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精读教会我写作

发布者: 千缘 | 发布时间: 2021-4-6 00:27| 查看数: 70| 评论数: 0|



A long time ago, there lived a Giant, a Selfish Giant, whose stunning garden was the most beautiful in all the land. One evening, this Giant came home and found all these children playing in his garden, and he became enraged. "My own garden is my own garden!" the Giant said.

在很久很久以前,有一个巨人,一个拥有世界上最美花园的自私巨人。一天晚上,巨人回到家里发现孩子们在他花园里嬉闹玩耍,他很生气。“我的花园只属于我!”巨人说道。

And he built this high wall around it. The author Oscar Wilde wrote the story of "The Selfish Giant" in 1888. Almost a hundred years later, that Giant moved into my Brooklyn childhood and never left. I was raised in a religious family, and I grew up reading both the Bible and the Quran.

于是他在花园周围立起了高墙。这是奥斯卡·王尔德1888年写的《自私的巨人》里的内容。一百年后,这个“巨人”住进了我在布鲁克林时的儿童时光后就再没有离开过。我成长于一个宗教家庭,同时阅读了《圣经》和《古兰经》。

The hours of reading both religious and recreational far outnumbered the hours of television-watching. Now, on any given day, you could find my siblings, and I curled up in some part of our apartment reading, sometimes unhappily, because on summer days in New York City, the fire hydrant blasted and to our immense jealousy, we could hear our friends down there playing in the gushing water, their absolute joy making its way up through our open windows.

我花在阅读以及理解宗教的时间,出于宗教和娱乐目的,比看电视的时间都多。无论何时,我和我的兄弟姐妹都蜷在公寓的一个小角落进行阅读,有时并不开心,因为在夏天,纽约市的消防栓总会时不时地爆开,朋友们在楼下嬉戏玩耍的声音沿着打开的窗户传到我们这边,他们绝对的快乐让我们非常地嫉妒。

But I learned that the deeper I went into my books, the more time I took with each sentence, the less I heard the noise of the outside world. And so, unlike my siblings who were racing through books, I read slowly, very, very slowly. I was that child with her finger running beneath the words until I was untaught to do this, told big kids don't use their fingers.

但是后来我发现,当我越来越专注于我手上的书本,花在每个句子上的时间越来越多时,外界的声音就会越来越小。与其他快速读书的兄弟姐妹不同的是,我读得很慢,非常非常慢,我都是用手一个字一个字顺着读下去的,直到我被告知,大孩子在阅读时是不用手指的。

In third grade, we were made to sit with our hands folded on our desk, unclasping them only to turn the pages, then returning them to that position. Our teacher wasn't being cruel. It was the 1970s, and her goal was to get us reading not just on grade level but far above it. And we were always being pushed to read faster.

在三年级的时候, 我们规定要把双手叠放在课桌上,只有需要翻页时才能解除这个姿势,然后翻完之后就要立马恢复原状。我们的老师并不残忍。那时是20世纪70年代,老师的目标是让我们阅读超越本年级水平的书籍。于是我们常常被老师要求加快阅读速度。

But in the quiet of my apartment, outside of my teacher's gaze, I let my finger run beneath those words. And that Selfish Giant again told me his story, how he had felt betrayed by the kids sneaking into his garden, how he had built this high wall and it did keep the children out, but a grey winter fell over his garden and just stayed and stayed.

但是在老师触及不到的  我住的公寓里的一个安静角落,我还是用手指着一个字一个字地读书。《自私的巨人》对我重述了他的故事,他是如何对这些偷溜进来的孩子感到不尊重的,他是如何建立起高高的围墙不让这些小孩子入内的,而是同时,他的院子也因此变得荒芜,这种情况也在一直持续下去。

With each rereading, I learned something new about the hard stones of the roads that the kids were forced to play on when they got expelled from the garden about the gentleness of a small boy that appeared one day and even about the Giant himself. Maybe his words weren't rageful after all.

每读一遍这个故事,我都能发现一些新的东西比如当孩子们被禁止进入花园时,他们是如何在碎石路上玩耍的,比如当某天那个小男孩出现时所展示的礼貌,甚至是巨人自己所展示出的那种温柔。也许他的言辞并不是那么愤怒。

Maybe they were a plea for empathy, for understanding. "My own garden is my own garden." Years later, I would learn of a writer named John Gardner who referred to this as the "fictive dream," or the "dream of fiction," and I would realize that this was where I was inside that book spending time with the characters and the world that the author had created and invited me into.

也许它们是一种对于同理心对于被理解的恳求。“我的花园只属于我。”多年之后,我认识一位名为约翰·加德纳的作者,他把这种感觉称为“小说般的梦”,或者是“关于小说的梦”。这样的形容让我发现我在书中就在这样的状态,受邀与书中的角色一起生活在作者所创造的世界中。

As a child, I knew that stories were meant to be savored, that stories wanted to be slow, and that some author had spent months, maybe years, writing them. And my job as the reader, especially as the reader who wanted to one day become a writer, was to respect that narrative.

