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  1. 王绍光:美中央情报局及其文化冷战
    政治 书评 2010/12/29 | 阅读: 3379
    “九一一”事件与珍珠港事件一样都是没有预警的突然袭击。两个事件凸现出情报工作的重要性。珍珠港事件前,美国没有一个统一的情报收集系统。罗斯福总统曾抱怨送到他办公桌上的情报漫无头绪,不知所云。珍珠港事件的一个直接后果便是成立“战略服务处(the Office of Strategic Services或简称OSS)”,负责整合美国的情报收集工作。1947年7月,OSS变成了CIA(the Central Intelligence Agency),即大名鼎鼎的“中央情报局”。  中央情报局赞助了大量政论性刊物和文化刊物。这些刊物包括著名的《撞击》,《评论》,《新领袖》,《党人评论》,《肯友评论》,《哈德逊评论》,《塞万尼评论》,《诗歌》,《思想史杂志》,《转型》,《审查》,《代达罗斯》。直接注入经费是一种资助方式,另外中央情报局还让“文化自由大会”免费为各国知识精英订阅这些刊物,间接资助它们。  既然叫“情报局”,其基本职能就应该是收集、整理、分析、评估各方情报。但中央情报局在这方面的表现似乎差强人意。远的不说,它事先对洛克比空难、1993年的纽约世贸大厦爆炸案、美国驻肯尼亚和坦桑尼亚大使馆爆炸案、美军舰在亚丁港的爆炸案就毫不知情。这次“九一一”事件更被一些美国人称之为“情报工作的重大失误”。为什么中央情报局会表现得如此糟糕呢?英国刊物《国务新人》(New Statesman)的年轻女编辑桑德丝(Frances Stonor Saunders)提出了一个有趣的解释:也许它在忙些别的事。  那么中央情报局到底在忙些什么呢?众所周知,它曾经多次帮助推翻民选政府、扶持军人政权:希腊的新法西斯(1949年)、伊朗的极右王朝(1953年)、危地马拉的杀人政府(1954年)、黎巴嫩的长枪党(1959年)、印度尼西亚的苏哈托军人政权(1965年)、智利的皮诺切特军人政权(1971年)、南非的种族隔离政权(最近有材料揭露,正是中央情报局将曼德拉交给南非警察当局拘禁)……身后都有中央情报局的影子。就连现在让美国人恨得牙痒痒的本•拉登也是中央情报局一手拉扯大的。如果要将中央情报局在这方面的“战绩”一一列举,清单会很长。它的确够忙的。  除此之外,中央情报局还在忙另一些见不得人的事。桑德丝对此也许比谁都清楚,因为她经过数年研究刚刚出版了一本长达五百页的新书《文化冷战:中央情报局与文学艺术》(以下简称《文化冷战》)。任何人看完此书大概都会得出一个结论:中央情报局实际上就是美国的隐性“宣传部”。对此结论,冷战设计者之一乔治•坎南(George Kennan)并不讳言,不过他情愿用个好听一点的词“文化部”。他说:“美国没有个文化部,中央情报局有责任来填补这个空缺。”美国表面上反对搞宣传,实际上搞起宣传来比谁都更重视、更在行、更不择手段。美国国家安全委员会1950年7月10日的指示对“宣传”做出了如下定义:“有组织地运用新闻、辩解和呼吁等方式散布信息或某种教义,以影响特定人群的思想和行为。”对外,宣传是心理战的一部分,而心理战的定义是“一 个国家有计划地运用宣传和其他非战斗活动传播思想和信息,以影响其他国家人民的观点、态度、情绪和行为,使之有利于本国目标的实现”。简而言之,宣传和心理战的目的是为了争夺人的心与脑,其重要性“与空军一样不可或缺”。  美国搞宣传的最大特点是“看不见”。精通此道的心理战专家克罗斯曼(Richard Crossman)说得很清楚,“上乘的宣传看起来要好像从未进行过一样”。最好的宣传应该能“让被宣传的对象沿着你所希望的方向行进,而他们却认为是自己在选择方向”。只要能做到这一点,乔治•坎南认为“必要的谎言(necessary lie)”和欺骗都是允许的。   《文化冷战》讲的是在1947至1967年间的故事,其场景设在美国和欧洲,主角是一个叫做“文化自由大会(the Congress for Cultural Freedom)”的组织。“文化自由大会”成立于1950年,在其鼎盛时期,它在35个国家设有分支机构(包括“文化自由美国委员会”),雇有几十位全职工作人员,拥有自己的新闻社,出版20多种显赫刊物,经常举办艺术展览,组织高规格的国际会议,并为音乐家、艺术家颁奖。表面看来,“文化自由大会”是一个争取文化自由的组织;实际上它不过是个没有什么自由的傀儡;其幕后操纵者正是中央情报局。通过梳理美国政府的解密文件、私人档案材料和对当事人的采访记录,桑德丝以缜密的方式证明了这一点。  不过,此书真正引人入胜的地方并不在于证明中央情报局的幕后角色,而在于它揭示了美式宣传机器特有的运作方式。  中央情报局宣传的目的有二:一方面是反共,一方面是树立美国的正面形象。前一个目的比较好理解,毕竟当时是冷战时期。为什么树立美国正面形象也那么重要呢?原来,当时在欧洲人心目中,美国只是一个经济上的暴发户,完全没有文化底蕴。另外,美国对黑人的种族歧视也在欧洲引起普遍反感。为了维护自己的霸权地位,光有钱、有坚船利炮是不够的,还得树立文明、正义的形象。在世界范围内宣扬美国价值观和美国生活方式因此变成美国对外宣传的重要组成部分,其目的是在外国培养出一批以美国是非为是非的知识精英,再通过他们去影响本国的公共舆论和政策制定。  众所周知,长期以来,美国对中国的宣传重点是放在所谓“自由派”知识分子身上的。一般人可能会认为,中央情报局在世界其他地方一定也会把工作重点放在右翼人士身上。其实不然,中央情报局很会审时度势。在战后欧洲,它真正下功夫的对象是有幻灭感、挫折感的非共左翼知识分子,尤其是那些一度加入共产主义运动的人,如法国作家马尔罗(André Malraux),法国社会理论家阿隆(Raymond Aron),匈牙利裔英籍作家库斯特勒(Arthur Koestler),意大利作家斯隆(Ignazio Silone),英国诗人、批评家史班德(Stephen Spender),美国哲学家胡克(Sidney Hook),美国作家麦克唐纳(Dwight Macdonald),美国政论家克里斯托(Irving Kristol)等。中央情报局之所以做出这样的选择是经过深思熟虑的。由于在“二战”期间与纳粹合流,欧洲的右派们在战后声名狼藉,与他们合作搞宣传效果只会适得其反。与共产主义抗衡,最有效的办法莫过于让那些从共产主义阵营脱队出来的知名人士现身说法。用与中央情报局过从密切的历史学家小施莱辛格(Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)的话来说,这些人是“抵御极权主义的最佳屏障”。在国外,中央情报局主要依靠当地的知识精英,这样做有利于掩盖美国的黑手,制造出一切源于本地的假象。  中央情报局的宣传手法十分灵活。这里仅举几个例子。《动物农庄》是反共电影的代表作,而这部片子实际上是由中央情报局导演和资助的。1950年,乔治•奥威尔死后不久,中央情报局就派人到英国与其遗孀商谈将《动物农庄》改编为电影的问题。获得电影权后,中央情报局找到愿意为它当幌子的制片人,并通过间接方式把钱打入制片人的账户,于是才有了这部在当时最具规模的动画片(共动用80位卡通画家,设置750个场景,绘制30万幅彩图)。中央情报局不仅出钱,也直接干预剧本改编。据美国心理战争署(The Psychological Strategy Board)1952年1月23日的备忘录说,原作的结尾传达不出明确反共的信息。为了激起观众强烈的反共情绪,电影对结局做了重大改编,代表腐败资本主义的农场主不见了,只留下面目可憎的代表共产主义的“猪”。  同样的事发生在对奥威尔另一部小说《一九八四)的改编上。原著本来表达的是对一切专制政府的厌恶,既包括左翼专制,也包括右翼专制。但这并不是中央情报局所需要的。中央情报局要的仅是对共产主义的丑化。尽管奥威尔曾明确表示不允许对《一九八四》做任何改动,由美国政府出资制作的电影《一九八四》还是对原著动了不少手脚,尤其是结尾部分,完全违背了作者的原意。电影《动物农庄》和《一九八四》于1956年同时上市,为了扩大影响,中央情报局的外围组织安排在主要报刊上发表评论和社论,并分发了大量电影票的折扣券。  中央情报局最具创意的宣传运作恐怕是对抽象表现主义(abstract expressionism)的推销。也许有人会问,完全没有实际意义的抽象艺术怎么可以用来做反共武器呢?我们千万不可小瞧中央情报局的想像力。正是因为抽象艺术没有实际意义,它恰好可以用来对抗共产主义。一位中央情报局的工作人员事后解释道:“这是一种与社会主义现实主义毫无关系的艺术形式……莫斯科当时对任何背离社会主义现实主义的作品都大加鞭笞,因此我们认为他们反对的东西一定值得我们的大力支持。”当然,由中央情报局出面推销抽象艺术不太合适,但愿意为中央情报局效力的博物馆很多。美国的博物馆和艺术收藏馆大多是私人性质的,其中收藏当代艺术和先锋艺术最负盛名的当属设在纽约的“现代艺术博物馆(the Museum Of Modern Art)”,它因此变成了中央情报局的首选。中央情报局选用“现代艺术博物馆”还有一个不能公开说明的理由:该馆负责人中有不少与中央情报局有千丝万缕的联系。由于准备周全,“抽象表现主义展”十分轰动,并在艺术界形成了一个强劲的新流派。事后,有些中央情报局的工作人员不无得意地说,“中央情报局是50年代美国最好的艺术评论家”;“我们是抽象表现主义运动的真正缔造者”。  由于经费充足,中央情报局搞起宣传来几乎无孔不入。用它自己的话来说,“所有的知识领域,我们都有兴趣,从人类学到艺术创作,从社会学到科学方法论,无一例外”。为了渗透这些领域,中央情报局很善于借用在这些领域通行的一些运作方式,包括举办讲座和研讨会,创办学术刊物,开设图书馆,资助学者互访,捐助讲座教授位置等。  大运作全力以赴,小把戏也是中央情报局的擅长。20世纪50年代,美国的种族隔离政策依然十分严重,遭到了社会主义阵营和西方进步力量的强烈批评。为了洗刷美国的劣迹,中央情报局特意安排了一些黑人艺术家赴欧洲巡回表演。更令人叫绝的是,它买通好莱坞的一些导演,在电影中将黑人的居住和生活条件刻意拔高,试图给观众造成美国黑人很幸福的假象。  在中央情报局资助的刊物上,并不是完全舆论一律。对美国不关痛痒的小骂、小调侃时不时会出现一些,这样才能显现出其“超然”的立场。但把关人绝对不允许违背美国外交政策的批评曝光。例如麦克唐纳1958年为中央情报局资助的《撞击》(Encounter)杂志写了一篇题为《美国,美国》的文章,其中批评了美国的庸俗的大众文化、粗鄙的物质享受主义。这样的文章显然与美国宣扬的所谓“美国价值观”相抵触。尽管麦克唐纳与中央情报局的外围组织过从密切,他的文章还是遭到了封杀。  中央情报局设立的幌子基金会很多,其中最臭名昭著的是“法弗德基金会”;中国学者熟悉的“亚洲基金会”当时也属于这一类。但在冷战期间真正帮了中央情报局大忙的是诸如“福特基金会”,“洛克菲勒基金会”,“卡内基基金会”这样的大牌基金会。中央情报局往往将经费拨到这些基金会的账上,然后这些基金会再以自己的名义把钱“捐助”给中央情报局指定的对象。  上面提到中央情报局搞宣传的经费充裕,那么到底充裕到什么程度呢?一位它的工作人员是这样形容的,“我们根本就花不完,要多少有多少,而且没有人来查账,真是不可思议”。可以这么说,中央情报局最厉害的武器就是它取之不尽的银行存款。  当然,中央情报局不会傻到公开拿钱出来赞助其重点宣传对象,一切资金运作都是秘密的。它有时会找一些个人、公司或其他机构,请他们将钱以自己的名义捐给中央情报局的赞助对象,或中央情报局设立的幌子基金会。这些机构和个人在中央情报局的术语中叫做“安静的管道(quiet channels)”。中央情报局设立的幌子基金会很多,其中最臭名昭著的是“法弗德基金会(Farfield Foundation)”;中国学者熟悉的“亚洲基金会(Asia Foundation)”当时也属于这一类。  但幌子基金会也有缺点,它们很难做得太大,否则会太引人注目。最好的方式是通过民间大基金会洗钱。基金会不像公司必须对股东定期交代账目,隐蔽性较高。愿意为中央情报局效劳的民间基金会还真不少,有些甚至找上门去为中央情报局服务。“凯普伦基金会(Kaplan Foundation)”便是一个例子。但在冷战期间真正帮了中央情报局大忙的是诸如“福特基金会(Ford Foundation)”,“洛克菲勒基金会(Rockefeller Foundation)”,“卡内基基金会(Carnegie Foundation)”这样的大牌基金会。中央情报局往往将经费拨到这些基金会的账上,然后这些基金会再以自己的名义把钱“捐助”给中央情报局指定的对象。据透露,在1963至1966年间,美国向164家基金会共拨发700笔10000美金以上的款项(当时这是很大的数目),其中至少有108笔完全或部分来自中央情报局。在这些基金会所有对国际活动的赞助中,有将近一半来自中央情报局。  除了设立“文化自由美国委员会”和“文化自由大会”在30多个国家的分支机构外,中央情报局赞助了大量政论性刊物和文化刊物。这些刊物包括著名的《撞击》,《评论》(Commentary),《新领袖》(New leader),《党人评论》(Partisan Review),《肯友评论》(Kenyou Review),《哈德逊评论》(Hudson Review),《塞万尼评论》(Sewanee Review),《诗歌》(Poetry),《思想史杂志》(The Journal of the History of Ideas),《转型》(Transition),《审查》(Censorship),《代达罗斯》(Daedalus,是美国科学与艺术院的机关刊物)。直接注入经费是一种资助方式,另外中央情报局还让“文化自由大会”免费为各国知识精英订阅这些刊物,间接资助它们。  资助书籍出版是中央情报局的另一项大运作,因为在它看来,“书籍是最重要的战略性宣传工具”。据不完全统计,中央情报局在50、60年代至少参与了一千本书的出版。如吉拉斯的《新阶级》和巴斯特纳克的《日瓦戈医生》都是中央情报局的推销重点。不光出书,中央情报局还请人在各类刊物上撰写书评,推销其出版物。  资助书籍出版是中央情报局的另一项大运作,因为在它看来,“书籍是最重要的战略性宣传工具”。据不完全统计,中央情报局在50、60年代至少参与了1000本书的出版。如吉拉斯的《新阶级》和巴斯特纳克的《日瓦戈医生》都是中央情报局的推销重点(“significant books”)。其他的书林林总总、不胜枚举,涉及中国的至少有现任哈佛大学政治学教授麦克法(Roderick MacFarquhar)编辑的《百花齐放》(The Hundred Flowers)。不光出书,中央情报局还请人在各类刊物上撰写书评,推销其出版物。当然所有这一切都是秘密进行的,外人根本不知道其中的黑幕。  《文化冷战》列举了长长一串接受过中央情报局资助的人的名单,读起来有点像20世纪西方文化名人录,仅中国读者熟悉的人就包括历史学家小施莱辛格;理论家马尔罗,克里斯托,罗素,柏林,阿伦特,屈林夫妇,席尔斯;社会学家贝尔;诗人艾略特,奥登,洛威尔;小说家库斯特勒,奥威尔,玛丽•麦卡锡;画家罗思柯,波洛克等。  一般的书索引部分是最没意思的。《文化冷战》则不同,其索引部分最让人开眼:它列举了长长一串接受过中央情报局资助的人的名单,读起来有点像20世纪西方文化名人录,仅中国读者熟悉的人就包括历史学家小施莱辛格;理论家马尔罗(Andre Malraux),克里斯托(Irving kristol),罗素(Bertrand Russell),柏林(Isiah Berlin),阿伦特(Hannah Arendt),屈林夫妇(Lionel Trilling和Diana Trilling),席尔斯(Edward Shils);社会学家贝尔(Daniel Bell);诗人艾略特(T.S.Eliot),奥登(W.H.Auden),洛威尔(Robert Lowell);小说家库斯特勒(Arthur koestler),奥威尔(George Orwell),玛丽•麦卡锡(Mary McCarthy);画家罗思柯(Mark Rothko),波洛克(Jackson Pollock)等。  在这些人中,有些的确不知道自己被中央情报局利用,当有人送来头等舱机票,被邀请去度假胜地开会,他们乐得去享受一下。有的则清清楚楚地知道资金来源,如小施莱辛格,柏林,阿隆,阿尔罗,席尔斯,贝尔,胡克,屈林夫妇。还有些人声称自己不知道,但知情人认为他们不可能不知道,只是为了维护自己“独立”的形象假装不知道而已。  这里值得一提的有两位小说家。一位是《正午的黑暗》的作者库斯特勒。这位匈牙利裔英籍作家年轻时曾参加共产党,为共产国际的宣传部门工作。后来他变成了激烈的反共分子。1948年,他到美国转了一大圈,在那里与中央情报局挂上了钩,正是听了他的建议后,中央情报局把宣传的重点放到了“非共左翼知识分子”身上。他对英国政府的谍报部门IRD(The Information Research Department)提出了同样的建议。他得到的回报是,《正午的黑暗》出版后,IRD秘密买下五万本送人,使他大捞了一笔稿酬。  另一位是《动物农庄》和《一九八四》的作者奥威尔。在小说中,他表现出对监视一切行为的“大兄弟”和告密者的强烈憎恨,但他自己却两方面的癖好都有。奥威尔有个习惯,走到哪儿都随身带着一个蓝皮四开笔记本,记录可疑的人和事。到1949年,笔记本中已包括了125个人的材料。奥威尔怀疑这些人有的显现了“同性恋倾向”,有的“好像是黑种”,有的大概是“英国犹太人”。如果仅仅是自己记着玩玩也就罢了,而奥威尔却在冷战高潮的1949年主动跑到英国谍报部门IRD举报了35个“共党同路人”,使这些人的名誉和生活受到严重打击。奥威尔曾在《动物农庄》的序言中堂而皇之地引用伏尔泰的话说,“我不赞成你的观点,但会誓死保卫你说话的权利”。但他临死前的作为却好像是说,“我不赞成你的观点,所以我有权向有关当局检举你”。不过言行不一的“ 自由主义者”又岂止奥威尔一人。  《文化冷战》虽然长达500多页,但内容引人入胜,拿起来就希望一口气读完。如果说它有什么缺点的话,大概可以指出两点。一是它只涵盖了1947至1967年,这也许是由于有关以后年代的文件美国政府还没有解密的缘故,而不是因为中央情报局洗手不干了。最近美国《混合语》(Lingua Franca)杂志揭露,中央情报局在1996年后加紧了对学术界的渗透。以笔者熟悉的政治学界为例,就有不少人为中央情报局工作,如哈佛大学肯尼迪学院院长Joseph S.Nye,哥伦比亚大学教授、美国政治学会会长Robert Jervis,以及我在耶鲁大学政治系的同事Bradford Westefield。他们本人也不否认。《文化冷战》的另一个缺点是它没有涉及中央情报局在亚洲的宣传活动。中央情报局岂有放过亚洲(特别是中国)知识界的道理。也许桑德丝本人对亚洲知识界的背景不了解,所以没有能力涉及。但愿有一天有人能弥补这个缺憾。  不过《文化冷战》的最大贡献是它用确凿的证据证明中央情报局的手伸得很长,几乎无所不在。又是颠覆,又是宣传,也许还有其他一些见不得人的勾当。中央情报局实在是太忙了,因此在本职的情报工作方面出些纰漏几乎是难以避免的。只是这次世贸双塔叫人撞没了,五角大楼被撞成了四角大楼,麻烦惹得实在太大了。以后中央情报局会吸取教训变得安分守己一点吗?等着瞧吧!  2001年9月29日于香港吐露湾作者 王绍光 1990年获康乃尔大学政治学博士学位。1990-2000年任教于美国耶鲁大学政治系。现为香港中文大学政治与公共行政系教授,清华大学公共管理学院长江讲座教授,英文学术刊物《The China Review》主编。
  2. 崔之元:郎咸平事件(郎顾之争)的深层原因
    经济 2009/08/03 | 阅读: 3362
    以私有为目的的国企改革引发了很多激烈讨论,如“郎顾之争”等等。本站曾于2006年刊发汪文《改制与中国工人阶级的历史命运》,该文详细分析了江苏通裕集团公司改制中出现的国有资产大量流失问题。2009年7月通钢集团事件的爆发,继续说明在国企改制、国退民进的过程中出现的问题不是偶发的。本站特此编写国企改制专题,供进一步阅读讨论。--人文与社会编辑小组
  3. 李陀:致林毓生先生的一封信(完整版)
    社会 2010/06/14 | 阅读: 3317
    致林毓生先生的一封信 林毓生先生: 你好! 近日读到你分别于六月六日及六月八日在《南方都市报》和《新京报》就汪晖"抄袭"事件发表的谈话,心中有些疑惑,不吐不快。 你在谈话中说到"抄袭行为除了是一种失德的行为以外,它直接破坏了学术秩序。建立稳定、公平、合理的学术秩序,对于学术发展起着关键性的作用,因为在这种学术秩序之内,学者们才能自由地相互切磋、启迪、讨论。没有健康的学术交流,很难有学术的进展。而有成果的学术交流,只能建立在学者们彼此信任的基础之上。"这些意见我很赞成,但是,我的疑惑也由此而来。自王彬彬的文章《汪晖〈反抗绝望--鲁迅及其文学世界〉的学风问题》在《南方周末》重刊以来,关于汪晖究竟是否涉嫌抄袭之事,国内学界是有争论的。王文发表之后,钱理群、孙郁、赵京华等学者都发表过看法,但是,由于他们大多是在被媒体采访的情况下,就事论事发表了一些不同意见,我以为可以暂且置之不论。问题是,此后,还有几篇很认真写就的与王文争辩的文字,如钟彪的《驳王彬彬的诬蔑:学术"私律"与莫须有》、舒炜的《"王彬彬式的搅拌"对学术的危害》、魏行的《媒体暴力与学术独立--关于一起媒体公共事件的备忘录》,这些文章与网络上的许多所谓"倒汪"和"挺汪"的意见和言论有所不同,是严谨的,是对相关材料作了认真研究的,是针对王文(以及其他一些人的文章)有的放矢,提出了不同的具体材料和论据,逐条与王彬彬等人商榷的。本来,我以为这几篇文字出现之后,会有一个虽然激烈但是相当说理的辩论局面。但是,这样的局面延至今日并没有出现。我想这是很多原因造成的,其一是,这样一场对汪晖涉嫌"抄袭"的大批判(文革结束以来,这样的场面已经十分罕见),虽然始自《文艺研究》,但发动者和推动者实际上都不是学术刊物,而是大众媒体,对于开展一场具有相当学术性的辩论(诸如对《反抗绝望》一书各版本之间注释异同的繁琐比较),这样的平台显然有其局限性。为此,如何在学术和舆论之间做好沟通和平衡,已经成为当前如何究竟是非的一个十分关键的难点。现在,由于你介入这个论辩,我以为有可能形成一个好的转机。为什么?因为你是学界公认的一位严肃的学者,人们有充分的理由期盼你的介入是严肃的,公正的,无论对舆论,无论对学界,都会充分表达你的严肃和公正。不过,仔细读过你的相关谈话,以及这些谈话中的意见和结论之后,坦白说,我相当失望。因为,不论是有意,还是无意,你在《南方都市报》和《新京报》上的言论完全没有提及对汪晖涉嫌"抄袭"还有不同意见,还有辩论,白纸黑字,还有钟、舒、魏诸人的文章,正是这一点使我产生很大的疑惑。我想,虽然你在谈话里最核心的一点意见,是提出清华大学应该组织调查委员会(如果清华大学不这样做,校长就应该下台),但读过你谈话的人,任谁都明白,其实你已经做出汪晖是抄袭者,甚至是个"抢夺"者的结论。这当然是一个很严重的结论。实际上,经过这几天各种纸媒和网络媒体的散播,你的说法已经对一位目前只是"涉嫌"的学者形成极大的伤害,甚至可能影响他的终生。我还想,以你多年在美国大学执教的经历,应该明白一个学者对自己的一位同行作出这样的指控,都负有什么法律和道义的责任。不过,我这样说并没有指责你的意思,我只想给你一个具体的建议:你能否写一篇文章,针对钟、舒、魏诸人的文章做一次认真的分析和辩驳,看经过这样的辩驳之后,你现有的对汪晖的评判和结论是否还能站得住,是否还能服众。 我想,鉴于汪晖涉嫌抄袭的争辩已经形成一个很大的事件,我的建议和要求并不过分。"建立稳定、公平、合理的学术秩序,对于学术发展起着关键性的作用,因为在这种学术秩序之内,学者们才能自由地相互切磋、启迪、讨论。没有健康的学术交流,很难有学术的进展。而有成果的学术交流,只能建立在学者们彼此信任的基础之上。"这不仅是学术界里大家都赞成的,更是所有关心中国学术发展的人都赞成的。写一篇论辩文字可能要花费你一些时间,但是,想到不仅别的人,就是你自己,也应该担起相应的政治与法律的责任,写这样一篇文章不仅是值得的,也是必要的。 还有一点我想应当在这里提及,你的谈话有一点和近来媒体的言说不同,就是把关于汪晖是否涉嫌"抄袭"问题的辩论边界扩大了,即把汪晖的思想和学术的政治内涵、政治倾向也放了进来。这让我又想起另一件事,今年三月二十五日,在美国费城举行的亚洲协会的年会上,加拿大的邱慧芬教授相当出人意料地发表了一个题为《基本人权和西方民主》的对汪晖的学术研究和理论立场进行全面批评的发言(王彬彬的文章在《南方周末》发表,也是三月二十五日,与这个发言同时,一个很有意思的巧合),这个发言最近又发表于香港《开放》杂志,并特别申明"最初的英文发言稿,曾由我的启蒙老师林毓生先生过目,并给与宝贵意见,谨此致谢"。由此我不能不猜想,你对汪晖问题的关切,不只限于"抄袭",而是有更大的想法,关系到当今中国和世界读书人都在思考和争论的很多大问题。如果我这猜想不差的话,我希望你也就此写出文章,更系统地在学理层面做出详细的阐述,把隐约中的论争表面化,尖锐化。如果有这样的文章开局,我相信定会形成一场意义重大的论争,还相信这论争绝不会仅限于你和汪晖之间,一定会有更多的人参与其中,大狗叫,小狗也叫,百家争鸣,这是何等令人向往的局面?先生何乐而不为?当然,这样做也有些具体的困难,例如,如何选择最合适的论争平台,就很麻烦。鉴于我们彼此都明白的一些原因,也鉴于中国的大学和学界问题丛生,种种学术腐败已经深入肺腑,为此,选择一个合适做这样活动的平台,并不容易。在这方面,如你赞成这个想法,还希望能提出更好的建议。 大概是九三年初夏(具体时间记不清楚了),我和汪晖趁去芝加哥参加一个会议之便,特意弯路到威斯康辛去看你,那时你正筹划写作一部多卷本的中国政治史,因此,见面之后,一个很重要的话题,就是中国古代政治的特征和性质。我清楚地记得,由于自己是作文学批评的,对你和汪晖的热烈讨论完全外行,插不上嘴,就上楼,到客房睡觉去了;好像是夜里四点多钟,我被你和汪晖大声争辩的声音吵醒,下楼一看,你们二位竟然困意全无,越争越热闹,不禁十分钦佩,更为你的学术热情深深感动。蓦然回首,不觉近二十年的光阴悄然飘过,但一直没听到你的中国政治史出版的消息,也许至今还在写作中?另,听说你已经从威斯康辛大学退休,现在香港城市大学任教,不知写作和研究是否如意?香港是个好地方,宜居,易读书,唯夏日酷热,还望注意身体,劳而逸,逸而劳,则于健康大有益。 顺颂 夏祺! 李陀 2010年6月9日
  4. 邋遢道人:没有土地改革就没有中国的现代化
    历史 2009/08/13 | 阅读: 3296
    发生在这个历史事件前后的那次全国性的土地改革,无疑是这场变革最有代表性的部分。甚至可以说,没有土地改革,没有让占人口90%的农民“耕者有其田”,就找不到中国共产党取得政权的合法性,也不会有以后中国的现代化进程。
  5. 汪晖:《改制与中国工人阶级的历史命运》一文附记
    经济 2013/10/18 | 阅读: 3286
    汪晖按语:这里重新发表这两个调查报告,也是提醒一个事实:腐败虽然直接体现为官员个人的品行和作风,但也离不开宏观的背景、甚至政策条件。在我们调查通裕改制问题时,工人们对于季建业的工作作风有许多批评,干部中对其作为也有很多议论。然而,2009年,季建业还是被提拔为南京市代市长,继而成为市委副书记、市长。这些问题说明:在反腐败的同时,深入地反思改革过程中的一些政策导向和干部政策与腐败现象的关系,对于当前和未来的改革都有重要的意义。
  6. 杨联陞:帝制中国的作息时间
    历史 2009/06/30 | 阅读: 3285
    杨的英文文章,译者佚名,其中引文都译成了白话。

    北京新星出版社2005年出版的《国史探微》中有此文,据的是台湾联经本,该文为梁庚尧译。附《国史探微》目录与一篇1982年杨写的台湾版序,其中提到引文查找。恐非同篇,待查。
  7. 郑永年:中国群体性事件的崛起说明了什么?
    政治 人文 2009/12/15 | 阅读: 3274
    中国有关部门前不久公开表示中国社会群体性事件已经成为影响社会稳定最为突出的问题,指出了群体性事件的四个主要特点。第一,重大群体性事件连接发生,涉及面越来越广。第二,经济问题政治化。第三,暴力对抗程度明显增强。第四,境外政治力量涉足中国国内群体事件。  这个描述比较客观,反映了中国目前群体性事件的大趋势。群体事件,在西方和其他国家称“社会运动”。在毛泽东时代,中国是个典型的“运动社会”,各种自上而下的社会运动如“反右”、“大跃进”和“文化大革命”等绵延不绝。  改革开放以来,社会运动形式有了很大的变化,大多社会运动是自下而上自发形成和发生的。或许是因为人们不再喜欢“社会运动”,就用“群体性事件”的概念来替代。  但不管用什么样的词汇,社会运动已经成为当代中国社会不可忽视的重大政治问题。  后工业化的社会运动  社会运动并非中国社会所特有的,很多国家尤其是发达国家,在社会发展的一定阶段都经历过很长一段历史时期的自下而上的社会运动。但与发达国家相比,今天中国的社会运动有其自身的特点,主要是传统社会运动和后现代社会运动相互交叉,范围广。  在发达国家,作为工业化产物的大规模农民运动和工人阶级运动已经成为过去,现在所经历的社会运动被称之为后工业化社会运动或者“新社会运动”,如环保运动和消费者权益运动。但在中国,传统和后现代两种社会运动同时存在,社会运动往往是复合型的。  工业化和城市化快速改变着人们的生存状态,为各种传统社会运动提供了很多机会。在这个层面,社会运动的参与者的主要目标是物质利益、“温饱”和基本生存环境。同时,中国也存在着后工业化社会的运动,参与者的主要目标是各种各样的政治社会权益和更好的生活品质。  与改革开放前和初期的社会运动相比较,今天的社会运动也表现出两个鲜明的不同点。其一是社会运动越来越具有政治性。  政治性的含义很广。一些群体事件因为参与者追求经济利益所引发,但最终演变成为对政治利益的追求;另外一些事件表现为参与者对政治利益的直接追求;也有一些事件则表现为参与者通过政治方法或者事件的政治化来达到经济利益。  群体事件的复合性是中国复杂社会转型的客观反映。各社会阶层如工人、农民、流动人口、城市居民、中产阶级和新兴企业家阶层,追求的利益不同,这些不同的利益追求直接表现在各种群体事件中。  担心外部搞“颜色革命”  第二个主要不同点就是当代的群体事件越来越超越于政府的控制之外。这里至少有两层含义。首先是内部动力。今天的群体事件大多是工业化和城市化的产物。  尽管中国的改革是渐进式的,也就是说政府努力控制改革的步伐,但这并不是说政府总是可以预见改革的各种结果的,也不是说政府有能力控制由改革引发的社会经济的发展。所以,如果说工业化和城市化是由政府的改革政策引发的,目前的工业化和城市化已经不是政府所能控制的。  方方面面的发展从早先的政府驱动早已经转变成为各种利益驱动。换句话说,政府和很多方面的发展变得越来越不相关。这也就是政府这些年来努力调控经济社会的发展但成效不大的根本因素。可以理解,因各种互相冲突的利益引发的群体性事件也往往超越于政府控制之外。  其次是外部动力。外部动力主要指的是中国和外部世界的高度相互依赖性。因为开放政策和全球化,中国社会日渐开放,和外在世界的互相依赖性日渐提高。  这种相互依赖性使得外在世界能够通过各种途径影响中国内部的利益分配,也影响中国内部的变革。这就是为什么近年来中国有关部门非常担忧西方世界在中国搞“颜色革命”的原因。不管西方世界是否在中国搞“颜色革命”,随着中国经济对外在世界的高度依赖,外部世界对内部发展的影响也在与日俱增。  “非直接利益者”的卷入  各种内外因素驱动着当代中国的群体事件或者社会运动。在很大程度上,运动发展已经进入了一个快速增长期。最显著的是表现在群体事件中“非直接利益者”的卷入。  一般说来,社会成员可以分成三个不同的部分,即运动的“参与者”,运动的“反对者”和“旁观者”(也就是“非直接利益者”)。运动的参与者当然是为了争取他们各自的利益。  更多的社会成员是运动的旁观者,他们没有任何利益动机来参与运动。任何运动包含着风险,在中国尤其如此。  旁观者为什么愿意承担风险成为直接参与者?旁观者参与运动或许是因为同情参与者,或许是为了运动中所包含的道德意义,或许是为了某种理想。不管是哪种情形,“非直接利益者”成为了直接的参与者表明运动的性质在发生很大的变化。  社会运动是社会发展的客观产物,也并不可怕。在发达国家,社会运动一直是经济社会政治各方面进步的推动力。从早期的原始资本主义到福利社会,从权威到民主,从专制到民权,都和各种形式的社会运动密切相关。  但是另外一方面,如果社会运动处理不好,消化不了,就会造成社会乱象,不但不能成为进步的动力,反而导致社会的倒退。  在中国也如此。在目前的生态下,如果不能有效消化各种群体事件,很容易演变成为大规模的运动甚至恶性革命。中国领导层对此是有比较清醒的认识的。  近年来,有关部门一直在讨论人均国民产值和社会稳定之间的关系。在中共六中全会上,如何预防和处理群体性事件写进了执政党的文件。但也应当看到,因为各种内外因素,越来越多的群体事件或者社会运动实际上已经超越于政府的控制之外。  也就是说,各种控制机制的发展可能能够在短时期内遏制这样的事件的发生,但并不是最有效的解决之道。发达国家的经验表明,最有效的办法是社会政治改革,通过新制度的建设来容纳和消化社会运动。在这方面,中国是可以学到一些有用的经验的。
  8. 苏珊·桑塔格:本雅明《单向街》导读
    思想 2010/11/11 | 阅读: 3273
