這次去法國,遇見了小時候最喜歡的一個小男孩。他很淘氣,總是惹媽媽生氣,常常幻想要離家出走,然後賺大錢坐私人飛機回來,讓對他不好的人都後悔。
淘氣的尼古拉和他的朋友們,陪了我很長的一段時間。那一套書在輾轉之間,不知道是掉了還是送人了,後來我一直找不到,可是貪吃的小胖子,戴眼鏡愛告狀的小書呆子,把媽媽的海棠花吃掉的小狗,都在我的記憶裡沒有消失。

在書局裡看到尼古拉的海報時,我興奮地拉著小游龍說:就是他!就是他!

我才發現原來小小的尼古拉居然是個大明星,連小游龍小時候都讀過他的故事。買了一本尼古拉的小書,雖然是法文,但是光看插畫就讓我樂個半天了。

回家之後忍不住Google 了一下,哇!還有驚喜。原作的女兒在舊家的閣樓上發現了父親的手稿,居然是還沒有發表過的小尼古拉的故事,在2004年把這80個故事結集起來出版,不到兩個月的時間,就賣了25萬冊,可惜的是,英文版還在翻譯之中,今年四月才會正式發行,不過Amazon已經開放預購了(Nicholas and the Gang )。

分別了將近二十年(有吧?),我已經等不及再和這個淘氣又可愛的法國小男生再相會啦!

錄自The Economist 的相關報導
原文網址:http://www.economist.com/books/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3471120

Le petit Nicolas

He's back

Dec 9th 2004 | PARIS
From The Economist print edition

Uncovered: a horde of words and pictures


WHEN Anne Goscinny moved house four years ago, she unearthed a big box that must have belonged to her late father, René Goscinny, probably France's best-known author of cartoons and illustrated stories. The box contained hundreds of pages of stories about le petit Nicolas, a little-schoolboy character created in the 1950s by Mr Goscinny and the illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé. Delighted to be able to indulge in childhood memories, Ms Goscinny settled down for a nostalgic read. After a couple of pages she discovered something else: she had not read these stories before.

Ms Goscinny had assumed that the five existing volumes of “The Chronicles of Little Nicholas” were the entire legacy of the creative friendship between her father and Mr Sempé. Between 1959 and 1965 the stories were serialised in Sud-Ouest Dimanche, a regional newspaper, and when they were first published in book form in 1961 they became instant bestsellers. Le petit Nicolas stories have sold 8m copies in more than 30 languages.

Nicolas tells readers about life in his words. He likes football, ice cream, holidays and, most of all, his friends. There is his best friend, Alceste, who eats all the time; Rufus, who has a whistle because his father is a policeman; sweet Marie-Edwige, whom Nicolas wants to marry when he is big; and Clotaire, Eudes, Geoffroy and Agnan. The world of Nicolas is happy and reassuring. A parental dispute ends with the family munching apple pie. When Nicolas and his friends scuffle, nobody is hurt. “It is an ideal of a child's world,” Ms Goscinny says.

With Mr Sempé's blessing, Ms Goscinny and her husband set up a publishing house, called IMAV, to make a book out of the 80 rediscovered stories. The 600-page volume, “Histoires inédites du Petit Nicolas”, has become an instant hit, selling 250,000 copies since its publication in October. On December 6th hundreds of people snaked around the Virgin Megastore building on the Champs-Elysées in Paris to have their book signed by Mr Sempé.

The overwhelming success of the unpublished stories takes Ms Goscinny aback somewhat. After all, she says, the vocabulary is dated, while no modern-day Alceste would boast about his papa installing a telephone at home. But it is parents and grandparents who buy the book. Sitting down with it, they enjoy the memory of their own childhood. And when they do agree to pass the book along to children, these too seem to be won over by the stories' timeless charm.

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我,麻辣小游龍和蔬菜們

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