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2010年1月10日 星期日 美国人物——威廉·福克纳,1897-1962:他获得了1949年诺贝尔文学奖

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2010 1 10 星期日 美国人物——威廉·福克纳, 1897-1962 :他获得了 1949 年诺贝尔文学奖

PEOPLE IN AMERICA - William Faulkner, 1897-1962: He Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949

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In nineteen forty-five, all seventeen books William Faulkner had written by then were not being published. Some of them could not be found even in stores that sold used books.

到 1945 年,威廉·福克纳所写的 17 本书都没发表出来,有些书在旧书书店里也买不到。

The critic Malcolm Cowley says, Faulkner's "early novels had been praised too much, usually for the wrong reasons. His later and in many ways better novels had been criticized or simply not read. " Even those who liked his books were not always sure what he was trying to say.

评论家马尔科姆 · 考利说,福克纳早期的小说声誉过高,人们莫名其妙地追捧他的著作。但他后期的上乘之作却遭到抨击,无人阅读。甚至那些爱读他书的人也不知道他要表达什么意思。

Faulkner never explained. And he did not give information about himself. He did not even correct the mistakes others made when they wrote about him. He did not care how his name was spelled: with or without a "u." He said either way was all right with him.

福克纳从不解释,对自己也不作任何介绍,连别人对他的错误撰述也不作更正,甚至别人拼错了自己的名字也不在乎,不管姓中间有没有个字母“ u ”,他说都没关系。

Once he finished a book he was not concerned about how it was presented to the public. Sometimes he did not even keep a copy of his book. He said, "I think I have written a lot and sent it off to be printed before I realized strangers might read it."


In nineteen forty-six, Malcolm Cowley collected some of Faulkner's writings and wrote a report about him. The collection attempted to show what Faulkner was trying to do, and how each different book was part of a unified effort.

1946 年,马尔科姆 · 考利收集了福克纳的某些作品,并写了一篇关于他的报道。作品集旨在展示福克纳的新创作,并阐述每部著作既是独立的一部分,又具有整体上的完整性。

Cowley agreed that Faulkner was an uneven writer. Yet, he said, the unevenness shows that Faulkner was willing to take risks, to explore new material, and new ways to talk about it.


In nineteen twenty-nine, in his novel "Sartoris," Faulkner presented almost all the ideas he developed during the rest of his life. Soon after, he published the book he liked best, "The Sound and the Fury." It was finished before "Sartoris," but did not appear until six months later.

1929 年,在他著名的小说《萨托利斯》中,福克纳展现了他余生中探讨的几乎所有主题。不久,他出版了自己最为得意的著作《喧嚣与骚动》。此书在《萨托利斯》之前杀青,但直到六个月后才发表出来。

In talking about "The Sound and the Fury," Faulkner said he saw in his mind a dirty little girl playing in front of her house. From this small beginning, Faulkner developed a story about the Compson family, told in four different voices. Three of the voices are brothers: Benjy, who is mentally sick; Quentin, who kills himself, and Jason, a business failure. Each of them for different reasons mourns the loss of their sister, Caddie. Each has a different piece of the story.


It is a story of sadness and loss, of the failure of an old Southern family to which the brothers belong. It also describes the private ideas of the brothers. To do this, Faulkner invents a different way of writing for each of them. Only the last part of the novel is told in the normal way. The other three parts move forward and back through time and space.

此书讲述了一个令人伤感的南方家族的故事,书中兄弟三人皆是昔日望族的后裔。 该书还描述了兄弟三人的私人观念。为表达这一主题,福克纳独辟蹊径,使每个兄弟的故事自成一章。作者只在小说最后一部分用常规的写作方式讲述出来,而其它三部分都是跳跃式的,在时间和空间里随意穿行。

The story also shows how the Compson family seems to cooperate in its failure. In doing so the family destroys what it wants to save.


Quentin, in "The Sound and the Fury," tries to pressure his sister to say that she is pregnant by him. He finds it better to say that a brother and sister had sex together than to admit that she had sex with one of the common town boys of Jefferson.


