2012年10月27日 星期六

Jacques Barzun Dies At 104再一次: 《從黎明到衰落》《古典的,浪漫的,現代的》

Jacques Barzun Dies at 104; Cultural Critic Saw the Sun Setting on the West

Jacques Barzun in an undated publicity photo.

Jacques Barzun, the distinguished historian, essayist, cultural gadfly and educator who helped establish the modern discipline of cultural history and came to see the West as sliding toward decadence, died Thursday night in San Antonio, where he lived. He was 104.

Donal F. Holway/The New York Times
Mr. Barzun in 1971, at City University of New York’s Graduate Center in Manhattan.

His death was announced by Arthur Krystal, Mr. Barzun’s friend and editor. 

Mr. Barzun was a man of boundless curiosity, monumental productivity and manifold interests, encompassing both Berlioz and baseball. It was a life of the mind first cultivated more than a century ago in a childhood home outside Paris that became an avant-garde salon. 

Mr. Barzun stood beside Sidney Hook, Daniel Bell and Lionel Trilling as among the mid-20th century’s most wide-ranging scholars, all of whom tried to reconcile the achievements of European culture and philosophy with the demands and tastes of American intellectual and cultural life. 

He wrote dozens of books across many decades, demonstrating that old age did not necessarily mean intellectual decline. He published his most ambitious and encyclopedic book at the age of 92 (and credited his productivity in part to chronic insomnia). That work, “From Dawn to Decadence,” is an 877-page survey of 500 years of Western culture in which he argued that Western civilization itself had entered a period of decline. 

Mr. Barzun was both of the academy and the public square, a man of letters and — he was proud to say — of the people. In books and in the classroom he championed Romantic literature, 19th-century music and the Western literary canon. He helped design the influential “great books” curriculum at Columbia, where he was one of its most admired figures for half a century, serving as provost, dean of faculty and university professor. 

As an educator Mr. Barzun was an important critic of American universities, arguing in 1968 that their curriculums had become an undisciplined “bazaar” of miscellaneous studies. 

But he was also a popularizer, believing that the achievements of the arts and scholarship should not be divorced from the wider American culture. Writing for a general audience, he said, was “a responsibility of scholars.” 

To that end he served as history consultant to Life magazine and as a critic for Harper’s. His articles appeared in Life magazine and The Saturday Evening Post as well as The Atlantic, The Nation and The New Republic. In 1951, he joined Trilling and W. H. Auden in founding the Readers’ Subscription Book Club, which sought to make serious scholarship and literature widely available. 

His fascinations extended to mystery fiction, which he surveyed in the anthology “The Delights of Detection” in 1961. Another was baseball, an American institution he considered with a scholar’s eye. In a 1953 essay, “On Baseball,” he wrote: 

“The wonderful purging of the passions that we all experienced in the fall of ’51, the despair groaned out over the fate of the Dodgers, from whom the league pennant was snatched at the last minute, give us some idea of what Greek tragedy was like.” 

Unlike many of his colleagues, Professor Barzun showed little interest in taking overtly political positions. This was partly because he became a university administrator and had to stand above the fray, and partly because he approached the world with a detached civility and a sardonic skepticism about intellectual life. 

“The intellectuals’ chief cause of anguish,” he wrote in “The House of Intellect” (1959), “are one another’s works.” 

If Mr. Barzun kept the political issues of the day at arm’s length, he nonetheless developed a reputation as a cultural conservative after the student protests at Columbia in the late 1960s. He later argued that the “peoples of the West” had “offered the world a set of ideas and institutions not found earlier or elsewhere.” 

But at the same time, he said, Western civilization had also cultivated the seeds of its undoing by envying what it renounced and succumbing to the lure of rebellion. Its virtues and failings, he argued, were in some respects identical: the freedom to rebel could turn into sweeping nihilism, resulting in decadence. He saw that happening. 

His own stature as a public intellectual was undisputed. He was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award, established by Napoleon Bonaparte, and awarded the Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, by President George W. Bush. His friendships embraced poets and scholars, and he continued often argumentative correspondence with friends into the 21st century. An authorized biography, “Jacques Barzun: Portrait of a Mind,” by Michael Murray, was published in 2011. 

In 1996, he also made a seemingly unlikely move from New York to San Antonio, where he lived until his death. 

“After being boxed in by man and his constructions in Europe and the East, the release into space is exhilarating,” he wrote in The New York Times in 1982 about his repeated visits to Texas. “The horizon is a huge remote circle, and no hills intervene.” 

Jacques Barzun was born on Nov. 30, 1907, in Créteil, a suburb of Paris, the son of Anne-Rose and Henri Martin Barzun. His father was a diplomat and writer with artistic interests. The Barzun home became an avant-garde salon, which Mr. Barzun once called “a seedbed of modernism” and “an open house for hotheads.” Regular visitors included the writer Jean Cocteau and the painter Albert Gleizes. (Gleizes’s portrait of Mr. Barzun’s mother hung in Mr. Barzun’s house.)

“By the time I was 9,” Mr. Barzun said in an interview with The Times in 2000, “I had the conviction that everybody in the world was an artist except plumbers or people who delivered groceries.”
Mr. Barzun studied at the Lycée Janson de Sailly, only to find himself, he said, teaching there at the age of 9. After World War I broke out in 1914, many teachers were drafted into the military, and older students were inducted to teach the younger ones. 

With friends and acquaintances killed in the fighting, Mr. Barzun found the war a “shattering experience.” In 1917, his father went to the United States on a diplomatic mission. Then, at age 11, he “experienced a very deep depression,” Mr. Barzun said in the New York Times interview in 2000. He contemplated suicide. 

In 1920, with the French university system decimated by the war and young Jacques still in despair, it was decided that he would travel to the United States, accompanied by his mother. To improve his English, he read “Gulliver’s Travels.” Mr. Barzun’s first thoughts about America, he said, were of a people almost as exotic as Gulliver’s Yahoos and Brobdingnagians. 

“I had read a lot of books about the Indians,” he explained. “I thought that I would come here and see Indians galloping across the plains.” 

Instead he went to Columbia, where he was exposed to the work of the most important critics and historians of the time, including F. J. E. Woodbridge, John Dewey, Mark Van Doren and Mortimer Adler. He became a drama critic for the university newspaper; wrote lyrics for a campus show, “Zuleika, or the Sultan Insulted”; and helped create Ghosts Inc., a tutorial service. 

He graduated in 1927 as valedictorian and that summer taught his first course at Columbia in contemporary civilization. He stayed there until his retirement in 1975, having received his master’s degree there in 1928 and his Ph.D. in 1932, with a thesis on Montesquieu, the French Enlightenment political philosopher, in which Mr. Barzun attacked the popular notion of “the French race.” He came to be so closely associated with the university that he redesigned its academic robes. 

In 1931 he married Lucretia Mueller; they were divorced in 1936. That year he married Mariana Lowell, a distant cousin of the poet Robert Lowell (and the niece of the poet Amy Lowell), who died in 1979. In 1980 he married Marguerite Davenport, a descendant of a founder of the Jamestown colony and a scholar of American literature. She survives him, as do 3 children from his second marriage: James, Roger and Isabel Barzun; 10 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren. 

A turning point in Mr. Barzun’s academic career came when he was exposed to the developing discipline of cultural history, which relates culture, the arts and ideas to historical events unfolding on the larger public stage. At Columbia, Mr. Barzun assisted the historian Carlton J. H. Hayes in preparing the textbook “A Political and Cultural History of Modern Europe.” With the book he was, as he put it, “launched.” 

