The Gatsby Factor
The Great Gatsby has become a 'major motion picture' for the fourth time in its life - this time in a new version by Baz Luhrmann.
In this programme, presented by academic and broadcaster Sarah Churchwell and recorded on both sides of the Atlantic, we account for the enduring popularity of Gatsby as a novel and as a source of inspiration for film and stage adaptations.
In Britain we visit the Northern Ballet and at Wilton's Music Hall - both with versions of Gatsby. In New York, we hear about the locations for the novel - the extreme wealth of north shore Long Island where Gatsby has his mansion, and the contrasting 'valley of ashes' where the poorer characters live.
The programme also includes luminaries at the New York Times considering why this novel, more than any other, has burned it way into American consciousness. How was Scott Fitzgerald in this the slimmest of novels, and with Gatsby the vaguest of protagonists, able to crack 'the kernel of the American fable'.
Producer: Susan Marling
A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.