Another brother, Jason, accuses others of stealing his money and causing his business to fail. At the same time, he is stealing from the daughter of his sister.


Missus Compson, the mother in the family, says of God's actions: "It can't be simply to. . . hurt me. Whoever God is, he would not permit that. I'm a lady. "


Some of the people Faulkner creates, like Reverend Hightower in "Light in August," live so much in the past that they are unable to face the present. Others seem to run from one danger to another, like young Bayard Sartoris, seeking his own destruction. These people exist, Faulkner says, "in that dream state in which you run without moving from a terror in which you cannot believe, toward a safety in which you have no...[belief]. "

福克纳创作的某些人物,像《八月之光》里的赖维尔兰德 · 海塔尔,生活在过去太久,不敢面对现在。其他的人物却似乎总是危险缠身,以至自取灭亡,如年轻的萨托利斯。福克纳说,“这些人物存在于梦幻之中,在这种幻觉中,你在恐怖奔跑时是不动的,这种恐怖情形也是你不能相信的,而你对逃亡的安全之地也毫无概念……”

As Malcolm Cowley shows, all of Faulkner's people, black or white, act in a similar way. They dig for gold after they have lost hope of finding it -- like Henry Armstid in the novel, "The Hamlet." They battle and survive a Mississippi flood for the reward of returning to state prison -- as the tall man did in the story "Old Man." They turn and face death at the hands of a mob -- like Joe Christmas does in the novel, "Light in August." They act as if they will succeed when they know they will fail.

马尔科姆 · 考利展现了福克纳小说中的所有人物,无论是黑人还是白人,他们的表现都大同小异。小说《哈姆雷特》中的亨利 · 阿姆斯蒂德这些人(明知)淘金无望,仍然不停地挖掘;而小说《老人》中的那个高个人披波斩浪,死里逃生,(好不容易)在一场密西西比河的洪水中活了下来,(竟然只是)为了再回到那个州里的监狱里去;像《八月之光》里的乔 · 克里斯默斯落入贼手,面对生死抉择,表面上像是成功无疑,最后却难以挽回失败的厄运。

Faulkner's next book, "As I Lay Dying," was published in nineteen thirty. It is similar to "The Sound and the Fury" in the way it is written and in the way it deals with loss. Again Faulkner uses a series of different voices to tell his story. The loss this time is the death of the family's mother. The family carries the body through flood and fire in an effort to get her body to Jefferson to be buried.

福克纳的下一本书《我弥留之际》出版于 1930 年。此书与《喧嚣与骚动》的创作方式相似, 处理丧亲的方式也雷同。书中,福克纳再次使用不同人的声音讲述他的故事。这次是家中母亲的死亡。全家在刀山火海中扶柩而前,欲将灵柩运往杰斐逊市安葬。

Neither "As I Lay Dying" nor "The Sound and the Fury" was a great success. Faulkner did not earn much money from them. He was adding to his earnings by selling short stories and by working from time to time on movies in Hollywood. Then to earn more money, he wrote a book full of sex and violence. He called it "Sanctuary."


When the book was ready to be published, Faulkner went to New York and completely rewrote it. The changes were made after it was printed. So Faulkner had to pay for them himself.


The main person in "Sanctuary" is a man called Popeye. He is a kind of mechanical man, a man, Faulkner says, without human eyes. Faulkner says he is a person with the depth of pressed metal. For Faulkner, Popeye represents everything that is wrong with modern society and its concern with economic capitalism.

《圣殿》的主人公叫 Popeye 。福克纳说这个人有点像机器人,没有人眼。福克纳说,这个人深受精神压抑之苦。对福克纳来说, Popeye 代表了现代社会的一切病症及其与资本主义经济相关的问题。

Popeye is a criminal, a man who "made money and had nothing he could do with it, spend it for." He knows that alcohol will kill him like poison. He has no friends. He has never known a woman.

