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08/16/2011

ギャツビー by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tuesday Theater

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chapter 1a

Play/download mp3 file

The title of this novel has been clumsily translated into Japanese as "偉大なるギャツビー" or "華麗なるギャツビー" or resignedly in katakana as "グレート・ギャツビー". They all sound wrong, because actually there's nothing great about this Gatsby character. If so, why not take liberty and simply put it as "ギャツビー"? That's what I would do if I were ever to translate this novel.

Many people rave about this novel, but I didn't quite see the point, even after I'd made this recording. (I had hoped that I might appreciate this novel better if I recorded the whole thing.) Well, I still couldn't relate to any of the characters, and I let the recording alone for over a year after proof-listening and listening through it once or twice. Then I recently chanced to listen to it again. Although I still don't like the characters much, I came to realize that Fitzgerald's writing was rather clever as far as his technique went. I guess I just didn't have the patience to appreciate that talent of his. Anyway, I have come to enjoy this book much more than I did before. Perhaps my training in reading books aloud began to pay off in some unexpected ways. I still think the novel is essentially shallow, but now I also find it stylistically interesting and worthy of attention.

I performed this novel faster than I I had done with any other books before (i.e., more words per minitue), perhaps unconsciously feeling that the cleverness of the language would be lost if the sentences were dwelt on for too long. Opinions would vary, but I personally think that was the right approach.

After a heavy dose of Conrad, I hope this novel would come as a welcome relief to the listeners. To be presented in 30 installments or so.

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