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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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Cuckoo’s Calling

 
ローリングの著作は買わないと今のところ思いますが、このような状況でどのように対応するのかついつい興味本意でおっかけてしまいます。漏洩について弁護士が謝罪していましたが、フォーマルな表現が使われていてTOEIC的表現といえるでしょう。

(弁護士の謝罪声明)
We, Russells Solicitors, apologise unreservedly for the disclosure caused by one of our partners, Chris Gossage, in revealing to his wife’s best friend, Judith Callegari, during a private conversation that the true identity of Robert Galbraith was in fact J K Rowling.

Whilst accepting his own culpability, the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly. On becoming aware of the circumstances, we immediately notified JK Rowling’s agent. We can confirm that this leak was not part of any marketing plan and that neither J K Rowling, her agent nor publishers were in any way involved.

(ローリングの声明)
A tiny number of people knew my pseudonym and it has not been pleasant to wonder for days how a woman whom I had never heard of prior to Sunday night could have found out something that many of my oldest friends did not know.

To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced.

フォーマルな場で直接的な表現で非難をすると角がたちやすいですから、どうしても婉曲的な表現が好まれるようです。ローリングはもの凄く怒っていることは分かりますが、To say that I am disappointed is an understatement.とか、I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced.とか言っています。確かにI feel very angryは直接的な感情表現ですが、情報漏洩をした事実をthat節に用いるのではなく、my trust turned out to be misplaced.(私の信頼が裏切られたことが分かった)と間接的に語っていますね。

To say that I am disappointed is an understatement.というのは決まり表現のようで、の形の例文をほとんどの辞書が紹介しています。To 不定詞は主語にならないというのは一般論として正しいかもしれませんが、このような決まった言い回しもあることをたくさんの用例に触れて実感していきたいですね。the understatement of the yearに関しては「今年一番の控えめな表現」という意味ですが、「年間」というのに特に深い意味はなく単なる強調表現なのでしょう。

(オックスフォード)
understatement
1 [countable] a statement that makes something seem less important, impressive, serious, etc. than it really is
To say we were pleased is an understatement (= we were extremely pleased).
“These figures are a bit disappointing.” “That's got to be the understatement of the year.”

(ロングマン)
understatement
1 [countable] a statement that is not strong enough to express how good, bad, impressive etc something really is:
To say the movie was bad is an understatement.
'It wasn't very easy to find the house.' 'That's got to be the understatement of the year!'


(ケンブリッジ)
understatement
a statement that describes something in a way that makes it seem less important, serious, bad, etc. than it really is, or the act of making such statements:
To say that her resignation was a shock would be an understatement - it caused panic.
That New York City is not a peaceful place to live is the understatement of the year/month/century.


テレグラフの書評では5段階中4の高評価でした。
JK Rowling's crime novel: the verdict
Jake Kerridge praises The Cuckoo's Calling, JK Rowling's debut crime novel - and kicks himself for not guessing earlier that she was writing under a pseudonym.

In short, this is a sharply contemporary novel full of old-fashioned virtues; there is room for improvement in terms of construction, but it is wonderfully fresh and funny. I hope this is the inauguration of a series that lasts long enough to make Harry Potter look like a flash in the pan.

もちろん、どんな本も酷評は免れないもの。NPRでは普通の本だと手厳しかったです。「可もなく不可もなく」的な感じの場合"I've read worse, but I've read better"という表現は面白いですね。

The Only Surprise In Rowling's 'Cuckoo's Calling' Is The Author
by MAUREEN CORRIGAN
July 18, 2013 1:40 PM
The Cuckoo's Calling falls into that vast middlin' range of fiction that I mentally shelve in the "I've read worse, but I've read better" category. I couldn't even find a memorable quote from this novel. The only really distinctive thing about The Cuckoo's Calling is its title, which comes from a Christina Rossetti poem.

さて、ここで触れられている19世紀の詩人Christina Rossettiの詩はA Dirgeです。Dirgeは葬送歌という意味なので、Crime Novelにはピッタリはまりそうです。

(マクミラン)
dirge
a slow sad song often sung at a funeral


A Dirge
Why were you born when the snow was falling?

You should have come to the cuckoo’s calling,

Or when grapes are green in the cluster,

Or, at least, when lithe swallows muster

For their far off flying

From summer dying.

Why did you die when the lambs were cropping?

You should have died at the apples’ dropping,

When the grasshopper comes to trouble,

And the wheat-fields are sodden stubble,

And all winds go sighing

For sweet things dying.

この詩とローリングの小説に関しては、以下のブログが詳しかったです。

‘A Dirge’ by Christina Rossetti (Analysis Part 1) JK Rowling goes cuckoo for Rossetti poem

Some might imagine that JK Rowling publishing a crime novel under a pseudonym (Robert Galbraith) is the most important part of the story of the genesis of A Cuckoo’s Calling. But I say Galbraith, Schmalbraith. The real story here is that JK Rowling has borrowed her onomatopoetic, alliterative title from the Christina Rossetti poem, ‘A Dirge’ (1865).

She has also reproduced the complete poem as the novel’s epigraph. Taken together with the neo-gothic overtones of the Harry Potter series and the George Eliot-esque realism of The Casual Vacancy, Ms. Rowling’s acknowledgement of Rossetti bespeaks an acquaintance with nineteenth-century literature that makes this Victorian scholar’s heart beat faster under her sensible cardigan.

Without further ado, I would like to offer a close-reading of ‘A Dirge’ for those interested in following where JK Rowling is gently leading her more curious readers. And I do mean ‘curious’ in multiple senses of the word.
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