The themes of his first books were related to the political world of the 1930s. (He became a United States citizen in 1933.) His 1937 book, “Race: A Study in Modern Superstition,” grew out of his dissertation. In 1939, on the eve of World War II, he wrote “Of Human Freedom,” attacking absolutism and tracing the intellectual origins of democracy. 

These issues reflected a broader concern that preoccupied him throughout his career as he championed 19th-century liberalism, with its ideals of individualism and liberty, and opposed intellectual and political traditions that he felt to be rigid, deterministic or aristocratic.
Mr. Barzun came to associate liberalism with European Romanticism as it was reflected in poets like Wordsworth and Goethe and composers like Berlioz and Beethoven. His two-volume study “Berlioz and the Romantic Century” (1950) was credited with restoring Berlioz’s reputation as a great composer. Romanticism, Mr. Barzun later wrote, “implies not only risk, effort, energy; it implies also creation, diversity and individual genius.” In Time magazine in 1956, Mr. Barzun argued that America was “the land of Romanticism par excellence,” thus linking the nation’s possibilities with the intellectual tradition he most admired. 

Against that Romantic vitality, Mr. Barzun pitted anything “systematic” or “absolute,” particularly the “scientism” that he saw as modernity’s unjust revenge against Romanticism. In another seminal book, “Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage” (1941),” he argued that 20th-century thought had been skewed by the influence of those three major figures — harmful influence, he concluded. Darwin, Marx and Wagner, he wrote, had each created a variety of “mechanical materialism,” in which all that is human and variable is subjected to domineering systems. Mr. Barzun associated those systems with the scientific worldview, extending its power over religion, society and art. 

This was to become a recurring theme; Mr. Barzun even considered science to have had a deleterious effect on university education. While he maintained that modern science was “one of the most stupendous and unexpected triumphs of the human mind,” he attacked, again and again, any hint of “mechanical scientism,” which he said had baleful consequences.
In 1964, in his book “Science: The Glorious Entertainment,” Mr. Barzun offered ironic praise for science’s “all-pervasive energy.” 

“It is,” he wrote, “at once a mode of thought, a source of strong emotion and faith as fanatical as any in history.” 

This view of science and his attempts to associate its supposed mechanistic qualities with Darwin or Wagner now seem to be among his weakest and most dated speculations. But Mr. Barzun may have been most influential in his arguing for a form of Romantic liberalism in American education. He believed that the mission of the university should have nothing to do with professional training or political advocacy. The university, he wrote, should not be a “public utility”; rather it should be a “city of the mind” devoted to the intellectual currents of Western civilization. 

That was the thinking behind his curriculum of classic literary and philosophical texts, still required of all Columbia freshmen. And with Trilling he taught one of Columbia’s most renowned courses, “Studies in European Intellectual History and Culture Since 1750,” familiarly known as “the Barzun-Trilling seminar.” 

In books like “The American University: How It Runs, Where It Is Going” (1968), Mr. Barzun raised questions that still roil the academy and intellectual life: What is the purpose of a university education? What should the relationship be between the elite artistic traditions of Europe and the democratic popular culture of the United States? 

His positions on many issues inspired controversy. So fervent was his advocacy of Berlioz that Auden, writing in The New York Times Book Review in 1950, said that Mr. Barzun “sometimes seems a fanatic to whom Berlioz is the only composer who ever lived, against whom the slightest criticism is blasphemy.” 

In 1945, reviewing his book “Teacher in America,” The New Yorker said that “everybody in the teaching profession ought to read Mr. Barzun, if only to be able to argue with him.”
But his admirers were legion. In 1959, Daniel J. Boorstin wrote in The Times that Mr. Barzun’s book “The House of Intellect” was “the most important critique of American culture in many years.” 

In that book, Mr. Barzun argued that egalitarianism, which he celebrated in the political sphere, had no place in the university. He objected to educational “philanthropy,” which he defined as “the liberal doctrine of free and equal opportunity as applied to things of the mind.”
By the 1960s, he wrote in “The American University,” the university was being mistakenly expected to “provide a home for the arts, satisfy divergent tastes in architecture and social mores, cure cancer, recast the penal code and train equally for the professions and for a life of cultural contentment.” 

He also objected to attempts to politicize the academy, whether in support of governmental policies or in opposition to them. In the 1968 student demonstrations at Columbia, for example, protesters took over administration buildings and held a dean hostage, objecting not only to the Vietnam War but also to the roles the university played in the defense establishment and in its own Upper Manhattan neighborhood. In his critique of the protests, Mr. Barzun accused the faculty of failing in its educational responsibilities and commitments to students. And the protesters, he wrote, were guilty of “student despotism.” 

After Mr. Barzun retired from Columbia, he became an adviser to Charles Scribner’s Sons, the publishing house. Mr. Barzun’s engagement with Western civilization continued into his last years. According to his biographer, Michael Murray, he began a book called “Janus” in 2001, that “was to have been a view of present-day culture by an archaeologist of the thirtieth century.” In 2008, dissatisfied, he put it aside. 

In his 2000 book, “From Dawn to Decadence,” he argued that one of the great virtues of the West was its character as a “mongrel civilization”: over the course of its development, it was resiliently constructed out of dozens of national cultures.
He traced periods of rise and fall in the Western saga, and contended that another fall was near — one that could cause “the liquidation of 500 years of civilization.” This time the decline would be caused not by scientism and absolutism, he maintained, but by an internal crisis in the civilization itself, which he believed had come to celebrate nihilism and rebellion.
And yet, in the cycles of history, he believed another renewal would come.
“It is only in the shadows,” he wrote, “when some fresh wave, truly original, truly creative, breaks upon the shore, that there will be a rediscovery of the West.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 26, 2012

An earlier version of this obituary misidentified Arthur Krystal as the executor of Mr. Barzun’s estate.  He is actually Mr. Barzun’s friend and editor.

Cultural Historian Jacques Barzun Dies At 104

Pioneering cultural historian Jacques Barzun was the author of dozens of books and essays on everything from philosophy to music to baseball. He died Thursday in San Antonio at the age of 104.
Enlarge Eric Gay/AP Pioneering cultural historian Jacques Barzun was the author of dozens of books and essays on everything from philosophy to music to baseball. He died Thursday in San Antonio at the age of 104.
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October 26, 2012
Jacques Barzun, one of the most influential historians, educators and thinkers of the 20th century, died Thursday, just one month shy of his 105th birthday. Barzun seemed to have a limitless capacity to understand and translate complex ideas — about the evolution of Western culture, what it means to be free, and even the value of American baseball. He shared his observations in numerous books and magazine articles and at Columbia University, where he held forth for half a century.
In an interview 12 years ago on All Things Considered, Barzun said he believed history is driven by emancipation. "It is getting rid of whatever constraint at the moment seems intolerable," he said, "that of class, government — and now it seems to be against clothing."
If that smacks of a kind of intellectual get-off-my-lawn-ism, well, Barzun was a thinker of uncompromisingly high standards and some degree of sarcasm. He was born in Paris, the son of a diplomat. French universities had been decimated by World War I, so he attended Columbia in New York. Barzun taught there the summer after graduating and helped design its Great Books program; he later lamented that his approach was disappearing from universities.
"School today, if it achieves anything at all, aims at socialization rather than intellectual span and grasp," he said.
Barzun's own intellectual pursuits ran from editing Ellery Queen mysteries to championing the work of composer Hector Berlioz. Barzun also wrote about baseball — and perhaps his most famous quote is inscribed on the walls of that sport's Hall of Fame: "Whoever wants to know the heart and soul of America had better learn baseball."
Jacques was the Babe Ruth of Romanticism.
"Jacques was the Babe Ruth of Romanticism," says Barzun's friend and colleague, Prof. Henry Graff. Barzun had no problem reconciling his many interests, Graff says, and fervently believed that culture and ideas should be part of everyone's experience. To that end, Barzun co-founded a book club to make literature and philosophy widely available. He wrote for Time magazine and for The Saturday Evening Post.
"He saw the great value in reaching a larger public than just his friends," Graff says. "He read everything. ... I don't know anybody who had such a Renaissance mind — a mind that I don't think I will ever encounter anywhere again."
At the age of 94, Barzun wrote From Dawn to Decadence, a survey of Western culture, which he argued is currently in decline. "It sounds alarming but it isn't," he explained. "It's simply the clearing of the ground for the basis being laid of a new culture." A new culture less dependent on its European roots in the 1500s. One more global and complex. It's a shame that Barzun won't be around to critique it.

