Tender is the Night
How we cite our quotes:
He stayed in the big room a long time listening to the buzz of the electric clock, listening to time (2.12.20).
This is a nice moment, if you are interested in time. What is does it mean that Dick is listening to time? Is he running against the clock? Is he trying to stay "in time." Moments before this, he was thinking that "[h]is work [has become] confused with Nicole’s problems," and that all her money makes his work seem insignificant. If he can understand time, perhaps he can find the time to work again. An enigmatic passage, but it highlights the importance of time to the novel.
"Do you mind if I pull down the curtain?"
"Please do. It’s too light in here" (1.21.18-19).
This one is interesting because it shows that Dick going back in someone else’s time – Rosemary’s to be exact. When Collis Clay tells Dick that story about Rosemary and another guy in a train compartment, Dick becomes even more passionate about her. He keeps imagining her experience several years before.
In a day or two Dick would try to banish the ghost of Rosemary before it became walled up with them, but for the moment he had no force to do it (2.11.54).
The word would is interesting here. It reminds us that the novel (except for some of Nicole’s section) is written in the past tense. Even though it seems like there is a definite past and a definite present in the novel, the whole thing takes place in the past. Everything is already known to the narrator, including what Dick will do in the future.