    在大多数的肖像照里,本雅明都是眼睛向下望着,右手托腮。我见过的最早的一张是1927年照的,他那时35岁,乌黑卷曲的头发遮盖了高高的前额,饱满的嘴唇上留着一抹小胡子:年轻,几乎可以说是漂亮。他低着头,罩在上衣里的双肩耸在耳畔;他的拇指抵住下颚,手的其它部分挡住了下巴,其中弯曲的食指和中指夹着香烟。透过眼镜,他向下望去的目光--一个近视患者白日梦般的、柔和的凝视--似乎漂浮向照片的左下角。在三十年代末期的一张照片里,卷曲的头发依旧,可是往昔年轻英俊的痕迹已经消失,脸变宽了,上身不仅显得长而且滞重庞大。胡子更加浓厚了,手短而粗,拇指压在嘴唇上。他的表情晦暗不明,看上去更为内向:也许他在思索--或者倾听。("倾听者往往视而不见,"本雅明在论卡夫卡的文章里这样写道。)在他身后,是许多书籍。1938年夏天,本雅明最后一次去丹麦看望布莱希特时拍过一张照片。布莱希特从1933年后就流亡于丹麦。照片里,本雅明站在布莱希特住的房屋前,46岁已经老气横秋,穿着白衬衫,打着领带,长裤上挂着表链,身躯肥胖、沉重、懈怠,两眼寻衅似地盯着照相机。       还有一张照片,摄于1937年,在巴黎的法国国家档案馆内。他位于照片的右侧,两个看不清面孔的人坐在他身后的桌子边。他那时大概正在为已经写了十年的关于波德莱尔和十九世纪的巴黎的著作做笔记吧。他用左手在桌子上摊开一本书,专心致志地读着--虽然看不见他的眼睛,但能够感觉到他的目光朝向照片的右下方。    他亲密的朋友杰舍姆·肖勒姆(Gershom scholem)曾经描述过1913年在柏林第一次见到本雅明的情景。那是在一次青年犹太复国主义小组和自由德国学生联合会犹太人会员的联席会议上,21岁的本雅明是一个领导者。"就我记得的情形而言,他的目光始终望着天花板上某一个遥远的角落,不看听众一眼;他情绪激动地即兴发表长篇大论,似乎这个演讲这样就可以拿去发表了。"本雅明是法国人称之为"忧郁者"(un triste)的那种人。肖勒姆写道,在他的青年时代,他似乎就表现出"一种深刻的忧郁"的特质。他认为自己是个忧郁症患者,却鄙弃现代心理学的术语,而求助于传统占星术的解释:"我的星座是土星一颗演化得最为缓慢的星球,绕道而行,拖延迟滞......"他的主要著作,出版于1928年关于德国巴罗克戏剧的《德国悲剧的起源》和没有完成的《巴黎:十九世纪之都》(Paris,Capital of the Nineteenth Century),我们除非能够把握住它们是如何依赖于他的忧郁理论的,否则便不能充分地理解。    本雅明把他自己、他个人的气质,投射到了他所关注的全部主要对象之中。他的气质决定了他选择什么去写。他从关注的对象中看到了与自己契合的东西,比如十七世纪的巴罗克戏剧,把"土星性格的漠然忧郁"特征的方方面面都戏剧化了;再如他以最辉煌的方式描写过的作家--波德莱尔,普鲁斯特,卡夫卡,卡尔·克劳斯(Karl Kraus)。他甚至在歌德身上也发现了土星特征。尽管他在关于歌德《亲和力》的杰出论文中激烈反对以作家的生活解释作家的作品,但他在自己文章里,在一些最深入的沉思和讨论中,却有选择地使用了相关的生活材料,比如披露忧郁症和孤僻心理的资料。他就是以这样的方式描述普鲁斯特那种"把整个世界拖进漩涡中心的孤独",解释卡夫卡如何像克利(Klee)那样处于"本质的孤独"之中,引述罗伯特·瓦尔泽(Robert Walser)的"生活中对成功的恐惧"。不能以生活去解释作品,却可以以作品去解释生活。       本雅明有两本短回忆录,写于三十年代早期,生前未能出版,记述了自己在柏林度过的童年和学生生活,是他对自己最精微细致的自画像。那时是他忧郁性格形成的初期,无论是在学校里还是和母亲一起散步,"孤独对我来说是唯一适合的状态"。他是个经常生病的孩子,但他所说的孤独并不仅仅局限于室内,而是在整个大都市里,弥漫于街头游手好闲者的忙碌,白日梦,观望,沉思冥想,游荡之中的孤独。本雅明认为,那些"游手好闲者"极大地体现了十九世纪的敏感性,一个典型的例子就是对忧郁症有着辉煌的自我意识的波德莱尔。本雅明从他与城市之间的变幻不定、狡黠而微妙的关系中培养出白,己的敏感。街道,通路,拱廊,迷宫,是他文学研究经常触及的主题,特别是在他计划完成的关于十九世纪巴黎的巨著里,以及一些旅行札记和回忆录里。(对于罗伯特·瓦尔泽来说,散步是他独居生活的中心,也是他那些令人惊奇的著作的中心,本雅明论述过他,却相当简短,人们特别希望他能写一篇更长一些的文章。)他生前发表的唯一一本具有审慎的自传性质的著作,题名为《单向街》(One-Way Street),对自己的回忆成为对一个地方(一条街道)的回忆,他围绕着这个地方游移,在其中不断变换着自己的位置。       "在城市里找不到路固然无趣,"本雅明在《世纪之交的柏林童年》(A Berlin Childhood Around the Turn of the Century)一书开头写道,"但是如果你想在城市里迷失,就像一个人迷失在森林里那样,则需要练习......我在生活里很晚才学会了这门艺术:它实现了我童年的梦想,最初的时候,我把练习本吸墨纸上的墨迹想象成迷宫"。这样的文字也常常出现在《柏林记事》(A Berlin Chronicle)里。本雅明指出,需要经过多次练习,才能学会迷失,那是一种"在城市面前无能为力"的初始感觉。他的目标是成为一个能够非凡地使用街道地图的人,知道怎样迷失,并且知道如何用想象的地图确定自己的位置。在《柏林记事》里,本雅明还谈到,许多年里,他了直抱着绘制个人生活地图的想法。他把这张地图想象为灰色,并且设计出一套颜色标记系统,"清楚地标明我的朋友们和女友们的住宅,各种小团体聚会的场所,从青年运动的秘密辩论室,到青年共产主义者的聚集地,我只住过一夜的旅馆和妓院房间,迪尔加顿(Tiergarten)广场那些非凡的长凳,通往各个学校的道路,我曾经见过的拥塞的墓地,还有那些闻名遐尔的咖啡馆,它们被长久遗忘的名字还常常挂在我们的嘴边"。一次,在巴黎杜玛戈咖啡馆(Cafe des Deux Magots)等人时,本雅明画了一张他个人生活的图表:看上去就像一座迷宫,其中每一个重要的关系都是"一个通向迷津的进口"。      这些经常出现的隐喻,如地图和图表,记忆和梦想,迷宫和拱廊,狭景和全景,都唤起一种独特的城市幻象,唤起一种独特的生活。本雅明写道,巴黎,"教会了我迷失的艺术"。城市的真实性质的显露,不是在柏林,而是在巴黎。整个魏玛时期他经常呆在巴黎,后来作为难民从1933年起一直住在那里,直到1940年从法国逃亡途中自杀为止。更准确地说,在超现实主义叙述中,巴黎被重新虚构了。通过这些隐喻,他提出了一个有关方位感的普遍性问题,建立起难度和复杂性的标准(迷宫就是人们迷失的地方)。他还提出一个关于禁地的观念,以及如何进入禁地:经由心智的行动,恰如经由身体的行动。"在妓女的引领下,街道的整个网络都在你面前敞开了。"他在《柏林记事》里这样写道。他曾经恳求一个妓女带他逛街,正是这位阿里阿德涅(Ariadne)[1],引领着这个富裕家庭的儿子,第一次穿过"不同阶层的门槛"。迷宫的隐喻,同时也暗示出本雅明由于性格气质的原因给自己的生活设置障碍的倾向。      土星的影响使人"冷漠、犹疑、迟缓",他在《德国悲剧的起源》一书中写道。迟缓是忧郁性格的一个主要特征,而笨拙则是另一个,这样的人注意得到诸多的可能性,却意识不到自己缺乏行动的能力。还有一个特征是固执,自认为超凡出众。本雅明回忆童年时和母亲散步,他母亲常用一些无足轻重的事情检验他应付实际生活的能力,他故意表现得笨拙和迟缓,固执地对抗这种检验,因此而更加强化了他本性中的笨拙("直到今天,我连一杯咖啡都煮不好。")和梦幻般的倔强。"我的比事实上的我似乎更缓慢、更笨拙、更愚蠢性,起源于那些散步,而且它还带来了另一个大的危险;使我觉得我自己比事实上的我更敏捷,更灵巧,更聪明。"自从这种固执形成以后,"首要的后果是,真正看到的事物恐怕还不到目力所及的三分之一"。《单向街》是一个作家和情人的个人经验的升华,(它是献给阿莎亚·拉西斯[Asja Lacis]的,正是她,"开辟出这一条'单向街',穿过作者自身"。)这种经验,我们可以从描述作家处境的公开文字里猜测,它关乎革命道德主义的主题,最后的一个场景是"天文馆",在本雅明看来,"天文馆"是一首科技向自然求婚并感受性的狂喜的赞美歌。本雅明叙述自己的时候,对待记忆,对待童年经历,要比对待自己当下的现实经验更为直接坦率。在这种童年远去的距离感之下,他得以把自己的生命当作一个能够绘制成地图的空间。痛苦的感情之所以能够坦率地起伏于《柏林童年》和《柏林记事》之中,是因为本雅明采取了一种能够被完全消化的、分析的方式来叙述过去的经验。这种方式唤醒了一个个事件及其对那些事件的反应,唤醒了一个个地方及其沉淀于那些地方的感情,唤醒了一个个人及其与他们的遭遇,唤醒了种种的感受、行为及其根植于其中的对于未来的激情和失败的暗示。譬如,当父母款待他们的朋友时,本雅明却独自幻想着怪物在房间里肆意游荡,这种狂想预示了他后来对于本阶级的反叛;再如,他一直梦想着能够想睡多久就睡多久,而不是清早就得爬起来去上学,这一梦想后来终于实现了--那是在他以《德国悲剧的起源》一书争取大学教职的努力失败以后--他意识到,"谋取一个职位和安稳生活的希望永远是徒劳的";又如,他和母亲一起散步时,"带着学究式的小心"始终落后一步的做法,预示了日后他"对现实社会存在的蓄意破坏"。本雅明把他所选择的回忆过去生活的一切,都当作未来的预示,因为回忆的工作(他称之为"向后阅读自己")瓦解了时间。他的回忆没有时间顺序,背离自传的原则,因为时间在他这里是没有多大干系的。("自传一定得同时间、顺序以及形成生活之流的连续性的诸因素发生密切关系,"他在《柏林记事》里写道,"而我在这里,谈论的只是空间、瞬息和非连续性。")本雅明,这位普鲁斯特的译者,他所写的残章断片,完全可以叫做"追忆流逝的空间"(A larecherche des espaces perdues)。过去的生活以记忆为舞台,把事件之流变为戏剧性的场景。本雅明并非想寻回过去,而是要理解过去:把过去压缩进一个空间,一个预兆未来的结构。       他在《德国悲剧的起源》里写道,对于巴罗克时代的戏剧家来说,"依照时间顺序发生的事件,只有在空间意象里才能把握和分析"。在《德国悲剧的起源》里,本雅明不仅第一次说明了把时间转换为空间的意义,而且还最为清晰地解释了隐含在这种转换之下的感受。"世界历史毫无希望的编年纪事的进程",是一个走向衰败的持续过程--在这一忧郁意识的冲击拍打之下,巴罗克戏剧家们寻求逃避历史的时间进程,而试图恢复天堂的"永恒"。十七世纪巴罗克的敏感性包含着一种"全景"式的历史观念:"历史逐渐融入了空间环境之中。"在《柏林童年》和《柏林记事》里,本雅明就是把自己过去的生活逐渐融入了空间环境之中。只不过在本雅明这里,代替巴罗克戏剧舞台的是超现实主义者的城市:形而上的风景,梦幻似的空间,在这之中人们"短暂的、影子般的存在"。本雅明把他学生时代最悲痛的经历,一个19岁诗人的自杀,压缩进对这位死去的好友生前居住过的房间的回忆。      本雅明经常触及的主题,有一个十分明显的特点,即如何把世界空间化。例如,他把思想和经验当作废墟的观念。理解某事某物也就是理解它的地形(topography),懂得如何用图表把它表示出来。而且还要懂得如何在它的地形和图表中迷失。对于一个土星性格的人来说,时间只是履行着压抑、单调、重复使命的介质,在时间中,一个人只能是他所是的这一个人:他一开始是什么,就永远是什么。而在空间中,一个人可以成为另一个人。本雅明缺乏方向感,识别街区地图的能力不强,这反倒使他热爱旅行,使他掌握了游荡的艺术。时间不留给我们变化改换的余地,它把我们从过去向前抛,通过现在的窄门把我们扔进未来。然而空间是宽阔的,充满了可能性,各种位置,交叉路口,通道,弯路,U形转角,死胡同,单向街,等等。确实存在着太多太多的可能性。土星气质的人生性迟缓,优柔寡断,以致于有时不得不用刀子为自己开辟通路,有时就把刀尖最终对准了自己。土星气质的特征表现为有着清醒的自我意识和对于自我的毫不宽容,这样性格的人从来不把同自我的关系视为理所当然的。自我是一个文本--需要解读阐释(就此而论,这是一种适当的知识分子的气质)。自我还是一个计划--需要不断地建构。(就此而论,这是一种适当的艺术家和殉道者的气质,本雅明谈论卡夫卡时说过,这样气质的人追求"失败的纯粹与美感"。)而建构自我的过程总是缓慢的,一个人总是欠自己的债。事物总是出现在一定的距离之外,缓慢地向前移动。在《柏林童年》里,本雅明谈到他自己的一种倾向,"倾向于看见我所关心的任何事物,都是从遥远的地方向我趋近"。--在一个常常生病的孩子的想象里,那些事物需要经过漫长的时间才能到达他的病床前。"也许这就是我身上别人称之为耐心的根源。只不过,事实上,它并非一种美德。"(别人当然把它称之为耐心,把它当作美德。肖勒姆把本雅明描述为一个"我所认识的最有耐心的人。")       类似于耐心这样的品性,对于性格忧郁者所喜好的译解神秘事物的工作,却是必需的。普鲁斯特,正如本雅明所说的那样,对于"沙龙里的秘密语言"怀有极大的兴趣;本雅明本人则为更加精致的密码所吸引,他收集带有纹章标记的书籍,喜欢变位字游戏,玩弄假名的花招。他对假名的兴趣似乎恰好预示了他后来成为德国犹太难民的命运。从1933年到1936年,他用迪特列夫·霍尔兹(Detlev Holz)的假名在德国的杂志上连续发表评论文章,还用这一名字出版了他生前所出的最后一本书,即1936年在瑞士出版的《德意志人》(Deutsche Menschen)。在肖勒姆最近发表的令人惊异的文本Agesilaus santande中,本雅明谈到,他一直希望自己拥有一个秘密的名字;这个文本的名字--其形象显现在本雅明拥有的克利的一幅画《新天使》(Angelus Novus)中--按照肖勒姆的解释,是"天使的魔鬼"(Der Angelus satanas)的变体。肖勒姆还告诉我们,本雅明是一个"神秘怪异"的笔迹学家,尽管"后来他倾向于放弃这一天赋"(本雅明曾经在《论模仿力》中讨论过笔迹)。       惯于掩饰和保守秘密,在忧郁性格的人身上表现为某种必然性。本雅明与其他人的关系,常常是复杂和模糊不清的。他的优越感,不恰当的反应,困惑的情绪,因不能达到希望的目标而引起的失望,以及那些自己也没法恰切、连贯地表述清楚的感受--所有这些,本雅明都用友善和最为小心翼翼的态度加以掩饰,他觉得也应该加以掩饰。肖勒姆形容本雅明和别人的关系时,用了一句熟悉卡夫卡的人用在卡夫卡身上的话:"几乎是中国式的谦恭有礼。"对一个为普鲁斯特"抨击咒骂友谊"的言行而辩护的人,人们当然不会奇怪他自己也会无情地抛弃朋友,当青年运动的同道再也引不起他的兴趣后,本雅明便断然割舍了同他们的关系。同样,人们也不会奇怪,这样一个吹毛求疵、甚少妥协和异常严肃的人,有时也会奉承一个他可能并不认为与自己相当的人,他去丹麦拜访布莱希特时,就让自己屈尊俯就,听受"奚落"。这位智识生活中的君王,有时倒也会成为侍臣。       本雅明在《德国悲剧的起源》中,用忧郁理论分析了这类性格的两个方面。土星气质的一个特征是缓慢。"暴君因为呆滞迟缓的情绪而垮台。"本雅明又说,"土星气质的另一个突出特征是没有信仰。"巴罗克戏剧里的廷臣是这一特征的代表,他们内心里都处在摇摆不定的状态。这些廷臣的受人操纵,一方面是因为他们"缺乏性格",另一方面则反映出,"对于由不祥的星宿所决定的无法理解的命运,他们极为沮丧地屈从了,这无可奈何,也难以慰藉。他们似乎表现出一种沉重的、与物相类的特质"。只有认同这种历史悲剧意识,认同这种沮丧失望之境,或许才能够解释廷臣为什么不应该受到鄙视。本雅明说,他对同道缺乏信念,也许与他对物质的徽章标记怀有"更深、更具冥想多思色彩的信念"相关。       本雅明所描述的,可以从简单的病理学来理解:忧郁症患者有一种倾向,即把内在的麻木外在化,使之成为不可改变的噩运,"沉重得就像物"。本雅明自己的说法更为直接:他觉察到,忧郁症患者与外部世界的深切交往,往往发生在与物之间,而不是与人之间;这是二种真正的交往,能够揭示出意义来。准确地说,患忧郁症的人因为一直被死亡所追捕,所以他们才最懂得怎样阅读这个世界;或者说,这个世界只对细察详审地阅读它的忧郁症患者呈现自身,其他人则无此机缘。越是没有生命力的事物,就越需要更加有力、更加敏锐的头脑去思索它们。    如果忧郁症患者对人缺乏信念,他就有充分的理由对物保持信念。忠诚是通过不断累积的物品建立起来的,因此,这些物品就呈现为残片或废墟的形式。(本雅明写道:"巴罗克文学共同的实践,就是持续不断地堆积残篇断片。")本雅明在情感上深刻地认同的巴罗克和超现实主义,二者都视现实为物。本雅明把巴罗克描述成一个物的世界(纹章徽记,残篇断片)和空间化的理念("寓言在精神王国里,犹如废墟在物的王国里。")。超现实主义的天才们以充分的坦率推广巴罗克对废墟的崇拜,并洞察到,现代虚无主义的激情把一切都变为废墟或碎片--因而可以收藏。世界的过去已经废旧过时,世界的现在却不断生产出大量的古董。进而产生出古董保管员、鉴定者、收藏家。  作为一个收藏家,本雅明本人始终保持对于物的忠诚--并且把物只当作物。据肖勒姆说,扩大他个人的藏书--其中有许多初版书和珍版书--是本雅明"持续倾注了最多的个人激情"的事情。私人物品所唤起的激情,常常使深陷在忧郁气质之中的人惊起。本雅明的藏书主要并不是作为专业工具来使用的,而是他沉思冥想的对象,是引起他恣意幻想的刺激物。他的藏书唤醒了"对许多城市的记忆,我在那些城市发现了那么多有趣的事物。里加,那不勒斯,慕尼黑,但泽,莫斯科,佛罗伦萨,巴塞尔,巴黎......还有那一个个的房间,里面珍藏着这些书籍......"淘书犹如猎艳,能够增加地理上的快感--这是他游荡世界的另一个原因。在收藏过程中,本雅明经验了自己本性中的智慧、成功、狡黠、没有羞耻感的激情,等等。"收藏家是具有策略性直觉的人。"--就像廷臣。      除了初版本和巴罗克纹章书籍之外,本雅明还特别收藏儿童书和疯子写的书。"那些对他具有非凡意义的伟大著作,"肖勒姆说,"被他以一种难以理喻的方式,挨着那些内容怪异或版本稀奇的书籍摆放。"本雅明对藏书的奇特摆放,就像他自己的作品所惯用的策略,其中一只由超现实主义激活的眼睛搜寻着那些短暂、可疑、被忽略的事物,试图发现意义的宝藏,与此同时,又完好地保持着他对文人趣味和传统经典的忠诚。本雅明喜欢发掘那些无人问津的事物。他从隐晦模糊、受人忽视的德国巴罗克戏剧中发现出现代的感受性(或者说是他自己的感受性):对寓言的兴趣,超现实主义的震撼效果,不连贯的表述,对历史灾难的意识,等等。"这些石头是我想象力的面包,"他曾这样写过马赛--这个最不驯顺的法国城市对于他的想象力的刺激,犹如吸食大麻。在本雅明的著作中,许多别人预期会使用的参考材料却没有出现--他不喜欢阅读那些人人都在阅读的东西。比起弗洛伊德来,他更喜欢作为一种心理学理论的四种气质的学说。他倾向于成为一个共产主义者,或者试图成为其中的一员,却不读马克思。这个实际上什么东西都读的人,有长达十五年的时间同情革命的共产主义,却几乎没有读过马克思,这种情形一直持续到三十年代末。(1938年夏天,他到丹麦看望布莱希特期间,才阅读《资本论》。) 本雅明怀有自觉的策略意识,这也是他认同卡夫卡的一个地方,这两个人堪称同一类型的谋略家,"写作上小心翼翼,以对抗对其作品的阐释"。本雅明论辩道,卡夫卡小说的整体特点,就是它们都没有明确的象征意义。他对布莱希特玩弄的那种不一样的非犹太式计谋也很着迷,而布莱希特是不喜欢卡夫卡的。(可以想象,布莱希特一点也不喜欢本雅明关于卡夫卡的非凡评论。)布莱希特的书桌旁边,有一只木制的小毛驴,脖子上挂着标记,上面写着:"我也必须理解它。"在本雅明看来,布莱希特是神秘宗教文本的崇奉者,意味着也许更高明的计谋,能够洞穿事物的复杂性,使一切都变得清清楚楚。本雅明和布莱希特之间的这种"受虐狂式"(masochistic)的关系,虽然令他的大多数朋友们痛惜,却表明他为一种在布莱希特身上所感受到的可能性而着迷的程度。       本雅明习性上就是要反对平常普通的阐释。他在《单向街》里写道:"所有致命的打击都出自左手。"因为意识到"所有人类的知识都采用了阐释的形式",他明白了反对无论何处都显而易见的阐释的重要性。他最常用的策略是,从人人都认为存在象征意义的作品里,譬如卡夫卡的小说或歌德的《亲和力》,把那些象征意义排除出来,再把这种意义注入人们通常不认为它们存在的地方,譬如德国巴罗克戏剧,他把它们当作历史悲观主义的寓言来阅读。"每一本书都是一个策略",他写道。在一封给朋友的信里,他半开玩笑地声称,他的作品具有四十九个层次的含意。对现代主义者来说,就像对犹太神秘教信徒一样,没有什么东西是直接表现出来的。任何表达--至少--都是困难的。他在《单向街》里写道:"在所有事物中,都应该由含糊不清替代真确明晰。"在本雅明看来,最不可理喻的就是所谓的单纯自然:"'纯净'、'天真'的眼睛已经变成了一个谎言。"       本雅明批评的独特之处和创造性,主要归功于他那种显微镜式的观察(恰如他的朋友和追随者阿多诺所说的那样),并结合了他不屈不挠地控制理论分析的能力。"最吸引他的是微小的事物",肖勒姆写道。他喜爱旧玩具,邮票,带画的明信片,有趣的现实缩微景观,譬如玻璃球里面的冬景,只要一摇动就会落雪。他的笔迹差不多要用显微镜才能看清,肖勒姆说,本雅明有一个他自己从来没有意识到的野心,那就是在一页纸里写上一百行字。(罗伯特·瓦尔泽却充分意识到了这样的野心,他用一种真正需要显微镜才能看清的笔迹抄写小说手稿,就像是抄写在显微照片上。)肖勒姆谈到,他1927年8月去巴黎看望本雅明(这是肖勒姆1923年移居巴勒斯坦之后两个朋友的第一次会面),本雅明拉着他去克郎尼博物馆(Musee Cluny)参观一个犹太祭祀物品的展览,特意指给他看"微雕在两颗麦粒上的完整的以色列颂诗"。        缩微变小是为了便于携带--对于游荡者或难民来说,这是一种理想的拥有物品的形式。本雅明既是一个游荡者,四处漂泊,又是一个收藏家,为物品所累。他总是处在游荡和收藏的激情之中。缩微就是使其隐藏。本雅明被那些极小的物品所吸引,就像被所有需要解释的东西所吸引一样:纹章,字谜,手迹,等等。缩微还意味着使其无用。因为,在某种意义上,把一件物品缩小到超出正常的形态,也就是把它从原来的意义中解放了出来--它的微小成为它身上最显著的特征。它既是整体(因为它是完整的),又是碎片(因为过小的规格,不正常的比例)。它变成了无功利地沉思和狂想的对象。热爱小东西是孩子式的感情,超现实主义开拓了这种感情。本雅明发现,超现实主义者眼里的巴黎是"一个小世界";他们对摄影的看法也是如此,超现实主义者把照片当作谜一般难懂、甚至是荒谬的事物,而不是一种可以理解的、美的对象。本雅明对此有非常独到的论述。患忧郁症的人总是深感类物统治(the dominion of the thing-like)的威胁,而超现实主义者的趣味却嘲弄揶揄这种恐惧。超现实主义对于情感的伟大贡献在于,它使患忧郁症的人快乐起来。      "患忧郁症的人允许自己享受的唯一乐趣,也是强有力的乐趣,就是寓言。"本雅明在《德国悲剧的起源》中写道。他断言,寓言确实是患忧郁症的人阅读世界的典型方式,他还引述了波德莱尔的话:"任何事物对我来说都是寓言。"寓言表现为从僵化、无意义的事物里提取意义的过程,这正是德国巴罗克戏剧的典型方式,也是本雅明的重要研究对象波德莱尔的典型方式;而且,寓言可以转化为哲学论证和对事物的精微分析,这也正是本雅明自己运用的方式。       患忧郁症的人把世界本身看作一个物:避难所,慰藉物,迷幻药。去世前不久,本雅明曾经打算写一篇关于迷恋缩微物品的文章。这个打算似乎是一个老计划的继续,在此之前,本雅明曾想写一篇文章谈论在歌德的《威廉·麦斯特》(wilhelm Meister)里出现的一个故事:一个男人爱上了一个女人,女人实际上是一个小人,暂时获得了和正常人一样大小的身材。男人无意中随身携带着一个盒子,盒子里面是一个缩微的王国,那个女人就是小人国的公主。在歌德的这个故事里,仅就字面的意义而言,世界被缩微成了一个可以收藏的物品。       就像歌德故事里的那个盒子一样,一本书不仅是世界的一个断片,它本身就是一个小世界。书是世界的缩微,读者栖居其中。在《柏林记事》里,本雅明唤起了童年的迷恋和狂喜:"你不是在阅读书籍,而是居住在里面,在行与行之间逗留闲荡。"一个孩子的谵妄的阅读,最终变成了写作,一个成年人萦绕于心的事情。在《开箱整理我的藏书》一文中,本雅明说,最值得称赞的获得书的方法是写书;而最好的理解书的方法,是进入书的空间:他在《单向街》里说,除非把一本书抄一遍,否则就不能真正理解这本书;一个人在飞机上无法真正观赏一片风景,除非他徒步从那片土地上走过。"意义的总额恰好等于死亡的在场和衰朽的力量。"本雅明在《德国悲剧的起源》里写道。这使得一个人在他自己的生活中,在"已经死掉的过去--我们委婉地称之为经验的东西"--中发现意义成为可能。因为过去已经死了,人才能够阅读它。因为历史已经被崇拜为物,人才能够理解它。因为书本身就是一个世界,人才能够进入其中。书对于本雅明来说是另一个在其中游荡的空间。一个土星性格的人,被别人注视时,本能的反应就是垂下眼睛,望着角落,或者低下头去看自己的笔记本,或者以书为墙,遮挡住自己的脑袋。土星气质的一个特征是对自己意志的内在惰性倍加责难。由于坚信自己意志薄弱,患忧郁症的人付出超常的努力来培养意志。如果这样的努力成功了,结果就会是,过度生长的意志往往采取强迫的方式使自己献身于工作。譬如波德莱尔,常常为自己的"倦怠漠然--修道士的毛病"而感到痛苦,他在许多封信的结尾和私人日记里,信誓旦旦地保证要更加努力地工作,不间断地工作,除了工作什么也不干。(笼罩在"意志的每一次失败"--这也是波德莱尔的说法--之上的绝望,总是引出现代艺术家和知识分子的牢骚抱怨,如果一个人既是艺术家又是知识分子的话就更甚。)这样的人注定要拼命工作,否则的话就可能什么事情也不做。就连梦想也被忧郁气质的人用于工作,他们也许试图培养一种迷幻状态,就像做梦;或者寻求到某种集中精力的途径,就像一些毒品所能提供的那样。波德莱尔的消极经验在超现实主义那里却得到了积极的强调:超现实主义非但不为意志力的匮乏感到痛惜,反而将其抬高到理想的境地,声言也许可以依赖这种梦幻似的状态为写作提供材料。       本雅明几乎总是处于工作状态,总是期望自己能够做得更多,对于作家的日常存在,他思考得很多。《单向街》里有好几个地方谈到作家工作的方式:最佳的条件,时间的安排,写作工具的选择,等等。他给朋友写了大量的书信,这样做的部分原因,就是要以此记录编排自己的工作,汇报计划的进展,从而使他确信自己的工作成果。他作为一个收藏家的直觉对他大有助益。因为学习也是一种收藏和积累,本雅明的笔记本摘录了许多日常阅读中遇到的语句和段落,他无论走到哪里都带着它,一有机会就打开来大声念给朋友们听。思索也是一种收藏和积累。至少在初级阶段是:他有意识地捕捉飘忽游离的想法,在给朋友的信里进行简短的论证,重写未来的计划,记录自己的梦境(《单向街》里就讲述了几个梦),保存自己读过的所有书的书目k(肖勒姆回忆到,1938年,他第二次也是最后一次在巴黎看望本雅明,看见他的一个笔记本记着最近读的书,其中有马克思的《雾月十八日》,标号为第1649。)患忧郁症的人怎样才能成为一个意志的英雄?通过某种途径,使工作成为一种麻醉品,成为一种自我强制的行为。("思索是一种高级的麻醉品",他在论述超现实主义的文章里写道。)事实上,患忧郁症的人最容易耽溺于麻醉品,真正成癖上瘾的经验往往是独自吸食的结果。二十年代末期,本雅明在一位医生朋友的监督下,有一段时间吸食过大麻,结果从未自我放任失态,一切正常。吸食大麻的体验成了他写作的材料,而不是逃避意志约束的方式。(本雅明很想写一本论述吸食大麻的书,并把它作为他最重要的写作计划之一。)需要孤独--以及由此带来的苦楚--是患忧郁症的人的又一个特征。为了完成工作,一个人必须处于孤独之中,至少不能受任何长久性关系的束缚。本雅明对于婚姻的消极态度,在论歌德《亲和力》的文章中表露得相当明显。他心目中的英雄--克尔凯戈尔、波德莱尔、普鲁斯特、卡夫卡、克劳斯--都没有结过婚;肖勒姆谈到本雅明对自己的婚姻的看法,认为"对自己是一个致命的打击"。(本雅明1917年结婚,1921年之后与妻子分居,1930年离婚。)自然的世界,自然关系组成的世界,对忧郁气质的人来说没有什么吸引力。《柏林童年》和《柏林记事》里的自画像,完完全全就是一个疏离的儿子;作为丈夫和父亲(他有一个儿子,生于1918年,三十年代中期和本雅明的前妻移居伦敦),他一点也不懂得怎样来处理这些关系。在患忧郁症的人看来,家庭关系所体现的自然形式,会导向一种错误的主观性、情感性;它是个人意志和独立性的负担;它损害了个人的自由,使他无法集中精力工作。它同时还是对于人性的挑战,而忧郁症患者预先就知道,自己是不能胜任这种挑战的。忧郁气质的人的工作风格是沉浸其中,全身心投入。作为一个作家,本雅明具有超凡的专心致志的能力,他在两年内完成了《德国悲剧的起源》一书,其中某些部分,据《柏林记事》声称,是在一个咖啡馆里写成的,那些漫长的夜晚,他就坐在一个爵士乐队的旁边写作。尽管本雅明多产--有几个时期,他每个星期都给德国的报刊杂志写稿子一一但后来的事实证明他再也写不出一部通常长度的著作。1935年本雅明在一封信里说,他是以"土星的节奏"写作《巴黎:十九世纪之都》。这本书1927年就开始动笔了,本来以为两年内就可以完成。本雅明的性格似乎只适合写短篇文章。这种忧郁型的人情绪强烈,容易精疲力竭,好像给写作设立了一个天然的长度,而本雅明恰好在这种长度内就能很好地阐述他的观点。他的主要文章似乎都结束得恰到好处,它们还没有走到自我毁灭的那一步就戛然而止。       他的行文语句似乎天生就不循规蹈矩,不接前连后,写下的每一句话都好像是第一句或者最后一句。("在写每一个新句子的时候,一个作家必须停下来,然后重新开始。"他在《德国悲剧的起源》的开场白里这样说。)精神和历史的过程被展现为概念的舞台造景,观念被推向极端,智力的洞察令人头晕目眩--这一切构成了本雅明思考和写作的风格。这种风格被不正确地称为格言式的,其实称之为"定格的巴罗克"(freeze-frame baroque)也许更恰当些。实施这种风格是一种折磨,在他凝聚着全部注意力的内向的目光溶化主题之前,他仿佛要让每一个句子都说出所有的意思。这大概不是夸张:本雅明告诉阿多诺,在论述波德莱尔和十九世纪巴黎的书里,他不得不把每一个想法从那些让他发疯的段落里用力抢夺出来。类似于被迫过早地停下来的恐惧隐藏在语句的后面,那些语句就像塞满了运动的巴罗克绘画静止的表面一样浸透了意念。在给阿多诺的一封信中,本雅明描述了第一次阅读阿拉贡的《巴黎的乡巴佬》(Le Paysan de Paris)时的心荡神驰,正是这本书激发他写作《巴黎;十九世纪之都》的灵感。"每天夜里躺在床上,我最多只能读两三页,因为我心跳得那么响,以致于不得不让书从手中掉落。这是什么样的警告啊一心力衰弱是本雅明精力和激情的隐喻性限度(他患有心脏病)。他把心脏的强健当成一个作家取得成就的隐喻。在一篇称赞克劳斯的文章里,本雅明写道:"如果风格是一种强大的力量,能够使作家自由地驰骋于语言思维的长度和广度而不陷于平凡无趣,那这主要得之于心脏承受伟大思想的力量,它把语言的血液通过句法的毛细血管输送到肢体最遥远的地方。"思考、写作说到底是一个精力和耐力的问题。隐喻型的人由于感到自身缺乏意志力,就会产生一种需要--需要他所能够聚集起来的所有毁灭性的能量。"真理拒绝把自己纳入知识的范畴。"本雅明在《德国悲剧的起源》中写道。他那粘稠密集的行文记录了这种拒绝,其中却没有对谎言散布者的任何攻击。他认为争辩是处在真正的哲学风格的尊严之下进行的,真正值得去做的不是争辩,而是追求一种他称之为"完满而集中的实在性"。他在论述歌德《亲和力》的文章里,体无完肤地驳斥了评论家和歌德传记作者冈道尔夫(Friedrich Gundolf),这在他的写作中是一次例外。不过他仍然意识到争辩所具有的道德力量,并因此而欣赏卡尔·克劳斯,他是一个灵巧、尖利、热爱讥讽、拥有不竭的争辩能量的作家,这些特点使他看上去和本雅明相当不同。本雅明论述克劳斯的文章,是他对一个作家精神生活的最富有激情的、自负的辩护。阿多诺曾经写道,"'过于聪明'的不公正指责缠绕了本雅明一生"。本雅明勇敢地把文人的所谓"缺乏人性"提高到建立新标准的层次(当它被恰当地--也即被道德地--运用的时候),用以反对庸俗的诽谤中伤,为自己辩护。他写道:"文人的生活是纯粹由精神庇护的存在,就像妓女是纯粹由性庇护的存在。"这既是对妓女的称许(如同克劳斯所认为的那样,单纯的性是处于纯粹性状态中的性),同时也是对文人生活的赞美。因为本雅明以此揭示了"纯粹精神真正的、富有魔力的功能",颂扬克劳斯是"一个和平的破坏者"。现代作家的道德任务不是成为一个创造者,而是一个破坏者--对浅薄的内在自我,对容忍和同情普遍平庸的人性、半吊子的创造和空洞的言词的社会观念,进行破坏的人。作家作为一个惩戒者和破坏者的形象,已然显现于本雅明所描述的克劳斯的身上;在寓言性的《破坏性的角色》一文中,本雅明以简洁的笔触和更大的勇敢刻画了这一形象。这篇文章也是写于1931年。这个日期意味深长:肖勒姆写道,本雅明多次思考自杀问题的第一次,就是在1931年夏天。(第二次是第二年夏天,他写《天使的魔鬼》的时候。)本雅明把阿波罗式的惩戒者称为破坏性的角色,这个惩戒者"总是愉快地工作,......所求甚少,......不在乎是否被人理解,......年轻快活,......并不是他觉得生活值得活下去,而是觉得自杀太麻烦"。这像是玩魔术,本雅明通过这种努力把他土星性格里的毁灭性因素排除出来--因此而不致于自我毁灭。本雅明关注的并不仅仅是他自己的破坏与毁灭性。他认为存在着一种独特的现代自杀诱惑。在《波德莱尔笔下的第二帝国时代的巴黎》中,他写道,"现代性所产生的对人类自然性繁衍的抗拒,大大超出了人的自然力量。如果一个人疲惫不堪而用死亡作庇护所,是很可以理解的。自杀是一种封闭英雄意志的行动.已成为现代性的符号......这正是现代性在激情领域内取得的成就......"自杀被理解为英雄意志对意志失败的反应。本雅明暗示说,避免自杀的唯一方法,就是要超越英雄主义,超越意志的努力。破坏者不会有落入陷阱的感觉,因为"他在每一个地方都看得见出路"。他愉快地沉浸在把存在的一切变为碎片的过程中,"把自己放置在交叉路口"。本雅明的破坏者形象或许唤起了一种齐格弗里德(Siegfried)[2]式的精神,他是一个在众神庇护之下英勇的、像孩子般的野蛮人,具有天启般的悲观主义,还没有被在土星气质范围内常常使用的反讽所修饰。反讽不过是忧郁型的人给他的孤独和反社会性选择起的一个积极的名称。在《单向街》里,本雅明颂扬了反讽,因为它使个人坚守和维护一种独立于社会的存在权利,它是"所有成就中最欧洲式的",然而,本雅明明察到,它却彻底遗弃了德国。本雅明对反讽者和自我意识者的兴趣,使他有别于大部分现代德国文化:他憎恶瓦格纳,蔑视海德格尔,看不起魏玛德国时期的疯狂的前卫运动,如表现主义之类。       本雅明充满激情地、同时也是充满反讽地把自己放置在交叉路口。对他来说,保持开放他的许多"位置"十分重要:神学的,超现实主义美学的,共产主义的,等等。这些位置互相矫正,所以所有这些位置他都需要。作出决定当然会打破这些位置之间的平衡,而踌躇犹豫却可以使它们各就其位。他1938年初最后一次见到阿多诺,解释他拖延离开法国的原因时说:"这里仍然有很多位置需要捍卫。"       本雅明认为,自由知识分子是一个濒临灭绝的物种,他们过时作废的速度,在资本主义社会里一点也不会比在革命共产主义制度下慢;他确确实实地感受到,他生活在一个一切有价值的东西都正在消失的时代里。他认为超现实主义是欧洲知识阶层的最后一个智识闪现的瞬间,这种智识具有合理的破坏性和虚无主义色彩。在论克劳斯的文章里,本雅明反问道:克劳斯是站在"一个新时代的门槛上吗?绝对不是。他是站在最后的审判面前"。本雅明这样写的时候,想到的是他自己。在最后的审判面前,这个最后的知识分子一一现代文化中的土星式英雄,带着他的残篇断片,他的对抗态度,他的沉思狂想,他的无法遏止的忧郁,他的向下凝望的眼睛--将对他所占据的许多"位置"和对精神生活的持续到生命终结的捍卫,尽其所能,作出正当的辩护。   
  9. 王赓武:南方境外:强进与退让——对中国与东南亚间国际关系的文化史思考
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    本文为王赓武先生2014 年11 月8 日于北京大学国际关系学院秋林报告厅所作讲座整理稿,已发表于北京大学研究生学志。后附提问环节。
  10. 叶嘉莹:物缘有尽心谊长存--从《富春山居图》跋文谈被盗的台静农先生书法
    艺术 2016/08/18 | 阅读: 3215
