丢失的图书馆
Lost Libraries
3285字
2021-03-04 07:15
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火星译客

What is lost when Nadine Gordimer's personal library accidentally winds up in boxes on the street?

当纳丁·戈迪默的个人图书馆意外地出现在街上的垃圾里时,又会失去什么呢?

I was a student in the University of Cape Town's English department when the Ransom Center acquired J. M. Coetzee's papers. This was in 2012, when to be a student in the English department at UCT was to be required to hold a strong, fluently expressed opinion on J. M. Coetzee, his life, his work, the position he held within the South African academy, and whether or not there was a “fascinating contrast” between that position and the one he held overseas. Extra points if you could get all this off while referring to him at least once as “John Maxwell Coetzee” in an ironic and weary tone of voice.

我是开普敦大学英语系的学生,兰森中心获得了J.M.Coetzee的论文。那是在2012年,在UCT担任英语系的学生时,必须对J.M.Coetzee、他的生活、他的工作、他在南非学院担任的职位,以及该职位与他在海外担任的职位之间是否存在“迷人的对比”,持有强有力、流畅的意见。如果你能把他说成是“约翰·麦克斯韦·科齐”,同时又带着一种嘲讽和疲倦的语调,你就能得到更多的分数。

 I never really got to the bottom of why people liked that so much, saying “John Maxwell Coetzee” and then looking around proudly, sometimes with the nostrils a bit flared. I'd managed to discharge the obligation to have an opinion on Coetzee by having a strident opinion on Nadine Gordimer instead, and so never learned why it was hilarious to refer to him by something other than his initials.

我从来没有真正了解为什么人们那么喜欢这样,说“约翰麦克斯韦科茨”,然后自豪地环顾四周,有时鼻孔有点肿。我设法通过对纳丁·戈迪默(Nadine Gordimer)发表尖锐的意见来履行对科齐发表意见的义务,所以我从来不知道为什么用他的首字母以外的其他东西来称呼他很好笑。

I did learn to smile knowingly when it happened, which was very often. No smiling about the Ransom Center acquisition though, a subject that was discussed with such bitterness that for a while I thought “Ransom Center” was departmental shorthand for American rapaciousness, something to do with rich U.S. institutions holding the rest of the world to ransom, riding roughshod over questions of legacy and snatching up bits of history to which they had no rightful claim. The Harry Ransom Center is of course a real place, situated on the University of Texas campus, containing one of the most extensive and valuable archival collections in the world. 

当它发生的时候,我确实学会了故意地微笑,这是经常发生的。不过,对于兰森中心的收购,我没有笑过。在讨论这个话题时,我一直很痛苦,我一直认为“兰森中心”是美国贪婪的部门缩写,这与美国富有的机构绑架世界其他地方的机构有关,这些机构在遗产问题上横行霸道,并攫取了一些他们没有正当权利主张的历史。哈利·兰森中心当然是一个真正的地方,坐落在德克萨斯大学的校园里,里面有世界上最广泛和最有价值的档案收藏之一。

One million books, five million photographs, a hundred thousand works of art, and forty-two million literary manuscripts. Highlights of the collection, according to the center's unusually user-friendly website, include a complete copy of the Gutenberg Bible, a First Folio, and the manuscript collections of Capote, Carrington, Coetzee, Coleridge, Conrad, Crane, Crowley, Cummings, and Cusk, looking at just the c's. James Joyce's personal library from when he lived in Trieste is in there, as well as the personal libraries of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Don DeLillo, and Evelyn Waugh.

一百万本书,五百万张照片,十万件艺术品,4200万份文学手稿。该中心不同寻常的用户友好型网站称,收藏的重点包括一本完整的古腾堡圣经、第一本福利奥(Folio),以及卡波特(Capote)、卡林顿(Carrington)、库切(Coetzee)、柯勒律治(Coleridge)、康拉德(Conrad)、克兰(Crane)、克劳利(Crowley)、卡明斯(Cummings)和库斯克(Cusk)的手稿藏书,只看c版。詹姆斯·乔伊斯(James Joyce)住在里雅斯特的个人图书馆就在那里,还有塞缪尔·泰勒(Samuel Taylor Coleridge)、

A friend who went to UT told me that the Ransom Center is an ordinary-looking building, big and brown, and that it would be easy to walk past and have no idea what was in there. She said that undergraduates do it every day. I have confirmed this description by looking at photos online, but it doesn't sit right with me on a symbolic level. It should be bigger, surely, resembling more of a compound or fortress. It should emit some kind of low humming sound, or glow.

