Off the Shelf: The Great Gatsby

In this episode of Off the Shelf, Dr. Fleming and Stephen discuss what is often pushed onto today's high schoolers as a candidate for "The Great American Novel." They start the discussion by examining whether there is such a thing as "the" Great American Novel and then delve a bit deeper into a book that pleasantly surprised both of them on what was a third or fourth read.

Original Air Date: June 1, 2020
Show Run Time: 30 minutes
Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming
Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner

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Off the Shelf℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2020. All rights are reserved and any duplication without explicit written permission is forbidden.

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3 Responses

  1. Avatar Craig Klampe says:

    I tried to find an English translation of Maurice Barres’ Les Déracinés and came up with nothing. Do you know if it ever was translated?

  2. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    I dimly recall a very old translation. I’ll try to find it. Convenient, isn’t it, that it is hard to find the great right-wing writers of the 20th century in translation. When you do find them, it is often in a series like “Roots of the Right,” that collects inflammatory bits and prefaces them with deprecatory remarks. Somewhere on this website is a discussion of Barres as nationalist: https://fleming.foundation/2019/07/national-maurice-barres-and-the-recovery-of-identity/. His masterpiece may be La Colline Inspiree. I was introduced to Barres by my rather left-liberal French professor who took him seriously because the French did. Those were the days!

  3. Avatar Ben says:

    …just finished it! …wow!

    A striking quote from the end: “They were careless people… they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made …. I felt suddenly as though I were talking to a child.”

    And one from the beginning at JG’s party:
    ” The bar is in full swing and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside until the air is alive with chatter and laughter and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.” I’m not sure why that one I found striking but it seemed so very real.