Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography
by Jeffrey Meyers

Chapter Ten
La Paix and Tender Is the Night, 1932–1934


In May 1932, a month before Zelda was discharged from Phipps, Fitzgerald found La Paix, a fifteen-room Victorian house on a large estate in Rodgers Forge, near Towson, just north of Baltimore. The dim, cavernous, rather run-down old place had gables, an open front porch and reddish brown paint fading on the gingerbread trimming. It also had a small swimming pond, a tennis court and a patch of grass, circled by a gravel driveway, that doubled as a boxing ring. Zelda captured the mournful mood of the house in an idiosyncratic letter to Max Perkins: "We have a soft shady place here that's like a paintless playhouse abandoned when the family grew up. It's surrounded by apologetic trees and warning meadows and creaking insects and is gutted of its aura by many comfortable bedrooms which do not have to be floated up to on alcoholic inflation past cupolas and cornices as did the ones at Ellerslie."

The Fitzgeralds' retreat to the quiet, isolated La Paix was, as Zelda remarked, a notable contrast to the wild weekend parties at Ellerslie. In the fall of 1933 Fitzgerald said they had dined out only four times in the last two years. Zelda remained near Phipps for frequent consultations with her doctors, and the Turnbull family, who owned the property and lived in the main house on the estate, provided another stabilizing influence. Bayard Turnbull, a wealthy architect and graduate of Johns Hopkins, was (according to his younger daughter) a rather distant Victorian gentleman who did not drink and was careful about money. He disapproved of Fitzgerald. But his wife, Margaret, a proper but cultured woman, shared Scott's interest in literature and became a good friend. The Turnbulls had three children-Eleanor, Frances and the eleven-year-old Andrew, who was the same age as Scottie.

Frances liked Fitzgerald, found him charming and felt he had the rare ability, when he spoke to her, of conveying the impression that she was the most important person in the world. But young Andrew-who became a surrogate son and later wrote a fine biography of Fitzgerald-was closest to Scott. They tossed around a football, went to Princeton football games and lunched at the Cottage Club, played erratic tennis, boxed with squashy gloves on the front lawn, shot a hairtrigger rifle, practiced card tricks, arranged battles with French lead soldiers, read and discussed books, and performed original plays. Fitzgerald even showed Andrew, after an unusually heavy snowstorm, how to make a little igloo-a Baltimore "ice palace" cut by a Minnesota pro. "He was the inventor, the creator, the tireless impresario," Andrew wrote, "who brightened our days and made other adult company seem dull and profitless."1

When Fitzgerald moved to Baltimore he visited his old friend H. L. Mencken on several occasions, and asked him to recommend a bootlegger and a doctor (in that logical order). But Mencken, late in life, had married Sara Haardt, a girlhood friend of Zelda from Montgomery. Since Sara was an invalid and the Menckens had to live a quiet life, he disapproved of Fitzgerald's drunken binges and eventually stopped seeing him. Though Fitzgerald continued to drink heavily, he also hired an efficient secretary, Isabel Owens, worked steadily on Tender Is the Night and finally completed the book at La Paix.

In February 1933, when T. S. Eliot was lecturing on the Metaphysical poets at Johns Hopkins University, the Turnbulls invited Fitzgerald to dine with him at their house. The Waste Land had influenced The Great Gatsby, and Eliot had warmly praised the novel. Fitzgerald behaved himself on this august occasion and their meeting was a success. As he told Edmund Wilson, "T. S. Eliot and I had an afternoon and evening together last week. I read him some of his poems and he seemed to think they were pretty good. I liked him fine." But he was also somewhat disappointed, as he had been with John Galsworthy and Compton Mackenzie, when encountering the great man in person, and added that the forty-four-year-old Eliot was "very broken and sad & shrunk inside."

Eliot inscribed a copy of Ash-Wednesday "with the author's homage," and later provided a statement that was used on the dust jacket of Tender Is the Night: "I have been waiting impatiently for another book by Mr. Scott Fitzgerald with more eagerness and curiosity than I should feel towards the work of any of his contemporaries except that of Mr. Ernest Hemingway." Eliot, a director of Faber & Faber, was interested in publishing the English edition of the novel but wary of poaching on his rival. So he wrote Fitzgerald a sly letter that left the initiative to him: "Chatto and Windus is a good firm, and it would in any case be contrary to publishing ethics to attempt to seduce you away from them, but of course you are quite free in this matter, it is up to you to send the manuscript first to whatever firm you elect."2 In the end Scribner's decided to stay with Chatto & Windus, which had published The Great Gatsby in England.

Margaret Turnbull not only introduced Fitzgerald to Eliot, but also advised him about how to bring up the adolescent Scottie, who was then a day student at a local prep school. Zelda's frequent hospitalizations and absorption in her own illness made it difficult for her to express interest in Scottie. Her withdrawal from her husband and daughter placed the burden of caring for Scottie entirely on Fitzgerald, who had always felt that Scottie was more his daughter than Zelda's. In any case, she had always neglected her domestic duties (a constant source of contention), and revealed her very limited conception of maternal responsibility by telling Scott: "All you really have to do for Scottie is see that she does not go to Bryn Mawr [School] in dirty blouses. Also, she will not voluntarily wash her ears." When his younger sister Annabel was fourteen, Scott had written her a long letter instructing her about how to attract boys. But Fitzgerald, who felt he had been spoiled and weakened by his mother, was usually strict and puritanical with Scottie-though he would also neglect her when he was drinking. He tried to make up to Scottie for Zelda's lack of affection and to compensate for his own lack of self-discipline by directing Scottie's behavior, social life and education.

Fitzgerald encouraged Scottie to invite her friends to the house and then became irritated when their noise interfered with his work. He also got annoyed when the bored and exhausted Scottie kept falling asleep during his "background briefings" on Walter Scott's medieval novel, Ivanhoe. "Very little of my extra-curricular education took," Scottie later wrote, "some of it backfired, in fact, for I was made to recite so much Keats and Shelley that I came to look up on them as personal enemies."

Margaret "Peaches" Finney, the daughter of Fitzgerald's Princeton friend Eben, was Scottie's closest friend at Bryn Mawr School. She first saw Fitzgerald in his "office," which consisted solely of a desk in the corner and a chair in the middle of a large, bare room. He made her feel awkward by asking her to sit in the chair, telling Scottie to leave the room and then questioning Peaches about what she was going to do when she grew up. In contrast to Andrew Turnbull, who idolized Fitzgerald, Peaches felt that he never should have had children, that he did not understand them or know how to reach them. Fitzgerald's intense love for Scottie and anxiety about her future often quelled his sense of fun and zest for play where his own child was concerned. His rigid attitudes and harsh judgments on her behavior and academic performance were to cause her unhappiness later on.

