主题:Andrew Marr:我们英国人——英国诗歌文学简史 -- 万年看客

2020-08-19 00:52:28万年看客
左派与右派4

在知识分子圈子以外,在极端左派与极端右派的政治圈子以外,两次大战间期的英国诗坛还出产了一批有趣的诗人,他们整体上偏保守,作品大都走得是幽默路线。这些人并不像奥登他们那样组成了小团体,而更偏向气质或者态度相似。

笔者首先想要介绍两位生在十九世纪七十年代的诗人,他们的创作生涯覆盖了二十世纪前半期,不过最出名的阶段还是在两次大战间期。两人都是天主教徒,都抱有反犹立场,笔下最出名的作品也都是儿童读物。萧伯纳曾经戏谑地将两人的名字合二为一——就像“马克斯彭登戴”那样——,将二人并称为“切斯特贝洛克”。西莱尔.贝洛克有一半法国血统,面目强悍,性情好斗,千百万小读者们都看过他的《警戒故事》(Cautionary Tales)。一战爆发之前他担任了五年的自由党议员,狂热的罗马天主教信仰决定了他的政治与社会理念。他相信宗教在欧洲的衰落意味着伊斯兰势力将要趁虚而入。他的诗歌极少显露出政治怒火或者过于严肃,但是他针对英国政治生活的讽刺却往往令人忍俊不禁。当时英国议会已经失去了大部分旧日权威,在战争间期成长起来的一代英国人看来,议会充满了贪污腐败的老不死。以下节选的是贝洛克的《朗迪勋爵》(Lord Lundy)的后半截。在笔者看来,既然德莱顿的讽刺诗被人们视为杰作,那么贝洛克的讽刺诗无论如何也不该被当成游戏笔墨:

It happened to Lord Lundy then,

As happens to so many men:

Towards the age of twenty-six,

They shoved him into politics;

In which profession he commanded

The Income that his rank demanded

In turn as Secretary for

India, the Colonies, and War.

But very soon his friends began

To doubt is he were quite the man:

Thus if a member rose to say

(As members do from day to day),

"Arising out of that reply . . .!"

Lord Lundy would begin to cry.

A Hint at harmless little jobs

Would shake him with convulsive sobs.

While as for Revelations, these

Would simply bring him to his knees,

And leave him whimpering like a child.

It drove his colleagues raving wild!

They let him sink from Post to Post,

From fifteen hundred at the most

To eight, and barely six--and then

To be Curator of Big Ben!. . .

And finally there came a Threat

To oust him from the Cabinet!

朗迪勋爵的这番经历,

许多人也有类似遭遇:

在他三十六岁这年

他们逼他步入政坛;

在职位上他能拿到

优厚工资与级别配套,

他的工作是做秘书,

负责战争、殖民地与印度。

但是他的朋友很快产生疑虑

不知道他究竟有没有能力:

比方说假如有人起立发言

(议员们总要开口在议会面前),

“我要回应刚才的建议……”

朗迪勋爵一听就痛哭流涕。

随便给他安排一点轻松工作

都会吓得他浑身抽搐哆嗦。

要是到了政务公开之际,

他当场就两腿一软膝盖触地,

像个小孩子那样哭哭啼啼,

逼得同事们全都又气又急。

他们将他的岗位一降再降,

从最高时的年薪一万五千英镑

降到八千,然后是六千不到,

最后干脆打发他去将大本钟照料!

最终传来一条厉声谴责

说这回要将他轰出内阁!

The Duke -- his aged grand-sire -- bore

The shame till he could bear no more.

He rallied his declining powers,

Summoned the youth to Brackley Towers,

And bitterly addressed him thus--

"Sir! you have disappointed us!

We had intended you to be

The next Prime Minister but three:

The stocks were sold; the Press was squared:

The Middle Class was quite prepared.

But as it is! . . . My language fails!

Go out and govern New South Wales!"

公爵——他的老祖父——也将耻辱蒙受,

直到有一天这位老大人终于受够。

他鼓舞起了仅剩的一点力量,

将年轻人叫到布拉克利的塔楼上。

满口苦涩地对他好一番训话:

“先生!你的表现太给我们拉胯!

我们原本对你抱有深切期望,

再过三届政府就扶持你当首相!

我们卖了股票,摆平了报社,

做通了中产阶级的说服工作,

可是你这点出息……我说不出一个字!