当我还是一个孩子的时候,我就知道故事是需要品味的,阅读故事需要慢,一些作者花了好几个月也许好几年才书写完这些故事。而我作为一名读者,尤其是还怀揣着一个作家梦的读者,是去尊重那些故事。

Long before there was cable or the internet or even the telephone, there were people sharing ideas and information and memory through story. It's one of our earliest forms of connective technology. It was the story of something better down the Nile that sent the Egyptians moving along it, the story of a better way to preserve the dead that brought King Tut's remains into the 21st century.

在有线电视、互联网甚至是电话还没有问世的时代,人们通过故事分享想法、信息甚至是记忆。这是我们最早的一种连接方式。这是一个因为对尼罗河下游的美好向往促使埃及人沿着尼罗河前进的故事,一个关于如何更好地保存死者将图坦卡蒙的遗物带入21世纪的故事。

And more than two million years ago, when the first humans began making tools from stone, someone must have said, "What if?" And someone else remembered the story. And whether they told it through words or gestures or drawings, it was passed down, remembered: hit a hammer and hear its story.

在两百多万年以前,当第一批人类开始使用石器的时候,肯定有人说过,“如果……怎么办?”而另外一些人记住了这个故事。不管他们是通过语言、手势还是作画等方式进行传播,这个故事得以被传承记录:敲着锤子,听听它的故事。

The world is getting noisier. We've gone from boomboxes to Walkmen to portable CD players to iPods to any song we want whenever we want it. We've gone from the four television channels of my childhood to the seeming infinity of cable and streaming.

这个世界正变得越来越嘈杂。我们从大型手提式录音机换到随身听、便携式CD播放器再到iPods又到了现在随时随地能够听到想要听到的歌曲。从我小时候只能看4个频道的电视到现在无限的有线电视和流媒体。

As technology moves us faster and faster through time and space, it seems to feel like story is getting pushed out of the way, I mean, literally pushed out of the narrative. But even as our engagement with stories change or the trappings around it morph from book to audio to Instagram to Snapchat, we must remember our finger beneath the words.

当科技推动着我们在时间和空间中越行越快的时候,故事仿佛逐渐被我们所遗忘,我的意思是,从叙述中被挤了出来。但即使我们对故事的互动方式发生了改变,或者故事的载体从书本变成了音频、Instagram、Snapchat诸如此类的社交软件,我们也应该记得用我们的手指逐一阅读。

Remember that story, regardless of the format, has always taken us to places we never thought we'd go, introduced us to people we never thought we'd meet and shown us worlds that we might have missed. So as technology keeps moving faster and faster, I am good with something slower.

记住那个故事,不管它的形式如何,总是会把我们带到我们从没想过要去的地方,让我们认识我们从没想过要去认识的人,向我们展示我们可能会错过的世界。所以即使技术推着我们越来越快地向前走,我也可以和一些慢的事情相处愉快。

My finger beneath the words has led me to a life of writing books for people of all ages, books meant to be read slowly, to be savored. My love for looking deeply and closely at the world for putting my whole self into it, and by doing so, seeing the many, many possibilities of a narrative, turned out to be a gift, because taking my sweet time taught me everything I needed to know about writing.

我的逐字阅读让我进入为所有年龄层用户写书的生涯,写这些需要慢慢读的书,意味深长的书。我喜欢深入和密切地观察这个世界,喜欢全身心地投入其中,凭此,去看到一个故事中的许多可能性,这是一份馈赠,因为我所花的这些时间教给了我写作所需要了解的所有事情。

And writing taught me everything I needed to know about creating worlds where people could be seen and heard where their experiences could be legitimized and where my story read or heard by another person, inspired something in them that became a connection between us, a conversation.

而写作教会了我创造人们可听见和看到的世界所需要了解的知识,在那里他们的经历可以合理化,在那里,我的故事可以被另一个人阅读和听到,激发他们身上的东西从而在我们之间建立连接,和对话。

And isn't that what this is all about, finding a way, at the end of the day, to not feel alone in this world and a way to feel like we've changed it before we leave? Stone to hammer, man to mummy, idea to story, and all of it, remembered. Sometimes we read to understand the future.

这难道不就是它的本意——找到一种方式,在一天结束的时候,在这个世界不会感到孤单,一种在我们离开之前感觉我们已经改变它的方式?石对锤,人对木乃伊,想法到故事,所有这些,被记住。有时候我们通过阅读来理解未来。

Sometimes we read to understand the past. We read to get lost to forget the hard times we're living in, and we read to remember those who came before us, who lived through something harder. I write for those same reasons. Before coming to Brooklyn, my family lived in Greenville, South Carolina, in a segregated neighborhood called Nicholtown.

