乡下人的悲歌 | Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

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2020年3月21日09:43:00乡下人的悲歌 | Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance已关闭评论 382 次浏览
乡下人的悲歌 | Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

在《乡下人的悲歌》中,J.D. 万斯真实讲述了社会、地区和阶层衰落会给一生下来就深陷其中的人带来什么样的影响。万斯的外祖父母从肯塔基州的阿巴拉契亚地区向北迁居到俄亥俄州,希望逃离那可怕的贫穷。他们通过努力跻身中产阶层,最后他们的外孙从耶鲁法学院毕业,这是传统意义上成功实现一代人向上流动的标志。
但是随着家族故事慢慢发展,我们发现万斯的外祖父母、阿姨、叔叔、姐姐,以及最重要的他的母亲,都在极力适应中产阶级生活的要求,却从没完全逃离过药物滥用、酗酒、贫穷和精神创伤。万斯便是在这样混乱又令人心碎的环境中成长,但也是这群“乡下人”的爱与忠诚,使他取得了今日的成就。

然而综合来看,像作者一样成功脱离贫困的案例,屈指可数。大多数的美国白人蓝领仍旧摆脱不了世袭的贫穷与困顿,仿佛是一条与生俱来的枷锁,牢牢套在他们的脖子上。究竟是什么样的原因,让他们无法在美国这个以自由为豪的国度中,找到合适的出路?

《乡下人的悲歌》是一部极其动人的回忆录,包含了栩栩如生的人物形象和诸多幽默元素,记述了向上流动到底是怎样的感觉,也对一大批人丧失美国梦的现象作了思考。这本书同时也是一部深刻的社会评论,通过作者的成长故事与经历,以“局内人”的角度,带领我们以更宏观的视野,深入探视美国蓝领阶层所面临的困境与危机。

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