一位去UT的朋友告诉我,兰瑟姆中心是一座普通的建筑,又大又棕色,很容易走过,根本不知道里面是什么。她说大学生每天都这样做。我通过在线查看照片来确认这个描述,但它并没有和我站在一个象征性的高度。当然,它应该更大,更像一个化合物或堡垒。它应该发出某种低沉的嗡嗡声,或发光。

 Forty-two million manuscripts! A million books! Kilometers of archival holdings in climate-controlled rooms, all wrapped up in sheaves and purpose-built cardboard boxes, lovingly tended to by armies of well-compensated grad students. This same friend was doing some work in the archives when they received Norman Mailer's manuscripts. Great jubilation heard throughout the Center, she said. A week of celebrations culminated in a party where all the attendees were given little boxing-glove key rings.

4200万份手稿!一百万本书!在气候控制的房间里保存了数公里的档案,所有这些都被包裹在捆里和有目的的硬纸板箱里,由一群报酬丰厚的研究生们亲切地照料着。当他们收到诺曼·梅勒的手稿时,这位朋友正在档案馆里做一些工作。她说,整个中心都听到了热烈的欢呼声。在一周的庆祝活动中,所有的与会者都得到了小的拳击手套钥匙环。

I didn't know all that then, only that the Center had a lot of money, and that people in my department said it had effectively ripped Coetzee's papers out of the hands of South African scholars forever. Cape Town is far away from a lot of places, but it is very far away from Texas. Even if you got funded, who would have the resources or the time to apply for the visa (expensive, takes ages), travel to Texas, and then sit in the reading rooms of the Center for months, going through the small spiral notebooks in which the earliest drafts of Waiting for the Barbarians were sketched out?

当时我不知道这些,只是知道中心有很多钱,我们部门的人说,它实际上已经把科齐的论文从南非学者手中永远撕掉了。开普敦离很多地方都很远,但离得克萨斯州很远。即使你得到了资助,谁会有足够的资源或时间申请签证(昂贵的,花费很大的时间),去德克萨斯州旅行,然后在中心的阅览室里坐上几个月,翻阅一本小的螺旋形笔记本,上面画出了最早等待野蛮人的草稿。

 I sympathized, but not very much. The bulk of Gordimer's papers, as far as I knew, had been at the Lilly Library in Indiana since 1993. Also very far away, also involving grant applications in order to travel for many days, and the reading room was probably not even as nice. I had long ago accepted that I was just not the sort of person to overcome these obstacles, and I thought the Coetzee people should see their problem in a similar light. They might never actually touch the manuscripts with their own two hands, but someone would, and surely it was nice to know they were being looked after so well.

我很同情,但不是很同情。据我所知,戈迪默的大部分论文自1993年以来一直在印第安纳州的礼来图书馆。还有很远的地方,也有申请补助金的人,为了旅行很多天,而且阅览室可能也没那么漂亮。很久以前,我就承认我不是那种克服这些障碍的人,我认为Coetzee人应该从同样的角度来看待他们的问题。他们可能永远不会用自己的双手触摸手稿,但有人会这样做,而且很高兴知道他们得到了如此好的照顾。

 David Foster Wallace's archive, which included about two hundred annotated books from his own library, had been acquired by the Center two years earlier. There were already stories of students going to Texas purely to sit and commune with his library, weeping over his copy of White Noise, touching the pages of certain books over and over until they went all soft and frilly and had to be removed from general circulation, replaced with digitized copies. I myself could not imagine getting on a plane in order to touch a book, but I liked the idea that some people would, and that there were institutions with the money and the will to facilitate this kind of behavior.

大卫·福斯特·华莱士的档案馆,包括他自己图书馆的约200本注释书,两年前就被中心收购了。已经有一些故事说,学生们去得克萨斯州纯粹是为了和他的图书馆坐在一起,为他的“白噪音”而哭泣,一遍又一遍地摸着某些书的书页,直到这些书变得柔软和有褶皱,不得不从普通流通中删除,代之以数字化的副本。我自己也无法想象登上飞机去触摸一本书,但我喜欢这样的想法,即有些人会这样做,而且有一些机构拥有金钱和意愿来促进这种行为。

It's possible, also, that I was able to take this benevolent view of things because the documents I needed for my own research were housed in a building about a ten-minute walk from my front door, at the Western Cape Provincial Archives on Roeland Street. I was writing about literary censorship during apartheid, with a particular focus on the state's treatment of the novels of Nadine Gordimer. Six of her novels passed through the system. Three were banned and three weren't. There was no discernible logic behind these decisions. The Publications Control Board was accountable to almost no one, and the censors were given extraordinary freedom to ban whatever they liked. Often what they did with that freedom was write long, rambling, defensive accounts of their decisions.

