viernes, 5 de junio de 2009

The Great Gatsby: Glossary



  • Thomas Parke D'Invilliers: is both a pen name of Francis Scott Fitzgerald and a character in his quasi-autobiographical first novel, This Side Of Paradise.
    Artemus Gates (1918)
  • Dukes of Buccleuch: are a line of Scottish royalty.
  • New Haven: is frequently used in the novel in a synecdochic manner to refer to Yale University, which is located at New Haven, CT.
  • Delayed Teutonic migration: is Nick's witty description of The Great War. Teutons were members of an ancient Germanic tribe. The German army was generally credited with taking the first offensive action of the war by marching through Belgium toward France in August 1914.
  • Great War: is the original name for World War I.
  • Dodge: is an American car.
  • Mæcenas: was a wealthy patron of the arts in ancient Rome. "His name is the symbol of the wealthy, generous patron of the arts."
  • Midas: was a legendary Greek king whose touch turned matter to gold.
  • Morgan: (John Pierpoint, 1837-1913) was one of the most successful financiers of 19th century America.
  • Yale: is an Ivy League university, founded at New Haven, CT. in 1701.
  • Long Island: stretches about 120 miles east from southern Manhattan into the Atlantic ocean. It consists of four counties: Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk.
  • the egg in Columbus story: involves the legend of how Columbus convinced others that he could do something they thought was impossible.
  •  East Egg and West Egg: The fictional Eggs situated at the shore of Long Island Sound, New York, stand for the Manor Haven/Sands Point and Great Neck, respectively (see the map below).


