西洋•字花| 非洲非历史,海洋即历史

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西洋•字花| 编者按
本期,我们想与您分享的是来自圣卢西亚(东加勒比海邻近大西洋的岛国)诗人、92年的诺贝尔文学奖得主德瑞克·沃尔科特(Derek Walcott)的两首诗——A Far Cry from AfricaThe Sea is History. 细心的读者可能会发现,我们这次并没有附上诗歌的中译文。这是因为,我们尚未找到比较满意的译文。不过,对英语不熟悉的读者无需担心,在以下这篇文章中,我们的特约作者将对诗歌进行逐句点评,欢迎阅读!同时,我们也希望,有兴趣的读者可以尝试翻译诗歌并分享译文。(投稿邮箱wethinker2014@163.com)

非洲非历史,海洋即历史

——析德瑞克·沃尔科特的两首诗

陈大米

在英语文学中,加勒比海地区的西印度群岛一直处于一种隐约的在场、蓄意的被缺席中,由非洲黑人奴隶及其后裔所维持的榨糖作物种植园维持了代表着秩序和文明的英国庄园,却总是在轻描淡写的寥寥数语中被一带而过。二十世纪50年代以后,加勒比海本土作家开始涌现,他/她们常常是欧洲殖民者和非洲奴隶的混血儿后代,以西方的语言描述加勒比海地区的风土人情和个体的矛盾双重身份,在欧美文学界引起一定的关注。德瑞克·沃尔科特(Derek Walcott)就是这样一位加勒比海诗人、剧作家、画家。他于1930年出生于圣卢西亚的一个中上层家族,身上流着英国、荷兰和非洲的血液。德瑞克从小接受了良好的英语语言文化教育,十四岁时便自费出版了英语诗集,他年轻时在不同的岛上求学工作写诗,如今在美国的哥伦比亚大学任教。他的诗作获得不少称誉和荣誉,更在1992年获得了诺贝尔文学奖。其作品处处是加勒比海的棕榈树和阳光、沙鸥和帆船、港湾和渔网,又屡屡可见身份的双重性、混合性及其带来的不安和疑惑,本文以两首诗为例管窥德瑞克的后殖民主义情怀。

 

A Far Cry from Africa选自1962年出版的诗集《在一个绿色的夜晚》。全诗共三节三十三行,五音步的抑扬格、扬抑格交替。开篇“A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt/ of Africa, kikuyu, quickas flies”以风、吹皱、黄褐色的毛皮几个词展示一个辽远粗犷、古老沧桑的非洲图景;kikuyu指的是东非的基库尤族,该族的Mau-Mau 组织于1952年起对居住在肯尼亚的英国殖民者进行长期的恐怖报复。在德瑞克的笔下,他们迅捷地像一群苍蝇,“狂饮草原的血液”。双方的混战,使得“尸体在乐园里遍地横陈”,而坐收渔利的是蛆虫,“这腐肉堆上的上校,在大喊:/‘不要在这些零碎的尸体上挥霍怜悯!’”“统计数字支持着,学者们把持着/殖民政策的要点。”,而“这与被砍死在床的白人小孩何干?/与犹太人般被弃如牺牲品的蛮族何干”?这一节的最后以两个问号控诉交战双方的无情。

第二节诗进一步反思残酷的侵略和报复。“猎人不断打草,折断细长的灯芯草,/朱鹭像一道白色的烟尘惊飞起来,它们的叫声/自文明之初就盘旋在炎热的河谷,野兽出没的平原。”灯芯草、朱鹭、烟尘,脆弱如无辜的生命,猎人、野兽投射殖民者和恐怖报复者。“兽与兽的暴力相斗被视为/自然法则,但正直的人类/卻以折磨他人造就自己的神圣。”upright man 可译为与兽相对的直立的人类,也可译为正直的人类,一语双关,尽是无奈和讽刺。直立的“正直”的人类“狂乱如那些焦虑的野兽”,“擂动那用绷紧的尸体做成的战鼓”,并把白色和平引起的本能的恐惧称作为勇气!直立人和野兽、尸体和战鼓、和平和恐惧相互对照又相互融合,充满讽刺意味。

第三节诗秉承上一节的对照与反讽,“Again brutish necessity wipes its hands/ upon the napkin of a dirty cause”,一个肮脏的理由无法掩饰兽性的本质,正如一块脏的餐巾无法将手拭擦干净。“The gorilla wrestles with the superman”表明Kikuyu的Mau-Mau组织和英国殖民者之间就像是是猩猩与超人的角力。全诗以五个强烈的问句结尾:

I who am poisoned with the blood of both,
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?
I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
Betray them both, or give back what they give?
How can I face such slaughter and be cool?

