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经典名著装帧向《暮光之城》看齐

To Lure ‘Twilight’ Teenagers, Classic Books Get Bold Looks
经典名著装帧向《暮光之城》看齐

Teenagers are still reading the classics. They just don’t want them to look so, well, classic.

青少年仍然在阅读经典文学名著。他们只是不希望这些名著看起来,嗯,太过经典。

That is the theory of publishers who are wrapping books like “Emma” and “Jane Eyre” in new covers: provocative, modern jackets in bold shades of scarlet and lime green that are explicitly aimed at teenagers raised on “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games.”

这也是出版商的理论,他们正把《爱玛》(Emma)、《简爱》(Jane Eyre)等名著重新设计换上崭新封面:富有挑逗性、具有现代气质的封面使用大胆的绯红色和石灰绿色等深浅变幻的色调,其目的很明确,就是要吸引阅读《暮光之城》(Twilight)、《饥饿游戏》(The Hunger Games)等这一类青春文学长大的一代。
 

斯普雷特出版公司为经典文学设计的新封面:《简·爱》、《傲慢与偏见》、《理智与情感》、《呼啸山庄》。

The new versions are cutting edge replacements for the traditional (read: stuffy, boring) covers that have been a trademark of the classics for decades, those familiar, dour depictions of women wearing frilly clothing. In their place are images like the one of Romeo in stubble and a tight white tank top on a new Penguin edition of “Romeo and Juliet.”

重新设计的经典文学名著时尚潮流,代替了传统(也可解读为:古板、无趣)经典书籍封面几十年不变的风格,封面上那些穿着镶褶边衣服的女人们,再让人熟悉不过了。现在新版本的封面则是另一番调调:罗密欧一脸胡茬儿,穿着紧身无袖背心出现在企鹅出版社最新版《罗密欧与朱丽叶》(Romeo and Juliet)的封皮上。

The covers are intended to tap into the soaring popularity of the young-adult genre, the most robustly growing category in publishing. In the last decade, publishers have poured energy and resources into books for teenagers, releasing more titles each year. Bookstores have followed suit, creating and expanding spe-cial sections devoted to them.

这样的封面设计意在开发人气不断飙升且不断增长的青春文学出版市场。近十年来,出版公司不断向青少年图书市场投入更多精力及资源,每年出版更多读物。书店也纷纷仿效,开辟并扩大以青少年读者为对象的图书专区。

After the “Twilight” books by Stephenie Meyer became a sensation, paranormal romances boomed. In the last several years, the “Hunger Games” trilogy has inspired dozens of dystopian novels.

作家斯蒂芬妮·梅尔(Stephenie Meyer)的《暮光之城》系列小说轰动一时,随即超自然浪漫爱情小说开始大行其道。最近几年,《饥饿游戏》三部曲的成功促使几十种反乌托邦类型小说出版。

Some of the redesigned jackets are clearly inspired by the “Twilight” series. HarperCollins released a cover for “Wuthering Heights” with a stark black background, a close-up of a red rose and an inscription that reads, “Bella & Edward’s favorite book.” (Critics sneered that it was a “Twilight” rip-off.)

重新包装设计的经典文学作品封面显然受到《暮光之城》系列的启发。同样,哈珀·柯林斯(Harper Collins)出版集团也发行了新版《呼啸山庄》(Wuthering Heights),封面以单调的黑色为背景,放上一只鲜红玫瑰花的特写,并赋上一行题字:“贝拉和爱德华最爱的书”。批评者们嘲笑这样的设计完全山寨《暮光之城》。(贝拉和爱德华是《暮光之城》系列的主人公——译注。)

In a new series published by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a cover of the Gothic vampire novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker features a ghostly woman floating in the center, her platinum hair flying in the air. The title and author are scrawled in cursive over a large pool of blood, rivulets of red dripping down the page.

