À la recherche du temps perdu

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Month: April, 2015

給我愛過/愛過我的男孩們

去了日本以後的某一天,我開始了清理舊電郵的習慣。一年工作假期對我來說其中一個大意義,大概便是讓我有機會清空並重新整理自己。用了十多年的Hotmail Inbox裡堆積了百多頁面成千上萬的電郵,於是我從最早的中學時代跟同學間分享偶像訊息的電郵開始,逐一把它們歸檔或銷毀。勤力的時候每天都清一頁,有時懶惰沒有心情或者去了旅行便會隔好些時日才清理一次。清理電郵的過程讓我發現自己的記憶力並沒有自己想像中強,很多無疾而終的交流更透露出我其實比自己想像中更薄情。

而今天我發現了這封電郵。標題欄目上的那個名字,勾起了多年沒有記起的回憶。沒有記起其實也有一段過程,先是強迫自己忘記,隨着時間過去,也就真的忘記要想起。電郵內文是一封非常誠懇的道歉信,現在再讀,頓覺當年為了面子為了啖氣而拒絕原諒和放下過去的那個自己實在是太過年輕愚蠢。但是也許那個時候的我們都太過年輕,也許我們都未懂得如何去愛,如何去面對愛情這苦難。為此我們總打着愛情烈士的旗號,義無反顧的讓愛情的利箭刺傷彼此,好讓自己能夠向世人展示自己對愛情的忠貞與堅定。那種年輕人的陳腔濫調。

現在的我已不年輕,早已明白這世上沒有永遠的愛情,也沒有永遠的憎恨。人生如戲,每一幕總有開始終結,完場時總要一笑置之,Forget and forgive。於是我想起另外一個他曾經對我說:Never say never. 我那時覺得他很殘忍,但原來殘忍的不是他而是把一切變成回憶再完全抹去的時間。

所以我當我再讀那封電郵,早已沒了當年那強烈的感覺,倒是感到滿腔的暖意的感激。謝謝你以及所有我曾經愛過的或愛過我的男孩們。謝謝你們曾在我的生命中出現,謝謝你們曾喜歡過我,謝謝你們讓我經歷愛情,儘管結果我們沒有在一起。反正這世上沒有永遠的愛情,當我們在一起的時候,那便是永遠。希望你們都過得很好,而且早已忘記了我。

Borges on Writing and Blindness

I had always imagined Paradise as a kind of library.

I too, if I may mention myself, have always known that my destiny was, above all, a literary destiny — that bad things and some good things would happen to me, but that, in the long run, all of it would be converted into words. Particularly the bad things, since happiness does not need to be transformed: happiness is its own end.

I have said that blindness is a way of life, a way of life that is not entirely unfortunate. Let us recall those lines of the greatest Spanish poet, Fray Luis de León:

Vivir quiero conmigo,
gozar quiero del bien que debo al cielo,
a solas sin testigo,
libre de amor, de celo,
de odio, de esperanza, de recelo.

[I want to live with myself,/ I want to enjoy the good that I owe to heaven,/ alone, without witnesses,/ free of love, of jealousy,/ of hate, of hope, of fear.]

Edgar Allan Poe knew this stanza by heart.

A writer lives. The task of being a poet is not completed at a fixed schedule. No one is a poet from eight to twelve and from two to six. Whoever is a poet is always one, and continually assaulted by poetry. I suppose a painter feels that colors and shapes are besieging him. Or the musician feels that the strange world of sounds — the strangest world of art — is always seeking him out, that there are melodies and dissonances looking for him. For the task of an artist, blindness is not a total misfortune. It may be an instrument. Fray Luis de León dedicated one of his most beautiful odes to Francisco Salinas, a blind musician.

A writer, or any man, must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument; everything has been given for an end. This is even stronger in the case of an artist. Everything that happens, including humiliations, embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like material for one’s art. One must accept it. For this reason I speak in a poem of the ancient food of heroes: humiliation, unhappiness, discord. Those things are given to us to transform, so that we may make from the miserable circumstances of our lives things that are eternal, or aspire to be so.

I want to end with a line of Goethe: ‘Alles Nahe werde fern,’ everything near becomes far. Goethe was referring to the evening twilight. Everything becomes far. It is true. At nightfall, the things closest to us seem to move away from our eyes. So the visible world has moved away from my eyes, perhaps forever.

Goethe could be referring not only to twilight but to life. All things go off, leaving us. Old age is probably the supreme solitude — except that the supreme solitude is death. And ‘everything near becomes far’ also refers to the slow process of blindness, of which I hoped to show speaking tonight, that it is not a complete misfortune. It is one more instrument among the many — all of them so strange – that fate or chance provide.

 

Jorge Luis Borges, “Blindness” in The Perpetual Race of Achilles and the Tortoise (Penguin Great Ideas 98)

那種奢侈的究極的純粹

一向都認為閱讀和寫作是很個人的事情,本來便不太關心跟自己無關的本地文學圈子。雖然偶爾都會擔心過份孤高自賞只會讓自己與當代文學潮流脫節,落得只能成為不入流的業餘文人的可悲結局。縱觀古今文人無一不屬於當代前衛文學圈子,更覺所謂文人孤高不搞政治是世紀一大謬誤。從日本回來,聽了友人逐一更新近日文壇裡的是非喧嘩,心裡對所謂文化圈的厭倦又重新燃起。若要我花那麼多時間精力去處理文化圈裡的大是大非,我真的寧願繼續留在圈外,名不經傳的靜靜寫我的名不經傳的小說。我也不是單純到認為只要寫了作品便能找到讀者,只是現在的我視寫作為一種行為藝術,視那過程為一種儀式,視那孤獨和無意義為一種修練。不收入場費,不作公開演出的行為藝術,參與者和觀賞者只我一人。只要那種奢侈的究極的純粹。