《经济学人》:索马里之子-来自非洲的声音
日期:2011-09-28 15:42

(单词翻译:单击)

New fiction新小说

Somali son索马里之子

A voice from Africa来自非洲的声音

Sep 17th 2011 | from the print edition

Crossbones. By Nuruddin Farah. Riverhead; 389 pages; $27.95. Buy from Amazon.com
《死亡髅骷》;努鲁德因•法拉著;河之源出版社;389页;27.95美元;请到Amazon.com购买

NURUDDIN FARAH went into self- imposed exile from his native Somalia in 1976, during the 22-year dictatorship of Mohamed Siad Barre. He now lives in Cape Town and Minnesota and writes in English. Yet the ten novels that have earned him recognition as a sophisticated voice in modern fiction—and one of Africa’s most important writers—are all set in Somalia. They combine an intimate dissection of power within the family with a strong dose of scepticism about the machinations of national and global power.

穆罕默德·西亚德·巴雷在巴西的独裁统治持续了22年,此间的1976年努鲁德因•法拉自我放逐,离开祖国索马里。法拉现在住在开普敦和明尼苏达,并用英语写作。然而他的10本小说背景都设在索马里,这10本小说让他赢得了人们的承认,他被看作是现代小说中不落俗套的声音,也被尊为非洲最重要的小说家之一。这些小说深入剖析了家庭内的权力,并结合了对国内和势力和国际势力阴谋的强烈怀疑。

In his third and latest trilogy, “Past Imperfect”, Mr Farah proves a penetrating interpreter of the chaos that ensued when Siad Barre was ousted by warlords in 1991. In the concluding novel, “Crossbones”, which has just been published in America, a Somali-American professor named Jeebleh goes back to the capital, Mogadishu. A Dante expert, Jeebleh had first returned to his homeland in the mid-1990s after 20 years abroad—just as the author did—to find rival strongmen jostling in the Italianate city’s infernal ruins, a scene that was described in the trilogy’s opening volume, “Links” (2004). Ten years on, he finds white-robed men with beards and whips imposing order. These Taliban-inspired “religionists”, as Mr Farah calls them, had already made an appearance in the second book, “Knots” (2007), foisting “body tents” on women. These female targets include Cambara, an actress and one of the author’s many robust heroines, who has returned from exile in Toronto to reclaim her family home from its squatting warlords.

在他第三部也是最新一部的三部曲《过去不完善》中,法拉尖刻地直现了1991年西亚德•巴雷被军队将领推翻时索马里随之陷入的混乱。三部曲的最后一部《死亡髅骷》刚在美国出版,书中索马里籍的美国教授吉伯莱回到了首都摩加迪沙。吉伯莱是研究但丁的专家,在海外漂泊20年后,他曾在20世纪90年代中期首次返回自己的祖国(刚好与作者雷同),发现敌对的铁碗人物们在意大利风格的城市废墟中彼此冲撞,犹如置身地狱一般,这个场景在三部曲的首部《纽带》(2004)里描述过。十年后的再次归来,他发现白袍男子手拿芒刺和鞭子强迫人们听命。这些受塔利班启发的“宗教分子”,法拉这么称呼他们,已经在第二部《结》(2007年)一书中露过面了,他们把“身体帐篷”强加给妇女。这些女性标靶包括女演员卡姆芭拉,她是作者笔下许多精力充沛的女主人公之一,流亡在多伦多的她返回索马里,想把她家住宅从霸占它的军队将领手中收回来。

In “Crossbones” the Union of Islamic Courts has vanquished the “CIA-funded” warlords. But when Ethiopia, with the help of American drones, invades Somalia to prop up the embattled federal government, the Courts’ al-Qaeda-affiliated military wing, Shabaab, regroups for insurgency. Jeebleh is accompanied by his son-in-law, Malik, a New York journalist. Their story alternates with that of Malik’s brother, Ahl, who is searching in the autonomous coastal region of Puntland for his runaway stepson, Taxliil. The teenager is thought to have left Minnesota with other Somali-American youths, heading for Shabaab’s jihadist boot camps.

在《死亡髅骷》一书中,伊斯兰法院联盟战胜了“美国中央情报局资助的”军队将领。但是,在美国无人驾驶飞机的帮助下,埃塞俄比亚入侵了索马里,支持准备战斗的联邦政府,伊斯兰法院联盟隶属基地组织的军事派别沙巴布为了进行叛乱重组编制。吉伯莱由女婿纽约记者马利克陪同返国。他们的故事交杂着马利克的哥哥阿里的故事,阿里正在沿海的邦特兰自治区寻找他离家出走的继子塔克斯里伊尔。这位十几岁的少年被认为和其它索马里籍的美国青年一起离开了明尼苏达,前往沙巴布的伊斯兰圣战士新兵训练营。

The brothers uncover links between Shabaab and Somali piracy by talking to would-be suicide bombers, pirate financiers and a “deviously handsome” middleman between the hostage-takers and the shipowners. Their findings support the view that pirates began as a community “coastguard” after illegal foreign fishing boats had exploited Somalia’s collapse to plunder its sea resources. As one source says, “We have nothing to eat, no fish to fish.” Sharks up the food chain take their cut, leaving local pirates to pilfer crews’ watches and mobiles.

