【雙語】聯合國親善大使、《別說你害怕》作者 Giuseppe Catozzella:「我想讓西方讀者,變成自己眼中的『下等人』」

【雙語】聯合國親善大使、《別說你害怕》作者 Giuseppe Catozzella:「我想讓西方讀者,變成自己眼中的『下等人』」

採訪:Vanessa Chen、花泓林、陳怡仁、李捲浪/換日線全球讀書會
編譯:林欣蘋/換日線編輯部

編輯導言:換日線邀請季刊訂戶專屬社團中的讀者們,每周參與編輯導讀的「換日線全球讀書會」,搭配提問贈書活動,一起線上共讀、討論當周選書。

《別說你害怕》為換日線四月份的【文藝筆記】選書(請參考:「我寧可大家是因為我跑第一鼓掌,而不是跑最後」──索馬利亞短跑少女的奧運夢),感謝麥田出版社協助聯繫該書作者朱塞佩‧卡托策拉(Giuseppe Catozzella),與換日線的編輯、訂戶們,共同以信件往返的方式,完成此次越洋專訪。

貼心的朱塞佩還特地拍攝短片,向換日線讀者朋友們問好:

未來,編輯部將努力安排更多「編讀共訪」活動,歡迎有興趣的讀者加入編輯室,與我們一起共享閱讀的樂趣;也歡迎出版朋友們來信討論合作的可能。

關於《別說你害怕》

8 歲的薩米亞喜歡跑步,她和鄰居阿里在沙灘練習、在街道奔跑;阿里指定自己當她的「專業教練」。對他們來說,在多災多難的索馬利亞,薩米亞的跑步生涯是生活中的唯一期待:她有天分,也有決心要參加奧運。

然而,一天之內,一切都變了。

一夜之間,男人得剃光頭髮,或是留長頭髮和大鬍子,女人則什麼都不准做。連為數不多的街燈都關上:很少人家裡有電,大家會聚在街燈下消磨夜晚,讀一本小說,讀一份舊報紙。這一切都遭禁止了。

薩米亞冒險在夜晚出門跑步,終於獲得參加奧運的機會。她見到其他國家的專業選手如何練習;她想像,有一天自己也能接受正式的訓練,不必只是因為練習就擔心受怕──即使這一切即將犧牲她的家人與自由。

她決定離家,拋下到此為止的人生。擠在陌生人當中、忘卻曾經擁有的掌聲:一輛輛的貨櫃車裝著撐不過去的死者,在撒哈拉沙漠裡被太陽烤乾。駭人聽聞的利比亞監獄、橫越地中海在最後一段路上送命的旅人……她該前往嗎?「永遠別說你害怕,若是如此,你夢想要做的事就不會成真。」薩米亞的父親這麼說。

超過五百天的重生之旅,薩米亞將賭上她的性命,跑過沙漠、跑過海洋⋯⋯

誰是朱塞佩.卡托策拉 Giuseppe Catozzella?

1976 年生於米蘭,義大利作家。他於米蘭大學研讀哲學,在澳洲生活過一段時間。卡托策拉的作品於《晚郵報》(Il Corriere della Sera)、《浮華世界》、《格蘭塔文學雜誌》等媒體刊登,創作面向橫跨劇本、短篇與長篇小說。《別說你害怕》在四十個國家銷售逾五十萬冊,並贏得數項文學大獎;美國版由權威出版社 Penguin 出版,英國版由 Faber&Faber 上市。義大利版問世之後,卡托策拉獲任聯合國親善大使,代表聯合國難民救濟總署。本書已售出電影版權,正在籌備拍攝中。

換日線編讀共訪

問:您認為寫作過程中,最困難的部分是什麼?又是如何克服?(Vanessa Chen)

答:最困難的部分是找到薩米亞的聲音,並說服我自己這是寫作小說的正確方式:透過一個真實存在過、如今已離開的人的聲音說故事。當然這是我最大膽也最不容易的一個決定。對我來說,以第三人稱敘事本是比較「安全」的作法,我本可納入一些義大利殖民主義的歷史、一些社會學、一些人類學⋯⋯但就在某個時刻,我必須投降放棄:這不是寫這本小說的正確方式。它必須更強烈。

問:這是一個涵蓋了許多社會議題的故事──種族、內戰、貧富不均到難民問題等等,您想對您的讀者與您所處的西方世界傳達什麼訊息?您為何要在結尾塑造出美好的結局?(花泓林)

答:我希望頭一次,西方世界的讀者可以對於移民,以及那些薩伊德在他的論文集《東方主義》裡深刻描述的(非洲、中東、伊斯蘭的)「他者」感同身受:數個世紀以來,西方世界一直將他者的身分建構為一個下等人。到了最後,這正是我們所認為的:那些移民與我們不同,稍微等而下之。我想嘗試這個非常困難的練習:當西方讀者閱讀我的小說時,變成了他者,變得下等。如此他便能了解我們都是一樣的,並沒有誰比較優越、誰比較下等這種事。唯一下等的是種族主義本身。事實上,這種看待人與世界的思維是下等的。

