Xu Zhiqiang commented on “Famous Gate” and Daniel Mendel pine questioning

Professor Xu Zhiqiang, a professor of the Institute of World Literature and Comparative Literature of Zhejiang University

“Famous Gate”, [Irish] Corm Tobin, translated by Wang Xiaoxiong, Shanghai Translation Press, published in September 2020, 300 pages, 59.00 yuan


Corm Tobin’s novel “Famous Gate” (

House of names

) It is based on the tragedy and mythology of ancient Greece, telling the story of the blood relatives of the Algamen family, that is, the story of Outris’ killing her mother to avenge her father. The prototype of the story is well known, and rewriting or adaptation will attract curiosity and even cause controversy.

After the English version of “Famous Gate” was published in May 2017, two months after two months of “New Yorker” published Daniel Mendelson’s article “Queen Mother”, which was titled “Greek mythology Novelizing Greek Myth, talks about the adaptation of myths and tragedies. Mendelson’s negative comments on “Famous Gate” are related to the classic power, or the ghost that can be called the original classic; he will not make the new text in line with the old text, but his article explores the new and old texts of the new and old texts The gap between the interception not only shows the ghosts of the original classics everywhere, but also highlight the campaign of rewriters: Tobin is like riding in two immediately, sitting on two chairs; and he from two horses (or two chairs When it falls in the middle, this loss is actually inevitable, because rewriting myths into novels has its inherent limitations. Mendelson focused on the contradiction between the original classics and the adaptation, and issued sharp judgments, but he ignored the imagination and displacement of creation, and his views and positions were questionable.

However, the traceability of the original code is necessary; put new and old texts in a comparison for reference, or you can find the joints that are not easy to see if you do not compare. Reconstruction of ancient Greek mythology and tragedy means that it is necessary to enter the interoperability, and the creation of “Famous Gate” is first rooted in this association.

Corm Tobin


The rewriting of “Famous Gate” is not a bunch of ancient Greek works. Focusing on the blood kinry around the Agamen family, from the legend to the Homer epic, from Eskoros’s three -united drama to the drama of Sorfuklers, Ourpetus and others, the rewriting and rewriting of this story early It constitutes a series of associations, and different texts have different ways of processing.

Tobin wrote an article that the main figure and narrative framework of “Famous Gate” “from Eskoros’s” Outristea Trilogy “, Sorfukler’s” Elchetra “and Olin Sri Luctra, “Orez” and “Ifigeria in Olis”, some characters and events are out of his imagination. Judging from the creation of “Famous Gate”, Tobin is mainly based on Eskoros’s three -co -opea (the three -united drama is also the main basis for the re -creation of Sorfuklers and Olinus). The way he opened the original classic was the method of the novelist. From the gaps in the play, weaving the mesh eyes with finer eyes and less jumping into the narrative process.

There are two gaps in the three -joint drama, when the Ifeginea sacrifice, where is his mother Krutnestra? Also, where is the period when Agamen is killed, where is Orezis? This is the problem raised by the novelist Tobin. In fact, we don’t need to be too much in terms of these issues, saying that it is not necessarily blank. When the daughter is sacrificed, the mother can be present and can not be present, even if she is not present, it will not reduce the pain of a mother. The handling of the three joint dramas is not a problem. It was Olinus’s “Ifigeria in Olis” highlighted this problem.

In the play of Oolinus, Kru Tetiestra was present and begged Agamen farmer not to send his daughter to the altar, but was rejected. So how can the couple get along around this living festival? Is Krutnestra watching or intervention? Tobin reviewed this “vulnerability” and gave him a solution: Agamemenn kept Krutnestra in the ground, so that she could not see her daughter’s sacrifice, and she also saved her mysterious spell Interference sacrifice, when she was released, she was full of feces and hungry, and she was clearly departure. She was deceived by her husband to attend the wedding of her daughter Ifinnea, but she encountered the tragedy of the world. Later, she killed her husband by herself, and was not more convincing? Tobin’s creation is undoubtedly strengthening the causal chain of the story. The same is true of the treatment of Outris. Outrez and some other boys were locked into a secret camp by Elinsos. Passionate.