How can I turn from Africa and live

“我”的身上同时流淌着猩猩和超人的血液,两种血液在静脉中互相争斗分裂,折磨着毒害着“我”,也曾诅咒过醉酒的英国殖民者的“我”,是该和猩猩还是和超人站在一起?在这样一个非洲和所爱的英语语言中,该如何选择?是该背叛两者,还是还回它们给予的一切?该如何无动于衷地面对这样的杀戮?又该如何背离非洲而生?

其实最后的一问已经回答了第一和第二问,既已问“如何背离非洲而生”而非“如何背离英语而生?”,就已经是暗含了立场和前提——选择了“超人”和所爱的英语语言。面对这样一场杀戮,“我”难掩心中愤慨和悲痛,挥笔写下这一首声泪俱下的诗,控诉基库尤族的恐怖,讽刺殖民政策的肮脏,哀悼死去的无辜。只是,“我”已离开非洲太久远,非洲的图景如同殖民者所言,遍是尸体、野兽、野蛮人,是苍蝇、蛆虫的天堂,这些意象叠加巩固塑造了一个可怜可悲的非洲故乡。而这也回应了诗的题目“A far cry from Africa”——个微妙的双关语,既可解做“来自非洲的深远的呼喊”,意在回应Mau-Mau组织的恐怖报复行为,又可解做“远离非洲”,暗示一个与想象迥然不同的非洲,一份失落的故乡情。

第二首诗《海洋即历史》(The Sea is History) 选自1979年出版的诗集《星苹果王国》,可视为寻求“如何背离非洲而生”这个问题的答案,即以英语写就加勒比海的岛国圣卢西亚的历史。《海洋即历史》一诗共有27小节,每小节常常是由三四行或者一行组成,相比于前一首,每一行也要短得多,甚至是一个单词构成一行诗,如果说前一首的三节三十三行形式厚重、情感激动,那么这一首诗显得沉着理性、泰然自若多了。全诗以一问一答发端,“你们的纪念碑、你们的战役、烈士在哪里?你们的部族记忆在哪里?”如弗朗兹·法侬(Frantz Fanon)所言,殖民地人民要找到自己的声音和身份,第一步是要寻回自己的历史(转引自彼得·巴里,189),而这一个问题是要寻回历史的人经常遭遇和必须解答的问题。“……先生们,在那灰茫茫的穹窿里。海洋。海洋已把它们锁起。海洋即历史。”对四面环海的岛国而言,海洋可以帮助寻找历史,接下来的诗以西方的圣经故事、历史事件作类比,试图讲述一部加勒比海的海洋历史。

“首先,有汹涌的石油,沉重如混沌”,由“混沌”开始,接下来是如同“隧道尽头的光明”、“帆船上的桅灯”的“创世纪”,充满“成批的哭喊、粪便、呻吟”的“出埃及记”,由“珊瑚、骨头、鲨鱼、马赛克”构成的“约柜”,从金弦般的“海底阳光”中拨动的巴比伦奴的竖琴声、然后是由“锁链般的玛瑙贝串”唱出的“雅歌”,给“强盗”悔改的“约拿书”。德瑞克善于铺陈意象,精准地以这些与海洋相关的意象写成一部加勒比海旧约圣经。

于是又有发问,“可是你们的‘文艺复兴’在哪里”?答道, “先生,它锁在那些海沙里”。“戴好护目镜”,讲述者带领发问者到达那“水底之下”,穿过珊瑚建成的 “柱廊”、“哥特式窗户”,见到像头戴宝物的英国女王般的眼似玛瑙的大石斑鱼。“这些穹顶上镶满石头般/坑坑洼洼的藤壶的洞穴”便是他们哥特式的大教堂。哥特式教堂是欧洲中世纪鼎盛时期的产物。这教堂如同蛾摩拉城(Gomorrah)一样淹没在大海中,暗示了加勒比海“文艺复兴”的到来。然而,叙述者适时提醒道,“这是哀歌——/这只是哀歌/不是历史”。然后,“村落的褐色茅屋顶”聚集成城镇,“蚊子昆虫夜夜唱诗/教堂的塔尖/刺向上帝的肋部/上帝之子降落,那就是新约”。新约之后,来了“白皮肤的姐妹”,朝着“海浪的进步鼓掌/这就是解放——/欢庆,啊,欢庆”,而叙述者又出其不意地提醒道,“那不是历史/那只是信仰”。寥寥数行描述了一段殖民历史,抨击了殖民主义的自我辩解——把殖民地到来之前的时代说成是未开化的混沌,甚至是历史的虚无,把殖民者的到来视为历史的开端、文化和进步的起点。

“于是每块岩石碎裂成自己的国家”,然后来了开宗教会议的苍蝇、“做秘书的鹭鸶”、“为选票鼓吹的牛蛙”、“有着聪明主意的萤火虫”、“坐飞机的蝙蝠使节”、“穿卡其色制服的螳螂警察”,还有“仔细审查每宗案件的法官毛毛虫”。这几行诗以并不高尚的动物形象作喻,叙述一段战后独立国的建设历史,然而语气并不是大叙事的歌颂讴歌。诗仍是以海洋结尾,在岩石间的潮水坑里,有“咸涩的嗤笑声”,有如同谣言般的声响“真正地开始了”。

