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      英語世界
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      Fiction and the Dream
      發布時間:2018年11月02日     陳麗 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
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      Fiction and the Dream


      By John Banville

      文/約翰·班維爾


      A man wakes in the morning, feeling light-headed, even somewhat dazed. Standing in the curtained gloom in his pyjamas, blinking, he feels that somehow he is not his real, vital, fully conscious self. It is as if that other, alert version of him is still in bed, and that what has got up is a sort of shadow-self, tremulous, two-dimensional. What is the matter? Is he “coming down with something”? He does seem a little feverish. But no, he decides, what is afflicting him is no physical malady. There is, rather, something the matter with his mind. His brain feels heavy, and as if it were a size too large for his skull. Then, suddenly, in a rush, he remembers the dream.


      男人清晨醒來,感覺頭暈,甚至有些神志不清。他穿著睡衣,站在窗簾遮蔽的陰暗里,茫然四顧,感覺自己并不真實,沒有活力,尚未完全醒來。就仿佛那個警醒的自己仍然還在床上,起來的只是一個發怯的、二維的影子。出了什么事?病了嗎?他的確有些發熱,但是不,他認為影響自己的不是身體上的疾病。問題出在他的大腦。他感覺頭很重,就仿佛它大了一號,顱骨裝不下似的。接著,在一瞬間,他突然想起那個夢。

       

      It was one of those dreams that seem to take the entire night to be dreamt. All of him was involved in it, his unconscious, his subconscious, his memory, his imagination; even his physical self seemed thrown into the effort. The details of the dream flood back, uncanny, absurd, terrifying, and Fiction and the Dream all freighted with a mysterious weight—such a weight, it seems, as is carried by only the most profound experiences of life, of waking life, that is. And indeed, all of his life, all of the essentials of his life, were somehow there, in the dream, folded tight, like the petals of a rosebud. Some great truth has been revealed to him, in a code he knows he will not be able to crack. But cracking the code is not important, is not necessary; in fact, as in a work of art, the code itself is the meaning.


      是那種整晚纏身的夢。他的全部身心都投身其中:無意識、潛意識、記憶、想象力;甚至他的肉身似乎也參與其中。夢的細節如洪水般襲來,詭異、荒謬、令人恐懼,具有一種神秘的沉重感——這種沉重感似乎只有最為深刻的生活,也即清醒的生活,才能具有。啊是的,他所有的生活,他生活的所有核心本質,都以某種方式出現在夢中,緊緊包裹在一起,就像玫瑰蓓蕾的花瓣一樣。某個驚人的真相得以展示給他,使用的密碼他知道自己無法破解。但是破解密碼并不重要,也非必須;事實上,作為藝術品,密碼本身就是意義所在。

       

      He puts on his dressing gown and his slippers and goes downstairs. Everything around him looks strange. Has his wife’s eyes developed overnight that slight imbalance, the right one a fraction lower than the left, or is it something he has never noticed before? The cat in its corner watches him out of an eerie stillness. Sounds enter from the street, familiar and at the same time mysterious. The dream is infecting his waking world.


      他披上睡袍,穿上拖鞋,走下樓梯。四周的一切看起來有些陌生。妻子的眼睛是昨天夜里才變得那樣嗎——有些輕微的不平衡,右眼比左眼稍微低了一點點,抑或它們一直是那樣而他以前從未注意到?角落里的貓盯著他,帶著一種怪異的肅穆。街道的聲音傳了過來,熟悉的同時又有些神秘。那個夢正在影響他的清醒的生活。

       

      He begins to tell his wife about the dream, feeling a little bashful, for he knows how silly the dreamed events will sound. His wife listens, nodding distractedly. He tries to give his words something of the weight that there was in the dream. He is coming to the crux of the thing, the moment when his dreaming self woke in the midst of the dark wood, among the murmuring voices. Suddenly his wife opens her mouth wide—is she going to beg him to stop, is she going to cry out that she finds what he is telling her too terrifying?—is she going to scream? No: she yawns, mightily, with little inward gasps, the hinges of her jaws cracking, and finishes with a long, shivery sigh, and asks if he would like to finish what is left of the scrambled egg.


      他開始給妻子講述那個夢,有點忸怩,因為他知道那些夢中的情境聽起來會有多傻。妻子聽他講著,時不時漫不經心地點點頭。他盡量斟酌用詞,以體現出夢中的那種沉重感。他就要講到關鍵時刻了——就是他夢中的自我在黑暗的林中醒來,聽到一片低語的那個時刻。突然,他的妻子張大了嘴巴——她是要請求他閉嘴嗎,還是要大喊她覺得他講述的一切太嚇人了?——她是要尖叫嗎?不:她打了個呵欠,大大的那種,還輕微倒抽了口氣,上下顎的關節咔噠作響。她以一聲長長的、顫抖的嘆息結束了呵欠,接著問他能不能把剩下的炒蛋吃完。

       

      The dreamer droops, dejected. He has offered something precious and it has been spurned. How can she not feel the significance of the things he has been describing to her? How can she not see the bare trees and the darkened air, the memory of which is darkening the very air around them now—how can she not hear the murmurous voices, as he heard them? He trudges back upstairs to get himself ready for another, ordinary, day. The momentous revelations of the night begin to recede. It was just a dream, after all.