The story of Orezes, from ancient Greece to modern contemporary, has derived a lot of texts, including drama, poetry, and novels. This rewriting interest can be described as endless. It is not difficult to imagine. Like other writers, Tobin has been having this subject for a long time, carefully studying the relevant literature, and looking for the focus of creation. His creation has political motivation and the motivation to narrate. It is said that he was rewritten to make up for the vulnerability of the original classics. This is a bit simple to say, but it may be as simple as things. The novelist is closest to scholars, and the inspection of causality is so critical to the point that the baht must be compared (think of the novel of General Marquez’s writing General Bolivar). In Ian Watt’s view, one of the important signs of the birth of modern realism is to strengthen the logical consideration of the cause and effect chain. Perhaps in Tinbin’s view, the narrative “blank” in the Story of Orezes one by one, carefully restore a reasonable plot chain, and the rewriting of the novel is naturally established. The novel is fictional, but the premise is that it must be believed, like drawers can describe various associations between things. And rewrite myths into novels, I am afraid that one more, that is, whether it can maintain the balance between the fables and realism is important.


Mendelson’s dissatisfaction is here; he believes that the restoration of “Famous Gate” is problematic in detail. For example, the secret camp of the imprisonment of Outrus, its rules and regulations and daily atmosphere -cold bath and cold bath and cold bath and cold bath and daily atmosphere How does the score system make people feel like Catholic Division? Those samurai in the bronze era gently tapped “windows”, wearing “shirts”, drinking drinks from “glass”, readers can realize that such descriptions are a bit outrageous even if they are not classical scholars. Mendelson said that the writer seemed to focus on the “mythical power” of Joseph Campbell, and never thought of identifying “the daily life of ancient Greece”.

In addition, Mendelson’s article also reveals the creative nature of “Famous Gate” for some subtexts in interoperability. The example he made is the conversation between Orezes and Elexetra in “Famous Gate”:

“‘ Can you tell them me … are you back? ’

‘They do n’t believe me,’ she said.

‘Can you cut my hair to my mother? ‘He asked.

‘Your hair has changed,’ she said, ‘you have changed. I did not recognize you. “”

This dialogue does not see a potential meaning. Mendelson pointed out that in the second part of the three -coalous drama “The Last” in “Outlet”, Olektra found footprints and strands of hair in his father’s cemetery, and concluded that the long -lost brother came back Because the footprints are the same size as her. In Oolinus’s “Elechetra”, the heroine commented angrily that brothers and sisters may not have the same hair. Tobin’s novels wrote “hair” and transplanted from here.

Montelson said this allusions to say that I want to point out that the rewritten components of Oolinus contain the jokes; it is not difficult to imagine that when the ancient Greek audience saw the scene in the play, it would secretly laugh, and it would recognize that this was aimed at Egypt. The kind of old tooth loss in the Skolos drama -is it a bit funny to recognize relatives with a hair? Tombin’s description of “hair” shows that he inherited the creation of Opipus. The process of treatment seems more reasonable, and it is in essence to eliminate the myth tradition; “a kind of interest to almost post -modern literary models, the severe moral preaching of Eskoros, the pain of Sorfuklers Psychological analysis is squeezed aside. ” The creation of “Famous Gate” explains that “Tobin is just playing with traditional narratives like Olinus”, and his approach even “Out-Euripides euripides”, he thinks about it. To use mythology, try to eliminate myths, and give heroes that are easy to recognize psychology and behavior motivation. Irish -style political perspectives into this story. As a result, we see a family drama with a strong modern color, but not The realistic and atmosphere of Tinbin described the contemporary life of Ireland. In short, it doesn’t look like ancient Greece.

“Famous Gate” English version



Mendelson’s tone is sometimes a bit pretty, and his criticism is serious. The balance between the relationship between the fable and the realism reflects the inherent unity of the creative logic, and the improper handling will cause the rewriting to lose its credibility and strength. Mendel has warned that you can’t write a living sacrifice in the beginning, and then give the story a “reasonable” psychological interpretation. If the supernatural and religious factors such as fate, gods, and God’s justice, what else is left in the ancient Greek tragedy? I am afraid that there are some “functional disorders”.