When Honoria Murphy and then Peaches Finney asked Scottie if she was embarrassed by her parents' violent quarrels and bizarre conduct, she ingenuously replied: "Oh, no! That's mommy and daddy. All parents are like that." Scottie would pretend that Zelda's insanity and Fitzgerald's drunkenness were simply not there, and this protective veneer allowed her to distance herself from their dreadful problems. When things became intolerable at home, Scottie would move in with the Finneys. Fitzgerald's secretary, Isabel Owens, the Turnbulls and later on the Obers also helped in times of crisis and provided an element of domestic tranquillity in Scottie's life. Despite all this, Scottie loved her parents very much. She once told Peaches that she seemed immune to their malign influence and remarked on how strange it was that such a mundane child could be the product of two fanciful Peter Pans.3

In Tender Is the Night Fitzgerald ignored his neglect of his daughter and defended his strictness with Scottie, whom he portrayed as Topsy Diver: "She was nine and very fair and exquisitely made like Nicole, and in the past Dick had worried about that… [She was] not let off breaches of good conduct-'Either one learns politeness at home,' Dick said, 'or the world teaches it to you with a whip and you get hurt in the process. What do I care whether Topsy "adores" me or not? I'm not bringing her up to be my wife.' "

Despite his good intentions, Fitzgerald sometimes behaved as badly with Scottie as he did with Zelda. Like Sara Murphy, Scottie complained that he made her feel uneasy by constantly nagging, probing and criticizing; by trying to control every aspect of her life and refusing to give her the freedom to make her own mistakes. When the twelve-year-old Scottie wore a dress that Fitzgerald disliked, he got into a drunken rage and tore it right off her body. Scottie discreetly told Sheilah Graham, who knew her well in the late 1930s, that Fitzgerald was "a father I didn't get along with." And Sheilah, who knew how much he loved Scottie, more bluntly declared: "as the father of an adolescent girl, Scott Fitzgerald was a bust."4

Zelda left Phipps and moved into La Paix in late June 1932. She followed a strict regimen of exercise and rest, and occupied herself with swimming, tennis, horseback riding, ballet dancing and painting. Fitzgerald had told Margaret Turnbull about Zelda's beauty, brilliance, courage and attractiveness to men. But all that was gone, and she now played the mad Ophelia to his tortured Hamlet. They still had bitter quarrels about their insoluble problems: financial, alcoholic, sexual and medical. They fought about their competitive careers, about Zelda's desire to write of her illness while he was still working on Tender Is the Night and about his attempt to control her life. They also discussed the possibility of a divorce.

Zelda seemed, to Peaches Finney, cold, indifferent and withdrawn. She often wore a tutu and picked at the bits of eczema on her ravaged face. Andrew Turnbull remembered her "as a boyish wraith of a woman in sleeveless summer dresses and ballet slippers, with not much expression on her hawk-like face and not very much to say." While at La Paix, Zelda told John Peale Bishop of the torments she had suffered and suggested, in her strange way, the profound confusion of their lives: "Don't ever fall into the hands of brain and nerve specialists unless you are feeling very Faustian. Scott reads Marx-I read the cosmological [mystical?] philosophers. The brightest moments of our day are when we get them mixed up."

Zelda could say, as Shelley did in "The Witch of Atlas," "Men scarcely know how beautiful fire is." She had impulsively summoned the fire department during her childhood in Montgomery and during the early years of her marriage in Westport, and in 1927 had expressed her resentment of Lois Moran by burning her new clothes in the bathtub of their cottage at the Ambassador Hotel. In mid-June 1933, Zelda set fire to the roof and second story of La Paix while trying to burn things in a fireplace that was no longer used. The newspapers, following Scott's attempt to cover up the real cause, tactfully reported that a short circuit in the wiring had started the fire. Scott rescued his manuscripts but lost his collection of books about ghoulish injuries in World War I. He and Zelda were photographed on the front lawn amidst her paintings and the books, cushions, lamps, mattresses and wicker furniture they had managed to salvage from the fire. Standing up and wearing an old overcoat, Scott looks wearily at the camera; the seated Zelda looks up at Scott with a glazed and guilty stare.

Their smoky, scattered possessions formed the core of the wasteful and expensive junk that Zelda catalogued in her autobiographical essay, "Auction-Model 1934." The Fitzgeralds never owned a house, constantly packed and unpacked as they shifted their chaotic lives from place to place and, apart from jewelry and clothes, had very little to show for all the money Scott had once earned. "We have five phonographs, including the pocket one, and no radio," Zelda wrote, with a characteristically je m'en fiche attitude, "eleven beds and no bureau. We shall keep it all, the tangible remnant of the four hundred thousand we made from hard words and spent with easy ones these fifteen years. And the collection, after all, is just about as valuable now as the Polish and Peruvian bonds of our thriftier friends."

La Paix was damaged by fire, smoke and water, but did not burn down. Bayard Turnbull was not at all pleased by Zelda's carelessness but, since he was covered by insurance, did not become angry about it. Fitzgerald, making the final push on Tender Is the Night, asked that repairs on the house be postponed so he would not be disturbed by the workmen. And so, Andrew Turnbull wrote, Scott labored on for the next six months "amid the waterstained walls and woodwork in that hulk of a house, whose bleakness matched the color of his soul."

During the summer and fall of 1932 Zelda had written an unreadable and unactable "farce-fantasy" called Scandalabra. Her play reversed the plot of The Beautiful and Damned-in which millions are withheld by a puritanical grandfather because of his heir's unconscionable waste and extravagance-and dealt with a pleasant young farmboy who is suddenly willed millions if he agrees to follow a life of wickedness and dissipation. The play was to be performed by the Junior Vagabonds, an amateur theater group in Baltimore, and run for six performances-one week after the fire-from June 26 to July 1, 1933.

The dress rehearsal of Scandalabra lasted nearly five hours, and the play had to be radically cut by Fitzgerald, with the aid of the cast, in an all-night session just before the opening. Despite his efficient surgery-and a character delightfully called Anaconda Consequential-the first performance, though fairly well attended (Fitzgerald stood out on the sidewalk like a circus barker and tried to draw innocent pedestrians into the theater), was an embarrassing failure. Subsequent audiences, after harsh and baffled reviews, dwindled to a few curious spectators. Scottie later defended her father (who felt Zelda had stolen "his material" in Save Me the Waltz, but allowed the novel to be published when he could easily have suppressed it at Scribner's) against the charge that he was hostile to Zelda's artistic careers. In her foreword to an exhibition catalogue of Zelda's paintings, published in 1974, Scottie substantiated her belief that Fitzgerald "greatly appreciated and encouraged his wife's unusual talents and ebullient imagination. Not only did he arrange for the first showing of her paintings in New York in 1934, he sat through long hours of rehearsals of her one play, Scandalabra, staged by a Little Theater group in Baltimore; he spent many hours editing the short stories she sold to College Humor and to Scribner's magazine; and though I was too young to remember clearly, I feel quite sure that he was even in favor of her ballet lessons."5

Fitzgerald's failures in the early 1930s matched Zelda's. The fees for his Post stories began to fall as rapidly as they had once ascended. After reaching a peak of $4,000 in 1929, they had dropped in increments of $500 to $2,500; and his income of $16,000 in 1932 was half what it had been the previous year. Not only was the quality of his stories falling (partly because he gave less attention to them as he got absorbed in the completion of his novel), but he was also, for the first time in his professional career, writing work he could not publish. In 1933 he made five false starts on stories, had another story rejected by the Post, wrote a long, unsold radio script for the comedienne Gracie Allen and completed a film treatment of Tender Is the Night that was rejected. Making the best of adversity, Fitzgerald composed an interesting essay about his difficulties, "One Hundred False Starts" (1933), which described his search for a meaningful emotion-"one that's close to me and that I can understand"-that would spark his creative impulse.


