周浩晖与《死亡通知单》,中国犯罪小说走向世界_OK阅读网
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周浩晖与《死亡通知单》,中国犯罪小说走向世界
How to Catch a Killer in China: Another Chinese Crime Novel Goes Global

来源:纽约时报    2018-06-06 09:01



        YANGZHOU, China — Zhou Haohui, the latest author to catch the wave of Chinese crime fiction crashing on international shores, had an unsatisfying job teaching engineering at a university outside of Beijing in 2007 when he began publishing — online — the novels that would earn him a cultlike following in China.        中国扬州——周浩晖是最新一位赶上中国犯罪小说进入国际市场浪潮的作家。2007年,他对在北京附近一所大学教工程学的工作感到不满意,于是开始在网上写小说。后来这些小说让他在中国受到了狂热追捧。
        These books — a trilogy about a police hunt for a vengeful killer — went into print two years later, ultimately selling more than 1.2 million copies. They inspired a serial on the streaming site owned by Tencent, the social media giant, that has, to date, been watched a staggering 2.4 billion times, according to his agent, China Educational Publications Import & Export Corporation. A feature film went into production in April.
        它们构成了一组三部曲,讲述的是警方追查一名复仇杀手的故事。两年后,这些书出版,最终卖出120多万本。据周浩晖的代理公司中国教育图书进出口有限公司称,根据它们改编的一部连续剧,在社交媒体巨头腾讯旗下的流媒体网站上播放量高达24亿次。一部长片已于四月开拍。
        Now the first book of Mr. Zhou’s trilogy, “Death Notice,” will be released on June 5 in the United States, and in Britain next week. The American publisher, Doubleday, hopes it will vault him into the ranks of other contemporary Chinese novelists — like Qiu Xiaolong, He Jiahong and A Yi — who have reached a global audience with stories from China’s criminal underbelly.        现在,周浩晖三部曲中的第一部《死亡通知单》将于6月5日在美国发布,下周在英国发布。美国双日(Doubleday)出版社希望这本书能让周浩晖跻身裘小龙、何家弘和阿乙等中国当代小说家的行列,这些作家凭借中国社会底层的犯罪故事在全球赢得了读者。
        Crime, Mr. Zhou says, is a universal theme, which is why detective stories or police thrillers (even from an authoritarian political system like China’s) can more easily transcend cultural divides than, say, historical fiction.        周浩晖说,犯罪是一个普遍的主题,所以侦探故事或警匪小说(即便出自中国这样的威权主义政治体制)能够比历史小说等类型更容易超越文化差异。
        “When you are talking about crime — criminal cases, the police in large cities, this suspenseful feeling of mystery — I feel that readers all over the world like this kind of thing,” he said in an interview here in his hometown, Yangzhou, a historical imperial city of 2 million people on the Yangtze River a couple hours upstream from Shanghai.        “讨论罪犯和警察的这种都市都有(的事),这种悬疑性神秘感这些东西,我觉得这是全世界的读者都很喜欢的一个类型,”他在家乡扬州接受采访时说。地处长江沿岸的扬州是一座古都,人口200万,从上海逆流而上几个小时便可抵达。
        He noted that Martin Scorsese’s 2006 film “The Departed,” which won four Oscars, including Best Picture, was a remake of the highly regarded 2002 Hong Kong film, “Infernal Affairs,” about a police mole infiltrating the mob. The drama simply shifted to South Boston.        他指出,马丁·西科塞斯(Martin Scorsese)2006年的作品《无间道风云》(The Departed)是对2002年备受好评的香港电影《无间道》(Infernal Affairs)的翻拍。《无间道》讲述的是警方一名卧底潜入犯罪团伙的故事。《无间道风云》只是把背景换成了南波士顿,该片获得了包括最佳影片在内的四项奥斯卡奖。
        Mr. Zhou, who is 40, seems unfazed by his celebrity here. He is as likely as not to pass unnoticed, even here in his hometown, where his novels are prominently on display in bookstores. He is cerebral and soft-spoken, and his interests are broad.        现年40岁的周浩晖对自己在中国的名气显得镇定自若。在家乡,他的小说被摆放在书店的显眼位置,即便如此,他本人并不引人瞩目。他理智,语气温和,兴趣广泛。
        In addition to a dozen crime novels, he has written two books on food, including one on the cuisine of his native region, known as Huaiyang and considered one of the “four great traditions” of Chinese cooking (along with Cantonese, Sichuan and Shandong, from the northeast).        除了十多本犯罪小说外,他还写了两本有关美食的书,其中一本是关于他家乡的淮扬菜。淮扬菜被认为是中国“四大菜系”之一(另外三大菜系分别是粤菜、川菜和来自中国东北部的鲁菜)。
        His mild manner seems at odds with the lurid violence of crime novels. In “Death Notice,” the killer of two police academy cadets in a gruesome bombing resurfaces after 18 years, this time orchestrating the murder of a revered police sergeant whose failure to solve the original case haunted his career.        他举止温和,这似乎和犯罪小说中令人毛骨悚然的暴力不相符。在《死亡通知单》中,一个凶手在一场可怕的爆炸案中杀害了两名警校学员。18年后,凶手再次现身。这一次,他策划杀害一位受人尊敬的警官。未能侦破当初那起案件一事,始终困扰着这名警官。
