托尔斯泰会如何看待昆汀·塔伦蒂诺?(上)

石涛讲故事 2014-04-10 13:28:26
By Tao Stein (Translated to Chinese by Tang Jie)
作者:石涛 (中文翻译:汤洁)



What would Leo Tolstoy think of Quentin Tarantino’s work? Tolstoy’s 213-page What Is Art? (1898, translated from the Russian by Aylmer Maude) is probably one of the most significant and influential works establishing our current contemporary definition of art. Tolstoy claims that good art creates feelings that unite people, and he theorizes the general properties of works achieving this.
托尔斯泰会如何看待昆汀·塔伦蒂诺的作品?由托尔斯泰所著的《艺术论》(1898 年出版,艾尔默·莫德译自俄文)这本共213 页的书可说是现当代艺术定义中最重要、也是最具影响力的作品之一。托尔斯泰主张好艺术会产生凝聚人心的情感,同时也论述了能够取得这种效果的作品具备哪些一般属性。

Quentin Tarantino is an American film director active in the late 20th and early 21st century. He has received fame and wide critical acclaim for a series of hyper-violent films. Tarantino’s first films, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction were entertaining stories about small-time criminals. From there he’s moved on to heavier topics. His Inglourious Basterds teaches us that the solution to fascism is to kill them all. His later Django Unchained teaches us that the solution to racism is to kill them all. Through all his films, scenes of hyper-violence are punctuated with scenes of clever and entertaining dialogue and thick characterization.
昆汀·塔伦蒂诺是一位美国电影导演,他的表现从20 世纪末到21世纪早期都十分活跃。昆 汀名下的一系列极为暴力的电影令他声名大噪,也使批评声不绝于耳。昆汀的第一批电影《落水狗》和《低俗小说》讲的是二流罪犯们的故事。此后他转而使用了更为沉重的主题。《无耻混蛋》告诉我们,解决法西斯主义的手段就是把法西斯分子通通杀光。接着 《被解放的姜戈》也告诉我们,解决种族主义的手段就把种族主义分子赶尽杀绝。昆汀所有的电影自始至终都贯穿着极为暴力的镜头。其中穿插着机智有趣的对话,刻画出厚实的人物形象。

How does Quentin Tarantino see the world? In an August 21, 2009 interview with Charlie Rose on PBS he said:
2009年8月21日,昆汀·塔伦蒂诺的世界观是什么?他在美国公共广播电台接受收查理·罗斯的采访时说:


约翰·布朗在哈珀渡口,组织反奴隶制暴力运动手绘图 / Sketch of John Brown at Harper's Ferry. Brown organized violent action against slavery. 1859

"My favorite hero in American history is John Brown. He’s my favorite American who ever lived. He basically single-handedly started the road to end slavery and the fact that he killed people to do it. He decided, ‘If we start spilling white blood, then they’re going to start getting the idea.’"
“我最喜欢的美国历史英雄人物是约翰·布朗。他是在现实中我最喜欢的美国人。基本上就是他单枪匹马地发动了废除奴隶制的战役。为了达到废奴的目的,约翰不惜采取暴力。他断 定,‘如果让白人付出鲜血,他们就会开始明白了。’”


好友李奥尼德·阿夫列莫夫画笔下的托尔斯泰 / Leo Tolstoy painted by his friend Leonid Pasternak

Tarantino’s permanent place in our culture is not completely clear yet. That’s something only the ongoing computation named history can resolve. Tolstoy’s theory, however, provide a means for speculation.
昆汀是否能在我们的文化中获得永久的一席之地,目前还难以判断。这种问题只能依靠历史这一演算方式才能解答。然而托尔斯泰的理论却提供了推断答案的方法。

Would Tolstoy consider Tarantino’s works to be art?
托尔斯泰会把昆汀的作品当作艺术吗?

For Tolstoy a work of art must communicate feelings, it must infect others with feelings, and it must be made with sincerity. Art is a relationship between the artist and the receiver, being the audience, viewer, or reader. Art is:
托尔斯泰认为,一件艺术作品必须能够传达情感,必须能用情感感染他人,而且必须是诚挚 的作品。艺术是艺术家和艺术的接收方,如观众、参观者或读者之间的关系。艺术是:

(1) sincere: originates in the true, experienced feelings of the creator
(2) communicate these feelings: from the creator to the receiver
(3) infectious: gives the receiver feelings similar to those of the creator in (1)