诺贝尔文学奖对德瑞克·沃尔科特的颁奖词是,“其诗作大量散发着光彩,且深具历史眼光,是多元文化撞击下的产物”(转引自傅浩,7)。德瑞克·沃尔科特既精于短诗也攻于长诗,作诗文体多样、语言丰富多彩,意象巧妙迷人,生动地描绘了加勒比海地区的岛国风情和历史,自我的身份定位和追寻,以及文化、政治的疏离与认同。另外,德瑞克生于斯长于斯的西印度群岛因地处大西洋经巴拿马运河通太平洋的海上必经之地,15世纪以来,西班牙、英国、荷兰、法国、丹麦和美国相继到达此地割据殖民地,纷争不断。这一切都使得同样饱受殖民侵略的美丽岛台湾对德瑞克尤为关注,并在2001年邀请德瑞克赴台参加台北国际诗歌节。

引用文献

彼得·巴里(英),《理论入门:文学与文化理论导论》,杨建国译,南京大学出版社,2014.

德瑞克·沃尔科特,《德瑞克·沃尔科特诗选》,傅浩译,河北教育出版社,2004.

注:部分诗句译文参考傅浩译本。

A Far Cry from Africa

A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt
Of Africa, Kikuyu, quick as flies,
Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.
Corpses are scattered through a paradise.
Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries:
‘Waste no compassion on these separate dead!’
Statistics justify and scholars seize
The salients of colonial policy.
What is that to the white child hacked in bed?
To savages, expendable as Jews?
Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break
In a white dust of ibises whose cries
Have wheeled since civilizations dawn
From the parched river or beast-teeming plain.
The violence of beast on beast is read
As natural law, but upright man
Seeks his divinity by inflicting pain.
Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars
Dance to the tightened carcass of a drum,
While he calls courage still that native dread
Of the white peace contracted by the dead.
Again brutish necessity wipes its hands
Upon the napkin of a dirty cause, again
A waste of our compassion, as with Spain,
The gorilla wrestles with the superman.
I who am poisoned with the blood of both,
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?
I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
Betray them both, or give back what they give?
How can I face such slaughter and be cool?
The Sea is History

Where are your monuments, your battles, martyrs?
Where is your tribal memory? Sirs,
in that gray vault. The sea. The sea
has locked them up. The sea is History.
First, there was the heaving oil,
heavy as chaos;
then, like a light at the end of a tunnel,the lantern of a caravel,
and that was Genesis.
Then there were the packed cries,
the shit, the moaning:Exodus.
Bone soldered by coral to bone,
mosaics
mantled by the benediction of the shark’s shadow,that was the Ark of the Covenant.
Then came from the plucked wires
of sunlight on the sea floorthe plangent harp of the Babylonian bondage,
as the white cowries clustered like manacles
on the drowned women,

and those were the ivory bracelets
of the Song of Solomon,
but the ocean kept turning blank pages

looking for History.
Then came the men with eyes heavy as anchors
who sank without tombs,

brigands who barbecued cattle,
leaving their charred ribs like palm leaves on the shore,
then the foaming, rabid maw

of the tidal wave swallowing Port Royal,
and that was Jonah,
but where is your Renaissance?

Sir, it is locked in them sea sands
out there past the reef’s moiling shelf,
where the men-o’-war floated down;

strop on these goggles, I’ll guide you there myself.
It’s all subtle and submarine,
through colonnades of coral,

past the gothic windows of sea fans
to where the crusty grouper, onyx-eyed,
blinks, weighted by its jewels, like a bald queen;

and these groined caves with barnacles
pitted like stone
are our cathedrals,

and the furnace before the hurricanes:
Gomorrah. Bones ground by windmills
into marl and cornmeal,

and that was Lamentations –
that was just Lamentations,
it was not History;

then came, like scum on the river’s drying lip,
the brown reeds of villages
mantling and congealing into towns,

and at evening, the midges’ choirs,
and above them, the spires
lancing the side of God

as His son set, and that was the New Testament.

Then came the white sisters clapping
to the waves’ progress,
and that was Emancipation –

jubilation, O jubilation –
vanishing swiftly
as the sea’s lace dries in the sun,

but that was not History,
that was only faith,
and then each rock broke into its own nation;

then came the synod of flies,
then came the secretarial heron,
then came the bullfrog bellowing for a vote,

fireflies with bright ideas
and bats like jetting ambassadors
and the mantis, like khaki police,

and the furred caterpillars of judges
examining each case closely,
and then in the dark ears of ferns

and in the salt chuckle of rocks
with their sea pools, there was the sound
like a rumour without any echo

 

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