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A defeat better than many victories

Elora Gorge 014

虽然我就读了两本毛姆的书,现在开始的是第三本,但是我还是想知道,他是不是每本小说之间都有错综复杂的关系。因为《月亮与六便士》里面是为了理想而抛弃一切的怪人,而这本《人性的枷锁》里面又是一个放弃虚妄的执着的跛脚男主角。正在看的《刀锋》一开始也提到了《月亮与六便士》,还是以作者“我”的第一人称视角在记叙故事。

毛姆另一个特点就是在每本书都探寻两个哲学层面的问题,一个就是信仰,常常里面人物会跟信仰的变化或者无神论扯上关系;而另一个就是生命的意义。这本里面借主角的超级情感分析能力,表达了他对生命的认识——生命本无意义——而人在大多数时候只是太自以为是而已。

life had no meaning. On the earth, satellite of a star speeding through space, living things had arisen under the influence of conditions which were part of the planet’s history; and as there had been a beginning of life upon it, so, under the influence of other conditions, there would be an end: man, no more significant than other forms of life, had come not as the climax of creation but as a physical reaction to the environment.

而下面这一段更是更详尽的表述了他的意思,人总觉得自己是万物之灵而追求生命效用的最大化,好像自己掌握命运的钥匙,岂不知这一切都是浮云。故事里面不断提到一个地毯的图案,把它比作人生,人生的平凡过程(出生,成长、结婚、生子、抚养和死亡)也就是这么一个再简单不过图案,但人总觉得着命中注定这些过程没有吸引力(追求精妙繁复的图案),致使在此过程之中的真正自我也模糊了,不会觉得这么简单的生活也是一种幸福。与其说屈服在这种简单下面是一种挫败,还不如说这是一个胜过千万成功的知足

As the weaver elaborated his pattern for no end but the pleasure of his aesthetic sense, so might a man live his life, or if one was forces to believe that his actions were outside his choosing, so might a man look at his life, that is made a pattern. Out of the manifold events of his life, his deeds, his feelings, his thoughts; and though it might be no more than an illusion that he had the power of selection, though it might be no more than a fantastic legerdemain in which appearances were interwoven with moonbeams, that did not matter:… In the vast warp of life (a river arsing from no spring and flowing endless to no sea), with the background to his fancies that there was no meaning and that nothing was important, a man might get a personal satisfactions in selecting the various strands that worked out the pattern. There was one pattern, the most obvious, perfect, and beautiful, in which a man was born, grown to manhood, married, produced children, toiled for his breed, and died; but there were other intricate and wonderful, in which happiness did not enter and in which success was not attempted; and in them might be discovered a more troubling grace.

It seems to him that all his life he had followed the ideas that other peoples, by their words or their writings, had instilled into him, and never the desires of his own heart. Always his course had be swayed by what he thought he should do and never by what he wanted with his whole soul to do. He thought of his desire to make a design, intricate and beautiful, out of the myriad, meaningless facts of life; had he not seen also that the simplest pattern, that in which a man was born, worked, married, had children, and die, was likewise the most perfect? It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.

《月亮和六便士》里面是一个被众人“唾弃”的“道德败坏”的艺术家,而《人性的枷锁》里面是身体上有残疾的中产阶级后代。无论他的几段恋情还是他几段职业的追求真的是坎坷,第一段是“姐弟恋”,第二段是被人暗恋,第三段是“我爱的人不爱我”,最后一段是“平凡才是最美好”;职业上金融界是完全没兴趣,艺术界则是不会发迹的平庸份子,医学界中间还掺杂了一段打苦力。这段经历其实很难同时发生在一个人身上,依照毛姆旅行和记录故事的习惯,应该是综合的结果。在经历了如此复杂的人生,主角还放弃了别人强加在自己身上的桎梏,寻找了对自己最重要的简单。

人都是缺陷的动物

Everyone has some defect, of body or of mind: he thought of all people he had known, he saw a long procession, deformed in body or warped in mind, some with illness of the flesh, weak hearts or weak lungs, and some with illness of the spirit, languor of will, or a craving for liquor. The only reasonable thing was to accept the good of men and be patient with their faults. The word of the dying God crossed his memory: “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

Posted on October 25th, 2009 by Registered Commenterhedgehog in Bookshelf | 书山有路 | CommentsPost a comment

Reader Comments (4)

看起来毛姆大叔很诱人
baiguanque076

hedgehog Reply:

我甚至去翻了翻中文翻译的 有些翻译很精致 读起来很舒服

October 25th, 2009 | Registered Commenterrainbowrain

闷骚兄,你拍的比我拍的要好。当时真应该选D90

hedgehog Reply:

欢迎投入 nikon 大家庭~~

November 1st, 2009 | Registered Commentermusicman