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为什么要读《使女的故事》

Why should you read "The Handmaid's Tale"? - Naomi R. Mercer

“视而不见不等同于无知 你得劳神费力才能做到视而不见”——玛格丽特•阿特伍德《使女的故事》
在玛格丽特•阿特伍德的《使女的故事》这本关于未来生活的小说中
In Margaret Atwood’s near-future novel,”The Handmaid’s Tale,”
一个信奉正统基督教 名为基列国的共和政权
a Christian fundamentalist regimecalled the Republic of Gilead
在美国发动了一场军事政变
has staged a military coupand established a theocratic government
并建立了一个神权政府
in the United States.
该政权理论上限制每一个人
The regime theoretically restricts everyone,
但实际上 少部分建立基列国的男人
but in practice a few men have structured Gilead
手握所有的权力
so they have all the power,
尤其是掌控女人的权力
especially over women.
《使女的故事》是阿特伍德所称的悬测小说
The Handmaid’s Tale is what Atwood callsspeculative fiction,
意指它从理论上描绘可能出现的未来
meaning it theorizes about possible futures.
这也是乌托邦和反乌托邦文学所共有的基本特征
This is a fundamental characteristic shared by both utopian and dystopian texts.
阿特伍德小说中出现的可能的未来通常是消极的 或者说是反乌托邦的
The possible futures in Atwood’s novelsare usually negative, or dystopian,
在这些故事中 小部分人的所作所为摧毁了我们所熟知的社会
where the actions of a small group have destroyed society as we know it.
乌托邦和反乌托邦作品倾向于映射政治发展趋势
Utopian and dystopian writingtends to parallel political trends.
乌托邦作品通常描绘一个理想化的社会
Utopian writing frequently depictsan idealized society
这是作者提出应为之奋斗的社会蓝图
that the author puts forth as a blueprint to strive toward.
而另一方面
Dystopias, on the other hand,
反乌托邦作品却未必是对末日未来的预测
are not necessarily predictions of apocalyptic futures,
而是对社会走上
but rather warnings about the ways
灭亡的可能路径
in which societies can set themselves
的警示预言
on the path to destruction.
《使女的故事》出版于1985年
The Handmaid’s Tale was published in 1985,
当时许多保守派组织抨击
when many conservative groups attacked the gains
第二波女权运动所取得的成果
made by the second-wave feminist movement.
这一运动自二十世纪六十年代初以来
This movement had been advocating greater
一直在倡导女性的
social and legal equality for women
社会平等和法律平等
since the early 1960s.
《使女的故事》构想了一个保守派
The Handmaid’s Tale imagines a futurein which the conservative
对抗性运动中占上风的未来
counter-movement gains the upper hand
这不仅摧毁了女性在男女平等方面所取得的进程
and not only demolishes the progresswomen had made toward equality,
还使女性彻底屈从于男性
but makes women completelysubservient to men.
基列国基于她们作为男性地位象征这一功能
Gilead divides women in the regimeinto distinct social classes
将政体内的女人分为不同的社会阶级
based upon their functionas status symbols for men.
甚至她们的衣服也是有颜色编码的
Even their clothing is color-coded.
女性不可以读书
Women are no longer allowed to
或在公共场合自由行动
read or move about freely in public,
并且有生育能力的女性会受到国家组织实施的强暴
and fertile women are subjectto state-engineered rape
只因该政体需要她们生孩子
in order to give birth to childrenfor the regime.
尽管《使女的故事》一书是设定在未来
Although The Handmaid’s Taleis set in the future,
但阿特伍德写作时给自己定下的规则之一
one of Atwood’s self-imposedrules in writing it
就是其所借鉴的
was that she wouldn’t use any event
都是人类历史上发生过的事件或做法
or practice that hadn’t alreadyhappened in human history.
本书的背景设在马萨诸塞州的坎布里奇市
The book is setin Cambridge, Massachusetts,
在美国殖民时期 该城市
a city that duringthe American colonial period
曾被神权政体的清教徒所统治
had been ruled by the theocratic Puritans.
在许多方面 基列共和国都具备类似于当时清教徒社会
