“我对自己拒绝放手感到惊讶”:凯特·赞布伦诺在《幽灵般的通信》中
‘I Surprise Myself With This Refusal To Let Go’: Kate Zambreno on the ‘Ghostly Correspondence’
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2021-03-22 20:35
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火星译客

Since the 2009 publication of her first novel O Fallen Angel, Kate Zambreno has had one of the most fascinating careers in American letters. Her work has included harrowing explorations of alienation (Green Girl) and evocative forays into literary and cultural history (Heroines). The year 2019 has brought with it two new books from Zambreno: Appendix Project: Talks and Essays, an addendum to Book of Mutter, her 2017 collection of writing on grief; and Screen Tests: Stories and Other Writing, which places a series of short autobiographical fictions in the same volume as several longer works of nonfiction, mainly art and literary criticism. The bifurcated structure of Screen Tests hints at something profound and disorienting about the not-so-clear dividing line between narrative and reality: many of the short fictions, or “screen tests” à la Andy Warhol, in the book's first half feature real people — Zambreno herself, as well as writers and artists ranging from Amal Clooney to Susan Sontag. The screen tests grapple with their subjects' work while addressing questions of identity and community and continuity; the critical essays in the book's second half seem to echo themes that emerged in the screen tests. That the lines between fiction and nonfiction are blurred here is precisely the point.

自2009年出版第一部小说《堕落天使》以来,凯特·赞布伦诺的职业生涯是美国文学史上最引人入胜的职业之一。她的作品包括对异化的痛苦探索(绿色女孩)和对文学和文化史(女主人公)的唤起性探索。2019年,赞布雷诺出版了两本新书:《附录项目:谈话与随笔》),这是她2017年出版的《穆特之书》的一个附录,是她关于悲伤的写作集;而《屏幕测试:故事与其他写作》则将一系列自传体短篇小说与几部较长的非小说作品放在同一卷中,主要是艺术和文学批评。屏幕测试的分叉结构暗示了一些关于叙事和现实之间不那么清晰的分界线的深刻和迷茫的东西:书的上半部分中的许多短篇小说,或“屏幕测试”拉安迪·沃霍尔,以真实的人为主角——赞布雷诺本人,以及从阿马尔·克鲁尼到其他作家和艺术家苏珊·桑塔格。屏幕测试在解决身份、社区和连续性问题的同时,还要处理受试者的工作;本书后半部分的评论文章似乎呼应了屏幕测试中出现的主题。小说和非小说之间的界限在这里是模糊的,这正是关键所在。

Zambreno's work offers readers an intellectually rigorous experience alongside the thrill of discovery. She has several other books in the works which will also explore fiction and nonfiction in equal measure. Her next novel, Drifts, will be released in 2020, and she's working on a book about writer and photographer Hervé Guibert, To Write as if Already Dead. Zambreno talked with me earlier this month about Screen Tests, the challenges and pleasures of writing about visual art, reading the same books over and over again, and satirizing her own role as a “minor author.” The interview below has been edited for length and clarity.

赞布雷诺的作品为读者提供了一种严谨的智力体验,同时也带来了发现的兴奋。她还有其他几本书也将探讨小说和非小说在同等程度上。她的下一部小说《漂流》将于2020年上映,她正在写一本关于作家兼摄影师赫韦·吉伯特的书,写得好像已经死了。本月早些时候,赞布雷诺和我谈到了屏幕测试,写视觉艺术的挑战和乐趣,一遍又一遍地读同一本书,讽刺她自己作为“小作家”的角色。下面的采访是为了篇幅和清晰而编辑的。

Tobias Carroll: The structure of Screen Tests brings together a series of seemingly autobiographical short stories with a group of longer essays on a host of subjects. What inspired this choice?

托比亚斯·卡罗尔:屏幕测试的结构将一系列看似自传体的短篇小说与一组关于一系列主题的较长论文结合在一起。是什么激发了这个选择?

Kate Zambreno: When putting the book together, I was rereading Borges' Labyrinths. I like the way you read Labyrinths; you move from stories that read like strange essays, to the essays and reviews that still have a speculative feel to them. The book as a whole feels like a library of a particular mind. I am drawn to the idea of a collection, also of assemblage and collage. I think that was part of a drive of the writing of [Screen Tests], the sense of drift and accumulation.

