雷蒙德·卡佛的大杂烩

Luke
2009-09-02 看过
《Fires》,卡佛的一本书,有散文、诗和短篇,这方面,跟怀特的《从街角数起的第二棵树》差不多。我比较喜欢这种大杂烩,文字上摇曳多姿,可以欣赏作者在各种文体上的表现。

我得说,和他经过编辑加工而在语言上有时多少有点寡淡的短篇相比,他的散文写得文字较丰满一些,读来更亲切。

他的短篇有的语言极其简练,说他是极简派并不夸张。而各个短篇都有一个共同点,就是贯彻了海明威的“冰山理论”,留下大量空白让读者去填充,这种参与感,让人读得很舒服。

卡佛写小说是半路出家,一定程度上说,他也是美国写作学校的产物,随便夸人天才是不对的,况且卡佛的散文中,也写到了早期投稿处处碰壁的情况。他幸运的是遇到了好老师(例如John Gardner),好编辑(如Gordon Lish),又有自己经常是朝不保夕的生活提供源源不断的写作素材。有人说对于一个作家的创作来说,二十岁以前的生活经历就够了,卡佛则明确地说:“我生活中的重要事件都是在我二十岁以后发生的。”

卡佛写诗也是半路出家,但是对诗非常上心,甚至离开发妻找了个诗人后妻。在卡佛的墓碑上,写着“诗人,短篇小说家,散文家”,“诗人”排在前面,据说还是卡佛的意见。在世时,卡佛就出版过几本诗集。去世后,其妻为他编了诗全集《All of Us》。卡佛的诗都是自由诗,表面上不讲究技巧,几行诗句连在一就是很正常的一句话(也是多用回车键的结果),但是捕捉了诗人生活中一些独特、隐私的时刻及心情。读这些诗,语言方面是最不需要关注的,可贵的是读者跟作者做了一次次交流。我甚至会感激卡佛的这种“分享”。

诗中最喜欢的当数这篇:

Rain

Woke up this morning with
a terrific urge to lie in bed all day
and read. Fought against it for a minute.
  
Then looked out the window at the rain.
And gave over. Put myself entirely
in the keep of this rainy morning.
 
Would I live my life over again?
Make the same unforgivable mistakes?
Yes, given half a chance. Yes.

尤其是最后一段,三句话真是蕴含无限人生况味。

从作品及诗作中看,卡佛跟自己的一儿一女关系很一般,短篇《Where is Everyone?》对卡佛某段时期的家庭生活作了逼真的描绘(虽然我这样说可能有点武断),其中有这么有趣的一段:


Right now, thinking about it even from this distance, it makes me set my heart against them. I remember years before, before I turned to drinking full time, reading an extraordinary scene in a novel by an Italian named Italo Svevo. The narrator's father was dying and the family had gathered around the bed, weeping and waiting for the old man to expire, when he opended his eyes to look at each of them for a last time. When his gaze fell on the narrator he suddenly stirred and something came came into his eyes; and with his last burst of strength he raised up, flung himself across the bed, and slapped the face of his son as hard as he could. Then he fell back onto the bed and died. I often imagined my own deathbed scene in those days, and I saw myself doing the same thing – only I would hope to have the strength to slap each of my kids and my last words for them would be what only a dying man would have the courage to utter.

(试译:现在,甚至过了这么久,想起这件事,还是让我对他们心生恨意。我记得几年前,在我开始整天喝酒以前,在一个名叫伊塔洛·斯维沃的意大利人所写的长篇小说中,读到过惊人的一幕。叙述者的父亲快死了,全家人都围在床边,在哭,也在等着这位老人咽气。这时,他睁开眼睛,最后一次看了每个人一眼。他的目光落到叙述者身上时,他突然动了一下,眼神有了点变化;他攒起最后一丝力气一下子坐了起来,扑到床那边,用尽全身力气打了他儿子一个耳光,然后倒在床上死了。当时我经常想像自己的临终一幕,看到自己做同样的事——只是我希望会有力气给我的两个孩子每人赏一个耳光,我最后说给他们听的话,会是一个快死的人才有勇气说出来的。)
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