"I became interested ... in the insoluble problems of personal charm." A fine, revealing letter, commenting on the writing of Tender Is the Night and remarking on the eight Basil Duke Lee stories, which ran in The Saturday Evening Post from April 1928 through April 1929. "I haven't answered your letter before because it's one of the nicest letters I've ever received, and it came when I was in a mood of tremendous dejection and I wanted to wait until I was a human being again before answering it. About five years ago I became, unfortunately, interested in the insoluble problems of personal charm and have spent the intervening time on a novel that's going to interest nobody and probably alienate the remaining half dozen who are kind enough to be interested in my work. Unfortunately my sense of material is much superior to my mind or my talent and if I ever survive this damned thing I shall devote my life to musical comedy librettos or become swimming instructor to the young Mikadesses of Japan.
"The Basil Lee stories were a mistake—it was too much good material being shoved into a lousy form. I'm glad you liked them—I thought they were rather better than the response they had. I am going to be in New York from January 5th-March 1st. If you make trips East and can stand disillusion about people I'd love to meet you ..." Because of Zelda's collapse and hospitalization in Switzerland, the Fitzgeralds did not return to American until 1931. Fitzgerald continued to struggle with his novel. Tender Is the Night was not published until 1934; it received mixed reviews and Fitzgerald was disappointed by its reception.
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