这也有可能,我能够对事物采取这种仁慈的看法,因为我自己的研究所需要的文件被安置在一座大楼里,从我的前门步行大约十分钟,就在罗兰街西开普省档案馆。我写的是种族隔离时期的文学审查,特别是国家对纳丁·戈迪默小说的处理。她的六部小说贯穿整个系统。三人被禁止,三人未被禁止。这些决定背后没有明显的逻辑。出版物管制委员会几乎没有对任何人负责,审查人员得到了禁止任何他们喜欢的东西的特别自由。他们对这种自由所做的往往是长篇大论、漫不经心、防御性的叙述他们的决定。

I was fascinated and disgusted by their reports, the venom and the stupidity and the intellectual waste they represented. I'd go to the archives to fish out a specific set of documents—say, the files pertaining to the appeal against the banning of Burger's Daughter—and I'd end up stuck there for a whole day, and then a week, helplessly reading through a knee-high stack of files relating to the censor's opinions on Pale Fire, or a stash of letters from members of the public demanding that the censors do something about copies of Franny and Zooey continuing to circulate through the nation's public libraries (“dangerous filth emanating from a certain class of writer in the United States of America and masquerading as ‘culture'”). I'd worked out that these boxes of files amounted to just under a hundred linear meters' worth of material, and I hated the idea that I would never be able to look through it all.

我对他们的报告、毒液、愚蠢以及他们所代表的智力浪费感到着迷和厌恶。我会去档案馆找出一套具体的文件--比如与反对禁止汉堡包的女儿禁令有关的文件--最后我会被困在那里整整一天,然后是一个星期,无助地翻阅一堆与审查官对帕尔·火(Pale Fire)的意见有关的文件,或者一堆公众来信,要求审查人员对弗兰尼和佐伊(Franny)和佐伊(Zooey)的复制品做些什么,继续在美国的公共图书馆传阅(“来自美国某一阶层作家的危险污秽,伪装成‘文化’”)。我计算出,这些文件盒相当于100米以下的线状材料,我讨厌这样的想法,那就是我永远也看不见所有的东西。

There's been quite a lot written about apartheid censorship, some of it by Gordimer herself. Many of those documents had already been read and analyzed by researchers much more rigorous than I was, yet I still wanted to read it all myself. Even worse was the near certainty that there were boxes that no one had looked at, full of Christ knows what, but all too probably some pieces of paper that would upend every assumption anyone had ever made about the way apartheid censorship worked, potentially transforming book history as a field, enlarging our understanding of the making and unmaking of the authoritarian state, et cetera. I was rereading Middlemarch around this period, and I kept finding myself getting tearfully defensive on Mr.

有很多关于种族隔离审查制度的文章,其中一些是戈迪默自己写的。研究人员已经阅读和分析了许多这些文件,比我严格得多,但我仍然想自己读一读。更糟糕的是,几乎没有人看过的盒子,满是基督知道什么,但很可能是一些纸,会推翻任何人曾经对种族隔离审查制度的运作方式所作的每一个假设,有可能改变图书历史作为一个领域,扩大我们对威权国家的创造和毁灭的理解,等等。这段时间,我重新读了一遍米德莱马奇,我发现自己一直在为米德莱马先生守口如瓶。

 Casaubon's behalf. There have been books written about this feeling, and I read some of them, making notes in the margins about the ones I needed to read next. I read Carolyn Steedman's Dust: The Archive and Cultural History, and drew a red wiggly line under the part where she says that Archive Fever is “the desire to recover moments of inception: to find and possess all sorts of beginnings.” Carolyn Steedman, thank you very much. I drew a less vigorous line under the part where she withdraws that understanding hand and says, “And nothing starts in the Archive, nothing, ever at all, though things certainly end up there. You find nothing in the Archive but stories caught halfway through: the middle of things; discontinuities.” I knew she was right, that every archive is necessarily fragmented and incomplete, but I didn't like it.