布拉姆·斯托克(Bram Stoker)的哥特式吸血鬼小说《德拉库拉》(Dracula)由美国企鹅旗下海雀图书(Puffin Books)重新出版。小说封面中央飘浮着一个鬼气森森的女人,银灰色的头发在空中飞舞着。书名和作者名潦草地印在一大片血泊上,一道道红色血水滴了下来。

“We didn’t want to go with a muted approach,” said Eileen Kreit, the president and publisher of Puffin. “We had that Urban Outfitters customer in mind. We wanted to appeal to that teenager and give a fresh look to these stories that have been around a very long time.”

“我们不想守株待兔,”海雀图书董事长兼出版人爱琳·科瑞特(Eileen Kreit)说道:“我们时刻想着那些时髦的年轻读者。我们希望能吸引更多青少年读者,当他们把这些书拿在手里时,会眼前一亮,重新认识这些老故事。”

Sales of some young-adult versions have been strong. The HarperCollins edition of “Wuthering Heights” has sold 125,000 copies since it was released in 2009, an extraordinary number that sent the book back to the best-seller lists.

这些年,青春版文学系列销售强劲。柯林斯版本的《呼啸山庄》自从2009年发行以来一共售出12.5万册,这个销售数字斐然,使它一跃进入了畅销书排行榜。

Because titles like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Persuasion” are in the public domain, any publisher can release a version, leaving the text inside the books untouched while redesigning the cover. And for the young-adult reader, publishers are scooping up all the material they can find.

《傲慢与编见》(Pride and Prejudice)和《劝导》(Persuasion)这类书属于公有领域图书,可以由任何一家出版公司再版发行,书籍内容不能变,封面可以随意设计。出版公司为了吸引青少年读者,想尽办法到处搜罗这种类型的公版图书。

Now the new versions of the classics are fighting for space on the young-adult shelves of bookstores. In a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan last week, a display featured four new editions of novels by Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters alongside more contemporary offerings of paranormal romances. (Upstairs in the adult-fiction section, more traditional versions of the classics were lined up on the shelves.)

现在出版商正在努力,希望新版经典文学能在青少年读者的书架上争得一席之地。上周,曼哈顿一家巴诺(Barnes & Noble)书店里,在同一个展台上既能看到四部新版的简·奥斯丁和勃朗特姐妹经典著作,也能看到更多的当代超自然爱情小说。(楼上成人区的书架上摆放着更多传统版本图书。)

At the Book Revue bookstore in Huntington, N.Y., new versions of the classics have sold briskly, surprising the store’s owner, Julie Klein.

在纽约亨廷顿的Book Revue 书店里,新版经典文学销售极旺,这让店主茱丽·克莱因(Julie Klein)感到很惊讶。

“I wasn’t sure they would sell at all, to be honest,” she said. “As a bookseller, I appreciate the classics and I love when I can sell them to a new generation. Anything that gets kids to look at them.”

“说实话,我对这些经典文学的销售真是没底,”她说:“作为书商,我非常喜欢这些经典书籍,如果年轻人能买这些书来读,那我更是高兴。只要能吸引孩子们看这些书,我就很欣慰。”

In March, Splinter, an imprint of Sterling Publishing, began releasing its Classic Lines series, paperback editions of classic novels with French flaps and delicate illustrations on the jackets that have the appearance of watercolors. For the artwork, the publisher hired Sara Singh, a Manhattan-based fashion illustrator.

三月份,斯特林出版公司(Sterling Publishing)旗下斯普雷特(Splinter)开始发行其“经典台词”(Classic Lines)系列读本。这套平装经典文学系列使用法式勒口封面设计,封面上绘有精美水彩插图,公司特别请来曼哈顿时装插图画家莎拉·辛格(Sara Singh)来做封面插图。

“My challenge was to make something that’s classic look appealing to tweens,” she said. Referring to the covers, she added, “We wanted to make them fashionable and beautiful, with bright colors and handwritten text.”

