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F. Scott Fitzgerald's
"Babylon Revisited":
A Long Expostulation and Explanation

Thomas A. Larson, M.A.


Contents and Introduction

Chapter 2

A Study of the Texts of "Babylon Revisited":
from the Post to Taps

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote "Babylon Revisited" in December 1930, and the short story was published in The Saturday Evening Post on February 21, 1931. Fitzgerald revised the story for Taps at Reveille, a collection of his short fiction published in 1935.

The texts as published have raised various questions and studies over the years. My purpose here in regards to "Babylon Revisited" is to present the various components of textual study, while greatly expanding and enlarging the scope of (and sometimes challenging) prior studies, resulting in a comprehensive examination that leads to an understanding of Fitzgerald's revised text of "Babylon Revisited," which necessarily contributes to our overall understanding of the story.

Part One of this chapter first reveals the textual relationship between "Babylon Revisited" and Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night, which prompted some of the revisions in "Babylon." An analysis of the texts of the Post and Taps versions is next, which uncovers Fitzgerald's other purposes for revisions made, which involved matters from simple editing through revisions of a thematic nature. Finally, a look at the original work in progress and some changes effected from that existing typescript rounds out Part One.

Read Part One, or go directly to one of the following areas of study:

Part Two follows with an evaluation of textual matters found in the Taps revision and its latest appearance in The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, as far as errata and inconsistencies, and of other textual problems and questions. It should also be mentioned here that the appendix contains listings of the variations and errata found in the texts of "Babylon Revisited" in Fitzgerald collections, with an ensuing discussion.

Read Part Two, or go directly to one of the following areas of study:


Texts of "Babylon Revisited" and Tender Is the Night cited here:

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "Babylon Revisited."
  • The Saturday Evening Post 203 (21 February 1931): 3-5, 82-84.
  • The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald: A New Collection. Edited with a Preface by Matthew J. Bruccoli. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1989. 616-633.
  • Taps at Reveille. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935. 382-407.
  • Typescript. F. Scott Fitzgerald Manuscripts: Volume VI, The Vegetable, Stories, and Articles, Part 2. New York: Garland Publishing, 1991. 417-469.

----------. Tender Is the Night. Scribner Library volume. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1960, 1962. Tender Is the Night was first published by Scribner's in 1934.

Citations to "Babylon Revisited" not otherwise specified refer to the Taps at Reveille revision found in Bruccoli's edition of The Short Stories. Where both the Post and The Short Stories are referenced, the Post is always cited first.


Chapter 2: A Study of the Texts of "Babylon Revisited": from the Post to Taps
http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tdlarson/fsf/babylon/chap_2.htm

© 1995, 1998-2000
Tom Larson

F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Babylon Revisited":
A Long Expostulation and Explanation:

Contents and Introduction