任睇No.1
  • 32º
  • 62%
  • 2022年6月27日 星期一

又中又英|Racial segregation - Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

As I said in my previous column, I donated most of my books when I left Hong Kong for the US last August. One of the books I donated was the 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird by the American author Harper Lee. As I said in my previous column, she is not Chinese even though her last name is Lee. The name Lee was popular in the 19th century as a surname and as a first name. Harper Lee won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel. As I promised in my previous column, I will explain why the novel is so controversial that many groups want to ban it.

The story takes place in the 1930s in the US Deep South during the Great Depression. The Deep South is an area in the southern US made up of the states of Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Texas, Florida, and Arkansas are sometimes included. The region is known for its past racism against blacks, the racist group Ku Klux Klan, and racial segregation. The word "depression" means a long and severe economic recession. The Great Depression started in the US after a stock market collapse. It spread globally, lasting from 1929 to around 1940. The expression "racial segregation" means to separate people based on race. The Deep South states used to separate blacks and whites by having different schools, residential areas, and restaurants.

The novel To Kill a Mockingbird is so controversial because it's about racism, the Ku Klux Klan, rape, and the use of the racist word "nigger" to describe blacks. It comes from the Spanish word "negro" which means black. The word "negro" was often used to describe black Americans. The word "nigger" is considered so racist that it is no longer politically acceptable to use it. People say "the N-word" instead. African Americans want to ban To Kill a Mockingbird because they feel it is racist and uses the word "nigger". Some whites want to ban it because they feel the book unfairly portrays them as racist.
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正如我在上一篇文章中所說,上年八月我離開香港到美國時,把大部份的藏書都捐了出去。其中一本我捐出的書是一九六○年的小說《梅岡城故事》,由美國作家哈波‧李所著。正如我在上一篇文章所說,雖然她姓李,她卻並非華人。在十九世紀Lee是一個很常見的姓,作為名字用也很普遍。哈波‧李憑着這部小說獲得普立茲獎。正如我在上篇承諾過大家的,我會講解為何這部小說那麼具爭議性,令有許多團體都想要加以禁制。

故事發生於一九三○年代經濟大蕭條(Great Depression)時期的美國深南部(Deep South)。The Deep South是指美國南部的地區,由佐治亞州、阿拉巴馬州、南卡羅萊納州、密西西比州以及路易斯安娜州所組成;有時德州、佛羅里達州以及阿肯色州都會包括在內。這個地區從前出了名是歧視黑人、有種族主義組織三K黨,以及推行種族隔離(racial segregation)政策。Depression是指長久而嚴峻的經濟蕭條。一次股票市場崩盤後,美國開始了經濟大蕭條(Great Depression),隨後席捲全球,由一九二九年起,延續至一九四○年左右。習語 "racial segregation" 意思是按照種族將人群分隔。美國深南部(Deep South)州分過去曾經分隔黑人與白人,讓兩個種族的人上不同的學校、活在不同的住區以及去不同的餐廳。

小說《梅岡城故事》那麼具爭議性,正正因為它是關於種族歧視、三K黨、強姦,以及用上種族主義色彩字眼 "nigger" 去形容黑人。這個字來自西班牙語"negro",意思是黑色,而 "negro" 這個字過去常被用來形容美國黑人。至於 "nigger"(黑鬼)一字,也被認為帶濃厚種族主義,現在再用已變得非常政治不正確,人們會改為說 "the N-word"。非裔美國人想禁了《梅岡城故事》一書,因為他們認為小說帶種族歧視,又用上了 "nigger" 一字;另一些白人也想禁了它,因認為小說不公平地將他們描繪成種族主義份子。mickchug@gmail.com
中譯:七刻
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

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