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"倒写体"逆袭爆红 Reverse is the way forward

If the Hollywood movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button suggests that a life lived backwards can be far more enriching, then the latest online writing phenomenon shows that a story read backwards is no less interesting.

 

Some classic works of literature, Journey to the West and A Dream of Red Mansions included, have been rewritten in reverse online. The original ending is turned into the starting point of a new story and the original beginning becomes the new story’s ending.

Journey to the West was the first to be revamped. In the well-known story, a monkey born out of a stone protects a monk on his journey to the West as atonement for his past sins. But the new version by an Internet user sees the monkey turn into a stone after he helps the monk travel all the way to the East.

Journey to the West in Reverse alone was re-blogged over 20,000 times. Many people can’t wait to try their hand at this new method of rewriting stories.

“I’m quite interested in rewriting a Shakespeare story this way,” said Zhao Zhongyan, 21, an English major at Southwest University.

But why is this so-called “reverse style” such a hit?

“It reminds me of the 2008 American movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button directed by David Fincher. The movie’s leading character ages backwards with bizarre consequences,” said He Tiantian, an English teacher at a Suzhou college. “When a story is rewritten in reverse, it also has unexpected consequences. It gets a touch of irony and the black humor of postmodern literature.”

And it has an attitude to it too, said He. “It looks like a case of young people challenging mainstream culture.”

Zhang Yiwu, a professor of Chinese literature at Peking University, agrees on the point of postmodern literature. “Parodying classic works of literature is a key attribute of postmodern culture,” he said. “It is also part of Internet-based culture.”

But Zhang believes the practice of rewriting classic stories in reverse is not simply an attempt to challenge mainstream culture.

“It’s more about the young generation’s ambivalence toward mainstream culture,” said Professor Zhang. “Following all those years of school education, their systems of thought have been established based on mainstream culture. But the rebelliousness of young people drives them to show that they have a different way of thinking.”

“Reversing classic stories’ narrative is a humorous approach for them to resolve this ambivalence,” said Professor Zhang.

 

 

 

如果说好莱坞电影《返老还童》证明了逆时针的生命轨迹可以更加丰富精彩,那么最新的一种网络文体则说明了故事倒着读也同样有趣。

包括《西游记》和《红楼梦》在内的一些古典名著纷纷被网民们改编成“倒写体”。原著的结局成为了故事的新开始,而原著的开端变成了新故事的结局。

《西游记》是第一个被改写的故事。这个广为流传的故事讲述了一只石猴保护一位僧人前往西天取经的救赎故事。但在网民改写的新版本中,这只猴子在帮助唐僧西天取经后变成了一块石头。

《西游记》“倒写体”被转发超过2万次之多。这种改编故事的新形式令许多人迫不及待,跃跃欲试。

就读于西南大学英语专业,21岁的赵忠艳(音译)表示,“我对莎士比亚小说的倒写体十分感兴趣。”

但是这种所谓的“倒写体”为何如此大受欢迎呢?

来自苏州大学的英语老师何田田(英译)表示:“这让我想起大卫•芬奇于08年拍摄的美国电影《返老还童》。片中主角返老还童,最终留下一个不同寻常的结局。当一个故事被改编成‘倒写体’时,通常能制造出一个不同寻常的结局。带有一丝讽刺意味以及一种后现代主义文学的黑色幽默。”

而人们对于倒写体也持有一种态度,何田田评价说:“这看上去是一个年轻人挑战主流文化的实例。”

在“倒写体”体现出后现代主义文学这点上,北京大学中文系教授张颐武表示赞同。他说:“效仿经典名著是后现代主义文化中的重要特征,也是网络文化的一部分。”

但是张颐武认为,将名著改编成倒写体,这一行为不仅仅是试图挑战主流文化那么简单。

张颐武教授认为:“这更多反应出年轻一代对于主流文化所持有的矛盾心理。在多年的学校教育后,年轻人的思想体系已被构筑于主流文化的基础之上,而他们的反叛意识又驱使他们展现自己独特的思考方式。”

张颐武教授表示:“倒写经典名著是他们排解矛盾心理的一种幽默方式。”

 

 

来源:21st英语网

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