流动的盛宴,兼谈语言和其他杂感

遊歩者
2013-10-26 看过
第一次读英文原文的海明威,再次确信内在意识和外在表达的奇妙张力。没有冒犯各位译者的意思,语言不止是人类突破巴别塔之障表达内心的工具,更是在长年累月的文化、历史及传统中一而再再而三地孵化、酝酿最终破茧而出的蝴蝶。每一门语言都是形色各异的生命,用每一次振翅触动人心深处的不同部分。
 
来日本之后对语言本身的生命体征感触颇深。以前只用两种语言,中文一字一句抑扬顿挫,英文(用毛姆的话说)是鸟的歌声(对这一点我深以为然,即使对不通英文可将其视为鸟语的人而言,那顺畅流动而高低起伏的声调,伴随各种放大的表情、动作,通常也是足以用这音韵本身吸引听众并传达出一定的意思吧)。觉得就现代简体中文和美式英文的性格来说,相似性高于异质性:基本不存在因说话主体或对象的不同而衍生出的另一套语词体系,谈话主题也基本不受语言本身的限制,一切平等、简单、直截了当。我一向什么都说大大咧咧惯了,难怪以前经常被人都是纯爷们,用外国朋友的话来说,she’s very masculine。
 
最近日渐发现说日语就不能这样随心所欲了。不仅是因为要视对方的年龄地位社交场合使用不同的日语,敬语变形的麻烦是一回事,虽然是自己在主动挑选合适的语词,但话一出口反倒发现变换后的语句从某种程度上限制了情感,决定了姿态。就像以前学日语的时候,经常拿一边接电话一边对着空气鞠躬的日本公司文化当笑话讲,现在给导师发邮件,发送之前从头到尾再念一边,隐约真有要对着电脑屏幕鞠躬的冲动。语调和话题也存在类似问题。一次被一个日本朋友说,你说日语比英语好听多了,语调柔和很有女性味道……我想他应该不会注意到日语里很多用词是男女有别的,如果他习惯了日语表达中女性低眉顺眼贤良淑德的姿态,突然被扔到对谁都一视同仁的英语语境,可能真的会觉得外国女人都太过强壮吧。另一次是问我的语伴“性关系”用日语怎么说,本以为对于日本这种性开放到每本严肃新闻杂志的最后十页一定是各种无码A页的国家,这是一个再普通不过的问题,但语伴差点把刚吃进去的面从鼻孔里喷出来的反应再一次表明,有些问题不是女生随随便便就可以问的。
 
并不是抱怨日语的繁缛琐碎,往往越是忠实于传统的国家,其语言体系对社会阶层的一一对应也越是完备。有一次随口问一个法国朋友“很高兴见到你”用法语怎么说,这么个简单的问题,他一本正经的说,哦,那要取决于对方是否是长辈,是你碰巧遇到的人还是经朋友介绍的人,是朋友私下出去玩还是公共社交场合,是否想表达你以后还很想见到他的意愿或是你根本无所谓而只是出于礼节……我说,come on,这样会吓跑想学法语的人的。他一边笑一边挑着那法式骄傲的眉毛说,come on,we are not like English man!那一刻我离题万里地想到了为什么取缔八股文居然会掀起那么一股社会运动,也是,若一字之差就能决定一个人十年的寒窗苦读是否将付诸东流,因这一字之差运筹帷幄的工夫背后是习惯,是礼教,是传统,是阶层。撇开现实不谈,若阶级和不平等在观念上被完全视为万恶之源而不是多少具有一些其他好的意义,语言体系的简化也就是自然而然的结果了吧。
 
