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2006-12-19 09:31:56|  分类: 先睹为快 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

注:问题的中文为《三联生活周刊》记者所提,英文是我译的;答案的英文是Jed Rubenfeld所写,中文是我译的。

1.I am told that The Interpretation of Murder is revised greatly from its previous draft, The Name of Action, can you tell me the differences between them?

"The Name of Action" was the book's original title.  Those words, "the name of action," come from Hamlet's famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy.  One of the differences between the original manuscript and the final book was that the original had more Hamlet in it -- more about Shakespeare.  There was also more about the theory of psychoanalysis and the "Oedipus Complex."  Because I'm a professor, I think I made the original manuscript too academic.  The Interpretation of Murder is my first novel; I had a lot to learn.
《行动的名义》是这本书原来的名字。“行动的名义”这几个字出自哈姆雷特那段to be or not to be的著名独白。初稿和定稿的一个区别是,初稿关于哈姆雷特的内容更多——关于莎士比亚的内容更多。有关心理分析和“俄狄普斯情结”的内容也更多。因为我是个大学教授,我觉得我初稿写得太学术了。《谋杀的解析》是我第一本小说。我要学习的地方还有很多。

2.In your book, scenes change like TV show. Did you consult your brother Vik Rubenfeld? In my point of view, your book is not easy to read because the scenes change a little fast. What do you think?

I'm sorry you think so.   Many readers, I think, like the fast pace.  My brother, Vik Rubenfeld, is a very successful film and television producer.  His television show, "Early Edition," was a big hit.  I didn't consult him in writing this book, but I did get his advice when Warner Brothers, the movie studio, became interested in The Interpretation of Murder.  In September, 2006, a few days after the book was published, my agents reached an agreement with Warner Brothers, which bought the movie rights.  Perhaps the fast scene changes will work well in a movie. 
你这么想我很遗憾。我觉得很多读者会喜欢这种快节奏。我的弟弟维克·鲁本菲尔德是个非常成功的电影和电视剧出品人。他的电视剧Early Edition轰动一时。我没有请教过他写这本书的问题。但华纳兄弟电影公司对我这本书产生兴趣的时候,我问过他的意见。2006年9月,这本书出版后没几天,我的代理人和华纳兄弟达成了协议,后者购买了电影改编权。也许这种快速的场景变化在电影中能起到很好的作用。

3.I know your wife has Chinese blood in her veins, can you talk about how did you know and marry each other? The Chinese images, Chong Sing, William Leon and other cantonese, in your book are really not welcome. I believe your accounts are true to the early decades of last century, but as a chinese-american, did Amy Chua protest these images?

Yes, my wife, Amy Chua, has Chinese blood in her veins.  In fact, her blood is pure 100% Chinese.  We met at Harvard Law School, where we were both students, and have been married for more than 15 years.  Today, we are both professors at Yale Law School, and Amy is herself the author of a bestselling non-fiction book called World on Fire, which is in part about the extraordinary economic success of Chinese people throughout Southeast Asia.  Amy did not protest my descriptions of Chong Sing and William Leon.  Please remember: I did not make those characters up.  Chong Sing and William Leon (also known as Leon Ling) were real people.  William Leon, although never captured, is believed to have murdered Elsie Sigel, the granddaughter of a famous American general.  All the descriptions of Chong Sing and William Leon in my book come from actual historical sources.  As you know, things were very different in America a hundred years ago.  Today, Americans of Chinese descent are among the country's richest businessmen, most distinguished scientists, most accomplished doctors, musicians, engineers, authors, and so on.  But in 1909, most Chinese immigrants in America were laborers with very little education and poor English.  Their lives were hard, and they were not always treated respectfully.  I tried to capture the reality in my book, instead of pretending that the reality was better than it was.

4.How did your background as a professor of Yale Law School help you in writing this novel? Did academic reason restrain your imagination?

History, not reason, restrained my imagination.  A very great deal of The Interpretation of Murder is historically accurate and factually based.  Almost all the details of New York City in 1909 are real.  Freud's visit to America is real.  Freud's complicated, friend-enemy relationship with his follower, Carl Jung, is real.  The hostility that many Americans felt toward Freud is real.  The discovery of Elsie Sigel's dead body inside a trunk in William Leon's small apartment is real.  Even the psychoanalysis of the young woman, Nora Acton, is largely real: it is drawn from Freud's analysis in Vienna of a girl he called Dora.  With all these historical elements, my imagination was necessarily constrained.  But that was a good thing.  I don't have the brilliant imagination of the great novelists like Charles Dickens or Tolstoy or  Cáo Xu qín (Cao Zhan) (author of the work called in English "The Dream of the Red Chamber").  If The Interpretation of Murder had been based merely on my imagination, it would not have been interesting at all.

5.You have weaved historical figures, Freud, Jung, Dana etc. into your fiction. Is this writing technique against any law in U.S.? Did any descent of those figures protest yet?

In the United States, the right of free speech protects novels, movies, and all other kinds of art.  Of course, if you write a book about people who are still alive, then different rules apply.  You can't just say anything you want about people who are still alive!  But if you write a novel about people who lived a hundred years ago, you are entitled to portray them as you wish -- whether favorably or unfavorably.  For example, in The Interpretation of Murder, the Swiss psychiatrist Jung does not appear in a very flattering light, and yes, I have received some protests about that!  But my portrait of Jung is factually based, and I stand by it.  As you know, I am not the first novelist to weave historical figures into a work of fiction.  Tolstoy did it in War and Peace.  Victor Hugo did it too, especially in a book called Ninety-Three (or 1793).  But I wouldn't compare my book to those works of great literature!

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