In December 1933, after completing Tender Is the Night, Fitzgerald moved from the fire-damaged and rather spooky La Paix to a smaller and cheaper home in the center of Baltimore. The narrow, three-story house at 1307 Park Avenue, at the corner of Lanvale, had white steps, shuttered windows and a high front door, and was in a slightly rundown neighborhood. Fitzgerald thought the change of scene would help Zelda, but the move actually made things worse.

She had been relatively stable for the past twenty months, since leaving Phipps. But in August 1933, just after the performance of Scandalabra, Zelda's brother Anthony-depressed about losing his job and worried about his lack of income-suffered a mental breakdown. He entered a hospital in Mobile, Alabama, and committed suicide by jumping out of a window in his room. (After Fitzgerald's death, his brother-in-law Newman Smith also killed himself.) Troubled by Anthony's suicide, Zelda began to lose weight and again became suicidal. She had her third breakdown in the Baltimore house and reentered Phipps Clinic on February 12, 1934. Kept under constant observation to prevent suicide, she had to remain in bed and under sedation. In the clinic she began smiling to herself, would not respond to questions and would suddenly burst out laughing for no discernible reason.

Fitzgerald had never liked Dr. Meyer's treatment of Zelda at Phipps. When she made no progress during February, Fitzgerald consulted Dr. Forel. The Swiss doctor suggested that Zelda transfer to a luxurious clinic on a large country estate that resembled Prangins. On March 8, after less than a month at Phipps, Zelda moved to Craig House Hospital in Beacon, New York, and was cared for by Forel's friend, Dr. Clarence Slocum. Born in Rhode Island in 1873, Dr. Slocum had earned his medical degree at Albany. Craig House, located on 350 acres above the Hudson River near West Point, housed its patients in scattered cottages, each with an individual nurse. The hospital organized bridge and ping-pong tournaments, had indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts and a golf course with club house and pro, which made it seem even more like a country club than Prangins.

Soon after she arrived Zelda told Scott: "This is a beautiful place; there is everything on earth available and I have a little room to paint in… [Scottie] would love it here with the pool and the beautiful walks." Though not as expensive as Prangins, the cost of $175 a week was considerably more than at Phipps, and both Scott and Zelda worried about the drain on their dwindling resources. The initial report on Zelda's condition was extremely imperceptive and might just as well have been made by the golf pro. Dr. Slocum thought she was suffering from fatigue, and described the bright, talented and suicidal Zelda as "mildly confused and mentally retarded-with a degree of emotional instability." After two and a half months at Craig House Zelda fell into a catatonic state. On May 19, 1934, she moved to her third clinic in three months. Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in Towson, Maryland, was-ironically-adjacent to the grounds of La Paix.

Zelda's third breakdown, which coincided with the serialization of Tender Is the Night in Scribner's Magazine, devastated Fitzgerald and destroyed his hopes for her recovery. Zelda had now become, for him, a case-not a person. Yet Scott emphasized his Faustian bond to her when he told a friend: "Life ended for me when Zelda and I crashed. If she would get well, I would be happy again and my soul would be released. Otherwise, never." He continued to feel guilty about her illness, which was emotionally connected with his own perception of his drinking, his sexual inadequacy, and his use of Zelda as muse and subject of his fiction.

Most of Scott's friends were married and he believed, despite his personal experience, that marriage was the best arrangement for a writer. But he complained that Zelda, even when well, never understood or helped him, never recognized his stature as an author. In the late 1930s, thinking bitterly of his relations with Zelda, he told an aspiring writer: "I think a great deal of your problem will depend on whether you have a sympathetic wife who will realize calmly and coolly, rather than emotionally, that a talent like yours is worth saving."6

After leaving his relatively structured life at La Paix, Fitzgerald felt depressed, isolated and adrift, and began a dangerous slide into uncontrolled alcoholism and his own milder form of mental illness. When asked in 1928 about his greatest interests in life, Fitzgerald had mentioned "scandal touching upon his friends, everything about the late war, discovering new men and books of promise, Princeton, and [thinking of the Murphys] people with extraordinary personal charm." Nine years later, in response to Contemporary American Authors, his interests had dwindled (only military history remained from the previous decade) to "swimming, mild fishing, history, especially military, bucolic but civilized travel, food and wine, imaginary problems of organization, if this makes sense." Since he rarely went swimming or fishing, traveled infrequently, cared very little for food or wine, this list was rather fanciful. His main interest, though he expressed it vaguely, was now aesthetic. He was primarily concerned with how to conceive and structure a work of art. In a private letter of September 1934 to Christian Gauss of Princeton, Fitzgerald let his guard down and said more frankly: "Outside interests generally mean for me women, liquor or some form of exhibitionism."7

Scott would have agreed with Zelda, who once replied, when asked why she drank: "Because the world is chaos and when I drink I'm chaotic." While living in Baltimore Fitzgerald was treated for alcoholism by Mencken's doctor, Benjamin Baker. Between 1933 and 1937, Scott entered Johns Hopkins Hospital eight different times to recover from alcoholic binges or to seek treatment for mild bouts of tuberculosis. According to Dr. Baker, Fitzgerald did not blame his drinking on Zelda's illness and took responsibility for it himself. He did not deny that he was an alcoholic but, despite frequent medical treatment, was unable to control his drinking-or his behavior. During a dinner in West Chester, Pennsylvania, at the house of the novelist Joseph Hergesheimer, Fitzgerald "caused a sensation" by rising from the dinner table, dropping his pants and exposing his sexual parts.8

In April 1934, after Zelda had returned to the mental clinics, Fitzgerald arranged a different sort of exhibition. He organized a show of twenty-eight of her paintings and drawings at the gallery of Cary Ross, whom they had met in Paris, on East 86th Street in New York. After the failure and bad notices of Save Me the Waltz in 1932 and of Scandalabra the following year, and Scott's unwillingness (for both his sake and her own) to let her write about her illness in her projected novel, Caesar's Things, Zelda, still seeking a creative outlet, focused her attention on painting.