代表卡苏本。有一些关于这种感觉的书,我读了其中一些,在空白处记下了我接下来需要读的书。我读了卡罗琳·斯蒂德曼(Carolyn Steedman)的“尘埃:档案与文化历史”(Dust:The Archive and CulturalHistory),并在她所说的“档案热”(Archive Fever)下面画了一条红色的摇摆线,她说,“想要恢复最初的时刻:寻找并卡罗琳·斯蒂德曼,非常感谢你。我在那部分画了一条不那么有力的线,她收回了那只理解的手,说:“档案里什么都没有,什么也没有,尽管事情肯定会在那里结束。”你在档案馆里什么也找不到,只有半途而废的故事:事物的中间;断断续续的。“我知道她是对的,每个档案都是零碎和不完整的,但我不喜欢。

I stopped being a student, eventually, after finally managing to wrench myself out of the archives and write something about what I believed I'd found. I stopped worrying that I hadn't looked at enough of it, because of course I hadn't, and I stopped making urgent notes to myself in the margins of Gordimer's novels. I read her books for pleasure again, and tried not to look too proprietorial whenever her work came up in conversation, because no one cares about your thesis.

最终,我不再是一名学生了,因为我终于设法把自己从档案馆里拿出来,写了一些我相信自己找到的东西。我不再担心我看得不够多,因为我当然没有,我也不再在戈迪默小说的空白处为自己做紧急笔记了。我又读了她的书来消遣,每当她的作品出现在谈话中时,我尽量不要显得太当家作主,因为没人在乎你的论文。

Still, when the rumor started going around that Wits University had accidentally given away the library Gordimer had donated, the story was passed on to me repeatedly, by friends who were sure I'd be especially interested, as an archives person, as a Gordimer person, as a nerd. There was a text message, forwarded by a friend of a friend of a friend, saying that someone had walked past the library and seen boxes of books inscribed to Gordimer piled up outside, with a notice saying they were free for anyone to take. There was a sort of blind item in the Mail & Guardian, inserted into a longer article about the failures of record keeping in postapartheid South Africa, about someone whose acquaintance had seen books stacked up outside a library, and noted that several of them were “inscribed to the Nobel laureate, some from other writers of equal renown.”

尽管如此,当传闻说Wits大学不小心把戈迪默捐赠的图书馆捐赠出去的时候,这个故事被反复传递给了我,朋友们肯定我会特别感兴趣,作为一个档案馆的人,作为一个戈迪默人,作为一个书呆子。一位朋友的朋友的朋友转发了一条短信,说有人走过图书馆,看到外面堆满了戈迪默的成箱书,上面写着“任何人都可以拿走”的通知。“邮报与卫报”(The Mail&Guardian)中有一种盲文,插入了一篇篇幅较长的文章,内容涉及种族隔离后的南非保存记录的失败。这篇文章讲述的是熟人看到图书馆外堆放的书籍的故事,并指出其中有几本是“写给诺贝尔奖得主的,有些是来自其他同样知名的作家”。

 The piece did not go on to name the library, or the Nobel laureate, but it was easy to see who was being referred to. South Africa has two Nobel laureates, and absolute hell would have broken loose if the books left outside the library had belonged to the other one. The Ransom Center would have instituted some kind of contact-tracing effort, or put up wanted posters all over Johannesburg until every last book had been returned. Of course it was Gordimer. For those left in any doubt, the piece also included a photograph of the Nobel laureate, holding her cat.

这篇文章并没有提到图书馆或诺贝尔奖得主的名字,但很容易看出是谁被提到的。南非有两位诺贝尔奖得主,如果图书馆外的书是属于另一本的话,那么绝对的地狱就会破裂。兰瑟姆中心会发起某种联系追踪工作,或者在约翰内斯堡各地张贴通缉令,直到每一本书都归还为止。当然是戈迪默。对于那些没有任何疑问的人,这篇文章还包括一张这位诺贝尔奖得主抱着她的猫的照片。

According to the piece, and to the various versions of the rumor floating around, the university realized what had happened pretty quickly. A call was sent out asking that the books be returned, and apparently most of them were. This is a nice idea, but it doesn't really work when you think about it. Unless the collection was catalogued before being thrown out, how could anyone be sure that all of the books had been returned? If the collection had been catalogued, why would anyone give it away, knowing who it belonged to? I hated this story when I first heard it. It seemed to say a number of extremely depressing things very quickly, mostly about the role that money plays in legacy formation. It's easy to imagine how it could have happened.

