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洛尔娜·克罗奇:加拿大诗歌看到了其他文化的惊奇之处

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内容简介:个人化写作与外来文化影响10月21日上午,2016凤凰·鼓浪屿诗歌节第二天,主题为“个人化写作与外来文化影响”的诗歌国际论坛在鼓

个人化写作与外来文化影响

10月21日上午,2016凤凰·鼓浪屿诗歌节第二天,主题为“个人化写作与外来文化影响”的诗歌国际论坛在鼓浪屿举办。诗人赵野,赵四,李少君,树才,李元胜,默默,韩庆成,廖伟棠,林于弘、黄冈、加拿大诗人洛尔娜·克罗奇(Lorna Crozier),英国诗人李道(Richard Bruns),印度汉学学者、诗人普利亚达西·墨普德教授、韩国翻译家金泰成等人在论坛做出精彩又有见地的发言。论坛由诗人、翻译家、评论家汪剑釗和诗人北塔主持。

鼓浪屿拥有“万国建筑博览”美誉,东方文化与西方文化交会于此,闽南文化与外来文化共融于此。“鼓浪屿女婿”林语堂自评“两脚踏东西文化,一心评宇宙文章”。于诗人而言,外来文化将如何影响个人写作?作为“世界人”的诗人,一方面孜孜不倦地从自身文化中汲取养分,另一方面又无时不刻不体会着全球化带来的“文化震撼”,从而形成观念的冲突、矛盾、变形、融合、促进,进而可能形成写作的自我革新。

洛尔娜·克罗奇

以下为洛尔娜·克罗奇的发言实录:

我父亲家和母亲家的人都喜欢喝酒骑马。我那慈祥的祖父也不例外。他叫福特,他的父亲是一位车夫,在英格兰和威尔士边境,距离什鲁斯伯里镇很近的一家庄园里工作。祖母说,那儿的教堂都是圆形的,这样魔鬼就不会来侵扰你。祖父在四年级的时候就退学了,因为老师误认为他考试作弊。自那时起,他就每天在他父亲的身边做工,负责照顾马匹以及驾车往返于田地和乡镇之间。农场工作做完后,如果他想独自离开农场的话便可以骑走其中的一匹驮马。他选择的是一匹名叫比尔的夏尔马。比利有17掌高(约172厘米),全身是罕见的灰色, 马蹄后上部的毛是白色的,蹄印是大浅盘形的。

祖父长大后,常常在傍晚和比利去乡村酒吧。他口袋里没多少钱,但幸运地有一副好嗓子。他坐在酒吧靠窗的一个座位上,第一次用一首歌换取了一杯啤酒。或许是他的歌声没有那么优美动听,他再也没用歌声换来更多啤酒。但是比利却为祖父得来了啤酒。事情是这样的,祖父绝不想让这第一杯啤酒变成最后一杯。他必须拥有坚定的信念,就像一个口渴的人不断将一桶桶水倒进抽水机里,相信这样的牺牲会带来清泉一样。在祖父举起酒杯时,拴在酒吧外面的比利头穿过窗户大口喝起啤酒来,祖父假装吃和愤怒。酒吧常客们却欣喜不已,不断地为祖父和比利叫来啤酒。直到酒吧关门时,祖父和比利才踉踉跄跄地回到家里,那会已经是半夜了。祖父说他都不知道自己和比利比起来,谁晃得更厉害。有些时候,他甚至觉得自己得把比利扛回家了。

我发表的第一首诗题目是《拄着拐杖的老人》,讲的就是我的祖父。光看名字你就能知道,这首诗并不怎么样,但它写的是一位我既熟悉又陌生的人。尽管那时我已经二十四岁,我在写作方面的造诣还不是很深,但我的天赋还是不错的。我一直在写我熟悉,但又不那么确定的事物。从孩童一直到成人,我一直都在努力去辨别哪个祖父才是真实的:是我心中的那一位,还是母亲所知的那一位。

我妈妈小时候住在萨斯喀彻温的农场里,那时祖父会经常发脾气,拿着柳鞭追着她或是其他兄弟姐妹打。他也会欺辱我的祖母,由于担心祖父发脾气,祖母一直都很焦虑警觉。这样一个人怎么会是那个教我怎么用锦鸡儿吹口哨,还给我讲他心爱小马的事情的人呢?我祖父身上有些说不出的东西,但这往往正是诗歌的起点。语言最有趣的便是断裂处,张力,失语,欲言又止。

那时我相信,我能够把一直纠结不已的事情说明白。现在我知道,寻找答案不是诗歌的意旨。从如里尔克的语言中,我学会了带着问题生活。同时,我还学会了去颂扬那个生我养我的地方:麦浪起伏的加拿大中西部大平原。我开始关注我自己的故事、我自己的声音,还有我自己独特的想象力。这是我写作中个人的一面。那主题里的第二部分,外来文化对我有什么影响呢?