The tragic and ironic motto on the gallery's brochure was Parfois la Folie est la Sagesse (sometimes madness is wisdom), and the psychopathic element in Zelda's paintings was clearly visible. Gerald Murphy, a knowledgeable artist, observed that "everyone who saw [the paintings] recognized that quality of repellent human life: they were figures out of a nightmare, monstrous and morbid." The art critic of Time magazine was also unenthusiastic about her derivative and distorted pictures:

The work of a brilliant introvert, they were vividly painted, intensely rhythmic. A pinkish reminiscence of her ballet days showed figures with enlarged legs and feet-a trick she may have learned from Picasso. An impression of a Dartmouth football game made the stadium look like portals of a theatre, the players like dancers. Chinese Theatre was a gnarled mass of acrobats with an indicated audience for background. There were two impressionistic portraits of her husband, a verdant Spring in the Country geometrically laced with telephone wires.9

The sales were as disappointing as the reviews, and all the buyers-including Max Perkins' wife, Tommy Hitchcock, the Murphys and Dorothy Parker, who bought a portrait of Scott, with piercing blue eyes, wearing a crown of thorns-were loyal friends of the artist. Zelda also gave away several pictures to her doctors and to Gertrude Stein.

In the spring of 1934, when Zelda was shifting through several mental hospitals and Scott was making frequent trips to New York to deal with the publication of his novel, he had a brief, drunken affair with the troubled and sympathetic Dorothy Parker. They had first met through the Murphys at Juan-les-Pins in the summer of 1926. Born in New York three years before Fitzgerald, half-Jewish and half-Catholic, Parker was an attractive, talented and sardonic satirist. Her most enduring work is her light verse, which wittily confronts loneliness, failure and despair-themes that linked her both artistically and emotionally to Fitzgerald. Parker's many lovers included the playwrights Elmer Rice and George S. Kaufman as well as several of Scott's friends-Deems Taylor, Charles MacArthur and Ring Lardner. Her promiscuity had led to several abortions. She was also an alcoholic, prone to depression, who had attempted suicide by slashing her wrists and taking overdoses of Veronal.

When Scott's tender obituary of Ring Lardner appeared in October 1933, Parker told him: "I think your piece about Ring is the finest and most moving thing I have ever read." The following April, Fitzgerald sent her an inscribed copy of Tender Is the Night. Parker later told Lillian Hellman that in the spring of 1934, at the time the novel appeared, she had slept with Scott in a casual and quite spontaneous one or two nights' affair. "Since he was an alcoholic like herself," Parker's biographer observed, "she could feel compassion for him, but he made her uncomfortable for the same reason. She despised in him the very qualities she hated in herself-sniveling self-pity, the way they both wasted their talent, their lack of self-discipline."10 These two exiles from the Eastern intellectual world would later renew their friendship in Hollywood where both, with different degrees of success, were screenwriters.


On April 12, 1934, soon after his brief affair with Parker and while Zelda's disturbing paintings were being exhibited in New York, Fitzgerald finally published his long-awaited novel, Tender Is the Night. A considerable advance on The Great Gatsby, both in narrative technique and psychological depth, it has a dense, dazzling texture that reveals the pains he took and the pain it cost him to write. In this ambitious and complex novel, Fitzgerald attempts to understand why Zelda went mad, how this ruined his life and to what extent he was responsible for their tragedy.

Parts of the novel could be called (like Ingmar Bergman's film) Scenes from a Marriage, in its bitter episodes of betrayal and regret, its portrait of a couple locked in mortal combat. It is also Fitzgerald's season in hell, his descent into alcoholism, his exploration of the death of his own high hopes. During the long period of the novel's composition, Fitzgerald developed the capacity to write about himself and Zelda with objectivity and insight. This helps to account for the book's extraordinary power: the combination of psychological conflict and intense introspection with style, wit and literary sophistication.

The novel's unusual time scheme-which begins in 1925, loops back to 1917, returns to where the story left off and ends in 1930-shows Fitzgerald's hard struggle with the task of writing about a fictional hero who revealed so much about the author. He realized that he had to control the point of view very carefully to achieve the requisite blend of sympathy and censure for Dick Diver. Though he tinkered with the novel's chronology after it was published, he did not improve upon it.

The novel begins on a French Riviera beach when Dick and Nicole Diver, a wealthy and glamorous couple, are in their twenties. We see them through the eyes of the teenage movie actress, Rosemary Hoyt, who observes and envies their apparently perfect social life, and who instantly falls in love with him. Dick is an ideal figure: a doctor, handsome, charming and kind, an "organizer of private gaiety, curator of a richly incrusted happiness." Dick also falls in love with Rosemary, despite his sense of responsibility and protectiveness about Nicole, and in his desire to save Rosemary from a bizarre scandal, precipitates Nicole's mental breakdown.

At this point, just as we begin to lose sympathy for Dick, Part I of the novel ends and we go back in time to 1917, when Dick is a medical student in Zurich, at the tail end of his "heroic period," and when he can still approve of himself. Nicole's breakdown also signals the beginning of Dick's decline, but Fitzgerald turns our attention away from the harm Dick is doing and takes us back to the beginning of the story to explain how this situation has developed.

From the beginning of Part II Dick's point of view predominates. We learn that Nicole Warren has suffered previous mental illness, that Dick has been her doctor, that he married his beautiful patient and that they live on her money in the South of France. The narrative then continues up to events in Paris and beyond. When Dick becomes a partner in a sanatorium in Switzerland (financed by the Warren family as a way to control Dick and deal with Nicole's increasing madness), Nicole has a retaliatory affair, and Dick gradually descends into drink and degradation. The novel ends on the same beach on the Riviera as Nicole, now well, prepares to marry another man and Dick takes his leave of the luxurious world of the South to bury himself in an obscure town in upstate New York.

The narrative scheme reveals the harm each does to the other. At first it seems that Dick is responsible for Nicole's madness. Then we learn about her incestuous relationship with her father, and how Dick has been ensnared by her love and money; how they waver between health and sickness, sobriety and drunkenness, in control and out of it. Nicole's mental illness forms the emotional core of the novel just as Dick's responsibility for his wife is its moral center. As in Andre Gide's The Immoralist, the narrative traces the recovery of the sick at the expense of the healthy. In "The Choice" W. B. Yeats had declared: "The intellect of man is forced to choose / Perfection of the life, or of the work." Dick tries to have both-ignoring the necessity to choose, trying to perfect Nicole's life through his work as a doctor-and fails at both.

