Typed letter signed (“Scott” in ink) to Gilbert Seldes.
Fitzgerald writes two weeks after the publication of Tender Is the Night: “Thank you for your appreciation of the novel. I never had any doubt after the weeks and months of half-sleepless work on the thing that it had some special merit and value but it is so nice to see an appreciation of it so early embodied – especially at the present moment when it can do so much good.” [Seldes gave the novel a rave review in the New York Evening Journal, 12 April 1934, the day of publication.] On the whole the press has been very good except for one blank, in the case of the New York Times by some student who didn’t seem to know what the thing was all about, so they carried it in a small block on the third page – the only tragedy of that to me is that it is the reference journal of the old maid librarians of the Great West. However, your review, more than any other, has given me the most satisfaction and again I thank you for liking the book…As ever, venomously, and even subtly, Scott. “P. S. I was too excited in New York to ask you how the editing of the Lardner book comes along. [Seldes had edited a collection of Lardner’s writings, First and Last, just about to be published.] Tell me if anything new breaks in that line. P. S. 2. You may be interested to know: I have just sold Amanda and Maxwell Perkins to the movies for a practically inexhaustible sum. I tried to throw you in – but no go! – they wouldn’t take you so I’m keeping you for blotting paper or left field – but I don’t even know if you’ll blot! I broke all engagements and took you, fully dressed, around to the printery but there were no complications even if the cough does keep up! So you can stop worrying – or else begin! Amanda and I are very happy here. She does not regret her past life with you, regarding it merely as perfectly terrible! We have drowned the children! The mother didn’t seem to mind it after the first few years! … Then turn back and jog left and right back up into Westport, Connecticut and like it! – or like John [Peale] Bishop and forget Katherine Hepburn or whoever it was who came up against his burning loins. He and I and Amanda are happy! S.”
2 1/8 pages (280 215 mm), double-spaced on three sheets of beige paper, with two postscripts comprising about half of the letter signed “S.” in ink, two small ink stains from corrections, a marginal note by Seldes on the first page.
Bibliography: Not in the M. J. Bruccoli or A. Turnbull edition of Fitzgerald letters and apparently unpublished.Don't understand our descriptions? Try reading our Glossary