Similar advice and criticism are very reasonable. The genre attributes of the ancient Greek tragedy (or the drama) have their own regulations, and it is difficult to compatible with the atheistic contemporary novels; according to the view of the classical scholar FROMA I. Zeitlin When Sri wrote “Outris”, the tragedy’s genre had exhausted the potential; Eurpetus deviated from the form of mythology and opened to the characteristics of modern novels- “experiments and changes”. Mendelson found the ancestor for Tobin’s creation, pointing out that the nature of the Tombin novel’s novels. In short, I want to point out, “Contemporary mainstream novels are realistic in terms of skills. It is not the ideal carrier of tragedy, and the creation of “Famous Gate” proves this.

Having said that, Mendelson’s point of view has been introduced more; from the essence of the genre attributes, his view is in -depth. On this basis, we might as well talk about a little different opinion.

The atheism tendency novels and ancient Greek tragedies are incompatible. It should be said that this is a common sense, because there is no need to say. Whether the creation of “Famous Gate” must make the novel a “tragedy ideal carrier”? The answer must be negative. It may be difficult for Tobin to have such ambition or infatuation. The contemporary drama creation based on the Story of Ouilez, Eugene O’Neal’s “Mourning Trilogy” and Sartre’s “Fly”, etc., are not the tragedy of tragedy in the strict sense. Landor Jarier’s long poem “Outris is in Tarris”, Schmeme Hyne’s poem “Micini Watchman”, etc., and so on. creation. From the perspective of literary criticism, the views of the original scriptures help a certain aspect of the problem, and it is not lacking, but the emphasis on too rigidity will weaken -even distorted -the nature of re -creation.

Let’s talk about the details of “hair”. The context of inspecting novels is just an unusual embezzlement, and does not include the meaning of the drama of Olinus. “Famous Gate” designed a new character named Liande, letting him instead of letting Outris announce the return of exiles. Such arrangements are naturally inconsistent with myths, but it is not a kind of “Gana. The “post -modern will” of literary models is based on the logic of the new story. In Tobin’s pen, Liande is the leader of the younger generation. He plays the leading role in the return of exiles and annihilating Erisos forces. It is determined that the novel is “playing with” the myth tradition, and I am afraid that there are some breaks.

Judging from the episode of “hair”, Tobin’s rewriting has been misappropriated and fabricated. In fact, it does not show the iron and joy of the postmodern style. Critics seem to have a disgusting psychology for postmodernism. As long as the meaning of the original code is lost, it is determined that the new creation is purely playing. As long as you see the re -description or adaptation of the myth mode, he believes that the creator is digging for himself to dig himself. Pitch, so its failure is doomed. The presets of this position reinforce a kind of ancient and modern arrogance, but it does not help understand the logic of re -creation. Liu Xiaofeng’s comments on Wengbelo Ekko (“Rose Name”) generally conveyed such a way of reason, which regarded post -modern as a shallow cultural representation.

A post -modern sin is that he does not resist any rejection to admit that the gods are dead (or God died). Not only did it not resist, but he even sold the atheistic text games, which shows that his style is humble. This kind of discussion is that he has only seen the anti -modern cultural conservative camp, and sometimes appears in an article like a tolerant critic such as James Wood. The latter also felt unharmed of the deconstruction of Weobo Eto, and felt that the sense of despair of the secularity was a bit easy. Mendel pine talked about the tragedy’s genre attributes, and felt that the most difficult point of “Famous Gate” was too secular, and the lack of the gods. He complained, “Even in the adaptation of the vulgar revisionism of Orezes, the planning arrangements of the gods and gods are very prominent.” Therefore, Mendelson said that Tobin “is more Oolinus than Olinus”, which means that it is regrettable that Topin is not as conservative as Oolinus.

The “correctionism” of Oolinus can be explained that the last one of the three major tragedy writers in ancient Greece is in the ancient Greek tragedy cultural circle. Relying on it, because of this, his “correction” will achieve the effect. His audience smiled for that “hair” line, and after all, he knew that he would smile. Today, unless there is a classical cultivation, it is not easy to identify the allusions of “hair”. It may be a way to explain that the creation of “Famous Gate” is simply not a “correctionism”, and there is no qualifications for “correctionism”. Compared.