凯特·赞布伦诺:当我把这本书拼起来的时候,我正在重读博尔赫斯的《迷宫》。我喜欢你阅读迷宫的方式;你从读起来像奇怪的文章的故事,转到仍然有一种思辨感的文章和评论。整本书给人的感觉就像是一个特定思想的图书馆。我被集合的想法所吸引,也被集合和拼贴所吸引。我认为这是写作(屏幕测试)动力的一部分,即漂移感和积累感。

I thought about visual collections, too, like Nan Goldin's slideshows of her friends, or Peter Hujar's portraits of life and death.

我也想到了视觉收藏,比如南戈尔丁的朋友幻灯片,或者彼得·哈贾尔的生死肖像。

I do think of the book as two distinct parts: there is the project of the screen tests, these digressive yet brief, sometimes very brief, pieces that were experiments in voice and form, and were written fairly recently over the course of a couple years; and then the longer essays, which were the only pieces of writing I finished for several years post-Heroines, which also encompassed my move to New York. With the screen tests, I was inspired especially by Thomas Bernhard's Voice Imitator.

我确实认为这本书有两个不同的部分:一个是屏幕测试项目,这些离题但很简短,有时非常简短,是声音和形式方面的实验,是最近几年才完成的;另一个是较长的论文,这是我几年来唯一完成的作品《后英雄》,也包括我搬到纽约。通过屏幕测试,我特别受到托马斯·伯恩哈德的声音模仿者的启发。

The essays, all written earlier, were mostly commissioned, in some way or another, sometimes just the invitation to write an essay, and I think I was trying to work through whether I could write discrete “essays,” what was an essay, my feelings of failure towards writing an essay. But what's strange is within all of the longer essays I am thinking through some of the same figures as in the shorter screen tests. I struggled with whether I should chop up the essays and make them into screen tests, like cut them up for parts, or even whether I should just publish the collection with just the more recent pieces that I think have the distance of persona — the essays feel more directly intimate, more emotional. But if there's anything I can say for sure about an essay, an essay is a document for attempting to think over a period of time,and I wanted to preserve the essays in the time period I wrote them in, these periods that were so fraught with doubt in terms of my relationship to writing.

这些早前写的文章,大多是委托的,有的时候只是邀请我写一篇文章,我想我是在努力弄清楚我是否能写离散的“散文”,什么是一篇文章,我对写一篇文章的失败的感觉。但奇怪的是,在所有的长文章中,我正在思考的一些数字与短屏幕测试中的相同。我挣扎着,是否应该把文章切碎,让它们进入屏幕测试,比如把它们切成部分,甚至我是否应该仅仅用我认为有人物距离的最近的作品发表这本藏书——这些文章感觉更直接、更感人。但是如果我能肯定一篇文章有什么可以肯定的话,那么一篇文章就是一个试图思考一段时间的文件,我想在我写的时间段保存这些文章,这些时期在我与写作的关系上充满了怀疑。

I think writing about art for me … is a way to also write about paying attention, about seeing.

我认为写关于艺术的文章对我来说……也是一种关注和观察的方式。

There's an allusion, both in this book's title and in the stories themselves, to Andy Warhol's screen tests. What are the challenges of evoking a visual art like that in prose?

在这本书的标题和故事本身中,都有一个暗指安迪·沃霍尔的屏幕测试。在散文中唤起视觉艺术的挑战是什么?

In this recent period of writing fiction I've been inspired by visual forms. This probably began with my interest in the silence and slowness, the gauzy quality, of Barbara Loden's Wanda; and then also the early '70s trancey films of Chantal Akerman. I have been drawn to thinking of the still, or the long take, in terms of writing; and Warhol's screen tests as these barely pulsating, breathing, stills — these performances of persona and names but also now, watching them, of anonymity and disappearance.

在最近这段写小说的时期,我受到了视觉形式的启发。这可能是因为我对芭芭拉·洛登的《万达》中的沉默和缓慢、轻薄的品质感兴趣;然后是70年代早期尚塔尔·阿克曼的恍惚电影。我被吸引到思考静止,或长时间的写作;沃霍尔的屏幕测试,这些几乎没有脉动,呼吸,静止-这些表演的人物和名字,但现在,看着他们,匿名和消失。

It started when I wrote “Susan Sontag,” which is the first one in the collection, which was really me playing with digression, the rhythm of the repetition of the name “Susan Sontag” that moved into this meditation on names, on fame and persona. I wrote “Susan Sontag” in the margins of a notebook, when I was supposed to be working on a novel, and remember thinking how fun and free it felt writing it, and wondering what it was. Was this really writing?

