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【话题文章】推理小说二十条守则(全译附英文原文)
 作者:ellry打开ellry的博客  人气: 3457  发表于: 02年12月03日13点56分
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推理小说二十条守则

S.S.范达因

这个二十条守则网上原来是有的,但却不是全译本,因此某些条目意思不是很完整,这是南海出版社的《班森杀人事件》前所附的《推理小说二十条守则》,全译本,再附上英文原文,以资参考。--ellry


推理小说是一种智性游戏,但更像一种竞赛,作者必须公平地和读者玩这场比赛,他必须在使用策略和诡计的同时,维持一定程度的诚实,绝不能过分到像玩桥牌时作弊一样。他必须以智取胜,透过精巧又不失诚实的设计引起读者的兴趣。因此,写推理小说有着极其明确的守则存在,虽然是不成文的规定,但约束力十足,每一个受人尊敬或懂得自重的小说作者,都得服膺这些守则。

在此,特别列出这些理应称之为“诫律” 的条文,其中,一部分根据所有伟大的推理小说作家所遵行的原则,另一部分则来自所有诚实作家内心的信念,两部分熔铸而成:

一、必须让读者拥有和侦探平等的机会解谜,所有线索都必须交代清楚。

二、除凶手对侦探所玩弄的必要犯罪技巧之外,不该刻意欺骗或以不正当的诡计愚弄读者。

三、不可在故事中添加爱情成分,以免非理性的情绪干扰纯粹理性的推演。我们要的是将凶手送上正义的法庭,而不是将一对苦恋的情侣送上婚姻的圣坛。

四、侦探本人或警方搜查人员不可摇身变为凶手。如此等于拿一分钱铜板,说它是五元金币一样,这是不实的陈述。

五、控告凶手,必须通过逻辑推理,不可假借意外。
巧合或没有合理动机的嫌疑犯自白。以后者的方式破案,无疑是故意驱使读者到一个不可能找到答案之处搜寻,等读者失败回来之后,才告诉他们答案从头到尾在你口袋之中。这样的作者,不会比一个笑匠好到哪儿去。

六、推理小说必须有侦探,侦探不侦查案情就不能称之为侦探。侦探的任务是搜集一切
可能的线索,再根据这些线索找出那个故事一开始时就犯下恶行的人。如果侦探不能经由线索的分析推演出最终结论,那就如同偷看算术课书后才解答的小学生一样,不算真正解决了谜题。

七、推理小说中通常会出现尸体,尸体所显露的疑点愈多愈妙。缺乏凶杀的犯罪太单薄,分量太不足了,为一桩如此平凡的犯罪写上三百页也未免太小题大做了。毕竟,读者所耗费的时间精力必须获得回馈。美国人本质上比较富于人性,因此,一桩凶狠的谋杀案会激起他们的报复之念和恐惧心理,他们希望杀人者受到法律制裁。所以,当一个“恶毒” 的谋杀案发生时,再温厚的读者都会怀抱满腔正义热忱地来追捕凶手。

八、破案只能通过合乎自然的方法。就推理小说而言,魔术、求神问卜、读心术、降灵符咒或水晶球等等一概列为禁忌。一个根据理性创作的推理故事,读者才有公平的机会参与斗智,但若和神异的世界竞争,甚至济身四次元的形而上世界缉凶,读者等于在起跑点就注定输了。

九、侦探只能有一名,也就是说,负责真正推理缉凶的主角,就像古希腊战争剧中的解围之神deus ex machina一样,是独一无二的。为解决一个谜题而搬来三四名侦探,只会分散阅读的乐趣,打乱逻辑推理的脉络,更会不当地剥夺读者和侦探公平斗智的权益。侦探人数超过一名,读者会弄不清谁才是他真正的竞争对手,这就像让一名读者单挑一支接力赛跑队伍一样。

十、凶手必须是小说中多少有点分量的角色才行。也就是说,凶手必须是读者有兴趣,而且多少有所了解的人物。如果小说进行到最后一章,才将罪名加在一个陌生人,或一个无足轻重的角色身上,那等于是作者自认无能,不配和读者斗智。

十一、那些做仆人的,比方说管家、脚夫、侍者、管理员、厨师等等,不可被选为凶手。因为这样的凶手太明显了,太容易被找出来,这样的处理实在无法令人满意,读者也会觉得浪费时间。凶手必须是值得花时间花心力去找的人——通常是最不被怀疑的那个。要是凶手果真是某个卑微的奴仆,那作家实在没必要把这种故事写成书,让世人铭记于心。

