笔记:毛姆的总结 (二)

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

[看到146页,这次评到103页.一共203页.]
毛姆对注重阳春白雪的学术界有着很深的反感.

Art should be appreciated with passion and violence, not with a tepid, deprecating elegance that fears the censoriousness of a common-room.
艺术欣赏应该是热情激烈的,而不是温吞水似的,怕触犯众人的忌讳那种装腔作势的嘲笑.

There is no more merit in having read a thousand books than in having ploughed a thousand fields. There is no more merit in being able to attach a correct description to a picture than in being able to find out what is wrong with a stalled motor-car. In each case it is special knowledge. The stockbroker has his knowledge too and so has the artisan. It is a silly prejudice of the intellectual that his is the only one that counts. The True, the Good, and the Beautiful are not the perquisites of those who have been to expensive schools, burrowed in libraries, and frequented museums.
读一千本书并不比耕一千块地更高明. 能够复述一幅画的原文注解也不比能够找出一辆抛锚的车问题何在更高明.都不过是术业有专攻. 股票交易员和任何工匠也有他们自己的专业知识. 只有知识界才会有这种可笑的偏见,好像只有他们的专业知识与众不同. 真,善,美不是那些上了贵族学校,钻过图书馆,常逛博物馆的人的专利.

怪不得毛姆的书一直被国家接受,真的很为工农兵说话啊! 接着读我们才知道毛姆为什么会发表以上这些有点反常,有点让人觉得象酸葡萄一样的言论了. 原来让毛姆一炮而红的并不是小说,那是后来的事. 他是以剧作家的身份开始走入大众视野的.而且是红透了半边天的剧作家. 曾经一度在伦敦同时有四部剧同时上演.部部卖座. 那时电影刚刚起步,剧院还是人民群众的主要娱乐场合.所以当年的毛姆有点象今天的卖座导演,而且是票房超极火爆的导演,拍一部就大赚一笔的那种. 如今有连拍四部全都高票房的导演么?

面对这种超级受欢迎的剧作家,当年牛叉烘烘的评论家们说了些啥呢? 几乎所有的评论家都把毛姆归为出卖灵魂,一心取悦观众的流行作者. 评论家们嫌毛姆的东西不够高级,不够深奥,不够阳春白雪. 被这样的评论家围追堵截了一辈子的毛姆,有些怨气,实在是情有可原.

总的来说,毛姆的怨气其实真的不多. 因为他一直很清楚自己要的是什么,评论家的阴阳怪气对他没有太大影响.

It did not seem to me enough only to be a writer. The pattern I had designed for myself insisted that I should take the utmost part I could in this fantastic affair of being a man. I desired to feel the common pains and enjoy the common pleasures that are part of the common human lot.
我总觉得成为作家本身是不够的. 我为自己设计的人生要求我必须竭尽全力参与作为一个人所能享受的一切精彩. 我想要痛常人之痛,乐常人之乐.

毛姆写作是因为他脑子里有东西哭着喊着要出来,只有把他们一一写出来才肯消停. 当红剧作家的日子让他享受了很多名人的热闹,跟头面人物来往,见识了名利场的里里外外.但是很快他就觉得累了.想安安静静的写东西. 在名利场里混也让他明白每个人的”盛名”最多不过20分钟. 当他在戏剧界红的发紫的时候,他做了退出戏剧界的决定. 但是他当时还有四部戏的腹稿, “如若不写出来,’它们'[指这些素材]不会放过我.” 毛姆的商业头脑一直跟随左右, 所以他把这四部戏按照他估计的受欢迎程度从高到低写了出来. 因为他不希望在四部戏全部写完之前就自断生路.

毛姆花了不少笔墨写他的剧作家生涯.因为毕竟在他有生之年,他的戏剧远远比他小说出名.毛姆讲了一些写剧本的经验谈. 因为他完全没有接受过戏剧写作的正规训练,所以他自己琢磨出了一套自我完善的方式. 为了理解他的观众的喜乐(评论家没说错,毛姆确实本着观众就是上帝的宗旨来写剧本的),他都悄悄坐在观众席里偷偷记笔记,看那些片段观众有共鸣,什么让他们笑,什么让他们哭.然后下一部戏就争取向观众靠拢.然后下部戏出来再去现场观察. 这么反复了两三部戏,毛姆就摸清了门道.不用再去看自己的戏了.

