世界上最著名的10部英文短篇小说

弗兰纳里·奥康纳(Flannery O'Connor ) (1925– 1964)是美国著名的小说家和评论家,美国文学的重要代言人。在其短暂39年的生命中,她创作了两篇长篇小说和三十一篇短篇小说,1957年获欧·亨利短篇小说奖。美国某权威网站为了纪念奥康纳杰出的写作才华以及无以伦比的智慧,选出了世界上最为优秀的10个小说家的10部短篇小说,分享给大家。当然,网站也申明,这只是他们的一家之见。今天,我们也整理出来,以飨读者。

1.“A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor

Few short stories have stuck with us as much as this one, which is probably O'Connor's most famous work — and with good reason. The Misfit is one of the most alarming serial killers we've ever met, all the more so for his politeness, and the story’s moral is so striking and terrifying that — whether you subscribe to the religious undertones or not — a reader is likely to finish and begin to reexamine their entire existence. Or at least we did, the first time we read it.

《好人难寻》这篇小说是奥康纳最为著名的作品,很少有其他短篇小说能像这篇一样给我们带来震撼。无论你是否能明了宗教般的潜在含义,看完这篇小说读者都会开始或是结束对存在的检视。

2.“The School,”Donald Barthelme

This story is very short, but pretty much perfect in every way. Though Barthelme is known for his playful, post modern style, we admire him for his ability to shape a world so clearly from so few words, chosen expertly. Barthelme never over explains, never uses one syllable too many, but effortlessly leads the reader right where he wants her to be. It's funny, it's absurdist, it's sad, it's enormous even in its smallness. It may be this writer’s favorite story of all time. You should read it.

这篇小说很短,但是堪称完美。巴塞尔姆的优秀就在于他能用精选的极少几个文字就为我们叙述了一个世界。他很少过多地解释,就把读者带到了他想要你去地方。

3.“In The Penal Colony,” Franz Kafka

Kafka called this one his“dirty story,”and thought it imperfect, but it's one of our favorites of his (though we also recommend “The Hunger Artist”and“A Country Doctor”). It's so obviously a story about writing, in some ultimate way — a machine punishes its victims by writing on them over and over until their bodies give out — but its as if, while the body is the source of every problem in the tale, every weakness, it is also the only place where true knowledge can be translated.

卡夫卡称自己的这篇小说是一个“很脏的故事”,认为并不完美,但是这个短篇确实我们的最爱之一。在小说中,我们可以体会到,身体是一切问题和弱点的根源,但身体也是唯一能转化真知的地方。

4. “Signs and Symbols,”VladimirNabokov

Another short one, we revere this story for its ability to turn every tiny detail into a portentous disaster, not to mention the fact that it's penned in Nabokov's effortlessly gorgeous, silvery prose. An old Jewish couple goes to visit their son in the mental hospital, only to be turned away because he has attempted to kill himself. And that's it, really. They go home and look though a photo album, eat some jam. The phonerings. But the whole thing is, perhaps, both a comment on the nature of insanity and the nature of the short story itself, with all its rules and strangeness and banality. And all its symbols, of course.

我们喜欢这篇小说的原因就在于,这个故事有能力把每个细微的细节瞬间变为一场灾难,而Nabokov在写这篇小说用的是轻松华丽水银泻地般的散文风格。

5. “Gooseberries,”Anton Chekhov

Chekhov's stories are indisputably among the greats, and this one, written rather late, is one of our favorites. Chekhov probes at both the frailty and the worth of humanity, not to mention the natureof life, both for the fortunate and the unfortunate. But like most of Chekhov's stories, there's no clear moral, there's no obvious takeaway. Some men sit around and discuss their thoughts, and we listen, mulling over the subtleties for ourselves.

契科夫的小说无疑是最伟大的作品之一,而这篇是我们的最爱。这篇小说像他的其他小说一样,没有清晰的道德标准,我们只是静静地看着几个人围坐着,讨论他们的思想。

6.“Sea Oak,”George Saunders

“Sea Oak” is Saunders's favorite of his own stories, we've heard, so because we find it so hard to choose among them, we've included it here on his own recommendation. Absurdist and satirical, and including at least one zombie shouting at her housemates to get laid, it's a weird one. But it's also concerned with placelessness, with family, with poverty, and like all of Saunders's stories, has a good, thumping heart under all that darkness and fun-poking.

这部小说是桑德斯最为喜爱的一步短篇,这也是我们听说的。因为我们很难做出选择,因此就把他自己的推介放在了这里。这部小说充满了荒诞和讽刺,但是也关心家庭和贫穷等问题。像他的其他小说一样,在黑暗和取笑中,也暗含着美好和快乐。

7.“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,”Ursula K. LeGuin

LeGuin's parabolic tale, which won the Hugo Award for best short story in 1974, is a weird, spacious story about a city that seems to be a utopia — except for its one flaw, the single child that must always be kept in darkness and wretched misery so that the others may all live happily. Most of the citizens eventually accept this, but some do not, and silently leave the city, vanishing into the world around. Strange but pointed, Le Guin is a master of her genre.

勒古这部寓言般的短篇小说获得过1974年的“雨果奖”,是关于一个类似乌托邦的城市的荒诞又宏大的故事。

8.“The Veldt,”Ray Bradbury

This tale, from one of the greatest science fiction writers in history, is deliciously wicked. Though it was written in 1950, this kind of story — of children driven mad by want, of technology turning on its masters — will never get old. Until technology actually turns on us, that is. Then we probably won't want to hear about it.

布莱伯利作为历史上最富盛名的科幻小说家,这篇小说也是通过精心编写的。

9.“The Bear Came Over the Mountain,”Alice Munro

The undisputed queen of the short story, Alice Munro’s work is stark and often heartbreakingly raw, and this story of memory loss and the aching tenderness of human interaction is no different. Fun fact: this story was adapted into the film “Away from Her”, starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent.

门罗是毫无争议的短篇小说女王,她的作品有一种朴实风格,常常带着心跳般的粗犷,这篇关于丧失记忆以及人类互动中的痛苦和柔弱的小说也不例外。

10. “The Nose,”Nikolai Gogol

Gogol might be the oldest writer on this list, but he’s also one of the weirdest — in a good way. Nabokov once wrote, “In Gogol…the absurd central character belongs to the absurd world around him but, pathetically and tragically, attempts to struggle out of it into the world of humans — and dies in despair.” What else can an absurd noseless man do, after all?

果戈里应该是这个书单上最久远的作家了,但是他也是最荒诞的小说家之一。纳博科夫曾近这样写道:“在果戈里的作品中,荒诞的人物属于他周围荒诞的世界,但是却可怜兮兮且悲惨地要逃离他的世界,最终死于绝望”。

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  • 原文链接:http://kuaibao.qq.com/s/20180108A01NR100?refer=cp_1026

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