笔记:毛姆的”总结” (一)

The Summing Up
作者: Maugham, W. Somerset (1938)
出版社: Penguin Classics
装帧: Paperback
出版年: 1992-09-01

毛姆六十四岁写的”总结”. 薄薄一本. 公认的毛姆所有作品里最像自传的. 刚看了四分之一(59/203). 不知道自己能不能看完,不知道是不是后面还有更有趣的笔记.因为有感慨, 先记下这些.

开始几小节看得很闷.他在那里可劲儿的总结评估当时的一些名作的风格.那么些个名字一个都没听说过. 今天早上终于看到他开始评价自己的写作风格,很多经典的句子. 受益匪浅. 不光是关于写作,更多是关于人.

ZM刚搬到旧金山那会儿,一次说到城里某条街有艺术节.他去了回来很失望,满街雅皮没得拍. 我就问,为什么不喜欢拍雅皮呢?他说雅痞们好像都一个样,看不到个人的东西. 好像又都带着面具.而且是很类似的面具. 我当时想,他更喜欢拍街头小混混或者底层人民可能是比较慈悲的原因.

今天看到毛姆总结自己为什么喜欢写底层人民的原因,这才明白那时ZM说的是什么意思.精辟.

I have been more concerned with the obscure than with the famous. They are more often themselves. They have had no need to create a figure to protect themselves from the world or to impress it…since they have never been in the public eye it has never occurred to them that they have anything to conceal. They display their oddities because it has never struck them that they are odd…kings, dictators, commercial magnates … They cannot be made real. The ordinary is the writer’s richer field. Its unexpectedness, its singularity, its infinite variety afford unending material. The great man is too often all of a piece; it is the little man that is a bundle of contradictory elements.

我一直更在乎无名之人甚于名人. 他们比较忠于自我. 他们既不需要造一个假面来遮掩自己也不需要以此来显摆自己…因为从来不需要在公众的眼里生活他们也就不知道有什么好隐藏的. 他们自然而然呈现自己奇怪的一面因为他们从来不觉得自己奇怪…君王将相或成功人士…[在作家笔下]常常难以令人信服. 普通人才是作家的宝藏. 他们提供无穷无尽的素材, 或者出人意料,或者特立独行. 伟人们常常千人一面, 小人物们常常是充满矛盾的个体.

也就是说ZM和毛姆都关注小人物的原因其实是因为他们更有趣,更多样,更生动而已.

几句关于欲望的话透着毛姆一贯的诙谐.

The spirit is often most free when the body is satiated with pleasure; indeed, sometimes the stars shine more brightly seen from the gutter than from the hilltop.
常常身体得到满足时精神才能达到最高层次的自由. 确实, 有时在阴沟里星空看着比在山顶更明亮.

I have exercised moderation because I was hard to please. … It is obvious that you need not often go hungry if you are willing to dine off mutton hash and turnip tops.
我自我控制能力较强因为我比常人挑剔…当然了, 愿意啃残羹剩饭的人不容易饿.

哈哈,有趣吧? 滥情的人比较不饿. 挑剔的人可能经常半饥半饱,但是人家乐意. 萝卜青菜各有所爱啊.

下面这几句很有意思. 让我想起年初离开公司的老板曾经跟我讲过的一些话. 他说有的人看上去清闲其实是你不知道内情. 也许人家打落了牙齿肚里吞. 我当时还很不以为然.现在想想自己太偏激了.

At first sight it is curious that our own offences should seem to us to much less heinous than the offences of others. I suppose the reason is that we know all the circumstances that have occasioned them and so manage to excuse in ourselves what we cannot excuse in others.
乍一看似乎很奇怪,为什么我们自己的过失从来没有别人的过失更可恶. 我琢磨着这可能是因为我们对自己过失的前因后果有一个比较全面清晰的了解,所以很容易给找一个原谅自己的借口. 他人的过失则不然.

还是关于待人接物的.我准备把它作为今年的座右铭.

It is meet not to expect too much of others. You should be grateful when they treat you well, but unperturbed when they treat you ill. ‘For every one of us’, as the Athenian Stranger said, ‘is made pretty much what he is by the bent of his desires and the nature of his soul.’
不要对别人期待太高. 人家公平对你要知道感恩. 人家对你不公平,也要沉静对待. 子曰*: ‘我们每一个人都是受自己欲望驱使与灵魂本色的产物.’

*Athenian Stranger, 雅典路人,是柏拉图的一本书.我没看过.估计可能是类似孔子那些书里的形势类似?所以翻成”子曰”比较好玩. :)

这一句让我想起 The Thin Red Line那部电影,好像里面有类似一句关于战争的旁白…

I knew that suffering did not ennoble; it degraded. It made men selfish, mean, petty, and suspicious. It absorbed them in small things. It did not make them more than men; it made them less than men; and I wrote ferociously that we learn resignation not by our own suffering, but by the suffering of others.
我知道痛苦不能使人格高贵. 相反, 它使人低贱. 痛苦令人变得自私,卑鄙,吝啬,而且多疑. 它让人鼠目寸光. 痛苦不会让人超越人性, 只让人更像禽兽. 我奋笔疾书过多少故事想让人明白让我们变得顺服任命的不是我们自己的痛苦,而是他人的痛苦.

下面这些很有意思. 把我最近因豆瓣慢慢从小众变为大众的一些困惑做了很好的解释. 当然他对天才的定义更广泛些.令我有豁然开朗的惊喜.

The normal is what you find but rarely. The normal is an ideal. It is a picture that one fabricates of the average characteristics of men, and to find them all in a single man is hardly to be expected.
所谓正常其实是最罕见的. 正常其实是一种理想. 是人家根据人性的共性编派出来一副画. 要想把这些人类共性在一个人身上找到是在太难了.

It seems to me that what makes genius is the combination of natural gifts for creation with an idiosyncrasy that enables its possessor to see the world personally in the highest degree, and yet with such catholicity that his appeal is not to his type of man or to that type, but to all men. His private world is that of common men, but ampler and more pithy. His communication is universal, and though men may not be able to tell exactly what it signifies that they feel that it is important. He is supremely normal.
以我所见所谓天才不仅仅因为他与生俱来的能力使他们能够站在最高点看世界, 更因为他的成果对整个大众都具有吸引力,而不是仅仅针对某一类人. 他的内心世界就是普通人的世界, 只不过更饱满更含蓄有力. 他的交流方式是人人都懂的, 虽然并不是每个人都讲的出为什么他所表达的东西很重要. 天才不过是个超级正常的人.

这也解释了为什么大家常说你唯一知道的正常人是你不了解的人. 因为完全正常的人是一个幻像. 他要拥有所有的正常指数. 而我们常说的天才表达着人类共同的东西,人的共性.其实只是因为天才就是这样少有的正常人,所以他所表达的东西才如此有吸引力,因为大家都懂. 因为我们都知道什么是”正常”.

多有趣!