《中央星站》作者拉维·提德哈访谈

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受访人:拉维·提德哈(Lavie Tidhar,以色列科幻作家,他曾横扫了轨迹奖、坎贝尔奖、世界奇幻小说奖、英国科幻协会最佳科幻小说奖、日本星云赏最佳科幻小说等多项世界科幻奖项。《卫报》与《轨迹》将他与菲利普·K·迪克和库特·冯内古特相提并论。《中央星站》是首次引入中国的拉维·提德哈作品。)

采访人:The Letter Press(英国出版社)

译者:瓦力

Q1. What are your earliest memories of books and reading? For example, did you have a favorite or inspirational book?

Q1. 你对书籍和阅读最早的记忆是什么?例如,你有没有最喜爱的励志书?

I remember my mum’s copies of Lord of the Rings and reading the cover blurb about hobbits and not being sure if hobbits were real or not, you know? I mean, the cover didn’t say “This is all made up”! And I didn’t know… I mean there could have been hobbits, right?

记得我妈妈曾带回《指环王》的宣传资料,读了封面上的简介我竟然不知道哈比人是不是真实存在,惊不惊讶?我是说,封面上没有说“这些都是虚构的”!我不知道……我的意思是世界上真有哈比人,是吧?

One of my favorite childhood books I still own, actually. It’s called The Wonderful Pumpkin, by Lennart Hellsing, illustrated by Svend Otto. It’s about these two bears who discover a
seed that grows into a giant pumpkin, and they end up traveling the world inside it. I think it’s one of those books that inspired me to go traveling when I grew up, so I could have adventures too. I never quite found a giant pumpkin to ride in but I did ride the trains across Africa and the Trans-Siberian route, went around in small planes and outboard motorboats in the South Pacific and rode camels through the Gobi Desert, so I feel very strongly that books really do shape young minds!

我最喜爱的童书之一是伦纳特·赫尔辛的《美妙的南瓜》(The Wonderful Pumpkin),斯汶·奥托为它绘制的插图。故事讲的是两头熊发现了一颗种子,种子长成了一只巨大的南瓜,它俩就乘坐着这只南瓜完成了环球之旅。我想也许就是这样的书激发了我今后的各种旅行,也让我获得了很多冒险经历。我从来没遇到过这么巨大的南瓜,但我曾乘坐火车穿越过非洲和西伯利亚,乘坐小型飞机和摩托艇环游过南太平洋。我还骑骆驼穿越过中国的戈壁沙漠。我强烈地感受到,书真的可以塑造年轻人的思想!

Q2. What inspired you to become an author?

Q2. 是什么激励你成为了一名作家?

Probably just a life ill-spent in the library! It always struck me as the coolest thing you could do. I remember trying to write when I was young and doing a paragraph and then, you know, not really being sure what’s supposed to come after that! Then I got into poetry for a while, which is still a huge influence on my writing, went traveling for a few years, you know, then one day kind of made the decision to sit down and write properly, and never really stopped!

可能就是想在图书馆里虚度一生吧!我一直认为这是一件超酷的事。记得年轻时我也想试着写上一段,然而我不确定接下来该做些什么?后来有段时间,我迷上了写诗,事实上这对我现在的写作影响很大。经过了几年旅行生活,我决定是时候坐下来好好写点什么了。没想到,就此便一发不可收拾。

Q3. For you, what makes a successful book?

Q3. 对你来说,怎样才能写出一本成功的书?

I think a book’s successful if it does what I hoped it would do. If I managed to satisfy myself that it did what I wanted then I’m happy. I try to only work on books that mean something
beyond the story, that have – to me, at least! – a wider relevance, something to say. So I never think in terms of, you know, “Will this sell?”. That seems to be something you can’t control anyway. So I’ve been very happy with my last few books, that they satisfy my own expectations of what I wanted to achieve with them. Everything that comes after that –awards, reviews, foreign sales, TV deals, or what have you – is just a bonus.

我认为,一本书能够符合我的期望,它就是成功的。如果它能够把我的想法清晰地表达出来,我就很满意。我会试着把更多精力放在那些能对故事进行更多拓展的书,至少对我来说,我能够通过它表现更多相关的想法。因此我不会太在意它是否“卖得好?”。在我看来,这是你无法控制的。幸而我对自己最后的几本书十分满意,它们基本达到了我倾注于它们的期待。很多好事也随之而来,获奖,各方评论,国外的销售,和电视台的合作,诸如此类,权当做额外的奖励。

Q4. Do you have a specific audience in mind when you write your books?

Q4.当你写书的时候,心里会有一个特定的读者吗?

Not really. The problem is the books I write are pretty idiosyncratic – I’ve even (honestly!)
seen them referred to now as “Tidharian”, which is weird but also wonderful. So I am usually aware that I’m not exactly writing to fit a certain mould, and I might as well just write what I love, for myself, before worrying if anyone else would like it. It does make it difficult in today’s market, with its strict categorization of everything, but you know, it seems to have been working for me so far? So I think I’ll stick with it!

不尽然。问题在于我写的那些书往往会让人觉得相当古怪。我曾看到(说实话)他们现在就叫它们“Tidharian”。(译者注:也许是无法用已有的风格来界定拉维·提德哈的作品,所以就以他的名字命名了一类新的作品风格。)虽然它们会有些怪异,但绝对精彩。我一般能够意识到我并不是以某种特定模式进行创作。在担心读者会不会喜爱我的作品之前,我可能仅仅只是按照自己的喜好在写。我知道对于现在一切都需要严格分类的市场环境,这么做并不讨喜。不过市场似乎对我有一些额外的青睐,我想我会坚持下去!

