How to move like a cat?

佐伯四倍子
2017-10-10 10:36:08

看了今年NT live的此剧之后,又读了剧本,刷了tv版,喜欢是喜欢,却没到想写些什么的地步。之后不知为什么总是反刍里面的意象和对白,快变成compulsory / involuntary的了,就觉得还是试着写写看自己印象最深的部分,希望不要写出一本书那么长的废话来。。。。。

Angels的剧本,总的感受是:epic式的宏大,却在任何一个层面上都无比地真实、精确,自始至终都几乎滴水不漏。而它在大的意义上,主题是非常清晰的:对边界和对“conservatism”的抵抗。这种边界是多层面而互相联结的:个人对自我探索的边界,个人与他人(无论是亲密关系的对象、还是陌生人)关系中的边界,群体之间的边界。剧中所涉及的群体包括LGBT/性别,被污名化的艾滋病人,种族,宗教,政党,甚至是地位和阶级,而每个人都携带着混合的群体标记,每个人,在以这些标签界定的既superficial又完全valid的层面上,都充满了ambivalence。这种ambivalence在Joe和Roy身上达到充满戏剧化的程度:前者,Mormon,Republican,lawyer,表面正直而光鲜,却无法与自己的性向和解的深柜;后者基于历史真实人物,几乎是全剧一切层面“恶”的集中体现,最终成为了自己最不想成为的群体(一切“弱势”群体)的一员,

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看了今年NT live的此剧之后,又读了剧本,刷了tv版,喜欢是喜欢,却没到想写些什么的地步。之后不知为什么总是反刍里面的意象和对白,快变成compulsory / involuntary的了,就觉得还是试着写写看自己印象最深的部分,希望不要写出一本书那么长的废话来。。。。。

Angels的剧本,总的感受是:epic式的宏大,却在任何一个层面上都无比地真实、精确,自始至终都几乎滴水不漏。而它在大的意义上,主题是非常清晰的:对边界和对“conservatism”的抵抗。这种边界是多层面而互相联结的:个人对自我探索的边界,个人与他人(无论是亲密关系的对象、还是陌生人)关系中的边界,群体之间的边界。剧中所涉及的群体包括LGBT/性别,被污名化的艾滋病人,种族,宗教,政党,甚至是地位和阶级,而每个人都携带着混合的群体标记,每个人,在以这些标签界定的既superficial又完全valid的层面上,都充满了ambivalence。这种ambivalence在Joe和Roy身上达到充满戏剧化的程度:前者,Mormon,Republican,lawyer,表面正直而光鲜,却无法与自己的性向和解的深柜;后者基于历史真实人物,几乎是全剧一切层面“恶”的集中体现,最终成为了自己最不想成为的群体(一切“弱势”群体)的一员,死于艾滋。而在人物的各个层面被刻画充分之后,他们的存在没有一丝夸张的成分,自始至终是极具合理性的。

而conservatism,在象征的意义上,以天使的“stop moving” because moving is the reason why God abandoned humans 的警示呈现。现实的故事主体里,全是在个人和关系的层面显现的,几乎每个人都面临了一个要不要向前,要不要自我僭越的“选择”。第一部中像是在提出问题,把所有人最miserable的东西,最无法跨越的limit全部铺陈出来,而在第二部里,激烈的冲突、抵抗、和解和自我超越变成了主题。作者在一个访谈里说:“conservatism is a thought disorder, an inability to construct a coherent causal chain, that starts ABCD, and that keeps going until you get to something that actually feels like truth, you stop at the point that it just starts to get uncomfortable, which starts to threaten your privilege, and then you just don't think any further...” 所以,“uncomfortable point”即是“limit”存在的位置,在每个人身上都存在,超越的/意识形态上的,或是具体的/缺乏自我意识的/隐而不宣的;而拒绝审视limit,逃离,不相信这个limit是可以超越的,不去看它可以被超越的事实,这件事本身就是作者意义上的conservatism。

理解了这一点,大概就可以轻易找到人物身上的内在逻辑,可以充分地理解,哪怕是Louis这种看上去表里不一的、full of guilt的人。以至于Belize对他说:

BELIZE: It's no fun picking on you Louis; you're so guilty, it's like throwing darts at a glob of jello, there's no satisfying hits, just quivering, the darts just blop in and vanish.

Louis是在,意识形态的层面上最理想、最乐观地liberal,最乐于谈论“big idea”的人,某种literal癌(literalist?),“believe the world is perfectible and so find it always unsatisfying” (Joe).在现实中,他是个默默无闻的“lowest of the low”的“word processor”,不能成为律师因为“too abstracted”,因为对复杂度的承知不允许他对现实做一个decision:

LOUIS: That it should be the questions and shape of a life, its total complexity gathered, arranged and considered, which matters in the end, not some stamp of salvation or damnation which disperses all the complexity in some unsatisfying little decision—the balancing of the scales . . .