(1)诚挚:源于创作方真实经历过的情感
(2)传达情感:将创作方的情感传达给接收方
(3)感染性:让接收方产生与创作方在(1)中相似的感觉

Tolstoy goes on to add that for something to be infectious, the subject matter itself also matters. It needs to be universally accessible and it also needs to bring people into harmony with one another, uniting them. To achieve this the subject matter should give people two kinds of feelings.
托尔斯泰对第三点进行了补充,具有感染性的作品,其题材本身也很重要。必须是人皆有感, 能够和谐、凝聚人心的题材。为了达到这个目的,题材必须给人带来两种情感:

“And only two kinds of feeling do unite all men: first, feelings flowing from the perception of our sonship to God and of the brotherhood of man; and next, the simple feelings of common life, accessible to everyone without exception— such as the feeling of merriment, of pity, of cheerfulness, of tranquility, etc. Only these two kinds of feelings can now supply material for art good in its subject matter.”
“只有两类情感能够凝聚一切人心:第一类是对身为上帝子民的感知,以及对人类间手足情谊的意识;第二类是是人们日常生活中产生的情感,能被所有人接受的情感,无一例外— 如欢乐、同情、愉悦、平静等。现在只有这两种情感能够为艺术作品的题材提供素材。”

So let’s look at Tarantino’s work more closely using Tolstoy’s theory.
接下来我们将采用托尔斯泰的理论,进一步观察昆汀的作品。

Sincerity?
挚与否?


塔伦蒂诺在采访中 / Tarantino during an interview, 2013

Tarantino is an intense and focused individual. That comes across in any interview, and it breathes right through his films. The audience can feel that Tarantino needs to tell these stories. They’re coming direct from his feelings and passions, and a vital need to share. His work is not just a scheme to get rich. Tarantino’s work is sincere.
昆汀是一个感情激烈、思想专注的人。这在他的任何采访中都看得出来,而且也直接在银幕上得到了呈现。观众能够感觉到昆汀讲故事的渴望。这些故事直接源自他的情感和激情,以及与人分享的巨大渴望。昆汀的作品不单单是致富的计划,他的作品是诚挚的。

Communication of Feelings?
传达情感?

Tolstoy says feelings separate art from other forms of communication. In particular, speech. For Tolstoy, speech communicates ideas and thoughts while art communicates feelings.
托尔斯泰表示,情感是艺术之于其他的表达方式的区别之处,于言论尤甚如此。他认为,言论表达想法,而艺术表达情感。

Some things are obviously about ideas and not feelings. For example, a scientific article about computer operating systems or a public speech about improving the environment.
有些所表达的明显是想法而非情感,比如一篇内容为计算机运行系统的科研文章或改善环境的公众演讲。


电影《源泉》改编自艾茵·兰德同名书籍 / The Fountainhead. Film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s book. 1949

Some works are less obvious, and can be speech masquerading as art. For example, consider Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Any thoughtful reader quickly realizes that her purpose is to convince the reader of a philosophy using examples and storytelling. The purpose of the work is to convince the reader of one specific political philosophy. The dialogue and characterization and even plotting are all designed around this purpose. This holds for the film version of The Fountainhead which is grafted from the same DNA. The dialogue is wooden, the characterization cartoonish, and the plotting heavy. Tolstoy would not call these art. Whether the ideas are right or wrong is irrelevant. The works are speech and not art because they communicate ideas and not feelings.
有些作品则没这么明显。实为言论,却伪装成艺术,例如艾茵·兰德的《源头》或《阿特拉 斯耸耸肩》。有思想的读者能很快意识到,作者的目的是通过举例子讲故事说服读者接受一 种哲学观念。该作品旨在说服读者接受某种政治哲学观念。小说中所有的对话、人物塑造、 甚至情节都是围绕这一目的而作。这一点在其一母同胞的电影《源头》中也保留了下来,对 白呆板、人物夸张、情节沉重。托尔斯泰不会将之归类为艺术。这无关想法的对错。这些作品是言论而非艺术的原因在于,它们所传达的内容是想法,而非情感。


塔伦蒂诺的《落水狗》/ Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs (1992)

The risk here for Tarantino’s work is the extent to which they communicate political or moral ideas instead of feelings. Earlier films like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are less political than the later Basterds or Django. One of the hallmarks of Tarantino’s earlier work is a thick and loving use of pop culture and film historical references. This goes all the way from the selection of the actors, through the dialogue and cinematography, to the music. Tarantino has a deep love of pop culture and film. He doesn’t only love Hollywood film, he also loves international, French and Japanese film. His work clearly communicates his love of film, infecting the audience with passion and excitement. His later works still have some of this infectious feeling, but they also shout base political ideas. Specifically the idea that violence is a means to correct social injustice. The question is not whether this idea is right or wrong, but whether it dominates the communication and makes it speech.
昆汀作品的冒险之处在于所传达的政治或道德观点之于情感的比重。与近期的《无耻混蛋》 或《被解放的姜戈》相比,早期的《落水狗》和《低俗小说》政治成分还少一些。昆汀早期 作品的标志之一,是偏爱频繁运用大众文化元素及致敬经典电影,这在他的电影选角,对白 设计,摄影技术,音乐等各方面均有体现。昆汀深爱大众文化和电影,他不仅热爱好莱坞电 影,而且也对世界其他国家,对法国和日本的电影相当热爱。这种情感透过他的电影用激情 与刺激感染观众。昆汀近期的作品多少还是有这种感染力的,同时也在高呼原始的政治观点, 尤其是用暴力手段纠正社会不公的观点。问题不在于这种观点正确与否,而是在于这种观点是否在传达时占据了主导地位,从而使作品变成了言论。


