Harper Lee, whose first novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” about racial injustice in a small Alabama town, sold more than 10 million copies and became one of the most beloved and most taught works of fiction ever written by an American, has died. She was 89.
哈珀·李(Harper Lee)的第一本小说《杀死一只知更鸟》(To Kill a Mockingbird)讲述的是阿拉巴马州一座小城里的种族不公,共卖出1000多万册,成为最受喜爱、最多用作教材的美国小说之一。哈珀·李去世,享年89岁。
Her death was confirmed by HarperCollins, her publisher.
她的死讯得到了她的出版商哈珀柯林斯出版社(HarperCollins)的确认。
The instant success of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which was published in 1960 and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction the next year, turned Lee into a literary celebrity, a role she found oppressive and never learned to accept. The enormous success of the film version of the novel, released in 1962 with Gregory Peck in the starring role of Atticus Finch, a small-town Southern lawyer who defends a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman, only added to Lee's fame and fanned expectations for her next novel.
《杀死一只知更鸟》1960年出版,很快获得成功,第二年获得普利策奖(Pulitzer Prize),哈珀·李因此成为文学名人,这个角色让她觉得很沉重,从未学会接受。1962年,根据这本小说改编的电影上映,由格利高里·派克(Gregory Peck) 饰演主角阿蒂克斯·芬奇(Atticus Finch)——他是南方小城里的一名律师,为一个遭到诬告强奸白人妇女的黑人辩护。电影的巨大成功增长了李的名声,人们更加期待她的下一部小说。
For more than half a century, it failed to appear. Then, in 2015, long after the reading public had given up on seeing anything more from Lee, a sequel appeared under mysterious circumstances.
在之后的半个多世纪里,她没有再出版小说。2015年,在广大读者不再指望看到李的任何新书很久之后,一部续集在神秘的情况下出现了。
“I never expected any sort of success with `Mockingbird,”' Lee told a radio interviewer in 1964. “I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers, but, at the same time I sort of hoped someone would like it well enough to give me encouragement.” Instead, she said, “I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I'd expected.”
1964年,李在接受电台采访时说:“我从没想过《知更鸟》能取得任何成功。我以为评论家们会很快仁慈地判它死刑,但是与此同时,我有点希望有人会喜欢它,给我一点鼓励。”她说,但是实际上“我得到了太多赞美,从某种程度上讲,这和我本来期望的快速仁慈的死亡一样可怕”。
Lee gained a reputation as a literary Garbo, a recluse whose public appearances to accept an award or an honorary degree counted as important news simply because of their rarity. On such occasions she did not speak, other than to say a brief thank you.
李被誉为文学界的嘉宝(Garbo),过着隐居生活,极少公开露面,偶尔接受奖项或荣誉学位都会成为重要新闻。在这些场合,她从不演讲,只是简短地说“谢谢”。
In Feb. 2015, her publisher, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins, dropped a bombshell. It announced plans to publish a manuscript, long thought to be lost, that Lee submitted to her editors in 1957 under the title “Go Set a Watchman.” Lee's lawyer, Tonja B. Carter, had chanced upon it, attached to an original typescript of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” while looking through Lee's papers, the publishers explained. It told the story of Atticus and Scout 20 years later, when Scout is a young woman living in New York, and included several scenes in which Atticus expresses conservative views on race relations seemingly at odds with his liberal stance in the earlier novel.
2015年2月,她的出版商、哈珀柯林斯出版社旗下的哈珀宣布了一个令人震惊的消息。它计划出版一份被认为早已遗失的手稿,那是李1957年提交给编辑们的手稿,标题是《设立守望者》(Go Set a Watchman)。出版社解释说,李的律师托尼娅·B·卡特(Tonja B. Carter)在浏览李的文件时偶然发现它附在《杀死一只知更鸟》原始打字稿后面。它讲述的是20年后阿蒂克斯和斯考特(Scout)的故事,那时年轻的斯考特生活在纽约,在某些场景中,阿蒂克斯表达了一些关于种族关系的保守观点,似乎与之前小说中他的自由主义立场不太一致。
The book was published in July with an initial printing of 2 million and, with enormous advance sales, immediately leapt to the top of the fiction best-seller lists, despite tepid reviews.
这本小说于2015年7月出版,初印200万册,由于预售量巨大,它很快跃升至虚构类畅销书榜首,尽管它并未受到热烈好评。
The book soared miles above such criticisms. By the late 1970s “To Kill a Mockingbird” had sold nearly 10 million copies, and in 1988 the National Council of Teachers of English reported that it was being taught in 74 percent of the nation's secondary schools. A decade later Library Journal declared it the best novel of the 20th century.