兄弟俩通过跟准自杀式炸弹、海盗的财政专家、以及劫持人质者和船主之间一个“迂回大方”的中间人的交谈,揭开了沙巴布和索马里海盗之间的联系。他们的发现支持了这样一种观点,即在非法外国渔船利用索马里的瓦解掠夺其海洋资源后,海盗由社区的“海岸警卫队”演化而来。正如一位消息人士称,“我们没有东西可吃,没有鱼可捕。”他们敲诈食物链获取保护费,这让当地海盗偷窃船员的手表和手机。

Mr Farah reveals the minutiae of survival in a failed modern African state that is awash with SIM cards and AK-47s, where television-repair men are spies, reporters are targeted with roadside bombs and petty disputes turn lethal “in less time than it takes to stub out a cigarette”. His interest is in the moral ambiguity of surviving in such conditions and the compromised choices it forces upon people. Cambara’s cunning misdirections to a young insurgent result not only in his death but in that of an innocent old man. “When the country in which they live changes”, people change unrecognisably, a reformed militiaman explains. It is to the novelist’s credit that he preserves a degree of sympathy for those whom poverty pushes towards piracy, as well as for the teenagers who are brainwashed into jihadism and whose fate, should they refuse to take orders, may entail shackling and torture.

法拉揭示了在一个失败的现代非洲国家生存的细枝末节。在这个国家,SIM卡和AK – 47自动步枪泛滥成灾,电视维修工是间谍,记者是路边炸弹的标靶,小小的纠纷在“不到掐灭一根香烟的时间内”就变成致命的了。他的兴趣是在这种条件下生存道德的界线已经模糊,以及这种道德界线的模糊迫使人们做出的妥协的选择。卡姆芭拉的狡猾误导了一个年轻的暴徒,结果不仅导致了暴徒的死亡,也导致了一个无辜老人的死亡。一个编制重组过的民兵解释说,“当他们生活的国家发生改变时”,人们变得难以辨认了。值得称赞的是小说作者对贫困促使他们成为海盗的人保留了一定程度的同情,对被洗脑成为伊斯兰圣战士的青少年和他们的命运也保留了一定程度的同情,假使他们拒绝接受命令,可能会承受镣铐和酷刑。

The novel debunks the view that the “religionists” restored order in Somalia. Spoiling for battle with its Christian neighbour, Shabaab ignores the trauma of the 1977 Ogaden war with Ethiopia, the subject of Mr Farah’s “Maps” (1986). Shabaab’s militiamen, who are now obstructing aid in Somalia’s latest famine, kick the corpse of an Ethiopian soldier in a repetition of the “self-dishonouring dance around a dead Marine” that shocked the world in 1993.

小说破除了“宗教分子”在索马里恢复秩序这一观念。沙巴布憋足了劲想和基督教邻国作战,无视1977年与埃塞俄比亚的欧加登战争的创伤,欧加登战争是法拉的《地图》(1986年)的主题。沙巴布民兵目前正在索马里的最新饥荒中阻挡各种援助,而在重复1993年震惊世界的“围绕着一名死亡的海军陆战队员跳自辱性舞蹈”的事件中,沙巴布民兵踢的是埃塞俄比亚士兵的尸体。

There are traces here of the dreams and proverbs that enrich Mr Farah’s fiction (“the shoes of a dead man are more useful than he is”). But “Crossbones” leans heavily on research and recent political events. An impassioned urgency in bearing witness makes this illuminating trilogy less poetic and polished than his earlier novels—but no less powerful for that.

这里有梦想和谚语的痕迹,正是梦想和谚语丰富了法拉的小说(“一个死人的鞋子比他更加有用”)。但是,《死亡髅骷》着重倾向研究方面和最近的政治事件。迫切地急于见证使得这部启蒙三部曲比他早期的小说缺少了诗意和润饰,但这些并没有让这部三部曲逊色。

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重点单词
  • communityn. 社区,社会,团体,共同体,公众,[生]群落
  • scenen. 场,景,情景
  • interpretern. 译员,口译者,解释程序
  • globaladj. 全球性的,全世界的,球状的,全局的
  • restoredadj. 精力充沛的;精力恢复的 v. 修复(resto
  • survivaln. 生存,幸存者
  • povertyn. 贫困,贫乏
  • illuminatingadj. 照亮的,启蒙的,照明的 动词illuminat
  • propn. 支柱,支持者,倚靠人 n. 道具 n. 螺旋桨,推
  • uncovervt. 揭开,揭露