Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gatsby, Austen, and the author function

The New Yorker review made the new Gatsby movie sound dreadful, but I am going to see it. Interesting the need to represent the author function (The Great Gatsby, by Nick Carraway; Carraway actually seen writing the book not just narrating the story within Fitzgerald's book) much as in the Jane Austen films of past two decades a character always has to be seen writing the book she is in, even though this is hardly the narrative technique or formal vision of Austen's books. I think this is attributable to some sort of anxiety about or alienation from the very idea of the printed book, a feeling that books are so alien to the lives of their prospective audience they have to be physically represented on screen.