根据这篇文章,以及各种流传的谣言,大学很快就意识到了所发生的一切。有人打电话要求归还这些书,显然大多数都是。这是一个很好的主意,但当你想到它的时候,它就不起作用了。除非藏书在被扔掉之前被编目,否则怎么能确保所有的书都被归还了呢?如果这些藏品被编目了,为什么会有人把它送出去,知道它是谁的?我第一次听到这个故事时就讨厌它。它似乎很快就说出了一些非常令人沮丧的事情,主要是关于金钱在遗产形成中所起的作用。很容易想象它是如何发生的。

 The Nobel laureate bequeaths her library to the university, which is desperately underfunded and five years deep into a fees crisis. The books are received, but there's nowhere to put them, and no money to pay a grad student to go through them all. No question of there being an exhibition anytime soon, or a week's worth of celebrations culminating in a party where attendees are given a key ring with a silhouette of the mine dumps around Johannesburg. The books are put into a storage room, maybe with the labels on the boxes turned to the wall, and then maybe one day a new employee comes along and thinks the time has come to free up a bit of space back here. I couldn't stand thinking about this.

这位诺贝尔奖得主将她的图书馆遗赠给了这所大学,这所大学资金严重不足,五年来陷入了一场费用危机。这些书都收到了,但是没有地方放,也没有钱让一个研究生把它们全部读完。毫无疑问,在不久的将来会有一个展览,也不会有一个星期的庆祝活动达到高潮,在一个聚会上,与会者会得到一个钥匙环,上面有约翰内斯堡周围矿坑的轮廓。书被放进一个储藏室,也许盒子上的标签会转到墙上,也许有一天,一位新员工来了,认为是时候腾出一点空间了。我无法忍受想这件事。

 I hated the idea that Gordimer's library was scattered throughout Johannesburg, while David Foster Wallace's was getting breathed on reverently in Texas. I wanted somebody to kick up a fuss, call the manager, mount an aggressive publicity campaign. When Frank Kermode's library was lost during a move (the story is that he mistook the Cambridge trash collectors for the removal men), it made the front page of the Times: “Professor's first editions end up in dustcart.

我讨厌这样的想法:戈迪默的图书馆分散在约翰内斯堡,而大卫·福斯特·华莱士的图书馆却在德克萨斯州被虔诚地吸了一口气。我想有人大惊小怪,打电话给经理,发起一场积极的宣传活动。当弗兰克·科莫德(Frank Kermod)的图书馆在搬迁过程中丢失(故事是他把剑桥的垃圾收集人误认为是搬运工)时,它登上了“泰晤士报”的头版:“教授的第一版最终落在垃圾车里。”

” Thirty boxes of first editions, manuscripts, and volumes with personal dedications, thrown into the compactor and crushed. Kermode claimed twenty thousand pounds in compensation, which was contested by the council on the grounds that it was not their fault that he had gotten removal men and trash collectors mixed up, and that “once it was realized they had been mistaken for removal men, they could not go back into the vehicle to rescue the professor's belongings, because you cannot crawl into a compacting machine.” For a short article, there is a lot of vivid detail about the crushing process, but nothing about what was actually in those boxes, and nothing about how Kermode arrived at twenty thousand pounds as a figure commensurate with the loss.

将30盒带有个人奉献精神的第一版,手稿和册子扔到压实机中并压碎。 Kermode要求赔偿2万英镑,这是由理事会讨论的,其理由是,他把清除人员和垃圾收集者混在一起不是他们的错,并且“一旦意识到他们被误认为清除人员, 他们无法回到车上抢救教授的物品,因为您无法爬进压实机。” 对于一篇简短的文章,有很多生动的破碎过程细节,但没有关于这些盒子中的实际内容,也没有关于Kermode如何达到2万磅的数字,与损失相称。

There's a part of me that feels the loss is incalculable. What if there was something in one of those crushed boxes that would have transformed literary criticism forever? What if we were looking at a sort of key-to-all-mythologies situation, something that could have cracked the case wide open? This is the same part of me that spent months thinking about Gordimer's library and moaning quietly to myself, asking friends if they wanted to hear an unbelievably sad story, and going on to tell them all about it even when they said no. Such waste and neglect, so much that we'll never be able to figure out now.

