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You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view



Harper Lee, elusive author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is dead at 89
By Emily Langer February 19 at 11:01 AM

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view,” Atticus Finch tells his daughter, Scout, in one of the most memorable passages of the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” — “until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Few people in the world could claim to really understand Harper Lee, the novel’s elusive author, who died Feb. 19 at 89 in Monroeville, Ala.
She withdrew from public life shortly after her book was published in 1960, only to reappear in old age with the controversial release of “Go Set a Watchman,” a manuscript identified as a long-lost early draft of the book that decades earlier had vaulted her to literary renown and, decades later, remained at the center of the discussion of race in America.



Harper Lee, Author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ Dies at 89

Harper Lee, whose first novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” about racial injustice in a small Alabama town, sold more than 40 million copies and became one of the most beloved and most taught works of fiction ever written by an American, died on Friday in Monroeville, Ala., where she lived. She was 89.


But for more than half a century a second novel failed to turn up, and Ms. Lee gained a reputation as a literary Garbo, a recluse whose public appearances to accept an award or an honorary degree counted as important news simply because of their rarity. On such occasions she did not speak, other than to say a brief thank you.

gained a reputation as a literary Garboとありますが正直ピンとこなかったです。「文学界のガルボという評されていた」と日本語にしてもわからなかったのでGarboの知識がなかったんですね。Greta Garboについてはロングマンもオックスフォードも”I want to be alone.”という彼女の言葉と合わせて紹介してくれています。

Garbo Greta
(1905-90) a US film actress, born in Sweden, who was famous for her beauty, and for saying "I want to be alone". Her films include Queen Christina (1933), Anna Karenina (1935), and Camille (1936).

Greta Garbo
(1905-90) a Swedish actor who moved to the US in 1925. Her beauty and acting skills made her one of the first famous Hollywood stars, in silent as well as talking films. She is well known for avoiding the public and for retiring in 1941 to live a life alone in New York. Her films include Queen Christina (1933) and Anna Karenina (1935).

“I want to be alone.” Greta Garbo

昨年出版された本については触れないわけにはいかないので、どの訃報でも触れています。“I was a first-time writer, and I did what I was told,”という彼女の言葉はあの名作は作者の本意ではなかったのではと推測してしまいます。

News of the rediscovery of “Go Set a Watchman” threw the literary world into turmoil. Many critics, as well as friends of Ms. Lee, found the timing and the rediscovery story suspicious, and openly questioned whether Ms. Lee, who was shielded from the press by Ms. Carter, was mentally competent to approve its publication.

It remained an open question, for many critics, whether “Go Set a Watchman” was anything more than the initial draft of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” from which, at the behest of her editors, Ms. Lee had excised the scenes from Scout’s childhood and developed them into a separate book. “I was a first-time writer, and I did what I was told,” Ms. Lee wrote in a statement issued by her publisher in 2015.

訃報といえども彼女の作品に対する批判も取り上げてバランスをとっています。動画ではアメリカ文学では不可欠という表現をしていますが、文学作品として高い評価を得ているというわけではないようで、Flannery O’Connorの「子供向けの本」という言葉が紹介されています。

Harper Lee, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' author, has died at 89
Feb. 19, 2016 2:26 PM EST

Her novel, while hugely popular, was not ranked by many scholars in the same category as the work of other Southern authors such as Eudora Welty or Flannery O'Connor. Decades after its publication, little was written about it in scholarly journals. Some critics have called the book naive and sentimental, whether dismissing the Ku Klux Klan as a minor nuisance in Maycomb or advocating change through personal persuasion rather than collective action. The novel was also considered patronizing for highlighting the bravery of a white man on behalf of blacks.
O'Connor, in an October 1960 letter, said, "I think I see what it really is — a child's book. ... I think for a child's book, it does all right."

先日のブログでジュンパラヒリが「文学とuniversal」について語ったところを紹介しましたが、1964年のインタビューでハーパーリーもI would simply like to put down all I know about this because I believe that there is something universal in this little worldと述べていたようです。

“This is small-town middle-class Southern life as opposed to the Gothic, as opposed to ‘Tobacco Road,’ as opposed to plantation life,” she told her interviewer, referring to the Erskine Caldwell novel, and adding that she was fascinated by the “rich social pattern” in such places. “I would simply like to put down all I know about this because I believe that there is something universal in this little world, something decent to be said for it, and something to lament in its passing,” she continued. “In other words, all I want to be is the Jane Austen of South Alabama.”