In many ways, the Republic of Gileadresembles the strict rules
所奉行的清规戒律:
that were present in Puritan society:
严格的道德规范 端庄的衣着 放逐异议者
rigid moral codes, modest clothing, banishment of dissenters,
以及对人们的生活和人际关系的各个方面进行管控
and regulation of every aspect of people’s lives and relationships.
对阿特伍德而言 与马萨诸塞州的清教徒的相似之处
For Atwood, the parallelsto Massachusett’s Puritans
既与个人有关又是与学术有关
were personal as well as theoretical.
她在哈佛花了几年时间研究清教徒
She spent several years studyingthe Puritans at Harvard
并且她本人很可能是玛丽•韦伯斯特的后裔
and she’s possibly descended fromMary Webster,
玛丽是一名被控使用巫术并幸免于绞刑的女清教徒
a Puritan woman accusedof witchcraft who survived her hanging.
阿特伍德是一位讲故事的高手
Atwood is a master storyteller.
对于我们此前只大致了解的基列国
The details of Gilead,which we’ve only skimmed the surface of,
有关它的细节通过书中人物的视角得到了突显
slowly come into focus through the eyesof its characters,
主要是小说的主人公奥芙弗雷德的视角
mainly the novel’s protagonist Offred,
她是一位大主教家中的女仆
a handmaid in the householdof a commander.
建立基列国的那场政变之前
Before the coup that established Gilead,
奥芙弗雷德有丈夫 孩子 工作
Offred had a husband, a child, a job,
和正常的美国中产阶级生活
and a normal, middle-class American life.
但信奉正统基督教的人上台后
But when the fundamentalist regimecomes into power,
奥芙弗雷德被剥夺了身份
Offred is denied her identity,
被迫与她的家人分离 用奥芙弗雷德自己的话来说
separated from her family, and reduced to being, in Offred’s words,
“沦为了一个为增加基列国日益衰减人口的长着两条腿的子宫”
“a two-legged womb for increasingGilead’s waning population.”
她一开始接受了以稳固新政府名义
She initially accepts the lossof her fundamental human rights
让她丧失基本人权这一事实
in the name of stabilizingthe new government.
但是国家的控制很快延伸到企图控制语言 行为
But state control soon extendsinto attempts to control the language, behavior,
和她与其他人的思想
and thoughts of herselfand other individuals.
最初 奥芙弗雷德说
Early on, Offred says,
“我等待着 让自己平静下来
“I wait. I compose myself.
我自身就是必须重构的东西
My self is a thing I must compose,
恰如构思一篇演讲稿”
as one composes a speech.”
她把语言比作身份的象征
She likens languageto the formulation of identity.
她的言语也表明反抗的可能性
Her words also acknowledgethe possibility of resistance,
并且正是那些反抗
and it’s resistance,
那些敢于打破有关政治 知识
the actions of people who dare to break the political, intellectual,
和性爱规则的人的行为
and sexual rules,
驱使《使女的故事》的情节不断向前发展
that drives the plot of the Handmaid’s Tale.
最后 小说对于自满招致的后果
Ultimately, the novel’s explorationof the consequences of complacency,
以及权力滥用的探索
and how power can be wielded unfairly,
使阿特伍德的反乌托邦政权令人恐惧的设想无比中肯切题
makes Atwood’s chilling visionof a dystopian regime ever relevant.
你可以通过访问 AUDIBLE网站
You can download an audio version of this book or anyother book.
下载这本书或其他推荐书目的有声书
on the TED-ED bookrest list by visiting AUDIBLE.COM/TEDED.
每一个免费尝试都会激励AUDIBLE继续支持我们的非盈利项目
Every free trial encourages AUDIBLE to continue suporting our non-profit mission.
感谢你的观看与支持!
Thanks for watching and thanks for you support!

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视频概述

女性版的《1984》,引发国内外热议的警世预言。女性并非这场浩劫中最被压迫的对象,每个人都是这个看似荒诞的世界里的受害者。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

甪里

审核员

审核员 V

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v-mfJMyBO0

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