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经济学人:Tainted love 堕落的爱

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Books and Arts;Book Review;New American fiction;Tainted love;“Dirt”by DAVID VANN.

文艺;书评;一部新的美国小说;堕落的爱;《丑事》大卫·范恩著。

DAVID VANN’s first short-story collection, “Legend of a Suicide”, was an arresting meditation on life after his father killed himself, seen through the prism of fiction. His 2011 novel, “Caribou Island”, similarly retraced the Alaskan landscape of his youth to consider the disintegration of a family in the wake of a parent’s suicide. Though informed by fact, those two extraordinary books highlighted the power of fiction and the role of the imagination in the unceasing struggle to explain a tragedy.

《自杀传奇》,大卫·范恩的第一部短片小说集,是作者的父亲自杀后作者对生活的深沉反思。大卫·范恩2011年的小说《卡布里岛》也是一样的调调,里面有作者的出生地,阿拉斯加的美景,还有自杀的父亲,以及父亲自杀后那支离破碎的家庭。小说虽然基于事实而作,但是在这两部非比寻常的小说里,虚构和幻想的力量不容忽视,因为在描述悲剧的过程之中,虚构和幻想在推动小说的持续发展上起了重要作用。

There is no suicide in Mr Vann’s new novel, “Dirt”. But this work makes it clear that broken families, and the violence and destruction that love can wreak, continue to be his abiding themes.

范恩先生的新作,《丑事》,并没有自杀这一回事,但是这本书讲得很清楚,爱可能导致家庭破碎,暴力还有破坏。这也是范恩先生不变的主题。

At 22, Galen still lives with his controlling and emotionally dependent mother in the secluded California house she grew up in. Their home together is suffused by memories of her abusive father, her apparently senile mother and decades of accumulated hurt, guilt and denial. Galen’s crusty aunt and nubile teenage cousin drift in and out of their lives and Galen’s fantasies. Meanwhile Galen, a deeply unhappy young man, plots his escape—if not from his family, then at least from his own body.

伽林,都22岁了,还跟他妈住一起。他妈是个控制狂,情感还不独立。他们住的房子还是他妈长大的地方。房子位于加利福尼亚,周围并没有多少人出没。这个家是一个充满记忆的地方,他妈的爸爸是个虐待狂,他妈的妈妈是个老不死,几十年了,不缺的是伤痛、内疚和背弃。伽林的姑妈,脾气暴躁,伽林的表妹,到了该结婚的年纪,她们俩经常出没伽林还有他妈的生活,当然了还有伽林的性幻想里。同时,伽林,一个纯粹的苦逼少年,谋划着怎样的“越狱”——如果不是从家里逃出来,那么最起码也要突破自己的躯壳。

This seething and unwieldy family decides to take a trip to an old cabin in the Sierras, which handily brings the drama to a boil. “How many times had they put the world back together?” wonders Galen: “Why not let it fall apart and stay apart, why not let the truth happen?” So builds the dreadful climax and dark denouement of this brilliant narrative.

这个躁动、笨重的家庭,决定去旅行,目的地是寒拉斯一旧房子。这一决定直接性地把剧情推向了高潮。“是有多少回啊,他们把这个世界给整到一起去?” 伽林好奇:“为什么就不能够顺其自然,分了就分了,各过各的,为什么真相就是不能够露个脸呢?”于是,可怕的高潮来了,故事在精彩的叙述中,黑暗结局。

This is not a relaxing or consoling book. The reader feels some sympathy for Galen, whose suffering turns him into a bulimic and self-hating depressive. But he is also unremittingly selfish, deluded and abhorrent. He gives flesh to the notion that the victim eventually becomes the aggressor; that life taints and ruins, rather than redeems.

读这本书,并不会让人感觉轻松,或是得到某种安慰。读者会感觉很同情伽林。伽林真苦,他都厌食症了,不想吃东西,自怨自艾,消沉。但是他时不时地表现出自私的模样,逃避现实,很讨厌。受害者最终会变成攻击者,生活既然已经腐蚀了,那索性就腐烂到底吧,管它什么玩意的救赎。对于这一理论,伽林演绎的是有血有肉。

The dirt of the title represents the final, violent sequence between Galen and his mother. But filth lies all over this novel: the tantalising young cousin who abuses Galen and then sleeps with him; the mother who adores and abhors the boy she brought into the world; and ultimately the muddied and muddled mind of Galen himself.

书名丑事,暗含伽林和他妈之间注定的、暴力的结局。但是肮脏始终贯穿小说:诱人犯罪的表妹虐待伽林,并跟他上床;老妈对儿子是既爱又恨,恨的是他老爸当初怎么没把他射到墙上;最后是浑浑噩噩的伽林自己,一团糟。

This is a novel of violence, destruction and ruin. There is no salvation. And yet Mr Vann’s soaring writing carries it forward—a reminder of the beauty that can grace even the beastliest things.

这是一部关于暴力,破坏和堕落的小说,没有所谓的救赎。但是范恩先生高超的写作却让这部小说上升到了另外一个高度——美丽的提示可以使一切变得优雅,包括那最丑陋的东西。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
tainted ['teintid]

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adj. 污染的;感染的

 
arresting [ə'restiŋ]

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adj. 引人注意的;醒目的,有趣的 v. 逮捕(arr

 
reminder [ri'maində]

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n. 提醒物,提示

 
narrative ['nærətiv]

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n. 叙述,故事
adj. 叙事的,故事体的

 
destruction [di'strʌkʃən]

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n. 破坏,毁灭,破坏者

联想记忆
legend ['ledʒənd]

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n. 传说,传奇

联想记忆
collection [kə'lekʃən]

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n. 收集,收取,聚集,收藏品,募捐

联想记忆
climax ['klaimæks]

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n. 高潮,极点,层进法,[生]顶极群落

 
unwieldy [ʌn'wi:ldi]

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adj. 笨重的,笨拙的

联想记忆
dependent [di'pendənt]

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adj. 依靠的,依赖的,从属的
n.

联想记忆


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