它始于我写的《苏珊·桑塔格》,这是这本书的第一本,这本书实际上是我在玩离题的游戏,重复“苏珊·桑塔格”这个名字的节奏进入了对名字、名誉和人格的沉思。当我本该写小说的时候,我在笔记本的空白处写下了“苏珊·桑塔格”,还记得当时我在想写这本小说是多么的有趣和自由,还想知道它是什么。这真的是在写作吗?

The whole process of writing the screen tests was pretty playful; they felt like jokes, conceptually. I had this list of the titles I wanted to write — “Blanchot in a Supermarket Parking Lot,” or “Patty Hearst Wins the Westminster Dog Show,” or “Louise Brooks in a Mint-Green Housecoat” — and then finally wrote a lot of them last summer.

编写屏幕测试的整个过程相当有趣;从概念上讲,它们就像笑话。我有一份我想写的书名清单——《超市停车场里的布兰肖》,或者《帕蒂·赫斯特赢得威斯敏斯特狗展》,或者《穿着薄荷绿家装的路易丝·布鲁克斯》——去年夏天终于写了很多。

Oh, Louise Brooks' collection of essays, Lulu in Hollywood, was a big inspiration as well, as was Shulamith Firestone's Airless Spaces. I thought it was interesting that Warhol apparently filmed people for his screen tests he thought were going to be famous, or had some sort of star quality, but Shulamith Firestone writes portraits of the suicides she once knew, and Louise Brooks' memoir is instead a series of vignettes about both the failures and then the really famous men she worked with.

哦,路易丝·布鲁克斯的散文集《好莱坞的露露》也是一个很大的灵感来源,舒拉米思·费尔斯通的《无空气的空间》也是。我觉得很有意思的是,沃霍尔显然为他的荧屏测试拍摄了一些他认为会出名的人,或者有某种明星气质的人,但是舒拉米思·费尔斯通写了她曾经认识的自杀者的肖像,而路易丝·布鲁克斯的回忆录则是一系列关于失败和与她共事的真正的名人的小插曲。

What are some of the challenges that you've found in terms of writing about art from a fictional perspective?

从虚构的角度写艺术,你发现了哪些挑战?

I don't know if I make a distinction between writing about art, when I write about it explicitly, in a space of fiction or a space that's more of a talk or an essay. I think a model for me is the novelist Hervé Guibert, who was a photography critic and wrote about art constantly — so there's his book on photography, Ghost Image, but also in his novel To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life, he's still thinking about painting, he's thinking of his own drawing practice.

我不知道当我明确地写艺术的时候,是在小说的空间里,还是在更像是一篇演讲或一篇文章的空间里,我是否区分了写艺术。我认为我的一个榜样是小说家埃尔韦·吉伯特,他是一个摄影评论家,经常写艺术方面的东西——所以有他关于摄影的书,鬼魂形象,但在他的小说中也有一个朋友没有救我的命,他仍然在思考绘画,他在思考自己的绘画实践。

I think writing about art for me, in recent work, whether in the talks or the screen tests, or the novel that is coming out next year, is a way to also write about paying attention, about seeing. And also I long for writing to have the same permission of visual forms. 

我认为,对我来说,在最近的作品中,无论是在演讲中,还是在银幕测试中,或是在明年即将出版的小说中,写关于艺术的文章,也是写关于关注,关于看到的一种方式。同时,我也渴望写作能得到视觉形式的许可。

In Screen Tests I'm especially interested in collage, like the playful collages of Ray Johnson and Sarah Charlesworth; I like the process and practice of a collage, as I write in “Pink Bunny Ears,” my Ray Johnson piece, and I thought of the screen tests like that, a daily collage I would send to a friend or famous person, like Johnson did. In my twinned Johnson and Charlesworth pieces there's ekphrastic writing, about a specific collage — which is its own challenge, how language can conjure a work of art — but then the pieces drift and hopefully go to weird places.

在屏幕测试中,我对拼贴特别感兴趣,比如雷·约翰逊和莎拉·查尔斯沃思的俏皮拼贴;我喜欢拼贴的过程和实践,就像我在我的雷·约翰逊作品《粉红兔子耳朵》中写的那样,我想到了这样的屏幕测试,每天我都会把拼贴寄给朋友或名人,就像约翰逊那样。在我结对的约翰逊和查尔斯沃思的作品中,有一个埃克弗拉斯的写作,关于一个特定的拼贴——这是它自己的挑战,语言如何能召唤出一件艺术作品——但后来这些作品飘移,希望能去一些奇怪的地方。

Confronting and truly looking at a work of art can yield so much thinking and feeling, which is why in my novel Drifts, there are moments of encountering, say, Bouchra Khalili's map project, or Sarah Charlesworth's Stills, as well as thinking about Rilke being catalyzed by the fragmented sculptures of Rodin, but that's also the experience of being in a city, and wandering into galleries and museums. 

