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卡森·麦卡勒斯(Carson McCullers),生平经历  

2009-03-19 20:10:01|  分类: 西北师大学位论文 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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20世纪美国最重要的作家之一

  1917年2月19日出生于乔治亚州府哥伦布,是一个珠宝店主的女儿,娘家姓史密斯,原名露拉·卡森·史密斯,她在13岁时就把名字中令人尴尬的露拉去掉了。1937年,嫁给了同乡利夫斯·麦卡勒斯。

卡森·麦卡勒斯从五岁开始学习钢琴,十五岁时从父亲处得到一台打字机,立志成为作家。十七岁去纽约哥伦比亚大学学习文学创作,十九岁开始构思,二十二岁完成《心是孤独的猎手》的创作。卡森·麦卡勒斯重要作品还有《伤心咖啡馆之歌》、《黄金眼睛的映象》、《婚礼的成员》等。其中,《心是孤独的猎手》在美国“现代文库”所评出的“20世纪百佳英文小说”中列第17位。她的多部作品被改编成电影或戏剧,如《伤心咖啡馆之歌》、《婚礼的成员》等。

  麦卡勒斯一生倍受病痛折磨,十五岁时患风湿热,但被误诊和误治。之后,她经历了三次中风,一系列疾病严重摧残了她的身体,导致她在29岁时瘫痪。1967年8月的一个下午,她因脑部大出血,陷入昏迷。昏迷45天后,9月29日去世,时年50岁。遗留下未完成的自传《照亮及暗夜之光》(ILLUMINATION AND NIGHT GLARE)。

  卡森·麦卡勒斯的作品多描写孤独的人们,孤独、孤立和疏离的主题始终贯穿在她的所有作品中,并烙刻在她个人生活的各个层面。对卡森来说,正如对她小说中虚构的朋友们来说,爱情中的对等关系似乎是不可能的。一个人永远也不可能同时扮演爱者和被爱者两个角色。她笔下的某些人物从来不敢扮演其中任何一个角色,或者尝试另一个角色。

  在她的作品中,畸形的身体往往只是显示了一个人缺乏能力去扩展、去奉献、去接受爱,这是一种充满极度痛苦的境地。无数来自她想象世界的陷入歧途和肢体残缺的人们,试图通过人与人之间完全的精神依恋来发现生活的意义和目的,而她从来不认为这种行为有什么不正常。在她的眼中,他们的世界是颠倒的,行为准则就是没有准则、没有意义、没有目的、没有力量,是异化。有些文章批评她笔下某些人物明显的畸形和怪异,她回应道:人们对病态的指责是没有道理的。一个作家只能说他的写作是内心的种子在潜意识中萌芽开花的过程。自然界不是不正常的,只有没有生命的东西才不正常。对作家来说,只要是脉搏跳动、能够活动、能够在房间行走的东西,不管它正在做什么,都是自然的和有人性的。McCullers was born Lulu Carson Smith on February 19, 1917, in Columbus, Georgia. Her family had deep roots in the South: her great-grandfather, Major John Carson, owned a two-thousand acre plantation with seventy-five slaves before the Northern army burned the plantation and freed the slaves during the Civil War. Her father, Lamar Smith, was a watchmaker, like Mick Kelly's father, and owned a jewelry shop like the one John Singer works in. From early childhood, Lulu Carson was expected to achieve great fame, and while she was growing up her parents did what they could to encourage her interest in music. She started formal piano lessons at age ten, and progressed swiftly through her studies in music, which were intense and consuming. After a bout with pneumonia at age fifteen, she started to question whether she had the stamina to be a concert pianist, and turned her attention to writing. She kept her parents believing that she was interested in music, and so when she was seventeen she was sent to New York to study at the Juilliard School, but when she arrived, she enrolled at Columbia University, which had better creative writing teachers, including Sylvia Chatfield Bates, who was a major influence. While home for the summer in 1936 she met Jim McCullers, an army corporal who was also interested in writing, and the following summer they were married. Living in North Carolina with him, McCullers was able to devote all of her time to writing: in a few months, she developed an outline and the first chapters of a novel she called The Mute, which Bates suggested she submit to a writing competition. It won a $1,500 Houghton Mifflin fellowship and a publishing contract, and was published as The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter the following year, when the author was twenty-three years old.

Soon after the novel's publication, McCullers and her husband separated. She and Harper's Bazaar editor George Davis moved into a house in Brooklyn Heights, where an eccentric cast of famous boarders came and went, among them Christopher Isherwood, Richard Wright, Paul Bowles, Oliver Smith, Benjamin Britten, Gypsy Rose Lee, and W. H. Auden, who oversaw the housekeeping. Visitors included Anais Nin, Leonard Bernstein, Salvador and Gala Dali, Aaron Copeland, Muriel Rukeyser, Granville Hicks, and Truman Capote. McCullers became attached to Swiss novelist Annemarie Larac-Schwarzenbach, and her husband fell in love with the couple's best friend, David Diamond. The couple divorced in 1940, but they stayed in contact, remarrying in 1945. When they were considering divorcing again in 1953, he committed suicide in Paris. During the early 1940s McCullers published a succession of books that made their mark on American literature: Reflections in a Golden Eye in 1941; The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, a novella, in 1943; and The Member of the Wedding in 1946. Tennessee Williams liked The Member of the Wedding so much that he helped McCullers develop a script for it, and it opened with great success on Broadway in 1950. As her career accelerated, though, her health deteriorated rapidly. In 1940 she suffered a minor stroke that left her vision temporarily impaired, and strokes in August and November of 1947 left her blind, unable to speak, and permanently paralyzed on her left side at the age of thirty. McCullers had operations for numerous problems: the muscles of her left hand atrophied, her hip was fractured and had to be set twice, and she had a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. For the rest of her life she continued writing; creating stage and film adaptations of works already done and producing just one major new work, a play, Clock without Hands, in 1961. McCullers died in 1967.

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