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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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バードマンの予習のために

 


映画バードマンでは『愛について語るときに我々の語ること』の舞台化を軸に物語が進んでいきます。短編のすべてを以下で読むことができてしまいます。

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LOVE

もとのビギナーズも以下のリンクで読めるので、どのように原稿が減らされたのか比較できるます。

Fiction DECEMBER 24, 2007 ISSUE
Beginners
Drinking gin and talking about love

(This is a draft of Carver’s story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” without Gordon Lish’s edits.)
BY RAYMOND CARVER

(Wikipedia 愛について語るときに我々の語ること (小説))から抜粋)
上記短編集に収められた作品の多くが編集者のゴードン・リッシュによって文章の大幅な削除を受けているが、本作品もその例に漏れず、オリジナル原稿の「50パーセント」が削られている[1]。
元のタイトルである「ビギナーズ」は次の一節から取られた。
"What do any of us really know about love?" Mel said. "It seems to me we're just beginners at love."
「我々は愛についていったい何を知っているだろうか?」とメルは言った。「僕らはみんな愛の初心者みたいに見える」

そしてリッシュは、メル・マギニスが別の箇所で述べた次の言葉を取って本作品と短編集の両方のタイトルとした。

"You see, this happened a few months ago, but it's still going on right now, and it ought to make us feel ashamed when we talk like we know what we're talking about when we talk about love."
「このことは二、三ヵ月前に起こった。でもそれは今でも続いていて、この話を聞いたら僕らはみんな恥じ入ってしかるべきなんだ。こういう風に愛についてしゃべっているときに自分が何をしゃべっているか承知しているというような偉そうな顔をしてしゃべってることについてね」


なんか自分にはよくわからなかった短編でした。映画は楽しめましたが。。。

映画で繰り返し登場するエピソードを2つ紹介します。一つは老夫婦の話。

“Okay,” Mel said. “Where was I?” he said. He stared at the table and then he began again.
“I dropped in to see each of them every day, sometimes twice a day if I was up doing other calls anyway. Casts and bandages, head to foot, the both of them. You know, you’ve seen it in the movies. Little eye-holes and nose-holes and mouth-holes. And she had to have her legs slung up on top of it. Well, the husband was very depressed for the longest while. Not about the accident, though. I mean, the accident was one thing, but it wasn’t everything. I’d get up to his mouth hole, you know, and he’d say no, it wasn’t the accident exactly but it was because he couldn’t see her through his eye-holes. He said that was what was making him feel so bad. Can you imagine? The man’s heart was breaking because he couldn’t turn his goddamn head and see his goddamn wife.”
Mel looked around the table and shook his head at what he was going to say.
“I mean, it was killing the old fart just because he couldn’t look at the fucking woman.”


もう一つは拳銃自殺する元彼の話。

Laura leaned forward with her glass. She put her elbows on the table and her glass with both hands. She glanced from Mel to Terri and waited with a look of bewilderment on her face, as if amazed such things happened to people you were friendly with.
“How’d he bungle it when he killed himself?” I asked.
“I’ll tell you what happened,” Mel said. “He took his twenty-two pistol he’d bought to threaten Terri and me with. Oh, I’m serious, the man was always threatening. You should have seen the way we lived in those days. Like fugitives. I even bought a gun myself. Can you believe it? A guy like me? But I did. I bought a gun for self-defense and carried it in my glove compartment. Sometimes I’d have to leave the apartment in the middle of the night. To go to the hospital, you know? Terri and I weren’t married then, and my first wife had the house and kids, the dog, everything, and Terri and I were living in this apartment here. Sometimes, as I say, I’d get a call in the middle of the night and have to go to the hospital at two or three in the morning. It’d be dark out there in the parking lot, and I’d break into a sweat before I could even get to my car. I never knew if he was going to come out of the shrubbery or from behind a car and start shooting. I mean, the man was crazy. He was capable of wiring a bomb, anything. He used to call my service at all hours and say he needed to talk to the doctor, and when I’d return the call, he’d say, ‘Son of a bitch, your days are numbered.’ Little things like that. It was scary, I’m telling you.”
“I still feel sorry for him,” Terri said.
“It sounds like a nightmare,” Laura said. “But what exactly happened after he shot himself?”
Laura is a legal secretary. We’d met in a professional capacity. Before we knew it, it was a courtship. She’s thirty-five, three years younger than I am. In addition to being in love, we like each other and enjoy each other’s company. She’s easy to be with.
***
“What happened?” Laura asked.
Mel said, “He shot himself in the mouth in his room. Someone heard the shot and told the manager. They came in with a passkey, saw what had happened, and called an ambulance. I happened to be there when they brought him in, alive but past recall. The man lived for three days. His head swelled up to twice the size of a normal head. I’d never seen anything like it, and I hope I never do again. Terri wanted to go in and sit with him when she found out about it. We had a fight over it. I didn’t think she should see him like that. I didn’t think she should see him, and I still don’t.”
“Who won the fight?” Laura said.
“I was in the room with him when he died,” Terri said. “He never came up out of it. But I sat with him. He didn’t have anyone else.”
“He was dangerous,” Mel said. “If you call that love, you can have it.”
“It was love,” Terri said. “Sure, it’s abnormal in most people’s eyes. But he was willing to die for it. He did die for it.”
“I sure as hell wouldn’t call it love,” Mel said. “I mean, no one knows what he did it for. I’ve seen a lot of suicides, and I couldn’t say anybody knew what they did it for.”
Mel put his hands behind his neck and tilted his chair back. “I’m not interested in that kind of love,” he said. “If that’s love, you can have.”
Terri said, “We were afraid. Mel even made a will out and wrote to his brother in California who used to be a Green Beret. Mel told him who to look for if something happened to him.” Terri drank from her glass. “But Mel’s right—we lived like fugitives. We were afraid. Mel was, weren’t you, honey? I even called the police at one point, but they were no help. They said they couldn’t do anything until Ed actually did something. Isn’t that a laugh?” Terri said.
She poured the last of the gin into her glass and waggled the bottle. Mel rose from the table and went to the cupboard. He took down another bottle.


映画の序盤から何度も登場するエピソードなので別にネタバレにはならないと思いますが、
このエピソードを抑えておくとラストで登場する批評家の言葉で、映画のサブタイトルでもある The Unexpected Virtue of Ignoranceの意味がよく分かるようになります。
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