      做夢者垂頭喪氣。他和盤托出的是某樣寶貴的東西,而這個東西被唾棄了。她怎么能感受不到他正在描述的事情的重要性?她怎么能看不到那些光禿禿的樹和暗黑的空氣,對于它們的回憶正在將他們周圍的空氣浸染成黑色——她怎么能聽不到那些喃喃細語,怎么不像他一樣能聽到?他步履沉重地走上樓梯,準備迎接又一個平平常常的一天。夜里那個重要的啟示開始淡去。畢竟,只是個夢。

       

      But what if, instead of accepting the simple fact that our most chaotic, our most exciting, our most significant dreams are nothing but boring to others, even our significant others—what if he said to his wife, All right, I’ll show you! I’ll sit down and write out the dream in such an intense and compelling formulation that when you read it you, too, will have the dream; you, too, will find yourself wandering in the wild wood at nightfall; you, too, will hear the dream voices telling you your own most secret secrets.


      我們最雜亂無章、最激動人心、最意義重大的夢,在別人——哪怕是愛人——看來也不過是無聊乏味之事,但是假如我們不接受這個簡單的事實呢?假如他告訴妻子,好吧,我展示給你瞧!我會坐下來,把那個夢寫出來,讓它緊張激烈、扣人心弦,令你在讀過之后也會做那個夢;你也會發現自己在黑夜中漫步于那片荒林;你也會聽到那些夢中的聲音告訴你最為隱秘的秘密。

       

      I can think of no better analogy than this for the process of writing a novel. The novelist’s aim is to make the reader have the dream—not just to read about it, but actually to experience it: to have the dream; to write the novel.


      這是我能想出的關于小說寫作過程的最為貼切的類比了。小說家的目標就是要讓讀者做同樣的夢——不僅僅是讀它,還要真正親身去體驗它:去做夢;去寫小說。

       



      Now, these are dangerous assertions. In this post-religious age, people are looking about in some desperation for a new priesthood. And there is something about the artist in general and the writer in particular which seems priest-like: the unceasing commitment to an etherial faith, the mixture of arrogance and humility, the daily devotions, the confessional readiness to attend the foibles and fears of the laity. The writer goes into a room, the inviolable domestic holy of holies—the study—and remains there alone for hour after hour in eerie silence. With what deities does he commune, in there, what rituals does he enact? Surely he knows something that others, the uninitiates, do not; surely he is privy to a wisdom far beyond theirs.


      如今,這樣的論斷是危險的了。在這個后宗教時代,人們四顧茫然,急切地尋求新的神父領路人。而藝術家,尤其是作家,便具有某種類似于神父的品質:對于精神信仰的不滅追求、高傲與謙卑的雜糅混合、日日的自省、聆聽懺悔時準備好隨時應對普通信徒的弱點和憂懼。作家進入他的房間——書房——家庭空間中神圣不可侵犯的圣地,在那里孤獨地一待幾個小時,保持著詭異的靜默。在那里,他與哪些神祇交流,又實施了哪些儀式?他肯定知道一些不為人知——不為外行所知的——秘密;他肯定悄悄掌握了遠超那些外行的智慧。

       

      These are delusions, of course. The artist, the writer, knows no more about the great matters of life and the spirit than anyone else—indeed, he probably knows less. This is the paradox. As Henry James has it, we work in the dark, we do what we can, we give what we have, the rest is the madness of art. And Kafka, with a sad laugh, adds: The artist is the man who has nothing to say.


      當然, 這些都是假象。藝術家(作家)并不比別人更加了解生活和精神上的大事——事實上,他很可能知道得更少。這就是矛盾所在了。正如亨利·詹姆斯指出的,我們在黑暗中工作,我們盡我們所能,給予我們所能提供的,余下的就是藝術的瘋狂了。而卡夫卡則帶著憂傷笑著添了句:藝術家就是無話可說的人。

       

      The writer is not a priest, not a shaman, not a holy dreamer. Yet his work is dragged up out of that darksome well where the essential self cowers, in fear of the light.


      作家不是神父,不是僧人,不是神圣的做夢者。然而,他的作品卻是從那口深井中拖曳而出:本質的自我就退縮在那口黑暗的深井中,懼怕光明。

       

      I have no grand psychological theory of creativity. I do not pretend to know how the mind, consciously or otherwise, processes the base metal of quotidian life into the gold of art. Even if I could find out, I would not want to. Certain things should not be investigated.


      我沒有宏大的心理學理論來解釋創造力。我也不會假裝懂得大腦如何有意識或無意識地加工日常生活的基礎材料,從中提取藝術的黃金。哪怕我能,我也不想這么做。有些東西不應該被這么研究。

       

      The dream world is a strange place. Everything there is at once real and unreal. The most trivial or ridiculous things can seem to carry a tremendous significance, a significance which—and here I agree with Freud—the waking mind would never dare to suggest or acknowledge. In dreams the mind speaks its truths through the medium of a fabulous nonsense. So, I think, does the novel.


      夢境是奇特的世界。那里的一切既真實又虛幻。最瑣碎或者最荒謬的事情都看起來具有重大的意義,那種意義——此處我同意弗洛伊德——是清醒的頭腦永遠也不敢暗示或者承認的。在夢境中,頭腦通過不可思議的胡言亂語來講述真相。我認為小說亦是如此。

       

      The writing of fiction is far more than the telling of stories. It is an ancient, an elemental, urge which springs, like the dream, from a desperate imperative to encode and preserve things that are buried in us deep beyond words. This is its significance, its danger and its glory.


      寫小說遠勝于講故事。它是一種古老的、基本的沖動,像夢一樣,源自那種急切地想要編碼保存那些東西的沖動——那些東西深埋于我們內心深處,言語無法觸及。這就是它的意義、它的危險,也是它的榮耀。

       

      (譯者單位:北京外國語大學)

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