十二、就算是连续杀人命案,凶手也只能有一名。当然,凶手可以有共犯或共谋,但务必只让一人挑起全部的罪行责任,读者的所有怒火必须集中于单一的反派角色身上。

十三、推理小说中,最好不要有秘密组织、帮会或黑手党之类的犯罪团体,否则作者等于在写冒险小说或间谍小说。一件完美而悬疑的谋杀案,若被这么一大批人马搅和的话,那可就无可挽回地完蛋大吉了。当然,推理小说中的凶手仍应该有他正当的逃命机会,但如果让整个庞大的秘密组织为他撑腰(如无所不有的藏匿地点或大批人马的保护),那显然又太过头了。相信一个有自尊心的一流凶手,在与侦探对决时,不会让自己披上一身无法穿透的盔甲才上场。

十四、杀人手法和破案手法必须合理且科学。也就是说,推理小说不允许采用伪科学、纯幻想或投机的机关装置。举例来说,谋杀案的死者被才发现的新元素如超镭所杀,这就是不合理的;或者,用极其罕见,甚至是作者凭空想像的毒药害死,这也不行。一个推理小说作家必须限制自己在毒药方面的想象力,所用的毒药不得逾越寻常药典的范畴。如果作者天马行空于想象世界,漫无禁忌地翱翔于不存在的时空,那就逸出推理小说的界限了。

十五、谜题真相必须明晰有条理,可让有锐利洞察之眼的读者看穿,我的意思是,在案情大白之后,读者若重读一遍小说,会清楚地发现,破案的关键始终摆在他眼前,所有的线索也无一不指向同一名凶手。如果他跟侦探一样聪明的话,不必等到最后一章就可以自己破案。当然了,这样的读者的确是存在的。我对于推理小说所持的基本理论是:如果一本推理小说的架构写得够公平合理的话,要读者无法自己发现答案是不可能的。可以预期的是,一定有某部分的读者和作者一样机灵。若是作者有足够的运动精神,将犯罪的计划和线索都在书中诚实地描述出来的话,这些敏锐的读者就可以和书中的侦探一样,经由分析、推理和消除法将嫌疑犯指认出来,而这正是这场游戏的趣味所在。这也可以解释为什么有些不屑看通俗文学的读者,对于看推理小说不会感到脸红的原因。

十六、过长的叙述性文字,微妙的人物分析,过度的气氛营造或是在一些旁枝末节上玩弄文字,都不应该出现在推理小说里。这些在犯罪的记录和推理的过程中完全不重要。我们的主要目的是要陈述问题,并经由分析将问题作出圆满的推论。而这类文字只会阻碍情节的发展,并将不相干的事情加进主题里面。当然,必要的叙述和人物的描写可以使小说更为逼真。当作者将故事描写得非常引人入胜时,可使读者的情绪完全投入在剧情的发展和人物的刻画上,就这一点而言,作者已经将纯文学的技巧和犯罪事件所需具备的真实性相容,并发挥到同等的境界了。写推理小说是一件非常严谨的事情,读者看它并不是为了华丽的词藻和风格,也不是为了绚丽的叙述和情绪的投射,而是为了刺激脑力所做的心智活动——就像是他们去参加球赛或玩拼字游戏一样。若在一个棒球比赛中,在换场时间对球员讲述球场的自然景色是如何的美丽,这如何能激励球员们想要赢球的心呢?若在猜字游戏的词汇里掺杂着语言学的学术论文中所使用的艰涩字眼,这样只会使猜谜者在玩游戏的时候变得焦躁不安。

十七、不可让职业性罪犯负担推理小说中的犯罪责任。至于那些间空门的小偷恶棍所做的坏事则是警察的责任,不是作家和杰出的业余侦探的事,这类犯法的事属于刑事组的例行工作。真正吸引人的犯罪,应该出自教堂中某个受人尊敬的大人物,或是以慈善闻名的老太太之手才是。

十八、在推理小说里,犯罪事件到最后绝不能变成意外或以自杀收场,这种虎头蛇尾的结局,等于是对读者开了一个不可饶恕的大玩笑。要是有人买了这本书,发现里面的内容全是骗人而要求退钱的话,任何公正的法院都会站在他那边,而将这位欺骗了忠实读者的作家予以严惩。

