispiel seiner Frau Zelda, die ab 1930 geisteskrank wird. Vier Jahre später schreibt er nun diese Geschichte, von Dick und Nicole Diver und hält seinem eigenen Leben einen Spiegel vor. "Tender is the Night" ist ein hervorragend erzähltes Werk über die Leichtigkeit des Lebens, die wir doch alle anstreben und die so vielen zum Verhängnis wird. Besonders in der heutigen Zeit des Überflusses der Erlebnisgeneration hat diese Geschichte aus den goldenen 20er Jahren einen hoch aktuellen Bezug.
0Kommentar11 von 14 Personen haben dies hilfreich gefunden.. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 26. April 1999
Fitzgerald wrote a perfect short novel in Gatsby. I find the more ambitious and longer Tender is the Night disappointing. It is too loose, occasionally rambling, and the overly artful language now seems dated. The storyline is simple- the progress of a marriage from infatuation to its end, and the collapse of the main character. But the book only comes to life in the final fifty pages. Unlike his contemporaries, Proust, Hemingway, Miller etc, Fitzgerald now seems antique. Instead, I would recommend Fiesta- The Sun ALso Rises, or, if the reader has a couple of years on his hands, Remembrances of Times Past. Both cover the essential theme far better.
0Kommentar1 von 1 Personen haben dies hilfreich gefunden.. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 5. September 2015
Das US-amerikanische Ehepaar Dick und Nicole Diver lebt in den 1920ern ohne Geldsorgen in Südfrankreich und Zürich. F. Scott Fitzgerald verarbeitet hier wie fast immer sein eigenes Leben und das seiner Frau, also geht es auch um Nervenkrankheit, scheiternde Träume und Alkoholismus - Fitzgeralds entsprechender Lebensabschnitt heißt in der Bruccoli-Biografie "A Drunkard's Holiday, 1925 - 1931". Diese Themen erscheinen im Roman jedoch wenig aufdringlich und undramatisch.

Heterogen:

F. Scott Fitzgerald schreibt mit federleichtem, flüchtigem Ton, erzählt allerdings nicht immer konsistent: Szenen und Konstellationen wechseln unversehens, Menschen beschreibt er mit widersprechenden Adjektiven in einem Satz. Fitzgerald arbeitete neun Jahre an dem Roman, den er aus verschiedenen Fragmenten zusammensetzte und immer wieder umbaute – dabei wechselte er nicht nur mehrfach zwischen US-Ostküste, Hollywood und Europa, sondern lernte auch wesentliche neue Zeitgenossen kennen und musste seine Frau im Sanatorium unterbringen. Zudem plagten ihn Geldsorgen und Trunksucht, zum Geldverdienen schrieb er viele sehr gut bezahlte Kurzgeschichten.

Der Zusammenhalt des Romans litt unter dieser unübersichtlichen Entstehung, speziell im Vergleich zum wunderbar homogenen großen Gatsby, dem gefeierten Vorgänger-Werk. Die heute übliche, eher chronologische Romanstruktur von Zärtlich ist die Nacht stammt nicht einmal von Fitzgerald selbst, sondern wurde erst von einem Freund eingerichtet, der die Romanteile nach Fitzgeralds Angaben neu ordnete. (Aktuelle deutsche Fassungen geben offenbar die erste, weniger chronologische Romanstruktur wieder. Ich selbst habe die chronologisch geordnete Bearbeitung gelesen, und das auf Englisch, kann also Übersetzungen nicht beurteilen.)

Die entspannte, dabei unpräzise Erzählweise verführt auch dazu, flüchtig über die Geschichte hinwegzulesen; und dann vermeint man noch stärker als ohnehin schon, etwas verpasst zu haben. In seiner heterogenen Art erinnert Zärtlich ist die Nacht deutlich an Fitzgeralds erste Romane, Diesseits vom Paradies (1920) und Die Schönen und Verdammten (1922) und weniger an das Meisterwerk von 1925, Der große Gatsby.

Schlichte Mittel:

Während der Roman länger fast ohne Handlung in der mediterranen Mittagshitze dahintreibt, kreiert Fitzgerald momentweise mit schlichten Mitteln Spannung: So gibt es eine potentiell tödliche Auseinandersetzung, doch den wahren Hintergrund dafür erfahren wir lange nicht; eine Romanfigur weint im Morgengrauen auf der Hoteltreppe, doch den Hintergrund verschweigt Fitzgerald wiederum.

Manche Äußerungen und Verhaltensweisen erscheinen wenig verständlich willkürlich, nicht zuletzt, wie sich die jugendliche Rosemary an den zufrieden verheirateten Dick Diver wirft. Durchgängig angenehm säuselnd, kredenzt Fitzgerald auch mindestens drei unglaubliche Zufälle, welche die Handlung entscheidend beeinflussen.

