Out Stealing Horses (Per Petterson)

September 26, 2007 on 3:20 pm | In 书斋札记 | 45 Comments

Out Stealing Horses《出门窃马》,一本不到三百页的小书,今年都柏林IMPAC文学奖的冷门获奖作,作者Per Petterson,挪威人,原本是一位专业的图书管理员,在全职写作前,开过书店,做过翻译、文学评论等工作。Out Stealing Horses 是他2003年的作品,2005年由Anna Born译成英语,在英国出版,2006年获英国独立报设立的翻译小说奖(Independent Foreign Fiction Prize),2007年在美国出版的依旧是Anna Born的译本,所以里面一些英国英语的不同表达,美国人读来可能不太习惯。

摘录纽约Village Voice的一段书评,这恰好也是我对这本书的一个最大感受,故觉得格外有共鸣,里面又提到Cormac McCarthy,在读Out Stealing Horses时,书中的父子关系,确也是一度让我想起McCarthy的The Road来:

For about 80 years, novelists have been trying to figure out how to deal with their biggest competition, a form of storytelling that in many ways is far superior: the film. Some trek to Hollywood, hoping for benediction and cash (Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Sherman Alexie), some write brisk screenplay prose (Jerzy Kosinski, Elmore Leonard, plenty more), and others try to capture a film’s essence—the fluid motion of characters and camera, the sudden shifts in mood. Cormac McCarthy sits squarely in this last category, as does Norwegian writer Per Petterson, author of Out Stealing Horses,……

Out Stealing Horses以第一人称“我”为叙述视角,六十七岁的Trond Sander,三年前,第二任妻子在车祸中身亡,在千禧年将近的几个月前,他与家人不告而别,搬到挪威与瑞典交界的一座山村小屋,避世生活。可是与自然的独处,并没有带给老人期许中的平静。他忽然发现,在空旷的山野,与他最近的邻居竟是少年时好友玩伴Jon的弟弟,熟悉的环境,熟悉的人,像一颗石子,落入记忆的湖底,溅起水花,泛出涟漪。

小说以电影中常用的闪回(flashback)手法,在当下与回忆的两个时空里自由来回,带着读者,追问Trond的过去。往事的碎片一一浮现,段落之间的联系似有若无,很难构建起连贯的plot,使它不同于一般传统写实的realism,也不同于纯粹的意识流或者散文式的日常叙事,每个回忆的片断里仍然蕴籍着丰富的情节性,更涉及二战时纳粹占领北欧的历史,Trond的父亲躲开德国哨兵的监视、秘密给游击队传递消息那段,如战争片般惊险、火药味十足。儿时玩伴Jon毁坏鸟窝一节,青春期的残酷物语,一种无处发泄的愤怒,让人想起路易·马勒的电影Lacombe Lucien。

书名Out Stealing Horses,既实指Trond在十五岁那年夏天、与好友Jon去别家偷马来骑的顽劣行为,也是战时父亲秘密送信时的接头暗号;回忆里,Jon的弟弟Lars不小心扣动哥哥没有上保险的猎枪,打死了自己的孪生兄弟Odd,而Trond同是孪生兄弟的两位叔叔,在逃离纳粹警察局途中,一个死于盖世太保枪下,一个侥幸脱身,小说里这种非逻辑必然的对应,在作者举重若轻的文笔下,好像传达着某种人生难以捉摸的奥妙,很奇特、神秘的感觉。

IMPAC在颁奖词里评价此书是一则心酸而动人的故事,它描述一种对世界看法的转变,从少年的纯真到艰难的接受背叛的现实,中间饱含着对简单朴素生活的浓厚怀旧之情。这个概括虽然到位,可是读完书,总觉得不仅仅如此,仿佛有很多无法用文字理清的意境和情绪,在作者的笔下流动,意犹未尽。

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45 Comments »

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  1. 没读过书,但是读这篇读书记,依然很亲切。
    很好的感觉。
    书的封面真漂亮啊。空间感真好。

    Comment by Shaoqing — September 29, 2007 9:26 pm GMT-0700 #

  2. 这是一本确实很冷的书,我也只是在去年时代杂志上偶尔看到的关于该书的一些评论。该书也许因为获奖的关系被去年的时代杂志评为了2007年度必读的100本书之一。很忧伤很无奈。
    《out stealing horses》is tinged with an autumnal sense of loss and self-examination of an old man looking back on his life.

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