SEMINAR PROFILE

H17 - 
"Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also: Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth and F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night.
   
  Love and money are different kinds of good things. Money is good not in itself, but for what it can acquire of the necessities and pleasure of life. Love is good in itself, it is its own necessity, and is accomplished through non-acquisitive mutual giving of two people's devotion to each other, each for the other's sake. In fiction, love often goes wrong because money's command over the worldly lives of the lovers corrupts their inner lives, confuses them, convinces them that what money can buy, especially social station, means more than what the heart cherishes. In such cases, "treasure" and "love," which would normally align, become opposite drives working at cross purposes, one urging the hear't's life, one urging the world's. These complexities are nowhere drawn with more beauty, or more poignancy and insight in American literature, than in The House of Mirth (1905) and Tender Is The Night (1933). Among the many topics we will consider is how the problem of making love and treasure align might differ when experienced and presented by a woman on the one hand, and a man on the other, as is the case here with America's two great 20th century stylists, Wharton and Fitzgerald.
       
   
Scholar:
 
Location:
Harvard University-Rosovsky Hall
   
Dates:
2/1/2021, 2/8/2021