時間︰2014-07-14 23:43 作者︰未知 點擊︰

How Should One Read a Book?

怎樣讀書?

Virginia Woolf

弗吉尼亞·伍爾夫

It is simple enough to say that since books have classes——fiction,biography,poetry——weshould separate them and take from each what it is right that each should give us. Yet fewpeople ask from books what books can give us. Most commonly we come to books with blurredand divided minds,asking of fiction that it shall be true,of poetry that it shall be false,ofbiography that it shall be flattering,of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices. If wecould banish all such preconceptions when we read,that would be an admirable beginning. Donot dictate to your author;Try to become him. Be his fellow-worker and accomplice. If youhang back,and reserve and criticize at first,you are preventing yourself from getting thefullest possible value from what you read. But if you open your mind as widely as possible,thesigns and hints of almost imperceptible fineness,from the twist and turn of the firstsentences,will bring you into the presence of a human being unlike any other. Steep yourselfin this,acquaint yourself with this,and soon you will find that your author is giving you,orattempting to give you,something far more definite. The thirty-two chapters of a novel—if weconsider how to read a novel first——are an attempt to make something as formed andcontrolled as a building︰but words are more impalpable than bricks;Reading is a longer andmore complicated process than seeing. Perhaps the quickest way to understand the elementsof what a novelist is doing is not to read,but to write;To make your own experiment with thedangers and difficulties of words. Recall,then,some event that has left a distinct impressionon you—how at the corner of the street,perhaps,you passed two people talking. A treeshook;an electric light danced;the tone of the talk was comic,but also tragic;a wholevision;an entire conception,seemed contained in that moment.

書既然有小說,傳記,詩歌之分,就應區別對待,從各類書中取其應該給及我們的東西。這話說來很簡單。然而很少有人向書索取它能給我們的東西,我們拿起書來往往懷著模糊而又雜亂的想法,要求小說是真是的,詩歌是虛假的,傳記要吹捧,史書能加強我們自己的偏見。讀書時如能拋開這些先入為主之見,便是極好的開端。不要對作者指手畫腳,而要盡力與作者融為一體,共同創作,共同策劃。如果你不參與,不投入,而且一開始就百般挑剔,那你就無緣從書中獲得最大的益處。你若敞開心扉,虛懷若谷,那麼,書中精細入微的寓意和暗示便會把你從一開頭就踫上的那些像是山回水轉般的句子中帶出來,走到一個獨特的人物面前。鑽進去熟悉它,你很快就會發現,作者展示給你的或想要展示給你的是一些比原先要明確得多的東西。不妨閑來談談如何讀小說吧。一部長篇小說分成三十二章,是作者的苦心經營,想把它建構得如同一座錯落有致的布局合理的大廈。可是詞語比磚塊更難捉摸,閱讀比觀看更費時、更復雜。了解作家創作的個中滋味。最有效的途徑恐怕不是讀而是寫,通過寫親自體驗一下文字工作的艱難險阻。回想一件你記憶憂新的事吧。比方說,在街道的拐彎處遇到兩個人正在談話,樹影婆娑,燈光搖曳,談話的調子喜中有悲。這一瞬間似乎包含了一種完善的意境,全面的構思。

But when you attempt to reconstruct it in words,you will find that it breaks into a thousandconflicting impressions. Some must be subdued;others emphasized;in the process you willlose,probably,all grasp upon the emotion itself. Then turn from your blurred and litteredpages to the opening pages of some great novelist—Defoe,Jane Austen,or Hardy. Now youwill be better able to appreciate their mastery. It is not merely that we are in the presence ofa different person—Defoe,Jane Austen,or Thomas Hardy—but that we are living in a differentworld. Here,in Robinson Crusoe,we are trudging a plain high road;one thing happens afteranother;the fact and the order of the fact is enough. But if the open air and adventure meaneverything to Defoe they mean nothing to Jane Austen. Hers is the drawing-room,and peopletalking,and by the many mirrors of their talk revealing their characters. And if,when we haveaccustomed ourselves to the drawing-room and its reflections,we turn to Hardy,we are oncemore spun around. The other side of the mind is now exposed—the dark side that comesuppermost in solitude,not the light side that shows in company. Our relations are nottowards people,but towards Nature and destiny. Yet different as these worlds are,each isconsistent with itself. The maker of each is careful to observe the laws of his ownperspective,and however great a strain they may put upon us they will never confuseus,as lesser writers so frequently do,by introducing two different kinds of reality into thesame book. Thus to go from one great novelist to another—from Jane Austen to Hardy,fromPeacock to Trollope,from Scott to Meredith —is to be wrenched and uprooted;to be thrownthis way and then that. To read a novel is a difficult and complex art. You must be capable notonly of great finesse of perception,but of great boldness of imagination if you are going tomake use of all that the novelist—the great artist—gives you.

可是當你打算用文字來重現此情此景的時候。它卻化作千頭萬緒互相沖突的印象。有的必須淡化,有的則應加突出。在處理過程中你可能對整個意境根本把握不住了。這時,還是把你那些寫得含糊雜亂的一頁頁書稿擱到一邊,翻開某位小說大師,如笛福,簡·奧斯汀或哈代的作品來從頭讀吧。這時候你就能更深刻地領略大師們駕馭文字的技巧了。因為我們不僅面對一個個不同的人物—笛福、簡·奧斯汀或托馬斯·哈代,而且置身于不同的世界。閱讀《魯賓遜漂流記》時,我們仿佛跋涉在狂野大道上,事件一個接一個,故事再加上故事情節的安排就足夠了。如果說曠野和歷險對笛福來說就是一切,那麼對簡·奧斯汀就毫無意義了。她的世界是客廳和客廳中閑聊的人們。這些人的言談像一面面的鏡子,反映出他們的性格特征。當我們熟悉了奧斯汀的客廳及其反映出來的事物以後再去讀哈代的作品,又得轉向另一個世界。周圍茫茫荒野,頭頂一片星空。此時,心靈的另一面,不要聚會結伴時顯示出來的輕松愉快的一面,而是孤獨時最容易萌生的憂郁陰沉的一面。和我們打交道的不是人,而是自然與命運。雖然這些世界截然不同,它們自身卻渾然一體。每一個世界的創造者都小心翼翼地遵循自己觀察事物的法則,不管他們的作品讀起來如何費力,卻不會像蹩腳的作家那樣,把格格不入的兩種現實塞進一部作品中,使人感到不知所雲。因此讀完一位偉大作家的小說再去讀另一位的,比如說從簡·奧斯汀到哈代,從皮科克到特羅洛普,從司各特到梅瑞狄斯,就好像被猛力扭動,連根拔起,拋來拋去。說實在的,讀小說是一門困難而又復雜的藝術。要想充分享用小說作者,偉大的藝術家給予你的一切,你不僅要具備高度的感受能力,還得有大膽的想象力。

    討論

    相關英語散文