西文剪报之“名著改写”和“作家谈性”

这个月已经有两则有关改写简·奥斯丁的作品的报道了。先有乔安娜·特洛罗普(Joanna Trollope)将执笔重写奥斯丁的≪理智与情感≫,现在又有报道说一位以凶杀主题闻名的作家詹姆斯(PD James)将改写奥斯丁的《傲慢与偏见》。凶杀也将成为新版《傲慢与偏见》的重要主题。BBC有报道如下:

PD James writes Pride and Prejudice crime novel

Crime writer PD James is to publish a novel that puts murder at the heart of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

The BBC's 1995 adaptation of Pride And Prejudice is one of at least 10 filmed versions of Austen's novel

Death Comes to Pemberley, which is due out in November, is set six years after the events of Austen’s tale of romance and social advancement.

It sees Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage thrown into disarray when Lydia Wickham arrives unannounced and declares her husband has been murdered.

James said it had been “a joy” to immerse herself in Austen’s world.

“I have to apologise to Jane Austen for involving her beloved Elizabeth in a murder investigation,” she said in a statement, “but this fusion of my two enthusiasms – for the novels of Jane Austen and for writing detective stories – has given me great pleasure which I hope will be shared by my readers.”

The 91-year-old is best known for her series of novels starring detective and poet Adam Dalgleish.

Speaking to the BBC during the writing of Death At Pemberley, she refused to give away any details.

“It’s rather secret at the moment, because it’s something entirely new,” she told Radio 4’s Today programme.

“I’m superstitious. I feel if I talk about it before it’s a third of the way through, somehow it will never get finished.”

She added she was wary of writing further adventures for her enigmatic detective.

“I would love to do another Dalgleish,” she said, “but it seemed to me the last book was somewhat valedictory.

PD James worked for the civil service during the early years of her career

“I’m very afraid of starting something that will take a long time to write – about three years with all the plotting and planning – which may be unfinished when I die. I hate the thought of that.”

Stephen Page, head of James’s publishers Faber, said Death At Pemberley was an “elegant, intelligent and moving” book.

“It is always a moment of great excitement when PD James delivers a new novel but the brilliance of both the idea and the execution on this occasion is simply breathtaking”.

Austen’s novel was originally published in 1813, and James is far from being the first writer to foray into the world she created.

In fact, more than 40 “Austenesque” novels were published in 2010 alone.

Notable examples of the genre include Darcy’s Story by Janet Aylmer, which retells Pride And Prejudice from the point of view of the antagonist, and Seth Grahame-Smith’s parody Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, which is currently being turned into a Hollywood movie and video game.

USA TODAY的一篇题为Let’s talk about sex with some ‘Snark’-y authors的文章介绍了Lawrence Dorfman的一本新书 The Snark Handbook Sex Edition: Innuendo, Irony, and Ill-Advised Insults on Intimacy。该书花了十四章的篇幅谈到文学与性的话题。其中还大量引用了一些小说家、散文家和幽默作家的独特表述。部分摘录如下:

Woody Allen: “Sex is a beautiful thing between two people. Between five, it’s fantastic.”

John Updike: “Sex is like money. Only too much is enough.”

Camille Paglia: “Leaving sex to the feminists is like letting your dog vacation at the taxidermist.”

Fran Lebowitz: “Girls who put out are tramps. Girls who don’t are ladies. This is, however, a rather archaic usage of the word. Should one of you boys happen upon a girl who doesn’t put out, do not jump to the conclusion that you have found a lady. What you have probably found is a lesbian.”

Nora Ephron: “In my sex fantasy, nobody ever loves me for my mind.”

Steve Martin: “Don’t have sex, man. It leads to kissing, and pretty soon you’ll have to start talking to them.”

Dave Barry: “People don’t think of writers as sex objects. The women who write to me and suggest that we ought to have sex usually turn out to be, like, eighty. And their letters always end with, ‘Just joking.’

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