In 1932 Fitzgerald had drawn up his plan for the final version of the long-projected novel and suggested some of the reasons for Dick Diver's descent from a brilliant young doctor to a weak failure: "The novel should do this: Show a man who is a natural idealist, a spoiled priest, giving in for various causes to the ideas of the haute Bourgeoisie, and in his rise to the top of the social world losing his idealism, his talent, and turning to drink and dissipation. Background one in which the leisure class is at their truly most brilliant & glamorous, such as Murphys." The phrase "spoiled priest," which describes Stephen Dedalus in Joyce's Ulysses (1922), suggests the similarities between the roles of the psychiatrist and the priest. Toward the end of the novel, when he rescues Lady Caroline and Mary North from the French police and is disgusted by their behavior, "Dick nodded gravely, looking at the stone floor, like a priest in the confessional."11 On the last page he repeats the "apostolic gesture" he had made at the beginning of the book and "blessed the beach." This beach had originally been compared to the concentrated brilliance of a "bright tan prayer rug," used by Moslems for worship of God and by the American hedonists for pagan worship of the sun. Dick's blessing is a final, ritualistic gesture of renunciation and farewell that releases Nicole from his Prospero-like spell and at the same time calls her back to him.

The hero as psychiatrist is also a metaphor for the novelist. As his name suggests, Dick Diver (like Fitzgerald) is an explorer of inner lives who unlocks the secrets of minds and hearts. Fitzgerald saw that the rise of modern psychiatry had made doctors and analysts the successors to priests. His choice of Dick's profession is a sardonic parallel to his own unhappy role in Zelda's treatment.

Dick's confessional mood and sense of a lost religion, his role as the moral center of an elite group of restless and dissipated American expatriates, ruined by drink and money, recall Hemingway's hero Jake Barnes and the themes of The Sun Also Rises (1926). Both novels contrast groups of appealing and unattractive people, one of which obeys and the other ignores an unwritten moral code. Both have minor European characters-the hotel owners, Montoya in Spain and Gausse in France-who express traditional values. Both novels portray the destructive force of beautiful, aristocratic women who dominate and wound the weaker heroes. Both are filled with sexual disorder and uncontrollable violence. Both conclude with the collapse of desperately unhappy love affairs that were doomed from the start.

The characters that surround Dick Diver exemplify his temptations and weaknesses: Baby Warren, money; Abe North, liquor; Tommy Barban, anarchy; Albert McKisco, self-betrayal; Rosemary Hoyt, infidelity. The immorality of the class that leads Dick from idealism to corruption is symbolized by sexual perversions: Luis Campion and Royal Dumphrey are homosexuals, Mary North and Lady Caroline pose as lesbians, Baby is onanistic, Dick is mistaken for a rapist and Devereux Warren has committed incest with his daughter, Nicole. Warren's actual incest is symbolically repeated by Dick: first with Nicole, whom he meets when she is sixteen, then with Rosemary-the daughter of a deceased doctor and the star of Daddy's Girl-whom he meets when she is seventeen.

The essential unreality of Dick's life is subtly expressed through the theme of illusion that pervades the novel. As the characters lounge endlessly on the beach, which the Divers "invented," "the true world thundered by" up north. All the characters seem to live in a dream world; and as the novel progresses, their infantile search for "fun" (a recurrent theme) becomes increasingly hopeless and meaningless. Dick has a dangerously inflated idea of himself as a doctor, husband, athlete, leader and love. Abe North is usually in a drunken stupor. Rosemary can never free herself from her role-playing profession. Nicole is a schizophrenic with a precarious hold on reality. And in the risky and potentially fatal duel, both Barban and McKisco manage to miss their shots and escape without wounds.

In Part I of the novel Fitzgerald shows that the Divers know each other intimately, that they have a great capacity to hurt each other and that, in such a relationship, they must hide their deepest insights about each other. In Paris, after they have put Abe North on the boat train and witnessed a crime of passion at the railroad station, they have lunch in a restaurant. Nicole has been simmering with jealousy of Rosemary. Dick "saw a flash of unhappiness on her mouth, so brief that only he would have noticed, and he could pretend not to have seen." But Nicole is also silently assessing Dick's weaknesses. She acknowledges that "there was a pleasingness about him that simply had to be used," that people with such charm had to "go along attaching people that they had no use to make of." Dick's charm and narcissism inspire his attraction to Rosemary.

When Rosemary (provoked by her ambitious but reckless mother) naively tries to seduce Dick, who has kissed her in a taxi on the way to their hotel, he is both surprised and frightened, and reverts to his safe paternal role with "Daddy's Girl." Eager for sexual experience despite her considerable fears, Rosemary assumes a stagey voice, audaciously emphasizes her innocence and, in her parody of bedroom intimacy, assumes the role of a spoiled nun:

She came close up against him with a forlorn whisper.

"Take me."

"Take you where?"

Astonishment froze him rigid.

"Go on," she whispered. "Oh, please go on, whatever they do. I don't care if I don't like it-I never expected to-I've always hated to think about it but now I don't. I want you to."

She was astonished at herself-she had never imagined she could talk like that. She was calling on things she had read, seen, dreamed through a decade of convent hours. Suddenly she knew too that it was one of her greatest roles and she flung herself into it more passionately.

Both Dick and Rosemary are more excited by hearing about each other's sex life than by experiencing it. When lunching in the Parisian restaurant with the Divers, Rosemary overhears Dick expressing his sexual desire for Nicole and arranging a time to make love to her. Involving herself in their secret intimacy, Rosemary "stood breathless" in response to Nicole's orgasmic "gasping sigh," and feels an unidentified but profound current of emotion pulsing through her virginal body.

A few chapters later Dick also feels a throb of jealousy as his imaginative reconstruction of reality becomes more powerful than reality itself. Rosemary's Southern boyfriend Collis Clay excites Dick's imagination by describing an incident in which Rosemary and another young boyfriend, Bill Hillis, had locked themselves in a train compartment and had "some heavy stuff going on" before they were interrupted by an angry train conductor. Though this love scene is twice removed, since both Clay and Hillis stand between Dick and Rosemary, Dick becomes emotionally distraught. He vividly pictures the "hand on Rosemary's cheek, the quicker breath, the white excitement of the event viewed from outside, the inviolable secret warmth within." Dick then invents a scenario in which Hillis uses and Rosemary acquiesces in an old seducer's ruse: "Do you mind if I pull down the curtain?" "Please do. It's too light in here."12 This motif recurs throughout the rest of the novel.

When Dick finally consummates his affair with Rosemary in Rome, he discovers that his lack of real feeling for her actually increases his desire and his jealousy. This experience also reminds him of his far deeper love for Nicole, "a wild submergence of soul, a dipping of all colors into an obscuring dye… Certain thoughts about Nicole, that she should die, sink into mental darkness, love another man, made him physically sick." When Rosemary no longer loves him, his vanity is hurt and he characteristically expresses his disappointment in narcissistic terms: " 'I guess I'm the Black Death,' he said slowly. 'I don't seem to bring people happiness any more.' " Dick has taken pride in his vitality and sexual prowess, but now gradually declines into emotional vacuity, physical deterioration and self-hatred, while Nicole becomes increasingly stronger and self-assured.