辛格说,“我面临的最大挑战是如何吸引更多青少年阅读这些经典文学”。谈到她的设计时,她说:“我们希望让封面看起来更时尚、更漂亮、颜色亮丽,配上手写字体。”

Alli Brydon, the editor of the series, dismissed more traditional covers as too “Victorian” and “old-fashioned” for teenagers. On the jacket of a classic edition of “Jane Eyre” in Barnes & Noble, for instance, a woman is staring mournfully into the distance, her skin nearly the same yellowish hue as the wall behind her, a black coat hiding her neck.

此套从书的编辑阿莱·布兰登(Alli Brydon)不希望在以青少年读者为对象的封面中,使用太传统的“维多利亚”或“古典”式设计。就如巴诺公司出版的《简·爱》,封面上,一个女人悲恸地望着远方,她的皮肤调子微黄,几乎和她身后墙壁的颜色一模一样,黑色的大衣将她的颈部遮了起来。

“It doesn’t show her brazen qualities, and it doesn’t show her bravery,” said Ms. Brydon, who oversaw a Classic Lines cover for the novel featuring a bright purple sketch of the book’s heroine with her chin held up jauntily. “A lot of the old covers don’t convey some of the feminist ideas that the books hold.”

“这种设计没有表现简的坚毅和勇敢,”负责“经典台词”系列丛书的布兰登说。这个系列推出的新版《简·爱》,小说封面是用素描绘制的一位紫衣少女,主人公抬着下巴,看起来非常活泼。“很多旧式封面并没有传递书中所要表达的女权主义思想。”

The traditional covers also make young protagonists look much older than their true age, while the newer ones portray characters like Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice” as the young adults they actually are, making them more appealing to young readers.

在传统封面上,女主角看起来比实际年龄要大很多,而在新版封面更能准确反映女主角的真实年龄,如《傲慢与偏见》(Pride and Prejudice)中的伊丽莎白·班纳特(Elizabeth Bennet)就被描绘为一位与目标读者同龄的少女,这样对年轻读者更有吸引力。

Nevertheless, some teenagers have rejected the new editions. At Book Passage, a store with two outlets in the San Francisco Bay Area, a display of repackaged classics did not sell well, said the store’s owner, Elaine Petrocelli.

然而,还是有一些小读者不喜欢新版经典名著。在旧金山港湾区拥有两家直销店的Book Passage书城里,据店主伊莱恩·帕特西里(Elaine Petrocelli)介绍,重新设计的经典图书销售并不好。

“If kids want to read ‘Emma,’ they want to buy it in the adult section, not the teen section,” she said. “Kids don’t want to feel like they’re being manipulated.”

“想阅读《爱玛》的孩子们会到成年区买书,”她说:“孩子们不想感觉自己被人操纵了。”

Tess Jagger-Wells, a 15-year-old high school sophomore from San Rafael, Calif., said she counted “Jane Eyre” among her favorite books, a story she loved for its old-fashioned, “charming” moments that “you had to wait for — they weren’t just handed to you.”

15岁的苔丝·贾格尔·威尔(Tess Jagger-Wells)住在加州圣拉非尔,现在读高一,她说,《简·爱》是她最喜欢的小说之一,她喜欢书中“迷人的”老时光——“幸福不是唾手可得,需要你耐心等待。”

For classics like that and “Pride and Prejudice,” Tess said she preferred her hardcover editions with their flowery covers to the more modern versions.

对于《傲慢与偏见》这类经典文学,苔丝说她不喜欢现代版装帧风格,她宁愿选择封面设计繁复、华丽的精装版。

“It’s fun to have the originals in your house to look at and show people,” she said. “It kind of goes with the feeling of the classic as something that’s treasured, something that you want to keep. The new covers make the books look like cheap romance novels.”

“在你的房间中摆上最具原始风貌的文学作品,并向你的朋友展示,这非常有趣,”苔丝说:“这是一种经典,人们希望珍视、希望它永存。新设计的封面使小说看起来只是一个庸俗的爱情故事。”
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