From Lolita.If, however, for this paradoxical prude’s comfort, an editor attempted to dilute or omit scenes that a certain type of mind might call “aphrodisiac” (see in this respect the monumental decision rendered December 6, 1933, by Hon. John M. Woolsey in regard to another, considerably more outspoken, book), one would have to forego the publication of “Lolita” altogether, since those very scenes that one might inpetly accuse of sensuous existence of their own, are the most strictly functional ones in the development of a tragic tale tending unswervingly to nothing less than a moral apotheosis.
Can "to" be replaced by "towards" without changing the meaning of the sentence? I have found this entry in Longman that seems to support my idea, #3:
tendS1 W1 / tend / verb
3 tend towards something to have one particular quality or feature more than others : Charles tends towards obesity.
I prefer 'tending. . . towards. . .a moral apotheosis'.
I'd say 'tend towards' is followed by a noun and 'tend to' takes a verb.
'He tends towards exaggeration.'
'He tends to exaggerate.'
I don't know the answer to this question. I only used COCA to see if there are more examples of "tend to" + noun with this meaning. There are some:
Her taste clearly tends to images of the American landscape, which are the greatest strength of the collection, and not only of the sentimental or realistic sort: She is an enthusiast of Marsden Hartley, for example, that erratic and anguished modernist whose images of the Maine countryside are deeply unsettling. (2011)
But readings of "High Windows" have tended to a misleadingly simplified view of the contrast between the opening and closing moods, and to an inadequate sense of the nature of the intervening reflection, which triggers "the thought of high windows," and of how deceptive and depressed even (or especially) that is. (1991)
Over the last forty years, however, Cold War liberals tended to a Manichaean view of world politics.(1993)
Anna's mother tends to a conscientiously international selection, with stories set in New York far outnumbered by those using Paris, Tokyo, South America, Africa, as backdrops. (1992)
I believe these are relevant.