Sinkflug:

Hauptfigur Dick Diver wird als charismatisch und als wissenschaftliche Koryphäe beschrieben, gewinnt jedoch in den ersten zwei Buchdritteln keine Statur, überhaupt zeigen die meisten Figuren kaum Persönlichkeit. Divers Sinkflug im letzten Drittel erscheint wenig nachvollziehbar.

Gleichwohl entwickelt das Buch – benannt nach einer Keats-Gedichtzeile – vor allem im letzten Drittel etwas Spannung. Fitzgerald produziert starke Dialoge und feine Beobachtungen, auch wenn er mitunter abrupt scheinbar eigene Erlebnisse einstreut. Beflügelndes Südfrankreich-Ambiente erzeugt der Roman kaum.

Viele Bekannte:

In den Roman baute Fitzgerald wie üblich neben sich und seiner Frau viele Bekannte ein, u.a. das glamouröse Industriellenpaar Sara und Gerald Murphy und die junge Hollywoodschauspielerin Lois Moran. Nicht verwendet hat Fitzgerald jedoch offenbar seine Freundschaft mit Hemingway und seine Begegnungen mit Picasso oder Gertrude Stein.

Der Murphy-Biograph Tomkins sagt über Fitzgeralds Arbeitsweise:

Gerald and Sara were not at all happy when they found out that Scott was writing a novel about them. Scott’s way of going about it was extremely annoying. He would ask them intrusive questions, like, How much money do you really have? and How did you get into Skull and Bones at Yale? They felt that many of his questions were quite hostile. He had a somewhat disapproving attitude of them by then... For several summers they were very close. Gerald admired Fitzgerald as a writer. He thought that Gatsby was an extraordinary achievement, and that some of the short stories were first-rate, but he didn’t have a great deal of respect for the work that Fitzgerald was doing then...

Verfilmungen u.a.:

1962: Kinofilm mit Jennifer Jones, Jason Robards, Joan Fontaine (IMDB, Kritik New York Times, 1. Video unten)
1985: BBC-Miniserie mit Peter Strauss, Mary Steenburgen (jetzt auch auf DVD, Bluray, 2. Video unten, Besprechung & Rezensionsbericht auf HansBlog.de in Kürze)

"Die polierte Gnadenlosigkeit und das hautwarme Mitempfinden..." – deutsche Kritiken:

Wie schon beim Vorgänger Der große Gatsby: Auch der Roman Zärtlich ist die Nacht fand zunächst nur geteiltes Lob, wurde über die Jahrzehnte jedoch immer höher gestuft. Die deutsche Kritik spricht vor allem von der Diogenes-Neuauflage in der ursprünglichen, weniger chronologischen Romanfassung:

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 2006:

Weil die Figuren dieses autobiographischen Romans entwurzelt sind, haltlos und driftend, wechseln sie ewig die Orte, auf Fahrrädern, mit Seilbahnen, in Taxis, Zügen und Flugzeugen... Endlich erscheint jetzt die erste, eigentlich immer maßgebliche Version von "Zärtlich ist die Nacht" aus dem Jahr 1934 auf deutsch. Jahrelang hatte es hier nur die umgeschriebene, gestraffte, stromlinienförmigere Ausgabe gegeben, die Fitzgerald nach harscher Kritik angefertigt hatte... Alkoholroman, der immer nüchterner wird.

Die Zeit 2006:

Das heimliche, eigentliche Meisterwerk... erst in dieser chronologisch verschachtelten Form wird deutlich, mit welch grandioser Schwindelkraft Fitzgerald seinen Helden Dick Diver behandelt, wie er ihn strahlen lässt und brillieren... Fitzgerald, und das macht ihn so angenehm, so aufregend, wirkt aber selbst in dieser feinsten Tragödie wie der perfekte Gastgeber seiner Figuren, er ist aufmerksam und nicht zu aufdringlich... eine Sprache, die etwas Wertvolles hat, etwas Pures, fast Pretiöses... Diese Sprache lebt Schulter an Schulter mit Conrad, Hemingway und Dos Passos

Die Welt 2006:

Bislang war "Zärtlich ist die Nacht" in deutscher Sprache nur in einer von faulen Kompromissen verdorbenen Fassung zu lesen, die ein verzweifelter Fitzgerald nach dem wirtschaftlichen Mißerfolg auch dieses Romans hastig erstellte... Es in Renate Orth-Guttmanns ausgezeichneter Übersetzung auf deutsch zugänglich zu machen, ist die größte Leistung dieser Neuedition... "Zärtlich ist die Nacht" ist - nach dem "Gatsby" und mancher der bei uns immer noch eher stiefmütterlich behandelten Kurzgeschichten - Fitzgeralds bestes Werk, nur erschließt es sich schwer. Wieder einmal hat der Autor ein "Erzählerproblem", ein langes erstes Buch lang sieht der Leser den Psychiater Dick Diver und seine Frau und Patientin Nicole fast nur durch die Augen einer jungen Schauspielerin, die dem Roman danach beinahe verloren geht. Erst in der zweiten Hälfte gewinnt der Roman an Kraft...