 
關於薩伊德的東方主義,請參考換日線阿拉伯獨家授權影片

問:您是如何寫出那些只有薩米亞一人的場景,尤其是旅程中的細節?(Vanessa Chen)

答:我與將近 40 個參與該次旅程的人會面,並聆聽他們的故事。我也見了薩米亞的姊姊,她本身也是移民,現居芬蘭。我們一起進入薩米亞的臉書頁面,討論她在旅程中拍攝的照片,與她和姊姊過去保有的那些長談。這對於追蹤薩米亞準確的旅程很重要。

問:如果作者有機會到索馬利亞一趟,最希望能夠訪問誰?(陳怡仁)

答:在這本小說於世界各地出版並獲得成功之後,我和聯合國一起拜訪了索馬利亞:聯合國提名我為親善大使,他們每年以薩米亞之名在摩加迪休(索馬利亞首都)沙灘上舉行跑步活動。當我在摩加迪休的時候,我盡可能地跟許多人談話、傾聽他們的故事。這對於身為作家的我而言,是一個如此重要的工作。

問:本書出版後引發了什麼迴響?最令作者印象深刻的是什麼?(Vanessa Chen)

答:這本小說在許多國家成為一種社會現象:人們將女兒命名為薩米亞、運動中心以薩米亞為名、聯合國與其他單位都以薩米亞之名舉辦的跑步活動、為薩米亞舉辦的演唱會、知名歌手寫歌獻給她、許多她的雕塑、改編的戲劇作品、一部目前正在製作中的國際電影⋯⋯。

問:這是一個主流價值中認定的失敗者,但她的故事卻是如此引人入勝。那種幾乎徒勞無功的努力,讓人心碎。作為讀者,我們應該如何體會到不只是沉重的東西呢?(李捲浪)

答:這正是文學的力量,我們別無他法,只能臣服於喜悅之中。

Q&A in English

Q: What is the most difficult part during the writing and how did you get over it?

A: The most difficult parts was to find the voice of Samia, and convincing myself that this was the right way to write this novel: through the voice of a real person that wasn't there anymore. Of course this was the most courageous decision to take, the less easy one. It would have been much more"safe"for me to tell the story in third person, I could have put some history of Italian colonialism in it, some sociology, some anthropology... But simply at a point I had to surrender: this simply was not the right way to write this novel. It had to be stronger.

Q: Through a story that includes so many social issues, ranging from races, civil wars, the uneven distribution of wealth to the refugees, what messages do you want to convey to the readers and to the Western world that you are living in? Why did you give the story a happy ending?

A: I wanted that for the first time western readers could identify themselves with a migrant, with the image of the"other"(African, Middle Eastern, Islamic) that Edward Said described very well in his essay called"Orientalism": for centuries the Western world has been building an identity of the Other such as an inferior person. This is how we consider, in the end, who migrates: not like us, a bit inferior. I wanted to try this very difficult exercise: the western reader while reading my novel becomes the Other, becomes inferior. And so he understands that we are all the same, that there is not such a thing as someone superior and someone inferior. That the only inferior thing is racism itself. In fact is an inferior way of thinking towards other people and the world.

Q: How did you handle the details of Samia's journey, especially of the scenes when she was on her own?

A: I met almost 40 people who did the Journey and listened to their stories. I also met Samia's sister, who is a migrant herself and lives in Finland. Together we entered Samia's Facebook page, and went through her photo taken during the Journey and the very long chat she always kept with her sister. This has been very important to track Samia's precise Journey.

Q: If you got a chance to visit Somalia, who would you like to interview the most?

A: I did visit Somalia, with the UN after the publication and success of the novel throughout the world: the UN nominated me Goodwill Ambassador UNHCR and they do a run every year in the name of Samia on the beach of Mogadishu. When I was in Mogadishu I talked to as many people as possible. Listened to their stories. It's such an important part of my job as a writer for me.

Q: What kind of feedbacks have you received after the publication of the book? Which of them impresses you the most?

A: The novel in many Countries became a social phenomenon: couples calling their daughters Samia, sport centers named after her, run held in her name, concerts held in her name, famous songwriters writing songs dedicated to Samia, painters painting Samia, sculptures, dozens of theater adaptations, an international movie being made at the moment, the UN holding a run in the name of Samia every year…

Q: Despite Samia was defined as a "loser" by the mainstream society (where people value winning much more than losing) , her story remains to be incredibly appealing. I am heartbroken for the efforts she paid that almost went in vain. This keeps me wondering how can we as readers understand the story from different perspectives rather than simply grieving for Samia's real-life tragedy?

This is the power of literature, and we cannot do anything in front of it but surrender in joy!

執行編輯:HUI
核稿編輯:林欣蘋

Photo Credit:Giuseppe Catozzella 官方網站 影片

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