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映画評論家の町山智浩さんが作成された『クラウド アトラス』攻略ガイドに以下のような記述がありました。

「クラウド・アトラス」 というタイトルは日本人の妻を持つ原作者ディヴィッド・ミッチェルが、日本の作曲家一柳慧のピアノ曲「雲の表情」の英語名Cloud Atlasからつけた。 一柳氏はオノ・ヨーコさんの最初の夫。ミッチェルにはジョン・レノンの歌から曲名を取った『ナンバー9ドリーム』 という小説もある〟

アバンギャルドすぎる感じがするのでタイトルだけをもらった気がします(苦笑)BBCのWorld Book ClubでDavid Mitchellの2010年の放送の再放送があったのですが、そこではCloud Atlas Sextetのイメージの一人として武満 徹の名をあげていました。

David Mitchell Rpt
Sat, 2 Feb 13
Duration:54 mins
David Mitchell talks to Harriett Gilbert, a studio audience and readers around the world about his bestselling novel Cloud Atlas which is also released as a feature film around the world.

このラジオではthe weak are meat the strong do eatについて視聴者から質問を受けて、「弱肉強食」という日本語からだと話していました。彼の奥さんに聞かないと本当の意味は分からないと言っていましたが、この本の基本コンセプトの一つだと語っていました。英語学習的にはmeat/eatと韻を踏んでいるところも注目したいですね。

the weak are meat
the strong do eat

JRが出している英文広報誌の2005年12月号でDavid Mitchellが日本が彼に与えた影響について語っていました。村上春樹、谷崎 潤一郎、三島由紀夫、武満徹、そして小津安二郎らしき映画を挙げている部分を抜粋します。

Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 42 (pp.60–61)

Another Perspective
Japan and My Writing
David Mitchell

I need to write a paragraph about how Japanese arts have influenced me. This is a ruthlessly edited list. Haiku, I feel, is the optimum of ‘less is more.’ I would love to make such complex compounds in such simple crucibles. The ending of Ghostwritten is influenced directly by the ending of Mishima's problematic masterpiece, The Sea of Fertility, which in turn comes from Buddhist reality-is-illusion art. Haruki Murakami's novels show how literature can marry popular culture to cook up humour and metaphor. Junichiro Tanizaki's The Makioka Sisters exemplify how compulsive the mundane can become if you look at it in the right way. Zen art uses space as matter pregnant with possible meaning, and Toru Takemitsu's otherworldly compositions demonstrate how loud silence can be. Japanese film is adept at dialogue-through-gesture—perhaps this tradition has its roots in Noh theatre. Don't make a character say it—move the character's head, in just the right way, and it is said. I could have and would have learned the same things from non-Japanese sources (Bill Evans the jazz pianist is a master of the silent note, and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is an ordinary life in an extraordinary book) but it so happens I learned them through the media of Japanese art, and I think they affect the way I write.

映画『クラウドアトラス』は原作の世界観を十分に表現できなかったと批判する人もいますが、原作よりもよくなっている点もあるそうです。Doona's Sonmi is better than mine.とペ・ドゥナを褒めていました。

David Mitchell: 'I don't want to project myself as this great experimenter'
David Mitchell never imagined his novel Cloud Atlas, with its labyrinth of interlocking stories, could be adapted for the screen. So what made him entrust Hollywood with the challenge?
Stuart Jeffries
The Guardian, Friday 8 February 2013 18.00 GMT

He's now writing his sixth novel, which was until recently billed on Wikipedia as the story of a young girl growing up in Ireland. "I hate to replace Wikipedia with the truth, but it's not about a girl growing up in Ireland – Claire Keegan and John McGahern have done that far too well for me, a British blow-in, to try it." He says the manuscript has to be handed in by June, but he won't reveal what it's about. Just before the interview ends, Mitchell tells me of another assault on his literary ego. I ask him what he liked most about Cloud Atlas, the movie - Hugh Grant cast against type as face-painted cannibal? Hanks's hilarious London-Irish accent? Mitchell say that, for him, the most impressive thing was the performance of Korean actress Bae as Sonmi-451. "In the book, she's a genetically modified human and she's got a limited working vocabulary of two or three hundred words. Then she's injected with stuff and narrates her recent past with newly acquired vocabulary. You know when you haven't got it right. But Doona did, partly because she learned English fast for the part. Doona's Sonmi is better than mine."