朱利安·巴恩斯终获布克奖

说朱利安·巴恩斯(Julian Barnes, 1946- )终获本年度曼布克小说奖(Man Booker Prize),是因为此前巴恩斯已经三度进入布克奖评选的短名单。这是他的第四次。这一次终于他如愿以偿了。这次帮助巴恩斯获得该项殊荣的是他的小说《终结感》(The Sense of an Ending)。

  • 巴恩斯已经创作发表了11部小说和大量短篇小说以及其他文章。
  • 1946年出生于莱切斯特,在伦敦城市学习接受教育。
  • 他在牛津大学研究现代语言,1968年毕业。
  • 做过New Statesman的文字编辑;也为“观察家”频道做过电视评论员。
  • 他获得过法国的 Prix Medicis (for Flaubert’s Parrot) 奖和 Prix Femina (for Talking It Over)奖。他是唯一一位获得过这两项奖励的作家

【以下是来自BBC NEWS的报道】

Man Booker Prize won by Julian Barnes on fourth attempt

Julian Barnes has won the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sense of an Ending, having been shortlisted on three previous occasions.

Barnes – the bookmakers’ favourite – said he was “as much relieved as I am delighted” to win the £50,000 prize.

The judges had been criticised for putting a focus on “readability” in their choice of shortlisted novels.

Chairwoman, ex-MI5 boss Dame Stella Rimington, said the publishing world was like the “KGB at its height”.

Of Barnes’s novel, Dame Stella said “the markings of a classic of English literature”.

She described the novel as “exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading”.

“We thought it was a book that spoke to the humankind in the 21st Century.”

In reference to the row over the literary merit of the books the judges chose, she accused her critics within the publishing world of resembling the Russian security service for their use of “black propaganda, de-stabilisation operations, plots and double agents”.

She said the judges had followed the debate “sometimes with great glee and amusement”.

“We were talking about readability and quality. We were certainly always looking for quality as well,” she said. “That fact it’s been in the headlines is very gratifying.”

And Barnes, in his acceptance speech, said: “I’d like to thank the judges – whom I won’t hear a word against – for their wisdom. And the sponsors for their cheque.”

Thanking the book’s designer, Suzanne Dean, he added: “Those of you who’ve seen my book – whatever you may think of its contents – will probably agree that it is a beautiful object.

“And if the physical book, as we’ve come to call it, is to resist the challenge of the e-book, it has to look like something worth buying and worth keeping.”

The shortest novel of the six finalists, The Sense of an Ending is about childhood friendship and the imperfections of memory.

It is narrated by a middle-aged man, Tony Webster, who reflects on the paths he and his friends have taken as the past catches up with him via a bequeathed diary.

Dame Stella said that although the main character appeared at first to be “rather boring”, he was gradually revealed to be somebody quite different.

The former spy chief added: “One of the things the book does is talk about humankind: none of us really know who we are – we present ourselves in all sorts of ways.”

The other nominees were Carol Birch (Jamrach’s Menagerie); Canadians Patrick deWitt (The Sisters Brothers) and Esi Edugyan (Half Blood Blues); and debut authors Stephen Kelman (Pigeon English) and AD Miller (Snowdrops).

Barnes had been shortlisted for the prize on three previous occasions, but without success.

The London-based author was nominated in 1984 for Flaubert’s Parrot, in 1998 for England, England and in 2005 for Arthur and George.

Dame Stella said the five judges had reached a final, unanimous decision after about half an hour of debate on Tuesday.

“I can tell you there was no blood on the carpet and nobody went off in a huff,” she said.

Her fellow Booker judges were writer and journalist Matthew d’Ancona, author Susan Hill, author and politician Chris Mullin and Gaby Wood of the Daily Telegraph.

Despite the literary row, this year’s shortlist has been the best-selling in Booker history – sales of the shortlisted novels are up 127% on last year.

According to Nielsen BookScan, 98,876 copies were sold in the six weeks after the shortlist was announced.

Snowdrops has sold most, shifting more than 35,000 copies since it was shortlisted. Next is Jamrach’s Menagerie with 19,500 and The Sense of an Ending with 15,000.

Barnes’s book has sold more than 27,500 copies since it was published in early August.

At 150 pages, it is not the shortest book to win the Booker. That record is held by Penelope Fitzgerald’s 132-page Offshore which won in 1979.

Commenting on the winner, Jonathan Ruppin, of Foyles, said: “As a writer characterised by immense intelligence and imagination, it would have been remarkable if Barnes had never won the Booker.

“This is definitely one that splits opinion, with some finding it subtly powerful and others frustratingly underdeveloped, but great writers rarely please everyone.”

本年度竞逐布克奖短名单出炉

本年度布克奖(Man Booker Prize)短名单公布。英国作家朱利安·巴恩斯(Julian Barnes)凭借其小说《终结感》(The Sense of an Ending)第四次入围。另外的5位入围者分别为史蒂芬·凯尔曼(Stephen Kelman),艾迪·米勒( AD Miller),卡罗尔·帕奇(Carol Birch),帕特里克·德维特(Patrick deWitt)和埃斯·埃杜基(Esi Edugy)。

【以下是来自BBC的相关报道

Bookies’ favourite Julian Barnes is among six authors featured on this year’s Man Booker Prize shortlist.