面对和真正地看一件艺术作品可以产生如此多的思考和感受,这就是为什么在我的小说《漂流》中,会有遇到布赫拉·哈利利(Bouchra Khalili)的地图项目或莎拉·查尔斯沃思(Sarah Charlesworth)的剧照的时刻,也会想到里尔克被罗丹(Rodin)支离破碎的雕塑所催化,但这也是存在的体验在一个城市,漫步在画廊和博物馆。

And I think that's why memories I write about are often saturated by experiencing art and being changed by it — like in an appendix essay remembering seeing Doris Salcedo's “Atrabiliarios” while living in Akron, Ohio, her devastating alcoves of the found shoes of disappeared women in Colombia; or in a screen test, “On the Puppet Theater,” which goes from remembering Kleist's strange essay “On the Puppet Theater,” to thinking about a former lover who was a puppeteer when looking at the puppets of Greer Lankton.

我想这就是为什么我写的记忆经常被艺术所浸透,并被艺术所改变的原因——比如在附录中的一篇文章中,我记得在俄亥俄州的阿克伦,看到了多丽丝·萨尔塞多的《阿特拉比利亚里奥》,她在哥伦比亚发现了失踪妇女的鞋子,那是一个毁灭性的凹坑;或者在一次银幕测试中,“在木偶剧院,从回忆克莱斯特那篇奇怪的文章《论木偶戏》,到回忆一个以前的情人,他在看格里尔·兰克顿的木偶时是个木偶演员。

There is a challenge in writing about art in a commissioned way — like for a catalogue, like the Anne Collier essay, or an essay about Paula Rego I wrote for the catalogue for her UK retrospective that comes out this summer. It's fun but daunting to be asked to spend a certain amount of time — sometimes many months, I'm slow when asked to do something like this — to consider an artist who I only encountered on a wall, at some time, and then to be expected to write an innovative essay about their work, so not as a critic, but as an essayist or novelist.

在以委托的方式撰写艺术方面存在着挑战——比如,一份目录,比如安妮·科利尔的文章,或者是一篇关于保拉·雷戈的文章,我为今年夏天出版的英国回顾会的目录写了一篇文章。被要求花一定时间——有时很多月,当我被要求做这样的事情时,我会很慢——考虑一个艺术家,我只是在墙上遇到过,有时,然后被期望写一篇关于他们作品的创新文章,而不是作为评论家,而是作为散文家或小说家。

 And there's the additional worry about writing as a form of promoting art as a commodity, or saying the things I'm expected to say, based on previous work, like expecting me to approach a work solely through a feminist lens — I find that boring. I always need to find a way for it to feel challenging for me. Actually, it's the fact that I find writing about art challenging — I have no formal background in it — which may be why I'm drawn to it.

还有一个额外的担忧是,写作是一种将艺术作为商品来宣传的形式,或者说我希望说的话,基于以前的作品,比如希望我仅仅通过女权主义的视角来看待一部作品——我觉得很无聊。我总是需要找到一种方法让它给我带来挑战。事实上,我发现写艺术作品很有挑战性——我没有正式的背景——这可能就是我被吸引的原因。

I like it when it feels like a collaboration. I loved composing the prose pieces B. Ingrid Olson commissioned me to write for her show at Albright-Knox with very open instructions for what was required. These were published in BOMB and appear in Screen Tests, but they were typeset by Olson and photographed as artworks included in the show. Part of the constraint of writing them was their visual dimensions, how they would look on the wall, and how she wanted them to somehow channel and introduce her work but not be explicit about it. 

我喜欢合作的感觉。我喜欢写散文作品B。英格丽德奥尔森委托我为她在奥尔布赖特诺克斯的演出写一些非常开放的指导。这些作品发表在《炸弹》杂志上,并出现在屏幕测试中,但它们是奥尔森排版的,并作为艺术作品被拍摄在展览中。写这些作品的部分限制因素是它们的视觉维度,它们在墙上的样子,以及她想让它们如何引导和介绍她的作品,但又不明确。

They still took me forever to do. It's a slow process for me, writing about art, because so much of the process is thinking and looking, and looking again, and again, and on another day, and struggling to find my own language for what I'm looking at. I like contemporary work especially like Ingrid Olson's where when I first look at it I have no idea what I'm looking at, and it takes me a while to realize that slipperiness and opacity is the point — is it a self-portrait, how does it skew self-portraiture? I long for that in writing, that opacity and slipperiness.

