Anna Kendrick: By the Book

【野马絮语】《纽约时报》(The New York Times)“书评栏目”(Book Review)里的一个非常有意思的专栏“手不释卷”(By the Book:Writers on literature and literary life)。每期一位知名作家谈文学、阅读及其创作生涯。转载于此。分享给不便翻墙的文学爱好者们。

原文见:The New York Times >Dec. 1, 2016

The actress, singer and author of “Scrappy Little Nobody” would love to be a bath reader, “but the Parisian charm wears off after five minutes, and then I just want to be dry.”

anna-kendrick-15944What books are currently on your night stand?

Taraji P. Henson’s memoir, “Around the Way Girl.” I was a little sneaky and asked my editor to get me a copy before it came out. I’m only a chapter in and I already love it.

Do you read self-help? What’s your favorite self-help book of all time?

I don’t read a lot of self-help books, but I buy a lot of them. I usually give up when the first chapter hasn’t magically transformed me into someone wonderful. The one exception is Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear.” It should be required reading for all women, and men for that matter. Maybe men would then get why we reject their advances in poorly lit parking lots — it’s not because we’re bitches, it’s because we don’t want to get murdered.

How and when do you read? Electronic or paper? Bath or bed?

I prefer paper. I wish I could claim that’s because I’m so delightfully old-fashioned, but it’s just because I keep forgetting how to use my electronic reader — wherever that thing is. I would also love to be a bath reader, but the Parisian charm wears off after five minutes, and then I just want to be dry.

How do you prefer to organize your books?

I put the most impressive ones where people are most likely to see them, AMIRITE?! (No, but I do do that.)

What do you like to read on the plane? On the set? On vacation?

On a plane I like to read something light and fluffy to counteract flying anxiety. On set, reading nonfiction is especially fun, because I get to share little factoids between takes (whether my co-workers like it or not). On vacation, I like books that are dark and engrossing, like “All Quiet on the Western Front” or Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” because the beach makes me feel too content and I don’t like it.

What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?

Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations.” I kind of thrive on stress, so I’m almost embarrassed by how comforting I find this book. I don’t even agree with everything in it, but when philosophy is described in such practical language, it’s soothing.

The best book you’ve read about Hollywood?

“Writing Movies for Fun and Profit,” by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, is hilarious, but more than that, it’s insanely accurate — right down to what your parking assignment when visiting a studio “really” means.

What’s the last book that made you laugh out loud?

There’s a joke in “Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships,” by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá, about the commonly held belief that women choose their sexual partners based on a man’s ability to “provide.” Essentially the punch line is that Darwin thinks your mother is a whore. Anyway, the patriarchy, good stuff.

The last book you read that made you furious?

I only read “The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood, very recently. On the night of the first presidential debate, Patton Oswalt tweeted, “We’re moments away from the prequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’” and I think I messaged him, “O.K., that is not funny!”

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?

More serious than I am now. The year I turned 12, I read “The Crucible,” “Jane Eyre” and “The Great Gatsby,” and after I finished each one I was beside myself with rage. Abigail Williams and Daisy Buchanan never get their comeuppance, and Jane never gets to go off (Jerry Springer style) on the Reed family? I’m still mad about it.

If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

“A History of the Wife,” by Marilyn Yalom. It’s one of those books that I read with a highlighter in hand, because there was so much great information in it. Maybe plenty of people already know all of this stuff, but it definitely wasn’t covered in my history classes.

If you could befriend any author, dead or alive, who would it be?

Steve Martin.

anna-kendrickWhom would you want to write your life story?

Jon Ronson. “The Psychopath Test” and “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” were both a great balance of horrifying and fun. However, the people he writes about are subjected to this super-perceptive honesty that I might not survive, so as long as this is my fantasy, I’d prefer he wait until I’m dead.

What do you want to read next?

My brother keeps going on about “Ready Player One,” by Ernest Cline, so I think I’d better read it before the holidays or I’ll end up in a headlock.

Something About Richard Aldington

理查德·阿尔丁顿(Richard Aldington, 1892-1962),英国小说家、诗人、批评家、传记作家。以下是有关他的一些零散信息:

  •  Brigit Patmore (1882-1965) was an English writer and “literary hostess”. She was married to the grandson of Coventry Patmore. She had a long friendship with D.H. Lawrence, of whom she wrote several accounts. She was the model for Clariss Browning in Lawrence’s novel, “Aaron’s Rod”. She was also friends with Ezra Pound, Richard Aldington, H.D., Ford Hueffer and W.B. Yeats. 【补充一下,这位帕特慕夫人对阿尔丁顿非常重要,因为是她将他引入当时伦敦的文学圈子,使他有机会结识了那些先锋派文学作家。】
  •  理查德·阿尔丁顿和H. D. 几乎是一见钟情。他们是在庞德的引荐下认识的。据说庞德一直对HD有点那啥。甚至在阿尔丁顿和HD结婚之后,庞德对HD还是难以割舍。H. D. 和阿尔丁顿共同主持编撰当时意象派的杂志《自我主义者》(The Egoist)直到1917年。1915年,由于HD产下死胎,RA从此和HD分开。10多年后正式离婚。不过据说晚年的HD和RA又非常亲近。。。
  •  有部电影叫做《阿拉伯的劳伦斯》,所以知道了这个名字。并不知道这原来是一部小说。也曾以为这个劳伦斯就是D. H. 劳伦斯,后来知道不是那么回事儿。当然现在我知道了,Lawrence of Arabia《阿拉伯的劳伦斯》是阿尔丁顿的一部英雄传记,主人公是T. E. Lawrence,一位legendary hero。而且,当时这部作品遭到冷遇,至少有两家出版社拒绝接受它。阿尔丁顿也确实为D. H. 劳伦斯写过一部传记。他俩是特别好的朋友。。。