    近来在两岸艺坛上有一件盛事,那就是在中国艺术史上极为著名的元代大画家黄公望的《富春山居图》【点击观看: 剩山 无用师】,在经历了巧取豪夺以及焚烧和断裂的种种劫难后,其分别存放在浙江省博物馆与台北“故宫博物院”的两截幸存的部分,目前正在台北“故宫博物院”联合展出。关于黄氏绘画的成就,在中国艺术史中早有定评,当然无需我在此更为辞费。我现在所要写的,只是由黄氏这一幅名画《富春山居图》后面的一段跋文所引起的感慨。 黄氏本姓陆,生于南宋度宗咸淳五年(1269),南宋覆亡时,他只有十岁左右,而他的父母却都早已先后亡殁,当时有一位居住在浙江永嘉名叫黄乐的老人,遂认养了他作为嗣子。据说,这位老人对他极为赏爱,一见面就曾经欣喜地说“黄公望子久矣”,而这也就是他后来何以被名为“黄公望”而字“子久”的缘故。黄氏天资聪颖,十二三岁时曾应神童之试,其后也曾一度进入仕途,但因性情不适于官场生活,遂弃官而去,遨游于山水之间。与他同时的夏文彦(也就是他在跋文所提到的云间夏氏)在《图绘宝鉴》中,称述他的山水画之精妙,曾经说他在虞山居住时,“探阅虞山朝暮之变幻,四时阴霁之气运,得之于心而形之于画,故所画千丘万壑,愈出愈奇,重峦叠嶂,越深越妙”。他也曾与当时的杨维桢、张雨、方从义、倪瓒等避俗之士,先后加入过新道教。他曾经为倪瓒所绘的《六君子图》题写过一首诗,说“远望云山隔秋水,近看古木拥坡陀。居然相对六君子,正直特立无偏颇”,可见其品格修养之一斑。当他79岁那年,与他的师弟无用一起来到了富春山。此山面临富春江,江边有世所称仰的高士严子陵的钓台,他与师弟无用一同住在附近的南楼之上,于是这里的江山人物之胜遂引起了他的画兴,开始了他的《富春山居图》的创作。而每日与他生活在一起的师弟无用,既赏爱他的画作,也被他作画的投入之精神所感动,又担心这一幅画之不能长保,于是就请求黄氏在此一画卷之末,题写了一篇跋文。原文是“至正七年,仆泊富春山居,无用师偕往。暇日于南楼援笔,写成此卷。兴之所至,不觉亹亹布置如许。逐旋填剳。阅三四载,未得完备。盖因留在山中而云游在外故尔。今特取回行囊中。早晚得暇,当为着笔。无用过虑有巧取豪敚(通夺)者,俾先识卷末。庶使知其成就之难也”。跋文后记有年月及署名,云“十年青龙在庚寅歜节前一日。大痴学人书于云间夏氏知止堂”。“十年”指的是元顺帝至正十年,以干支计为庚寅年,是西历的1350年。“歜节”指的是端午节。当黄氏题写此一跋文时,他已经是82岁高龄了。其后八年黄氏逝世,此一画卷遂为他的师弟无用所保有。无用本名郑樗。在经历了元代灭亡的世变以后,郑樗也于不久逝世,于是他所宝爱的此一画卷,遂辗转流传于不同的收藏家手中。其间当然有巧取,也有豪夺。直到清顺治七年,那一年恰好也是庚寅年,是西历的1650年。距离黄氏跋文已有300年之久的时候,这幅画卷遭遇了一场劫难,因被火焚而断裂为两截。这期间当然有许多故事。我们现在能对此一画卷之辗转流传略知一二者,则是因为幸而有一些赏爱此一画卷的人,曾经为之写下了一些题跋的记述。 原来,在明代成化以前,此一画卷曾为当时的大画家沈周所保有,其后被人诈骗而去,转卖给了苏州的一位名叫樊舜举的节推。沈氏后来在樊氏家中曾经又见到了此一画卷,但已无力购回。沈氏在感慨之余,遂在卷末题写了一段跋记。其后,此一画卷于明代隆庆年间又流入到了无锡谈志伊手中,谈氏曾经邀集了当时的一些文士如文彭、周天球、王穉登等人一同观赏,诸人也曾分别写有题识。其后至万历年间,此一画卷又流入另一位大画家董其昌之手。董氏晚年家境困窘,遂将此一画卷典质给了吴达可,吴氏之子吴正志与董其昌为同榜进士,雅爱书画,曾经在此一画卷的骑缝之处都盖上了自己的收藏之印。及至吴氏殁后,此一画卷遂传入了其幼子吴德裕的手中。吴氏友人邹之麟曾在吴氏处见到此一画卷,并为之写有题识,曾叙及明代覆亡之际,“问卿(按:吴德裕字问卿)一无所问,独徒跣而携此卷,嗟呼!此不第情好寄之,直性命殉之矣”。而也就正是这一位欲以性命殉此画卷之人,乃于其面临殁世之际,竟欲以此一画卷为殉,将之投入了一炉烈火之中,视火盛乃转入卧内。幸而问卿之从子吴子文,“疾趋焚所”,将此一画卷自火中救出,于是此一画卷遂在劫火之后断裂为二。孰知,那位将此一画卷自火中救出的吴子文乃于不久之后竟将画卷转售他人,而以前曾为此一画卷写有题识的邹之麟,即亲见此画之流转无常,所以在其题识之后乃曾为之加一转语,云“东坡不云乎‘冰上偶然留指爪,鸿飞那复计东西’”(按:东坡诗原句应是“泥上偶然留指爪”)。夫人世之间本来一切无常,连自我一身尚且不能长保,更何况是身外之物呢。不过物虽不能长保,而透过这些题跋的文字之记述,却使得千百年以下的观赏之人,对于千百年以上的那些爱赏者的一份情谊,仍然感动不已。 我最近恰好也经历了一次“物缘有尽”的失落,原来在我温哥华家中客厅和起居室所悬挂的几幅书画,竟于去岁(2010年)12月被盗窃一空。我个人本不是一个耽溺于物的人,所以,实在可以说是家无长物,更从来不会主动购藏什么古玩书画,就连一般妇女都对之极为喜爱的珍宝首饰,我对之也并无兴趣。这一次所失落的五幅字画都是师友所馈赠,所以对之颇为珍爱,我所珍爱的不是“物”的价值,而是当年师友馈赠给我时的一份情谊。因此,在读了有关《富春山居图》之得失流转的一些记述时,遂想到何不将当年师友馈赠这些书画时的一份情谊记写下来,如此则若干年后无论这些书画流转到何地何方,只要读到我这些记述的人,他们也必能在观览这些书画之时,联想起与这些书画相关的一份情谊。这或者也可以作为我对当年赠我以这些书画的师友们之高谊的一种感念之情,以及今日我竟使这些书画从我自家被盗的一种愧疚之意的一点表示吧。 我所失落的书画共有五幅,其中,我最为宝爱的是20世纪60年代台静农先生所书写的我于梦中得句的一幅联语。我于1954年经许诗英先生推介进入台湾大学教书。当时台先生是中文系主任,他身边常有一些弟子围绕左右,而我则是一个外来的中文系教师,所以颇存自外之心,何况我年轻时性情羞怯,因此从来不曾到台先生府上做过私人拜访。直到20世纪60年代,有一天台先生忽然打电话来,要我到他家中去一趟。原来,那是因为不久前,台大中文系郑骞教授的夫人逝世,郑先生是我的老师顾随先生的朋友,郑师母曾经在他们家中热情接待过我。当时郑先生的母亲还在,我尊称她为太师母,郑先生的女儿不过十余岁,就称我为叶大姐。所以当郑师母去世时,我就写了一副挽联,上联写的是“萱堂犹健,左女方娇,我来十四年前,初仰母仪接笑语”,下联写的是“潘鬓将衰,庄盆遽鼓,人去重阳节后,可知夫子倍伤神”。台先生见到这副联语后,认为我写得不错。不久后,台大中文系董作宾先生逝世,台先生就叫我代拟了两副联语,一副是代台大中文系全体师生拟写的挽联,上联写的是“简拾流沙,覆发汲冢,史历溯殷周,事业藏山应不朽”,下联写的是“节寒小雪,芹冷璧池,经师怀马郑,菁莪在沚有余哀”。还有一副是代台先生私人拟写的挽联,上联写的是“四十年驹隙水流,忆当时聚首燕台,同学少年,视予犹弟”,下联写的是“三千牍功成身逝,痛此日伤心海上,故人垂老,剩我哭君”。从此以后,台先生遂经常打电话来,要我替他写一些联语,有挽联也有贺联,前后约有十副以上之多。一般情况是他打电话把我叫去后,向我介绍一些与要写之联语相关的情况,我回来拟写好了以后,再送去听取他的意见。总体说来,他对我拟写的联语大多是奖勉有加,只有一次提出了一点小小的意见。那是于右任先生逝世时,台先生要我代他写一副挽联。我拟写的联语,上联是“生民国卅三年之前,掌柏署卅三年之久,开济著勲猷,朝野同悲国大老”,下联是“溯长流九万里之远,抟天风九万里之高,淋漓恣笔墨,须眉长忆旧诗人”。我曾与台先生商讨下一联的末一句是用“须髯”还是用“须眉”。于右任先生以美髯著称,所以本来我想用“须髯”,而台先生性格通脱,以为不必如此拘执,不如径用“须眉”似更为浑成。如此,我与台先生熟识了以后,就逐渐消除了羞怯之感。有一次和他谈起来我睡梦中的一些诗句和联语,台先生听了后,极感兴趣,而且告诉我说他早年也曾在梦中梦到过诗句。不过,台先生在生前从来不把他的诗作示人,所以他也未把他梦中的诗句告诉我,但却要我把梦中的诗句和联语告诉他。当时,我因为梦中的诗句只是断句,所以未曾写下来,但我梦中的联语则是完整的,于是我就在一张纸上写下了这一副梦中的联语。谁想到过了十来天,台先生竟然亲自把这一副联语写成了一幅书法,而且用压镜的方式把这一副联语镶嵌进了一个宽约35公分、长约75公分的美丽镜框之内送给了我。我的梦中联语,上联是“室迩人遐,杨柳多情偏怨别”,下联是“雨余春暮,海棠憔悴不成娇”。台先生在上款题写的是“嘉莹夫人梦中得句,命为书之”,下联落款写的是“静农于台北龙坡里之歇脚庵”。上联右下方钤有一方肖形图印,下联落款处则钤有一个阴文、一个阳文的上下两方台先生字号的小印。联语用金色细绫装裱,镜框则配用的是金漆而镶有一条黑色直线的边框,整体的色调显得珍贵而秀美。至于台先生的书法则写的是带有隶书风格的行楷,上下联左右之间留有约二公分的间距,至于字与字之间的行气,则写得神贯而形离。整体看来疏朗中有绵密之致,端秀中见英挺之姿,既有行楷之逸畅,又兼隶体之端凝,与台先生平日常以行草书写的风格颇有不同,是一幅极见用心之作,是我平生所收受的友人馈赠之书法中最为喜爱的一幅作品。 如我在前文所言,我对台先生既颇存有“自外”之意,而且性情羞怯,所以我虽对台先生的书法极为喜爱,却从来不曾开口向他索要过任何作品。台先生在联语上款所题的“命为书之”,只是他的自谦之辞。收到台先生所馈赠的这幅书法后,我也曾对台先生喜爱这一副联语的心意有过一点猜想,我想台先生很可能是透过我这一副梦中得句的联语,对我潜意识中的某些幽约怨苦之思有所感触。原来,我于1948年随外子工作调动渡海来台后,次年12月外子即因白色恐怖而被海军拘捕,当时我们的长女言言还不过只有四个月大,而半年后我所任教的彰化女中自校长皇甫珪以下,则有六位教师也因白色恐怖而同时被拘捕,我带着吃奶的不满周岁的女儿也一同被拘捕进了彰化警察局。经过审讯笔供后,警方原意是把我们一起解往台北的警备司令部,其后因为我有一个吃奶的女儿,遂将我提前释出。但我则既失去了工作也失去了宿舍,遂成为一个无家可归之人,不得不寄居在一位亲戚家中,过着每天带着女儿在走廊中打地铺的生活。幸而数月之后,有亲友把我介绍到了台南一所私立女中去任教,我遂带着女儿迁往台南,住入了一间只有草席而空无一物的宿舍。当时的同事和学生对于像我这样一个带着女儿却三年不见丈夫踪影的少妇,未免心怀揣测,而我则只推说是外子的工作忙碌,却对于所经历过的白色恐怖之遭遇未敢透露一字。来到台大以后,我当然更不曾对任何人说起此事。但我想台先生对我所经历过的苦难,却可能是知道的。那是因为我到台大来任教是许诗英先生的推介,而我当年去彰化女中任教也是许诗英先生的推介。许先生曾在我北京老家外院的南房租住过,当时我还只不过是一个中学生。1971年许先生殁世后,我曾写有一首题为“许诗英先生挽诗”的七言长古,其中有“旧居犹记城西宅,书声曾动南邻客”之句,记述了我与许先生相识的原委。而以此一份旧谊,所以许先生后来一直都对我极为关爱。许先生与彰化女中皇甫校长的先生宗亮东教授是朋友,彰化女中发生白色恐怖事件,他不会不知道,而当他把我介绍到台大任教时,也一定曾把我的经历告诉过台先生。我梦中的联语很可能是我当时患难中的某种下意识的流露。台先生是一位颇为锐感的诗人,我想他当时很可能是对于我这一副梦中联语的下意识中的情思有所感知,因此才会把这副联语郑重地书写和装裱后送给了我。当然,这一切都只是我的猜测和假想而已。   至于台先生曾经对我提起过的他也曾梦中得句的事,则台先生既不曾将他的梦中诗句告诉我,我也就一直不曾追问。如此,直到台先生逝世以后数年,在1995年夏,当我赴美国哈佛大学编订一册英文书稿时,住在波士顿附近的台先生的次女纯行有一天来看我,交给了我一册用稿纸抄写的台先生诗稿的复印本,说他们兄弟姊妹希望我为这一册即将出版的诗稿写几句话,我才有机会读到台先生的诗作。关于这件事,我在《台静农先生诗稿·序言》一篇文字中,已有所记叙,兹不复赘。我现在所要说的只是“梦中得句”的故事。当我从纯行手中接到台先生的诗稿后,就迫不及待地想要翻寻出他当年梦中所得的究竟是怎样的诗句。果然,在他的诗集中有一首诗记述了这件事。诗前小序写的是“余方二十岁时,梦中得句,书示同学,皆不解其意。今八十岁时忽忆及此,戏足成之”。他所足成的是一首七言绝句,如下:“春魂渺渺归何处,万寂残红一笑中。此是少年梦呓语,天花缭乱许从容。”从这首诗来看,台先生实在是一位极富幽思和远想的诗人,所以才会在梦中梦到如此微妙的诗句,并且会对于我在梦中所得的联语,如此感兴趣。而且我以为,他或者也曾从我这两句梦呓的联语中,察觉到了某些我从未开口述说过的、存在于我下意识中的某些“幽约怨悱”的哀感吧。至于把梦中得句足成为诗,则也使我想到当年我所告诉过台先生的我的梦中得句之事。我当时梦中所得的原来只有一句,这句诗就是“独陪明月看荷花”。当我与台先生提到这一句梦中之句以后,我还曾有过两次梦中得句,我也曾想要把这些梦中断句足成为诗,但却因清醒后的意识过于明白理性,所足成的句子与梦中的下意识之句,总不能结合融汇到一起,于是就放弃了自己用诗句来足成的想法,而决定摘用一些李商隐的意感朦胧的诗句,把我的梦中得句足成了三首七言绝句。我所足成的三首诗如下:其一是“一春梦雨长飘瓦,万古贞魂倚暮霞。昨夜西池凉露满,独陪明月看荷花”。其二是“波远难通望海潮,朱红空护守宫娇。伶伦吹裂孤生竹,埋骨成灰恨未消”(按:义山诗原句作“恨未休”,我为了押韵之故改为了“恨未消”)。其三是“换朱成碧余芳尽,变海为田夙愿休。总把春山扫眉黛,雨中寥落月中愁”。第一首诗足成于我离开台湾以前,我也曾把这首诗给台先生看过,台先生还曾将之写成了一个小条幅送给我。至于后两首则足成于我离开台湾以后,台先生未曾见到过。当我读到台先生梦中得句的诗以后,我曾有过两点想法,其一是我以为台先生所足成的后两句诗极好。他用“此是少年梦呓语”一句把梦中情思做了一个整体的归结,而又用“天花缭乱许从容”一句把梦中的朦胧与醒后的反思融汇成了一个虚实真幻打成一片的整体,表现出了大力开合擘画的手段,比我之用义山诗拼凑的办法高明多了。其二是台先生的梦中得句是直到八十岁以后才足成的,而那已经是他读过我之用义山诗足成梦中句的作品以后了,所以当我读到他这首诗时也曾推想过他把梦中得句足成为一首诗,曾否也受到过我把梦中得句足成为诗的影响呢?   除了这些梦中的联语和诗句以外,台先生还曾做过使我极为感念的两件事:其一是以前当许诗英先生把我介绍到台大任教时,校方要我把一些作品拿去送审,而我当时乃是忧患余生,实在拿不出什么像样的作品。所以,当许先生亲自到我家来取作品时,我所能呈交上去的只有我早年所写之诗词的一份油印稿,还有我在台南那所私立女中任教时,被人邀写过的几篇谈论诗词的小文。当许先生向我索要作品去送审时,匆促中我只好把我油印的那册诗词稿和我这几篇不像样的小文交给了他。及至我通过了评审以后,又过了许久,这些文稿又被中文系送回到了我自己的手中,这时我突然发现我那些不像样的文稿,竟然都被剪贴得整整齐齐,编订成了一本小册子,而且在封面的一页上还开列有一系列整齐的篇目,而这一系列篇目则正是台先生的笔迹。我看到后内心实极为感动。只不过我与台先生见面时,我们彼此却从来都没有提起过这件事。再有一次,是1988年,当台湾解禁以后,那时我离开台湾已有20年之久了。台湾“清华大学”的陈万益教授邀请我回台湾为几所大学作巡回讲演,我在台大讲演的开场白中,曾经提到了我初抵加拿大被迫要用英语讲课时所写的一首小诗。这首小诗是以诗中第一句的开端“鹏飞”二字为标题的一首七言绝句,全诗是“鹏飞谁与话云程,失所今悲匍地行。北海南溟俱往事,一枝聊此托余生”。我本是一个在讲课时喜欢随意发挥“跑野马”的人,如今要用英语讲课,失去了这一份随意发挥的乐趣,自不免有一种“失所”的悲哀。次日,台大校刊刊出了这首诗,我对此原也未以为意。谁想到当我离台前去向台先生辞行时,台先生竟然已把校刊上所登载的这一首小诗,写成了几个小条幅来供我检选,我当时仍是个颇为拘谨的人,所以就只从中挑选了一幅。其后我非常后悔,我当时为何竟未敢向台先生把那几张小条幅都一齐索要过来呢。此后,还有一件极使我感动的事,那是1990年秋,当我又一次回台讲学时,台先生因患食道癌已住入了台大医院。当我去看望他时,他虽已病体衰弱躺在病床上,但依然神志清明,他曾极为恳挚地对我说,“你还是回来教书吧”。我想他一定是对我那首小诗中所流露的“失所”之悲,一直在关怀着,这句话直到今日也仍然令我感念不已。而过了几天,当我将赴大陆开会,再去医院看望他并向他辞行时,他当时正在昏睡中,遂未得一语之交谈,及至我从大陆开完会再赶回台湾时,台先生则已经长逝不返了。我对台先生其实一直深怀感念之情,只因我个性羞怯拘谨,在他生前,我从来不曾开口表述过感谢之一字。1994年,当我撰写《怀旧忆往——悼念台大的几位师友》时,还曾为自己之不言谢作过一番辩解之辞,说“我以为以先生之豪迈,必不在意我之是否言谢,而以先生之敏锐,则我虽不言谢,先生也必能感知我的谢意”。而如今将近20年后,我竟然把先生珍重送给我的我所最为宝爱的一幅书法,使之从我家中遭窃遗失,我的痛心实在是无可言说。   本来数年前我已曾把友人惠赠的一些书画陆续带回中国去了,而这幅书法则因为我的过于宝爱,反而留在了温哥华我家客厅的墙壁上未忍摘除,而且当我去年离开温哥华时,家中都安装了防盗的警铃,更且还有两位同学住在我家中,多年来都是如此安排,从未发生过意外。谁料到竟会有人拆除了警铃,破坏了电闸,把我所珍爱的几幅书画一扫而空地盗窃而去了呢。此事发生时,我正远在天津,虽有亲友代为报警,但亡羊补牢已经于事无补。而我今春在津更曾因血压增高,且染上感冒又引发了哮喘等种种疾病,延误了行程。当时,温哥华的友人曾不时打电话到天津询问我的归期,有时说不要错过花季,赶快回来吧,有时又说还在下雪,还是晚点回来吧。当时,我还曾写有一首小诗,说“敢问花期与雪期,衰年孤旅剩堪悲。我生早是无家客,羞说行程归不归”。及至三月底我回到温哥华家中时,面对空白的墙壁,真是说不尽的感慨悲伤。有朋友也曾问起过我是否曾为这些书画买了保险,我说没有,因为在我心目中,这些书画所代表的原是一份内心的情谊,本不是物的价值可以衡量的,也不是金钱可以补偿的。但我从这些盗窃者行为之粗暴与品格之低劣来看,则他们所看重的显然只是这些书画的物之价值而已。我现在已是一个年近九旬的老人,物之不能长保,我对之本来早有认知。我的原意本是打算我离世时,将这些书画都留给我在天津南开大学所创办的“中华古典文化研究所”,作为我所接触过的古典文化的一些美好的见证。我还记得20多年前,当台先生逝世后,台大中文系的柯庆明教授曾经写过一篇悼念台先生的文章,他的文题就是《那古典的辉光》,文中对于台先生的行事为人以及音容笑貌,都有生动的描述。而如今台先生的这一幅书法竟然遭受到了这些手段如此粗暴、品格如此低劣之人的盗窃,更可悲哀的则是,我心知这些人一定是华裔人士,在与上一代之古典的辉光对比之下,我确实为我们华裔中的有些人竟然堕落到今日之不择手段、唯利是图的心态和行为,感到可耻与可悲。但继而又想,这些盗窃之人既然以谋利为目的,则台先生的此一幅书法将来定会辗转流传于书画艺术的市场之中。恰好正在此时,台北“故宫博物院”正在举办黄公望的《富春山居图》合展,该图在历经了数百年来之巧取豪夺、焚烧断裂的种种劫难后,终得还原合璧展出,而我也有幸既得在电脑上仔细观赏了全幅图卷,也遍读了所有的题跋。因此,我遂对我所失落的这一幅台先生的书法,产生了一种美好的祝愿,希望这幅书法能流转到一位真正对之知所赏爱的人士手中,而我的这篇文字,或者也可一如《山居图》之题识,使后之宝藏者知其当年“亹亹布置”与“成就之难”的种种心谊之历程有如是者,因此乃写了这篇纪念文字,且定了一个副题曰“从黄公望《富春山居图》跋文谈及”,盖以记其始末原委之如此也。是为记。(我此次被窃失去的书画,除台静农先生此幅书法以外,还有范曾先生的四幅作品:一幅屈原立像、一幅《达摩演法图》、一幅老人与猴子的《高士图》,还有一幅《水龙吟》的书法。这些书画作品,其中也有不少故事。)   --     《富春山居图》前半卷 名称:《富春山居图·剩山图》 馆藏:浙江省博物馆 尺幅:纵31.8厘米,横51.4厘米 浙江博物馆《富春山居图》(《剩山图》) 《富春山居图》后半卷 名称:《富春山居图·无用师卷》 馆藏:台北故宫博物院 尺幅:纵33厘米,横636.9厘米  《富春山居图》历史背景 《富春山居图》本是元代画家黄公望为挚友无用师和尚所绘,成于1350年(元顺宗至正十年)。画卷以浙江富春江为背景,全图用墨淡雅,山和水疏密结合,墨色浓淡并用。后人视之黄公望代表作,且贯以“中国十大传世名画之一”的雅号。 明代曾先后辗转于沈周、樊舜、谈志伊、董其昌、吴正志等大收藏家和大书画家之手。几经流离,明朝末年,传至宜兴收藏家吴洪裕手中,历史将记住这个名字。他临终之际欲将《富春山居图》殉葬。其侄火中取画,方才救下了这幅绝世佳品。但不幸的是,不仅分割成两段,且中间缺失几十厘米。 顺治九年(公元1652年),古董商人吴其贞从宜兴吴家手中得到《富春山居图》的前半卷后,去掉完全烧焦的残片,一尺六寸尚还清晰可见,重新剪裁接拼后还有一山一水一丘一壑之景,命名为《剩山图》。 经重新装裱,于康熙八年(公元1669年)让与扬州通判王廷宾,后辗转于诸收藏家之手,长期湮没于世间。至民国二十七年(公元1938年),《剩山图》被吴湖帆购得,列入《梅景书屋秘笈》,并盖有多枚吴氏鉴藏印,吴氏考证为《富春山居图》前段真迹。直到1956年,《剩山图》落户浙江省博物馆,成为“镇馆之宝”。 后段称《无用师卷》,1652年归于江苏丹阳张范我,张氏酷爱收藏,常至“无钱则典田宅以为常”的地步。后转入泰兴季寓庸之手。 季氏居园中,以诗文书画自娱自乐,画仿沈周而书宗祝枝山,曾耗巨资将书画古籍纳入囊中。约顺治十三年(公元1656年)春夏之交,《无用师卷》成其镇园之宝。 康熙十二年(公元1673年),季寓庸、季振宜父子相继离去,家中藏书陆续被后人出让,《无用师卷》难逃此劫。画家兼鉴赏家高士奇于清康熙二十九年(公元1690年)前后以六百两黄金购得,后被松江王鸿绪以原价买进。 清雍正六年(1728年),王鸿绪病故,此卷流落扬州,扬州盐商安岐掷千金于此卷。安氏收藏书画,精于鉴赏。《无用师卷》先后收藏在“安家巷”和“沽水草堂”。 后来安氏家道中落,经傅恒介绍,将《无用师卷》并其他古物以两千两银子一并卖给了官府。乾隆十一年(公元1746年),《无用师卷》作别扬州,由地方官将其呈献给乾隆皇帝。 彼时,乾隆已将伪作《子明卷》定为真品,《无用师卷》并未成为乾隆的眼中物。直至嘉庆年间,经元、明、清三朝诸多鉴赏家审定,才被编入《石渠宝笈三编》,一直藏于清宫内府。 清亡后仍藏于故宫。1933年,日军攻占山海关,为避战火,馆藏精品从故宫博物院转移,《无用师卷》与近百万件故宫文物一道,由北京经南京辗转运抵四川、贵州,抗战结束后陆续运回南京。解放前夕,被带去台湾,藏于台北故宫博物院。 大陆、台湾,600多年的《富春山居图》从此海峡相望。 此卷仅是一个索引,解放前期,国民党当局曾分三批将故宫文物运抵台湾,“三希堂”法帖、《满文大藏经》、《四库全书》等如今均是“生离”状态。  
  11. 陈映真:对我而言的“第三世界”
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  12. 汪晖:“代表性的断裂”:反思未来民主的进程
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    (此文根据作者访谈写成,此为上篇,下篇待发)过去三十年,围绕民主问题的辩论和分歧从未停止。“历史终结论”将民主作为最后一种政治形式,普遍历史到来的标志。这一有关民主的叙述是通过将“人民民主”置于“政治专制”范畴才得以完成的。然而,接着社会主义体系的瓦解而来的,是反恐战争、宗教冲突、生态破坏、高风险社会和在这次金融危机中暴露出的全球资本主义体制的深刻矛盾。这些矛盾也引发了“社会民主”的危机。西方民主的空洞化、新兴民主的内在矛盾,以及第三世界国家的民主困境,与上述危机密切相关,成为讨论当代民主问题不能忽略的课题。为什么二十世纪形成的两种社会体制先后陷入了危机?
  13. 苏力:修辞学的政法家门
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  14. 本雅明:译者的任务
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  15. 汪晖:关于“早期现代性”及其他
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  16. 王晓明:百年转型之社会焦虑
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    2011年9月21日,凤凰网对话上海大学文化研究系教授王晓明。1993年6月,尚在华东师范大学中文系任教的王晓明教授,在《上海文学》发表《文学和人文精神的危机》,随之在全国引起一场持续三年的"人文精神大讨论"。时隔20年,王晓明重新探讨今日中国人精神危机与社会群体焦虑。今天,中国经济发展迅速,GDP不断增加,人们物质生活实现了一定程度的富足,然而国人并不幸福,也并未在精神上得到满足。反而呈现出群体痛苦、压抑、迷茫、焦躁、极端,与此同时,社会也陷入诚信缺失、道德败坏、缺乏底线的危机。社会焦虑背后深层原因是什么?在王晓明看来,这不是新的问题,早在上世纪90年代初就已经埋下伏笔,只是当时被发展经济和增加物质财富的理想暂时掩盖。当摆脱贫困的焦虑摆脱,这种焦虑便开始显现。王晓明分析对现在对未来的不确定,日益拉大的贫富差距,官场、大学与传媒风气日下对社会风气的破坏,都是社会焦虑产生的原因,当"社会上制度和人心两个层面,都不再发挥使社会成为有机体的作用,人与人之间只是利益的平衡",社会焦虑相伴而来。如何从根本上摆脱社会群体焦虑?王晓明提出从制度和人心两个方面入手。一方面政治改革要推进,但还应该找回社会的精神基础、精神认同。 对话嘉宾:王晓明,上海大学文化研究系教授、博士生导师、中国当代文化研究中心主任。"人文精神大讨论"发起者。著有《刺丛里的求索》、《无法直面的人生》、《半张脸的神话》、《在思想与文学之间》、《近视与远望》等。对话主持:陈芳 袁训会 焦虑是因为社会普遍没有方向主持人:目前中国处在社会转型期,经济发展迅速,但国人却日益表现出群体焦虑,无论是官员还是民众,无论是富人还是穷人。当下中国人的焦虑感来自哪里?因为什么而焦虑?王晓明:主要是对中国的现实和未来没有信心。不知道社会以后会怎么样,因此也就不知道自己究竟该怎么过日子。中国现在有非常多的人,程度不同地处在这种状态里,即便按照流行风气鼓励的那样,天天对自己说:管他呢,过好自己的小日子就行了,他实际上还是心里不踏实,许多事情都不敢深想:这样的人一多,群体的焦虑就出现了。那些有钱有权的人,可以逃到外国去,实际上许多人已经将子女送出去了,但普通老百姓没办法,只能生活在这个不知道明天后天大后天会怎么样的中国的现实中。朝野上下,如此大面积地丧失对未来的确信,没有方向,不知道国家应该往哪里走,这种情况,辛亥以来好像是第一次吧。辛亥革命之后,曾有一段时间大家很失望,鲁迅说,民国以后我还是当奴隶,而且是奴隶的奴隶。但很快就有了各种新的思路--其中不少是辛亥革命以前就有了基础,到这时候发扬光大的:三民主义、社会主义、马克思列宁主义,等等等等。各路人马也都照着自己理想的方向奋斗。1927年国民政府统一全国,1949年中共领导建立中华人民共和国,都是有明确的奋斗目标,也都能不同程度地聚成社会共识。1979年前后,政治民主、文化开放、经济发展、摆脱贫困...... 各种不同层面的要求汇聚到"改革"二字下面,形成新一轮社会共识。即便1989年之后,政治改革不行了,许多理想不能谈了,大家都转向经济发展、冰箱彩电汽车房子了,好歹也还算有一个大致的方向,尽管它是那么狭隘、靠不住。主持人:今天,我们在物质上实现了一定的富裕,人们生活也得到了很大的改善,为什么老百姓却更加焦虑?王晓明:今天大多数人的物质生活,跟二十年前相比确实有较大改善,当然,也同时丧失了很多别的东西--这个今天先不讲,但也正因为这样,原先被掩盖的事情就暴露出来了:1980年代,当那个包含许多层面的"改革"不断受挫、令人沮丧的时候,我们今天共同困惑的这个"不知道该往哪儿去"的问题,其实就已经形成了,只不过当时大家看不到。1989年以后被动地形成的那个全民都盯着物质生活看的局面,更把这个问题给盖住了。但今天,物质贫困的压力稍一缓解,那个大问题就露出来了。这不是新的问题,只是今天被大家普遍感觉到了而已。 巨大的贫富差距也是社会焦虑的重要原因主持人:中国这100年,一直在追求一个强国梦。今天,中国在某种程度上实现了富强,但普通国民并没有随着生活水平的改善而充分享受到国家崛起的成果和荣誉感,深层原因是什么?王晓明:这要稍微多说两句。首先,辛亥革命前后中国人的理想是很大的,绝非只是国家的富强,在当时许多人的思想里,国家富强只是第一步,接下来更重要的,是把中国建设成为一个文明的社会,而且这个文明的中国要发挥作用,让世界也变得文明起来。当时那种帝国主义列强肆意压迫弱小国家的局面,是中国现代知识分子不能接受的,他们把这个看成是"野蛮世界",希望以后强大了的中国,能推动整个世界,脱离这种"野蛮"状态。其次,他们当时讲的"富强",也绝非只是指钱多。作为一个完整的目标,"富强"必定包括许多不能用GDP或者"经济总量"来代表的方面,比如科技创新力、国民素质、政治清明、社会凝聚力...... 照这样的标准来看,中国今天是不是已经"富强"了,我觉得不见得。我们现在能说的,只是GDP的总数值很高、钱很多。可在晚清时候,中国被列强欺负得一塌糊涂,那时的中国钱也不少,GDP也不低,至少比日本高许多啊!   再次,我们今天虽然钱是多了,但社会财富的分配太倾斜了,几乎各方面都是赢家通吃。这三点是互相关联,而且关联得很紧密的,今天社会之所以弄得如此赢家通吃,那种凡事都从物质功利着眼、将社会和国家目标缩小为只是GDP、"经济总量"的政治和思想风气,就是一个非常重要的原因。主持人:不换寡而患不均,对普通人来说,最直接的感受是不平衡,不公平,这也可能是焦虑的重要原因。王晓明:对,中国的经济走到今天,不同阶层之间的贫富差距,对社会人心的刺激,的确是越来越大于单个阶层的收入的今昔对比。这些年有许多不同的数据,汇总起来看,少数人占有这么大比例的财富,早的不说,至少1949年以来,现在是最严重的时候吧。这结果,就是几乎每个人--当然,那些挥金如土的新富人可以除外--都觉得自己的经济压力很大。尤其是人数众多的较低收入的群体,尽管其中许多人的收入也有提高,但这个提高的喜悦,远远赶不上他们发现那些有钱人捞得太多太多时的愤怒。中国的社会腐败是从官场蔓延出来的主持人:记得您曾说过,当人们把眼光转向现实社会之后,很自然地会引发对制度性因素的关注,比如政府的责任,宪政问题,产权问题和经济体制,您觉得这几个因素对社会群体焦虑有着怎样的影响?王晓明:当我们理解社会的时候,"制度"通常和"人心"相对而言。就中国来说,成文的制度固然重要,但各种"不成文法"往往更起作用。在许多时候,这两者之间差别很大,比如今天,如果单看宪法,许多条文都很好,没有问题,如果这些条文所规定的制度能够有效运作,许多严重的问题是不应该出现的。可这些问题就是出现了,这就说明,我们的现实其实是按照另外一些规则在运行的,写在纸上的多半是虚文,实际生活中碰到的那些不成文法,才是真正的制度所在。身为中国人,我们对这些都很清楚,即便一个小学生,他也明白,广播里的声音和黑板报上的文字,与班级里的实际情况是两回事。为什么在一套看上去还行的成文制度的框架里,实际上却形成了另一套在许多方面简直是与成文相反的不成文法?一旦如此深究"制度",就必然要碰到人和"人心"的问题了......主持人:在您这里,人心是比较重要的概念。人心是怎么一步一步变坏?王晓明:对中国的"人心"影响最大的,当然是官场。秦以后,中国基本上都是中央集权,皇权也就因此具有道德象征的功能,朝廷里的风气,通常对整个社会人心有极大影响。今天也是一样,年轻人为了考公务员打破头,虽说对政府的民怨日多,一般人实际上还是将官场看得很重的,官场风气对社会风气的引领作用,实际上依然很大。官员不撒谎,社会有诚信。如果弄到一看见政府文告、官员说话,大家就本能地怀疑他没说实话,一定是在为了政绩、官位而掩盖事实、歪曲真相,那中国社会要建设诚信的风气,恐怕也就很难了。从这个意义上说,今天中国的社会腐败,首先是从官场蔓延出来的。第二个重要因素就是教育。"青春年华"本身就是一种向善的力量,如果我们的学校教育搞得好,不是两眼向钱看,而是开阔学生的视野和胸襟,那就能帮助青年人在精神上打下一个比较好的底子,即便社会上风气很坏,他踏上社会后难免受影响,但他心里也会有抵抗,至少能变得慢一点。可现在,非常糟糕,大学里的风气几乎和社会上一样,也开口闭口就是钱......第三是传媒。我们今天许多传媒的不成器,有体制束缚和官场风气污染的原因,也有市场化和商业化方面的原因:广告大客户影响甚至操控媒体的力量,现在是越来越大了。如果官场、学校和传媒,都在往这样的方向上去影响社会,中国的"人心"当然要出问题了。主持人:人心变坏与市场经济有没有关系,市场经济一定会导致道德的滑坡吗?王晓明:社会发展到一定程度,就会有市场,几千来年,人类一直有很大一部分生活是跟市场有关的,但并不因此就一定人心败坏。资本主义兴起以后,情况有所不同,资本主义兴起之前的市场,通常范围比较小,许多市场行为,也不都是为了资本增值,能稳定地维持生计,就可以了。但资本主义不同,它是要不断扩大再生产的,它的逻辑是一切都应该拿来为资本增值服务,它更大力推广那种"经济应该永远不断增长"的迷信...... 一旦这些东西扩散到全世界,被大家广泛接受,无论是不是民选政府,都将"发展经济"列为第一目标,无论当老师还是当医生,都觉得人活着就是要多挣钱,那就确实会在很大程度上影响人心,让人越来越短视和狭隘。但即便如此,如果政府、学校、传媒、宗教等等,能从不同的方面制衡这种资本主义市场的扩张,那社会和人心还是能保持大体平衡,不会全变成名利场。我们现在的问题是,中国特色的资本主义市场的逻辑在中国太肆无忌惮了,官场、学校、传媒,都不同程度地按照这个市场的逻辑来运转。我有时甚至觉得,从实质上看,一些官场或准官场的市场化,是比其他地方更彻底的。如果官员之间、师生之间、传媒人和受众之间,社会的各个方面,都是利益交换,几乎没有别的约束,就一个资本主义的市场独大,"人心"怎么可能会好?主持人:孙立平教授针对中国当下情况,提出过中国社会正在加速走向溃败,您怎么看社会溃败论,您觉得当下对中国社会威胁最大的是什么?王晓明:辛亥革命之前,有人曾经用这么两个词形容中国未来可能的状况:一个是"瓦解",中国被掰成几块,但每一块本身大体还完整,还能提起来;另外一个叫"鱼烂",这是更糟了,腐烂的鱼是提不起来的,提任何一块,整条都会散掉。当时许多人最担心的,就是这个鱼烂。孙先生讲的"溃败",我觉得跟"鱼烂"的意思差不多,是指在制度和人心两个层面,都不再存在所谓"有机体",实际上都是一盘散沙,除了短暂的利益平衡,没有别的关系能将大家联起来。人与人、群体与群体、阶层与阶层......没有共同的追求,没有认同感,没有共同关心的问题,甚至不觉得有共同的利益!到这一步,真是问题大了。 变革寄希望于政治制度改革与重振人心主持人:社会群体焦虑加剧,民众试图去改变,或改良或激进,但都遭到非常强大的阻力。阻力来自哪里?您曾讲过中国现在有一个新的阶级在快速崛起,掌握着特别多的经济资源,同时又染指政治和文化资源,这股力量对人们的焦虑和社会的破坏是怎么样的?王晓明:怎样描述和分析这个新的阶级,是今天中国社会科学的一大课题。有人用"官家资产阶级"之类的概念,意思是官僚与新资本家的混合,这大体不错,但还可以补充一点,就是一部分文化人--通常都有教授头衔--也参与其中,分一杯羹。所谓赢家通吃,主要就是这个三合一的新阶级在通吃。你说的抵制社会改革的阻力,主要也是来自这个新阶级。主持人:怎么才能从根本上消除焦虑并重塑人心?王晓明:晚清时许多人也讨论过类似的问题。那时的中国危机深重,而危机的最主要的症状,就是"人心"坏了,消极放弃的情绪非常浓厚,可是,要改变中国,又只能从人入手,这似乎是一个悖论。怎么打破这个悖论?当时的知识分子和革命家提出了很多不同的方案,身体力行,今天回过头去看,你不能不佩服,就是靠了那些人的前仆后继,硬是打破了这个悖论,推翻满清、辛亥革命、新文化运动...... 为中国开出一个新局面!虽然此后的历史依然坎坷,新局面毕竟是开出来了。从某个角度看,今天似乎又遇到了当年那样的难题:如何打破"有什么用啊?""搞不好了!"的消极气氛,振奋人心,重启制度和整个社会的真正改革?和那时候一样,今天也有许多可选的方案,应该从各方面一齐努力。身为大学教师,我觉得学校教育特别重要,别的不说,几乎所有的官员,都是在中学和大学--小学更不必说--念过书的,学校课堂上的气氛、课本和黑板上的内容,都是对人有长远影响的。如今社会的上上下下,对学校教育的评价越来越低,学校里的人,也都怨声载道。可是,光这么抱怨,意思不大,如何在现有的政治条件下,在一间一间的教室里,一节课一节地教好课,一个一个学生地认真对待?这才是我们这些当教师的人,应该特别下力气去做的。当然应该持续地批评那些大的问题,但同时,也得一步一步实地去做,比如,当严厉指斥学校的"官本位"的时候,我们就该从自己开始,在走廊里遇见校长院长了,不要再像契诃夫笔下的小公务员那样,毕恭毕敬地称官衔:"某校长"、"某院长"...... 这当然只是细节,但是,只有能落实为无数细节上的改进,总体的进步才能站稳。主持人:有一种观点认为中国30多年来的合法性就来源于高速的经济增长,每当社会焦虑加剧时,就拼命增长,并以维稳为重,但结果是越维稳越不稳,焦虑不断出现。您怎么看中国这种发展逻辑?政府应该怎么改变?王晓明:你说得对,这些年不断膨胀的社会大厦,确实是靠经济增长这一根大柱子维持着的,不是说完全没有别的支柱,但都很细,有的更差不多完全断了。这确实危险,因为经济不可能一直这么增长下去,更何况目前这种高能耗、高材耗、因此必然高污染的增长方式,社会和生态的成本都太高,后患很大。至于高压式的"维稳",更只能有一时之效,如果以为这样就能长治久安,那是笑话了。从一些政策看,你会觉得中国现在没有什么真正的"发展"逻辑,实际上起作用的,好像是一种拖延和回避的逻辑:总是绕开难题,把其实已经很严重了的问题,尽可能往后推。这实际上还是短视,而短视是一定要付代价的,就好像生病一样,必须要治,拖延只会更麻烦。要说官场的风气坏,这种只图眼前--实质是个人或少数人的--安稳、置国家和社会的隐患、深患于不顾的心思,正是其中之一大端。因此,首先要改变的,是这一种不负责任的拖延苟安之心,这一条改了,才可能真正从大处和长远着眼,探索适合国情的长远之计。主持人:台湾通过宪政民主的方式来实现,您觉得这种路径对大陆有没有借鉴意义?王晓明:其实这也是晚清和辛亥前后多次争论过的一个老问题。当年孙中山改组国民党,原因之一,就是觉得在当时那种条件下,宋教仁他们指望的议会斗争、宪政民主的道路走不通。后来改走革命党-党军-党国这一条路,从效果上看,确实有效,中国翻天覆地。可是,革命胜利以后,革命党如何避免腐败堕落,成为反革命党,这方面的问题一直没有解决好。今天之所以重提宪政民主,主要也就是因为这个原因吧。目前来看,中国在这个事情上大概还要走一段艰难摸索的路,没有什么现成的方案。但有一点可以肯定,无论什么方案,政治改革必须要向前推进。当然,这里的"政治",不只是说,要发展或创造一个民主的、能有效为人民服务的政治制度,还包括要建设一个可以给社会充当稳固的精神基础的、丰富的、有反思的公共价值认同。制度与人心,从来就是互相作用的,一头做不好,另外一头不可能做好。比方说,如果没有大批有理想、有责任心、肯苦干的官员,就是订出了再好的方案,也没有用。因此,制度改革和人心进步,必须齐头并进、互相促进,才能在比较深的社会层面上,扎实地推进政治进步。现在说起来都觉得问题一大堆,但我们也要看到事情的另外一面:其一,改革和进步都是被逼出来的,形势比人强,现在社会普遍焦虑,觉得问题已经摆在那里,拖延不过去,这本身就是一种很大的精神能量,其积极的一面不可小看。其二,这30年间,社会在经济以外的一些方面,也有不小的进步,比如互联网,和由此造成的新的公共舆论。有人说围观改变中国,如果不把这个改变理解得太窄,我觉得是有可能的。其三,现在的年轻人,多在社会经济和物质生活持续改善的环境中长大,昔日那种因为物质匮乏、政治斗争激烈而造成的人心之恶,在他们身上比较少,他们可能冷漠一点,软弱一些,但心肠应该比较良善,至少我年轻时常见的那种主动挖一个坑、陷害别人的事情,大概一般不会做。也许我这是不了解情况的乱说,我的意思是,在一些方面,年轻人比我们这一代人强。因此,我觉得对未来应该有信心。至少那种"有什么用啊?"的消极情绪,是没有什么道理的。今天我们所做的事情是不是有效,我们自己其实是无从判断的,那要以后的人才能定。鲁迅有一句话说得特别好:不能一定要有人给你打了保票,这才"雄赳赳地去革命"。尽管我们不知道结果会怎样,但只要认为应该做,就去做。甚至不妨反过来说:只要做了,就一定有用,哪怕眼下一时看不到。 2010年9月30日根据陈芳的录音整理稿改定