From Dawn to Decadence: Western Culture from 1500 to the Present: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life by Jacques Barzun San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2000 (877 pages; $36.00, cloth).

SU的 關於J. Barzun資料

我兩年多前寫一篇介紹大陸翻譯的《從黎明到衰落:西方文化生活五百年 1500至今》( Jacques Barzun From Dawn to Decadence:1500 to the present, 500 years of Western Culture Life , Harper Collin 2000)(林華譯,北京:世界知識出版社,2002)




但是文本「可譯」,譯本也永遠「可議」,文本的真相,常常Lost in Translation。翻譯,永遠有改正與進步的空間。


一年多前一篇 Barzun《古典的,浪漫的,現代的》一段:
Barzun, Jacques], 1907–, American writer, educator, and historian, b. Créteil, France, grad. Columbia (B.A., 1927; Ph.D., 1932). Barzun moved to the United States in 1919. A student of law and history and one of the founders of the discipline of cultural history, he began teaching history at Columbia in 1928. He was appointed professor in 1945, became dean of the graduate faculties in 1955, and was (1958–67) dean of faculties and provost. For eight decades Barzun has written and edited critical and historical studies on a wide variety of subjects. They include The Teacher in America (1945), Darwin, Marx, Wagner (rev. 2d ed., 1958), The House of
Intellect (1959), Classic, Romantic, and Modern (2d rev. ed., 1961), Science: The Glorious Entertainment (1964), Race: A Study in Modern Superstition (rev. ed. 1965), The American University (1968), Berlioz and the Romantic Century (3d ed. 1969), The Use and Abuse of Art (1974), and Begin Here: The Forgotten Conditions of Teaching and Learning (1991). His massive, sweeping, and critically acclaimed historical survey, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present (2000), was a surprise bestseller.

See M. Murray, ed., A Jacques Barzun Reader (2002).
Jacques Barzun, Science the Glorious Entertainment. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1964).

「首先,這番偏向學術性的事業或翻譯,可以更謹慎和更有系統地作些紮根和服務讀者的事,即,應該作些基本功,譬如說,附索引 如此方便作/談"學問 編索引(方便查閱並了解交叉引用等關係)-- 這要堅持--《走向封閉的美國精神》和去年盛舉:《從黎明到衰落:西方文化生活五百年 1500至今》( Jacques Barzun From Dawn to Decadence:1500 to the present, 500 years of Western Culture Life , Harper Collin 2000)(林華譯,北京:世界知識出版社,2002)的索引從缺,而《巨人與侏儒:布魯姆文集》可能開始就沒這打算。再說,類似這種博學的書,索引也有學問、功力,甚至有去或不可或缺(As is often the case with such books, the fun is in the index. )世界知識出版社的漢譯本,許多人名未附原文,也無原書的人物和主題兩索引(Index of Persons p. 829-52和 Index of Subjects p.853-77);同樣的,"參照說明(Reference Notes p. 803-28)中未附原文,前後 約兩頁未譯(最後可能附加) 。我們舉一例,說明其索引作得多仔細、層次分明(黑體字表示主角,提到Holmes的頁用"quoted"表示)
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Sr.(1809-94),584-6,611; quoted 505」

『 Jacques Barzun《古典的,浪漫的,現代的》一段

2012年10月25日 星期四

Reader's Digest

Spanish Version of 'Reader's Digest'
Spanish Version of 'Reader's Digest'
What's the world's top-selling monthly magazine? Thanks to the boost of its international editions, Reader's Digest is the world's best-selling monthly magazine; it is published in 35 languages, in 52 editions, and is sold in more than 100 countries. Many of the international editions are simply translations of the US version, but in a growing number of countries, articles of local interest and importance are written expressly for the local version of Reader's Digest. DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace published their first issue — 5,000 copies — of the undersized magazine on February 5, 1922. It cost 25¢ and was sold by mail. In 1929, the magazine was first sold at newsstands. It was DeWitt Wallace's idea to condense articles — and later, books — that would be gathered in a magazine small enough to slip into a pocket or a bag. Alexander Graham Bell wrote the lead article in the first issue; it was about the importance of continuing to learn throughout one's life.
"I knew right away that it was a gorgeous idea." Lila Acheson Wallace, on her husband's suggestion of Reader's Digest

2010.2.5 這家命運已走到末日了嗎

Reader's Digest: DeWitt and Lila Wallace published their first issue of condensed articles; the pocket-sized volume cost 25 cents (1922)

A Boarding School Student In Bed With 'Reader's Digest'
A Boarding School Student
In Bed With 'Reader's Digest'



2012年10月23日 星期二

Being Charles Dickens/ Dickens 2012/ 哪本狄更斯的書最暢銷

Dickens on the BBC | Dickens 2012

Celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens

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UK and International
November 2011 - February 2012
From 28 November to February 2012, the BBC will celebrate the work of one of Britain’s greatest writers with Dickens on the BBC, a season of documentary, drama and discussion programmes across television and radio. From a bold new three-part adaptation of Great Expectations for BBC One to the completion of Dickens’ unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood by writer Gwyneth Hughes on BBC Two and Life-long Dickens fan Armando Iannucci reviewing the development of a revolutionary master story-teller.
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Great Expectations trailer: Harry Potter director revives Dickens tale

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Great Expectations has premiered a new trailer online.

The 2-minute 21-second preview teases Harry Potter director Mike Newell's fresh take on Charles Dickens's classic story.

Great Expectations stars War Horse actor Jeremy Irvine as Pip, with Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch and The Borgias star Holliday Grainger as Estella.

The supporting cast also features Sally Hawkins, Robbie Coltrane and Jason Flemyng. One Day screenwriter David Nichols wrote the script for the film.