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  • Hôtel de Ville: is literally a town hall. These were frequently architectural marvels of Northern France, Normandy.
  • second cousin: Your second cousins are the people in your family who have the same great-grandparents as you, but not the same grandparents.
  • once removed: when used to describe a relationship, "removed" indicates that the two people are from different generations. "Once removed" mean that there is a difference of one generation. For example, your mother's first cousin is your first cousin, once removed.
  • Lake Forest: is a famously prosperous city north of Chicago in Lake County, IL.
  • Georgian Colonial: refers to an architectural style popular in the 18th century.
  • "The Rise of the Colored Empires": is, as described by Bruccoli in his notes to the novel, a veiled allusion to The Rising Tide of Color by Lothrop Stoddard, published in 1920.
  • Cunard: is a British shipping company that has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic.
  • White Star Line: was one of the popular ocean liner companies, begun in 1868 by Thomas H. Ismay. It eventually merged with the Cunard Line.
  • Saturday Evening Post: a bimonthly American magazine, see official site.
  • Asheville: is a city of western North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Hot Springs: is a famous resort town in Arkansas.
  • Palm Beach: on the southeastern coast of Florida was developed as a resort town in the 1890s by Henry Flagler, a co-founder of Standard Oil (with John D. Rockefeller and Samuel Andrews).
  • Rotogravure pictures: are magazine illustrations produced on rotary photogravure presses.
  • the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg : The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are a pair of fading, bespectacled eyes painted on an old advertising billboard over the valley of ashes.
  • Borough of Queens: is one of the five boroughs of New York City, located on western Long Island. It was incorporated into NYC in 1898.
  • John D Rockefeller: was a spectacularly wealthy industrialist and philanthropist of the 19th century. Before the Supreme Court broke up his Standard Oil Trust, he made over $1 billion.
  • Gardens of Versailles: are one of the most notable features of the extravagant Palace of Versailles, official residence of the kings of France from 1682 to 1790.
  • Simon Called Peter: is a novel published in 1921, about the passionate life of an army chaplain. (It is a novel that Fitzgerald regarded as immoral).
  • Ectoplasm: is some kind of stuff said to be related to ghostly appearances.
  • Montauk Point: is the eastern-most extremity of Long Island.
  • Kaiser Wilhelm [II]: ruled Germany from 1888 to his abdication in 1918. He presided over German involvement in The Great War.
  • Monte Carlo: is a resort in Monaco, famous for its gambling houses.
  • Marseilles: is a port city on the Mediterranean coast of France.
  • Pennsylvania Station: in New York City, was constructed in 1910 and demolished in 1964.
  • Rolls-Royce: is a British company famous for its automobile and aircraft engines. Its automobiles have a reputation for being of the highest quality, beginning with The Silver Ghost of 1906.
  • Dreams of Castile: suggests that the shawls of women at Gatsby's parties were finer than any that the inhabitants of Castile could hope to own. Castile is a former kingdom in north central Spain.
  • Frisco:  Joe Frisco was an American vaudeville performer who first made his name on stage as a jazz dancer.
  • "Follies": refers to The Ziegfeld Follies, a musical revue famous for its beautiful girls, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld from 1907 to 1931.
  • Gilda Gray: a Polish-American actress and dancer who became famous in the US for popularizing a dance called the "shimmy" which became fashionable in 1920s films and theater productions."
  • Croirier's: is apparently a fictional store, perhaps inspired by Cartier's, a famous jewelry store established in New York by Pierre Cartier in 1917. "Croire" is a French word meaning "to believe, to think, or to credit."
  • Gothic: refers to the predominant architectural style of the Middle Ages.
  • "The Stoddard Lectures": were travel books published in 1897. Have a look here
  • Belasco, David: was an American theatrical producer famous for his realistic set designs.
  • Jazz: is an improvisational musical form rooted in blues, spirituals, ragtime, marching bands, and other earlier music. Fitzgerald is often called the great writer of "The Jazz Age".
  • Oxford: is a British university, is the oldest in the English-speaking world.
  • Carnegie Hall: is a famous performance venue in New York City. It opened in 1891 with a performance of Marche solennelle conducted by Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
  • French bob: is a short hairstyle popular in the 1920s. See illustrations at The Costume Gallery.
  • Owl-eyes: used in reference to the drunk in the library, hints that he knows some truth or has some wisdom concerning Gatsby. At least, this is one common interpretation. In Greek mythology the owl is associated with Athena, goddess of wisdom.
  • Madison Avenue: is a street in New York City which is traditionally identified with the advertising business.
  • Warwick: is a summer resort town southeast of Providence, RI.
  • Knickerbockers: or knickers, were short pants that descended to the knee, where they were met by long socks.
  • American Legion: "The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veteran’s organization."
  • Bois de Boulogne: is a large park in Paris.
  • Argonne Forest: is a wooded and hilly region of northeast France, a major battleground in World War I.
  • Lewis guns: were light machine guns used in The Great War.
  • Adriatic Sea: The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan Peninsula
  • Montenegro: is one of the Balkan states which formed the nation of Yugoslavia
  • Orderi di Danilo: See a pair of photos of actual medals of this order here
  • Trinity Quad
  • Trinity Quad: is the open space surrounded on all sides by the buildings of Trinity College at Oxford.
  • Cricket bat: is an essential part of every game of cricket. The game is known and played throughout many of nations of the former British Empire.
  • Grand Canal: is a major watery thoroughfare of Venice, Italy. Some photos here
  • Port Roosevelt: is, as Bruccoli points out in his notes for the novel, not an identifiable location.
  • Queensboro Bridge: stretches across the East River, connecting the borough of Queens to Manhattan Island.
  • Blackwell's Island: is currently known as Roosevelt Island, located in the East River. It has been the site at various times of a penitentiary (1832-1935), lunatic asylum, and several hospitals.