他们仍然花了我很长时间。对我来说,写艺术是一个缓慢的过程,因为很多过程都是思考和寻找,一次又一次地寻找,在另一天,努力找到适合我所看的东西的自己的语言。我喜欢当代作品,特别是像英格丽德·奥尔森的作品,当我第一次看它的时候,我不知道我在看什么,我花了一段时间才意识到,滑溜和不透明才是重点——这是自画像吗,它是如何扭曲自画像的?我渴望写下来,那种不透明和拖沓。

Maybe this all has to do with failure. I keep on writing through the failure of writing. I desire to write about these certain writers and works of art in focused, elegant ways, and instead I drift, and I want to focus.

也许这一切都与失败有关。尽管写作失败,我还是坚持写作。我希望以专注、优雅的方式来写这些作家和艺术作品,相反,我随波逐流,我想专注。

Late in Screen Tests, you write,this is not my self-portrait.Earlier in the book, in the fictional half, there's a long discussion of the nature of the use ofIin certain works of fiction and nonfiction. What about this book made you want to explore questions of identity, narration, and veracity?

在屏幕测试的后期,你写道,“这不是我的自画像。”在本书的早期,在小说的一半,有一个关于“我”在某些小说和非小说作品中使用的性质的长期讨论。这本书让你想探索身份、叙述和真实性的问题,是怎么回事?

In recent work, I'm really interested in the “I” as a slippery space. I'm drawn to how Barthes confounds his earlier essay on the death of the author for his later playful and opaque works, like Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes, thinking of the self as a site of multiplicity. 

在最近的工作中,我真的很感兴趣的“我”作为一个滑溜的空间。我很高兴巴特如何混淆他先前关于作者死亡的文章,因为他后来的戏剧和不透明的作品,如罗兰·巴特的罗兰·巴特,认为自我是多重性的场所。

I think some of the screen tests and later essays play with the absurdity of what has been an obsession of mine in this period of work I'm currently writing — the existential crisis of being a writer, and also being an author. That line from Emil Cioran: “One only perishes by the self that one assumes — to bear a name is to claim an exact mode of collapse.” I think in the screen tests there are various names collapsing, including my own. I love that sneaky move in a story, where the narrator's sense of self begins to erode and become confounded, as does the question of authorship, that speculative or spooky feeling, like in “Borges and I,” or the stories of Kanai Mieko or Gerald Murnane or Sofia Samatar.

我认为,一些屏幕测试和后来的文章发挥了荒谬的东西一直困扰着我在这个时期的工作,我目前正在写作-作为一个作家的生存危机,也是一个作家。埃米尔·乔兰的那句话是:“一个人只会被自己假设的自我毁灭——拥有一个名字就是声称一个确切的崩溃模式。”我认为在屏幕测试中有各种各样的名字崩溃,包括我自己的名字。我喜欢故事中那种鬼鬼祟祟的举动,在故事中,叙述者的自我意识开始被侵蚀,变得困惑,作者的问题也一样,那种投机或恐怖的感觉,比如在《博尔赫斯和我》,或是卡奈·米埃科、杰拉尔德·默南或索菲亚·萨玛塔的故事中。

Screen Tests continues your ongoing project of writing about certain writers and works of art (Barbara Loden in particular comes to mind). Do you feel like someone reading Screen Tests on its own will read this differently from someone who had also read, say, Book of Mutter and Appendix Project?

屏幕测试继续你正在进行的关于某些作家和艺术作品的写作项目(特别是芭芭拉·洛登)。你是否觉得一个单独阅读屏幕测试的人会和一个读过,比如说,穆特的书和附录项目的人读这个不同?

I think there are certain artists and thinkers that repeat for me, because I keep on thinking through them. I feel right now like I won't ever write about Barbara Loden and Wanda again. Like it's enough! That marks a period of time for me across those three books. But Chantal Akerman — I'm still thinking about the films of Chantal Akerman, mourning Chantal Akerman, although now I've written about her in Appendix Project, in my novel Drifts, in a screen test. I'm still thinking about Ingeborg Bachmann. 

