This article offers a comprehensive analysis of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s sustained engagement with French and British decadent writing, arguing that this relationship was more significant to Fitzgerald’s literary practice than has been acknowledged. The articlebegins with Fitzgerald’s youthful infatuation with decadence at Princeton, explores his critique of decadence in The Great Gatsby, and concludes with his ambivalent revisiting of the literatures of decaying Europe in Tender Is the Night. The essay uses the symbol of the Dance of Death and the motif of the dying fall as indexes for Fitzgerald’s shifting relationship to this European model of decline.


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