Mrs. Dalloway 第五次讨论的五个问题

毋宁做我
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1. 108 页

Shredding and slicing, dividing and subdividing, the clocks of Harley Street nibbled at the June day, counselled submission, up­ held authority, and pointed out in chorus the supreme advantages of a sense of proportion, until the mound of time was so far dimin­ ished that a commercial clock, suspended above a shop in Oxford Street, announced, genially and fraternally, as if it were a pleasure to Messrs. Rigby and Lowndes to give the information gratis, that it was half-past one.

这一段有两个词让我感触颇深:nibbled at 和 proportion。

(1)我原本认为小说中钟声的角色是正面的,因为它赋予了无形的时间以有形的载体,让时间变成可以区分,甚至可以把握(当然是幻觉)的东西。小说人物对时间的敏感,在我最初的理解里,是对一种秩序感,甚至是规律性的在意。几点出门回来的 Clarissa,几点造访的 Peter,几点开始的宴会,人物的活动不仅是被切分成不同的区块,它们之间也因此获得了某种相对关系。

(2)然而,nibbled at 暗示了钟表对某种鲜活的东西的蚕食,proportion 则暗示它对恣意生长的东西的规训。我暂时还不确定这些东西是什么(自由?生命力?生活本身?),但是这触发我对小说中意识流以及回忆所起的作用有了新的认识。如果钟表象征的是一种线性的时间观以及存在方式的话,意识流和回忆就是对它的介入,阻隔,和抵抗,因为它们是非线性的。

2. 119 页

It was a great age in which to have lived. Indeed, his own life was a miracle; let him make no mistake about it; here he was, in the prime of life, walking to his house in Westminster to tell Clarissa that he loved her. Happiness is this, he thought.

Richard Dalloway 拿着花回家的路上,不止一次地因为环境的触发而默念自己将要回家和 Clarissa 说爱她。这种安排的用意何在?我有两个解释:

(1)说明他想要说爱 Clarissa 的念头不是自发的,很大程度受环境刺激。Peter 的出现让我好嫉妒,我要对 Clarissa 说爱她;历经战争,我还活着,我要对 Clarissa 说爱她;多少人还在受苦,我要对 Clarissa 说爱她。这甚至会让我怀疑他对 Clarissa 的爱到底有多深,多真挚。

(2)Richard 路过一个趴在地上的女乞丐,Woolf 说他把送给 Clarissa 的花当做武器抵在胸前,挺耐人寻味。作为政府要员,Richard 对贫穷问题有正确的认识,对于如何规制这些流浪人员也有建言。但是当他真的和一个乞丐照面的时候,他的却审慎地表达自己的礼节,而不是同情。把玫瑰当武器,仿佛是警告乞丐不要靠近他,耽搁他,因为他有更重要的事要赴(和 Clarissa 表达爱意)。Woolf 对以 Richard 为代表的政客的虚伪作派的讽刺可谓不留情面。

3. 121-122 页

But -but - why did she suddenly feel, for no reason that she could discover, desperately unhappy?...

Both of them criticised her very unfairly, laughed at her very unjustly, for her parties. That was it! That was it!

Richard 到家,并没有把爱这个字说出口。Clarissa 接过花,两人陷入沉默和尴尬。不一会,Richard 起身要走,说是要处理国家大事。出于自尊,Clarissa 并没有挽留。但是 Richard 走后,她却变得异常悲伤而绝望。她自己找到的解释是,刚刚造访过这个家的两个男人,前男友 Peter,丈夫 Richard 都无法理解 Clarissa 对晚上的聚会的在意。

(1)Clarissa 真的在意聚会本身吗?如果是,聚会的什么让她如此在乎?如果不是,聚会象征着别的什么东西?

(2)我们是否可以把聚会换成 Clarissa 在意的任何东西?换句话说,她的不快乐是否在很大程度上和他们对于自己的在意不在意有关?

4. 126 页

Had she ever tried to convert any one herself? Did she not wish everybody merely to be themselves? And she watched out of the window the old lady opposite climbing upstairs. Let her climb upstairs if she wanted to; let her stop; then let her, as Clarissa had often seen her, gain her bedroom, part her curtains, and disappear again into the background. Somehow one respected that - that old woman looking out of the window, quite unconscious that she was being watched. There was something solemn in it - but love and religion would destroy that, whatever it was, the privacy of the soul. The odious Kilman would destroy it. Yet it was a sight that made her want to cry.

这一段令人困惑,同时也让人着迷。如果可以说的话,Clarissa 窥视老妇人的生活细节给她带来了平静时刻。

(1)Something solemn 指的是什么?为什么老妇人的生活图景带给 Clarissa 这种而不是别的感受?

(2)为什么宗教和爱会毁灭 Clarissa 在意的 something solemn?尤其是爱,她难道不是一直向往爱吗?

(3)Clarissa 的这段经历让我想起微博上一个热帖。一个人通过 “视监” 一个中年人写了十几年的流水账,获得了难以名状的安慰。当我们说我们被别的人类生活的图景,生活的记录打动,获得安慰和庄严感的时候,我们到底在说什么?这些感受会怎样反哺我们自己的人生?

5. 127 页

And the supreme mystery which Kilman might say she had solved, or Peter might say he had solved, but Clarissa didn't believe either of them had the ghost of an idea of solving, was simply this: here was one room; there another. Did religion solve that, or love?

Clarissa 通过观察老妇人的生活,觉得其中藏有 supreme mystery,这个秘密是 Peter(爱) 和 Kilman(宗教) 都不能解决的。

(1)Clarissa 解释说,这个 supreme mystery 就是:here was one room; here another. 该如何理解这句颇有禅意的话?

(2)为什么 Clarissa 会认为宗教和爱不能解决这个终极奥秘?那么她是靠什么解决的?

(3)你怎么看 Clarissa 的结论?你认为她自己解决了终极奥秘了吗?如果没有,你认为什么可能会解决它?

线上第 31 次讨论

内容:Mrs Dalloway 大结局(135-结束)

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