Great Expectations will close the BFI London Film Festival in October

英國著名女演員海蓮娜•B•卡特(Helena Bonham Carter)承認,一開始有點猶豫接演新版《遠大前程》中哈維辛小姐(Miss Havisham)這一角色。
新版《遠大前程》在英國將於11月30日放映,影片聚集眾大腕。拉爾夫•費恩斯(Ralph Fiennes)扮演罪犯麥格維奇(Magwitch),羅比•考特拉尼(Robbie Coltrane)扮演賈格斯先生(Mr Jaggers),因《戰馬》(War Horse)而走紅的傑裏米•艾文(Jeremy Irvine)則出演主角皮普(Pip)。
導演則是曾執導《四個婚禮一個葬禮》(Four Weddings And A Funeral)的邁克•內維爾(Mike Newell ),暢銷小說《一日》(One Day)作家大衛•尼古拉斯(David Nichols)擔任本片編劇。

海蓮娜•B•卡特在電影中飾演身著布滿蜘蛛絲婚紗的哈維辛小姐(Miss Havisham)。
倫敦電影節的新導演克萊爾•斯圖爾特(Clare Stewart)說:「整個電影是慶祝狄更斯誕辰200年紀念活動,所以作為電影節閉幕電影還挺合適的。」
卡特和她伴侶,導演蒂姆•波頓(Tim Burton)被授予了電影節的最高榮譽獎(BFI Fellowship)。

Being Charles Dickens

Robert DOUGLAS-FAIRHURST, the Oxford scholar who is one of Charles Dickens’s two new biographers, rightly calls his subject “at once the most central and most eccentric literary figure” of his age, and the investigations into the dark corners of that eccentric life began with Dickens himself. In 1849 he showed a short account of his early years to his close friend John Forster, revealing a story he never told his own family: the shame-inducing months he spent, while his father was in a debtor’s prison, as a 12-year-old “laboring hind” in a factory that bottled shoe-blacking. The first volume of the biography he’d wanted Forster to write — which made the ­blacking-factory episode public — appeared in 1872, two years after Dickens died at the age of 58, and its successors keep coming. The Dickens biographies published just in the past 25 years make an impressive stack. Given his uncanny genius and the vivid complexity of his life, that’s not a complaint.
Image from the Bodleian Library, Oxford University
An etching of Charles Dickens from The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic, in 1837.


A Life
By Claire Tomalin
Illustrated. 527 pp. The Penguin Press. $36


The Invention of a Novelist
By Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
Illustrated. 389 pp. The Belknap Press/Harvard University Press. $29.95
Still, in all these books, the most memorable moments come from the accounts of those who saw him in person. I’d trade a whole pile of biographies for a video clip of the young Dickens, while courting Catherine Hogarth, his wife-to-be, leaping unannounced through the French windows of her family’s house in a sailor suit, dancing a hornpipe, leaping out again, then walking in at the door “as sedately as though quite innocent of the prank.” And I’d trade that clip, plus the biographies, for footage of Dickens’s face-to-face interview with his admirer Fyodor Dostoyevsky in 1862. “He told me,” Dostoyevsky recalled in a letter written years later, “that all the good, simple people in his novels . . . are what he wanted to have been, and his villains were what he was (or rather, what he found in himself), his cruelty, his attacks of causeless enmity towards those who were helpless and looked to him for comfort, his shrinking from those whom he ought to love. . . . There were two people in him, he told me: one who feels as he ought to feel and one who feels the opposite. From the one who feels the opposite I make my evil characters, from the one who feels as a man ought to feel, I try to live my life.”
Claire Tomalin, the other new biographer, who quotes this confession in “Charles Dickens: A Life,” calls it “amazing” — though it’s only amazing because it’s the image-conscious Dickens himself coming out and saying what anybody familiar with his work and his life has always intuited. “It is as though with Dostoyevsky he could drop the appearance of perfect virtue he felt he had to keep up before the English public.”
As Tomalin notes, this “must be Dickens’s most profound statement about his inner life,” and it seems to be one of the few crucial bits of Dickensiana that’s relatively fresh. Both Tomalin and Michael Slater, who cites the same passage in his 2009 biography, “Charles Dickens,” found the newly translated Dostoyevsky letter in a 2002 article in The Dickensian. Neither Fred Kaplan (“Dickens: A Biography,” 1988) nor Peter Ackroyd (“Dickens,” 1991) seems to have known about it. Mostly, the recent biographies are remixes of familiar episodes and anecdotes; their interest lies largely in what’s included and what’s left out, how deeply the biographer goes into unpublished or unfamiliar work, and what’s adduced from further research into the world in which Dickens lived and worked.
Neither Tomalin nor Douglas-Fairhurst, in “Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist,” sees fit to show us Dickens dancing the hornpipe in his sailor suit, though Ackroyd and Slater apparently found it a charming, perhaps significant, glimpse of the young man at play. And how could Tomalin have resisted the story of Dickens’s first love, Maria Beadnell (affectionately evoked as Dora in “David Copperfield,” then cruelly caricatured as Flora Finching in “Little Dorrit”), near the end of her life, drunkenly kissing the place on her couch where he’d once sat? Maria’s former nursemaid published the account in 1912; Douglas-Fairhurst retells it, and while Slater didn’t include it in his biography, he’d already used it in an earlier book, “Dickens and Women.” Yet only an obsessive would worry too much about which anecdote didn’t make whose cut: an ideal life of Dickens would just stick in everything, and probably no publisher would touch it.
After Tomalin’s much-praised biographies of Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy and Samuel Pepys, it’s no surprise to find her portrait of Dickens at least as thorough as Kaplan’s or Slater’s, though she gives us no introduction explaining why previous biographies have made hers necessary, and sometimes teases us with flat summary where we want meat. (If, for instance, “the critics were merciless” about his 1846 Christmas book, “The Battle of Life,” why not quote them?) Her book lacks the rich texture and empathetic intimacy of Ackroyd’s far longer work. On the other hand, Tomalin would never indulge in zaniness like Ackroyd’s interpolated self-interview or his scene in which Dickens meets his own characters or the imagined encounter between Dickens and a biographer, presumably Ackroyd himself. And Tomalin’s treatment of the great secret of Dickens’s life — his relationship with the actress Ellen Ternan, for whom he left his marriage in 1858, when he was 46 and she was 19 — seems more credible, even when it’s necessarily speculative. In 1990 she devoted an entire book, “The Invisible Woman,” to exploring this secret — whose existence Dickensians have known about at least since the 1930s.
Despite Dickens’s discreet, intermittent cohabitation with Ternan, Ackroyd found it “almost inconceivable” that the two actually went to bed together: he argued that their idyll was merely “the realization of one of his most enduring fictional fantasies. That of sexless marriage with a young, idealized virgin.” Few other scholars agree — not even Edgar Johnson, whose two-volume “Charles Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph,” published in 1952, was the first major modern biography. As Tomalin notes, Dickens was a sexual creature: he fathered 10 children with his wife, and after they separated he apparently sought treatment for a venereal infection. Had he been such a prude as his fiction and his public persona sometimes suggested — after news of his separation got around, Forster had to talk him out of calling a new start-up magazine Household Harmony — he would hardly have remained close friends with sophisticated sexual outlaws like the artists Frank Stone and Daniel Maclise, the novelist Wilkie Collins and the Count d’Orsay, the French dandy whom he made godfather to his son Alfred. Hearsay and circumstantial evidence even suggest that Ternan might have borne Dickens a son, who died within a year.
We can only guess about certain aspects of Dickens’s relationship with Ternan, but Tomalin does build a convincing case. She’s less convincing when she suggests that Dickens’s fatal stroke might have happened while he was off with Ternan, and that he might have been sneaked back into his own house, unconscious, to be officially discovered. This reads like some of the wilder theories about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, but, to Tomalin’s credit, she doesn’t insist on it.
Douglas-Fairhurst’s “Becoming Dickens” takes us only through 1839 and the completion of “Oliver Twist,” Dickens’s second novel — and the first whose title page he dignified with his own name rather than “Boz,” the cockney-ish alias under which he first became popular with “Sketches by Boz” and “The Pickwick Papers.” Douglas-Fairhurst’s is a far more lively and detailed book — a more Dickensian book — than Tomalin’s, though not always to its advantage. When his painstaking research combines with an overactive fancy, we get such passages as this description of Dickens taking a curtain call after his now-forgotten 1836 operetta “The Village Coquettes”: “The curtains of St. James’s Theatre were green” — how did he find that out? — “as were the covers of ‘Pickwick,’ so in coming onstage Dickens would have looked strangely like the author himself emerging from his writing.”
Yet more often Douglas-Fairhurst serves as a sharp-eyed, sharp-witted, yet sympathetic tour guide to the young Dickens’s strange world and equally strange sensibility. He performs deft deconstructions of such arcana as a labored comic poem to Maria Beadnell: “Telling a new girlfriend what you would feel like if she were dead is certainly an unusual seduction technique.” He discusses the trash Dickens read as a boy (from “The Terrific Register” to a comic miscellany called “Broad Grins”), a probable inspiration for Oliver Twist’s benefactor Mr. Brownlow (a man of the same name was secretary of the Foundling Hospital “a few hundred yards from Dickens’s home”) and a precursor of the rapid-fire tale-spinning of Jingle in “Pickwick” (the monologues of the comedian Charles Mathews, “Dickens’s favorite solo performer”). His research extends to the pirates and imitators who ripped off Dickens’s early work — including one G. M. W. Reynolds, whose “Pickwick in India” “abruptly ceased publication after seven chapters when the author . . . wrote himself into a corner with a gloating description of Mr. Pickwick being devoured by a shark.” And it’s Douglas-Fairhurst, not the sober-sided Tomalin, who sees the humor in this icky irrelevancy: Dickens’s publisher had wanted to give his first book the Elmer Fuddian title “Bubbles From the Bwain of Boz.”
In fairness to Tomalin, the story she’s obliged to tell of her subject’s later life would temper anybody’s sense of fun. The leaping, hornpiping young man aged badly. In his 50s he often hobbled around with a gouty foot, and sometimes had to be helped onstage during the obsessive and exhausting reading tours that may have hastened his death — a malign redirecting of the manic energy that had once enabled him to work on two serialized novels simultaneously while also editing a monthly magazine. Twenty-eight times between January 1869 and March 1870, Dickens performed the horrifying episode in “Oliver Twist” in which Bill Sikes murders the prostitute Nancy. After it, Dickens had to lie down, unable to speak; when his manager tried to get him to do quieter readings, he threw a tantrum and burst into tears.
Tomalin accurately describes Dickens’s treatment of the abandoned Catherine as shameful: he went so far as to publish a letter accusing her of “a mental disorder,” and he wrote to a friend that she was glad to be rid of their children, “and they are glad to be rid of her.” His daughter Katey recalled that after the separation, “my father was like a madman. . . . He did not care a damn what happened to any of us.”
Dickens had a premonitory stroke in 1869, and at his final public reading, in March 1870, he was unable to pronounce the name “Pickwick.” On June 8, he had another stroke, and the next day the unconscious Dickens “gave a sigh, a tear appeared in his right eye and ran down his cheek, and he stopped breathing.” That tear was the last of Dickens’s many gifts to his biographers — of all the recent retellings of the death scene, only Michael Slater’s version omits it — and here’s hoping we’ll see it again and again and again until the ideal, the impossible life is written at last.
David Gates’s most recent book is “The Wonders of the Invisible World,” a collection of stories.