毛姆的戏剧心得,虽然现在看话剧的人少了,但是他这些心得套到今天的电影剧本上好像也适用:
1. 重要人物要先出场.因为幕布升起的时候,观众最专注.如果他们第一眼看到的不是主要人物,那你要借出场人物的口来介绍这个还没出场的主要人物. “没人比戏剧鼻祖莎士比亚更严格遵守这一条不成文的规矩.” (No one followed this practice more scrupulously than that very competent dramatist William Shakespeare.)
2. 无论多么精彩一场戏, 无论多么千载难逢的一句台词,无论多么深奥的一种反思;如果不是剧本里必不可少的话,必删无疑. (嗯,这个有点象摄影,做减法) 毛姆说小说家写不出好剧本往往是因为做不到这一条.因为读者远比观众更宽容.
3. 演员不可能超越剧本. 好演员可以试图将剧本表达的淋漓尽致.但是如果剧本不好,演员再好也白搭. (这条乍听上去有点剧作家的自大.但是好像真是这么回事.很多时候看到好演员在坏电影里挣扎,细想大都是因为剧本太单薄,人物刻画太平面,巧媳妇熬不出没米的粥. 演员是媳妇,剧本是米.)
4. 一台戏是剧作家,演员,导演,和观众共同参与演出的一部作品.如果观众不配合,戏就没法演好. “观众的口味受大众口味影响,而大众口味一般很容易被情绪煽动…唯一能让各种各样的观众(从时报评论家到商店里的导购小姐)都产生共鸣的中心思想一般是那些朴实的,本质的几乎感性的思想. 也就是诗歌的根本主题:爱,死,和人的最终命运.”(“But an audience is affected by mass suggestion, and mass suggestion is excited by emotion….The only ideas that can affect them [ from critic of The Times to the shop-girl in the gallery] , when they are welded together in that unity which is an audience, are those commonplace, fundamental ideas that are almost feelings. These, the root ideas of poetry, are love, death, and the destiny of man.”)

然后毛姆笔锋一转,又开始拿评论家开涮. 既然大家到剧院里是去”感受”情绪而不是去学习中心思想.那么”评论家在本质上就是最坏的戏剧鉴赏家.”(“the critics are of necessity the worst judges of plays.”)因为”评论家是去评判而不是感受” (“the critics is there not to feel but to judge”).

毛姆在法国出生,十岁才开始学英文,所以他对英法两国的不同深有体会.这一段很有趣.

That love should absorb a man has seemed to them[The English] unworthy. In France a man who has ruined himself for women is generally regarded with sympathy and admiration; there is a feeling that it was worth while, and the man who has done it feels even a certain pride in the fact; in England he will be thought and will think himself a damned fool. That is why Antony and Cleopatra has always been the least popular of Shakespeare’s greater plays. Audiences have felt that it was contemptible to throw away an empire for a woman’s sake.
一个为爱而神魂颠倒的人在英国人眼里很不值钱. 在法国, 如果一个男人为了一个女人而毁了自己,大家一般会对他表示同情和敬佩;社会共识会认为那是值得的,而且那个男人自己也会稍觉骄傲;在英国他和社会都会认为他是个没救的傻瓜. 这也是为什么安东尼与克莉奥佩特拉那部戏是莎士比亚戏剧里最不收欢迎的一部. 英国观众觉得为了为了一个女人放弃一个帝国实在是件让人耻笑的事.

毛姆最后决定离开戏剧专心写小说的那段独白写的很精辟.

I was tired of giving half a truth because that was all they[audience] were prepared to take. .. I did not want to conform any longer to necessary conventions of the drama. I suspected that I was out of touch with the taste of the public, and to decide the matter went to a number of plays that were drawing the twon. I found them tedious. I could not laugh at the jokes that amused the delighted audience, and the scenes that moved them to tears left me stone cold. That settled it.
我厌倦了只能话讲一半,因为观众无法接受完整的真象…我不想继续被戏剧的各种条条框框束缚. 我怀疑自己的口味可能有点过时了. 为了验证自己的疑惑,我专程去看了几部让大家蜂拥而去的最新剧目. 结果我觉得它们又臭又长. 观众大笑的段子我觉得一点都不幽默,观众感动的段子我心里冷如顽石. 铁证如山.
I sighed for the liberty of fiction, and I thought with pleasure of the lonely reader who was willing to listen to all I had to say and with whom I could effect an intimacy that I could never hope for in the garish publicity of the theatre.
我开始渴望小说的自由天地,开始幻想着那一个个孤单的阅读者耐心地听我诉说,我们可以营造一种在花里胡哨的剧院里想都不要想的亲密关系.