我认为有一些艺术家和思想家会对我重复,因为我一直在思考他们。我现在觉得我再也不会写芭芭拉·洛登和旺达了。好像够了!我看了那三本书有一段时间了。但尚塔尔阿克曼-我仍然在想尚塔尔阿克曼的电影,哀悼尚塔尔阿克曼,虽然现在我已经在附录项目,在我的小说漂流,在屏幕测试写了她的。我还在想英格伯格·巴赫曼。

I'm still thinking about Barthes, about Wittgenstein. In fact inside of me there is a secret project where I finally write about the last two years of Barthes's life, which I'm aware is absurd because that's an important thread in Appendix Project, and where I'll really write about Wittgenstein, also absurd, because I keep on writing anecdotes about Wittgenstein.

我还在想巴特,维特根斯坦。事实上,在我的内心深处有一个秘密项目,我最终写下了巴特生命的最后两年,我意识到这是荒谬的,因为这是附录项目的一个重要线索,在那里我将真正写下维特根斯坦,也是荒谬的,因为我一直在写关于维特根斯坦的轶事。

I like that movement in Screen Tests where a piece circling around the writing of an essay that very much resembles my essay on Barbara Loden's Wandais at the front of the book, and then the actual essay is at the end. I think it's funny and personally I enjoy it. Maybe this all has to do with failure. I keep on writing through the failure of writing. I desire to write about these certain writers and works of art in focused, elegant ways, and instead I drift, and I want to focus. I surprise myself with these returns, this refusal to let go.

我喜欢屏幕测试中的这个动作,在屏幕测试中,一篇文章围绕着一篇文章的写作展开,这篇文章非常像我在书的前面写的关于芭芭拉·洛登的《万达》的文章,最后才是真正的文章。我觉得很有趣,我个人也很喜欢。也许这一切都与失败有关。尽管写作失败,我还是坚持写作。我希望以专注、优雅的方式来写这些作家和艺术作品,相反,我随波逐流,我想专注。我对这些回报感到惊讶,拒绝放手。

I just finished a novel [Drifts] in which Rainer Maria Rilke writing Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge is important to the consciousness of the narrator, and I thought for sure, I'll never write about Rilke again. I'm done with Rilke! I'm sick of Rilke! Rilke — no more. I've said everything I want about Rilke.

我刚刚完成了一部小说《漂流》,其中雷纳·玛丽亚·里尔克写的马尔特·劳瑞兹·布里奇的笔记对叙述者的意识很重要,我确信,我再也不会写里尔克了。我受够瑞尔克了!我讨厌里尔克!里尔克-不要了。关于里尔克我想说的都说了。

 But then the other day when I was in this spirit of boredom or play — like I want to write something that's not something I'm supposed to be writing, I wanted to write a very compressed form, like a brief essay or poem, which was a lot of the impulse behind the screen tests — I just started researching something about Rilke at Duino. I wanted to write a short piece, about Rilke acting as the personal secretary during séances with Princess Marie Von Thurn und Taxis, maneuvering the planchette … I guess obsessions are private and involved, and I nurse them over a very long period of time, many years, across notebooks and books, and these artists and thinkers and writers become a sort of ghostly correspondence for me. And inspiration as to form.

但后来有一天,当我沉浸在无聊或玩耍的情绪中——比如我想写一些我不该写的东西,我想写一个非常压缩的形式,比如一篇短文或诗歌,这是屏幕测试背后的很多冲动——我刚开始研究关于Duino的Rilke的东西。我想写一篇短文,关于瑞尔克在与玛丽·冯·瑟恩公主和出租车的约会中担任私人秘书,操纵飞机……我想痴迷是私人的,也有牵连,我在很长一段时间,很多年,在笔记本和书中照顾他们,对我来说,这些艺术家、思想家和作家成了一种幽灵般的通信。以及灵感。

A lot of my recent work has also been inspired by my friendship and correspondence with Sofia Samatar, and I think we feed each other's obsession and intense, almost spastic, referentiality; it becomes a sort of private language, and we keep on writing each other into each other's stories and essays … with Barthes, with Rilke, with Antoine Volodine, with Hervé Guibert, with Sebald, Kanai Mieko … Sofia appears in the screen tests but like everyone else, she's disguised and fictionalized. 

