未定义托妮·莫里森CA2008.安吉拉·拉杜莱斯库摄

Toni Morrison detests being called a "poetic writer." She seems to think that the attention that has been paid to the lyricism of her work marginalizes her talent and denies her stories their power and resonance.As one of the few novelists whose work is both popular and critically acclaimed,她可以奢侈地选择接受什么赞扬。但她并不拒绝所有的分类,而且,事实上,她拥有“黑人女性作家”的称号,她将个人转变为力量的能力和将个人特质转变为必然性的能力,使得一些评论家称她为“D”。H.Lawrence of the black psyche." She is also a master of the public novel,研究种族和性别之间的关系以及文明与自然之间的斗争,同时将神话与奇幻结合起来,具有深刻的政治敏感性。

We talked with Morrison one summer Sunday afternoon on the lush campus of Princeton University.The interview took place in her office,which is decorated with a large Helen Frankenthaler print,一位建筑师对她作品中出现的所有房屋进行了笔墨绘制,照片,a few framed book-jacket covers,海明威给她写了一封道歉信——这是一个伪造品,意思是开玩笑。她桌上放着一个蓝色的玻璃茶杯,上面印着雪莉·坦普尔的肖像,茶杯里装满了她用来写初稿的两支铅笔。玉树坐在窗子里,上面还挂着一些盆栽。A coffeemaker and cups are at the ready.尽管天花板很高,大桌子,高背黑色摇椅,the room had the warm feeling of a kitchen,也许是因为和莫里森谈论写作是一种亲密的交谈,这种交谈经常发生在厨房里;或许是因为我们的精力开始衰退,她神奇地制作了几杯蔓越莓汁。我们觉得她允许我们进入避难所,而且,然而微妙地she was completely in control of the situation.

外面,高高的橡树叶遮篷过滤了阳光,dappling her white office with pools of yellowy light.Morrison sat behind her big desk,which despite her apologies for the "disorder" appeared well organized.Stacks of books and piles of paper resided on a painted bench set against the wall.She is smaller than one might imagine,and her hair,灰色和银色,是编织成薄的钢色辫子,挂在肩长。在采访中,莫里森偶尔会让她声音洪亮,低沉的声音突然爆发出隆隆的笑声,并用她在桌面上的手的一个扁平的小点打断了某些陈述。At a moment's notice she can switch from raging about violence in the United States to gleefully skewering the hosts of the trash TV talk shows through which she confesses to channel surfing sometimes late in the afternoon if her work is done.

INTERVIEWER

You have said that you begin to write before dawn.这种习惯是出于实际原因吗?or was the early morning an especially fruitful time for you?

TONI MORRISON

黎明前开始写作是必要的——我刚开始写作的时候有个小孩,我需要利用他们说之前的时间,Mama—and that was always around five in the morning.许多年后,after I stopped working at Random House,我只是在家里呆了几年。I discovered things about myself I had never thought about before.起初我不知道什么时候想吃,因为我总是在午餐时间、晚餐时间或早餐时间吃东西。Work and the children had driven all of my habits...I didn't know the weekday sounds of my own house;这一切都让我有点头晕。

I was involved in writing宠儿当时是1983年,我终于意识到自己头脑更清醒了,早上更自信,更聪明。早起的习惯,孩子们小的时候我就形成了,现在成了我的选择。I am not very bright or very witty or very inventive after the sun goes down.

Recently I was talking to a writer who described something she did whenever she moved to her writing table.I don't remember exactly what the gesture was—there is something on her desk that she touches before she hits the computer keyboard—but we began to talk about little rituals that one goes through before beginning to write.I,起初,thought I didn't have a ritual,但后来我想起,我总是在天黑的时候起床冲一杯咖啡,一定是天黑了,然后我喝了咖啡,看着光明来临。And she said,好,这是一种仪式。And I realized that for me this ritual comprises my preparation to enter a space that I can only call nonsecular...作家们都想方设法接近他们希望接触的地方,它们变成了管道,or where they engage in this mysterious process.为了我,光是转换中的信号。It's not beingin光,它就在那儿在它到达之前.It enables me,从某种意义上说。

I tell my students one of the most important things they need to know is when they are their best,创造性地。They need to ask themselves,理想的房间是什么样子?有音乐吗?有沉默吗?Is there chaos outside or is there serenity outside?我需要什么来释放我的想象力?

INTERVIEWER

你的写作习惯呢?

墨里森

我有一个从未经历过的理想写作习惯,which is to have,say,九天不间断,我不必出门或打电话。还有空间——一个我有大桌子的空间。我最终得到了这么多的空间[she indicates a small square spot on her desk]无论我在哪里,我无法摆脱它。I am reminded of that tiny desk that Emily Dickinson wrote on and I chuckle when I think,甜美的东西,there she was.但这就是我们所有人拥有的:只是这个小小的空间,无论文件系统是什么,或者你多久清理一次它的生活,文件,信件,请求,邀请函,发票就一直开回去。我不能经常写作。I have never been able to do that—mostly because I have always had a nine-to-five job.我要么在那两个小时内写信,匆匆忙忙地,或者花很多周末和黎明前的时间。

INTERVIEWER

下班后你能写信吗?

墨里森

这很困难。我试图用强迫代替纪律来克服没有秩序的空间,so that when something is urgently there,urgently seen or understood,或者这个比喻足够有力,然后我会把所有的东西都移到一边,持续写一段时间。我在和你谈初稿的事。

INTERVIEWER

You have to do it straight through?

墨里森

做。我不认为这是法律。

INTERVIEWER

Could you write on the bottom of a shoe while riding on a train like Robert Frost?Could you write on an airplane?

墨里森

有时候我遇到了一些麻烦,一个单词序列,say,所以我写在纸片上,在酒店文具上,在汽车上。如果it arrives youknow.如果你知道的话真正地已经来了,then youhave把它放下。

INTERVIEWER

你写作的身体动作是什么样的?

墨里森

I write with a pencil.

INTERVIEWER

Would you ever work on a word processor?

墨里森

哦,I do that also,but that is much later when everything is put together.我把它输入电脑,然后开始修改。但我第一次写的东西都是用铅笔写的,maybe a ballpoint if I don't have a pencil.我不挑剔,but my preference is for yellow legal pads and a nice number two pencil.