訂閱

多平臺閱讀

微信訂閱

雜志

申請紙刊贈閱

訂閱每日電郵

移動應用

領導力

書店老板追憶菲利普·羅斯:初次和他握手,感覺自己像是被神觸摸了

Anna Ben Yehuda Rahmanan 2019年10月03日

30多年來,這位高產作家給一位書店老板簽了幾千本書讓他拿去賣。

美國作家菲利普·米爾頓·羅斯。地點:紐約。圖片來源:Orjan F. Ellingvag/Dagbladet/Corbis/Getty Images

在谷歌上搜索“恩里克·阿德爾曼”(Enrico Adelman)這個名字,你并不會找到關于這個紐約書店老板的太多信息。

僅有的那些部分,大都也圍繞著他出名的原因——一些人之所以認識他,僅僅是由于他認識已故的知名作家菲利普·羅斯。不過對于這位72歲的老人,還是有很多值得了解的地方的。他出生在二戰期間的意大利,曾在紐約的切爾西旅館住過一段時間,他開了一家叫做Bloomsday的書店——他自己也說過,這家書店在90年代“大賺了一筆”。此外值得一提的,還有他現在的商業模式——完全依賴于亞馬遜做生意。此外還有他對特朗普的看法,以及他對奧巴馬即將出版的新書的看法(對此他表示:“這本書肯定不如他老婆的書。”并稱米歇爾·奧巴馬的書《成為》(Becoming)是他這輩子賣得數量最多的一本書)。當然,還有他與菲利普·羅斯第一次見面的經過。

簡而言之,阿德爾曼也是一個有故事的人,就算放在羅斯的小說里當一個主角也夠格了。或許這就是為什么兩人在1989年相識之后,立即成為了好友的原因。當時,阿爾德曼在紐約上西區的Zabar’s美食城附近經營著一家小小的書攤。

回憶起與羅斯第一次見面的場景,他說道:“有兩種人非常容易吸引我的興趣和好奇心:作家和歌劇演員。有一天,一個男人和一個女人來到我的書攤,我馬上注意到了那個男人。兩三分鐘后,我忍不住走上前說道:‘你長得很像菲利普·羅斯’。他說:‘我就是。’然后伸出手來和我握手。我覺得自己簡直就像被神觸摸了一樣。”

A mere Google search of the name “Enrico Adelman” doesn’t do the New York bookseller justice.

Although much of what’s been written about him centers around his notorious claim to fame—his connection to the great, late author Philip Roth—there is much more about the 72-year-old that deserves attention: from his growing up in Italy as a war baby to his time living in New York City’s Chelsea Hotel, from his bookstore Bloomsday—which he says “made a killing” through the 1990s—to his current business model, entirely reliant on Amazon. Not to mention his views on President Trump, his expectations of former President Obama’s upcoming post-presidency book (“It’s not going to do as well as his wife’s did,” he says, revealing that Michelle Obama’s Becoming is the book he’s sold the most copies of throughout his career) and, of course, his first meeting with Roth.

In short, Adelman’s life is deserving of a central plotline in one of Roth’s own books. And maybe that’s why the two men hit it off back in 1989, when Adelman was operating his book stand by gourmet food emporium Zabar’s on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

“Two character types appeal to my sense of intrigue and curiosity: writers and opera singers,” Adelman says. “This guy and this woman came to the stand, and I noticed the guy immediately. I couldn’t help myself. After two, three minutes I walked over and said, ‘You look an awful lot like Philip Roth.’ And he just goes, ‘I am’ and puts out his hand to shake. I felt like I was touched by a god.”

阿德爾曼與一位“四條腿的朋友”的合影。他估計這張照片“大約是20年前拍的”。圖片來源:恩里克·阿德爾曼

隨后,阿德爾曼邀請羅斯到他的Bloomsday書店做客——這已經是他第三次開書店了。過了幾周,羅斯果然來了。或許覺得羅斯性格隨和,阿德爾曼勇敢地要求羅斯在他的幾本書上簽名。

他倆之間的關系就這樣開始了。當然,這或許是因為羅斯愿意在好幾千本書上簽名,然后交給阿德爾曼去賣的緣故。但兩人之間很快建立了更深層次的聯系。他們以一種獨特的方式代表了紐約精神——一個作家,一個書商,兩人都是美籍猶太人,都試圖在紐約甚至整個美國傳達他們對文學的熱愛。阿德爾曼表示:“我有一封他替我寫的合作推薦信,他說:‘恩里克·阿德爾曼賣出去的我的書,比美國的任何一個其他人都要多。”

Adelman went on to invite the author to his brick-and-mortar bookshop, at the time the third iteration of Bloomsday. Roth did show up a few weeks later and, encouraged by his disposition, Adelman bravely asked him to sign a few of his books.