Popeye 是个罪犯,他“挣钱却一无所有,花钱没有目的。”他明知酒精有毒,能将他置于死地,(却酗酒成性)。他没有一个朋友,从来也不认识哪位女郎。

In later books he appears as a member of the Snopes family. The Snopes are a group of killers and barn burners. They fear nothing, except nature. They love no one, except themselves. They cheat everyone, even the devil. They live in a private land without morals. Yet Flem Snopes ends as the president of the bank in Jefferson.

在其后的书中, Popeye 出现在斯诺普斯家族中。斯诺普斯一家全是杀人犯,还专门纵火烧毁马厩,这一窝人无所畏惧,为所欲为,穷凶极恶,毫无善念。他们坑蒙拐骗,连魔鬼也不放过。他们的匪窝藏在不可告人之处,道德败坏,伦常全无。但令人称奇的是,他们中的弗莱姆 · 斯诺普斯最后却当上了杰斐逊市某家银行的行长。

Like Popeye, they gain the ownership and use of things, but they never really have them. Flem Snopes marries into a powerful family but his wife does not even have a name for him. She calls him "that man."

跟 Popeye 一样,这伙人有着冠冕堂皇的身份,无尽的财富,却从来不曾真正拥有它们。弗莱姆 · 斯诺普斯娶了一个显赫家族的女子为妻,但妻子连他的名字也不愿叫一声,只叫他“那个人”。

Faulkner says that nothing can be had without love. Love is the opposite of the desire for power. A person in one of Faulkner's stories says, "God created man, and he created the world for him to live in. And. . . He created the kind of world he would have wanted to live in if he had been a man. "


"Light in August" starts with the search by a woman, Lena Grove, for the man who promised to marry her. The story is also about two people who do not fit with other people. They are a black man named Joe Christmas, and a former minister, John Hightower, who has lost his belief in God. Faulkner ties the three levels of individual psychology, social history and tragedy into a whole.

《八月之光》的故事以一个叫莉娜 · 奥琳的女子寻找她的情夫为开端。故事的另一条主线讲述的是两个与他人格格不入的人,一个是黑人,名叫乔 · 克里斯默斯,一个叫约翰 · 海塔尔,是前任部长,他对上帝产生了怀疑。福克纳从心理、社会历史和悲剧三种不同层面的将每个人的故事编写成一部整体小说。

In nineteen thirty-six, Faulkner followed "Light in August" with "Absalom, Absalom." Many consider this his best novel. It is the story of Joseph Sutpen, who wants to start a famous Southern family after America's Civil War. It is told by four speakers, each trying to discover what the story means. The reader sees how the story changes with each telling, and that the "meanings" are created by individuals. He finds that creating stories is the way a human being finds meaning. Thus, "Absalom, Absalom" is also about itself, as a work of the mind of man.

1936 年,紧接着《八月之光》,福克纳写下了他的著作《押沙龙,押沙龙!》,许多人认为这是他的杰作。它讲述了约瑟夫 · 萨德本在美国内战之后想在南方让家族扬名的故事。该书以四个人来讲述,每个人都想找到故事的意义。随着每位讲述者的讲述,读者可看到故事在发生变化,而故事的“意义”是由每个人来创作的。福克纳发现,创作故事本身就是人类发现事物意义的一种方式。这样,《押沙龙,押沙龙!》也是在讲它本身的故事,就像在讲人类心灵的创作。

Faulkner's great writing days were over by the end of World War Two. Near the end of his life, Faulkner received many honors. The last and best one was the Nobel Prize for Literature in nineteen forty-nine.

福克纳最为辉煌的日子在二战末告一段落。在他生命最后的日子,授予他的荣誉纷至沓来。最后的桂冠是 1949 年的诺贝尔文学奖。

In a speech accepting the award, Faulkner spoke to young writers. It was a time of great fears about the atomic bomb. Faulkner said that he refused to accept the end of the human race.



"I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things."



William Faulkner died of a heart attack in nineteen sixty-two. He was sixty-five years old.

1962 年,威廉·福克纳因心脏病逝世,享年 65 岁。


最佳回复 该帖于2010年1月14日被版主推荐为精华帖。

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