滚出去,你只配管理新南威尔士!”

The Aged Patriot groaned and died:

And gracious! how Lord Lundy cried!

老大人一阵呻吟之后当场咽气,

老天啊!朗迪勋爵哭得昏天黑地!

但是贝洛克关于英国议会统治的最精彩讽刺诗写于1923年,当时改革派工党正在与毫无想象力的死硬派托利党以及早已名声扫地的自由党较劲。可悲的是,时至今日这段诗文看上去依然毫不过时。请看《咏大选》(On a General Election):

The accursed power which stands on privilege

(and goes with women, champagne and bridge)

Broke - and democracy resumed her reign

(which goes with bridge and women and champagne).

该死的权力依靠特权搭台

(搭配着女人、香槟与桥牌)

如今遭到打破——民主再次为王称尊

(搭配着桥牌、女人与香槟)。

合体组成“切斯特贝洛克”的另一位诗人是土生土长的伦敦人吉尔伯特.基思.切斯特顿。他也是斯莱德美术学院的学生。就像叶芝以及十九世纪末期几乎所有以艺术家自居的人们一样,他也曾涉足过神秘主义。他既能画得一手好画,又在几乎所有文学领域都留下了丰富的作品,尽管今天我们主要将他当成推理小说家,布朗神父探案系列的作者。诚然,切斯特顿的确是个反犹主义者。但是有一说一,他同样也从一开始就坚定反对纳粹德国及其种族理论。因为我们习惯了从左右之分出发来看待政治,今天我们经常忘记,二十世纪二三十年代的许多人都同时拒绝了法西斯主义与共产主义,试图找到第三条路。有一条道路曾经暂且流行过一阵,也就是天主教会主张的分配主义——简单来说,分配主义一方面相信私有财产不可侵犯,另一方面又主张相对较弱的政府力量,从而使得私有财产尽可能分散到全社会而不是集中在少数资本家手里。贝洛克与切斯特顿都曾是分配主义的积极倡导者。这条路能否走通暂且不论,至少为两人提供了置身于相互攻讦的政治阵营之外的余地。切斯特顿的诗歌就像他本人的身材那样庞大。他是个大胖子,平时总是身披黑斗篷,头戴宽檐帽,口叼雪茄烟,手持藏剑杖。他最出名的诗作赞美了英国历史与文化当中缺乏秩序与组织的特质。《起伏的英国路》(The Rolling English Road)这首诗完全有可能出自吉卜林之手,假如吉卜林的幽默感再强一点的话。但是这首诗绝非游戏笔墨,而是在一个独裁者横行的时代传达了一条令英国人感同身受的切实信息:

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,

The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.

A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,

And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;

A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread

The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

早在罗马人来到莱伊或者大步走向赛文之前,

步履起伏的英国醉汉就将起伏的英国道路修建。

九转八弯,升降错落,在乡间扭来扭去,

路上走得是教区牧师、乡绅与教堂杂役。

欢乐的道路,曲折的道路,我们曾经走过,

那天晚上我们从白金汉出发赶赴比奇海德。

I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,

And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;

But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed

To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,

Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,

The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

我不知道波拿巴干过什么坏事,倒是认识不少乡绅,

我不想跟法国人打仗,这话实属发自真心;

但我当真与他们拼过刺刀,因为他们过来捣乱,

要将英国醉汉铺设的起伏道路抻成直线。

你我曾走过这条路,啤酒杯端在手里,

那天晚上我们途径古德温沙地前往格拉斯顿伯里。

His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run

Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun?

The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which,

But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch.

God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear

The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.

他的罪孽都原谅了他;要不为何在他身后

有鲜花奔跑;树篱为何在阳光下长势繁厚?

野东西从左跑到右,分不清左右两侧,

野玫瑰却笼罩着他,当人们发现他醉卧沟壑。

上帝宽恕我们,不要磨炼我们;我们看得并不真,

那天晚上我们途经布莱顿码头前往班诺克伯恩。

My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,

Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,

But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,

And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;

For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,

Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.

