侦探小说女王背后的故事 The Story Behind the Queen of Crime

就算不是侦探小说迷,你也一定听说过《东方快车谋杀案》和《尼罗河上的惨案》。这两部小说皆出自“侦探小说女王”(queen of crime)—— 阿加莎·克里斯蒂之手。据吉尼斯世界纪录统计,
阿加莎·克里斯蒂是人类史上最畅销的著书作家。将所有形式的著作算入,其作品销量在书籍发行史上仅次于《圣经》和莎士比亚的作品。
有时候实在很难想象,一位老妇人(网上有人亲切地称她作“阿婆”)竟然写了79部侦探小说以及一系列剧本和言情小说。她的侦探小说主要使用密室推理法,通常要到结尾才知道谁是真凶(这种编排手法叫“whodunit”),让人欲罢不能。
每年9月,英国的德文郡都会举办一年一度的阿加莎·克里斯蒂节,以纪念这位对英国乃至世界侦探小说发展有着重要影响的女作家。

Agatha mary clarissa miller was born in torquay, devon, in september 1890 and would go on to change the art of crime-writing forever.
阿加莎·玛丽·克拉丽莎·米勒于1890年9月出生于英国德文郡的托基市。其后,她永远改变了犯罪写作的艺术。

Agatha miller would, of course, become agatha christie—and when you look at how the self-taught woman started as a 1)novelist, it’s all the more amazing that she later became the biggest selling 2)whodunnit writer the world has ever seen.
当然了,阿加莎·米勒后来变成了阿加莎·克里斯蒂——你看着这位自学成才的女性成为一位小说家,更令人惊异的是,她后来成了有史以来最畅销的侦探小说作家。

  Her father, frederick miller, was from new york, but died when agatha was a child, so she was brought up and educated by her mother in torquay.
她的父亲弗雷德里克·米勒来自纽约,但在阿加莎年幼时就去世了,所以她是由母亲在托基抚养并教育成人的。

It was her mother who first suggested she tried her hand at writing when agatha was stuck indoors because of a cold. agatha was also said to be rather disappointed about the 3)mystery books on the market, as you could always guess “whodunnit.”
当阿加莎因为一场感冒被困在家时,是她母亲最早建议她尝试写作的。另外,据说阿加莎对当时市面上的侦探小说相当失望,因为你总是能够猜出“是谁干的”。

A key time for her was during the first world war. she married archibald christie—an officer in the air force—shortly after the outbreak of the war, and they had a very short honeymoon at the grand hotel in torquay. the hotel is 4)featured in the agatha christie mile—a walk which takes you to places 5)associated with the writer.
第一次世界大战对于她来说是一段关键时期。战争爆发后不久,她嫁给了一位空军军官——阿奇博尔德·克里斯蒂。他们在托基的大饭店里度过了非常短暂的蜜月。这间饭店是“阿加莎·克里斯蒂之路”的特色景点——这段旅程将带你走过与这位作者息息相关的各个地方。

Agatha then did her bit for the war effort by working in a hospital in torquay. this, 6)apparently, is where she learnt about drugs and poisons—knowledge she would use in her books.
随后,阿加莎在托基的一所医院工作,为支援战争贡献了自己的力量。很显然,她就是在这里学习了药品和毒药方面的知识,后来将其运用在作品当中。

Agatha’s first big success was in 1920 with the mysterious affair at styles—where the 7)belgian detective hercule poirot made his 8)debut. the 9)script was rejected six times by publishers (who must have regretted their decision later).
阿加莎于1920年因《斯泰尔斯庄园奇案》首次获得巨大成功——比利时侦探赫尔克里·波洛在书中首度亮相。这部手稿曾被出版商拒绝过六次(他们肯定为自己的决定后悔不已)。

Her other famous character, elderly 10)spinster miss marple, made her first appearance in murder in the 11)vicarage in 1930.
她的另一个著名角色——老姑娘马普尔小姐于1930年首次出现在《寓所谜案》一书中。

She used places in torquay and south devon in her books such as the cliffs at st. marychurch, the 12)imperial hotel in torquay, and burgh island.
她在书中经常使用托基和南德文郡的地名——如圣玛丽彻奇镇的悬崖、托基的帝国酒店,以及伯格岛等。

In december 1926, agatha was herself at the centre of a mystery when she disappeared from her home in sunningdale. it turned out that archie was having an 13)affair with a younger woman, nancy neele. Newspapers offered rewards for information about her whereabouts, and for a brief time, archie was 14)suspected of murdering her!
1926年12月,阿加莎自己也深陷于谜团之中,因为她从位于森宁代尔的家中消失了。原来,阿奇与一名年轻女子——南希·尼尔有私情。各大报章悬赏寻找关于她下落的信息,而有一小段时间,人们怀疑阿奇杀了她!

In the end, she was found at a hotel in harrogate, yorkshire, and the claim was that she was suffering from 15)amnesia. no real explanation has ever been 16)forthcoming, but it’s known that she booked herself into the hotel as “teresa neele.”
最后,人们在约克郡哈罗盖特镇的一间宾馆找到了她。阿加莎宣称自己得了失忆症。关于此事始终没有真正的解释,据悉她曾以“特蕾莎·尼尔”之名为自己在酒店订房。

She and archie were divorced, and agatha married her second husband, 17)archaeologist max mallowan, in 1930.
她和阿奇离婚了。1930年,阿加莎嫁给了她的第二任丈夫——考古学家马克斯·马洛温。

  Among the queen of crime’s best loved works are the murder of roger ackroyd, death on the nile, murder on the orient express, and the 18)mousetrap—which was first staged in london in 1952 and became the longest running play in the world.
在侦探小说女王的作品中,人气最高的是《罗杰疑案》、《尼罗河上的惨案》、《东方快车谋杀案》和《捕鼠器》。《捕鼠器》于1952年在伦敦首次被搬上舞台,后来成为世界上演出时间最长的戏剧。

Agatha was made a 19)dame of the british empire in 1971, and died in january 1976 at the age of 85.
阿加莎于1971年获封为大英帝国女爵士。她于1976年1月去世,享年85岁。

It’s 20)incredible to think that more than 30 years after dame agatha’s death, her books are still among the most-read in the world and that her stories are still popular on tv and on film.
让人难以置信的是,在阿加莎女爵士逝世三十多年以后,她的书依然位于全世界最多人阅读的书籍之列,她笔下的故事在银屏和大银幕上仍然广受欢迎。

Her mother’s suggestion that she should make use of her time while 21)confined with a cold must go down as one of the best pieces of motherly advice ever!
她母亲建议她应该好好利用因感冒而不得不禁足在家的时间,这一定可以成为有史以来最棒的慈母忠告之一而流传后世!Isaac Sheedy/文