强推| 崔娃自传 | Born a Crime-附读书笔记

最近读完了崔娃的自传Born a Crime《生而有罪》,故事发生是在南非施行种族隔离制度(apartheid)及该制度被废除后不久的社会背景下。在当时严苛的种族隔离制度下,所有非白人(包括黑人,印度人和其他所有有色人种)被禁止和白人就读同一个学校,禁止学习相同的内容,禁止生活在同一个城市,禁止出现在同一个教堂,甚至禁止从事同一工种。崔娃的母亲是南非黑人血统,父亲是瑞士籍德国人,相当于白人父亲和黑人母亲非法地结合了。所以这就是为什么他为自己写的书叫“天生有罪”,因为他的出生就是父母“犯罪”的证明。


Where most children are proof of their parents' love, I was the proof of their criminality.


他从小无法光明正大地和父亲走在一起,母亲还得装作是他的保姆才能“堂而皇之”地把他带在街上。因为一旦被发现,他就有可能被送到孤儿院,从此离开他的家庭。他游离于各个种族以外,挣扎着寻找自己的身份认同。他不只会英语,还会科萨语,祖鲁语,索托语等黑人种族的语言,掌握多门语言让他能够在和不同种族的人沟通时都游刃有余。要知道,在当时的社会背景下,语言不仅能够保障就业,甚至可以决定生死。


If you're black in South Africa, speaking English is the one thing that can give you a leg up. English is the language of money. English comprehension is equated with intelligence. 


If you're looking for a job, English is the difference between getting the job or staying unemployed. If you're standing in the dock, English is the difference between getting off with a fine or going to prison.


//书的难度和畅销程度//


这本书非常好读,叙事手法和语气就好像是在听崔娃讲脱口秀一样,你能去想象他的抑扬顿挫中折射出的生活中所经历的种种曲折。语言简明扼要(plain and concise),善用口语化的表达(colloquialism),少见生词和长难句。

同时,这本书没有给我那种对于名人自传敷衍了事的担忧,书中的一些经历以及处事方式和态度,就算是对生活在不同的国家和时代背景下的我们来说,也是受益匪浅。


豆瓣评分9.4


Goodreads评分4.45


看完后有几个主题想跟大家分享,也算是作为阅读后的复盘,也欢迎你看过之后在评论区参与讨论呀!



No.1 追求平等独立的女性意识


我常常会觉得,崔娃妈妈的形象是否或多或少有些被神化(sanctification)。她独立要强,一生都在追求被平等对待。在白人至上的社会环境下,她不卑不亢,并没有内化(internalize)社会强加的关于种族优劣的枷锁。相反,她毫无畏惧地,毫不在意他人眼光地走进白人教堂,纵使她是那儿的唯一一个黑人。


In the white world, anytime my mother took me to a white church, we were the only black people there, and my mom didn't separate herself from anyone. She didn't care. She'd go right up and sit with the white people.


在和Abel结婚后,她不屈服于Abel那套“妻子应该留在家里上得了厅堂,下得了厨房,完全听从并归顺于丈夫”的理论。在Abel因醉酒差点把房子烧毁,面对Abel连珠炮似的“作为妻子,你不尊重我”的控诉时,崔娃的妈妈从不认为尊重是以性别为前提的,于是她直接怼道":


Respect?! You almost burned down our house. Respect? Oh, please! Earn your respect! You want me to respect you as a man, then act like a man!"


在面对原生家庭的不幸时,她不愿成为任何人的负担,勇于承担一切风险,十几岁就踏上了寻求自我价值和解放的道路。在每天风餐露宿,有时甚至要与野兽抢食物的日子里,她向白人牧师学习英语,不放弃任何一个改变自己命运的机会。当时拿到的酬劳不过一顿食不果腹的食物,但她却说:


it was the best food she'd ever eaten, because it was something she had earned on her own. She wasn't a burden to anyone and didn't owe anything to anyone."