Dick and Rosemary's first attempt to make love is interrupted by the arrival of Abe North, and leads to the climax of Part I, the greatest crisis of the novel. When Rosemary discovers that a Negro has been murdered and dumped in her bedroom, Dick carries the bloody sheets into the room he shares with Nicole, who then breaks down completely. In his Notebooks Fitzgerald recorded: "Went into the bathroom and sat on the seat crying because it was more private than anywhere she knew." In the novel Nicole retreats into a traditionally inviolable sanctuary, cracks up and-like the fool in King Lear-screams out the truth in her madness. Realizing that Dick has sacrificed her to save Rosemary from scandal, Nicole exclaims: "I never expected you to love me-it was too late-only don't come in the bathroom, the only place I can go for privacy, dragging spreads with red blood on them and asking me to fix them."13 Dick's three desperately rational repetitions of "Control yourself!" reveal at last his true relationship with Nicole: that he is her doctor, she his only patient. His guilty impulse to protect Rosemary has sacrificed Nicole's sanity.

Dick has forced Nicole to associate what she imagines to be the bedsheets bloodied by Dick's defloration of Rosemary with the even more horrible bloody sheets she had lain on when seduced by her own father. And, like her father, Dick is more concerned with covering up the problem than acknowledging his guilt. Nicole's mental breakdown, like the earlier one witnessed by Violet McKisco at the Villa Diana, has been caused by her sexual jealousy of Rosemary. Dick has therefore been fully aware of the consequences of continuing the affair.

Nicole's third breakdown, in another unbearably intense scene, is again caused by sexual jealousy. The mother of a mental patient writes a wounding letter to Nicole explaining that she has withdrawn her fifteen-year-old daughter from the clinic because Dick has kissed and tried to seduce her. This time Nicole cracks up at a Swiss fair while riding on a ferris wheel-a metaphor for both the up and down phases of her madness and for the Catherine-wheel torture of her existence. As they drive home with their two children on the steep curving road that leads to the clinic, "the car swerved violently left, swerved right, tipped on two wheels and, as Dick, with Nicole's voice screaming in his ear, crushed down the mad hand clutching the steering wheel, righted itself, swerved once more and shot off the road… She was laughing hilariously, unashamed, unafraid, unconcerned. No one coming on the scene would have imagined that she had caused it; she laughed as after some mild escape of childhood. 'You were scared, weren't you?' she accused him. 'You wanted to live!' "

This incident is described from Dick's point of view, with all the confusion of violence and screams. The steering wheel, which recalls the ferris wheel, becomes the symbol of their marriage as Dick tries to wrest control from Nicole and she-who had once been disfigured by eczema-tries "to tear at Dick's face." When Dick recognizes that Nicole truly wanted to kill him at that moment, even if it meant killing herself and her children, he decides to separate from her temporarily.

Leaving Nicole in the care of his partner at the clinic, he goes away to ski for a few days by himself. He tries to think tenderly of Nicole, to love "her best self." But, attempting to preserve his own sanity, Dick realizes that "he had lost himself-he could not tell the hour when, or the day or the week, the month or the year. Once he had cut through things, solving the most complicated equations as the simplest problems of his simplest patients. Between the time he found Nicole flowering under a stone on the Zurichsee and the moment of his meeting with Rosemary the spear had been blunted." He reflects that "he had been swallowed up like a gigolo, and somehow permitted his arsenal to be locked up in the Warren safety-deposit vaults." This passage suggests the almost therapeutic drive in the novel: the search to determine when things had gone wrong, where Fitzgerald had "lost himself" and, most poignantly, how he could continue to see Zelda as the person he had once loved and had wanted to impress with his worldly success.

The drunken brawl with the police in Rome, which takes place at the end of Part II, parallels Nicole's breakdown at the end of Part I. In the winter of 1924 Fitzgerald had actually been beaten by the police in Rome after he had punched a plainclothes policeman. The brawl in the novel starts when Dick slaps a policeman's face (which recalls Barban slapping McKisco's face to provoke the duel) and echoes the sad fate of Abe North, who has been beaten to death in a speakeasy. When Baby Warren rescues Dick from jail, she firmly establishes her moral superiority and uses it to control and to "own" him.

Dick's infidelity with Rosemary and degradation in Rome persuade Nicole to have a retaliatory affair with the tough and heroic Tommy Barban. Before offering herself to Tommy (who is wearing Dick's borrowed clothes) Nicole opposes Dick's will, for the first time, by giving Tommy some rare camphor rub for his sore throat. At this symbolic moment, she transfers her emotions from Dick to Tommy and takes over Dick's role as physician and dispenser of medicine. When she drives away with Tommy a little later, Nicole echoes the expression of sexual desire that Rosemary had overheard at the beginning of the novel by begging Tommy to stop the car so they can immediately have sex. Though Nicole, on the previous occasion, had to wait several hours to sleep with Dick, she cannot wait a minute longer to sleep with Tommy, when she feels sorry for Dick. As he tries to save himself from despair, she finally expresses the crucial truth about their disastrous marriage: "You're a coward! You've made a failure of your life, and you want to blame it on me."

Tender Is the Night has a melodramatic plot (a duel, two murders, incest and three mental breakdowns) and an excess of coincidence. Violet McKisco overhears the Divers at the Villa Diana and Rosemary overhears them in a Paris restaurant. Dick accidentally meets Nicole on a Swiss funicular, meets Tommy in Munich, meets Rosemary and then Baby Warren in Rome, and meets Tommy once again at a party on a yacht. Despite its faults in structure and plot, which Fitzgerald later hoped to remedy by changing the original chronology of the novel, it remains a carefully constructed work of art.

Dick's decline from promising idealist to hopeless failure is precisely calibrated. He begins to drink heavily, kisses his patients, sleeps with Rosemary, is beaten up, betrays his son at Mary North's house, loses interest in his career, his book and his clinic, breaks with his partner Franz Gregorovius, quarrels with Mary North, fights with his French cook, fails at water sports while trying to impress Rosemary, and adopts an increasingly passive and pathetic role with Franz, Rosemary, Tommy, Nicole and his children.

Fitzgerald used the details of his own life and Zelda's illness as material for the novel. Nicole's letters to Dick contain extracts of actual letters Zelda wrote. Many of the bitter conversations in the novel have the ring of real exchanges, and give the book a hard, Wildean brilliance. In Nicole's dispute with Abe North at the station we hear the wife reproaching the husband for his drinking:

"I am a woman and my business is to hold things together."

"My business is to tear them apart."

"When you get drunk you don't tear anything apart except yourself."

Abe's sardonic epigram: "Trouble is when you're sober you don't want to see anybody, and when you're tight nobody wants to see you," could have been written by Dorothy Parker.

