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Distortion - fun times


Each tape machine had its advantages and disadvantages: the JH-24 (Sony/MCI) could punch like no other and sounded great, but alignment was a pain and the remote was little more than functional. The Ampex machines sounded fantastic, but forget about punching at all. The Studers had the best of both worlds, with good punching and great sound — at a very high price. In contrast, the Otari machines and Sony APRs had modern features, like auto-alignment and built-in synchronization, but were not considered great-sounding machines. You pays your money and takes your choice. [JH-24 photo from Flickr user Ronan_C ]

In Chapter 6, when Nick finally describes Gatsby’s early history, he uses this striking comparison between Gatsby and Jesus Christ to illuminate Gatsby’s creation of his own identity. Fitzgerald was probably influenced in drawing this parallel by a nineteenth-century book by Ernest Renan entitled The Life of Jesus. This book presents Jesus as a figure who essentially decided to make himself the son of God, then brought himself to ruin by refusing to recognize the reality that denied his self-conception. Renan describes a Jesus who is “faithful to his self-created dream but scornful of the factual truth that finally crushes him and his dream”—a very appropriate description of Gatsby. Fitzgerald is known to have admired Renan’s work and seems to have drawn upon it in devising this metaphor. Though the parallel between Gatsby and Jesus is not an important motif in The Great Gatsby, it is nonetheless a suggestive comparison, as Gatsby transforms himself into the ideal that he envisioned for himself (a “Platonic conception of himself”) as a youngster and remains committed to that ideal, despite the obstacles that society presents to the fulfillment of his dream.

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