History is left to the position of the writer Tobin (or Sartre, Semolis Hyney, Landor Jarrel and others), and at best, it is an eclecticism that is used in ancient times. There may be some similar expressions or signs between the secularization of modernity and the decline of Democratic politics in Athens in the fifth century BC, but it will not make the two of them work together. It is not difficult to imagine that when Topin faces a bunch of ancient Greek creations about Orezis, his basic attitude is to choose both eclecticism. The source of the “Famous Gate” is more complicated, not limited to ancient Greek tragedies.

In the second half of the novel, Liande and Oreisz are struggling with hostile forces. Related descriptions are not as ancient Greek, it is better to say Shakespeare; Its neurotic behavior has the legitimacy of Mrs. Macbeth (and Orezis becomes more and more like Prince Hamlet). In the middle of the night, the horror atmosphere of Royal Palace Heimen Senson will be reminiscent of the castle’s castle. Chapter 2 The details of the boy playing dogs come from Ireland epic “Cattle Cattle”. Liande’s image has the shadow of the epic heroic character Kuqi Lin. Chapter 5 Kruttiestra’s dead soul enters the Yin Dynasty and saw the face of relatives and living people in the rushing intention. Strara’s spirit. The “MyCenaean Reform School” laughed at Mendelson, a cold bath and scoring system, is a reference for Catholic culture, and it is indeed not ancient Greece.

All these are reminding the readers to comment on the rewriting and rewriting of “Famous Gate”. You must see the meaning of the author’s injecting the medium of ancient Greek mythology, that is, the information contained in the displacement of its imagination cannot be limited, and cannot be limited. For a single restoration theory.


Taking the story of Orezis as the imagination, it is mainly due to the attention of the theme of “blood kinry”. In Tinbin’s self -report (“How I Rewrite the Ancient Greek Tragedy”), Ireland’s denominations have made him painful myths without real connection; “It is isolated”; “Any murder together seems to have been affected by the murder of the previous murder, and each atrocities seem to have happened to revenge not long ago.” Senmes Hyney talked about the creative motivation of the poem “Mindeni Watch”, which was almost the same.

It is owed to the category of “Famous Gate” into the category of postmodern creation. Although feeding in classics is the classic finger, rewriting and moving, this article is not similar to the “postmodern” creations such as Borges and Kuche, which does not involve relatedism, basicism, “go to school and go to school” The criticism and deconstruction of criticism and deconstruction, the post -modern meaning of the subversion, rebellion, play, and playfulness of value relativism is even more difficult to find. Tombin’s “Mary’s Confession” reworching the gospel story is a subversion of controversy. “Famous Gate” is used in ancient times, rewriting myths into novels is actually closer to the kind of “positive drama” or grand narrative that post -modern tries to deconstruct.

As mentioned earlier, the two adaptations of “Famous Gate” are purely the author’s fabrication. One is the descendants of Ervisos seized the aristocratic veterans and sent the boys to a camp to be detained. Stes and others escaped from the camp, and they all opposed the power to annihilate Erisos and Kruttnediestra. Liande became the new owner of the court. We see that the newly edited characters and plots gradually transform a family story into an outgoing, intergenerational, and national political struggle. The boys encountered national political horror during the escort, and the struggle to overthrow Elinsos was based on the political alliance inside and outside the court.

The displacement of this imagination largely weakens the “tragedy” nature of the original classics; we read neither tragedy, nor comedy, but a serious style, reality, conflict, and problems. The drama.

In the creative talk, Tobin pointed out: “The problem is how to make a reader of a contemporary novel convince such a world -the lovers, daughters, and sons of mothers, mothers, are paranoid. They live in a family space -like place. Rather than on the stage of the ancient Greek theater, nor in the ancient Greek text translated. This story must exist independently, even if I write a real event that echoes it, even if many characters in the book are born from ancient times Greek drama. “

In Eskoros’s “Agamennon”, Cassandra tells the “human meat banquet” of the Agamen family, tracing the story of the blood kinry to the generation. The expression of its curse and premonition is thrilling. “Famous Gate” is limited to the Agamennon couple and children. The novel not only deletes supernatural forces such as the gods and fate, but also faded the background of the “human meat banquet”. It transforms vertical structures into a horizontal stretching structure, as most of modern novels do. You can say that it is writing violence, or it can also say that it is writing a boy’s growth, the secrets of autocracy, and the metaphor of philosophy; a horizontal, compound, multicultural composition. Writers think of myths in contemporary political context, regarding violence as a phenomenon that is unbearable. His attention and thinking about violence made him tend to be more universal “dramatic”.