Daily chart

What the Dickens

Feb 7th 2012, 15:39 by The Economist online
Sales of Charles Dickens's books in his lifetime
ON THE death of Charles Dickens in 1870 the Times lamented, “The loss of such a man is an event which makes ordinary expressions of regret seem cold and conventional”. It was the prodigious popularity of his work that went furthest to explaining the effect his death had on book-reading Britain and beyond. To mark today's 200th anniversary of his birth, we have tried to discover which novel sold best during Dickens's life. The answer, below, comes with bigger caveats than most items on this blog. They do not include the sales of novels in instalments. The numbers date from 1846, by which time “Pickwick Papers”, Dickens’s first novel, was already ten years old. And owing to the vagaries of 19th-century record-keeping, the sales of different books were sometimes grouped together under a single heading, “cheap editions”, and so cannot be split into their constituent titles. For those last two reasons, the figures for Dickens’s earlier novels may be under-counted. But we believe these are the best numbers available. For 465 pages of detailed explanation, consult Robert Patten’s 1978 tome, “Charles Dickens and his Publishers”, from which we derived our figures.



A name playfully applied to someone who fails to catch a ball or lets something slip from their fingers.


Charles Dickens - butterfingersIn the week of the bicentenary of Charles Dickens' birth (7th February 1812), I thought it would be nice to include a phrase coined by him. It ought not to be too difficult to find one, after all, Dickens ranks sixth on the 'number of English words coined by an individual author' list. Passing over contenders like 'slow-coach' and 'cloak and dagger' I alighted on 'butterfingers', which several authorities say was invented by Dickens. Not quite a phrase but, as it was coined as the hyphenated 'butter-fingers', it's close enough. Dickens used the term in The Pickwick Papers (more properly calledThe Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club), 1836:
At every bad attempt at a catch, and every failure to stop the ball, he launched his personal displeasure at the head of the devoted individual in such denunciations as 'Ah, ah! - stupid' - 'Now, butter-fingers' - 'Muff' - 'Humbug' - and so forth.
It seemed as though that was all there was to say about the word/phrase but, as I usually like to add a little more, I delved further. The British Library's excellent new database of 19th century newspapers turned up a reference to 'butter-fingers' in the Yorkshire newspaperThe Leeds Intelligencer dated May 1823. Pre-Pickwick, clearly. Looking closer, it appeared that the writer was quoting from what he called 'a scarce book' - The English Housewife. Delving again, I found that the book, written by the English writer Gervase Markham in 1615, scarce as it may have been in 1823, is still available today. Markham's recipe for a good housewife was:
'First, she must be cleanly in body and garments; she must have a quick eye, a curious nose, a perfect taste, and ready ear; she must not be butter-fingered, sweet-toothed, nor faint-hearted - for the first will let everything fall; the second will consume what it should increase; and the last will lose time with too much niceness.
Markham's views aren't quite what would be accepted now, any more than his remedy for the plague - 'smell a nosegay made of the tasselled end of a ship rope', but he does at least make it clear that 'butterfingers' was in use in 1615 with the same meaning we have for it today, that is, someone likely to drop things - as if their hands were smeared with butter, like a cook's.
Many of the later examples of 'butterfingers' in print relate to the game of cricket, which was and still is the principal ball-catching game in England. The term is often used as an amiable taunt when someone fails to make an easy catch. As the word spread to other countries, notably America, it was taken into the language of the local catching game, i.e. baseball, and 'no-hoper' teams were unkindly given that name. The Salt Lake Tribune reported on such a team in May 1899:
'The Butterfingers will cross bats with the Salt Lake Juniors at Calder's Park Tuesday'.
As for Dickens, he may have missed out on 'butterfingers' but he has many other words and phrases to lay claim to, and he did write some exceedingly good books.

