F. Scott Fitzgerald: Taps at Reveille

(5052 words)

Taps at Reveille (1935) was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s fourth collection of short stories and the last and largest to appear in his lifetime. Its title encapsulates the paradoxical mood that runs through the eighteen tales in the book: in the USA, “taps” is a bugle call to put out lights in army quarters, and can also mean a similar call at a military funeral; “reveille” is a military wake-up call, especially one sounded on a bugle or drum. The phrase is thus an oxymoron which combines two contradictory ideas: on the one hand, nightfall, sleep and death; on the other, dawn, awakening and life. Starting with a story about an ardent fourteen-year-old youth and ending with one about a traumatized man of …

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Tredell, Nicolas. "Taps at Reveille". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 August 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1702, accessed 01 July 2015.]