广告

A Formal Feeling: A Conversation with Claudia Durastanti

By

At Work

照片由Sarah Lucas Agutoli。

Claudia Durastanti has spent years interrogating the limits of language, first out of necessity and later by choice. Born in the U.S. in 1984 to Italian parents, both deaf, who never taught her sign language, she grew up between布鲁克林和巴斯利卡塔,意大利南部的一个地区。标志着她的童年的挫折,沉默和误解 - 以及通过想象力填补这些脉冲的脉冲 - 可以在她作为作家中的工作中感受到,并且作为一个翻译者确定留下一些空间的“诗意的不精确”。Durastanti翻译了最新的意大利版了不起的盖茨比and is also the translator for Donna Haraway, Joshua Cohen, and Ocean Vuong—which might give you a sense of her range.Her own fiction has been translated into twenty-one languages.La Straniera那her fourth novel, was a finalist for the Premio Strega in 2019, and its English translation by Elizabeth Harris,Strangers I Know, 收到一个奖。

Strangers I Know在备忘录,文学批评和Bildungsroman的交汇处,流血对事实,以探索塑造杜拉特提的生命和敏感性的神话。Roaming backward and forward in time—between the stories of Durastanti’s parents, her adored brother, and her own often jagged attempts to forge a path into adulthood—the book interrogates the relationship between an individual and a family, with its conflicting layers of fable and self-invention. In Durastanti’s portrayal, her parents emerge as romantic but unreliable characters, in the vein of Joan Didion’s California pioneers and gamblers. The novel’s form is likewise playful, with forty-one short, often self-contained chapters collected in horoscope-like sections titled “Family,” “Love,” “Work & Money,” and so on. After reading it for the first time, I had the strange sense that it could be arranged in an entirely different order and lose none of its power. I experimented accordingly, rereading the chapters more or less at random, and found that the symphonic effect of the whole remained intact.

When we spoke on Zoom, I was in London and Durastanti was in an apartment on the south side of Rome—next to the nineteenth-century Iron Bridge that burned down in October 2021—where she has been living for the past two years, after a brief spell in New York during the early days of the pandemic. “When we die,” she writes inStrangers I Know,“也许在我们的墓碑上,他们会写一个被爱的名字,我们拥有的职业是什么,来自我们最喜欢的书的一条线。不会写在我们的墓碑上是我们离家的距离。“

INTERVIEWER

这是你第一次写过你的家庭历史吗?为什么你决定发布Strangers I Knowas a work of fiction when there is so much in it that actually happened?

Durastanti.

我确实在早期小说中处理了我家人的方面。例如,当我小时候,我的父亲绑架了我。我写的方式Strangers I Knowis rather picaresque, while a similar episode in my second novel—where a father kidnaps a little girl—was angrier, more visceral in tone. I felt that I had already discharged my family history and childhood in my fiction, so I could now be freer and more experimental in my handling of them.

很长一段时间,我对父母的生活并不感兴趣。如果你每天都在一起,一切都在异常无聊。我对父母感到非常怀疑,因为当我还是个小女孩时,人们总会先问:“你说什么语言?”然后,“你属于谁?谁是你的父母?“我会说,“我的妈妈和爸爸是聋哑人分手,”每个人都会对我和我的声音失去兴趣,而且我做了什么 - 相反,他们会被父母的故事迷上。我认为这与文学相反。我知道血液中没有人才。人才正在操纵事实,直到我意识到这一点,我没有使用右键来使用传记材料。

我坚持从生活中的一部小说中,因为我意识到,如果我去发行者并将父母的故事呈现为小说,他们会说这是非常不切实际的。他们见面的机会是什么,聋人,我的父亲从一座桥上跳跃,你知道,他们继续拥有这个非常赋予的生活?因为我的父母是令人无政府状态的,并以自己的方式赋予权力,即使他们被世界拒绝了。他们的拒绝是因为他们反对周围的期望,这意味着成为“好”聋人,或移民或穷人。我的父母本能地表明,残疾可能只是织物中的一层,而不是整个情节。这是非常令人不安的,特别是在他们的小镇社区内。违背局外人的凝视,往往会冒充整个人的危险。但我的父母正在反击。在非小说中不可信的一件事是我的祖父为母亲买耳机,他的聋儿。如果你在小说中写下,人们思考,哦,他是一个有趣的,痴呆的角色,否认。 But that’s a real person. That was my grandfather. I asked myself, How can I land in an in-between space, where the accounts are real but I’m handling them, in tone, as if they were fiction?

The book was also a tribute. A lot of people in my family didn’t read novels, but I think they had the ambition of存在in a novel. They lived that way. My parents embodied the non-distinction between fiction and nonfiction.

INTERVIEWER

你觉得其他的家庭吗like yours? Were there any books that inspiredStrangers I Know?

Durastanti.

I’ve never been much of a fan of unconventional family portraits in nonfiction, unless we’re talking about, say, the mother-daughter relationship inFierce Attachments,由Vivian Gornick这对我来说是对本书的基调来说是基本的拉的地方那by Annie Ernaux, where she writes about her relationship with her father and the working-class environment she was raised in and left. These books happen as meditations and recollections, not as bildungsroman.