It is the fourth time Barnes has been shortlisted for the Booker

Bookmaker William Hill has put Barnes at 6-4 to win for his novel The Sense of an Ending.

Stephen Kelman, AD Miller, Carol Birch, Patrick deWitt and Esi Edugyan have also made it onto the shortlist.

The winner of the £50,000 annual prize – won last year by Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question – will be announced on 18 October.

Ladbrokes also named Barnes as favourite to win at 13-8 and made Birch second favourite at 7/2, as did William Hill.

Alan Hollinghurst, whose novel The Stranger’s Child had been second favourite to win, did not make the shortlist.

“Inevitably it was hard to whittle down the longlist to six titles,” said former MI5 chief Dame Stella Rimington, chair of this year’s judging panel.

“We were sorry to lose some great books. But, when push came to shove, we quickly agreed that these six very different titles were the best.”

Writer and journalist Matthew d’Ancona, author Susan Hill, author and politician Chris Mullin and Gaby Wood of the Telegraph are her fellow jurors.

Barnes has been shortlisted for the prize on three previous occasions, without success.

The 65-year-old was nominated in 1984 for Flaubert’s Parrot, in 1998 for England, England and in 2005 for Arthur and George.

This year’s shortlist contains two debut novelists – Miller and Kelman – as well as two women – Edugyan and Birch, who made the longlist for Turn Again Home in 2003.

Two of the authors are Canadian – Edugyan and deWitt – while the other four are British. Four of the novels are from independent publishers.

Kelman’s debut novel tells the story of an 11-year-old who, with his mother and sister, moves from Ghana to a rough London estate.

Booker judge Chris Mullin read 138 books before his panel whittled down the shortlist

Pigeon English follows him and a friend as they investigate the murder of a local boy who has been knifed to death.

Miller’s thriller Snowdrops, which reveals the dark underbelly of Moscow, was inspired by his time spent living in Russia.

Barnes’s novel has a middle-aged man reflecting on the paths he and his childhood friends have taken as the past catches up with him.

Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues begins in 1930s Berlin with a jazz musician going missing as the Nazis take over the streets.

The Sisters Brothers, deWitt’s second novel, is set against the backdrop of the 1850s Californian gold rush and is believed to be the first Western novel to feature on the shortlist.

Birch’s novel, Jamrach’s Menagerie, derives from a real-life incident – the sinking of the whale-ship Essex in 1820.

The competition is only open to those from the British Commonwealth and Ireland.

英国味儿的短篇小说【ZT】

这是著名书评人比目鱼的一篇短文。学习一下:

英国味儿的短篇小说

by 比目鱼

伊恩•麦克尤恩(Ian McEwan)的处女作、短篇小说集《最初的爱情,最后的仪式》(First Love, Last Rites) 几经周折,终于出了中文版。该书收有八篇小说,薄薄的一本,几乎可以一口气读完。中译本的封面设计得很清新、很小资;打开一看,内容却很黄、很暴力,其中 有几篇颇为触目惊心。

我喜欢读英国作家写的短篇小说。比起中规中矩的美国同行,当代英国小说家写的短篇往往更无禁忌,更剑走偏锋,更怪,更邪,更颓废,语言更炫,口味更重。

我手头还有几本这种英国味儿很浓的短篇小说集:托比•利特(Toby Litt)的《Adventures In Capitalism》, 阿拉斯代尔•格雷(Alsadair Gray)的《Ten Tales Tall & True》,威尔•赛尔夫(Will Self)的《Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys》,以及麦克尤恩的另一本短篇小说集《In Between the Sheets》。马丁•艾米斯(Martin Amis)的短篇小说集我手头没有,但他的短篇也是这种浓重的英国味儿。欧文•韦尔什(Irvine Welsh)的短篇我没读过,不过这位写《猜火车》(Transpotting)的作家是什么风格再明显不过。

朱利安•巴恩斯(Julian Barnes)则是一位学者气很浓、写法颇为“后现代”的作家,不在“很黄很暴力”之列。此人写小说文笔奇崛,应该算是知识分子型的英国味儿。最近读了他 的短篇小说集《The Lemon Table》,其中有几篇颇为好看。

说回麦克尤恩。我其实没怎么读过这位作家写的长篇小说。有很长时间我对这位大腕级作家有一种莫名的抵触情绪(就好像我虽然没怎么读过厄普代克,却一直莫名 其妙地不喜欢这个人一样),我想这可能和我当初在书店里翻看英文版的《赎罪》(Atonement)和《在切瑟尔海滩上》(On Chesil Beach)的经历有关——草草地扫读了这两本书的前几页,我得出了一个可能过于武断的结论:麦克尤恩是一位很主流的“美文作 家”。后来电影《赎罪》加深了我的这种印象——在我看来,那是一部画面、服装极其精美,但故事非常苍白的片子。

我对麦克尤恩的印象最终得以转变,正是因为我读了他的两本短篇小说集——《最初的爱情,最后的仪式》和《In Between the Sheets》。那些短篇让我发现了麦克尤恩黑色、戏谑、冷峻、怪诞的一面,以及他能够熟练操控不同风格的文字的功力。于是,忽然对这位英国作家 产生了兴趣。