  17. 麦尔维尔:书记员巴特比:一个华尔街的故事
    人文 2011/04/12 | 阅读: 3146
    BARTLEBY, THE SCRIVENER.A STORY OF WALL-STREET.I am a rather elderly man. The nature of my avocations for the last thirty years has brought me into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set of men, of whom as yet nothing that I know of has ever been written:—I mean the law-copyists or scriveners. I have known very many of them, professionally and privately, and if I pleased, could relate divers histories, at which good-natured gentlemen might smile, and sentimental souls might weep. But I waive the biographies of all other scriveners for a few passages in the life of Bartleby, who was a scrivener of the strangest I ever saw or heard of. While of other law-copyists I might write the complete life, of Bartleby nothing of that sort can be done. I believe that no materials exist for a full and satisfactory biography of this man. It is an irreparable loss to literature. Bartleby was one of those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable, except from the original sources, and in his case those are very small. What my own astonished eyes saw of Bartleby, that is all I know of him, except, indeed, one vague report which will appear in the sequel.Ere introducing the scrivener, as he first appeared to me, it is fit I make some mention of myself, my employees, my business, my chambers, and general surroundings; because some such description is indispensable to an adequate understanding of the chief character about to be presented.Imprimis: I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best. Hence, though I belong to a profession proverbially energetic and nervous, even to turbulence, at times, yet nothing of that sort have I ever suffered to invade my peace. I am one of those unambitious lawyers who never addresses a jury, or in any way draws down public applause; but in the cool tranquility of a snug retreat, do a snug business among rich men's bonds and mortgages and title-deeds. All who know me, consider me an eminently safe man. The late John Jacob Astor, a personage little given to poetic enthusiasm, had no hesitation in pronouncing my first grand point to be prudence; my next, method. I do not speak it in vanity, but simply record the fact, that I was not unemployed in my profession by the late John Jacob Astor; a name which, I admit, I love to repeat, for it hath a rounded and orbicular sound to it, and rings like unto bullion. I will freely add, that I was not insensible to the late John Jacob Astor's good opinion.Some time prior to the period at which this little history begins, my avocations had been largely increased. The good old office, now extinct in the State of New York, of a Master in Chancery, had been conferred upon me. It was not a very arduous office, but very pleasantly remunerative. I seldom lose my temper; much more seldom indulge in dangerous indignation at wrongs and outrages; but I must be permitted to be rash here and declare, that I consider the sudden and violent abrogation of the office of Master in Chancery, by the new Constitution, as a—premature act; inasmuch as I had counted upon a life-lease of the profits, whereas I only received those of a few short years. But this is by the way.My chambers were up stairs at No.—Wall-street. At one end they looked upon the white wall of the interior of a spacious sky-light shaft, penetrating the building from top to bottom. This view might have been considered rather tame than otherwise, deficient in what landscape painters call "life." But if so, the view from the other end of my chambers offered, at least, a contrast, if nothing more. In that direction my windows commanded an unobstructed view of a lofty brick wall, black by age and everlasting shade; which wall required no spy-glass to bring out its lurking beauties, but for the benefit of all near-sighted spectators, was pushed up to within ten feet of my window panes. Owing to the great height of the surrounding buildings, and my chambers being on the second floor, the interval between this wall and mine not a little resembled a huge square cistern.At the period just preceding the advent of Bartleby, I had two persons as copyists in my employment, and a promising lad as an office-boy. First, Turkey; second, Nippers; third, Ginger Nut. These may seem names, the like of which are not usually found in the Directory. In truth they were nicknames, mutually conferred upon each other by my three clerks, and were deemed expressive of their respective persons or characters. Turkey was a short, pursy Englishman of about my own age, that is, somewhere not far from sixty. In the morning, one might say, his face was of a fine florid hue, but after twelve o'clock, meridian—his dinner hour—it blazed like a grate full of Christmas coals; and continued blazing—but, as it were, with a gradual wane—till 6 o'clock, P.M. or thereabouts, after which I saw no more of the proprietor of the face, which gaining its meridian with the sun, seemed to set with it, to rise, culminate, and decline the following day, with the like regularity and undiminished glory. There are many singular coincidences I have known in the course of my life, not the least among which was the fact, that exactly when Turkey displayed his fullest beams from his red and radiant countenance, just then, too, at that critical moment, began the daily period when I considered his business capacities as seriously disturbed for the remainder of the twenty-four hours. Not that he was absolutely idle, or averse to business then; far from it. The difficulty was, he was apt to be altogether too energetic. There was a strange, inflamed, flurried, flighty recklessness of activity about him. He would be incautious in dipping his pen into his inkstand. All his blots upon my documents, were dropped there after twelve o'clock, meridian. Indeed, not only would he be reckless and sadly given to making blots in the afternoon, but some days he went further, and was rather noisy. At such times, too, his face flamed with augmented blazonry, as if cannel coal had been heaped on anthracite. He made an unpleasant racket with his chair; spilled his sand-box; in mending his pens, impatiently split them all to pieces, and threw them on the floor in a sudden passion; stood up and leaned over his table, boxing his papers about in a most indecorous manner, very sad to behold in an elderly man like him. Nevertheless, as he was in many ways a most valuable person to me, and all the time before twelve o'clock, meridian, was the quickest, steadiest creature too, accomplishing a great deal of work in a style not easy to be matched—for these reasons, I was willing to overlook his eccentricities, though indeed, occasionally, I remonstrated with him. I did this very gently, however, because, though the civilest, nay, the blandest and most reverential of men in the morning, yet in the afternoon he was disposed, upon provocation, to be slightly rash with his tongue, in fact, insolent. Now, valuing his morning services as I did, and resolved not to lose them; yet, at the same time made uncomfortable by his inflamed ways after twelve o'clock; and being a man of peace, unwilling by my admonitions to call forth unseemly retorts from him; I took upon me, one Saturday noon (he was always worse on Saturdays), to hint to him, very kindly, that perhaps now that he was growing old, it might be well to abridge his labors; in short, he need not come to my chambers after twelve o'clock, but, dinner over, had best go home to his lodgings and rest himself till teatime. But no; he insisted upon his afternoon devotions. His countenance became intolerably fervid, as he oratorically assured me—gesticulating with a long ruler at the other end of the room—that if his services in the morning were useful, how indispensable, then, in the afternoon?"With submission, sir," said Turkey on this occasion, "I consider myself your right-hand man. In the morning I but marshal and deploy my columns; but in the afternoon I put myself at their head, and gallantly charge the foe, thus!"—and he made a violent thrust with the ruler."But the blots, Turkey," intimated I."True,—but, with submission, sir, behold these hairs! I am getting old. Surely, sir, a blot or two of a warm afternoon is not to be severely urged against gray hairs. Old age—even if it blot the page—is honorable. With submission, sir, we both are getting old."This appeal to my fellow-feeling was hardly to be resisted. At all events, I saw that go he would not. So I made up my mind to let him stay, resolving, nevertheless, to see to it, that during the afternoon he had to do with my less important papers.Nippers, the second on my list, was a whiskered, sallow, and, upon the whole, rather piratical-looking young man of about five and twenty. I always deemed him the victim of two evil powers—ambition and indigestion. The ambition was evinced by a certain impatience of the duties of a mere copyist, an unwarrantable usurpation of strictly professional affairs, such as the original drawing up of legal documents. The indigestion seemed betokened in an occasional nervous testiness and grinning irritability, causing the teeth to audibly grind together over mistakes committed in copying; unnecessary maledictions, hissed, rather than spoken, in the heat of business; and especially by a continual discontent with the height of the table where he worked. Though of a very ingenious mechanical turn, Nippers could never get this table to suit him. He put chips under it, blocks of various sorts, bits of pasteboard, and at last went so far as to attempt an exquisite adjustment by final pieces of folded blotting paper. But no invention would answer. If, for the sake of easing his back, he brought the table lid at a sharp angle well up towards his chin, and wrote there like a man using the steep roof of a Dutch house for his desk:—then he declared that it stopped the circulation in his arms. If now he lowered the table to his waistbands, and stooped over it in writing, then there was a sore aching in his back. In short, the truth of the matter was, Nippers knew not what he wanted. Or, if he wanted any thing, it was to be rid of a scrivener's table altogether. Among the manifestations of his diseased ambition was a fondness he had for receiving visits from certain ambiguous-looking fellows in seedy coats, whom he called his clients. Indeed I was aware that not only was he, at times, considerable of a ward-politician, but he occasionally did a little business at the Justices' courts, and was not unknown on the steps of the Tombs. I have good reason to believe, however, that one individual who called upon him at my chambers, and who, with a grand air, he insisted was his client, was no other than a dun, and the alleged title-deed, a bill. But with all his failings, and the annoyances he caused me, Nippers, like his compatriot Turkey, was a very useful man to me; wrote a neat, swift hand; and, when he chose, was not deficient in a gentlemanly sort of deportment. Added to this, he always dressed in a gentlemanly sort of way; and so, incidentally, reflected credit upon my chambers. Whereas with respect to Turkey, I had much ado to keep him from being a reproach to me. His clothes were apt to look oily and smell of eating-houses. He wore his pantaloons very loose and baggy in summer. His coats were execrable; his hat not to be handled. But while the hat was a thing of indifference to me, inasmuch as his natural civility and deference, as a dependent Englishman, always led him to doff it the moment he entered the room, yet his coat was another matter. Concerning his coats, I reasoned with him; but with no effect. The truth was, I suppose, that a man of so small an income, could not afford to sport such a lustrous face and a lustrous coat at one and the same time. As Nippers once observed, Turkey's money went chiefly for red ink. One winter day I presented Turkey with a highly-respectable looking coat of my own, a padded gray coat, of a most comfortable warmth, and which buttoned straight up from the knee to the neck. I thought Turkey would appreciate the favor, and abate his rashness and obstreperousness of afternoons. But no. I verily believe that buttoning himself up in so downy and blanket-like a coat had a pernicious effect upon him; upon the same principle that too much oats are bad for horses. In fact, precisely as a rash, restive horse is said to feel his oats, so Turkey felt his coat. It made him insolent. He was a man whom prosperity harmed.Though concerning the self-indulgent habits of Turkey I had my own private surmises, yet touching Nippers I was well persuaded that whatever might by his faults in other respects, he was, at least, a temperate young man. But indeed, nature herself seemed to have been his vintner, and at his birth charged him so thoroughly with an irritable, brandy-like disposition, that all subsequent potations were needless. When I consider how, amid the stillness of my chambers, Nippers would