2012年10月21日 星期日

Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies

Hilary Mantel wins 2012 Man Booker Prize

The whittling has finished. The judges of this year's Man Booker Prize started with a daunting 145 novels and have winnowed, sifted, culled, and in some cases hurled, until there was only one left: Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies.

Hilary Mantel wins 2012 Man Booker Prize

16 October 2012
The whittling has finished. The judges of this year's Man Booker Prize started with a daunting 145 novels and have winnowed, sifted, culled, and in some cases hurled, until there was only one left: Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies.

Hers is a story unique in Man Booker history. She becomes only the third author, after Peter Carey and J.M. Coetzee, to win the prize twice, which puts her in the empyrean. But she is also the first to win with a sequel (Wolf Hall won in 2009) and the first to win with such a brief interlude between books. Her resuscitation of Thomas Cromwell – and with him the historical novel – is one of the great achievements of modern literature. There is the last volume of her trilogy still to come so her Man Booker tale may yet have a further chapter.

The writing will have to wait a bit though. She may have won before but the torrent of media interest will still knock her back as if she's been hit by a wave. In 2009 she confessed to feeling as though she were “flying through the air”, well, she's soaring again. When she lands she won't have time to think and she will talk into microphones until her throat is sore. It comes with the territory: everyone wants a bit of the Man Booker winner.

It has been a long and uniquely intense journey not just for her but for everyone associated with the prize. For the judges it has meant nine months of work, worry and pleasure. Their choices have been scrutinised and criticised and their thoughts and penchants imagined. They will have read the shortlisted books at least three times. They will await the public's verdict on their choice with sang froid mixed with curiosity. They needn't be worried, Bring Up the Bodies has had near universal praise from critics and reading public alike.

The shortlisted authors meanwhile have felt the hot brightness of the media spotlight on them since July when the long-list was first announced. They can breathe out now. For Hilary Mantel all those middle-of-the-night moments when she had to tell herself not to think of what it would be like to win again, not to jinx herself, can stop.

Indeed, spare a thought for the shortlisted authors; they will have had a day unlike any other they have known. How do you take your mind off the fact that in a matter of hours you might be the winner of arguably the world's most high-profile literary prize? Of course it is an honour and validation to be shortlisted but they will have known that at 11.30 this morning the judges closed the door of a room somewhere in London – possibly near to where they themselves were standing/shopping/chomping their nails – and settled down to decide their future. They will have wondered what that group literary holy men and women, like the conclave of cardinals in the Sistine Chapel choosing a new Pope, were talking about and wondered whether the puff of white smoke that finally emerged was for them. They may be writers but they're only human.

The nerves will have continued all through the prize dinner, even a phalanx of loved ones, publisher and agent can't keep them away. They chatted amicably, a drink – but perhaps just the one – to steady the beating heart. I doubt they tasted their food. Who would have wanted to be them as Sir Peter Stothard took to the rostrum and opened his mouth to enunciate the first syllable of the winner's name? She may qualify as an old hand but Hilary Mantel confessed that her nerves this time round were infinitely worse than in 2009.

This is not the end of the process, however. For Hilary Mantel it is the moment of coronation before she confronts the wider horizons that have suddenly opened up before her. For the other shortlisted authors who came so agonisingly close they have the knowledge that every publisher in the land will bite their hand off for the chance to publish their next book and that, whatever they write, they will have a wide and eager audience. Their names are now known to readers who may have had no idea of them only a few months ago.

Perhaps the real object of envy is not the winner – she thoroughly deserves her triumph – but the readers who have yet to open Bring Up the Bodies. They have just won a prize too.