我的朋友们,我们再不能如此行事或者模仿古老愤怒,

也不能延展青年的愚蠢,在老年走上羞耻之路,

赶路时要耳聪目明,沿着道路蜿蜒向前,趁着夜光

清醒看到唯有死亡经营的体面酒馆还在开张;

我们还有好消息可听,还有美景会浮现眼前,

在我们途经肯萨尔格林前往天堂之前。

切斯特顿还创作过另外一首政治诗歌《秘密的英格兰人民》(The Secret People of England)。甚至直到今天,英格兰民族主义者们以及其他觉得自己遭到政治体系排斥的人们依然经常引用这首诗当中的诗句。诗文当中刻意掩饰着民粹主义威胁,但是就像切斯特顿的其他诗歌一样,这首诗的开端也很温和:

Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget;

For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet.

There is many a fat farmer that drinks less cheerfully,

There is many a free French peasant who is richer and sadder than we.

There are no folk in the whole world so helpless or so wise.

There is hunger in our bellies, there is laughter in our eyes;

You laugh at us and love us, both mugs and eyes are wet:

Only you do not know us. For we have not spoken yet.

向我们微笑,给我们工钱,与我们擦肩;但是可不要忘记;

我们是英格兰的人民,从未开口表明心意。

那么多胖农夫喝酒时不如以前开心,

那么多自由法国农民比我们更富更伤心。

全世界再没人像我们这般明智或者无助,

笑意充盈我们的眼睛,饥饿充满我们的肚腹;

你嘲笑我们热爱我们,杯中酒未尽,两眼泪未去:

可是你并不认识我们,因为我们尚未开口表明心意。

The fine French kings came over in a flutter of flags and dames.

We liked their smiles and battles, but we never could say their names.

The blood ran red to Bosworth and the high French lords went down;

There was naught but a naked people under a naked crown.

And the eyes of the King's Servants turned terribly every way,

And the gold of the King's Servants rose higher every day.

They burnt the homes of the shaven men, that had been quaint and kind,

Till there was no bed in a monk's house, nor food that man could find.*3

The inns of God where no man paid, that were the wall of the weak.

The King's Servants ate them all. And still we did not speak.

高雅的法国国王来到这里,随行旗帜招展,后宫佳丽娉婷,

我们喜欢他们的微笑与战斗,但却从来念不出他们的姓名。*1

博斯沃思血流遍地,高贵的法国贵胄全都被砍翻,*2

只剩下我们这些赤裸的人民簇拥一顶赤裸的王冠。

国王的仆役们四下打量眼光毒辣好似尖刀,

国王的仆役们收拢黄金日复一日越堆越高。

削发之人的宁静安详住所被他们烧成白地,

直到僧侣们再无床铺栖身,饥饿时无处可去。*3

上帝的酒馆无人光顾,都说那是专属弱者的墙壁,

都被国王的仆役们吞吃殆尽,但我们依然嘴巴紧闭。

*1【即金雀花王朝统治者以及更早时期的诺曼统治者。】

*2【博斯沃思即玫瑰战争最后决战的发生地,这一战标志着金雀花王朝的终结与都铎王朝的建立。】

*3【亨利八世时期的宗教改革解散了修道院并且没收其财产。】

And the face of the King's Servants grew greater than the King:

He tricked them, and they trapped him, and stood round him in a ring.

The new grave lords closed round him, that had eaten the abbey's fruits,

And the men of the new religion, with their bibles in their boots,

We saw their shoulders moving, to menace or discuss,

And some were pure and some were vile; but none took heed of us.

We saw the King as they killed him, and his face was proud and pale;

And a few men talked of freedom, while England talked of ale.

国王的仆役最终变得比国王更有脸面:

他骗他们,他们抓他,围成一圈将他困在里面。

新兴的大人们面色阴郁,都曾将修道院的果实品尝,

新兴宗教的信徒们将圣经在靴子里收藏。*4

我们看到他们耸动肩膀,讨论正事或者威胁他人,

有些人纯洁,有些人败坏,但全都对我们置若罔闻。

我们眼看他们杀死国王,国王的面色苍白而骄傲;

寥寥几人谈论着自由,英格兰却谈论着啤酒饮料。

*4【“新兴宗教的信徒们”即以克伦威尔为代表的清教集团。克伦威尔为手下的新模范军士兵制作了仅有十六页的圣经摘录,士兵们惯于将其塞在靴筒里携带。】

A war that we understood not came over the world and woke

Americans, Frenchmen, Irish; but we knew not the things they spoke.

They talked about rights and nature and peace and the people's reign:

And the squires, our masters, bade us fight; and scorned us never again.