过去,加拿大诗人一直笼罩在外国文化的影响下,尤其是美国文化和英国文化。这两个英语超级大国的文学文化侵入了我们的国家,我们很难置身事外。一方面,我们很难引起他们的注意力。在他们向外投射出目光时,只会关注其他一些国家。他们认为加拿大并不在他们搜索的范围之内。一天,一位美国友人和我说,直到我来到加拿大之前,我都觉得跟我们这些百威比,你们不过是百威淡啤而已。

然而我们的诗歌在孤独中蓬勃发展。尽管我所了解的每一位诗人都和我们一样精通当代美国诗歌,但直到二十世纪中叶,我们才摆脱了英国和美国的影响,开拓了属于我们自己的道路。向外看,我们的诗人也在吸收着譬如松尾芭蕉、但丁、李白、杜甫、哈菲兹等人的诗歌创作技巧,同时也吸收着阿赫玛托娃、特朗斯特罗姆、北岛、阿米亥、洛尔迦、舒婷、马查多、瓦列霍、斯沃尔等二十世纪著名诗人的灵感。然而,我们仍然逃脱不了我们强大的南方邻居对我们的影响。讽刺的是,在很大程度上,我们阅读的这些非英语诗作都仰赖于美国人的智慧与慷慨,因为我们用的是他们的译本,是经过他们的视角加工的产物。

对加拿大的作家来说,如今我们的挑战并不是对于他人的无知,而是对于我们自己的无知。随着自我意识的加深,我们不得不面对自身历史中最令人赧颜的一部分:自十八世纪被殖民以来,我们的祖先和政府无情地消灭了原住民。原住民所受的损失自然是无可估量的,但其他加拿大人也遭到了伤害。作为一位诗人,如果你不听一听那些曾经居住在这里的人们描述家乡的山河树木,你怎么能够理解描绘这里呢?如果你不去注意那些千百年沉淀下来的质朴精粹,你怎么能够用诗歌来将这里描绘得真切?

为了感受土著语言的丰富,看看他们的日历就能窥得一二。在原住民的语言中,月份的名称都是仪式与知识的来源。从他们生动的语言里,我们就能知道每个月有什么。我的邻居萨尼其人居住在温哥华岛,他们以太平洋的鲑鱼群为生。他们有三个月来自于不同的鱼类:他们是依据不同种类的鱼来命名他们的三种月份——狗鲑月、银鲑月、粉鲑月。每个月份都代表了一种鲑鱼的产卵时间。十一月被称作“把桨放到灌木丛里月”,多么有意蕴啊!

草原克里族远离大海,居住在加拿大最冷的地方之一,他们将十一月称之为霜冻月,将十二月称之为除霜月。而新年的那个月则被称为希望之月。

我认为,加拿大诗歌最值得称颂的一点是,它看到了其他文化及文学的惊奇之处。它了解过去的诗歌,同时又了解当今的写作。但它也承认那些默默无闻,却富有原创性的歌者。我们的语言必须有我们自己河流的味道,而不是泰晤士河、塞纳河、密西西比河,或是长江的味道。我们必须聆听五百年老雪松搭成的大教堂里的祝祷,也必须细闻草原中密草唱诗班的歌声。我们必须仔细聆听人类的心声,聆听内心的诉说。

MYGRANDFATHER’S DRUNKEN HORSE:

Personal Writing andthe Influence of Foreign Cultures

Lorna Crozier

On both sides ofmy family there was a penchant for drink and horses. My maternal grandfatherbrought the two together. Grandpa Ford’s father was a wagoner, working on anestate just north of  the Welsh-Englishborder near the town of Shrewsbury, where my grandmother said, the church wasround so the devil couldn’t corner you. From the time he walked straight-backed out of school in grade fourbecause the teacher wrongly accused him of cheating, he worked every day besidehis father, taking care of the horses and driving wagons back and forth fromthe fields to town. He was allowed to ride one of the draft horses if he wantedto go off on his own after the farm work was done. The gelding he chose was aShire named Billy, 17 hands high and uncommon gray with white featheredfetlocks above hooves that spread wide as platters on the plowed fields.

When Grandpa reached drinking age, he andBilly made evening trips to the village pub. Luckily for him because he had no money, my grandfather was a singer, andinside, at a table near the window, he bartered a song for his first pint.Perhaps he wasn’t melodious enough to get a second or a third sent his way.Those were provided by Billy. It worked like this: my grandfather didn’t allowhimself to down his first beer. He had to have faith like the thirsty man whoprimed the pump by pouring a ready bucket of water down the top, believing thesacrifice will pay off in a fresh stream gushing from the spout. When Grandparaised his pint, Billy, tied up outside, poked his head through the open windowand guzzled the beer, his master feigning surprise and outrage. The patronswere so delighted they kept the drinks coming for the man and the horse untilclosing time when the two would stumble home in the dark. Grandpa said hedidn’t know who was the shakier on his legs. Some nights he thought he’d haveto carry Billy on his back.