倫敦——星期二晚,英國小說家希拉里·曼特爾(Hilary Mantel)憑藉小說《提堂》(Bring Up the Bodies)榮獲布克獎,這是她計劃創作的三部曲中的第二部。整個三部曲是關於亨利八世的首席國務大臣與權術大師托馬斯·克倫威爾(Thomas Cromwell)的生平與謀略。
故事背景發生在1535年,通過克倫威爾的視角講述了亨利八氏的第二任妻子安妮·博林(Anne Boleyn)最初的勝利與接踵而來的最終厄運。正是克倫威爾一手策划了她那令人暈眩的隕落。
“你等布克獎等了20年,突然一下就得到兩個,”60歲的曼特爾女士在領獎時開玩笑說。2009年,她憑三部曲的第一部《狼廳》(Wolf Hall)榮獲布克獎。她目前在創作第三部。
單純從分量的角度而言,很多評論家認為《提堂》要比《狼廳》更好,曼特爾女士也被認為是今年獲獎的熱門人選。但在布克獎43年的歷史上,還沒有人憑 藉續寫同一題材連續兩次獲獎,之前也沒有人像她這樣,這麼快就第二次獲獎。在她之前只有彼得·凱里(Peter Carey)和J·M·庫切(J. M. Coetzee)曾經兩次獲獎。
候選名單還包括其餘5部最終入圍的小說:陳德黃(Tan Twang Eng)的《夜霧花園》(The Garden of Evening Mists);黛博拉·李維(Deborah Levy)的《游泳回家》(Swimming Home);艾莉森·摩爾(Alison Moore)的《燈塔》(The Lighthouse);威爾·塞弗(Will Self)的《雨傘》(Umbrella),以及吉特·塔伊爾(Jeet Thayil)的《寐城》(Narcopolis)。
這份候選名單的落選者也同樣令人難忘,其中包括馬丁·艾米斯(Martin Amis)、邁克爾·弗萊恩(Michael Frayn)、約翰·蘭切斯特(John Lanchester)和帕特·貝克爾(Pat Barker)的小說。在最終入圍的6名作家中,只有曼特爾女士和塞弗先生是著名作家,其他人都名不見經傳。
塞弗先生是英國最聰敏、最有創造力的作家之一,他的《雨傘》是一本非同尋常之作,400頁的小說里充斥着聰明狡黠,如雜技表演般的意識流散文,通過 四種視角帶領讀者在20世紀內穿梭,全書不分章節,也幾乎很少分段。評委們說它“動人而令人筋疲力盡”、“堅持讀下去,就會發現它不像乍看上去那麼費 解”。
本年度布克獎評委會主席彼得·斯托瑟德爵士(Sir Peter Stothard)說,評委們的評判標準是根據“小說本身,而不是小說家;根據文字本身,而不是根據名聲”。這意味着他們把《提堂》視為獨立的作品,而不會參照其前作《狼廳》。
《提堂》的文字親切直白,有些評論家稱它就像都鐸王朝時期的隱形觀察者記下的一部親歷實錄。它在英美兩地都大受好評。評論家高度讚美曼特爾女士的寫 作能力,能讓一個歷史上聲譽不佳的人物在她筆下栩栩如生,充滿人情味,甚至富於同情心,與此同時,小說中還充滿親切的史實細節,比如安妮·博林的審判和死 刑,那一幕充滿了緊迫感和懸疑感。
查爾斯·麥克格拉斯(Charles McGrath)在《紐約時報書評》中寫道,這本書,“根本就不懷舊,但卻凝練而純凈,去除了歷史上蒙覆的蛛網和粉飾,也去除了古裝戲類型小說里那種古舊陳規和浮華的傷感色彩,讓英國歷史變得生動奇異,煥然一新。”
曼特爾女士創作過很多不同主題的作品。《更安全的地方》(A Place of Greater Safety)以法國革命為背景,以羅伯斯庇爾為主人公之一;《黑暗之上》(Beyond Black)以現代倫敦為背景,寫了一個專業靈媒,被亡者的身影所騷擾。她的回憶錄《放棄幽魂》(Giving Up the Ghost)講述了自己童年時期的悲慘遭遇,以及困擾她多年的健康問題。

Bring up the Bodies
First edition
Author(s) Hilary Mantel
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Thomas Cromwell trilogy (in course)
Genre(s) Historical Fiction
Publisher Fourth Estate (UK)/ Henry Holt and Co. (US)
Publication date 8 May 2012
Media type Print (hardback)
Pages 432
ISBN 978-0‐80509003‐1
LC Classification PR6063.A438 W65 2009
Preceded by Wolf Hall
Followed by The Mirror and the Light
Bring Up the Bodies is a historical novel by Hilary Mantel and sequel to her award-winning Wolf Hall. It is the second part of a planned trilogy charting the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, the powerful minister in the court of King Henry VIII. Bring Up the Bodies won the 2012 Man Booker Prize, following Wolf Hall's win of the Booker in 2009.


Bring Up the Bodies begins where the previous novel finished. The King and Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell are the guests of the Seymour family at Wolf Hall. The King shares private moments with Jane Seymour, and begins to fall in love with her. His present queen, Anne Boleyn, has failed to give him a male heir and, as rumours of her infidelity spread, the King seeks a way to be rid of her, and marry the new object of his affections.
Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell owe their current high status to each other. They become pitted against each other, as Cromwell seeks to find a legitimate excuse to expel her from the King's court. Cromwell, master politician, uses Anne's fall from grace as a chance to settle scores with old enemies.


It was published in May 2012, by Harper Collins in the United Kingdom and by Henry Holt and Co. in the United States, to critical acclaim.[1][2]


Janet Maslin reviewed the novel positively in The New York Times:
[The book's] ironic ending will be no cliffhanger for anyone even remotely familiar with Henry VIII’s trail of carnage. But in "Bring Up the Bodies" it works as one. The wonder of Ms. Mantel’s retelling is that she makes these events fresh and terrifying all over again."[2]
The novel won the 2012 Man Booker Prize.[3]