总是和最初想写的读书笔记离题万里。最开始想表达的只是,读英文的海明威感觉和读中文不太一样。相较于之前读的海叔小说中彰显无遗的男子气概、极度的自信甚至狂妄(也算是男子气概的极致吧)、对战斗精神的推崇,《A moveable feast(流动的盛宴)》是细腻而敏感的。这里当然也有题材和内容的影响,任何一个有着文艺心的人到了巴黎,多少都会染上一层没由来的忧郁吧。海叔一定不会承认自己忧郁,就像他一边说着塞纳河边我从不孤单(I could never be lonely along the river, “People of the Seine”),但语言却暴露了他作为一个刚放弃稳定收入的工作开始专事写作的人在巴黎冬日街头的困窘和失意。因为他的文字总是坦诚,而他的写作无法不忠实于他的内心(write the truest sentence that you know, “Miss Stein Instructs”)。当他这么做的时候,他的语言里没有矫饰,那些最简单又直截了当的语词,真诚地排列组合出强大的撞击人心的力量;同时,他的行文那么流畅,也许这与英文容易形成长句的特点有关,但读着读着就会觉得是一个饱含炽烈情感的人在一口气不停地演说,而他流泻出的情感自然而然地攫取了你的心。
 
比如他眼里迟迟不来的春天,是刚长出的新叶在一阵寒潮中飘离枝头,却更是枝头余下的冷冷寒光,是一种这个美好季节被硬生生从你的生命中偷走的预兆。他的语言是一层滤色镜,把春天迟迟不来冬天了无生气的可恶事实,渲染成看到一个青年的生命被无故扼杀的悲伤画面。你无法对他的伤感无动于衷。
 
还是上摘抄吧,即使无法将这些曾感动我的字句铭记于心,至少还可供下次回味。
 
“All of the sadness of the city came suddenly with the first cold rains of winter, and there were no more tops to the high white houses as you walked but only the wet blackness of the street and the closed doors of the small shops, the herb sellers, the stationery and the newspaper shops….”
-- “A Good Café on the Place St.-Michel”
不必刻意寻找华丽词藻,记述事实存于你脑海中的残像是还原曾触动你的风景,若这触动是实实在在的,它也必将触动他人。
 
“But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the sputter of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is to write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true sentence I had written. Up in that I knew about. I was trying to do this all the time I was writing, and it was good and severe discipline.”
-- “Miss Stein Instructs”
对于写作者而言,最重要的不是写的东西有没有观众,能否大卖,而是能否写出自己想写的东西。炽烈的感情需要找到敞口,积压的观点需要被释放,看不见文字从内心源源不绝地流淌出来,永远不要忘记这是开始写作的初衷。如果一时失去写作的欲望,先征询自己的心吧。
 
“Then as I was getting up to the Closerie des Lilas with the light on my old friend, the statue of Marshal Ney with his sword out and the shadows of the trees on the bronze, and he alone there and nobody behind him and what a fiasco he’s made of Waterloo, I thought that all generations were lost by something and always had been and always would be and I stopped ant the Lilas to keep the statue company and drank a cold beer before going home to the flat over the sawmill.”
-- “Une Generation Perdue”
 
“With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back so that it would seem that it would never come and that you were losing a season out of your life. This was the only truly sad time in Paris because it was unnatural. You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason.
In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.”
-- “People of the Seine”
只是惊诧于季节变幻可以这样传情。
 
“But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there, not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong, nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.”
-- “A False Spring”
当想做某件事却又明知不该做,最终还是满怀纠结地做了之后,应当就是这样的心情吧。沮丧、内疚、自责、不安,古老的城高高俯视着嘲笑年轻人的无知,无眠只有明月相伴。
人不傻x枉少年啊!
 
“That was the end of the first part of Paris. Paris was never to be the same again although it was always Paris and you changed as it changed….
There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other. We always returned to it no matter who we were or how it was changed or with what difficulties, or ease, it could be reached. Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it. But this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.”
-- “There Is Never Any End to Paris”
最后总要回归一下主题。最后的感动给我们自己。
一直没来得及好好回顾的,历时一月的欧洲大陆之旅。旅途总使人成长,两个人的旅途便是两个人的成长。巴黎把我们性格中最最不同的部分提取出来晾在冬日的河心,我泛滥的感性对比你的理智,我的怀旧病对比你的入世观,就是为什么已经一路玩到了罗马,在离开巴黎三周之后和将要离开欧洲之前,仍在为“巴黎对现代人而言是否还是一座伟大的城”辩得你来我往互不相让。
说实话,那时候因为你的一些论据,我都快为巴黎委屈地掉眼泪了。现在想起来都好好笑,我们不同,但不妨碍我这样爱你。
果然是穷开心又收获无限的旅程,”this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and happy.”
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”——为我们的幸运,干杯。
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