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科幻小说的新流派:气候变化小说

http://en.jybest.cn  21世纪英文报  佚名  2015-10-08    

 

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New literary climate

科幻小说的新流派:气候变化小说

导读:气候变化小说是科幻小说的分支之一,它不同于传统科幻小说虚构一些天马行空的技术或外太空,这类小说通常是反乌托邦的,聚焦人类面临的灾难。气候变化是人类面临的现实问题。有人认为气候变化小说可以改变人们的观念,让这些看上去高大上的问题更接地气,也可唤醒大众对该问题的关注。不过,也有人不认同小说能唤醒大众对气候变化问题的关注:信者恒信,不信者恒不信,科幻故事只能加强人们原有的信仰。

A new genre of fiction has emerged out of rising sea levels. Climate fiction, or “cli-fi”, is a sub-genre of science fiction. It imagines an often dystopian future where man struggles against the extremes of a changing environment.

全球变暖导致海平面上升,伴随而来的还有一种新的小说流派。气候变化小说是科幻小说的一种。这种小说常常虚构一种黯淡悲观的未来情境,在那里人类努力与极端变化的环境做斗争。

Although it is still an unexplored territory in the Chinese literary circle, cli-fi in the English-speaking world has gained so much popularity that climate change literature is now a regular course in universities as geographically diverse as the US, the UK and India, according to a Reuters report. A brief amazon.com search of “climate fiction” returns more than 1,800 results, reflecting a growing demand for books that focus on environmental issues.

虽然气候变化小说在中国文学圈还是一块处女地,不过它在英语世界国家却大受欢迎,路透社报道说,在有些国家如美国、英国和印度,气候变化小说已经成了大学的常规课程之一。在亚马逊网站上稍微搜索一下“气候变化小说”就会出现1,800多个搜索结果,这反映了环境题材作品的需求量在不断上升。

According to The Atlantic, cli-fi stories seldom talk about “imaginary technologies or faraway planets”, unlike traditional sci-fi. Cli-fi is a lot more down to earth. It examines the impacts of pollution, rising sea levels, and global warming on human civilization. According to the article, the genre’s “ability to bridge science with the humanities and activism” makes environmental issues “more accessible to young readers, proving literature to be a surprisingly valuable tool in collective efforts to address global warming”.

美国《大西洋月刊》上一篇文章说,气候变化小说不像传统科幻小说讲的都是一些“虚构的科技或遥远的星球”,它阐述的是污染、海平面上升和全球变暖对人类文明的影响。按照该文章的说法,这类小说“架起了科学、人文和社会运动之间的一座桥梁”,让环境问题“更容易为年轻读者所接受,也证明文学是呼吁集体行动来应对全球变暖的有利工具”。

Although it is regarded as a new literary category, cli-fi has “roots in themes explored in fiction for decades”, says a Huffington Post article. French writer Jules Verne “explored climate change and sudden atmospheric temperature drops at the end of the 19th century in ‘The Purchase of the North Pole’”. British sci-fi master J.G. Ballard created climate dystopia with “The Wind From Nowhere” (1961).

《赫芬顿邮报》的一篇文章指出,气候变化小说虽然被视为新的文学类型,但其实数十年来它“一直根植于科幻小说的主题中”。法国作家儒勒·凡尔纳“19世纪末就在小说《旋转乾坤》中探讨过气候变化和气温突降问题”。英国科幻小说大师J.G.巴德拉创作的《八面来风》(1961)标志着气候反乌托邦流派的诞生。

But cli-fi has been made more appealing to younger generations thanks to its emergence in movies and TV shows. Last year’s blockbuster “Interstellar” has elements of cli-fi in its depictions of a future world gradually destroyed by sandstorms. In the 2013 movie “Snowpiercer”, a failed attempt to stop global warming creates a new ice age. Environmental themes also run through the “MaddAddam” trilogy, a series of best-sellers written by the prestigious Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood. The books are currently being adapted into a TV series for HBO.

由于电影和电视剧的推动,气候变化小说在年轻一代中更受欢迎。去年,好莱坞大片《星际穿越》中描述未来世界被沙尘暴逐渐摧毁的情节就带有气候变化小说的元素。2013年的电影《雪国列车》,讲的就是人类试图阻止全球变暖却未能成功,反而导致地球进入了全新的极寒纪元。加拿大著名小说家玛格丽特·阿特伍德的畅销小说《马德亚当》三部曲中也贯穿了环境主题。这套丛书最近正被美国HBO电视网改编为电视剧。

The term “cli-fi” was created by US writer and climate activist Dan Bloom. In an interview with The Atlantic, Bloom says he hoped the “catchy buzzword” would help “raise awareness about global warming”. The strategy seems to be working. In an article for The Guardian, UK cli-fi writer Sarah Holding wrote that the genre “reconnects young readers with their environment, helping them to value it more, especially when today, a large amount of their time is spent in the virtual world”.

“气候变化小说”的概念由美国作家、气候变化社会活动家丹布隆提出。在接受《大西洋月刊》采访时,他说希望“这个朗朗上口的流行语”能“引起大众对全球变暖的关注”。这种策略似乎起作用了。在为英国《卫报》撰写的一篇文章中,英国气候变化小说作家萨拉·霍尔丁写道,这一流派“把年轻读者和环境重新联系起来,让他们更加重视环境,特别是现在,人们把大量时间花在了虚拟世界。”

But not everyone is convinced of cli-fi’s potential. In an article for The New York Times, George Marshall, founder of UK-based Climate Outreach Information Network, expressed concern that cli-fi would reinforce what people already believe rather than change anyone’s minds. “The unconvinced will see these stories as proof that this issue is a fiction, exaggerated for dramatic effect,” he said. “The already convinced will be engaged, but overblown apocalyptic story lines may distance them from the issue of climate change or even objectify the problem."

不过不是所有人都看好气候变化小说的潜能。总部在英国的气候服务信息网创始人乔治·马歇尔在为《纽约时报》撰写的一篇文章中就表达了自己的担忧。他认为,气候变化小说能强化人们的固有观念而非扭转它们。“不相信的人会把这些小说当成气候变化不存在的证据,气候变化是为了戏剧效果而被夸大的,”他说。“而相信气候变化的人则会继续关注该问题,但这些夸张的世界末日的故事情节可能会让他们疏离气候变化的主题,甚至让该问题沦为被消费的商品。”

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