In terms of ideology, Tobin is different from the author of “Blood Rounding”, Comalk McCarthy, who regards violence and killing as the norm of life. Silence is so ancient. Tobin does not belong to such a system that emphasizes the original sin. He is a mild human liberalist. He tried to explore evil, imagine evil, and also tried to get rid of evil and cleaned evil. In other words, his dramatic performance of violence contains his prayer for peace and purification.

At the end of the novel, I wrote the family tragedy of Liande. As the leader of the righteous army, Liande resisted in the foreign organization. The younger sister Iianzhe, after gang rape, kill them one by one, and the corpse was piled on Yianzheng. Only the girl was allowed to survive. At the end of the novel, such a plot settings were set up. Liande and Elechetra made a request to get Outrisez and Iianzu to get married and give birth to the children who are pregnant when gang raped. Outside the delivery room, Outristes and Liande are waiting for the newborn baby–

“They walked out of the steps, standing on the steps, and at a glance of dawn’s morning light, it is now more bright and more complete. No matter who has come and go in this world, who has newly born here, and there are any more, there are, and there are any more. What is forgotten or remembered, whenever the day comes, this morning light will always be so bright and complete. One day, once they are ancient, step into the darkness, and enter the permanent shadow, then what happens will not happen, then what happens will not happen. Hanging people’s hearts no longer belong to anyone. “

The symbolic meaning at the end of the novel may not be difficult to understand. Only from a symbolic perspective can it explain why Outristes must marry Irano and act as a “evil son”. Make him the father of this child, which means that people have reached a new prayer in the “dawn’s morning light”, removed the burden of sin, and ended the cycle of violence, which means that he and the generation he represented will follow history. Violence and dirty reconciliation.

There are similar treatment in Cumche’s “Shame”. Lucy did not listen to advice to give birth to the “evil son” of the black rapist, and to face her violence with silence and forgetfulness. From emotional logic, this choice will also make people feel confusing. Since people are undertakers and victims of history, they must have the right to resort to history and justice. Why must they choose to forget? In order to rehabilitate the rehabilitation, do you have to turn around to convert the face of history into a natural face?

We can see that in Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”, in Pasjarnak’s “Dr. Riwargo”, nature always maintains the attributes of superb and comfort, and provides the suffering of history to provide the suffering of history. One exit; as if for human liberals, there is a balance between nature and history in grand narrative. “Famous Gate” is not a grand narrative of this type, but it establishes a balance with poetic metaphors. The novel is not only at the end, but also arranged similar exports in the middle of the narrative. The lonely old lady’s empty house accepted the boy who had escaped from the concentration camp, constituting a scene from violence. The “House of Names” of the lonely grandmother preserves the legend of the gods and the deceased. Compared to the horror and blood of reality, its existence is undoubtedly the effect of comfort.

Myths have declined and become poetic metaphors; those exquisitely inlaid metaphors contain the meaning of meditation, as if faintly have the power to resist reality. As Orequetra later said to my brother, “You should be fortunate that you have been in contact with this old world. In that house, it touched you with its wings.”

This younger brother, Outris, can be said to be the most unexpected role in “Famous Gate”. He has introverted personality, has no crafting, and is away from the real world. Do people around really understand him? Does he understand how people expect him? His aunt’s behavior seemed to have insufficient motivation. Whether he can play his father’s role seems to be doubtful.

This character is very feminine. To to to and how much it realizes the author’s creative intention, readers can judge themselves. In Tombin’s understanding, Outristes is low -key and ordinary, and he is manipulated by his sister and friend. If people do not have the intention of killing, they participate in the atrocities, then mild obedience may be a dangerous, and the unusual eyes may be a ghost gaze. The image of Ouilezis shows that violence is difficult to recognize. The anonymity and uncertainty of violence may not be a new discovery and description, but “Famous Gate” is trying to let us pay attention. This existence seems to be inert, opportunistic, fleeting, but essentially often, reincarnation. In this way, Tobin imagined evil, and he may not believe that evil can be cleaned.

Editor in charge: Ding Xiongfei

School pair: Luan Meng

Author: ArticleManager