僵尸病毒可以感染人,艺术也有相同效应 / Zombies are infectious and so is good art

Infectious?
感染力

There’s a great scene in Pulp Fiction where Samuel L. Jackson (Jules) and John Travolta (Vincent) are hit men and make small-talk about cheeseburgers. Here it is:
《低俗小说》中的经典一幕是塞缪尔·杰克逊(朱尔斯)和约翰·屈伏塔(文森特)扮演的杀手关于芝士汉堡的闲聊。以下为两人对白:


塔伦蒂诺的《低俗小说》 / Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994)

VINCENT: ...You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?

文森特:…你知道他们在巴黎管四分之一磅芝士汉堡叫什么吗?

JULES: They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?

朱尔斯:…难道不是四分之一磅芝士汉堡吗?

VINCENT: No, they got the metric system there, they wouldn't know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.

文森特:非也,人家那里用公制,他们才不知道四分之一磅是什么鬼玩意儿呢。

JULES: What'd they call it?

朱尔斯:那叫什么?

VINCENT: Royale with Cheese.

文森特:叫皇家芝士汉堡。

JULES: Royale with Cheese. What'd they call a Big Mac?

朱尔斯:皇家芝士汉堡。那他们管巨无霸叫什么?

VINCENT: Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.

文森特:巨无霸就是巨无霸,但这个词在法语里是阳性词。

JULES: What do they call a Whopper?

朱尔斯:那他们管超大号汉堡叫什么?

VINCENT: I dunno, I didn't go into a Burger King.

文森特:不知道,我没去过巴黎的汉堡王。

When Tolstoy speaks of “sharing simple feelings of common life“ this is an example of what he means. Everyone can relate to this dialogue. It’s universal, interesting, and builds sympathy for the characters.
托尔斯泰所指的“分享日常生活中的朴素情感”, 以上这段对话就是一个例子。每个人都能 理解它的意思。在生活中,这种对话很普遍,而且有趣,让观众对角色感同身受。

Tarantino’s storytelling can be emotionally infectious in other ways. As injustice meets retribution and violent justice, some will feel their rage transformed to a satisfying release and catharsis. Not everyone, however, will feel this way. Some will find these feelings blocked by thought and reason. This critical thinking may have been implanted by an educational system, or might just be the mark of a free-thinker. This person will ask themselves “what exactly is being solved by this bloodbath?” and thereby destroy the infection of feeling in the same way clumsy visual effects destroy suspension of disbelief.
昆汀的叙事方法在其他方面也具有情绪上的感染力。不公不义会遭到报应及暴力正义,让有 些观众感到自己的愤怒获得释放和宣泄,转而获得满足感。但并不是所有人都有同感。有些 观众发现理性思考阻碍了这类情感的传达。这种批判性思维也许经由教育系统灌输,又或者 只是独立思考者的特性。“这样大开杀戒到底解决了什么问题?”的质疑会破坏情感的感染 力。这与粗糙的视觉效果导致观众不得不出戏是一个道理。


甘地1906年在伦敦,思想受托尔斯泰关于非暴力的作品影响 / Gandhi in London, 1906. His thinking was influenced by Tolstoy’s work on nonviolence.

This thinking person will wonder how exactly this violence and killing can solve the larger problem of slavery. Will an action hero rise up on every plantation and kill the entire ownership regime? Gandhi knew that not every person can be an action hero, but every person can be a person. It’s questionable if the Django ending has universal power. Some will feel catharsis. Others will just feel boredom.
这类热爱思考的人士会觉得疑惑,暴力和屠戮如何能够解决奴隶制这一更大的问题。是否每 一片种植园里都会出现一位揭竿而起的武打英雄,血洗整个所有制政权?甘地知道并非人人 都是动作明星,但是人皆为人。《姜戈》的结局是否感染到了所有人,这一点值得商榷。也 许有人会大呼痛快,而有人则觉得无聊。

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