No.2 教育观-如何对待女性和苦难


原生家庭的抛弃并没有摧毁崔娃的妈妈对于生活的信念,她依旧保持着积极向上的态度,并且教导崔娃要以乐观的态度去看待一切生活的磨难。


"Learn from your past and be better because of your past," she would say, "but don't hold on to it. Don't be bitter." And she never was. The deprivations of her youth, The betrayals of her parents, she never complained about any of it.


所以,崔娃在书中也有提到,他继承了母亲这个“对苦难一笑置之”的优良传统":


I was blessed with another trait I inherited from my mother: her ability to forget the pain in life. I remember the thing that caused the trauma, but I don't hold on to the trauma. I never let the memory of something painful prevent me from trying something new."


同时,她也一直教育崔娃要主动去拓宽时代或者制度设下的边界,为崔娃提供了一切她自己没有享受到的资源和福利,让他远离暴力的恶习,能够在时代的压迫下去看到更广阔的世界,更多样的生活可能性。


My mum raised me as if there were no limitations on where I could go or what I could do. When I look back I realize she raised me like a white kid-not white culturally, but in the sense of believing that the world was my oyster, that I should speak up for myself, that my ideas and thoughts and decisions mattered.


读书时崔娃经常在学校闯祸,崔娃的妈妈也没有视而不见。软硬兼施的惩罚手段加之积极有效的沟通方式,让崔娃理解了母亲的行为,塑造了是非观。


Everything I have ever done I've done from a place of love. If I don't punish you, the world will punish you even worse. The world doesn't love you. If the police get you, the police don't love you. When I beat you, I am trying to save you. When they beat you, they are trying to kill you.


同时,她也一直教导崔娃要尊重女性,不应贬低女性地位来抬高自己。第一步便是从尊重母亲做起,因为母亲是我们接触到的第一个女性角色。


Trevor! You look at me. You acknowledge me. Show me that I exist to you, necause the way you treat me is the way you will treat your woman. Women like to be noticed Come and acknowledge me and let me know that you see me. Don't just see me when you need something.



No.3 关于选择


在读中学的时候崔娃和一个女孩子特别聊得来,但是苦于自己不是班上最耀眼最出色的男生,他们俩就一直维持着“每天包几小时电话粥”的暧昧距离。直到最后女孩随父亲移民美国后崔娃才知道,原来女孩一直在等他开口。


I don't regret anything I've ever done in my life, any choice that I've made. But I'm consumed with regret for the things I didn't do, the choices I didn't make, the things I didn't say. 


我们在生活中也处处面临着选择,比方说什么时候出国读书,去哪个国家,选什么专业,毕业后在哪里工作,选择什么专业和职业等等等等,随着年龄的增长,抵抗风险的能力和偏好越来越低,有时候让我们更苦恼的可能是那些本可以做却没有做的事情。


We spend too much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an enternal question you will never have the answer to. "What if..." "If only..." "I wonder what would have..." You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.


<经典语录分享>

From an adult's point of view, I was destructive and out of control, but as a child I didn't think of it that way. I never wanted to destroy. I wanted to create. I wasn't burning my eyebrows. I was creating fire. I wasn't breaking overhead projectors. I was creating chaos, to see how people reacted.
Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime. 授人以鱼不如授人以渔。
She was unwavering(不屈不挠的) in the face of danger. That always amazed me. It didn't matter that there was a war on our doorstep.
I decided I’d rather be held back with people I liked than move ahead with people I didn’t know.



公众号:聊个三毛七,后台回复<崔娃自传>,即可获取本书PDF版本;

崔娃在2018年接受过奥普拉的采访,播客链接请戳:https://podcasts.apple.com/cn/podcast/oprahs-supersoul-conversations/id1264843400?l=en&i=1000406799629


编辑:Jeffrey

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感受英语带来的更宽阔的世界 ✈️


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