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人人都有作家梦? – 译学馆
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人人都有作家梦?

Why so Many People Want to Be Writers

从来没有一个时代
In no other age
能让这么多人如此强烈渴望成为一个作家
can so many people have harboured such intense ambitions to become writers.
人人都想有朝一日能出一本书
The longing one day to turn out a book –
也许是一本小说 还有很少一部分人想要出本自传
probably a novel or, less likely, an autobiography
这种渴望很符合当代人的人生大志
– lies close to the center of contemporary aspirations.
某种层面上 这种现象的普及体现了一种潮流
This is – at one level – a hugely welcome development,
它是文学广泛传播的结果
a consequence of widespread literacy,
是教育标准更上一层楼的体现
higher educational standards and a proper focus
是人们对书本改变人生的重视
on the power of books to change lives.
但从另一种个人角度来看
But looked at from another angle, it may also, in private,
对作家身份的热衷更可能是由于心思不属:
be the result of something rather more desultory:
一种叫做隔离与孤独的传染病
an epidemic of isolation and loneliness.
文稿代理人 侦查员 编辑 写作教练这些大军
The army of literary agents, scouts, editors and
所证明的不仅仅是我们对文学的热爱
writing coaches testifies not only to our love of literature,
更在无意中体现了
but also, less intentionally,
一种不被人所知的对孤寂的痛苦呼喊
to an unaddressed groundswell of painful solitude.
想要写作的原因当然很复杂
Reasons for wanting to write are multiple
但是从架构上看写作的原因很简单也很常见:
of course, but the structurally simplest option may also be the most pervasive:
我们之所以写作是因为周围没有人倾听
we write because there is no one in the vicinity who will listen.
于是我们开始渴望把回忆和情感记在纸上
We start to long to set down our memories
然后把它们寄往更广阔的世界
and emotions on a page and to send them out
这样朋友就不会因为我们的喋喋不休而心烦
into the wider world because our friends can’t be bothered to hear us,
因为我们的伙伴也是心事重重的
because our partners are preoccupied
因为苛求别人抽出一段连续的时间
and because it’s been agonisingly long
聆听我们的苦衷 并给我们足够的尊重和关注
since anyone gave us an uninterrupted stretch of time
这对我们来说太痛苦了
in which we could be attended to with respect and attention –
总而言之 我们太孤独了
in short, because we are very lonely.
对于因一段愉快的经历
Writing, for all that it might begin with experiences
或者无私的知识魅力而写作的我们来说
of joy or disinterested intellectual fascination,
写作还源于绝望
also owes its origins to despair,
羞愧 以及缺乏可以哭诉的对象
shame and a lack of someone to cry with.
就是当我们寻求帮助
It is when we have screamed a long time for help,
却长时间呐喊无果时 我们就才会沉寂下来
and no one came, that we may begin quietly to
燃烧起写作的欲望
burn to write a novel instead.
写作可以说是一种野心的心酸呈现:
Writing can be the presenting solution to a more poignant
我们渴望被聆听 被重视
ambition beneath: to be heard, to be held,
被尊重 被感同身受
to be respected, to have our feelings interpreted,
被安慰 被理解 被欣赏
and soothed, to be known and appreciated.
福楼拜将这种心绪简单总结为:
Flaubert put it at its simplest:
如果他18岁时没有尝到恋爱的苦涩
if he had been happy in love at eighteen,
他就从不会想成为一个作家
he would never have wanted to become a writer.
在《西部旅行》的一开始
At the start of the West’s journey
我们遇到了一个自我意识觉醒的人物苏格拉底
into self-awareness, we meet the figure of Socrates,
他提出了一个惊人的命题
who puts forward a striking proposition:
他说 写作不是那些有思想的人们
writing is not what thoughtful people should
理论上应该花时间去做的事情
ideally be doing with their time, he suggests.
对苏格拉底来说 写作是苍白的模仿
For Socrates, writing is a pale imitation
它让我们忽视了真正重要的事情
of and replacement for our true vocation,
这句话说的就是此时此刻
which is that of talking to our fellow human beings, in the flesh,
血肉之躯的我们 或者常常在酒桌旁端着一杯酒
in real time, often with a glass of wine on the table, or while
或者漫步到海港 或者去体育馆做运动
walking to the harbour or doing some exercise in the gym,
或谈论那些真正重要的东西
talking about what really matters.
在苏格拉底的世界观中
The birth of literature is, in the Socratic world view,
文学的诞生仅仅是一种被社交孤立的症状
simply a symptom of social isolation
一种对人类团体的控告
and an indictment of our communities.
即使我们发现了文学这种最好的替代品
Even if we find literature the finest of substitutes,
远远超过现有的任何东西
infinitely better than anything else yet invented,
但我们仍然需要承认
it still pays to recognise
文学原本就是一个替代品
that substitute is what it might primarily be,
而写作某种程度上就是一种
that writing is in certain ways an act
针对忙碌到无暇倾听的这个世界的
of very polite and artful revenge
一个礼貌而狡猾的复仇行为
on a world too busy to listen and that we would never
若不曾无数次对需依赖的人心灰意冷
develop such fierce bookish ambitions
我们就不会选择这种偏激 书呆子气的倾诉方式
if we had not first been let down by those we needed so much to rely upon.
清醒地将写作当成酬劳来源这种意识 会赐予我们力量
A slightly more conscious awareness of writing as compensation may lend
让我们体会到这种发自肺腑的沟通方式却换不来回报的痛
us energy to acknowledge our unrequited ache for more visceral forms of contact.
无论对孤身写作是否满意
Whatever the satisfactions of writing alone in bed,
我们都不应该轻言放弃
we should perhaps not cease so easily to
放弃相互理解与共情的喜悦
give up on the ecstasies of mutual understanding and sympathy.
但是写一部相当好的小说绝非易事
It is far from easy to write a decent novel;
或许会让你呕心沥血 更别说有报酬了
it may be even harder – yet ultimately more rewarding –
更难的是通过写作来找到一群志同道合的朋友
to learn to locate a circle of true friends.
从这个角度看 世界上
A better world might, from this perspective, be one
少一些热衷于成为作家的人会更好
in which we wanted a little less ardently
因为我们人类啊
to be writers – because we had collectively
在聆听和被聆听方面做得太差了
grown ever so slightly better at listening and making ourselves heard.
希望到头来我们能以文学的损失换取人类的所得
Literature’s loss might, in the end, be humanity’s gain.
感谢观看
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我们的这本书《文化为了什么》
Our book What is Culture For helps us find compassion,
能帮你找到艺术的激情 希望和视角
hope and perspective in the arts.

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视频概述

现代社会,过于喧嚣,便归于极致孤独。孤独的个体倾诉无门便诉诸笔端,然而这种发泄方式真的好吗?会不会让个体成为一座孤岛?

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