Carson McCullers Talks about Love(卡森·麦卡勒斯谈爱情)是一部正在上演的音乐剧。由苏珊娜·维嘉(Suzanne Vega)创作并担当主演。表达了对于美国南方哥特小说创作的代表人物卡森·麦卡勒斯的热爱和敬仰。

Carson McCullers

苏珊娜·维嘉的卡森·麦卡勒斯情结只是因为大约30年前的一次偶然:那个时候的苏珊娜在书店看到了一本麦卡勒斯传记。她当时并没有去购买阅读这本书。但是封面给她留下了深刻的印象。据说因为她们长得非常像。从此,她对麦卡勒斯的热爱日渐加深,成了麦卡勒斯的忠实拥趸。她反复阅读了卡森·麦卡勒斯的《心灵是孤独的捕手》(The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter)、《婚礼成员》(The Member of the Wedding)等等。她的很多歌曲灵感都来源于麦卡勒斯的作品。而要为麦卡勒斯创作一部音乐剧的设想也在她的头脑里盘旋了20多年了。现在,她的愿望终于实现。

根据苏珊娜·维嘉的介绍,音乐剧Carson McCullers Talks about Love(卡森·麦卡勒斯谈爱情)的全部歌词都来源于卡森·麦卡勒斯的小说。

Suzanne Vega



贝丽雅·班布里奇(Beryl Bainbridge, 1932-2010)

Dame Beryl Bainbridge won the Whitbread novel award twice

【按:经过读者参与的票选,贝丽雅·班布里奇的小说Master Georgie当选为布克最佳小说。这位获得布克奖提名(进入最后短名单)次数最多,但从未获得过一次布克奖的双栖作家也算是终于得尝所愿了。以下资料来源于BBC】

Man Booker Prize organisers had asked readers to vote for their favourite of five Dame Beryl books shortlisted for the main prize – which she never won.

Master Georgie, shortlisted in 1998, beat Every Man For Himself in the running in 1996 by a handful of votes.

A bound copy of the book was presented to daughter Jojo Davies and grandson Charlie Russell at a party in London.

The prize’s literary director, Ion Trewin, said he was “delighted to be able finally to crown Master Georgie a Booker bride”.

Master Georgie, shortlisted in the year that Ian McEwan’s novel Amsterdam won the prize, is set during the Crimean War.

Dame Beryl’s other shortlisted books were The Dressmaker, nominated in 1973, The Bottle Factory Outing, recognised in 1974, and An Awfully Big Adventure, a contender in 1990 that was made into a film starring Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant.

Dame Beryl died in July, 2010, at the age of 75.


The writer, whose works included The Dressmaker and Injury Time, passed away in the early hours of Friday morning after a short illness, her agent said.

Liverpool-born Dame Beryl was nominated five times for the Booker Prize and won the Whitbread novel award twice.

Dame Beryl’s 1989 novel An Awfully Big Adventure was made into a film six years later starring Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant.

She won the Whitbread award for Injury Time in 1977 and, in 1996, for Every Man For Himself – which was also shortlisted for the Booker.

Dark themes

Dame Beryl began her career as an actress and performed in repertory theatre before she had her first novel published in 1967.

A Weekend With Claude tells the story of a violent, predatory man.

Dark themes continued with books including 1968’s Harriet Said, the story of two teenage girls who seduce a man before murdering his wife.

A number of her books were set in her home city of Liverpool, including 1973’s The Dressmaker – a tale of love and murder during World War II.

And 1978’s Young Adolf tells the tale of a young Hitler working as a waiter at the city’s Adelphi Hotel in the early 20th Century.

Dame Beryl’s historical novels included 1984’s Watson’s Apology, a portrait of a Victorian murder while Master Georgie, published in 1998, was set in the Crimean War.

Her publicist Susan de Soissons said: “She was one of the huge doyennes of literature and everyone adored her.”

Writing on micro-blogging site Twitter, author Margaret Atwood said: “Oldpal Dame Beryl Bainbridge dies – very sad. Wondrous original, great sport, loved her books. Hope she has champagne in heaven & a smoke…”

The novelist, who specialised in black comedy, wrote columns for the Spectator and the Evening Standard.

Dame Beryl, who in 2008 was featured in a Times newspaper list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945, also wrote several television plays.

She was made a dame in 2000.