Weak if we be for ever, could none condemn us then;

Men called us serfs and drudges; men knew that we were men.

In foam and flame at Trafalgar, on Albuera plains,

We did and died like lions, to keep ourselves in chains,

We lay in living ruins; firing and fearing not

The strange fierce face of the Frenchmen who knew for what they fought,

And the man who seemed to be more than a man we strained against and broke;

And we broke our own rights with him. And still we never spoke.

一场我们不理解的战争席卷了宇内天下,

惊醒了美国人、法国人、爱尔兰人;但我们却听不懂他们说话。

他们主张人权、人性、和平与人民当家主事,

而乡绅们——我们的主人们——命令我们作战,还斥责我们不准想三想四。

我们或曾软弱,但是这次谁也不能谴责我们疲软乏力,

他们曾视我们为奴仆人渣,这次却见识了我们的骨气。

从阿尔布埃拉平原到火光映照浮沫的特拉法尔加海面,*5

我们宛如雄狮般决死拼杀,只为保住自己身上的锁链。

我们纵横肆虐,全然无惧地射出一发发子弹,

朝向法国人的狰狞面容,他们知道自己为何而战。

那位看似高于凡夫俗子之人终究在我们手下一败涂地,*6

我们的权利也伴随他一同破灭,而我们依然嘴巴紧闭。

*5【阿尔布埃拉平原与特拉法尔加均为拿破仑战争期间英法交战的战场。】

*6【“看似高于凡夫俗子之人”即拿破仑。】

Our patch of glory ended; we never heard guns again.

But the squire seemed struck in the saddle; he was foolish, as if in pain,

He leaned on a staggering lawyer, he clutched a cringing Jew,

He was stricken; it may be, after all, he was stricken at Waterloo.

Or perhaps the shades of the shaven men, whose spoil is in his house,

Come back in shining shapes at last to spoil his last carouse:

We only know the last sad squires rode slowly towards the sea,

And a new people takes the land: and still it is not we.

我们的片刻荣誉就此告终,我们再未听到枪炮鸣奏。*7

但是马鞍上的乡绅却似乎受到重击,这蠢货看上去十分难受,

他倚向脚步蹒跚的律师,他抓住畏缩的犹太奸商,

他越发痛苦;或许病根在于滑铁卢留下的积年暗伤。

又或许是削发僧侣的幽灵作祟,只因寺院里搜刮来的宝货

遍布他家,幽灵们的耀眼光辉败坏了他最后一次寻欢作乐。

我们只知道悲哀的乡绅信马由缰走向大海一命归天,

一群新人随即接管这片土地;但是他们与我们无关。

*7【本诗创作于一战之前。】

They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,*8

Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.

They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;

They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.

And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,

Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.

乡绅将我们交代给了新一批主人,新主人整天郁郁寡欢,*8

既无荣誉亦无愤怒,甚至不敢将宝剑带在身边。

他们的战斗方式是整理文件,他们眼神明亮死寂不带人情,

他们审视我们的劳动与欢笑就像力竭之人打量飞舞的苍蝇。

他们那沉甸甸的无爱怜悯比起古代恶政更加混账,

他们的办公室晚上锁门,他们不懂如何放声歌唱。

*8【即一战前兴起的自由党官僚阶层。】

We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,

Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.

It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,

Our wrath come after Russia's wrath and our wrath be the worst.

It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest

God's scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.

But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.

Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.

我们听说有人替我们发言,声称新法律强大而甜蜜,

但是当我们在街头开腔时却没人替我们发言提议。

法国人动手最早,我们动手大概会排在最后,

我们的愤怒跟随着俄国人的愤怒,我们的愤怒或许最难承受。

或许我们注定要用我们的暴乱与安歇来标记

上帝对于一切人间统治的蔑视。又或许还不如喝啤酒去。

但是我们是英格兰的人民,我们尚未开口表明心意。

向我们微笑,给我们工钱,与我们擦肩;但是可不要忘记。

所以说,亲爱的读者们,假如你们真想引用这首诗的某些段落——笔者必须承认本诗确实朗朗上口——千万别忘了切斯特顿在诗中提出的实际主张是在英国发动一场比起俄国更加血腥的革命,而俄国革命的死亡人数已经达到了几百万人。

帖:4547128 复 4344063
帖内引用