sometimes impatiently rise from his seat, and stooping over his table, spread his arms wide apart, seize the whole desk, and move it, and jerk it, with a grim, grinding motion on the floor, as if the table were a perverse voluntary agent, intent on thwarting and vexing him; I plainly perceive that for Nippers, brandy and water were altogether superfluous.It was fortunate for me that, owing to its peculiar cause—indigestion—the irritability and consequent nervousness of Nippers, were mainly observable in the morning, while in the afternoon he was comparatively mild. So that Turkey's paroxysms only coming on about twelve o'clock, I never had to do with their eccentricities at one time. Their fits relieved each other like guards. When Nippers' was on, Turkey's was off; and vice versa. This was a good natural arrangement under the circumstances.Ginger Nut, the third on my list, was a lad some twelve years old. His father was a carman, ambitious of seeing his son on the bench instead of a cart, before he died. So he sent him to my office as student at law, errand boy, and cleaner and sweeper, at the rate of one dollar a week. He had a little desk to himself, but he did not use it much. Upon inspection, the drawer exhibited a great array of the shells of various sorts of nuts. Indeed, to this quick-witted youth the whole noble science of the law was contained in a nut-shell. Not the least among the employments of Ginger Nut, as well as one which he discharged with the most alacrity, was his duty as cake and apple purveyor for Turkey and Nippers. Copying law papers being proverbially dry, husky sort of business, my two scriveners were fain to moisten their mouths very often with Spitzenbergs to be had at the numerous stalls nigh the Custom House and Post Office. Also, they sent Ginger Nut very frequently for that peculiar cake—small, flat, round, and very spicy—after which he had been named by them. Of a cold morning when business was but dull, Turkey would gobble up scores of these cakes, as if they were mere wafers—indeed they sell them at the rate of six or eight for a penny—the scrape of his pen blending with the crunching of the crisp particles in his mouth. Of all the fiery afternoon blunders and flurried rashnesses of Turkey, was his once moistening a ginger-cake between his lips, and clapping it on to a mortgage for a seal. I came within an ace of dismissing him then. But he mollified me by making an oriental bow, and saying—"With submission, sir, it was generous of me to find you in stationery on my own account."Now my original business—that of a conveyancer and title hunter, and drawer-up of recondite documents of all sorts—was considerably increased by receiving the master's office. There was now great work for scriveners. Not only must I push the clerks already with me, but I must have additional help. In answer to my advertisement, a motionless young man one morning, stood upon my office threshold, the door being open, for it was summer. I can see that figure now—pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn! It was Bartleby.After a few words touching his qualifications, I engaged him, glad to have among my corps of copyists a man of so singularly sedate an aspect, which I thought might operate beneficially upon the flighty temper of Turkey, and the fiery one of Nippers.I should have stated before that ground glass folding-doors divided my premises into two parts, one of which was occupied by my scriveners, the other by myself. According to my humor I threw open these doors, or closed them. I resolved to assign Bartleby a corner by the folding-doors, but on my side of them, so as to have this quiet man within easy call, in case any trifling thing was to be done. I placed his desk close up to a small side-window in that part of the room, a window which originally had afforded a lateral view of certain grimy back-yards and bricks, but which, owing to subsequent erections, commanded at present no view at all, though it gave some light. Within three feet of the panes was a wall, and the light came down from far above, between two lofty buildings, as from a very small opening in a dome. Still further to a satisfactory arrangement, I procured a high green folding screen, which might entirely isolate Bartleby from my sight, though not remove him from my voice. And thus, in a manner, privacy and society were conjoined.At first Bartleby did an extraordinary quantity of writing. As if long famishing for something to copy, he seemed to gorge himself on my documents. There was no pause for digestion. He ran a day and night line, copying by sun-light and by candle-light. I should have been quite delighted with his application, had he been cheerfully industrious. But he wrote on silently, palely, mechanically.It is, of course, an indispensable part of a scrivener's business to verify the accuracy of his copy, word by word. Where there are two or more scriveners in an office, they assist each other in this examination, one reading from the copy, the other holding the original. It is a very dull, wearisome, and lethargic affair. I can readily imagine that to some sanguine temperaments it would be altogether intolerable. For example, I cannot credit that the mettlesome poet Byron would have contentedly sat down with Bartleby to examine a law document of, say five hundred pages, closely written in a crimpy hand.Now and then, in the haste of business, it had been my habit to assist in comparing some brief document myself, calling Turkey or Nippers for this purpose. One object I had in placing Bartleby so handy to me behind the screen, was to avail myself of his services on such trivial occasions. It was on the third day, I think, of his being with me, and before any necessity had arisen for having his own writing examined, that, being much hurried to complete a small affair I had in hand, I abruptly called to Bartleby. In my haste and natural expectancy of instant compliance, I sat with my head bent over the original on my desk, and my right hand sideways, and somewhat nervously extended with the copy, so that immediately upon emerging from his retreat, Bartleby might snatch it and proceed to business without the least delay.In this very attitude did I sit when I called to him, rapidly stating what it was I wanted him to do—namely, to examine a small paper with me. Imagine my surprise, nay, my consternation, when without moving from his privacy, Bartleby in a singularly mild, firm voice, replied, "I would prefer not to."I sat awhile in perfect silence, rallying my stunned faculties. Immediately it occurred to me that my ears had deceived me, or Bartleby had entirely misunderstood my meaning. I repeated my request in the clearest tone I could assume. But in quite as clear a one came the previous reply, "I would prefer not to.""Prefer not to," echoed I, rising in high excitement, and crossing the room with a stride. "What do you mean? Are you moon-struck? I want you to help me compare this sheet here—take it," and I thrust it towards him."I would prefer not to," said he.I looked at him steadfastly. His face was leanly composed; his gray eye dimly calm. Not a wrinkle of agitation rippled him. Had there been the least uneasiness, anger, impatience or impertinence in his manner; in other words, had there been any thing ordinarily human about him, doubtless I should have violently dismissed him from the premises. But as it was, I should have as soon thought of turning my pale plaster-of-paris bust of Cicero out of doors. I stood gazing at him awhile, as he went on with his own writing, and then reseated myself at my desk. This is very strange, thought I. What had one best do? But my business hurried me. I concluded to forget the matter for the present, reserving it for my future leisure. So calling Nippers from the other room, the paper was speedily examined.A few days after this, Bartleby concluded four lengthy documents, being quadruplicates of a week's testimony taken before me in my High Court of Chancery. It became necessary to examine them. It was an important suit, and great accuracy was imperative. Having all things arranged I called Turkey, Nippers and Ginger Nut from the next room, meaning to place the four copies in the hands of my four clerks, while I should read from the original. Accordingly Turkey, Nippers and Ginger Nut had taken their seats in a row, each with his document in hand, when I called to Bartleby to join this interesting group."Bartleby! quick, I am waiting."I heard a slow scrape of his chair legs on the uncarpeted floor, and soon he appeared standing at the entrance of his hermitage."What is wanted?" said he mildly."The copies, the copies," said I hurriedly. "We are going to examine them. There"—and I held towards him the fourth quadruplicate."I would prefer not to," he said, and gently disappeared behind the screen.For a few moments I was turned into a pillar of salt, standing at the head of my seated column of clerks. Recovering myself, I advanced towards the screen, and demanded the reason for such extraordinary conduct."Why do you refuse?""I would prefer not to."With any other man I should have flown outright into a dreadful passion, scorned all further words, and thrust him ignominiously from my presence. But there was something about Bartleby that not only strangely disarmed me, but in a wonderful manner touched and disconcerted me. I began to reason with him."These are your own copies we are about to examine. It is labor saving to you, because one examination will answer for your four papers. It is common usage. Every copyist is bound to help examine his copy. Is it not so? Will you not speak? Answer!""I prefer not to," he replied in a flute-like tone. It seemed to me that while I had been addressing him, he carefully revolved every statement that I made; fully comprehended the meaning; could not gainsay the irresistible conclusions; but, at the same time, some paramount consideration prevailed with him to reply as he did."You are decided, then, not to comply with my request—a request made according to common usage and common sense?"He briefly gave me to understand that on that point my judgment was sound. Yes: his decision was irreversible.It is not seldom the case that when a man is browbeaten in some unprecedented and violently unreasonable way, he begins to stagger in his own plainest faith. He begins, as it were, vaguely to surmise that, wonderful as it may be, all the justice and all the reason is on the other side. Accordingly, if any disinterested persons are present, he turns to them for some reinforcement for his own faltering mind."Turkey," said I, "what do you think of this? Am I not right?""With submission, sir," said Turkey, with his blandest tone, "I think that you are.""Nippers," said I, "what do you think of it?""I think I should kick him out of the office."(The reader of nice perceptions will here perceive that, it being morning, Turkey's answer is couched in polite and tranquil terms, but Nippers replies in ill-tempered ones. Or, to repeat a previous sentence, Nippers' ugly mood was on duty and Turkey's off.)"Ginger Nut," said I, willing to enlist the smallest suffrage in my behalf, "what do you think of it?""I think, sir, he's a little luny," replied Ginger Nut with a grin."You hear what they say," said I, turning towards the screen, "come forth and do your duty."But he vouchsafed no reply. I pondered a moment in sore perplexity. But once more business hurried me. I determined again to postpone the consideration of this dilemma to my future leisure. With a little trouble we made out to examine the papers without Bartleby, though at every page or two, Turkey deferentially dropped his opinion that this proceeding was quite out of the common; while Nippers, twitching in his chair with a dyspeptic nervousness, ground out between his set teeth occasional hissing maledictions against the stubborn oaf behind the screen. And for his (Nippers') part, this was the first and the last time he would do another man's business without pay.Meanwhile Bartleby sat in his hermitage, oblivious to every thing but his own peculiar business there.Some days passed, the scrivener being employed upon another lengthy work. His late remarkable conduct led me to regard his ways narrowly. I observed that he never went to dinner; indeed that he never went any where. As yet I had never of my personal knowledge known him to be outside of my office. He was a perpetual sentry in the corner. At about eleven o'clock though, in the morning, I noticed that Ginger Nut would advance toward the opening in Bartleby's screen, as if silently beckoned thither by a gesture invisible to me where I sat. The boy would then leave the office jingling a few pence, and reappear with a handful of ginger-nuts which he delivered in the hermitage, receiving two of the cakes for his trouble.He lives, then, on ginger-nuts, thought I; never eats a dinner, properly speaking; he must be a vegetarian then; but no; he never eats even vegetables, he eats nothing but ginger-nuts. My mind then ran on in reveries concerning the probable effects upon the human constitution of living entirely on ginger-nuts. Ginger-nuts are so called because they contain ginger as one of their peculiar constituents, and the final flavoring one. Now what was ginger? A hot, spicy thing. Was Bartleby hot and spicy? Not at all. Ginger, then, had no effect upon Bartleby. Probably he preferred it should have none.Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance. If the individual so resisted be of a not inhumane temper, and the resisting one perfectly harmless in his passivity; then, in the better moods of the former, he will endeavor charitably to construe to his imagination what proves impossible to be solved by his judgment. Even so, for the most part, I regarded Bartleby and his ways. Poor fellow! thought I, he means no mischief; it is plain he intends no insolence; his aspect sufficiently evinces that his eccentricities are involuntary. He is useful to me. I can get along with him. If I turn him away, the chances are he will fall in with some less indulgent employer, and then he will be rudely treated, and perhaps driven forth miserably to starve. Yes. Here I can cheaply purchase a delicious self-approval. To befriend Bartleby; to humor him in his strange willfulness, will cost me little or nothing, while I lay up in my soul what will eventually prove a sweet morsel for my conscience. But this mood was not invariable with me. The passiveness of Bartleby sometimes irritated me. I felt strangely goaded on to encounter him in new opposition, to elicit some angry spark from him answerable to my own. But indeed I might as well have essayed to strike fire with my knuckles against a bit of Windsor soap. But one afternoon the evil impulse in me mastered me, and the following little scene ensued:"Bartleby," said I, "when those papers are all copied, I will compare them with you.""I would prefer not to.""How? Surely you do not mean to persist in that mulish vagary?"No answer.I threw open the folding-doors near by, and turning upon Turkey andNippers, exclaimed in an excited manner—"He says, a second time, he won't examine his papers. What do you think of it, Turkey?"It was afternoon, be it remembered. Turkey sat glowing like a brass boiler, his bald head steaming, his hands reeling among his blotted papers."Think of it?" roared Turkey; "I think I'll just step behind his screen, and black his eyes for him!"So saying, Turkey rose to his feet and threw his arms into a pugilistic position. He was hurrying away to make good his promise, when I detained him, alarmed at the effect of incautiously rousing Turkey's combativeness after dinner."Sit down, Turkey," said I, "and hear what Nippers has to say. What do you think of it, Nippers? Would I not be justified in immediately dismissing Bartleby?""Excuse me, that is for you to decide, sir. I think his conduct quite unusual, and indeed unjust, as regards Turkey and myself. But it may only be a passing whim.""Ah," exclaimed I, "you have strangely changed your mind then—you speak very gently of him now.""All beer," cried Turkey; "gentleness is effects of beer—Nippers and I dined together to-day. You see how gentle I am, sir. Shall I go and black his eyes?""You refer to Bartleby, I suppose. No, not to-day, Turkey," I replied; "pray, put up your fists."I closed the doors, and again advanced towards Bartleby. I felt additional incentives tempting me to my fate. I burned to be rebelled against again. I remembered that Bartleby never left the office."Bartleby," said I, "Ginger Nut is away; just step round to the Post Office, won't you? (it was but a three minute walk,) and see if there is any thing for me.""I would prefer not to.""You will not?""I prefer not."I staggered to my desk, and sat there in a deep study. My blind inveteracy returned. Was there any other thing in which I could procure myself to be ignominiously repulsed by this lean, penniless wight?—my hired clerk? What added thing is there, perfectly reasonable, that he will be sure to refuse to do?"Bartleby!"No answer."Bartleby," in a louder tone.No answer."Bartleby," I roared.Like a very ghost, agreeably to the laws of magical invocation, at the third summons, he appeared at the entrance of his hermitage."Go to the next room, and tell Nippers to come to me.""I prefer not to," he respectfully and slowly said, and mildly disappeared."Very good, Bartleby," said I, in a quiet sort of serenely severe self-possessed tone, intimating the unalterable purpose of some terrible retribution very close at hand. At the moment I half intended something of the kind. But upon the whole, as it was drawing towards my dinner-hour, I thought it best to put on my hat and walk home for the day, suffering much from perplexity and distress of mind.Shall I acknowledge it? The conclusion of this whole business was, that it soon became a fixed fact of my chambers, that a pale young scrivener, by the name of Bartleby, and a desk there; that he copied for me at the usual rate of four cents a folio (one hundred words); but he was permanently exempt from examining the work done by him, that duty being transferred to Turkey and Nippers, one of compliment doubtless to their superior acuteness; moreover, said Bartleby was never on any account to be dispatched on the most trivial errand of any sort; and that even if entreated to take upon him such a matter, it was generally understood that he would prefer not to—in other words, that he would refuse pointblank.As days passed on, I became considerably reconciled to Bartleby. His steadiness, his freedom from all dissipation, his incessant industry (except when he chose to throw himself into a standing revery behind his screen), his great, stillness, his unalterableness of demeanor under all circumstances, made him a valuable acquisition. One prime thing was this,—he was always there;—first in the morning, continually through the day, and the last at night. I had a singular confidence in his honesty. I felt my most precious papers perfectly safe in his hands. Sometimes to be sure I could not, for the very soul of me, avoid falling into sudden spasmodic passions with him. For it was exceeding difficult to bear in mind all the time those strange peculiarities, privileges, and unheard of exemptions, forming the tacit stipulations on Bartleby's part under which he remained in my office. Now and then, in the eagerness of dispatching pressing business, I would inadvertently summon Bartleby, in a short, rapid tone, to put his finger, say, on the incipient tie of a bit of red tape with which I was about compressing some papers. Of course, from behind the screen the usual answer, "I prefer not to," was sure to come; and then, how could a human creature with the common infirmities of our nature, refrain from bitterly exclaiming upon such perverseness—such unreasonableness. However, every added repulse of this sort which I received only tended to lessen the probability of my repeating the inadvertence.Here it must be said, that according to the custom of most legal gentlemen occupying chambers in densely-populated law buildings, there were several keys to my door. One was kept by a woman residing in the attic, which person weekly scrubbed and daily swept and dusted my apartments. Another was kept by Turkey for convenience sake. The third I sometimes carried in my own pocket. The fourth I knew not who had.Now, one Sunday morning I happened to go to Trinity Church, to hear a celebrated preacher, and finding myself rather early on the ground, I thought I would walk around to my chambers for a while. Luckily I had my key with me; but upon applying it to the lock, I found it resisted by something inserted from the inside. Quite surprised, I called out; when to my consternation a key was turned from within; and thrusting his lean visage at me, and holding the door ajar, the apparition of Bartleby appeared, in his shirt sleeves, and otherwise in a strangely tattered dishabille, saying quietly that he was sorry, but he was deeply engaged just then, and—preferred not admitting me at present. In a brief word or two, he moreover added, that perhaps I had better walk round the block two or three times, and by that time he would probably have concluded his affairs.Now, the utterly unsurmised appearance of Bartleby, tenanting my law-chambers of a Sunday morning, with his cadaverously gentlemanly nonchalance, yet withal firm and self-possessed, had such a strange effect upon me, that incontinently I slunk away from my own door, and did as desired. But not without sundry twinges of impotent rebellion against the mild effrontery of this unaccountable scrivener. Indeed, it was his wonderful mildness chiefly, which not only disarmed me, but unmanned me, as it were. For I consider that one, for the time, is a sort of unmanned when he tranquilly permits his hired clerk to dictate to him, and order him away from his own premises. Furthermore, I was full of uneasiness as to what Bartleby could possibly be doing in my office in his shirt sleeves, and in an otherwise dismantled condition of a Sunday morning. Was any thing amiss going on? Nay, that was out of the question. It was not to be thought of for a moment that Bartleby was an immoral person. But what could he be doing there?—copying? Nay again, whatever might be his eccentricities, Bartleby was an eminently decorous person. He would be the last man to sit down to his desk in any state approaching to nudity. Besides, it was Sunday; and there was something about Bartleby that forbade the supposition that he would by any secular occupation violate the proprieties of the day.Nevertheless, my mind was not pacified; and full of a restless curiosity, at last I returned to the door. Without hindrance I inserted my key, opened it, and entered. Bartleby was not to be seen. I looked round anxiously, peeped behind his screen; but it was very plain that he was gone. Upon more closely examining the place, I surmised that for an indefinite period Bartleby must have ate, dressed, and slept in my office, and that too without plate, mirror, or bed. The cushioned seat of a rickety old sofa in one corner bore the faint impress of a lean, reclining form. Rolled away under his desk, I found a blanket; under the empty grate, a blacking box and brush; on a chair, a tin basin, with soap and a ragged towel; in a newspaper a few crumbs of ginger-nuts and a morsel of cheese. Yes, thought I, it is evident enough that Bartleby has been making his home here, keeping bachelor's hall all by himself. Immediately then the thought came sweeping across me, What miserable friendlessness and loneliness are here revealed! His poverty is great; but his solitude, how horrible! Think of it. Of a Sunday, Wall-street is deserted as Petra; and every night of every day it is an emptiness. This building too, which of week-days hums with industry and life, at nightfall echoes with sheer vacancy, and all through Sunday is forlorn. And here Bartleby makes his home; sole spectator of a solitude which he has seen all populous—a sort of innocent and transformed Marius brooding among the ruins of Carthage!For the first time in my life a feeling of overpowering stinging melancholy seized me. Before, I had never experienced aught but a not-unpleasing sadness. The bond of a common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom. A fraternal melancholy! For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam. I remembered the bright silks and sparkling faces I had seen that day, in gala trim, swan-like sailing down the Mississippi of Broadway; and I contrasted them with the pallid copyist, and thought to myself, Ah, happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay; but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none. These sad fancyings—chimeras, doubtless, of a sick and silly brain—led on to other and more special thoughts, concerning the eccentricities of Bartleby. Presentiments of strange discoveries hovered round me. The scrivener's pale form appeared to me laid out, among uncaring strangers, in its shivering winding sheet.Suddenly I was attracted by Bartleby's closed desk, the key in open sight left in the lock.I mean no mischief, seek the gratification of no heartless curiosity, thought I; besides, the desk is mine, and its contents too, so I will make bold to look within. Every thing was methodically arranged, the papers smoothly placed. The pigeon holes were deep, and removing the files of documents, I groped into their recesses. Presently I felt something there, and dragged it out. It was an old bandanna handkerchief, heavy and knotted. I opened it, and saw it was a savings' bank.I now recalled all the quiet mysteries which I had noted in the man. I remembered that he never spoke but to answer; that though at intervals he had considerable time to himself, yet I had never seen him reading—no, not even a newspaper; that for long periods he would stand looking out, at his pale window behind the screen, upon the dead brick wall; I was quite sure he never visited any refectory or eating house; while his pale face clearly indicated that he never drank beer like Turkey, or tea and coffee even, like other men; that he never went any where in particular that I could learn; never went out for a walk, unless indeed that was the case at present; that he had declined telling who he was, or whence he came, or whether he had any relatives in the world; that though so thin and pale, he never complained of ill health. And more than all, I remembered a certain unconscious air of pallid—how shall I call it?—of pallid haughtiness, say, or rather an austere reserve about him, which had positively awed me into my tame compliance with his eccentricities, when I had feared to ask him to do the slightest incidental thing for me, even though I might know, from his long-continued motionlessness, that behind his screen he must be standing in one of those dead-wall reveries of his.Revolving all these things, and coupling them with the recently discovered fact that he made my office his constant abiding place and home, and not forgetful of his morbid moodiness; revolving all these things, a prudential feeling began to steal over me. My first emotions had been those of pure melancholy and sincerest pity; but just in proportion as the forlornness of Bartleby grew and grew to my imagination, did that same melancholy merge into fear, that pity into repulsion. So true it is, and so terrible too, that up to a certain point the thought or sight of misery enlists our best affections; but, in certain special cases, beyond that point it does not. They err who would assert that invariably this is owing to the inherent selfishness of the human heart. It rather proceeds from a certain hopelessness of remedying excessive and organic ill. To a sensitive being, pity is not seldom pain. And when at last it is perceived that such pity cannot lead to effectual succor, common sense bids the soul rid of it. What I saw that morning persuaded me that the scrivener was the victim of innate and incurable disorder. I might give alms to his body; but his body did not pain him; it was his soul that suffered, and his soul I could not reach.I did not accomplish the purpose of going to Trinity Church that morning. Somehow, the things I had seen disqualified me for the time from church-going. I walked homeward, thinking what I would do with Bartleby. Finally, I resolved upon this;—I would put certain calm questions to him the next morning, touching his history, etc., and if he declined to answer them openly and unreservedly (and I supposed he would prefer not), then to give him a twenty dollar bill over and above whatever I might owe him, and tell him his services were no longer required; but that if in any other way I could assist him, I would be happy to do so, especially if he desired to return to his native place, wherever that might be, I would willingly help to defray the expenses. Moreover, if, after reaching home, he found himself at any time in want of aid, a letter from him would be sure of a reply.The next morning came."Bartleby," said I, gently calling to him behind his screen.No reply."Bartleby," said I, in a still gentler tone, "come here; I am not going to ask you to do any thing you would prefer not to do—I simply wish to speak to you."Upon this he noiselessly slid into view."Will you tell me, Bartleby, where you were born?""I would prefer not to.""Will you tell me any thing about yourself?""I would prefer not to.""But what reasonable objection can you have to speak to me? I feel friendly towards you."He did not look at me while I spoke, but kept his glance fixed upon my bust of Cicero, which as I then sat, was directly behind me, some six inches above my head."What is your answer, Bartleby?" said I, after waiting a considerable time for a reply, during which his countenance remained immovable, only there was the faintest conceivable tremor of the white attenuated mouth."At present I prefer to give no answer," he said, and retired into his hermitage.It was rather weak