In Japan, Purists Fret at the Rise of the Cellphone Novel

Japan’s younger generation came of age with the cellphone, and created its own popular culture by tapping thumbs on keypads.

Sign In to E-Mail or Save This
Print
Single Page
Reprints
Share
Del.icio.us
Digg
Facebook
Newsvine
Permalink


By NORIMITSU ONISHI
Published: January 20, 2008


日本純文學界愁對手機小說崛起



TOKYO – Until recently, cellphone novels – composed on phone keypads by young women wielding dexterous thumbs and read by fans on their tiny screens – had been dismissed in Japan as a subgenre unworthy of the country that gave the world its first novel, “The Tale of Genji,” a millennium ago.
直到最近,手機小說在日本一直被貶為次文類,在這一千年前產生世上第一部小說「源氏物語」的國度裡一文不值。手機小說是年輕女孩熟練地舞動她們靈巧的拇指在手機鍵盤上寫作,書迷在手機的小小螢幕上閱讀的小說形式。


Then in December, the year-end best-seller tally showed that cellphone novels, republished in book form, have not only infiltrated the mainstream but have come to dominate it.
接著在去年12月,年終暢銷書榜顯示,以書籍形式出版的手機小說,不僅滲透到主流市場,還稱霸市場。


Of last year’s 10 best-selling novels, five were originally cellphone novels, mostly love stories written in the short sentences characteristic of text messaging but containing little of the plotting or character development found in traditional novels. What is more, the top three spots were occupied by first-time cellphone novelists, touching off a debate.
在去年十大暢銷小說中,有五部原本是手機小說,大部分是以簡短句子寫的愛情故事,這是手機簡訊的特色,但沒有太多傳統小說中的情節和角色發展。尤有甚者,前三名竟然全由初試啼聲的手機小說家包了,引發辯論。


“Will cellphone novels kill ‘the author’?” a famous literary journal, Bungaku-kai, asked on the cover of its January issue. Fans praised the novels as a new literary genre created and consumed by a generation whose reading habits had consisted mostly of manga, or comic books. Critics said the dominance of cellphone novels, with their poor literary quality, would hasten the decline of Japanese literature.
著名文學期刊「文學界」在一月號的封面故事問道:「手機小說會殺死『作者』嗎?」書迷稱讚這些小說是新文學類型,由閱讀習慣多半是看漫畫書的世代創造和消費。批評者說,以手機小說差勁的文學素質,這類小說稱霸市場,將加速日本文學的沒落。


Whatever their literary talents, cellphone novelists are making the kind of sales that most more experienced novelists only dream of.
姑不論手機小說家文學才情如何,她們的銷售成績確是大多數更有經驗的小說家夢寐以求的。


Rin, 21, tapped out a novel on her cellphone that sold 400,000 copies in hardcover.

One such star, a 21-year-old woman named Rin, wrote “If You” over a six-month stretch during her senior year in high school. While commuting to her part-time job or in free moments, she tapped out passages on her cellphone and uploaded them on a Web site for would-be authors.
一位手機小說明星,筆名「凜」的21歲年輕女子,在高三時以六個月時間寫了「如果你」這部小說。她在去打工的通勤路上或閒暇時,把小說段落輸入手機,並上傳到為明日之星作家設的網站上。


Rin wrote her novel while commuting to her part-time job.

After cellphone readers voted her novel No. 1 in one ranking, her story of the tragic love between two childhood friends was turned into a 142-page hardcover book last year. It sold 400,000 copies and became the No. 5 best-selling novel of 2007, according to a closely watched list by Tohan, a major book distributor.
在手機讀者票選她的小說為一項排行榜的第一名後,她敘述兩個兒時玩伴之間的悲劇愛情故事,去年變成一本142頁的精裝書。根據大出版公司東販備受矚目的排行榜,這本書銷售40萬冊,成為2007年暢銷小說第五名。


“My mother didn’t even know that I was writing a novel,” said Rin, who, like many cellphone novelists, goes by only one name.
「凜」說:「我母親甚至不知道我在寫小說。」她和許多手機小說家一樣,只用單名。


“So at first when I told her, well, I’m coming out with a novel, she was like, what? She didn’t believe it until it came out and appeared in bookstores,” she added. The cellphone novel was born in 2000 after a home-page-making Web site, Maho noi-rando, realized that many users were writing novels on their blogs; it allowed users to upload works in progress and readers to comment, creating the serialized cellphone novel. But the number of users uploading novels began booming only two to three years ago, and the number of novels listed on the site reached one million in December.
她接著說:「因此當初我告訴她,我要出一本小說時,她的反應是,什麼?她不相信,直到書出版了,擺在書店裡。」在一家製作首頁的網站「魔法島」網站知道許多用戶正在他們的部落格上寫小說後,手機小說於2000年誕生;該網站讓用戶上傳正在進行中的作品,並讓讀者評論、創作連載的手機小說。但用戶上傳小說的數量在兩三年前才開始暴增,去年12月列在該網站的小說數量達到一百萬部。


A year ago, one of Starts Publishing’s young cellphone stars, Chaco, gave up her phone even though she could compose much faster with it by tapping with her thumb.
一年前,Starts出版公司的年輕手機小說明星Chaco已放棄用手機寫作,即便她用拇指在手機上按鍵寫作速度要快得多。


“Because of writing on the cellphone, her nail had cut into the flesh and became bloodied,” said Shigeru Matsushima, an editor at Starts. “Since she’s switched to a computer, her vocabulary’s gotten richer and her sentences have also grown longer.”
Starts編輯松島茂說:「由於在手機上寫小說,她的指甲陷入肉裡,變得血肉模糊,後來她改用電腦寫作,她的字彙變豐富了,句子也變長了。」


QUANELIN 發表在 痞客邦 PIXNET 留言(0) 人氣()