他对Republican的抵触、对Joe和Roy那些对弱势群体恶行的控诉,体现了他在意识上的平等和善意,而Louis在自己的partner Prior得了艾滋之后,却因无法面对而落荒而逃,将其一人弃于痛苦之中——他看到Prior的病痛,会无比难过、会流泪,这或许本就是他逃离的原因,因为面对死亡、虚弱、病痛,触痛了他的个人边界。而他在剧中也很直接地对Prior说:“I have my limit”。然而Prior说:

PRIOR: You cry, but you endanger nothing in yourself. It's like the idea of crying when you do it. Or the idea of love.

"endangerment",是容许自己被伤害的可能,是自我抵抗必要的前提,是Joe所说的:“reconcile yourself to the world's unperfectibility by being thoroughly in the world but not of it.”

Joe和Louis一样,是我个人情感上比较喜欢的人物,因为能够在很大程度上identify。大概自己的状态一直是他们二人的某种比例的混合体。比起Prior,一个外显的,无可置疑的受害者,以至于让人不敢去指摘他的受害者心态,Joe的受害是隐藏的,充满自我戕害的。

JOE: What do you want from me, Harper? More than that? For God's sake, there's nothing left, I'm a shell. There's nothing left to kill. As long as my behavior is what I know it has to be. Decent. Correct. That alone in the eyes of God.
HARPER: NO, no, not that, that's Utah talk, Mormon talk, I hate it, Joe, tell me, say it . . .
JOE: All I will say is that I am a very good man who has worked very hard to become good and you want to destroy that. You want to destroy me, but I am not going to let you do that.

(一面垂死抵抗的柜门儿。。。)

而他终于在崩溃的边缘,对母亲和妻子出柜,从家里逃走,消失不见,住到Louis那里天天翻云覆雨之后,他的个人成长实际并没有真正意义上的开始。他在表面上变成了另一个人,却并没有完成真正意义上的自我接纳——而只是逃向了另一个、被压抑许久的自己。无疑,这种新生感,给了他很多很多真实的、前半生都从未体验过的快乐,他对生活一下子充满希望,他对“僭越”本身、对这个概念充满了希望。所以他也是唯一一个认同Louis抛弃Prior的人,因为一方面,那种“对自我愿望的真诚、顺从”吸引了他,另一方面,也暗合了他从骨子里认为“为了自己的利益,总有些什么要被牺牲掉”的政治意识。

JOE: Fundamentally, we both want the same thing.
LOUIS: I don't think that's true.
JOE: It is. What you did when you walked out on him was hard to do. The world may not understand it or approve but you did what you needed to do. And I consider you very brave.
LOUIS: Nobody does what I did, Joe. Nobody.
JOE: But maybe many want to. Let him go. For real. Louis. I love you.
LOUIS: No you don't.
JOE: Yes I do.
LOUIS: NO YOU DONT. You can't, it's only been a month, it takes years to fall in love, four-and-a-half years minimum. You think you do but that's just the gay virgin thing, that's...
JOE: YOU and I, Louis, we are the same. We both want the same thing.
LOUIS: I want to see Prior again.

何止是gay virgin,他在自我意识的解放上,每一个层面,几乎都是virgin。表面上Joe和Louis看起来几乎应该是水火不容,以至于“Republican lawyer?”这个词在他们的互动中反反复复地出现,反反复复地被调侃,也反反复复被他人调侃。他们冲突的每一幕我都会流泪,大概是,在我的感受里,Joe和Louis的关系里蕴含着真正意义上的、终极的和解,而这个和解是需要脱离欲望和身体的;实际上也确实,诚如Joe所说,他们非常相似,而Joe总能看出Louis真正的问题,不是别人眼中他犯下的那些道德意义上的罪行,也不是“literal”, “full of big ideas”, hypocritical,因为Joe能剥离那些表象的指责看到真正的他:

JOE: You have a good heart and you think the good thing is to be guilty and kind always but it's not always kind to be gentle and soft, there's a genuine violence in softness and weakness visit on people. Sometimes self-interested is the most generous thing you can be.

可是这个和解的过程最终也没有完成,最终以两个人互相暴力攻击对方告终。大概我的想象终归是naive的,而现实意义上的,Joe所协助的恶行,以及他根深蒂固地,对于这种恶行、对于这些现实妥协的不以为然,是他到了剧终都没有去消解的。之后,在充满希望的新感情破灭之后,他只是发现了在一开始他就隐约意识到、但在自己的妻子离开之前从未被揭露的旧问题:

JOE: The failure to measure up hits people very hard. From such a strong desire to be good they feel very far from goodness when they fail. What scares me is that maybe what I really love in her is the part of her that's farthest from the light, from God's love; maybe I was drawn to that in the first place. And I'm keeping it alive because I need it.