in me I confess, but his manner on this occasion nettled me. Not only did there seem to lurk in it a certain calm disdain, but his perverseness seemed ungrateful, considering the undeniable good usage and indulgence he had received from me.Again I sat ruminating what I should do. Mortified as I was at his behavior, and resolved as I had been to dismiss him when I entered my offices, nevertheless I strangely felt something superstitious knocking at my heart, and forbidding me to carry out my purpose, and denouncing me for a villain if I dared to breathe one bitter word against this forlornest of mankind. At last, familiarly drawing my chair behind his screen, I sat down and said: "Bartleby, never mind then about revealing your history; but let me entreat you, as a friend, to comply as far as may be with the usages of this office. Say now you will help to examine papers to-morrow or next day: in short, say now that in a day or two you will begin to be a little reasonable:—say so, Bartleby.""At present I would prefer not to be a little reasonable," was his mildly cadaverous reply.Just then the folding-doors opened, and Nippers approached. He seemed suffering from an unusually bad night's rest, induced by severer indigestion then common. He overheard those final words of Bartleby."Prefer not, eh?" gritted Nippers—"I'd prefer him, if I were you, sir," addressing me—"I'd prefer him; I'd give him preferences, the stubborn mule! What is it, sir, pray, that he prefers not to do now?"Bartleby moved not a limb."Mr. Nippers," said I, "I'd prefer that you would withdraw for the present."Somehow, of late I had got into the way of involuntarily using this word "prefer" upon all sorts of not exactly suitable occasions. And I trembled to think that my contact with the scrivener had already and seriously affected me in a mental way. And what further and deeper aberration might it not yet produce? This apprehension had not been without efficacy in determining me to summary means.As Nippers, looking very sour and sulky, was departing, Turkey blandly and deferentially approached."With submission, sir," said he, "yesterday I was thinking about Bartleby here, and I think that if he would but prefer to take a quart of good ale every day, it would do much towards mending him, and enabling him to assist in examining his papers.""So you have got the word too," said I, slightly excited."With submission, what word, sir," asked Turkey, respectfully crowding himself into the contracted space behind the screen, and by so doing, making me jostle the scrivener. "What word, sir?""I would prefer to be left alone here," said Bartleby, as if offended at being mobbed in his privacy."That's the word, Turkey," said I—"that's it.""Oh, prefer? oh yes—queer word. I never use it myself. But, sir, asI was saying, if he would but prefer—""Turkey," interrupted I, "you will please withdraw.""Oh certainly, sir, if you prefer that I should."As he opened the folding-door to retire, Nippers at his desk caught a glimpse of me, and asked whether I would prefer to have a certain paper copied on blue paper or white. He did not in the least roguishly accent the word prefer. It was plain that it involuntarily rolled form his tongue. I thought to myself, surely I must get rid of a demented man, who already has in some degree turned the tongues, if not the heads of myself and clerks. But I thought it prudent not to break the dismission at once.The next day I noticed that Bartleby did nothing but stand at his window in his dead-wall revery. Upon asking him why he did not write, he said that he had decided upon doing no more writing."Why, how now? what next?" exclaimed I, "do no more writing?""No more.""And what is the reason?""Do you not see the reason for yourself," he indifferently replied.I looked steadfastly at him, and perceived that his eyes looked dull and glazed. Instantly it occurred to me, that his unexampled diligence in copying by his dim window for the first few weeks of his stay with me might have temporarily impaired his vision.I was touched. I said something in condolence with him. I hinted that of course he did wisely in abstaining from writing for a while; and urged him to embrace that opportunity of taking wholesome exercise in the open air. This, however, he did not do. A few days after this, my other clerks being absent, and being in a great hurry to dispatch certain letters by the mail, I thought that, having nothing else earthly to do, Bartleby would surely be less inflexible than usual, and carry these letters to the post-office. But he blankly declined. So, much to my inconvenience, I went myself.Still added days went by. Whether Bartleby's eyes improved or not, I could not say. To all appearance, I thought they did. But when I asked him if they did, he vouchsafed no answer. At all events, he would do no copying. At last, in reply to my urgings, he informed me that he had permanently given up copying."What!" exclaimed I; "suppose your eyes should get entirely well—better than ever before—would you not copy then?""I have given up copying," he answered, and slid aside.He remained as ever, a fixture in my chamber. Nay—if that were possible—he became still more of a fixture than before. What was to be done? He would do nothing in the office: why should he stay there? In plain fact, he had now become a millstone to me, not only useless as a necklace, but afflictive to bear. Yet I was sorry for him. I speak less than truth when I say that, on his own account, he occasioned me uneasiness. If he would but have named a single relative or friend, I would instantly have written, and urged their taking the poor fellow away to some convenient retreat. But he seemed alone, absolutely alone in the universe. A bit of wreck in the mid Atlantic. At length, necessities connected with my business tyrannized over all other considerations. Decently as I could, I told Bartleby that in six days' time he must unconditionally leave the office. I warned him to take measures, in the interval, for procuring some other abode. I offered to assist him in this endeavor, if he himself would but take the first step towards a removal. "And when you finally quit me, Bartleby," added I, "I shall see that you go not away entirely unprovided. Six days from this hour, remember."At the expiration of that period, I peeped behind the screen, and lo!Bartleby was there.I buttoned up my coat, balanced myself; advanced slowly towards him, touched his shoulder, and said, "The time has come; you must quit this place; I am sorry for you; here is money; but you must go.""I would prefer not," he replied, with his back still towards me."You must."He remained silent.Now I had an unbounded confidence in this man's common honesty. He had frequently restored to me sixpences and shillings carelessly dropped upon the floor, for I am apt to be very reckless in such shirt-button affairs. The proceeding then which followed will not be deemed extraordinary."Bartleby," said I, "I owe you twelve dollars on account; here are thirty-two; the odd twenty are yours.—Will you take it?" and I handed the bills towards him.But he made no motion."I will leave them here then," putting them under a weight on the table. Then taking my hat and cane and going to the door I tranquilly turned and added—"After you have removed your things from these offices, Bartleby, you will of course lock the door—since every one is now gone for the day but you—and if you please, slip your key underneath the mat, so that I may have it in the morning. I shall not see you again; so good-bye to you. If hereafter in your new place of abode I can be of any service to you, do not fail to advise me by letter. Good-bye, Bartleby, and fare you well."But he answered not a word; like the last column of some ruined temple, he remained standing mute and solitary in the middle of the otherwise deserted room.As I walked home in a pensive mood, my vanity got the better of my pity. I could not but highly plume myself on my masterly management in getting rid of Bartleby. Masterly I call it, and such it must appear to any dispassionate thinker. The beauty of my procedure seemed to consist in its perfect quietness. There was no vulgar bullying, no bravado of any sort, no choleric hectoring, and striding to and fro across the apartment, jerking out vehement commands for Bartleby to bundle himself off with his beggarly traps. Nothing of the kind. Without loudly bidding Bartleby depart—as an inferior genius might have done—I assumed the ground that depart he must; and upon that assumption built all I had to say. The more I thought over my procedure, the more I was charmed with it. Nevertheless, next morning, upon awakening, I had my doubts,—I had somehow slept off the fumes of vanity. One of the coolest and wisest hours a man has, is just after he awakes in the morning. My procedure seemed as sagacious as ever.—but only in theory. How it would prove in practice—there was the rub. It was truly a beautiful thought to have assumed Bartleby's departure; but, after all, that assumption was simply my own, and none of Bartleby's. The great point was, not whether I had assumed that he would quit me, but whether he would prefer so to do. He was more a man of preferences than assumptions.After breakfast, I walked down town, arguing the probabilities pro and con. One moment I thought it would prove a miserable failure, and Bartleby would be found all alive at my office as usual; the next moment it seemed certain that I should see his chair empty. And so I kept veering about. At the corner of Broadway and Canal-street, I saw quite an excited group of people standing in earnest conversation."I'll take odds he doesn't," said a voice as I passed."Doesn't go?—done!" said I, "put up your money."I was instinctively putting my hand in my pocket to produce my own, when I remembered that this was an election day. The words I had overheard bore no reference to Bartleby, but to the success or non-success of some candidate for the mayoralty. In my intent frame of mind, I had, as it were, imagined that all Broadway shared in my excitement, and were debating the same question with me. I passed on, very thankful that the uproar of the street screened my momentary absent-mindedness.As I had intended, I was earlier than usual at my office door. I stood listening for a moment. All was still. He must be gone. I tried the knob. The door was locked. Yes, my procedure had worked to a charm; he indeed must be vanished. Yet a certain melancholy mixed with this: I was almost sorry for my brilliant success. I was fumbling under the door mat for the key, which Bartleby was to have left there for me, when accidentally my knee knocked against a panel, producing a summoning sound, and in response a voice came to me from within—"Not yet; I am occupied."It was Bartleby.I was thunderstruck. For an instant I stood like the man who, pipe in mouth, was killed one cloudless afternoon long ago in Virginia, by a summer lightning; at his own warm open window he was killed, and remained leaning out there upon the dreamy afternoon, till some one touched him, when he fell."Not gone!" I murmured at last. But again obeying that wondrous ascendancy which the inscrutable scrivener had over me, and from which ascendancy, for all my chafing, I could not completely escape, I slowly went down stairs and out into the street, and while walking round the block, considered what I should next do in this unheard-of perplexity. Turn the man out by an actual thrusting I could not; to drive him away by calling him hard names would not do; calling in the police was an unpleasant idea; and yet, permit him to enjoy his cadaverous triumph over me,—this too I could not think of. What was to be done? or, if nothing could be done, was there any thing further that I could assume in the matter? Yes, as before I had prospectively assumed that Bartleby would depart, so now I might retrospectively assume that departed he was. In the legitimate carrying out of this assumption, I might enter my office in a great hurry, and pretending not to see Bartleby at all, walk straight against him as if he were air. Such a proceeding would in a singular degree have the appearance of a home-thrust. It was hardly possible that Bartleby could withstand such an application of the doctrine of assumptions. But upon second thoughts the success of the plan seemed rather dubious. I resolved to argue the matter over with him again."Bartleby," said I, entering the office, with a quietly severe expression, "I am seriously displeased. I am pained, Bartleby. I had thought better of you. I had imagined you of such a gentlemanly organization, that in any delicate dilemma a slight hint would have suffice—in short, an assumption. But it appears I am deceived. Why," I added, unaffectedly starting, "you have not even touched that money yet," pointing to it, just where I had left it the evening previous.He answered nothing."Will you, or will you not, quit me?" I now demanded in a sudden passion, advancing close to him."I would prefer not to quit you," he replied, gently emphasizing the not."What earthly right have you to stay here? Do you pay any rent? Do you pay my taxes? Or is this property yours?"He answered nothing."Are you ready to go on and write now? Are your eyes recovered? Could you copy a small paper for me this morning? or help examine a few lines? or step round to the post-office? In a word, will you do any thing at all, to give a coloring to your refusal to depart the premises?"He silently retired into his hermitage.I was now in such a state of nervous resentment that I thought it but prudent to check myself at present from further demonstrations. Bartleby and I were alone. I remembered the tragedy of the unfortunate Adams and the still more unfortunate Colt in the solitary office of the latter; and how poor Colt, being dreadfully incensed by Adams, and imprudently permitting himself to get wildly excited, was at unawares hurried into his fatal act—an act which certainly no man could possibly deplore more than the actor himself. Often it had occurred to me in my ponderings upon the subject, that had that altercation taken place in the public street, or at a private residence, it would not have terminated as it did. It was the circumstance of being alone in a solitary office, up stairs, of a building entirely unhallowed by humanizing domestic associations—an uncarpeted office, doubtless, of a dusty, haggard sort of appearance;—this it must have been, which greatly helped to enhance the irritable desperation of the hapless Colt.But when this old Adam of resentment rose in me and tempted me concerning Bartleby, I grappled him and threw him. How? Why, simply by recalling the divine injunction: "A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another." Yes, this it was that saved me. Aside from higher considerations, charity often operates as a vastly wise and prudent principle—a great safeguard to its possessor. Men have committed murder for jealousy's sake, and anger's sake, and hatred's sake, and