Thus began their relationship, one clearly spurred by the writer’s willingness to sign thousands of copies of his books for Adelman to sell, but one that developed into a deeper connection between two characters that have come to represent the essence of New York in their own unique ways. A writer and a bookseller, both American Jews, seeking to spread their devotion to literature within and beyond the confines of New York. “I have a letter of recommendation to my co-op board that he wrote,” Adelman says. “And he states: ‘Enrico Adelman sold more of my books than anybody else in the United States.’”

作家菲利普·羅斯站在他兒時生活過的地方——新澤西州的紐瓦克的一家漢堡店前。圖片來源:Bob Peterson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

阿德爾曼生于意大利的佛羅倫薩,但是在紐約長大。在當上書商之前,他干過投行業務,之后還在馬薩諸塞州與葡萄牙、意大利等國搞過進出口貿易。阿德爾曼有個朋友是書店老板,在他的鼓勵下,阿德爾曼也想試試書店生意,便在112街和百老匯開了第一家Bloomsday書店。

書店名字的靈感,來自他在哥倫比亞大學讀博士時讀到的詹姆斯·喬伊斯的名著《尤利西斯》。1976年,他在81街和百老匯開了第二家店。“這次它是一家不錯的書店了,店里還有分區。”書店的位置緊鄰著Zabar’s美食城。(“我的朋友告訴我:‘如果你想開書店,離Zabar’s越近越好。’那里從那時起就很吸引人流。)結果這家書店開得十分成功,阿德爾曼干脆關掉了第一家店,把剩下的業務以高價錢賣給了莎士比亞書店(Shakespeare and Co)。

Born in Florence but raised in New York, Adelman’s career as a bookseller developed in between stints at investment banking and import/export efforts across Massachusetts, Portugal, Italy, and more. Urged by a bookstore-owner friend to also try his hand at the business, Adelman opened the first Bloomsday on 112th Street and Broadway.

The name of the store was inspired by his reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses while pursuing his Ph.D. at Columbia. The second Bloomsday came in 1976 on 81st and Broadway. “This one was a legitimate bookstore with sections,” Adelman says of the destination, right by Zabar’s (“My friend said, ‘If you ever want to open up a bookshop, get as close to Zabar’s as possible. It was a magnet even then”), an endeavor so successful it led Adelman to close his first shop and eventually sell the remaining business for a hefty sum to Shakespeare and Co.

2004年的Bllomsday書攤。圖片來源:恩里克·阿德爾曼

阿德爾曼第三次開書店,已經是80年代末90年代初的事了。還是那個當書店老板的朋友建議他這次開一個書攤。“我說道:‘你讓我在Zabar’s門口開書攤?我原來在那兒還開了一家漂亮的書店呀,太丟人了吧!”于是他挪了幾個街區,將書攤擺在了86街。“我知道這種情況遲早會發生的——有一天,有個人走過來說:‘你不是那個Bloomsday書店的老板嗎?’我盯著他的眼睛說:‘對,就是我!’第二天,我就把書攤擺在了Zabar’s的門口。接下來的15年里,生意都做得很棒。”由于這個書攤的成功,阿爾德曼又在街角開了另一家實體書店,不過這個決定后來卻讓他后悔了。

提到“紐約人的懶惰”,阿德爾曼感嘆道:“他們什么都從網上買,從食物到性愛,以及任何介于這兩者之間的東西。”最終他關掉了這家書店,但那也是認識羅斯之后的事了。

The third Bloomsday came about in the late ’80s and ’90s, when the same friend who roused him to open in the first place suggested he try his luck at a book stand instead. “I said, ‘I’m going to open in front of Zabar’s, where I used to have a beautiful bookstore? What a comedown!’” He set up a few blocks away instead, on 86th Street. “But I knew [this] would happen sooner or later: Some guy came by and said, ‘Didn’t you own Bloomsday?’ I looked him directly in the eye and said, Yes, I did! The next day, I opened up in front of Zabar’s and did fantastic for [over] 15 years.” The success led him to open yet another brick-and-mortar venue around the corner—a decision he regrets.

Mentioning the “laziness of New Yorkers”—“they buy everything on the Internet, from food to sex and everything in-between”—he eventually shuttered the shop, but not before first meeting Roth.

2004年10月法蘭克福書展上菲利普·羅斯的《反美陰謀》的不同封面版本。下方一行是針對德國和匈牙利市場的,封皮上象征納粹的“卐”字符被一個十字形狀取代。圖片來源:John Macdougall—AFP/Getty Images

如今,阿德爾曼主要靠在亞馬遜上賣書為生。他手上還有不少羅斯簽過名的書,此外他也寫寫書評。(“在他后期的作品中,我還有很多(剩余的)”。他說。)另外,他還在上西區出租了兩個獨立的倉庫。

阿德爾曼能說一口流利的意大利語,他穿著一條破舊的牛仔褲和一件簡單的襯衫,胸前口袋里放著一包駱駝牌香煙。他的屋子里堆滿了書、簽名海報,一臺看起來跟環境格格不入的Mac電腦,和一架布滿灰塵的鋼琴。他對他自己的故事充滿激情,讓人不禁想問:“你為什么不自己寫一本書呢?”