这些批评并未阻挡这本小说的人气。到20世纪70年代末,《杀死一只知更鸟》已售出近1000万册,1988年,美国英语教师全国委员会(National Council of Teachers of English)报告称,这本小说被美国74%的中学用作教材。十年后,《图书馆杂志》(Library Journal)宣布,它是20世纪最好的小说。
Nelle Harper Lee was born in the poky little town of Monroeville, in southern Alabama, the youngest of four children. “Nelle” was a backward spelling of her maternal grandmother's first name, and Lee dropped it when “To Kill a Mockingbird” was published, out of fear that readers would pronounce it Nellie, which she hated.
内尔·哈珀·李(Nelle Harper Lee)出生在阿拉巴马州南部小城门罗维尔(Monroeville),是四个孩子中最小的一个。内尔是她外祖母名字的反向拼写,李在出版《杀死一只知更鸟》时去掉了这个名字,因为担心读者会把它念成Nellie,她很讨厌这种念法。
Her father, Asa Coleman Lee, was a prominent lawyer and the model for Atticus Finch, who shared his stilted diction and lofty sense of civic duty. Her mother, Frances Finch Lee, also known as Miss Fanny, was overweight and emotionally fragile. Truman Capote, a friend of Lee's from childhood, later said that Nelle's mother had tried to drown her in the bathtub on two occasions, an assertion that Lee indignantly denied.
她的父亲亚萨·科尔曼·李(Asa Coleman Lee)是著名律师,是阿蒂克斯·芬奇的原型。芬奇生硬的措辞和崇高的公民责任感来源于他。她的妈妈弗朗西丝·芬奇·李(Frances Finch Lee)又称范妮小姐(Miss Fanny),她体胖,感情脆弱。李从儿时起的朋友杜鲁门·卡波特(Truman Capote)后来说,内尔的妈妈曾两次想把她溺死在浴缸里。李愤怒地否定了这一说法。
哈珀·李和父亲亚萨·科尔曼·李,1961年。他是著名律师,也是阿蒂克斯·芬奇的原型。
哈珀·李和父亲亚萨·科尔曼·李,1961年。他是著名律师,也是阿蒂克斯·芬奇的原型。 Donald Uhbrock/The LIFE Images Collection, via Getty Images
Lee was a tough little tomboy who enjoyed beating up the local boys, climbing trees and rolling in the dirt. “A dress on the young Nelle would have been as out of place as a silk hat on a hog,” recalled Marie Rudisill, Capote's aunt, in her book “Truman Capote: The Story of His Bizarre and Exotic Boyhood by an Aunt Who Helped Raise Him.”
李小时候是个固执的假小子,喜欢跟当地的男孩子打架,爬树,在泥地上打滚。卡波特的姨妈玛丽·鲁迪西尔(Marie Rudisill)在自己的书《杜鲁门·卡波特:帮助养育他的姨妈讲述他奇特的童年》(Truman Capote: The Story of His Bizarre and Exotic Boyhood by an Aunt Who Helped Raise Him)中回忆说:“小内尔穿上连衣裙就像猪戴上大礼帽一样格格不入。”
One boy on the receiving end of Nelle's thrashings was Truman Persons (later Capote), who spent several summers next door to Nelle with relatives. The two became fast friends, acting out adventures from “The Rover Boys” and, after Nelle's father gave the two children an old Underwood typewriter, making up their own stories to dictate to each other.
喜欢跟内尔打闹的其中一个男孩就是杜鲁门·珀森斯(后来改姓卡波特),有几个夏天,他住在内尔隔壁的姨妈家。他们俩很快成为朋友,进行《罗弗男孩》(The Rover Boys)中的探险,内尔的父亲送给这俩孩子一台旧Underwood打字机,他俩自己编故事,让对方打字。
Capote later wrote Nelle into his first book, “Other Voices, Other Rooms,” where she appears as the tomboy Idabel Tompkins. She made a repeat appearance as Ann Finchburg, nicknamed Jumbo, in his story “The Thanksgiving Visitor.” Lee returned the favor, casting Capote in the role of the little blond tale-spinner Dill in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
后来,卡波特把内尔写进自己的第一本书《其他声音,其他房间》(Other Voices, Other Rooms)里,成为书中假小子埃达贝尔·汤普金斯(Idabel Tompkins)的原型。在他的小说《感恩节来客》(The Thanksgiving Visitor)中,她再次以安妮·芬奇伯格(Ann Finchburg)的身份出现,昵称江波(Jumbo)。作为回报,李在《杀死一只知更鸟》中把卡波特写成很会编故事的白人小男孩迪尔(Dill)。
Lee attended Huntingdon College, a local Methodist school for women, where she contributed occasional articles to the campus newspaper and two fictional vignettes to the college's literary magazine. After a year at Huntingdon, Lee transferred to the University of Alabama to study law, primarily to please her father. Her own interests, and perhaps her disposition, led her elsewhere. After her senior year, she spent a summer at Oxford University as part of a student-exchange program. On her return from England, she decided to go to New York and become a writer.