有一部分我觉得损失是无法估量的。如果其中一个破碎的盒子里有什么东西会永远改变文学批评呢?如果我们看到的是一种完全神秘的情况,这件事可能会把案子彻底破案,那又该怎么办呢?我的这一部分花了几个月的时间想着戈迪默的图书馆,静静地呻吟着,问朋友们是否想听一个令人难以置信的悲伤的故事,甚至当他们说不的时候,他们也会把这件事告诉他们。如此的浪费和忽视,以至于我们现在永远也找不出答案了。

The university librarians sent me a list of what is currently in their possession: 526 books, many of them with a strong quality of “reading material you would expect to find in Nadine Gordimer's library”. Deutscher's biography of Stalin, a Tutu biography, Ahmed Kathrada's letters from Robben Island, The Gulag Archipelago, a Turkish translation of July's People, three copies of Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution, the letters of Simone Weil, The Complete Correspondence of Adorno and Benjamin, fifteen copies of Beethoven was One-Sixteenth Black, a lot by other South African writers

大学图书馆员给我寄来了一份他们目前拥有的图书清单:526本,其中许多书的质量很高,“你可以在纳丁·戈迪默的图书馆里找到你希望找到的阅读材料”。德意志人的斯大林传记,图图人的传记,艾哈迈德·凯思拉达从罗本岛,古拉格群岛的信件,七月人民的土耳其译本,托洛茨基的“俄罗斯革命史”三册,西蒙尼·韦尔的信,阿多诺和本杰明的完整书信,十五本贝多芬是第十六届黑人,许多其他南非作家

 (Bessie Head, Zakes Mda, Es'kia Mphahlele, Ivan Vladislavic), a lot of African writers (Doreen Baingana's Tropical Fish, published in 2005, is one of the few books with a twenty-first century publication date), a lot of Thomas Mann, a lot of books about Thomas Mann (including one called Thomas Mann: The Ironic German), a lot of ironic Germans in general. There's less Sontag than I would have expected—there's none, actually—and less poetry. There's less Dostoyevsky (just The Brothers Karamazov), less Tolstoy (just The Kreutzer Sonata), less Lawrence (just The Kangaroo), and less Turgenev (just one volume of the collected works). There's no Roth, no Rushdie, and no real way to work out why this might be. 

(Bessie Head,Zake Mda,es‘kia Mphahlele,Ivan Vladislavic),许多非洲作家(2005年出版的Doreen Baingana的热带鱼,是21世纪出版日期的少数几本书之一),许多关于Thomas Mann的书(包括一本叫做Thomas Mann的讽刺德语),很多具有讽刺意味的德国人。桑塔格比我想象的要少--实际上没有--诗歌也少了。少了陀思妥耶夫斯基(只有卡拉马佐夫兄弟),少了托尔斯泰(只有克鲁策奏鸣曲),少了劳伦斯(只是袋鼠),少了屠格涅夫(只有一卷收藏的作品)。没有罗斯,没有拉什迪,也没有真正的方法去弄清楚为什么会这样。

It could be that there is a copy of American Pastoral with a flirty inscription from Roth sitting on someone's shelf in Rosebank right now, next to a heavily annotated copy of Against Interpretation, full of notes in the margins that reveal something extraordinary about Gordimer and Sontag's friendship. There might be a copy of Anna Karenina out there somewhere with pencil markings next to all the bits about Anna's ears, like in Edith Wharton's copy of the novel, and this discovery might pave the way for a whole breakthrough in Tolstoy studies, or at least be a good excuse to hold a conference culminating in a party where the attendees are given tote bags featuring a drawing of a neat, feminine ear.

可能是有一本“美国牧师”,上面写着罗斯(Roth)的调情题词,就在罗斯班克(Rosebank)的书架上,旁边是一本注解很重的“反解读”,空白处写满了笔记,揭示了戈迪默和桑塔格友谊的非凡之处。安娜·卡列尼娜(Anna Karenina)的复制品可能就在安娜耳朵旁的某个地方,就像伊迪丝·沃顿(Edith Wharton)的小说一样。这一发现可能为托尔斯泰研究取得全面突破铺平了道路,或者至少是一个很好的借口,可以召开一次会议,让与会者在派对上以一副整洁、女性化的耳朵为特色的手提包作为高潮。

It could also be that the reason there's no Rushdie or Dostoyevsky among the 526 books is because Gordimer had lent them to friends, or thrown them out herself years earlier to make room for more ironic Germans. It might be that she'd gotten rid of some of her books for the same reasons that my parents constantly bring up, which is that they don't want my brother and I to have to deal with it after they die. There could have been some kind of crushing incident years earlier that never made it into the papers, or the living room could have gotten flooded, or she made a decision not to have any books by Sontag in the house, for reasons we will never know.