Q5. What future do you think the physical book has? For example, do you think the electronic book will replace the physical book?

Q5.你如何看待实体书的未来?它是否会被电子书取代?

I think for children’s books, for sure, print is tremendously important. You can’t really replicate the experience of reading to/with children on a digital device. For adult books, well, clearly the e-book has changed things a lot. I much prefer having a Kindle these days, or even reading on my phone, which I do quite a lot. I still buy research books only in print though. I think really what we’re seeing is the paperback declining because the e-book serves the same function – a quick, cheap read. So I think it’s actually an exciting opportunity to think of print books as much more than just the content, but it’s the physical object itself as an objet d’art, the design and binding, and everything else. It’s an opportunity to treat the physical book as something worthy and long-living, something to be proud to have on the shelf. So I don’t see print books disappearing any time soon! But I do see the mass-market version of them very much declining in the long-term.

我认为对于童书来说,印刷在纸上是非常重要的。你不能真正把给孩子讲故事,或者陪伴他们阅读的体验复制到电子设备上。对于成人书籍,显然电子书已经改变了很多人的阅读习惯。现在我也更喜欢通过Kindle(软件)进行阅读,尤其是通过我的手机。我仍旧会买不少研究类的实体书。但我也切实感受到了纸质书的衰落,电子书可以提供相同的功能,而且更方便更便宜。因此我认为这是一个能够让我们更加关注内容的绝佳机会。而实体书可以通过设计,装订等体现更多它作为装饰品的艺术价值。我们可以把实体书作为一种富有价值的收藏品。通过摆放在书架中来体现你的品位。所以,我不认为实体书会很快消亡!但我认为,在大众消费市场,它的销量会大大下降。

Q6. Are you a book collector? Is there a special book you’d love to own?

Q6. 你是藏书家吗?你有什么特别想要的书吗?

I am! Less so now maybe than I used to – once I started publishing books they start piling up on the bookshelves and take up too much space… I was lucky enough that many of my adult novels came out in collectors limited editions, mostly from the British PS Publishing, so I do have some gorgeous editions of my own books – the limited of Central Station, in particular is really gorgeous (100 signed in slipcase)…

我是啊!和以往不同,曾经我的新书出版,它们就会堆满我的书架,占据太多的空间……现在我要幸运得多。我的很多小说都出了限量版,尤其是British PS Publishing(英国的出版社)出版的。他们制作的相当精美华丽。那本限量版《中央星站》制作得就相当考究。

My collection is a bit eclectic. One of the most remarkable books I own is a chapbook about the “Titanic Omar” – the priceless hand-bound copy of the Rubaiyat that went down with the Titanic. The second copy was destroyed in the Blitz(!), and the grandson of the original binders finally finished the third copy after he retired. To commemorate it he released a letterpress chapbook with gold tooling on the cover that tells the story. I think my copy belonged to Princess Alexandra. It’s limited to 110 copies if I remember right! The third Rubaiyat itself is now in the King’s Library I think.

我的藏书还是比较杂的。其中最引人瞩目的应该是一本关于“泰坦尼克和奥马尔”(Titanic Omar)的小册子。那版最珍贵的手工装订的《鲁拜集》(Rubaiyat)和泰坦尼克一起沉到了海底。第二版在伦敦大轰炸中毁了。原版装订工的孙子在退休后完成了第三版。为了留念,他还特别发行了一本记录这个故事的鎏金封面活页小册子。我想我的那个版本属于亚历山德拉公主。如果没记错的话,这版总共只发行了110本。而第三版的那本《鲁拜集》我想现在应该在国王图书馆(King’s Library)。

There are too many books I’d love to own (even as I try and fail to renounce material things!) – the one I’d really love is a first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird. I have a UK first I
found years ago, missing a dust jacket. I’d love to have the dust jacket for it! But it’s still a nice thing to have. I’d also love a signed Philip K. Dick. I have a lot of signed books or books inscribed to me, which is nice – I used to have a large Terry Pratchett collection, including some of the early (rare) first editions, but I had to let some of them go (though I still have more than a few of his!).

其实我有太多书想要收藏(甚至是在我想与世隔绝那会儿),我特别想要一本初版的《杀死一只知更鸟》。多年前,我在英国找到过一本,可惜缺了护封。让人颇为遗憾。不过,世事哪有尽善尽美?我还很想要菲利普·迪克的签名。其实,我有很多作者签名和赠言的书。我曾经收藏了大量特里·普拉切特(Terry Pratchett)的作品,包括一些早期(稀有的)初版,虽然其中一部分已经不在了,不过我还是保留了不少!

Probably the nicest thing I own though is a copy of my own book. I won a literary prize a while back (The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize), and instead of a trophy they gave you, well, a cheque, which was nice(!), but also, which was even nicer, a hand-bound copy of your own book. So I have a single copy of A Man Lies Dreaming hand-bound, and it’s nicer than any trophy! And it’s, of course, a limited edition of one… I think I’ll keep that one!

或许,在我所有藏书中最赞的还是一本我自己的书。前阵子我获得过一个文学奖(杰伍德小说奖),他们并没有给我奖金或支票,虽然这也不赖。让我更为惊喜的是他们给了我一本我自己的书,纯手工装订的!所以,我有了一本真正单本发行的《躺着做梦的人》(A Man Lies Dreaming hand-bound)。这比任何奖杯都好!我想我一定会好好收藏这本限量版的书!

关于作者

瓦力

白天是一名勤恳的程序员,晚上则出没在科幻写作&翻译的神秘世界中。

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