十九、推理小说里的犯罪动机都是个人的。至于国际阴谋和战略的政治游戏属于另外一种小说,举例来说,像是特务组织之类的故事。谋杀的情节,必须保持一定程度的平易近人,才可以反映读者的日常生活经验,使他们压抑已久的欲望和情绪有所宣泄。

二十、以下列出几项常用的方法(顺便也把我这些规定凑个整数),这些方法都已经被用烂了。一个懂得自重的推理小说家通常都不会再次使用,因为所有的推理小说迷对于这几种方式都再熟悉不过了。谁要是用了它就等于是承认自己的愚昧和缺乏创意。
(A)把案发现场所留下的烟头,和嫌疑犯所抽的香烟品牌做比较,借此找出凶手。
(B)假装受害者的鬼魂显灵,吓得凶手自己招认。
(C)伪造指纹。
(D)用假人来制造不在场证明。
(E)因为狗不吠,表示闯入者是熟人。
(F)一个无辜的人被认定是凶手,结果原来他是凶手的孪生兄弟(或姊妹),或是长相极为酷似的亲戚。
(G)用针筒注射或是在饮料中放入迷药。
(H)警察破门进入一间上锁的房间之后,谋杀才真正开始。
(I)用相关字来测试是否有罪。
(J)使用密码或密语,最后被侦探识破。




英文原文

"Twenty rules for writing detective stories" (1928)
(Originally published in the American Magazine (1928-sep),
and included in the Philo Vance investigates omnibus (1936).

by S.S. Van Dine
(pseud. for Willard Huntington Wright)

THE DETECTIVE story is a kind of intellectual game. It is more — it is a sporting event. And for the writing of detective stories there are very definite laws — unwritten, perhaps, but none the less binding; and every respectable and self-respecting concocter of literary mysteries lives up to them. Herewith, then, is a sort Credo, based partly on the practice of all the great writers of detective stories, and partly on the promptings of the honest author's inner conscience. To wit:

1. The reader must have equal opportunity with the detective for solving the mystery. All clues must be plainly stated and described.

2. No willful tricks or deceptions may be placed on the reader other than those played legitimately by the criminal on the detective himself.

3. There must be no love interest. The business in hand is to bring a criminal to the bar of justice, not to bring a lovelorn couple to the hymeneal altar.

4. The detective himself, or one of the official investigators, should never turn out to be the culprit. This is bald trickery, on a par with offering some one a bright penny for a five-dollar gold piece. It's false pretenses.

5. The culprit must be determined by logical deductions — not by accident or coincidence or unmotivated confession. To solve a criminal problem in this latter fashion is like sending the reader on a deliberate wild-goose chase, and then telling him, after he has failed, that you had the object of his search up your sleeve all the time. Such an author is no better than a practical joker.

6. The detective novel must have a detective in it; and a detective is not a detective unless he detects. His function is to gather clues that will eventually lead to the person who did the dirty work in the first chapter; and if the detective does not reach his conclusions through an analysis of those clues, he has no more solved his problem than the schoolboy who gets his answer out of the back of the arithmetic.

7. There simply must be a corpse in a detective novel, and the deader the corpse the better. No lesser crime than murder will suffice. Three hundred pages is far too much pother for a crime other than murder. After all, the reader's trouble and expenditure of energy must be rewarded.

8. The problem of the crime must he solved by strictly naturalistic means. Such methods for learning the truth as slate-writing, ouija-boards, mind-reading, spiritualistic se'ances, crystal-gazing, and the like, are taboo. A reader has a chance when matching his wits with a rationalistic detective, but if he must compete with the world of spirits and go chasing about the fourth dimension of metaphysics, he is defeated ab initio.

9. There must be but one detective — that is, but one protagonist of deduction — one deus ex machina. To bring the minds of three or four, or sometimes a gang of detectives to bear on a problem, is not only to disperse the interest and break the direct thread of logic, but to take an unfair advantage of the reader. If there is more than one detective the reader doesn't know who his codeductor is. It's like making the reader run a race with a relay team.

10. The culprit must turn out to be a person who has played a more or less prominent part in the story — that is, a person with whom the reader is familiar and in whom he takes an interest.

11. A servant must not be chosen by the author as the culprit. This is begging a noble question. It is a too easy solution. The culprit must be a decidedly worth-while person — one that wouldn't ordinarily come under suspicion.

12. There must be but one culprit, no matter how many murders are committed. The culprit may, of course, have a minor helper or co-plotter; but the entire onus must rest on one pair of shoulders: the entire indignation of the reader must be permitted to concentrate on a single black nature.