我最近的很多作品也受到了我与索菲亚·萨玛塔的友谊和通信的启发,我认为我们互相满足了对方的痴迷和强烈的,近乎痉挛的,指称性;它变成了一种私人语言,我们不断地把彼此写进彼此的故事和文章……与巴特,与里尔克,和安托万·沃洛丁,和赫韦·吉伯特,和塞巴尔德,卡奈·米科……索菲亚出现在银幕测试中,但和其他人一样,她是伪装和虚构的。

For example I just realized today that we've been mentioning Bolano's Antwerp to each other for several years, and so that bleeds into both of our texts — I just edited a page of my novel last week where I write about it, and then just read an in-progress piece of Sofia's yesterday that mentions it. It's funny, people sometimes ask me what I'm reading, and I always say something kind of helplessly boring like “I read the same books over and over.” Really right now when I can read for myself I just read Hervé Guibert. Or Bhanu Kapil, whose work I write about so much in the appendices. Or Sebald. Or Moyra Davey, whose work is also so obsessed by Guibert and Akerman.

例如,我今天才意识到,我们已经互相提到博拉诺的《安特卫普》好几年了,所以我们的两篇文章都在流血——我上周编辑了一页我的小说,在那里我写了这篇文章,然后读了一篇索非亚的《昨天》中提到这篇文章。有趣的是,人们有时会问我在读什么,我总是说一些无聊的话,像“我一遍又一遍地读着同样的书。”真的,现在当我能自己读的时候,我只会读赫韦·吉伯特。或者Bhanu Kapil,他的作品我在附录中写了很多。或者塞巴尔德。或者莫伊拉·戴维,他的作品也被吉伯特和阿克曼迷住了。

I can't really know what someone reading more than one of my books will think about their relationship to each other — I feel once I publish them, I want to eventually disappear as an author. It does become about a reader writing into the texts themselves, but I can't know what that space is like. I do think that the screen tests are different in many ways, tonally, from the grief work, although there is a lot of grief in the longer essays. For one, I think the screen tests are a lot funnier and lighter. I think they are all different from Heroines, and certainly from the early novels, mostly because I feel I am a completely different person and thinker in every way — like cellularly. 

我真的不知道有人读了我的书中的一本以上会想到他们之间的关系——我觉得一旦我出版了它们,我想最终消失为一个作家。它确实变成了读者自己写进文本中,但我不知道那个空间是什么样的。我确实认为,屏幕测试在许多方面不同,色调上,与悲伤工作不同,虽然在较长的文章中有很多悲伤。首先,我认为屏幕测试更有趣,更轻。我认为他们都不同于女主角,当然也不同于早期小说,主要是因为我觉得我在各个方面都是完全不同的人和思想家——就像电影一样。

But of course there's a commonality with Heroines. Especially in the essays. But the screen tests are also gossipy and petty, they are awash in the anecdotal, they are alienated and full of doubt yet somehow also in love with the possibilities of literature and community. I also feel very different from the person who wrote Book of Mutter as well, actually, and the longer essays. I feel closest to the writer who wrote the screen tests and the appendix talks because I think they have some control and innovation to them, and a quality of thinking and feeling directly, that feels closest to what I want out of writing now.

当然,女主角也有共同点。尤其是散文。但屏幕测试也流言蜚语和琐碎,他们淹没在轶事,他们疏远和充满怀疑,但不知何故也爱上了文学和社区的可能性。实际上,我也觉得自己和写《喃喃自语》的人和写长篇散文的人很不一样。我觉得自己和写屏幕测试和附录演讲的作者最亲近,因为我认为他们对自己有一些控制和创新,还有一种直接思考和感受的品质,这种感觉最接近我现在想要的写作。

I disappear and transform, and then the work transforms; that's how it goes. But I am still writing these books from the same body, with the same set of memories or past, even if they feel completely transformed. There's something uncanny about that.

我消失了,改变了,然后工作也改变了,就是这样。但我仍然在用同样的身体,同样的记忆或过去来写这些书,即使它们感觉完全改变了。这有点不可思议。

I read a lot of rejection letters warning me against the petty indulgences of metafiction; that's what they called it. Who knew publishing was full of so many Calvino haters.

我读了很多拒绝信,警告我不要对元小说的小放纵;他们就是这么叫的。谁知道出版界有那么多讨厌卡尔维诺的人。

In a broader sense, what sort of a dialogue do you hope to create among your books? Is fictionalizing certain elements of your life in the stories in Screen Tests a way of complicating this?

从更广泛的意义上讲,你希望在你的书中创造一种什么样的对话?在屏幕测试的故事中虚构你生活中的某些元素是一种使事情复杂化的方式吗?

I remember when I first moved here, I became friends with another novelist, we had different ideas about what we wanted out of fiction, and he kept on asking me, “Why are you always so meta?” Which I thought was pretty funny. He was probably referring to Green Girl, which got rejected from every agent for that same reason, that it was a book that was actually about a certain type of book or character, kind of like how Jean Seberg's character in Breathlessis referring to her character in Bonjour Tristesse, which I write about in Screen Tests. And also there's the fictional author creating the character of Ruth in Green Girl.