李后来上了当地女子循道公会学校亨廷登学院(Huntingdon College),她偶尔给学校报纸投稿,还在学校的文学杂志上发表过两篇虚构短文。在亨廷登上了一年之后,她转去阿拉巴马大学(University of Alabama)学习法律,主要是为了讨父亲欢心。她自己的兴趣和性情则把她带到了别的领域。大四之后,作为交换生,她在牛津大学(Oxford University)呆了一个夏天。从英国回来之后,她决定去纽约当作家。
Lee arrived in Manhattan in 1949 and settled into a cold-water apartment in the East 80s. After working briefly at a bookstore, she found work as a reservations agent, first for Eastern Airlines and later for BOAC. At night she wrote on a desk made from a door. The local colony of displaced Southerners regarded her askance. “We didn't think she was up to much,” recalled Louise Sims, the wife of the saxophonist Zoot Sims. “She said she was writing a book, and that was that.”
1949年,李来到曼哈顿,住在East 80s一个只提供冷水的公寓里。她在一家书店短暂工作了一段时间,之后开始做预订员,先是为东方航空公司(Eastern Airlines),后来是为英国海外航空公司(BOAC)。晚上,她在一个用门改成的书桌上写作。周围的南方人对她不以为然。萨克斯管演奏家祖特·西姆斯(Zoot Sims)的妻子露易丝·西姆斯(Louise Sims)回忆说:“当时我们觉得她不会有什么成就。她说她在写书,就这样。”
Editors at Lippincott told Lee that her manuscript read like a string of anecdotes, not a novel, but encouraged her to revise. Eventually they paid a small advance and assigned her to work with Tay Hohoff, an experienced editor with whom she developed a close working and personal relationship.
利平科特出版社(Lippincott)的编辑们对李说,她的书稿读起来像一连串轶事,不像小说,但是鼓励她重写。最后,他们付给她一小笔定金,安排她和资深编辑泰·霍霍夫(Tay Hohoff)合作,她和霍霍夫建立起亲密的工作和私人关系。
Signs of its success were visible almost immediately after it was published in July 1960. Both Book-of-the-Month Club and the Literary Guild made the novel one of their selections, and Reader's Digest selected it for publication in condensed form. A week after its publication, it jumped to the top of the best-seller lists; it remained there for 88 weeks.
1960年7月,这本小说几乎一出版就显现出成功的迹象。每月一书俱乐部(Book-of-the-Month Club)和文学行会(Literary Guild)都选中了它,《读者文摘》(Reader's Digest)出版了它的缩略版。出版一周后,它跃升至畅销书榜首,占据榜首之位88周。
哈珀·李和玛丽·巴德姆,后者在1962年根据《杀死一只知更鸟》改编的影片中饰演斯考特。
哈珀·李和玛丽·巴德姆,后者在1962年根据《杀死一只知更鸟》改编的影片中饰演斯考特。 via Everett Collection
In one of her last interviews, with a Chicago radio show in 1964, Lee talked in some detail about her literary ambition: to describe, in a series of novels, the world she grew up in and now saw disappearing. “This is small-town middle-class Southern life as opposed to the Gothic, as opposed to `Tobacco Road,' as opposed to plantation life,” she told her interviewer, adding that she was fascinated by the “rich social pattern” in such places. “I would simply like to put down all I know about this because I believe that there is something universal in this little world, something decent to be said for it, and something to lament in its passing,” she continued. “In other words, all I want to be is the Jane Austen of South Alabama.”
1964年,李在接受芝加哥一家电台采访(那时她最后几次接受采访)时较为详细地讲述了自己的文学志向:用一系列小说讲述她成长过程中经历的如今正在消失的那个世界。“我想讲述南方小城中产阶级的生活,不是哥特式的,不是《烟草路》里的那种生活,也不是种植园的生活,”她对采访者说。她说自己痴迷于这些地方“丰富的社会模式”。她接着说:“我只是想把自己知道的关于这里的一切写下来,因为我相信这个小世界里有某种共通的东西,有值得讲述的高尚事物,它的逝去值得哀悼。换句话说,我唯一想要的就是做阿拉巴马南部的简·奥斯汀(Jane Austen)。”
News of the rediscovery of “Go Set a Watchman” threw the literary world into turmoil. Many critics, as well as friends of Lee, found the timing and the rediscovery story suspicious, and openly questioned whether Lee, who was shielded from the press by Carter, was mentally competent to approve its publication. It remained an open question, for many critics, whether “Go Set a Watchman” was anything more than the initial draft of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
重新发现《设立守望者》的消息在文学界引起轩然大波。很多评论家以及李的很多朋友觉得重新发现书稿的时机和故事很可疑,公开质疑李是否精神健全,能否同意出版。卡特不让李接受媒体采访。对很多评论者来说,《设立守望者》是否就是《杀死一只知更鸟》的初稿仍是一个悬而未决的问题。
In a statement, Lee, who said that she had assumed the manuscript was lost, wrote, “After much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication.”
李在声明中说,她以为那部手稿已经遗失,“经过再三思考,我给少数几个我信任的人看了这部手稿,他们认为它值得出版,我听了很高兴。”