在描述自己的海外生活和在紐約的經歷時,阿德爾曼顯得很有精神。不過在說起羅斯時,他的眼神變得傷感了,最終哭泣起來。羅斯已經于2018年5月去世了。

Today Adelman sells mostly on Amazon: from the signed Roth books he still owns to review copies and more. (“Of his later ones, I have a decent amount [left],” he says.) He also rents out two separate storage facilities on the Upper West Side, spaces whose looks add to his overall image.

Speaking Italian fluently and dressed in raggedy-looking jeans and a simple shirt with a pack of Camels peeking out the breast pocket, Adelman tells the story of his life. He’s sitting in a space filled with books, signed posters, an out-of-place-looking Mac computer and a dusty piano, exuding a passion for his very own tales that leads most to ask, “Why not write your own book?”

Although coming alive while describing his life overseas and his New York adventures, when discussing Roth Adelman’s eyes turn sad, eventually coalescing into a cry undoubtedly catalyzed by Roth’s passing back in May 2018.

2011年3月2日,美國總統奧巴馬(右)在白宮向小說家菲利普·羅斯頒發國家人文獎章。 圖片來源:Jim Watson—AFP/Getty Images

當然,面對這樣一位文學巨匠的生前好友,人們總有很多問題要問,尤其是羅斯一向不喜歡公眾和傳媒的關注。很多人最好奇的是,羅斯生前最喜歡自己的哪部作品?對此阿德爾曼答道:《安息日的劇院》。

羅斯生前對特朗普怎么看?阿德爾曼表示:“特朗普當選時,菲利普非常沮喪。畢竟,紐約上西區是自由美國的心臟,如果你不是(一個自由主義者),你在這里就是異類了。”

羅斯跟他的父母關系如何?對這個問題,阿德爾曼想起了羅斯本人講過的一件事。在《波特諾的報怨》出版之前,羅斯帶他的父母出去吃了一頓飯。“他對他們說:‘聽著,大家可能覺得我的書描寫的是你們,但這些都是虛構的。這本書可能會引起很大反響,你們可能會接到記者的電話,但你們并不需要回答他們。’”很多年后,羅斯回憶起那頓飯,便問他的父親,他母親當時對他的話怎么看,因為他記得他母親當時哭了。結果他母親之所以會哭,是因為覺得他得了“妄想癥”。說到這兒,阿德爾曼大笑起來。不過,回憶起最后一次見到羅斯的場景,阿德爾曼流下淚來:“我給他打了個電話(因為他得幫我在書上簽名),但他沒有打回來,我感覺很奇怪,就給他發了個短信,然后他回短信說:‘我在醫院。’”

阿德爾曼到哥倫比亞長老會醫院看望他。“我一進病房,就知道他不行了。他自己也知道。”

在與阿德爾曼(和羅斯的靈魂)進行了將近2個小時的談話后,一個問題變得越來越迫切——阿德爾曼對羅斯的友愛如此之深,是因為羅斯簽名的書讓他掙了很多錢嗎?雖然他并沒有高價出售這些書。(阿德爾曼自己也戲稱,這些羅斯簽名的書“就是我的養老金”。)

他答道:“不是,我把他當成我一生最好的朋友。”(財富中文網)

譯者:樸成奎

Of course, such proximity to a literary legend, especially one renowned for his eschewal of publicity and the media in general, calls for a number of queries, starting with, What was Roth’s favorite Roth book? “Sabbath’s Theater,” Adelman says.

Roth’s thoughts on Trump, Adelman says: “When he was first elected, Philip was devastated. [After all], the Upper West Side is the heart of liberal America, and if you’re not [a liberal], you’re anathema.”

How about the author’s relationship with his parents? Here, Adelman recounts a story told to him by Roth himself. Before the release of Portnoy’s Complaint, the author took his parents out to dinner. “He said [to them], ‘Listen, people will think that I’m describing you guys, but it’s all fiction. It’s going to make a big splash, you’re probably going to get calls from reporters, but you don’t have to answer them.’” Years later, Roth approached his father while recalling the dinner and asked about his mother’s reaction, who at the time cried. The reason? She thought he had “delusions of grandeur.” At that, Adelman explodes into a fit of laughter that turns into a muted, simple cry when recalling the last time he saw the author. “I called him [because he had to sign some books for me], he didn’t call me back, which was odd,” Adelman says. “So then I texted him and he texted back, ‘I’m in hospital.’”

Adelman ventured out to Columbia Presbytarian to visit him. “The minute I walked into his room, I said that’s it. And he knew it too.”

After close to two hours with Adelman and Roth’s ghost, one question becomes more and more urgent: Was Adelman’s love and devotion for the author a result of the money he made selling Roth’s signed books (“My 401(k),” jokes the bookseller), which he never sold at a premium?

“Oh, no,” responds Adelman. “I considered him my best friend ever.”

我來點評

  最新文章

最新文章:

500強情報中心

財富專欄

福彩3d计划