Wordwise 126 A2854

A special book

  • 2013.05.23

I am a reader. Nothing feels (or smells) quite like a book, well printed on quality paper. Like most readers, I have a number of favourite books – books that I go back to, time and time again, books that have a special meaning for me, although a meaning that often changes as I grow older and approach the book from a new perspective.

John Steinbeck’s The Winter of Our Discontent is one of those novels. Generally, I’m not a fan of American literature, but I make an exception here. Perhaps it’s not a great novel, but it is special to me. I’d like to tell you a little about it, and maybe encourage you to read it for yourself, even in translation.

The Winter of Our Discontent was Steinbeck’s last novel before his death. Much of his earlier and more famous work was set in California, but this novel was set in New England, and on one level it deals with the moral decay of the US. On a more personal level it is the story of a man afraid of success – afraid of what kind of man he might need to become in order to become successful in a country in moral decline.

I don’t want to spoil it for you so I won’t tell you any more of the plot. Let me say, however, that as we grow to adulthood, we all need to make compromises between the person we want to be and what society and our friends or family expect of us. I have often turned to this novel and its protagonist (not quite a hero), Ethan Hawley, when I needed advice on my own conduct – I guess that’s why it is so special for me – because it has never yet failed to set me on the right course.

Anyway, that’s about it – I hope you have the chance to read The Winter of Our Discontent, and I hope it might become a special book for you too.



ジョン・スタインベックの「The winter of Our Discontent」はそれらの小説の1つです。一般的に、私はアメリカ文学のファンではありませんが、これは例外です。すばらしい小説ではないかもしれませんが、私にとっては特別な本です。今日は、これについて少しだけ紹介しましょう。たとえ翻訳されたものであっても是非お勧めします。

「The winter of Our Discontent」はスタインベックの生前最後の小説でした。彼の初期のもっと有名な本の多くはカリフォルニアの設定でしたが、この小説はニューイングランドで、アメリカの道義の退廃について扱っています。これは成功を恐れる男の話です。―道徳的な衰退国で成功を収めるために、どのような男になる必要があるのかを恐れています。


まあとにかく、そういうことなのです。―みなさんも「The winter of Our Discontent」を読む機会があるといいですね。そして、あなたにとっても特別な一冊となりますように。