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2012年10月22日 星期一

《在垂死皇帝的王國》(世紀末的日本) In the Realm of a Dying Emperor: Japan at Century's End By Norma Field




In the Realm of a Dying Emperor: Japan at Century's End [Paperback]

Norma Field (Author)


《在垂死皇帝的王國(世紀末的日本)》講述了︰那位被牢記為昭和天皇 (意思是“陽光普照、和平寧靜”)的人的死亡是歷史的必然。唯一沒有預料到的是他死亡過程的漫長與復雜。戰後,日本頒布了新憲法,宣揚“君權在民”的理 念,裕仁是在這部新憲法頒布後去世的第一位天皇。從他去世那一刻以後的40天時間里,日本政府為葬禮設計了一套精細、復雜的舞蹈。這套舞蹈代表了法制與神 秘,體現了西方的現代和東方的傳統,暗示了歷史的進步和魅力,嫻熟地掩蓋了戰爭的殘忍與罪惡,闡釋了戰後40年社會的繁榮發展,迎合了世界經濟發展的潮 流。此時對天皇存在的理解已經從當代資本主義資本運營的角度來考慮了︰股票交易要被關閉多少天呢?銀行要被關閉多少天呢?政府辦公室要被關閉多少天呢?說 實話,即使銀行被關閉,它們的計算機仍然保持高速運轉,繼續對世界輸送血液。


總序︰西方日本研究叢書 劉東
第1章 沖繩︰一位焚燒太陽旗的超市老板
第2章 山口縣︰一位狀告政府的普通女士
第3章 長崎市︰本島等知事

  • From Library Journal

    Field, the daughter of a Japanese mother and an American father and currently an associate professor of East Asian studies at the University of Chicago, returned to Japan for a year's study just prior to the final illness and death of Emperor Hirohito on January 7, 1989. Using this event as a means to probe the nature of contemporary Japanese society, Field presents an in-depth study of three individuals who stood up against what she sees as "the death-in-life quality of daily routine" in contemporary Japan. These include an Okinawa supermarket owner who protested resurgent nationalism by burning a Japanese flag just prior to a national athletic competition, the Christian widow of a member of Japan's Self-Defense Force who fought against her husband's inclusion in a state shrine honoring the military dead, and the mayor of Nagasaki who spoke out publicly concerning the emperor's role in World War II. The book's message is both troubling (in its overall depiction of Japanese society) as well as inspirational (in the courage displayed by Field's subjects). Altogether, this is an intelligent and thought-provoking analysis. Generally recommended.
    - Scott Wright, Univ. of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.
    Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    From Kirkus Reviews

    A provocative, multileveled ``meditation'' on Emperor Hirohito's 1989 death, raising dark questions about Japan's war guilt in the context of its triumphant prosperity today. As the child of a Japanese woman and an American soldier, Field (East Asian Studies/Univ. of Chicago) tells a story of postwar Japan inextricably linked to her own. She grew up in Tokyo, in her grandmother's house, ``finally'' leaving after high school to join her father in the US. In August 1988, Field returned to Tokyo for a yearlong stay. From her grandmother's oleander-filled, walled garden, she observed a driven, repressive ``democracy'' held in a deathwatch for its emperor. This ``frail embodiment of the war,'' whose funeral becomes a ``celebration of the successes of Japanese capitalism,'' Field sees as both promoter and symbol of Japan's ``national amnesia.'' The economic miracle has come at astronomical cost: ``In the society [the Japanese] are growing into,'' she writes, ``the most significant and only reliable freedom is the freedom to buy ever more refined commodities.'' Backing into her powerful points as she shifts between personal and global issues, Field structures her narrative around the stories of three ``resisters'': a supermarket owner who burns the ``Rising Sun'' flag; a widow who sues to stop the state from making her late husband a Shinto deity; and the mayor of Nagasaki, who publicly calls the emperor responsible for the war--for the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for the Battle of Okinawa. The horror the Japanese refuse to remember is here most powerfully conveyed by eyewitness accounts of ``babies' cries...stilled'' by Japanese troops hiding from the ``bloodless'' American invasion. An intelligent, informed, deeply felt interrogation of Japan that offers a rare insider-outsider point of view while implicitly questioning America's influence on this rich but troubled country. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (March 9, 1993)
  • Language: English

ON LATE STYLE (Edward Said), Exact Imagination, Late Work...

Exact Imagination, Late Work

On Adorno's Aesthetics


Most English-language writing on Theodor Adorno has attempted to place him in various contexts and to differentiate him from other thinkers. Such work, while important, marks our failure to appropriate Adorno's ideas imaginatively. In Exact Imagination, Late Work, Nicholsen proposes such an appropriation through a focus on the centrality of the aesthetic dimension in Adorno.Adorno uses the term "exact imagination" to mark the conjunction of knowledge, subjective experience, and aesthetic form. Exact imagination, as distinct from creative imagination, thus describes a form of nondiscursive rationality. According to Adorno, exact imagination discovers or produces truth by reconfiguring the material at hand; thus, knowledge is inseparable from the configurational form imagination gives it. "Late work" is characterized by the disjunction of subjectivity and objectivity. In its attempt to grasp late phenomena, Adorno's oeuvre itself takes on the form of late work.Exact imagination and late work mark the bounds of Nicholsen's exploration. The five interlocked essays, based on material from Adorno's "aesthetic writings," take up such issues as subjective aesthetic experience, the historicity of artworks and our experience of them, Adorno's conception of language, the nature of configurational or constellational form in Adorno's work, and the relation between the artwork, aesthetic experience, and philosophy. A subtext is the unraveling of Adorno's use of the ideas of his colleague Walter Benjamin. Nicholsen's essays themselves can be perceived as a constellation of their own around the central issue of the inseparability of form in its aesthetic dimension and nondiscursive rationality.

About the Authors

Shierry Weber Nicholsen teaches environmental philosophy and psychology in Antioch University Seattle’s M.A. Program on Environment and Community and is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in Seattle. She has translated several works by Theodor Adorno and Jürgen Habermas.


"Nicholsen's Exact Imagination, Late Work is the distilled, reflected product of countless hours alongside, and deeply within, Adorno's languages. Her brilliant achievement here is to have demonstrated the emphatic intimacy between Adorno's aesthetics and his compositions." Tom Huhn , College of Letters and Philosophy Department, Wesleyan University

醫學進步讓作家老當益壯。有待探究的是,年歲增長對作家的筆力是否造成影響。著名文化評論家薩依德未完成的遺著《論晚期風格》(On Late Style)就在探討作家與音樂家晚年的作品,他直指藝術家晚年作品未必是智慧與識見累積的精華,通常會出現「固執、困境和無法化解的矛盾」,甚至缺乏「協調感」。

'On Late Style,' by Edward W. Said

Twilight of His Idols

Ruby Washington/The New York Times
Edward Said during an interview in July 1998.

