Long Dying Falls and Modernist Convergences
David Garnett’s ‚Lady Into Fox‘ (1922), Thomas Mann’s ‚The Magic Mountain‘ (1924), F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‚Tender Is the Night‘ (1934)
Pages 395 - 403
Evidence of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s familiarity with the writings of David Garnett and Thomas Mann, substantiated and further enhanced by additional evidence cited in this essay, helps to establish ‚Lady Into Fox‘ (1922), ‚The Magic Mountain‘ (1924), and ‚Tender Is the Night‘ (1934) as a triad of mutually enlightening novels that share important aspects of composition, structure, theme, and reception. In having the protagonist lose his autonomy and undergo a dying fall into obscurity, with the Great War directly or indirectly (through the author’s non-combatant involvement) promoting such loss, the English and the German novel, as European precursors, provide essential foils for a comprehensive appreciation of ‚Tender Is the Night‘ as their American successor in the international convergence of modernist practices. Thomas Mann’s account of the reception of his novel occasions a review of the circumstances that led to the delayed establishment of Fitzgerald’s 1934 first-edition modernist text of ‚Tender Is the Night‘ as the standard text in the early 1970s.