        Then, as now, the killer fashions himself as an avenger, bringing justice to those whose crimes have gone unpunished. The killer calls himself Eumenides after the third of the Oresteia ancient Greek tragedies by Aeschylus and warns each of his victims in notes drawn with exquisite Chinese calligraphy, luring the police into a diabolical game. The new killing spree revives a special police task force that had been shelved for reasons that, to explain fully here, would amount to a spoiler.        现在,凶手把自己塑造成一个复仇者,将那些罪行未受惩罚的人绳之以法。凶手以埃斯库罗斯(Aeschylus)的古希腊悲剧三部曲《奥瑞斯提亚》(Oresteia)中的第三部“Eumenides”(复仇女神)作为自己的名字,并用精美的毛笔字写下通知,警告每一个受害者,将警方引入一场恶毒的游戏。再次出现的一连串杀戮促使警方重启一个专案组。此前,该专案组曾遭搁置,至于搁置的原因,若是在这里详细解释,就相当于剧透了。
        Of course, censorship shapes crime writing here, which to some can make the genre seem relatively wan. A Yi, who was a police officer in Jiangxi Province before writing thrillers, said in an interview that the crime novel might have exhausted its potential in China. “Crime novels still do very well,” he said, “but for the writers, creating these stories is getting harder and harder.”        当然,审查制度影响着这里的犯罪小说写作。对一些人来说,审查制度可能会让犯罪小说看上去比较苍白无力。阿乙在写惊悚小说之前是江西省的一名警察。他在接受采访时说,犯罪小说在中国的潜力可能已经耗尽了。“犯罪小说还是很受欢迎,”他说,“但是,就对创作者来说,他的创作难度越来越大。”
        Mr. Zhou acknowledged that the censors had posed problems, forcing him to make changes in his books, but he said that novels tend to get more leeway than movies or content online, which the government polices with greater zeal because that is where more Chinese are spending their time. The investigation at the heart of “Death Notice” does hinge on questions of police corruption and the privileges the wealthy in China enjoy — all of which are experiences Chinese readers can relate to.        周浩晖承认,审查机构是个问题,它们逼迫他修改书中的内容。但他说,小说的余地往往比电影或网络内容大,政府对后者的监管力度更大,因为在它们上面花时间的人更多。《死亡通知单》的核心调查的确涉及警察腐败和中国富人享有的特权,这些经历都能与中国读者产生共鸣。
        “When you write crime novels you know you shouldn’t write anything too negative,” Mr. Zhou said, “but you have no way of knowing where the line is.” The solution, he said, was to have a good editor with a better sense of what can pass muster.        “我们写犯罪小说不太好决定你说什么要特别负面,”周浩晖说,“你没有办法把握这个。”解决的办法,他说,就是找一个对什么内容能通过审查有更好判断力的好编辑。
        The producers of the film version of “Death Notice” dealt with potential political sensitivity by shifting the action to Hong Kong, which is considered by Communist propaganda to be thoroughly dissolute after decades of colonial rule.        《死亡通知单》电影版的制片人把故事发生的地点改成了香港,以避免潜在的政治敏感性问题。共产党的宣传部门认为,香港在经历了数十年的殖民统治后,已经彻底堕落了。
        For commercial rather than political reasons, Mr. Zhou’s literary agent here also made changes in the English-language version of the book, translated by Zac Haluza. The action now takes place in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, not Yangzhou or nearby Nanjing, the cities Mr. Zhou said he had in the back of his mind when crafting the story. The assumption was that Chengdu, which is best known for pandas and spicy food, would be recognizable to foreign readers and give the drama a more visceral feel, Rob Bloom, Mr. Zhou’s editor at Doubleday, said in an email.        周浩晖的美国文学代理人出于商业原因,而非政治原因,也对该书的英文版做了些改动,英文版由扎克·哈卢扎(Zac Haluza)翻译。英文版的故事发生在四川省会成都,而不是扬州或邻近的南京。周浩晖表示,他在构思这个故事时,头脑中一直想的是这两座城市。周浩晖在双日出版社的编辑罗布·布鲁姆(Rob Bloom)在接受电子邮件采访时表示,这是出于这样的考虑:以熊猫和辛辣食物闻名的成都为外国读者所熟知,更可能会让读者产生身临其境的感觉。
        When asked about the change, Mr. Zhou laughed and said he, too, had wondered why they did that.        被问及这个改动时,周浩晖大笑起来,表示他也很想知道他们为什么要这么改。