有时候我们通过阅读来理解过去。 我们通过阅读来迷失,来忘记生活中的艰难,我们通过阅读来记住前人,那些经历更艰难的人。我写作也是出于同样的理由。在来到布鲁克林之前,我的家人住在南卡罗来纳州的格林维尔里一个叫尼科尔敦的种族隔离社区。

All of us there were the descendants of a people who had not been allowed to learn, to read or write. Imagine that: the danger of understanding how letters form words, the danger of words themselves, the danger of a literate people and their stories. But against this backdrop of being threatened with death for holding onto a narrative, our stories didn't die, because there is yet another story beneath that one.

我们的祖先从来不被允许去学习阅读和写作。想象那个时候:了解字母如何构成话语的危险,话语本身的危险,文化人和他们故事的危险。但是在这样因为坚持叙述而受到死亡威胁的背景下,我们的故事没有消失,因为这个故事下面还有另一个故事。

And this is how it has always worked. For as long as we've been communicating, there's been the layering to the narrative, the stories beneath the stories and the ones beneath those. This is how story has and will continue to survive. As I began to connect the dots that connected the way I learned to write and the way I learned to read to an almost silenced people,

这是它一直以来的运作方式。只要我们保持沟通,故事就会有层次,一个故事孕育另一个故事,一个故事接着一个故事。这是故事过去和未来的生存之道。当我开始连接那些我习得的写作方式、和阅读方法的小圆点,并将其带给那些沉默寡言的人们时,

I realized that my story was bigger and older and deeper than I would ever be. And because of that, it will continue. Among these almost-silenced people, there were the ones who never learned to read. Their descendants, now generations out of enslavement, if well-off enough, had gone on to college, grad school, beyond.

我意识到我的故事比我格局更大、更加悠远、更加深入。而正因为如此,故事得以延续。在这些沉默寡言的人里,有一些从来没有学习过阅读的人。他们的后代,如今几代人不再受奴役,如果足够富裕的话,能上大学,研究生,甚至更远。

Some, like my grandmother and my siblings, seemed to be born reading as though history stepped out of their way. Some, like my mother, hitched onto the Great Migration wagon, which was not actually a wagon, and kissed the South goodbye.

有些人,比如我的祖母和兄弟姐妹,似乎生来就喜欢读书,仿佛历史已经为他们开辟了道路。有些人,像我母亲,搭上了大迁徙的马车,实际上不是真的马车,与南方吻别。

But here is the story within that story: those who left and those who stayed carried with them the history of a narrative knew deeply that writing it down wasn't the only way they could hold on to it, knew they could sit on their porches or their stoops at the end of a long day and spin a slow tale for their children.

但是在故事里面还有故事:那些离开的人,和那些留下的人带着一段叙述的历史,深深地知道把它写下来并不是坚持下去的唯一方法,知道他们可以在漫长的一天结束后坐在门廊或门廊上为孩子们编一个漫长的故事。

They knew they could sing their stories through the thick heat of picking cotton and harvesting tobacco knew they could preach their stories and sew them into quilts, turn the most painful ones into something laughable, and through that laughter, exhale the history a country that tried again and again and again, to steal their bodies, their spirit and their story.

他们知道他们可以在摘棉花和收割烟草的酷热中歌唱他们的故事,知道他们可以讲述他们的故事,并将其缝进被子里,把最痛苦的事情变成可笑的事情,通过那个笑声,面对国家一次、一次又一次试图偷走他们的身体、他们的精神及故事时呼出历史。

So as a child, I learned to imagine an invisible finger taking me from word to word, from sentence to sentence, from ignorance to understanding. So as technology continues to speed ahead, I continue to read slowly, knowing that I am respecting the author's work and the story's lasting power.当我还是一个孩子的时候,我学会了想像一个无形的指头带着我一个一个单词地读下去,一个一个句子的读下去,从无知到理解。所以当科技持续在快速发展的时候,我的阅读速度也依旧很慢,因为我知道我是在尊重这位作者的作品以及故事所具有的持续性的力量。

And I read slowly to drown out the noise and remember those who came before me who were probably the first people who finally learned to control fire and circled their new power of flame and light and heat. And I read slowly to remember the Selfish Giant how he finally tore that wall down and let the children run free through his garden.

我慢慢读以压过噪声并记住那些早于我的人,他们可能是最早学会控制火,环绕着他们的火焰、光和热的新力量的人。我慢读记住《自私的巨人》这个故事,他是如何把这座墙拆掉,让孩子在他的花园里自由奔跑的。

And I read slowly to pay homage to my ancestors who were not allowed to read at all. They, too, must have circled fires, speaking softly of their dreams, their hopes, their futures. Each time we read, write or tell a story, we step inside their circle, and it remains unbroken. And the power of story lives on.

我读得很慢,用以致敬我的祖先,那些被禁止阅读的祖先。他们肯定也绕着火堆绕了一圈,轻声诉说他们的梦想,他们的希望,他们的未来。每当我们阅读、书写或者诉说一个故事的时候,我们走进了他们的圈子里,而它们也没有被破坏。故事的力量也得以保存。

Thank you.

谢谢。


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