Der Spiegel 1953:

Sein Roman "Zärtlich ist die Nacht", ursprünglich 1934 in USA erschienen, ist vom Berliner Blanvalet-Verlag in Deutsch herausgebracht worden und hat im Nu den fünften Platz der Weihnachts-Bestsellerliste erklettert, wie eine Umfrage der Westberliner Zeitung "Der Abend" ergab... (die ersten vier: Guareschis "Don Camillo und Peppone", Herman Wouks "Die Caine war ihr Schicksal", Peter Bamms "Die unsichtbare Flagge", Hemingways "Der alte Mann und das Meer")... 1934 kam Zelda Fitzgerald mit Schizophrenie ins Irrenhaus. Im gleichen Jahr erschien "Zärtlich ist die Nacht", eine lange, lyrische Studie über die Aushöhlung der Ehe... Das ist eine aufregende Problematik, aber aufregender ist Fitzgeralds Stil, die polierte Gnadenlosigkeit und das hautwarme Mitempfinden

Amazon.com: 3,9 von 5 Lesersternen, 393 Stimmen
Amazon.co.uk: 4,0 von 5 Lesersternen, 122 Stimmen
Goodreads: 3,83 von 5 Lesersternen, 66988 Stimmen (jew. September 2015)

"Exquisitely crafted piece of fiction..." - englische Kritiken:

New York Times 1934:

No two reviews were alike; no two had the same tone. Some seemed to think that Mr. Fitzgerald was writing about his usual jazz age boys and girls; others that he had a "timeless" problem on his hands. And some seemed to think that Doctor Diver's collapse was insufficiently documented... It seemed to us that Mr. Fitzgerald proceeded accurately, step by step, with just enough documentation to keep the drama from being misty, but without destroying the suggestiveness that added to the horror lurking behind the surface...

The Paris Review:

From Rosalind Connage in This Side of Paradise to Gloria Gilbert in The Beautiful and the Damned to Daisy Fay in The Great Gatsby to Nicole Diver in Tender Is the Night, Fitzgerald’s principal female characters are wealthy, delicate, flirtatious, and beautiful, but they all eventually cause not just heartache but complete catastrophe for his male protagonists... One of the biggest criticisms of Tender Is the Night—and the principal criticism leveled by Hemingway—was that Dick Diver was a washy combination of Murphy and Fitzgerald: an inconsistent character. Fitzgerald wrote the bulk of Tender is the Night in an emotional hell, living at the La Paix estate outside Baltimore, drinking incredible amounts, and struggling with his self-perceived “crack-up,” all while Zelda was hospitalized for mental illness.

New Yorker-Journalist Tomkins im selben Artikel der Paris-Review (er schrieb auch eine Biographie über die lebenden Vorbilder Gerald and Sara Murphy):

It was one of those reading experiences that you get maybe two or three times in your life, when a book just takes you over. I was deeply immersed in that book and in the world it had conjured up. I still think it’s by far his best work. But as you know it was not a success at the time. It came out during the Depression, and it was considered frivolous—a narrative about rich people on the Riviera, with no relevance for the period people were living in...

Kirkus Review 1934:

The selling point of this book is the story itself, the almost morbid fascination of the lurking mystery, the deft shift of atmosphere... The psychological aspects are neither so sound nor so interesting... Not wholly satisfactory, in final analysis -- but good reading. Headlined as the leading book on the publisher's list

The Independent 2008:

Neither a critical nor a commercial success when it was first published in 1934. But its reputation has, rightly, grown and it remains one of my favourite books, suffused as it is with both the glamour and poignancy of Fitzgerald's own life: in particular, the failure of his marriage to the lovely, unbalanced Zelda and his acute sense of himself as a great and a ruined artist... In just a snatch of dialogue or a few lines of description, Fitzgerald can evoke the happy, troubled and perilous balance of a group of friends or the moment when a long friendship is ruined for good. Pre-occupied with surfaces, he is never limited by them. His most persuasive characters are complex self-reflective creations; glamorous, but with a questioning intelligence, a sense of irony and the possibility of true integrity... He has an acute eye and ear for the nuances of character... exquisitely crafted piece of fiction.