        Doubleday has options for the second and third parts of the trilogy, called in Chinese “Fate” and “Farewell Song,” but has not yet committed to them — perhaps because Mr. Zhou’s first foray into English, a novel called “Valley of Terror,” published by Amazon Crossing last year, did not take off.        双日出版社有权选择是否接着引进这个三部曲的第二部和第三部——它们的中文书名分别是《宿命》和《离别曲》——但此时还没有敲定,也许是因为周浩晖的第一本英译小说、去年由Amazon Crossing出版的《恐怖谷》并不畅销。
        Yangzhou, where Mr. Zhou grew up, is renowned for its literary history, especially a 9th century poet, Du Mu. One poem lamenting the whereabouts of a friend is so well known that Mr. Zhou’s colleagues recited it in unison during an excursion to Slender West Lake, a World Heritage Site in the city. (Mao Zedong’s handwritten transcription of Du Mu’s poem is carved into a stone monument beside the lake.)        周浩晖长大的城市扬州以悠久的文学传统闻名,尤其是九世纪的诗人杜牧。杜牧有一首感叹朋友下落的诗广为流传,周浩晖的同事们在游览该市的世界遗产名胜瘦西湖时能齐声朗诵这首诗(毛泽东手写的杜牧诗句被刻在湖边的一座石碑上)。
        Mr. Zhou remembers playing in the park as a child — when there was no entrance fee — but literary inspiration came to him much later.        周浩晖还记得自己小时候来这个公园玩过——当时不收门票——但很久之后,他才有了文学灵感。
        “In the Chinese education system, there was no one to guide you to consider ‘what do you want to do?’” he said. “They just told you, study, study, study and get into a good university.”        “因为中国的教育制度很激烈,我们从小接受教育的时候呢,没有人去引导我们去思考‘你想要干什么?’”他说,“就是告诉你要学学学,然后考上一所好的大学。”
        He did, attending Tsinghua University in Beijing — one of the country’s most prestigious — and pursuing a degree in environmental engineering. Soon, though, he realized he did not really like engineering. He wrote as a hobby, posting stories on the message board of the university on the edge of Beijing where he taught for a decade.        他的确考上了好大学——中国最负盛名的大学之一,北京的清华大学——并且获得了环境工程学位。但他很快意识到自己其实并不喜欢工程学。后来,他在位于北京边缘的一所大学教了十年书,把写作当成业余爱好,在那所大学的网络论坛上发表故事。
        He began to write in earnest in 2003 during the SARS crisis, when millions of people were effectively quarantined by the viral outbreak; hundreds died. “We had nowhere to go hang out and have fun,” he said, “so I would spend the whole day shut in my room.”        在2003年非典期间,他开始认真写作。当时,由于病毒爆发,数百万人被隔离,数百人死亡。“我们没有地方去娱乐,”他说,“然后我就整天关在屋子里。”
        With the success of the “Death Notice” trilogy, he was able to quit his job as a professor in 2012 and return to Yangzhou. He has given up writing exclusively and now devotes his creative efforts to producing his own films online, through the production company, Frog Brothers, which he founded. He has also begun studying film direction, having been disappointed that the popular serial version of his trilogy turned into a dark comedy.        由于《死亡通知单》三部曲的成功,他于2012年辞去教授工作,回到扬州。他放弃了全职写作,现在通过自己创立的制片公司“青蛙兄弟”创作自己的网络电影。由于对自己广受欢迎的三部曲被拍成黑色喜剧感到失望,他也开始研究电影导演。
        Producing and directing allows him to control more aspects of the stories he wants to tell, he said. His first online film project was a psychological thriller, roughly translated as “Shuttered Room,” about two strangers mysteriously confined in a sealed apartment together.        他表示,制作和导演让他能够在更多方面控制自己想要讲述的故事。他的第一部网络电影是一部心理惊悚片,名为《禁锢之屋》,讲述两个陌生人被神秘地关在一个封闭公寓里的故事。
        Mr. Zhou’s taste for the cinematic is clear. The germ of the idea for the “Death Notice” trilogy came from a 2006 music video by Jay Chou, the popular singer and actor from Taiwan, and the narrative is lean and fast paced, with little by way of description or excessive ruminations.        周浩晖对电影的喜爱显而易见。《死亡通知单》三部曲的灵感来源于台湾流行歌手兼演员周杰伦2006年的一个音乐录像。这个故事情节紧凑、节奏很快,几乎没有任何与主题无关的描写或过多的思考。
        He seems part of a generation for whom the boundaries between the written and the visual, the printed word and the image on screen, have blurred, allowing him to glide dexterously from one medium to the next, one genre to the next. The format, Mr. Zhou said, was not so important. “I just ask myself, ‘What is the best way to tell the story.’”        对他这一代人来说,语言与视觉、印刷文字和银幕上的图像之间的界限已经模糊,使他能够灵活地从一种媒介转向另一种媒介,一种体裁转向另一种体裁。周浩晖表示,形式没那么重要。“我只是问自己,‘讲故事的最佳方式是什么?’”
                
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