13. Secret societies, camorras, mafias, et al., have no place in a detective story. A fascinating and truly beautiful murder is irremediably spoiled by any such wholesale culpability. To be sure, the murderer in a detective novel should be given a sporting chance; but it is going too far to grant him a secret society to fall back on. No high-class, self-respecting murderer would want such odds.

14. The method of murder, and the means of detecting it, must be be rational and scientific. That is to say, pseudo-science and purely imaginative and speculative devices are not to be tolerated in the roman policier. Once an author soars into the realm of fantasy, in the Jules Verne manner, he is outside the bounds of detective fiction, cavorting in the uncharted reaches of adventure.

15. The truth of the problem must at all times be apparent — provided the reader is shrewd enough to see it. By this I mean that if the reader, after learning the explanation for the crime, should reread the book, he would see that the solution had, in a sense, been staring him in the face-that all the clues really pointed to the culprit — and that, if he had been as clever as the detective, he could have solved the mystery himself without going on to the final chapter. That the clever reader does often thus solve the problem goes without saying.

16. A detective novel should contain no long descriptive passages, no literary dallying with side-issues, no subtly worked-out character analyses, no "atmospheric" preoccupations. such matters have no vital place in a record of crime and deduction. They hold up the action and introduce issues irrelevant to the main purpose, which is to state a problem, analyze it, and bring it to a successful conclusion. To be sure, there must be a sufficient descriptiveness and character delineation to give the novel verisimilitude.

17. A professional criminal must never be shouldered with the guilt of a crime in a detective story. Crimes by housebreakers and bandits are the province of the police departments — not of authors and brilliant amateur detectives. A really fascinating crime is one committed by a pillar of a church, or a spinster noted for her charities.

18. A crime in a detective story must never turn out to be an accident or a suicide. To end an odyssey of sleuthing with such an anti-climax is to hoodwink the trusting and kind-hearted reader.

19. The motives for all crimes in detective stories should be personal. International plottings and war politics belong in a different category of fiction — in secret-service tales, for instance. But a murder story must be kept gemütlich, so to speak. It must reflect the reader's everyday experiences, and give him a certain outlet for his own repressed desires and emotions.

20. And (to give my Credo an even score of items) I herewith list a few of the devices which no self-respecting detective story writer will now avail himself of. They have been employed too often, and are familiar to all true lovers of literary crime. To use them is a confession of the author's ineptitude and lack of originality. (a) Determining the identity of the culprit by comparing the butt of a cigarette left at the scene of the crime with the brand smoked by a suspect. (b) The bogus spiritualistic se'ance to frighten the culprit into giving himself away. (c) Forged fingerprints. (d) The dummy-figure alibi. (e) The dog that does not bark and thereby reveals the fact that the intruder is familiar. (f)The final pinning of the crime on a twin, or a relative who looks exactly like the suspected, but innocent, person. (g) The hypodermic syringe and the knockout drops. (h) The commission of the murder in a locked room after the police have actually broken in. (i) The word association test for guilt. (j) The cipher, or code letter, which is eventually unraveled by the sleuth.

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  •   网友评论:(只显示最新5条。评论内容只代表网友观点,与本站立场无关!)   相关文章:
  • Sain』于2003-2-26 12:00:00发表评论:

  • ???学习八股文吗?
  • 姜宇』于2003-2-22 10:39:00发表评论:

  • 【周易在大作中谈到:】

    >起码第一条很有道理。凡是违反此条的作品,我都不以为然——它可以是一本好看的、精彩的小说,但怎么也不算优秀的推理小说。早期的侦探作品还未成型,因此还可理解。比如爱伦坡。
    >爵士以后的人就不可原谅了。
    同意,我也觉得这条很有道理。但具体到个人可能就变味了,大家的做法看法都不一样。
  • 周易』于2003-2-16 0:03:00发表评论:

  • 起码第一条很有道理。凡是违反此条的作品,我都不以为然——它可以是一本好看的、精彩的小说,但怎么也不算优秀的推理小说。早期的侦探作品还未成型,因此还可理解。比如爱伦坡。
    爵士以后的人就不可原谅了。
  • drhorse』于2002-12-3 13:56:00发表评论:

  • 要真的都遵守,文章写好了,头发也白了。
  • liuliniao』于2002-7-22 11:35:00发表评论:

  • 麻烦把排版改一下可以吗?
    头晕
    查看关于此文章的完整版本
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