Fitzgeraldologe Malcolm Cowly in New Republic 1934:

“Tender is the Night” is a good novel that puzzles you and ends by making you a little angry because it isn’t a great novel also. It doesn’t give the feeling of being complete in itself... The trouble is that Fitzgerald has never completely decided what kind of novel he wanted to write—whether it should center round a single hero or deal with a whole group. Both types of approach are present, the individual and the collective, and they interfere with each other. We are conscious of a divided purpose... There is another reason, too, for the technical faults of “Tender Is the Night.” Fitzgerald has been working on it at intervals for the last nine years, ever since he published “The Great Gatsby” in 1925. During these years his attitude has inevitably changed, as has that of every other sensitive writer. Yet no matter how much he revised his early chapters, he could not make them wholly agree with those written later... The result is that several of his characters are self-contradictory: they don’t merely change as living creatures change; they transform themselves into different people... it has a richness of meaning and emotion—one feels that every scene is selected among many possible scenes and that every event has pressure behind it. There is nothing false or borrowed in the book: everything is observed at first hand
0KommentarWar diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
Tender Is the Night is one of the most interesting examples in 20th century fiction of reversing the usual social metaphors. Dr. Dick Diver, a psychiatrist, is examined as a case of mental health. He is also placed in a classic woman's role, that of the desired, amiable beauty sought after by all and sundry. These juxtapositions of the usual social perspectives allow the reader to touch closer to the realities of human need and connection, by piercing our assumptions about what is "right and proper."

The story begins from the perspective of Rosemary Hoyt, an 18-year-old motion picture star, recuperating on the Rivera. One day she goes to the beach and becomes entranced by the Divers, Dick and Nicole, a golden couple with whom she immediately falls in love. Beautiful, young, rich, and looking for adventure, she quickly sets out to capture Dick who is the most wonderful person she has ever met.

Later, the story shifts to Dick's perspective and traces back to the beginnings of his marriage to Nicole. She had formed an accidental attachment to him (a classic psychiatric transference) while residing in a mental hospital. He returned her friendship, and found it impossible to break her heart. They married, and he played the role of at-home psychiatrist tending her schizophrenia. All went well for years, but gradually he became weary of his role. His weariness causes him to re-evaluate his views on life . . . and the psychological profile of Dr. Diver, charming bon vivant, begins.

The tale is a remarkably modern one, even if it was set in the 1920s. Fitzgerald deeply investigates the meanings of love, humanity, and connection. In so doing, he uncovers some of the strongest and most vile of human passions, and makes fundamental commentaries about the futility of fighting against human nature. The result is a particularly bleak view of life, in which the tenders may end up more injured by life than those they tend. What good is it to please everyone else, if they offend rather than please you instead?

The character portrayals of Rosemary Hoyt, Dick Diver, and Nicole Diver are remarkably finely drawn. I can remember no other book where three such interesting characters are so well developed. You will feel like each of them is an old friend by the time the novel ends.

If you have ever had the chance to read Freud, the novel will remind you of his writings. There is the same fine literary hand, the succinctness and clarity of expression, and the remorseless directness of looking straight at the unpleasant. I felt like I was reading Freud rather than Fitzgerald in many sections.

This book should open up your mind to thinking about which social conventions you observe that leave you uncomfortable . . . or which are in contradiction to your own nature. Having surfaced those misfitting parts of your life, I suggest that you consider how you could shift your observation of conventions to make them more meaningful and emotionally rewarding for you.

Be considerate because it pleases you to be, not as a ruse to obtain love!
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am 7. April 1998
I had mixed feelings about Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I enjoyed reading about the romance between Nicole and Dick, and then between Rosemary and Dick, and I found that I cared deeply for the characters. I was involved in their lives and felt concern and sorrow for them. Despite these aspects which I enjoyed, there was much of the novel which I felt to be irrelevant and uninteresting. I didn't understand the significance of the story of Abe North's difficulty with the law, the problems between the Divers and a remarried Mary North, and the arrest of Mary North and Lady Sibly-Biers. I was also disappointed in the way Fitzgerald chose to resolve the story. Dick was my favorite character throughout the novel but it seemed in the end that he was sucked dry by Nicole, used and abandoned by Rosemary, and made an outcast by all his friends. I felt that Tender is the Night was weak in terms of historical content. There was little discussion of World War I and the novel didn't create a clear picture of its aftermath. I also had a mixed reaction with regard to Fitzgerald's style of writing. His description was interesting and creative but I was often confused as to the character speaking, the passage of time, and the exact aspects of an event. I finished the novel uncertain about whether or not events had actually occurred and not completely understanding the motivation behind much of the story. Overall I found Tender is the Night to be entertaining to read but at times difficult to understand.
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