Published: July 16, 2006

What artist does not yearn, some day, to possess a "late style"? A late style would reflect a life of learning, the wisdom that comes from experience, the sadness that comes from wisdom and a mastery of craft that has nothing left to prove. It might recapitulate a life's themes, reflect on questions answered and allude to others beyond understanding.
Skip to next paragraph


Music and Literature Against the Grain.
By Edward W. Said.
176 pp. Pantheon Books. $25.
But even if that kind of culminating style is not granted to an artist, observers want to discern it. We want to be reassured that there really is something progressive about human understanding. We want to feel that in a final confrontation with mortality, something profound takes place. When the end is near, we want there to be a sign of this in the work itself, some proof of accumulated insight.
Perhaps an impulse like this was also behind Edward Said's interest in late style during the years before his death in 2003. Near the beginning of his career Said wrote "Beginnings: Intention and Method" (1975), a study of origins and our need to imagine or construct them. Why not, then, conclude with studying the achievement of endings?
The subject takes on a particularly poignant cast in view of the diagnosis of leukemia Said received in 1991. "For obvious personal reasons," he writes, his subject became "the last or late period of life, the decay of the body, the onset of ill health." Said taught a course on late style at Columbia in the early 1990's and gave three lectures on the subject in London in 1993, which form the backbone of this book.
But in exploring late style, Said isn't really interested in lateness that brings wisdom, harmony and serenity. That would require closure, and Said, following French critical theory, believed that scholarly enterprises (like the Orientalist studies of the Middle East he examined in his 1978 book, "Orientalism") were acts of power that exerted imperial control, colonizing their subjects. Such control, he believed, had to be opposed. So Said is not interested in lateness as a reflection of hard-earned knowledge; he is interested in lateness as opposition, lateness that displays "intransigence, difficulty and unresolved contradiction."
But what kind of late style is that? How is it different from youthful rebellion? When does this kind of lateness reflect accumulated experience, and when does it reflect a refusal to reconsider? And, turning to the book at hand, how is late style represented in these particular figures? Does it really describe the late creations of both Beethoven and Jean Genet? Or of Mozart and the novelist Lampedusa, the poet Cavafy and the pianist Glenn Gould?
It may be unfair to demand coherent synthesis, not only because Said prefers "unresolved contradiction," but also because this volume, left unfinished, was in fact compiled by the critic Michael Wood. But at first, one believes Said might really pull it off, if only because of the supple intelligence he brings to bear in the first essays. Their subject is music — late Beethoven, Richard Strauss and Mozart's "Così Fan Tutte." Their patron saint is Theodor Adorno, the Frankfurt School thinker who discerned in abstract sound the dialectical battles of philosophical concepts. For Adorno, Beethoven's late style — with its mixture of filigree and bombast, of exquisite meditation and explosive analysis, its restless range and imposing grandeur — dramatized something profound about its creator's uneasy relationship to his world.
Beethoven is to Adorno as Adorno is to Said: a touchstone. Said's explication of Adorno's ideas about Beethoven is among the best available in English. His discussion of late Strauss's "defiant" conservative stance is equally elegant. And his essay on Mozart's "Così" is subtly revealing: here is an opera in which the characters seemingly have no past, and live in a closed world in which even the music turns on itself in self-referential imitation — a universe of moral bleakness and exquisite beauty.
Said finds these works representative of late style, though his description is more suggestive of a sense of belatedness: an artist believes that the tradition has been exhausted; its weight cannot be overcome, so it is struggled against, without hope of resolution. Strauss's music spins a tonal cocoon of 18th-century allusions, insulated from the 20th-century German inferno. Beethoven leaves behind a musical track record of unrelenting confrontations. "Così" tests the limits of the moral and rational order of the Enlightenment. Said's idea is that these "late" creators are twilight figures, like Aschenbach in Mann's "Death in Venice," each dissociated in some way from his world. They display, he argues, a sense of "exile" — a central theme in Said's critical allegories.
But the reason we care about these works is not that they express irreconcilable contradictions or exile. Rather, each constructs an alternative universe in which something is actually being understood about our world: some things are rejected, some are accepted, some are greeted with horror, some with resignation. Beethoven's late music, for example, embraces incongruities because — we are convinced — that is precisely what it means to see the world whole. There is accumulated knowledge here: recognition and reconciliation, not just "intransigence" or "unresolved contradiction."
One part of Said seems to recognize this. Another part twists analysis to fit his pre-formed idea. This is evident, for example, in an essay about Genet that touches on one of Said's own passions as an advocate for the Palestinians. (Said's career included a stint on the Palestinian National Council — the ruling body of the P.L.O. — from 1977 to 1991.) Here, Said recalls meeting Genet in Lebanon in the early 1970's. He describes Genet's "fierce antinomianism," his devotion to the "other," and his support for the Palestinians. Genet was, Said writes, a "titanic artist and personality" who had "intuited the scope and drama of what we were living though in Lebanon, Palestine and elsewhere," and in whose writing "revolt, passion, death and regeneration are linked." Genet's "lateness" was in his refusal to be reconciled to the perquisites of dominant powers.
But read one of the essays Said praises — Genet's account of the killings of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982 — and one sees not a titanic visionary in "late style" but an aging romantic straining for urgency. Genet, in response to the massacre, invokes his memories of Palestinian guerrillas in 1970: "The lightness of footsteps barely touching the earth, the sparkle in the eyes, the openness of relationships not only between the fedayeen but also between them and their leaders. Under the trees, everything, everyone was aquiver, laughing, filled with wonder at this life."
"I defend the Palestinians wholeheartedly and automatically," Genet writes, "They are in the right because I love them." He recalls the brotherly kisses they bestowed on a fellow guerrilla in Jordan in 1970: "The one they embraced would be leaving that night, cross the Jordan River to plant bombs in Palestine and often would not return."
But wouldn't a "late style" have some sense of irony about this romanticization of violence? Or some notion about precisely what these light, sparkling, open figures were intending? Wouldn't it require being more attuned to the precise character of the contradictions so warmly embraced? Doesn't late style require some scrupulous self-reflection, some sense of how earlier perceptions might themselves require revisiting and revising? Wouldn't something similar have even helped Said's own late style?
Late style, Said suggests, expresses a sense of being out of place and time: it is a rejection of what is being offered. But listen to Beethoven or Strauss or Gould: the music is more like a discovery of place. That place is different from where one started; it may not even be what was once expected or desired. But it is there, in resignation and fulfillment, that late works take their stand, where even exile meets its end.

Edward Rothstein is cultural critic at large for The New York Times. He is the author of "Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics."

2012年10月21日 星期日

Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies

Hilary Mantel wins 2012 Man Booker Prize

The whittling has finished. The judges of this year's Man Booker Prize started with a daunting 145 novels and have winnowed, sifted, culled, and in some cases hurled, until there was only one left: Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies.

Hilary Mantel wins 2012 Man Booker Prize

16 October 2012
The whittling has finished. The judges of this year's Man Booker Prize started with a daunting 145 novels and have winnowed, sifted, culled, and in some cases hurled, until there was only one left: Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies.

Hers is a story unique in Man Booker history. She becomes only the third author, after Peter Carey and J.M. Coetzee, to win the prize twice, which puts her in the empyrean. But she is also the first to win with a sequel (Wolf Hall won in 2009) and the first to win with such a brief interlude between books. Her resuscitation of Thomas Cromwell – and with him the historical novel – is one of the great achievements of modern literature. There is the last volume of her trilogy still to come so her Man Booker tale may yet have a further chapter.

The writing will have to wait a bit though. She may have won before but the torrent of media interest will still knock her back as if she's been hit by a wave. In 2009 she confessed to feeling as though she were “flying through the air”, well, she's soaring again. When she lands she won't have time to think and she will talk into microphones until her throat is sore. It comes with the territory: everyone wants a bit of the Man Booker winner.

It has been a long and uniquely intense journey not just for her but for everyone associated with the prize. For the judges it has meant nine months of work, worry and pleasure. Their choices have been scrutinised and criticised and their thoughts and penchants imagined. They will have read the shortlisted books at least three times. They will await the public's verdict on their choice with sang froid mixed with curiosity. They needn't be worried, Bring Up the Bodies has had near universal praise from critics and reading public alike.

The shortlisted authors meanwhile have felt the hot brightness of the media spotlight on them since July when the long-list was first announced. They can breathe out now. For Hilary Mantel all those middle-of-the-night moments when she had to tell herself not to think of what it would be like to win again, not to jinx herself, can stop.

