Good morning everyone. I thought I would start my day off by blogging about two of my favorite articles that I have read during my annotated bibliography research. Reading the project proposal I don’t think that I will have the chance to share these with you guys in my presentation so I’m going to take that opportunity now!
The first that I would like to share is titled “O.J. Simpson and the Shiksa Goddess” by Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky. This article is exactly what you think it is about and it is fascinating. Rubin-Dorsky sought to compare Simpson and Gatsby when he “realized that in the outline of [Simpson's] obsession, he resembled one of the great compelling figures in American literature” who “like Simpson, refused to endure the meanness of poverty, seeking instead the beauty and glamour of success” (Rubin-Dorsky 33). That character is, of course, Jay Gatsby. He compares their upbringings (33), self-transformations (34), homes (35), ability to maintain their illusions (35), smiles (36), and their respective “shiksa goddesses” (Nicole Brown and Daisy Buchanan) (38). I greatly enjoyed this article and it provided so much insight to American culture and the susceptibility of many to the American dream.
This next article is titled “The Great Gatsby and the American Dream” by Akio Shinmura. It is important that I tell you that this article is from a Japanese journal (with some English articles) titled Kyushu Amerika bungaku or Kyushu American Literature because I feel that the awareness of a difference in culture lends to the reading of this article. It is also the reason why I requested this article through ILL. This is a very short article (two pages) providing brief histories of the Jazz Age, prohibition in America, and the Mid West (Shinmura 76) as they relate to the American dream. What I found to be of interest is Shinmura’s description of Daisy who is “empty like a balloon and what is worse she changed into a witch who had a very attractive voice like Circe or the Sirens who tempted men. The double character of Daisy caused the tragedy of Gatsby [...]” (76-7). Wow! Now I have several questions: With the language barrier, do they literally mean/think that she has changed into a witch? Or, are they implying that she is two-faced? I think the latter is more probable. However, could their culture lend to the witch analysis? I am not implying such because I do not know nearly as much about Japanese culture as I would like to. In the research that I have done about the American dream I have not come across this interpretation of Daisy as being a knowingly manipulative character tempting the fates of men like a siren. Daisy is discussed a great deal, but she has never been portrayed as being malicious like this. Could it be that some of the symbolism of “Her voice is full of money” (Gatsby 115) was lost in translation?
Also, I’d like to provide a link to a video about the demolition of the house that supposedly inspired Fitzgerald while writing The Great Gatsby: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/41986054#41986054 The most recent buyer of this house was about as ambitious as Gatsby in his own pursuits. I think that’s telling.
And can I just say that I am dying to see Carey Mulligan as Daisy in the new The Great Gatsby remake? She is a favorite of mine!
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003. Print.
Rubin-Dorsky, Jeffrey. “O.J. Simpson and the Shiksa Goddess.” South Central
Review 14.1 (1997): 32-46. JSTOR. Web. 18 Mar. 2011.
Shunmura, Akio. “The Great Gatsby and the American Dream.” Kyushu American
Literature 29 (1988): 76-7. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 18 Mar. 2011.