这也可能是526本书中没有拉什迪或陀思妥耶夫斯基的原因,因为戈迪默曾把它们借给朋友,或者在几年前把它们扔掉,以便为更具讽刺意味的德国人腾出空间。也许是因为我父母不断提出的同样的原因,她把一些书扔掉了,那就是他们不想让我和我的哥哥死后再去处理这件事。几年前,可能发生了某种压倒性的事件,但没有出现在报纸上,或者客厅可能被淹了,或者她决定不让桑塔格的书出现在房子里,原因我们永远不会知道。

 Thinking about it this way, the list of remaining or recovered books looks different. What does knowing that Gordimer had a surprising number of L. P. Hartley books in her library tell us? Maybe she just liked the line about the past being a foreign country, and friends took her quoting it in conversation as an indication that she felt more strongly about his work than was actually the case. What does knowing that Gordimer owned a copy of Colm Tóibín's The Master tell us other than that she might have read it, and then again perhaps she didn't.

考虑到这一点,剩下的或收回的书的清单看起来就不一样了。知道戈迪默在她的图书馆里藏有惊人数量的哈特利(L.P.Hartley)书籍,能告诉我们什么呢?也许她只是喜欢关于过去是个外国的说法,朋友们在谈话中引用她的话表示她对他的工作的感觉比实际情况更强烈。知道戈迪默拥有一本科尔姆·托宾的“大师”,除了告诉我们她可能读过这本书之外,还有什么?也许她没有读过。

There's a copy of Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews (Sixth Series) on the list I got from the library. The book features interviews with Rebecca West, Stephen Spender, Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Nadine Gordimer, among others, and is edited by Frank Kermode. The Gordimer interview begins with a vivid, detailed account of her “very curious childhood” in Springs, the small mining town outside of Johannesburg.

在我从图书馆得到的清单上有一本“工作中的作家:巴黎评论访谈”(第六辑)。这本书以采访丽贝卡·韦斯特、斯蒂芬·斯彭德、田纳西·威廉姆斯、伊丽莎白·毕晓普、加布里埃尔·加西亚·马奎兹和纳丁·戈迪默等人为特色,由弗兰克·科莫德编辑。戈迪默的采访首先生动、详细地描述了她在约翰内斯堡郊外的矿业小镇斯普林斯“非常好奇的童年”。

 She tells it like a story. Her mother, unhappily married and with nothing to do but obsess over her children, persuades herself, her doctor, and her daughter that Gordimer is “delicate,” that she has a “bad heart”: “By that time I was reading all sorts of books that led me to believe my affliction made me very interesting… When I was eleven—I don't know how my mother did this—she took me out of school completely. For a year I had no education at all.

她讲起来就像个故事。她的母亲不幸地结婚了,无事生非,只为她的孩子们所困扰。她说服自己、她的医生和她的女儿说,戈迪默“很脆弱”,她有一颗“坏心”:“那时我正在读各种各样的书,让我相信我的痛苦使我变得非常有趣,…。”我十一岁的时候--我不知道我妈妈是怎么做到的--她把我完全从学校带走了。一年来我根本没有受过教育。

 But I read tremendously. And I retreated into myself, I became very introspective. She changed my whole character.” There's no record, in the interview or anywhere else, of exactly what she read. What books were on the shelves of her childhood home? We have her legacy, or some bits of it at least, but we will never know her whole character, and that is as it should be.

但我读得非常多。我退回到我自己,我变得非常内省。她改变了我的整个性格。“无论是在采访中还是在其他地方,都没有她所读到的东西的确切记录。她童年家的书架上有什么书?我们有她的遗产,至少有一些遗产,但我们永远不会知道她的整个性格,这是应该的。


 

Rosa Lyster is a writer living in Cape Town. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The London Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, The Outline, and the Guardian, among many other publications.

罗莎·莱斯特是一位住在开普敦的作家。她的作品发表在“纽约客”、“伦敦书评”、“纽 约时报”、“华 盛顿邮报”、“提纲”和“卫报”等许多出版物上。

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