他和Louis的关系崩裂,与自身的和解失败,放弃,于是回到了旧的、安全的那个自己,发现:

JOE: I don't know what will happen to me without you. Only you. only you love me. Out of everyone in the world. I have done things, I'm ashamed. But I have changed. I don't know how yet, but please, please, don't leave me now.

但是Harper却已经做出了成长的决定:

HARPER: NO. Probably never again. That's how bad. Sometimes, maybe lost is best. Get lost. Joe. Go exploring.

Harper,作为足不出户、常年靠着安定和幻觉才能勉强生活的广场恐惧症患者,第一次自己离开了居住的城市,上了飞机:

HARPER: Nothing's lost forever. In this world, there is a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we've left behind, and dreaming ahead. At least I think that's so.

于是在我们最后看到Joe的时候,他只是一个被妻子抛弃时,才发现自己其实一直以来在依赖对方的心理问题生存的可怜而不知所措的人。甚至在整个场景的最后一幕,充满了和解感和希望感,连他的母亲都和其他所有人一起开心地交谈的场景里,他却是唯一缺席的那个人,孤零零的一个人。Joe的问题实在太多了。。。他几乎是一个从0 (处) 开始的人,之后还有很长、很长的路罢。

所以如开头说的一样,最“ambivalent”的两个人,在剧中都没有完整地完成这种抵抗 。而其他人“抵抗”的成功,都在剧中得到了explicit的体现。或许Belize除外,他自始至终几乎是完美的,如果非要挑出什么错的话,可能是对“超越性”概念的拒绝,体现在他对Louis的`big ideas'不屑一顾,以及对Prior的天使故事完全拒绝相信的几个场景里。而他是最清楚如何完成这个过程的那一个,好像从一开始就知道答案一样。他要求Louis为死去的Roy念Kaddish,遭到前者的拒绝时,说:“it's not easy, it doesn't count if it's easy.”

最不easy的,大概是作为更高象征意义上自我超越代表的Prior,作为历史极悠久家族的后裔(祖先号称出现在Bayeux Tapestry上),gay,艾滋感染者,被partner抛弃,之后被天使召为先知。几乎是一个毋庸置疑的受害者,也没有一刻吝惜提醒读者自己的悲惨境遇。如果别人面对的问题是nurture的,身份的,通过痛苦的自我反省可以消解的,他所面对的便是人生终极的生老病死的大问题,而他的动摇无疑是极度合理的,印象最深的是,他在朋友的葬礼之后说:

PRIOR: That ludicrous spectacle in there, just a parody of the funeral of someone who really counted. We don't; faggots; we're just a bad dream the real world is having, and the real world's waking up.

而他最终,拒绝了天使的警示,拒绝作为先知的身份,拒绝放弃“痛苦”的生,而选择“永恒”的安乐。之后又拒绝了可以维生的药物,拒绝了回到自己身边的伴侣。

ANGEL: You only think you do. Life is a habit with you. You have not seen what is to come.
PRIOR: I want more life. I can't help myself. I do. I've lived through such terrible times, and there are people who live through much much worse, but.... You see them living anyway. When they're more spirit than body, more sores than skin, when they're burned and in agony, when flies lay eggs in the corners of the eyes of their children, they live. Death usually has to take life away. I don't know if that's just the animal. I don't know if it's not braver to die. But I recognize the habit. The addiction to being alive. We live past hope. If I can find hope anywhere, that's it, that's the best I can do. It's so much not enough, so inadequate but. . . . Bless me anyway. I want more life.

总体来说,此剧真实得令我感动。最喜欢的是对Roy这个人物的处理,他自始至终都是极恶的,从没有一丝丝洗白的意图流露出来,临死前的一幕剧本还自我调侃了“假洗白”。可这个人物却能够奇妙地唤起人的同情,除了他真实的恶,真实的内在均一的逻辑,和真实的,面对病的恐惧、vulnerability,没有其他的东西作用于这种同情。即使Angels提出了那么多或大或小的问题,但从没有一次,用情绪、用说理、用恐惧造成的迷惑,去回避真实的问题本身,因为回避本身就是它想要批判的对象,而这些东西也都是剧中人物要超越的对象。死守是幼稚的,颠覆亦是幼稚的,前者因缺乏自尊的安全感而拒绝一切可能的“危险”,而后者因缺乏自尊的自我厌恶而拥抱一切彻底的碎裂,他们在本原上是同一的。而真正的希望,只是在那种真实的现实上,再多一点点模糊的边界,多一点点开放,多一点点自我质疑吧。

HANNAH: You can't live in the world without an idea of the world, but it's living that makes the ideas. You can't wait for a theory, but you have to have a theory.
LOUIS: GO know. As my grandma would say.
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