I was always attracted to big, ambitious novels about outsiders or people at the margins who formed radical friendships, unexpected bonds. I read妇女的房间那by Marilyn French when I was ten—ditching school, in a fever—and that book taught me how you could build a collective or community (of women, in that case) specifically because you wanted to get out of your own family.

INTERVIEWER

有没有理由选择不用英语写作?不要上翻译Strangers I Knowyourself?

Durastanti.

There are a lot of writers who at some point decide to make the switch, to experiment in a new language, something I always admire as an effort. The first part of that switch is mastering the landing language, which in this case is English. Being such a powerful, dominant language, English requires a standard that can be pretty suffocating. It’s no wonder that the experimenters within the English language right now come from undercurrent languages (Irish English speakers, for example), which bring something else. English itself is cracking up.

当我用英语写作时,我正在从我习惯于英语到意大利语的那个逆转 - 所以我很迷恋正确性。但后来我不认为这是良好的写作。通常,当您允许自己的杂质时,写作实际上更强大。如果它必须是最有礼貌和最抛光的版本,我对使用英语作为表达语言不感兴趣。我认为这是一个牺牲。

INTERVIEWER

当在意大利语时,您发现了什么其他差异,而不是英语?

Durastanti.

架构上,意大利语有一个更广泛的动词和时间的场景。时态更细致。对我来说最难的事情是在从意大利语到英语时的建立行动。我觉得那里有损失。过去的时期,目前的时态和英语的未来较少,所以某些事情在翻译中没有意义。由于我们有更多的意大利可能性,因此您拥有更广泛的假设,可想而知的形式的经验。相比之下,英语就像时间萎缩。

INTERVIEWER

InStrangers I Know那you write that “time’s not healing after all; there’s a breach that can’t be filled.” How did you approach reliving your memories while writing the novel?

Durastanti.

没有什么比未来自己的形象更真实。我的礼物不断毒死和污染。来自童年,你经常渴望自己的少女或成人版本。最初,我写了在未来紧张的伦敦套餐的整个部分。但这并没有正式起作用 - 这本书的一部分在未来时态觉得过于缺陷。

InStrangers I Know,应该是最新鲜的部分在最后两章中,但它们也是泥泞的。最近的纪念是朦胧和不透明的。这就是为什么这本书转移 - 书的第一部分感觉像一个小说,然后它越来越突破实验自传。遥远的过去觉得更有用,也许是因为我想到了这么多,珍惜它。

INTERVIEWER

我们不断重塑我们过去的自我。

Durastanti.

确切地。我接触到母亲,一遍又一遍地告诉我同样的故事。很多Strangers I Knowis about tone and temperature rather than true or false.

我用艾米莉狄金森线打开书,“痛苦痛苦,正式的感觉来了。”我在谈论形式,而不是距离。你想给你发生在你身上的事情是什么样的表格?

INTERVIEWER

像Maya Angelou说,音调和温度真的是如何记住的东西。“人们会忘记你所说的话,人们会忘记你所做的事情,但人们永远不会忘记你的感受。”我们经常嫁接记忆的叙述,但这并不总是对内心体验的准确表示。

Durastanti.

And then, if you read your life as a novel, of course you’re worried about the main characters. I remember whenStrangers I Knowfirst came out in Italy, a lot of readers were quite upset when my mother suddenly disappeared from the book, because they thought she was the protagonist. But the book is about the legacy of mythology, and I knew there was going to be this gap when the mother is gone and then you just have the daughter, me. When we write novels and short stories, we often think we need to stick with the main character. Who will provide the drama, the action? I wanted to see what would happen if all of a sudden I decided to shift the focus.

在写这本书之前,这是我从未想过的事情。谁是我没有女儿的母亲,我没有母亲是谁?我试图将母亲读为独立的角色,在我和我之后看到这个女人。这是我母亲不由自主地教会我的东西,可以删除或放弃我们故事中的主角。

INTERVIEWER

It reminds me ofThomas l’Obscur那by Maurice Blanchot. Earlier you said that you couldn’t writeStrangers I Knowuntil you found the right key. What was that key?

Durastanti.

我觉得像一个系谱的树,作为一种结构,我是如何看待属于我的家人,或者一个国家,或者语言。归属与星座有更多关系。想想你的家人喜欢星星。你试图看看你是如何绕过它们的轨道,但他们的光并不总是恒定的。他们昏暗,他们点亮了,然后他们昏暗,他们再次点亮,所以我想以间隔写这本书。我问自己,我的母亲是最聪明的,什么时候她是最黑暗的?

我正在使用光,色调和温度,我觉得一个星座结构可以比类似于家谱相似的线性结构来传达。

As I was writingStrangers I Know,我想看看自我会破碎的地方,在哪里I不再重要了,读书的人可以用自己的故事陷入其中。我想考虑任何可能的“标签”,这些“标签”已经附加到我身上,或者我已经为自己声称自己,南部,以前的工人阶级,一个结尾那you name it—and see how they would collapse into one another or stretch to their limits. This book was my own personal tool to deal with the fragments that remain when we interrogate identity and stereotype. I wanted my story to become simply an echo, echo, echo—until you could hear yourself in the book.

Mia Colleran是一个住在伦敦的编辑。