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成年人请放下你手中的青春小说

2014-06-27    来源:21世纪    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Youth literature no match for adults

If you are a mature, well-educated, sophisticated adult, should you be embarrassed about reading books like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, or Twilight — books intended for children and teenagers?
如果你是一个受过良好教育、心智成熟、阅历丰富的成年人,你会为读《哈利•波特》、《饥饿游戏》以及《暮光之城》这样的小说而尴尬么?因为这些书原本是写给小孩子与少男少女的。

A movie based on the bestselling young adult novel The Fault in Our Stars hit cinemas on June 6, earning $65 million (404.27 million yuan) worldwide on its opening weekend and trumping Tom Cruise’s latest sci-fi action movie Edge of Tomorrow, reported Bloomberg.
6月6日,根据畅销青少年小说改编的同名电影《无比美妙的痛苦》上映,根据彭博的报道,初登大银幕第一周,这部电影就在全球获得了6500万美元(4亿427万人民币)的票房,一举超越汤姆•克鲁斯最新出演的科幻动作片《明日边缘》。

Since its publication in 2012, The Fault in Our Stars, by US writer John Green, has won critical acclaim and appeared on several best-selling lists. It is a tragic love story between two teenage cancer patients. The New York Times’ review of the book called it “a blend of melancholy, sweet, philosophical and funny”.
《无比美妙的痛苦》由美国作家约翰•格林撰写,这部小说自2012年出版以来一直颇受好评,荣登多项畅销书榜单。该书讲述了两个十几岁身患癌症的病友之间凄美的爱情故事。《纽约时报》的书评更是称这本书是集“忧郁、甜蜜、哲思与有趣”为一体。

But Ruth Graham, from Slate magazine, isn’t convinced by the novel. Citing statistics in the US, she points out that 55 percent of young adult (YA) books are purchased by those over 18. But grown-ups should grow out of their love for books intended for a younger readership, she says.
但是,来自美国《石板》杂志的路德•格林汉姆却并不买账。她援引来自美国的数据指出,55%的青少年读物都被成年人收入囊中。在她看来,成年人的爱情观应该成熟起来,而不是沉溺于那些为少男少女而写的感情故事里。

For many adults, Graham says, the enjoyment of reading YA books has to do with “escapism, instant gratification, and nostalgia”.
格林汉姆认为,许多成年人对这些青少年读物的喜爱,跟他们逃避现实、满足当下和怀旧心理有关。

Great writers like Shakespeare and the Bronte sisters wrote about teenagers, and there is nothing wrong with that. But according to Graham, modern YA novels “present the teenage perspective in a fundamentally uncritical way”. The readers are not only asked to immerse themselves in a character’s emotional life, they are asked to abandon the mature insights they have acquired as grown-ups.
莎士比亚和布朗特姐妹等大作家也写过关于青少年的主题,但是他们的作品却无可非议。如格林汉姆所言,与他们相比,现代青少年小说“却是用完全不加批判的态度,站在青少年的视角上书写故事。”这些小说不仅要求读者沉浸在人物的情感生活中,而且要求他们放弃作为成年人应有的成熟思维。


Unrealistic taste
不切实际的品味

Graham gave Eleanor & Park, another popular YA novel, as an example. When chapter after chapter ends with some version of “he loves her”, readers are expected to be moved. “But how can a grown-up, even one happy to be reminded of the shivers of first love, not also roll her eyes?” asks Graham.
格林汉姆以另一部畅销青少年小说《埃莉诺与帕克》为例:在一章又一章的讲述之后,故事终于以某种形式的“他爱她”结尾,并期待以此打动读者。格林汉姆却质疑道“作为一个成年人,即使很乐意回忆初恋的悸动,也不会轻易因此掉泪吧?”

Most importantly, YA books often have endings that cater to teenagers’ taste. These endings are uniformly satisfying, whether that satisfaction comes through weeping or cheering. These satisfying endings, says Graham, point to the fact that the emotional and moral ambiguity of the real world is nowhere to be found in YA fiction. For adults, enjoying endings like this is as shallow as reading only books with likable characters, says Graham.
更重要的是,青少年读物的结局常常为了迎合少男少女的口味而设计,千篇一律不留遗憾,不论是落泪,还是欢笑,都力求圆满。在格林汉姆看来,青少年小说这种过于大团圆的结局,跟情感与道德模糊的现实相脱离。对于成年人而言,沉溺于这种结局和只读那些有讨喜角色的小说一样肤浅。

Life is so short, says Graham, and if grown-ups are substituting tear-jerking teen dramas for the complexity of great adult literature, then they are missing something.
在格林汉姆看来,人生短暂,如果成年人只愿读那些赚眼泪的青少年读物,而放弃艰深伟大的文学作品,那么他们一定会错过很多。


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