我记得当我第一次搬到这里的时候,我和另一个小说家成了朋友,我们对我们想要从小说中得到什么有不同的想法,他不停地问我,“你为什么总是那么有新意?“我觉得很有趣。他可能指的是《绿色女孩》,因为同样的原因被每个经纪人拒绝了,这本书实际上是关于某种类型的书或角色的,就像让·塞伯格在《呼吸失调》中的角色指的是她在《你好,崔苔丝》中的角色,我在屏幕测试中写的。还有一个虚构的作家在《绿女孩》中塑造了露丝这个角色。

With Green Girl I read a lot of rejection letters warning me against the petty indulgences of metafiction; that's what they called it. Who knew publishing was full of so many Calvino haters. I think that the narrators in recent work, including Screen Tests, and the series of books I'm working on — Drifts, To Write as if Already Dead, then two other novels that are sequels of a sort to Drifts

在《绿色女孩》杂志上,我读了很多拒绝信,警告我不要对元小说的小放纵;他们就是这么称呼我的。谁知道出版界有那么多讨厌卡尔维诺的人。我认为最近作品中的叙述者,包括屏幕测试,和我正在写的系列书——漂流,写得好像已经死了,然后是另外两部类似漂流的续集小说:

Ghosts and Switzerland— are suffering from what I might call the feminist hangover of how they are read post-Heroines and Green Girl, as well as thinking through a literary sickness, after Enrique Vila-Matas, and a literary sadness, wrestling with the larger question of how to be a writer in the contemporary, within capitalism and publishing, and the role of friendship and community within this. I think I'm interested in slightly satirizing the position of the minor author in society … all of this work in the years post-Heroines and since I moved to New York.

鬼魂和瑞士——正遭受着我可以称之为女权主义者的后遗症,他们是如何被解读为后女主角和绿色女孩的,以及思考着一种文学疾病,在恩里克·维拉·马塔斯之后,以及一种文学悲哀,与如何在当代,在资本主义和出版业中成为一名作家这个更大的问题搏斗,以及友谊和社区在其中的作用。我想我有兴趣稍微讽刺一下这位小作家在社会上的地位……所有这些作品都是在《后英雄》时代和我搬到纽约之后。

I love it when a work references past books; it's like a little thrill for me. At the opening of Wittengstein's Nephew, Thomas Bernhard's narrator reviews a bound copy of Gargoyles [one of Bernhard's early novels]; one of the nuns puts it on his bed in the hospital where he's recovering from consumption, and he feels kind of alienated and disgusted by it. I love that this is also the experience for me of looking at a book that I apparently wrote that has been published, like — who wrote that?

我喜欢当一部作品引用过去的书时,它就像是一个小小的刺激。在维滕斯坦侄子的开场白上,托马斯·伯纳德的叙述者评论了一本有约束力的加戈伊尔斯(伯纳德早期小说之一);其中一位修女把它放在他正在从消费中恢复的医院里,他感到有点疏远和厌恶。我喜欢这也是我看一本我显然写的书,已经出版的经历,就像-谁写的?

I think that's why I'm interested in thinking of new writing within the space of fiction — whether or not a publisher chooses to classify it as nonfiction — because I like that narrative space of the real, when you're not sure what's real and what's not real. Danielle Dutton calls this near-fiction. There's a suspense there, a defamiliarization. It's an uncertain and slippery space; that's what I like.

我想这就是为什么我有兴趣在小说的空间里思考新的写作——不管出版商是否选择将其归类为非小说——因为我喜欢真实的叙事空间,当你不确定什么是真实的什么是不真实的时候。丹妮尔·达顿称这近乎虚构。这里有一个悬念,一个陌生化。这是一个不确定的、易滑的空间;这正是我喜欢的。

I really do think, that when one writes, one enters the space of fiction; you are writing I and also not-I. I like how [Robert] Walser viewed his fictions as chopped-up and dismembered books of himself. I think of the shorts in Screen Testsas a mini-catalogue, of my obsessions, of all the works that came before, in a way. The joy is in the compression.

我真的认为,当一个人写作时,他就进入了小说的空间;你在写我,而不是我。我喜欢[罗伯特]沃尔瑟把他的小说看作是他自己被肢解的书。在某种程度上,我认为屏幕测试中的短片是一个迷你目录,是我的痴迷,是之前所有作品的缩影。快乐在于压缩。

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