Fitzgerald also peoples his novel with characters drawn from life. It was dedicated to Gerald and Sara Murphy, who were the models for the positive side of Dick and Nicole Diver, before their tragic descent. Gerald's Irish good looks, jockey cap and ritual of raking the sand, Sara's skill in cooking and gardening, her habit of sunning her pearls on the beach, were portrayed in the novel along with their daughter Honoria, a partial model (with Scottie) for Topsy, and their luxurious house, the Villa America, which Fitzgerald calls the Villa Diana.

Abe North, the alcoholic composer, was based on Fitzgerald's drinking companion Ring Lardner, and Tommy Hitchcock inspired the soldier of fortune, Tommy Barban, as he had inspired Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. Nicole's sister Baby Warren-whose callousness, unrequited sexuality and crass materialism provide a powerful contrast to Rosemary's elegant innocence-was partly based on Zelda's older sister and Fitzgerald's bete noire, Rosalind Smith, who (like Baby in the novel) unfairly blamed Fitzgerald for Zelda's mental breakdown. Rosemary Hoyt was modeled on Lois Moran, whom Fitzgerald had an affair with in 1927. It is significant that in the novel Dick's affair with Rosemary occurs before-and directly provokes-Nicole's retaliatory adultery with Tommy Barban. Fitzgerald had apparently tried to apportion blame more equally for their unhappy marriage.

Fitzgerald took some revenge, in his minor characters, on people he had known. The pretentious, corrupt and successful writer, Albert McKisco, was partly based on the alternately hard-boiled and sentimental novelist Robert McAlmon. An American expatriate and minor litterateur on the fringe of Fitzgerald's Parisian circle of friends, McAlmon was notorious for his caustic tongue and malicious gossip. He spread the rumor that Fitzgerald and Hemingway were homosexuals.

The satiric caricature of Bijou O'Conor, begun in "The Hotel Child," took more serious and substantial form in Tender Is the Night. In this novel she reappears as the fragile, tubercular, decadent Lady Caroline Sibley-Biers, who is doing a dance of death as the Sepoys assault the ruined fort. This phrase, and Lady Capps-Karr's favorite expression, "After all a chep's a chep and a chum's a chum"-Fitzgerald's bizarre notion of quintessential upper-class English speech, which Bijou would never have actually said-occur both in "The Hotel Child" and in Tender Is the Night, linking Lady Capps-Karr and Lady Caroline Sibley-Biers to their common model, Bijou O'Conor.

Tommy Barban thinks Lady Caroline is the wickedest woman in London and Nicole cattily remarks: "it was incredible that such narrow shoulders, such puny arms, could bear aloft the pennon of decadence, last ensign of the fading empire."14 At the end of the novel Lady Caroline and Mary North dress up as sailors and are arrested-as Dick had been after a drunken brawl in Rome-after picking up two French girls. Though Dick had been insulted by Lady Caroline, he rescues them from an Antibes jail-as Baby Warren had rescued him from a Rome jail. As the French police express their disgust and Dick observes Lady Caroline's lack of any sense of evil, he bitterly concludes that she represents the "concentrated essence of the anti-social."

Though Tender Is the Night is intensely autobiographical, it also transcends the personal by placing the characters against a detailed contemporary background. The tragic episodes of the novel take place in the context of violent political events, suggested by the allusions to Ulysses Grant, the victorious general in the American Civil War, who "invented mass butchery." Dick and Abe take Rosemary on a tour of the World War I battlefields, which had left "the dead like a million bloody rugs." There is an implicit comparison between Dick-who spent most of the war as a medical student in neutral Switzerland and who feels a corresponding guilt for not having risked his life in the war-and Tommy Barban, a volatile mercenary who will fight for any side that pays him. Fitzgerald refers to the Russian Revolution and the fighting between the Communists and Nazis in Munich, to the Spanish-Moroccan war in the Riff near the western edge of Europe and the Greco-Turkish war near the eastern.

Most importantly, the novel criticizes the capitalistic system that provoked and paid for these wars, and emphasizes the fissure between great wealth and moral values. The vast fortune of the Warren family-which includes trains, factories, stores and plantations-has engendered Devereux's incest, Nicole's madness and Baby's masturbatory self-absorption, and brings about Dick's corruption. Fitzgerald is once again writing about money and the power of the rich. But here the ducal class represented by the Warrens-and by Mary North's second husband, a Moslem potentate whose money flows from manganese deposits in southwestern Asia-are viewed from the disillusioning perspective of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, the hardships of the Depression and Fitzgerald's own financial difficulties. Tender Is the Night is a representative between-the-wars novel. It expresses guilt about surviving the Great War, portrays anxiety about the present and senses the menace of the future. When Dick bids farewell to the beach, he also says goodbye to the twenties, to youth and to hope.

The outcome of the novel for Dick is tragic. He is sacrificed so that Nicole can be well, and she is now free to remain in the sun while he is condemned to live as a failure in obscure country towns. This conclusion must have afforded Fitzgerald some private gratification. Dick, at the end of the novel, is no longer tormented by Nicole's madness. But Scott could never actually escape from Zelda.


Fitzgerald's friends, well aware of the intensely personal nature of the novel, responded enthusiastically. John Peale Bishop, who had often been condescending to Fitzgerald, was deeply moved by its tragic content: "I come fresh from reading Tender Is the Night and overcome with the magnificence of it. It surpasses The Great Gatsby. You have shown us, what we have wanted so long and impatiently to see, that you are a true, a beautiful and a tragic novelist. I have only praise for its understanding, its characterization, and its deep tenderness." James Branch Cabell, Carl Van Vechten and Robert Benchley also admired the novel. Dos Passos, an early witness of Zelda's madness, found the structure "enormously impressive" and declared: "the whole conception of the book is enormous-and so carefully understated that-so far as I know-not a single reviewer discovered it."

Gilbert Seldes, who had visited Fitzgerald on the Riviera and had acclaimed The Great Gatsby, concluded, in the first important review, that Fitzgerald "has stepped again to his natural place at the head of the American writers of our time." In the New York Times the critic John Chamberlain praised Fitzgerald's technique and style: "his craftsmanship, his marvelous sense of what might be called social climate, his sheer writing ability. Judged purely as prose, Tender Is the Night is a continually pleasurable performance."15 Mary Colum, a perceptive Irish critic, felt the novel was flawed but lauded Fitzgerald's "distinctive gifts-a romantic imagination, a style that is often brilliant, a swiftness of movement, and a sense of enchantment in people and places." But Philip Rahv, writing in the Communist Daily Worker, obtusely condemned the novel for deviating from the Party line. And William Troy, in the Left-wing Nation, found Dick Diver's character unconvincing and depressing.