  • World's Series: is the annual baseball championship held between the American and National Leagues. In the book the character Meyer Wolfsheim is supposedly the one who fixed theWorld Series of 1919.
  • Camp Taylor:(a.k.a.) Camp Zachary Taylor was an army training camp near Louisville, KY. 2nd Lt. F. Scott Fitzgerald reported to Camp Taylor in February of 1918.
  • Red Cross: is an international humanitarian relief organization whose American branch was founded by Clara Barton in 1881.
  • Armistice: marks the day (November 11, 1918) on which World War I was officially ended.
  • Cannes: An important and fashionable resort on the French Riviera
  • Deauville: "Deauville, lady of the French coast, its most glamorous seaside resort, symbolizes elegance, prestige and sophistication."
  • Amour: is the French word for "love." Jordan uses the term to suggest marital infidelity
  • Central Park: is a large park in mid-Manhattan; it opened to the public in 1859.
  • Coney Island: A resort district of Brooklyn, New York, on the Atlantic Ocean, famous for its boardwalk and amusement park featuring souvenir stands, thrilling rides, and numerous eating places
  • Castle Rackrent: was originally the title of a novel (1800) by Irish writer Maria Edgeworth.
  • Kant [Immanuel]: (1724-1804), was one of the most significant European philosophers.
  • Marie Antoinette: became Queen of France when her husband assumed the throne in 1774
  • Restoration: refers, in the novel, to a style of architecture that arose during the period of the English Restoration, beginning in 1660 (with the restoration of the monarchy after the Puritan Commonwealth and Protectorate).
  • Merton College Library: literally refers to the library of that College at Oxford, but in the novel Nick puts it in quotation marks to indicate that it is either a witty expression of his own or what Gatsby himself calls the library. Perhaps the name is written on the door.
  • Adam study: probably refers to interior design by, or inspired by, Scottish architect Robert Adam (1728-1792).
  • Chartreuse: is a green or yellow liqueur.
  • Underground pipe-line to Canada: Prohibitionof the manufacture and sale of alcohol in the United States produced a number of fanciful notions about how alcohol managed to enter the country under these restrictions.
  • Platonic conception: refers, first of all, to the Greek philosopher's idealism, the belief that only ideas (pure forms) are really real. There is also a pun on the term "conception," leaning on the word's associations with thinking as well as with matters of sexual reproduction.
  • His Father's Business: is an allusion to a comment made by the young Jesus to his parents when they find him talking with the teachers in the temple [Lk.2.49].
  • St. Olaf: located in Northfield MN, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. It was founded in 1874.
  • Yukon: is a territory located in western Canada, north of British Columbia and east of Alaska. The discovery of gold in the Klondike, a region of western Yukon Territory, set off a major gold rush in 1897.
  • Madame de Maintenon: rose from poverty to become the second wife of French King Louis XIV.
  • Barbary Coast: is literally the Mediterranean coast of north Africa, but - as Bruccoli notes, the novel probably refers to the wild waterfront area of San Francisco that developed after the 1849 gold rush.
  • Fox-trot: is a popular form of ballroom dancing, introduced in 1914.
  • Trimalchio: is a character in The Satyricon, a first century Latin work by Petronius. Trimalchio was famous for hosting spectacularly lavish parties.
  • Circus wagon: is an elaborately decorated wagon used to transport circuses from one place to another.
  • Astoria: is a neighborhood in the northwestern corner of the New York City borough of Queens.
  • Plaza Hotel: is located on Fifth Avenue and Central Park South.
  • Kapiolani: is a park on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
  • The Punch Bowl: is a volcanic crater on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
  • Grain alcohol: clear, colorless, flammable liquid that has been distilled from a grain-based mash to a very high level of ethanol content. One of the legal exceptions to the Prohibition law was that pharmacists were allowed to dispense whiskey by prescription for any number of ailments, ranging from anxiety to influenza. Bootleggers quickly discovered that running a pharmacy was a perfect front for their trad.
  • Negro: was the term commonly used in the past by African Americans and non-African Americans alike.
  • Montreal: is the largest city in Quebec, Canada.
  • Hempstead: is a village of western Long Island.
  • Southampton: is a town, one of "the Hamptons," in Suffolk County, Long Island.
  • Flushing: is an important neighborhood in northern Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City.
  • Holocaust: as used in the novel, is not related to later associations with Nazi genocidal programs. American Heritage Dictionary provides an alternate definition: "A sacrificial offering that is consumed entirely by flames." This refers to the Jewish practice of animal sacrifices in ancient Israel.
  • Pasquinade: is "a satire or lampoon, especially one that ridicules a specific person, traditionally written and posted in a public place."
  • Greenwich: is the tenth oldest town in Connecticut.
  • The Swastika Holding Company: should not be taken as an ironic use of the famous symbol of Nazi party. As Bruccoli indicates in his notes to the novel, the swastika was "simply a popular- and universal - decorative device".
  • Albany: is the capitol city of New York state
  • Hopalong Cassidy: is the cowboy hero of a series of novels by Clarence E. Mulford published between 1907 and 1941. This is interesting because the date on Gatsby's fly-leaf is "September 12th, 1906". Thus Fitzgerald has committed anachronism, as Bruccoli concurs.
  • Union Station: was one of the major train stations of Chicago.
  • Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul Railroad: was a rail line that travelled between Chicago and the cities of Puget Sound
  • Lost Swede towns: refers to the predominance of Swedish immigrants among the earliest settlers of Minnesota.
  • El Greco: was an artist, "the first great genius of the Spanish School."
  • Dutch sailors: are connected to the early settlement of the New York area.
  • An aesthetic contemplation: concerns thoughts related to the appreciation of, or a heightened sensitivity to, beauty.

updated 25/05/2012: cleaner html code, broken links replaced, new entries

Sources: 

An Index to The Great Gatsby: (2007). Br. Tom Murphy, O. C. . Retrieved June 5, 2009, from http://brtom.org/: http://brtom.org/gg/gga2.html

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