戴维·麦登(David Madden)在他的新小说中探索了目睹可怕犯罪的心理后果

On a bleak winter’s day in the Thousand Islands region of New York, Carol Seaborg is visiting a lakeside lighthouse with her six-year-old child when she sees an older woman abducted by a man she suspects is a murderer known as the Daylight Serial Killer. She grows obsessed with the woman, believing that if she “talks” to her, imagining the abducted woman’s every move, she can help keep her alive.

考虑到简短的摘要,被情况绑架,著名的诺克斯维尔(Knoxville)出生的作家戴维·麦登(David Madden)的新小说听起来像是池畔page-turner。然而,这部安静而精细的小说并不是一个心理惊悚片,而是对陷入困境的女人身份的令人着迷,复杂的探索。从角度来看,这也是一个大胆的叙事实验。

小说开头时,卡罗尔正与她的女儿梅利莎(Melissa)站在安大略省冷冻湖上。冰块威胁着裂缝,“像一个熟睡的人的胸部一样抬起裂缝 - 口气在那儿分裂,在暮色中哭泣。”这张强大的形象暗示了卡罗尔的心态,随着故事的发展,它变得更加脆弱。她经常去开车,经常把梅利莎(Melissa)带上:“她的丈夫出去时突然的游览不是看着,而只是去看,走了,走到任何地方,尽可能远,任何给定的空闲时间允许。透明在这一天,她碰巧见证了格伦达·米切尔(Glenda Mitchell)的绑架,格伦达·米切尔(Glenda Mitchell)是一位知名的艺术倡导者,也是一位著名医生的妻子,他患有癌症和死亡的边缘。

In Carol’s eyes, Glenda is everything that she is not, “a woman who could carry off any whim, but not a woman of mere whim, a purposeful woman, most of the time, a career woman, not a housewife, except when she wanted to play that role, too.” Carol is immediately consumed with imagining Glenda’s experiences with her captor, and she begins addressing Glenda as if she has telepathic power to control her.


卡罗尔(Carol)对格兰达(Glenda)的愿景 - 自信,成功,镇定和注定不是成为受害者 - 展示了她自己令人心碎的限制感,这是每天都在悲伤中唱歌的生活。令人失望的男人经历解释了她的许多不满:一个在海湾战争中死亡的男朋友;与已婚律师的恋情;她自己的两个苍白的冷婚。还有一个超然和贬低的父亲。Jack, Carol’s taciturn second husband, is a countertop installer who at first seemed to her “like firm earth under my feet,” but now, when he deigns to speak to her, “always uses that tone of voice that says, You who know nothing.” He’s trolling for porn on the computer when he’s not off with the boys. (And where he goes, he won’t tell her.) For Carol, talking to Glenda is clearly an escape from this reality: “No, Jack,摆脱这张照片!”她认为,当他滑入她的一个Glenda崇敬时。

Carol’s mother, a respected nurse, committed suicide—shot herself in the very home where Carol lives now, a poignant and foreboding detail—and at thirty-five, Carol has drifted away from an education that might have led her to follow in her mother’s professional footsteps. After the suicide, she says, “I rushed into the nursing program but dropped out when Jack kept saying, How can you see the house my mother keeps and let ours go like this?”


有时,很难同情卡罗尔,因为几乎不可能举起她包裹的痴迷斗篷。她在格伦达(Glenda)的吸收确实被她的思想绑架了 - 只是她自己被她的《束缚生活》的环境俘虏,她在小说的过程中裸露了这一点。对于卡罗尔来说,格伦达越来越多地是“几乎是汽车中的第三名乘客,有时在她旁边,有时在梅利莎旁边的后座上。”

另一个复杂的元素是这部小说的叙述方式 - 第一人称和第三人称,限量多的人的无缝融合,就像这段经文中:“她知道,现在她有Glenda可以担心和谈论,她确实做到了。不迫切需要经常游览她不幸的追求,错过的机会和幻想未来的场景,因为她从现在的情况转移了。詹姆斯的妻子在肉体上可能会毁了她一整天。格伦达,没有什么可以分散我的注意力。”卡罗尔通常会直接以第三人称段落的身份直接以第一人称来解决格伦达。此外,还有关于格伦达和她的绑架者之间想象中对话的完整对话,有时很难跟踪“ i”在这些段落中所指的角色(carol,glenda或她的绑架者)。

Madden’s hybrid narration of first and third person flies in the face of everything that most creative writing professors tell their students about the rules of point of view—and it’s therefore a great example of how the rules, such as they are, can be broken to powerful effect. Readers will likely be evenly divided about whether Madden’s strategy is masterfully innovative, contributing to a powerful intellectual experience of a fractured mind, or needlessly befuddling, standing in the way of engagement with this extraordinarily sad creature. But there is no question that it is a case of literary experimentation that befits its subject matter.