D. W. Harding, a professor of psychology at the University of London, felt that Fitzgerald (despite all he had been through) lacked insight into the "pathetic" and "harrowing" subject of the novel. But he thought that Fitzgerald managed to convey the idea that "people who disintegrate in the adult world don't at all win our respect and can hardly retain even our pity." Fitzgerald was especially pleased, therefore, by a psychiatrist's anonymous review in a professional magazine, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, which extolled his "fascinating" and "valuable" clinical account. "As one grasps fully the scope of the author's aim," the doctor wrote, "and his discernment in face of the balance of psychotic cause and effect, the rich endowment of the book in regard to conscious mastery of authentic experience and exceptional descriptive powers becomes increasingly evident."16

The man Fitzgerald most wanted to please remained silent. On May 10, a month after publication, Fitzgerald desperately wrote Hemingway: "Did you like the book? For God's sake drop me a line and tell me one way or another. You can't hurt my feelings. I just want to get a few intelligent slants at it to get some of the reviewers' jargon out of my head." Two weeks later Hemingway-influenced by personal knowledge of the Murphys and perhaps by jealousy of Fitzgerald's achievement-bluntly replied that Scott had ruined the novel by conflating his own and Zelda's characteristics with those of the Murphys, creating an unconvincing composite and wrecking the logical consistency of their behavior:

I liked it and I didn't like it. It started off with that marvelous description of Sara and Gerald… Then you started fooling with them, making them come from things they didn't come from, changing them into other people and you can't do that… Invention is the finest thing but you cannot invent anything that would not actually happen…

You took liberties with peoples' pasts and futures that produced not people but damned marvelously faked case histories… For God's sake write and write truly no matter who or what it hurts but do not make these silly compromises.

Fitzgerald defended himself in a letter to Sara Murphy by stating that his theory of fiction, antithetically opposed to Hemingway's, was that "it takes half a dozen people to make a synthesis strong enough to create a fiction[al] character." Gerald agreed with Fitzgerald and wrote, a year after the novel appeared, that his imaginative reconstruction of their lives was truer than reality: "I know now that what you said in Tender Is the Night is true. Only the invented part of our life-the unreal part-has had any scheme, any beauty." Four years later Hemingway reread the novel, saw its merits more clearly and revised his opinion. Recognizing Fitzgerald's deep insight and ability to objectify his own tragic experience, he told Max Perkins: "It's amazing how excellent much of it is. If he had integrated it better it would have been a fine novel (as it is) much of it is better than anything else he ever wrote… Reading that novel much of it was so good it was frightening."17

Fitzgerald had very high hopes for the novel that had evolved from so much suffering. He felt it was his last chance to restore his reputation, his self-confidence and his wealth. This Side of Paradise had sold more than 49,000 copies by the end of 1921. But Tender Is the Night, partly because of the economic depression and because his subject matter was unfashionable during those politically conscious years, sold only 13,000 copies. It earned just five thousand dollars, which was not even enough to repay his debts to Scribner's and to Ober. Zelda's third breakdown in February 1934 and the relative failure of Tender Is the Night in April propelled Fitzgerald into his own crack-up, from which he never completely recovered.


1. Quoted in Turnbull, Scott Fitzgerald, p. 214; Interview with Frances Turnbull Kidder, April 4, 1992; Turnbull, Scott Fitzgerald, p. 229.

Andrew, dutifully following Fitzgerald's advice, attended Princeton. He served in World War II, earned a doctorate at Harvard and taught for a while at MIT. He also edited Fitzgerald's letters and published a life of Thomas Wolfe. Though he adored his mother and two daughters, Andrew suffered severe depression for many years, could not cope with the pain of living and killed himself in 1970.

2. Fitzgerald, Letters, p. 365 and deleted phrase quoted in Bruccoli, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur, p. 345; Quoted in Matthew Bruccoli, F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Descriptive Bibliography, Revised Edition (Pittsburgh, 1987), p. 93; Fitzgerald, Correspondence, p. 324.

3. Fitzgerald, Correspondence, p. 338; Scottie Fitzgerald Smith, Foreword to Bits of Paradise, p. xiii; Interview with Margaret "Peaches" Finney McPherson, May 14, 1992.

4. Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night, p. 257; Sheilah Graham, The Real Scott Fitzgerald, pp. 94, 72.

5. Turnbull, Scott Fitzgerald, p. 237; Quoted in Mizener, Far Side of Paradise, p. 258; Zelda Fitzgerald, "Auction-Model 1934," Crack-Up, p. 62; Turnbull, Scott Fitzgerald, p. 244 (Zelda's odd title was taken from Ernest Boyd's essay, "Aesthete, Model 1924," which appeared in the first issue of Mencken's American Mercury); Scottie Fitzgerald Smith, [Foreword to] Zelda, exhibition catalogue (Montgomery: Museum of Fine Arts, 1974), n. p.

6. Fitzgerald, Correspondence, p. 336; Quoted in Milford, Zelda, p. 346; Quoted in Turnbull, Scott Fitzgerald, p. 266; Fitzgerald, Letters, p. 588.

7. Fitzgerald, In His Own Time, p. 283; Fitzgerald, Correspondence, p. 474; Fitzgerald, Letters, p. 406.

8. Quoted in Turnbull, Scott Fitzgerald, p. 200; Letter from Dr. Benjamin Baker to Jeffrey Meyers, October 10, 1992; H. L. Mencken, Diary, ed. Charles Fecher (New York, 1989), p. 63.

9. Quoted in Milford, Zelda, p. 347; "Work of a Wife," Time, 23 (April 9, 1934), 44. Though Zelda's portraits of Scott were lost, her pencil drawing of him, in a letter of October 1934, appears in Bruccoli, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur, p. 383. A number of her paintings and drawings are reproduced in color in The Romantic Egoists, following page 190.

10. Fitzgerald, Correspondence, p. 318; Marion Meade, Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell is This? (New York, 1988), p. 235.

11. Yeats, "The Choice," Collected Poems, p. 242; Quoted in Mizener, Far Side of Paradise, pp. 345-346. The phrase "spoiled priest" appears in Joyce, Ulysses, p. 427. Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night, p. 304.

12. Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night, pp. 301, 87, 64, 88.

13. Ibid., pp. 217, 219; Fitzgerald, Notebooks, p. 172; Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night, p. 112.

14. Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night, pp. 192, 201, 301, 82, 271.

15. Fitzgerald, Correspondence, pp. 339, 358; Gilbert Seldes, "True to Type-Scott Fitzgerald Writes Superb Tragic Novel," New York Evening Journal, April 12, 1934, p. 23; John Chamberlain, "Books of The Times," New York Times, April 13, 1934, p. 17.

16. Mary Colum, "The Psychopathic Novel," Forum and Century, 91 (April 1934), 219-223; D. W. Harding, "Mechanisms of Misery," Scrutiny, 3 (December 1934), 318; Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 82 (July 1935), 115.

17. Fitzgerald, Letters, p. 327; Hemingway, Selected Letters, p. 407; Fitzgerald, Letters, p. 443; Fitzgerald, Correspondence, p. 425; Hemingway, Selected Letters, p. 483.

Next: chapter 11.

Published as Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography by Jeffrey Meyers (NY. Harper-Collins, 1994).