My first published poem, “Old Man With aCane” was about my grandfather. It wasn’t very good, you can tell from thetitle, but it was about someone I both knew and didn’t know well. Although attwenty-four I was naïve about many aspects of writing, my instincts werereliable. I was drawn to write about what I was familiar with but remainedunsure of. As a child and later as an adult, I struggled with the gap betweenhow my grandfather appeared to me and how my mother perceived him.

When she was a kid on their Saskatchewanfarm, he often lost his temper and went after her or one of her six siblingswith a willow switch. He bullied my grandmother, too, her fear of his outburstskeeping her anxious and alert. How could that be the same man who showed me howto make a whistle from a caragana pod, who told me stories of his belovedhorse?  There was something about mygrandfather that resisted words, and resistance is often the place where poetrystarts.  Language gets the mostinteresting at its points of fracture, these moments of tension and failurewhen all we mean to say can’t be said.

I believed then that I’d be able toarticulate what I was wrestling with. Now, I know it’s not the task of poetryto find the answers. Instead, as Rainer Maria Rilke suggested, I’ve learned tolive the questions. And I’ve learned to celebrate the specifics of the placewhere I was born and raised, the great rolling plains of the Canadianmid-west.  I’ve come to value my ownstories, the sound of my own voice, and the idiosyncrasies of myimagination.  That’s the personal side ofmy writing. But what of foreign influence, the second half of this topic?

Inthe past, Canadian poets were overwhelmedby foreign influences, particularly American and British. The literarycultures of these two powerful practitioners of the English language invadedour country, and it was hard for us to be heard above their noise. For onething, we were invisible to them. When they looked beyond their own borders,they cast their eyes on other nations. Canadians, they assumed, were simply awatered-down version of themselves. An American friend said to me the otherday, “Until I travelled in Canada, I thought of you guys as Budweiser Light.”

Our poetry thrived, however, inisolation, and by the mid-twentieth century, it stepped out of the shadow ofGreat Britain and the States, and forged its own path, though every poet I knowis as well-versed in contemporary American poetry as our own.  Outward-looking, our poets absorbed the craftand poetic savvy of Basho and Dante and Li Po and Tu Fu and Hafiz, andtwentieth-century luminaries like Akhmatova, Transtromer, Bei Dao, Amichai, XiChuan, Garcia Lorca, Shu Ting, Machado, Vallejo, and Swir. We still, however,haven’t escaped from the influence of our powerful southern neighbours.Ironically, our reading of poets who don’t write in English depends on thebrilliance and generosity of Americans because foreign literature comes to usthrough their translators, through their particular lens.

For Canadian writers, our challenge untilfairly recently has not been an ignorance of others but an ignorance of ourselves.  Aspart of our growing self-awareness, we’ve had to come to terms with the mostshameful part of our history: since the time of settlement in the eighteenthcentury, our ancestors and governments have ruthlessly tried to erase those whowere here before. The loss for aboriginal people has been immeasurable, but therest of the population has been damaged too. As a poet, how can you understandand speak a place if you don’t listen to the first peoples who lived here, tothe original words for the mountains, the rivers, the trees? How can you writeauthentically if you ignore thousands of years of common and sacred knowledge?

To give a sense of the richness ofindigenous languages, we only have look at the calendar. In the mother tongues of first nations people, thenames of the months are a source of ritual and information. Their verbalpictures tell us what to expect. My neighbours on Vancouver Island, the Saanichpeople, who depend on the salmon runs of the Pacific, name three of their moonsafter different varieties of the fish—TheDog Salmon Moon, The Coho Moon and The Humpback Moon, each of theseindicating when that particular salmon is spawning. The time of year thatcorresponds with November is called the Moonof Putting Your Paddle Away in the Bush. So much is suggested in thatnaming!

   The prairieCree, who live far from the ocean in one of the coldest parts of the country,call November The Frost Moon andDecember The Frost Exploding Moon.The start of the new year, January, is TheGreat Moon of Returning Hope.

The best ofCanadian poetry, I believe, looks outward toward other cultures and theirliterary wonders; it knows the poetry of the past as well as contemporarywriting. But it also acknowledges the original singers who were silenced. Ourwords must taste of our own rivers, not the Thames or the Seine or theMississippi or the Yangtze. We must listen to our cathedrals offive-hundred-year-old cedars and our great choirs of prairie grass. We musteavesdrop on the human heart and hear what the heart of the land is saying.

 
 
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