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译锐趣谈-Memoir和Autobiography的区别
发布时间:2022-03-04 作者:yirui 点击:594

On the literary genre spectrum, memoirs and autobiographies are right next to each other. They’re both nonfiction accounts of the author’spersonal experience, usually written in first person (i.e. using I, me, and other first-person pronouns). But despite their similarities—and the fact that memoir and autobiography are often used interchangeably—they’re technically separate genres.

在文学体裁范围内,memior通常与autobiography相提并论。这两种体裁都是对作者个人经历的客观叙述并且都采用第一人称(即I、Me、等)。但是尽管二者之间存在相似性-而且memior和autobiography也经常互换使用,但如果严格地从事实角度去看,二者其实是两种不同的文体。

Since an autobiography is essentially just a biography written by the person it’s about, it has pretty much all the characteristics of a regular biography. As MasterClass explains, the narrative typically progresses chronologically and covers the subject’s whole life (thus far), with a focus on facts. That’s not to say autobiographies by default have bare-bones prose or a lack of emotion—the story of someone’s life will likely feature some fascinating formative memories and the feelings that came with them.

由于autobiography基本上就是作者本人所书写的传记,因此autobiography几乎拥有常规传记所有的特点。正如MasterClass所介绍的,叙述通常按时间顺序推进并且会涵盖作者的一生(迄今为止)并且着重描述事实。这并不是说autobiography就是干巴巴的事实或者缺乏真情实意-某个人的生活肯定会有一些有趣的童年记忆以及与这些记忆相伴的情感。

But those elements are much more integral to a memoir than an autobiography. According to Book Riot, a memoir doesn’t usually cover the author’s entire life, but instead a specific period or themes within it. Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, for example, centers on the year after her husband, John Gregory Dunne, died of a heart attack in late 2003. It’s just as much a discourse on grief as it is an account of what happened in Didion’s life that year—and you might pick it up to read about grief rather than to learn about the author herself. Though Didion was, by that point in her career, famous enough that people would be interested to read about her experiences in particular, that’s not always the case with memoirists. Sometimes, it’s the subject matter that attracts readers, not the name of the author.

但是,与autobiography相比,上述元素对于memior而言则更加必不可少。据Book Riot介绍,memoir往往不会涵盖作者的一生,相反,其讲述的往往是作者人生当中的某个时期或某个时期中的一些话题。比如说,琼·迪迪恩(Joan Didion)的《不可思议的一年》主要讲述了她的丈夫2003年年末心脏病去世后的一年里她的各种经历。这本书不仅是悲伤的缅怀,同时也记录了迪迪恩在那一年的生活。当您阅读这本书时,您更多地是去了解作者的悲伤,而不是作者本身。尽管迪迪恩当时的事业如日中天而且知名度非常高,因此读者们很想了解有关她的经历,但是memoirists(传记)往往却并不会满足读者们的愿望。有时,传记吸引读者的往往是它的主题,而非作者本身。

If you crack open an autobiography, on the other hand, it’s probably because you want to learn about the person who wrote it. Autobiographers are usually celebrities, from activists like Malala Yousafzai and Nelson Mandela to athletes like Andre Agassi—people who’ve achieved such success and/or have lived such high-profile lives that you’d want to read their full stories, starting from the cradle.

当你翻开一本autobiography,这很可能意味着你想要了解写这本书的作者本人。自传作者通常都是名人,从马拉拉·优素福·扎伊和纳尔逊·曼德拉这样的活动家到安德烈·阿加西这样的运动员,他们都获得了巨大的成功和/或过着引人注目的生活,因此你希望了解他们自出生之后的全部人生经历。

All that said, the differences between memoirs and autobiographies are more general trends than definitive guidelines. There’s no rule that says your memoir can’t be chronological, or that your autobiography must include your year and place of birth in order to be considered a true autobiography.

说了这么多,memoirs和autobiography之间的区别更侧重于一般潮流而非具体的条条框框。并没有规定说memoir一定不按照时间顺序来写,或者autobiography必须要有出生年月和出生地才能算作是真正的autobiography。

注:

马拉拉·优素福·扎伊,又译为玛拉拉·尤苏芙札,1997年7月12日出生于巴基斯坦西北边境省一个普什图穆斯林教育工作者的家庭,是巴基斯坦西北部开伯尔-普赫图赫瓦省斯瓦特县明戈拉城的一名学生,女权主义者 ,以争取妇女接受教育的权利而闻名。

安德烈·柯克·阿加西(英语:Andre Kirk Agassi,1970年4月29日-),生于美国拉斯维加斯,已退役的美国男子网球运动员,单打最高世界排名第一


来源:Mental Floss

翻译&编辑:上海译锐翻译