Indeed, spare a thought for the shortlisted authors; they will have had a day unlike any other they have known. How do you take your mind off the fact that in a matter of hours you might be the winner of arguably the world's most high-profile literary prize? Of course it is an honour and validation to be shortlisted but they will have known that at 11.30 this morning the judges closed the door of a room somewhere in London – possibly near to where they themselves were standing/shopping/chomping their nails – and settled down to decide their future. They will have wondered what that group literary holy men and women, like the conclave of cardinals in the Sistine Chapel choosing a new Pope, were talking about and wondered whether the puff of white smoke that finally emerged was for them. They may be writers but they're only human.

The nerves will have continued all through the prize dinner, even a phalanx of loved ones, publisher and agent can't keep them away. They chatted amicably, a drink – but perhaps just the one – to steady the beating heart. I doubt they tasted their food. Who would have wanted to be them as Sir Peter Stothard took to the rostrum and opened his mouth to enunciate the first syllable of the winner's name? She may qualify as an old hand but Hilary Mantel confessed that her nerves this time round were infinitely worse than in 2009.

This is not the end of the process, however. For Hilary Mantel it is the moment of coronation before she confronts the wider horizons that have suddenly opened up before her. For the other shortlisted authors who came so agonisingly close they have the knowledge that every publisher in the land will bite their hand off for the chance to publish their next book and that, whatever they write, they will have a wide and eager audience. Their names are now known to readers who may have had no idea of them only a few months ago.

Perhaps the real object of envy is not the winner – she thoroughly deserves her triumph – but the readers who have yet to open Bring Up the Bodies. They have just won a prize too.



倫敦——星期二晚,英國小說家希拉里·曼特爾(Hilary Mantel)憑藉小說《提堂》(Bring Up the Bodies)榮獲布克獎,這是她計劃創作的三部曲中的第二部。整個三部曲是關於亨利八世的首席國務大臣與權術大師托馬斯·克倫威爾(Thomas Cromwell)的生平與謀略。
故事背景發生在1535年,通過克倫威爾的視角講述了亨利八氏的第二任妻子安妮·博林(Anne Boleyn)最初的勝利與接踵而來的最終厄運。正是克倫威爾一手策划了她那令人暈眩的隕落。
“你等布克獎等了20年,突然一下就得到兩個,”60歲的曼特爾女士在領獎時開玩笑說。2009年,她憑三部曲的第一部《狼廳》(Wolf Hall)榮獲布克獎。她目前在創作第三部。
單純從分量的角度而言,很多評論家認為《提堂》要比《狼廳》更好,曼特爾女士也被認為是今年獲獎的熱門人選。但在布克獎43年的歷史上,還沒有人憑 藉續寫同一題材連續兩次獲獎,之前也沒有人像她這樣,這麼快就第二次獲獎。在她之前只有彼得·凱里(Peter Carey)和J·M·庫切(J. M. Coetzee)曾經兩次獲獎。
候選名單還包括其餘5部最終入圍的小說:陳德黃(Tan Twang Eng)的《夜霧花園》(The Garden of Evening Mists);黛博拉·李維(Deborah Levy)的《游泳回家》(Swimming Home);艾莉森·摩爾(Alison Moore)的《燈塔》(The Lighthouse);威爾·塞弗(Will Self)的《雨傘》(Umbrella),以及吉特·塔伊爾(Jeet Thayil)的《寐城》(Narcopolis)。
這份候選名單的落選者也同樣令人難忘,其中包括馬丁·艾米斯(Martin Amis)、邁克爾·弗萊恩(Michael Frayn)、約翰·蘭切斯特(John Lanchester)和帕特·貝克爾(Pat Barker)的小說。在最終入圍的6名作家中,只有曼特爾女士和塞弗先生是著名作家,其他人都名不見經傳。
塞弗先生是英國最聰敏、最有創造力的作家之一,他的《雨傘》是一本非同尋常之作,400頁的小說里充斥着聰明狡黠,如雜技表演般的意識流散文,通過 四種視角帶領讀者在20世紀內穿梭,全書不分章節,也幾乎很少分段。評委們說它“動人而令人筋疲力盡”、“堅持讀下去,就會發現它不像乍看上去那麼費 解”。
本年度布克獎評委會主席彼得·斯托瑟德爵士(Sir Peter Stothard)說,評委們的評判標準是根據“小說本身,而不是小說家;根據文字本身,而不是根據名聲”。這意味着他們把《提堂》視為獨立的作品,而不會參照其前作《狼廳》。
《提堂》的文字親切直白,有些評論家稱它就像都鐸王朝時期的隱形觀察者記下的一部親歷實錄。它在英美兩地都大受好評。評論家高度讚美曼特爾女士的寫 作能力,能讓一個歷史上聲譽不佳的人物在她筆下栩栩如生,充滿人情味,甚至富於同情心,與此同時,小說中還充滿親切的史實細節,比如安妮·博林的審判和死 刑,那一幕充滿了緊迫感和懸疑感。
查爾斯·麥克格拉斯(Charles McGrath)在《紐約時報書評》中寫道,這本書,“根本就不懷舊,但卻凝練而純凈,去除了歷史上蒙覆的蛛網和粉飾,也去除了古裝戲類型小說里那種古舊陳規和浮華的傷感色彩,讓英國歷史變得生動奇異,煥然一新。”
曼特爾女士創作過很多不同主題的作品。《更安全的地方》(A Place of Greater Safety)以法國革命為背景,以羅伯斯庇爾為主人公之一;《黑暗之上》(Beyond Black)以現代倫敦為背景,寫了一個專業靈媒,被亡者的身影所騷擾。她的回憶錄《放棄幽魂》(Giving Up the Ghost)講述了自己童年時期的悲慘遭遇,以及困擾她多年的健康問題。

Bring up the Bodies
First edition
Author(s) Hilary Mantel
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Thomas Cromwell trilogy (in course)
Genre(s) Historical Fiction
Publisher Fourth Estate (UK)/ Henry Holt and Co. (US)
Publication date 8 May 2012
Media type Print (hardback)
Pages 432
ISBN 978-0‐80509003‐1
LC Classification PR6063.A438 W65 2009
Preceded by Wolf Hall
Followed by The Mirror and the Light
Bring Up the Bodies is a historical novel by Hilary Mantel and sequel to her award-winning Wolf Hall. It is the second part of a planned trilogy charting the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, the powerful minister in the court of King Henry VIII. Bring Up the Bodies won the 2012 Man Booker Prize, following Wolf Hall's win of the Booker in 2009.


Bring Up the Bodies begins where the previous novel finished. The King and Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell are the guests of the Seymour family at Wolf Hall. The King shares private moments with Jane Seymour, and begins to fall in love with her. His present queen, Anne Boleyn, has failed to give him a male heir and, as rumours of her infidelity spread, the King seeks a way to be rid of her, and marry the new object of his affections.
Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell owe their current high status to each other. They become pitted against each other, as Cromwell seeks to find a legitimate excuse to expel her from the King's court. Cromwell, master politician, uses Anne's fall from grace as a chance to settle scores with old enemies.


It was published in May 2012, by Harper Collins in the United Kingdom and by Henry Holt and Co. in the United States, to critical acclaim.[1][2]


Janet Maslin reviewed the novel positively in The New York Times:
[The book's] ironic ending will be no cliffhanger for anyone even remotely familiar with Henry VIII’s trail of carnage. But in "Bring Up the Bodies" it works as one. The wonder of Ms. Mantel’s retelling is that she makes these events fresh and terrifying all over again."[2]
The novel won the 2012 Man Booker Prize.[3]