selfishness' sake, and spiritual pride's sake; but no man that ever I heard of, ever committed a diabolical murder for sweet charity's sake. Mere self-interest, then, if no better motive can be enlisted, should, especially with high-tempered men, prompt all beings to charity and philanthropy. At any rate, upon the occasion in question, I strove to drown my exasperated feelings towards the scrivener by benevolently construing his conduct. Poor fellow, poor fellow! thought I, he don't mean any thing; and besides, he has seen hard times, and ought to be indulged.I endeavored also immediately to occupy myself, and at the same time to comfort my despondency. I tried to fancy that in the course of the morning, at such time as might prove agreeable to him. Bartleby, of his own free accord, would emerge from his hermitage, and take up some decided line of march in the direction of the door. But no. Half-past twelve o'clock came; Turkey began to glow in the face, overturn his inkstand, and become generally obstreperous; Nippers abated down into quietude and courtesy; Ginger Nut munched his noon apple; and Bartleby remained standing at his window in one of his profoundest dead-wall reveries. Will it be credited? Ought I to acknowledge it? That afternoon I left the office without saying one further word to him.Some days now passed, during which, at leisure intervals I looked a little into "Edwards on the Will," and "Priestly on Necessity." Under the circumstances, those books induced a salutary feeling. Gradually I slid into the persuasion that these troubles of mine touching the scrivener, had been all predestinated from eternity, and Bartleby was billeted upon me for some mysterious purpose of an all-wise Providence, which it was not for a mere mortal like me to fathom. Yes, Bartleby, stay there behind your screen, thought I; I shall persecute you no more; you are harmless and noiseless as any of these old chairs; in short, I never feel so private as when I know you are here. At last I see it, I feel it; I penetrate to the predestinated purpose of my life. I am content. Others may have loftier parts to enact; but my mission in this world, Bartleby, is to furnish you with office-room for such period as you may see fit to remain.I believe that this wise and blessed frame of mind would have continued with me, had it not been for the unsolicited and uncharitable remarks obtruded upon me by my professional friends who visited the rooms. But thus it often is, that the constant friction of illiberal minds wears out at last the best resolves of the more generous. Though to be sure, when I reflected upon it, it was not strange that people entering my office should be struck by the peculiar aspect of the unaccountable Bartleby, and so be tempted to throw out some sinister observations concerning him. Sometimes an attorney having business with me, and calling at my office and finding no one but the scrivener there, would undertake to obtain some sort of precise information from him touching my whereabouts; but without heeding his idle talk, Bartleby would remain standing immovable in the middle of the room. So after contemplating him in that position for a time, the attorney would depart, no wiser than he came.Also, when a Reference was going on, and the room full of lawyers and witnesses and business was driving fast; some deeply occupied legal gentleman present, seeing Bartleby wholly unemployed, would request him to run round to his (the legal gentleman's) office and fetch some papers for him. Thereupon, Bartleby would tranquilly decline, and yet remain idle as before. Then the lawyer would give a great stare, and turn to me. And what could I say? At last I was made aware that all through the circle of my professional acquaintance, a whisper of wonder was running round, having reference to the strange creature I kept at my office. This worried me very much. And as the idea came upon me of his possibly turning out a long-lived man, and keep occupying my chambers, and denying my authority; and perplexing my visitors; and scandalizing my professional reputation; and casting a general gloom over the premises; keeping soul and body together to the last upon his savings (for doubtless he spent but half a dime a day), and in the end perhaps outlive me, and claim possession of my office by right of his perpetual occupancy: as all these dark anticipations crowded upon me more and more, and my friends continually intruded their relentless remarks upon the apparition in my room; a great change was wrought in me. I resolved to gather all my faculties together, and for ever rid me of this intolerable incubus.Ere revolving any complicated project, however, adapted to this end, I first simply suggested to Bartleby the propriety of his permanent departure. In a calm and serious tone, I commended the idea to his careful and mature consideration. But having taken three days to meditate upon it, he apprised me that his original determination remained the same in short, that he still preferred to abide with me.What shall I do? I now said to myself, buttoning up my coat to the last button. What shall I do? what ought I to do? what does conscience say I should do with this man, or rather ghost. Rid myself of him, I must; go, he shall. But how? You will not thrust him, the poor, pale, passive mortal,—you will not thrust such a helpless creature out of your door? you will not dishonor yourself by such cruelty? No, I will not, I cannot do that. Rather would I let him live and die here, and then mason up his remains in the wall. What then will you do? For all your coaxing, he will not budge. Bribes he leaves under your own paperweight on your table; in short, it is quite plain that he prefers to cling to you.Then something severe, something unusual must be done. What! surely you will not have him collared by a constable, and commit his innocent pallor to the common jail? And upon what ground could you procure such a thing to be done?—a vagrant, is he? What! he a vagrant, a wanderer, who refuses to budge? It is because he will not be a vagrant, then, that you seek to count him as a vagrant. That is too absurd. No visible means of support: there I have him. Wrong again: for indubitably he does support himself, and that is the only unanswerable proof that any man can show of his possessing the means so to do. No more then. Since he will not quit me, I must quit him. I will change my offices; I will move elsewhere; and give him fair notice, that if I find him on my new premises I will then proceed against him as a common trespasser.Acting accordingly, next day I thus addressed him: "I find these chambers too far from the City Hall; the air is unwholesome. In a word, I propose to remove my offices next week, and shall no longer require your services. I tell you this now, in order that you may seek another place."He made no reply, and nothing more was said.On the appointed day I engaged carts and men, proceeded to my chambers, and having but little furniture, every thing was removed in a few hours. Throughout, the scrivener remained standing behind the screen, which I directed to be removed the last thing. It was withdrawn; and being folded up like a huge folio, left him the motionless occupant of a naked room. I stood in the entry watching him a moment, while something from within me upbraided me.I re-entered, with my hand in my pocket—and—and my heart in my mouth."Good-bye, Bartleby; I am going—good-bye, and God some way bless you; and take that," slipping something in his hand. But it dropped upon the floor, and then,—strange to say—I tore myself from him whom I had so longed to be rid of.Established in my new quarters, for a day or two I kept the door locked, and started at every footfall in the passages. When I returned to my rooms after any little absence, I would pause at the threshold for an instant, and attentively listen, ere applying my key. But these fears were needless. Bartleby never came nigh me.I thought all was going well, when a perturbed looking stranger visited me, inquiring whether I was the person who had recently occupied rooms at No.—Wall-street.Full of forebodings, I replied that I was."Then sir," said the stranger, who proved a lawyer, "you are responsible for the man you left there. He refuses to do any copying; he refuses to do any thing; he says he prefers not to; and he refuses to quit the premises.""I am very sorry, sir," said I, with assumed tranquility, but an inward tremor, "but, really, the man you allude to is nothing to me—he is no relation or apprentice of mine, that you should hold me responsible for him.""In mercy's name, who is he?""I certainly cannot inform you. I know nothing about him. Formerly I employed him as a copyist; but he has done nothing for me now for some time past.""I shall settle him then,—good morning, sir."Several days passed, and I heard nothing more; and though I often felt a charitable prompting to call at the place and see poor Bartleby, yet a certain squeamishness of I know not what withheld me.All is over with him, by this time, thought I at last, when through another week no further intelligence reached me. But coming to my room the day after, I found several persons waiting at my door in a high state of nervous excitement."That's the man—here he comes," cried the foremost one, whom I recognized as the lawyer who had previously called upon me alone."You must take him away, sir, at once," cried a portly person among them, advancing upon me, and whom I knew to be the landlord of No.—Wall-street. "These gentlemen, my tenants, cannot stand it any longer; Mr. B—" pointing to the lawyer, "has turned him out of his room, and he now persists in haunting the building generally, sitting upon the banisters of the stairs by day, and sleeping in the entry by night. Every body is concerned; clients are leaving the offices; some fears are entertained of a mob; something you must do, and that without delay."Aghast at this torrent, I fell back before it, and would fain have locked myself in my new quarters. In vain I persisted that Bartleby was nothing to me—no more than to any one else. In vain:—I was the last person known to have any thing to do with him, and they held me to the terrible account. Fearful then of being exposed in the papers (as one person present obscurely threatened) I considered the matter, and at length said, that if the lawyer would give me a confidential interview with the scrivener, in his (the lawyer's) own room, I would that afternoon strive my best to rid them of the nuisance they complained of.Going up stairs to my old haunt, there was Bartleby silently sitting upon the banister at the landing."What are you doing here, Bartleby?" said I."Sitting upon the banister," he mildly replied.I motioned him into the lawyer's room, who then left us."Bartleby," said I, "are you aware that you are the cause of great tribulation to me, by persisting in occupying the entry after being dismissed from the office?"No answer."Now one of two things must take place. Either you must do something, or something must be done to you. Now what sort of business would you like to engage in? Would you like to re-engage in copying for some one?""No; I would prefer not to make any change.""Would you like a clerkship in a dry-goods store?""There is too much confinement about that. No, I would not like a clerkship; but I am not particular.""Too much confinement," I cried, "why you keep yourself confined all the time!""I would prefer not to take a clerkship," he rejoined, as if to settle that little item at once."How would a bar-tender's business suit you? There is no trying of the eyesight in that.""I would not like it at all; though, as I said before, I am not particular."His unwonted wordiness inspirited me. I returned to the charge."Well then, would you like to travel through the country collecting bills for the merchants? That would improve your health.""No, I would prefer to be doing something else.""How then would going as a companion to Europe, to entertain some young gentleman with your conversation,—how would that suit you?""Not at all. It does not strike me that there is any thing definite about that. I like to be stationary. But I am not particular.""Stationary you shall be then," I cried, now losing all patience, and for the first time in all my exasperating connection with him fairly flying into a passion. "If you do not go away from these premises before night, I shall feel bound—indeed I am bound—to—to—to quit the premises myself!" I rather absurdly concluded, knowing not with what possible threat to try to frighten his immobility into compliance. Despairing of all further efforts, I was precipitately leaving him, when a final thought occurred to me—one which had not been wholly unindulged before."Bartleby," said I, in the kindest tone I could assume under such exciting circumstances, "will you go home with me now—not to my office, but my dwelling—and remain there till we can conclude upon some convenient arrangement for you at our leisure? Come, let us start now, right away.""No: at present I would prefer not to make any change at all."I answered nothing; but effectually dodging every one by the suddenness and rapidity of my flight, rushed from the building, ran up Wall-street towards Broadway, and jumping into the first omnibus was soon removed from pursuit. As soon as tranquility returned I distinctly perceived that I had now done all that I possibly could, both in respect to the demands of the landlord and his tenants, and with regard to my own desire and sense of duty, to benefit Bartleby, and shield him from rude persecution. I now strove to be entirely care-free and quiescent; and my conscience justified me in the attempt; though indeed it was not so successful as I could have wished. So fearful was I of being again hunted out by the incensed landlord and his exasperated tenants, that, surrendering my business to Nippers, for a few days I drove about the upper part of the town and through the suburbs, in my rockaway; crossed over to Jersey City and Hoboken, and paid fugitive visits to Manhattanville and Astoria. In fact I almost lived in my rockaway for the time.When again I entered my office, lo, a note from the landlord lay upon the desk. I opened it with trembling hands. It informed me that the writer had sent to the police, and had Bartleby removed to the Tombs as a vagrant. Moreover, since I knew more about him than any one else, he wished me to appear at that place, and make a suitable statement of the facts. These tidings had a conflicting effect upon me. At first I was indignant; but at last almost approved. The landlord's energetic, summary disposition had led him to adopt a procedure which I do not think I would have decided upon myself; and yet as a last resort, under such peculiar circumstances, it seemed the only plan.As I afterwards learned, the poor scrivener, when told that he must be conducted to the Tombs, offered not the slightest obstacle, but in his pale unmoving way, silently acquiesced.Some of the compassionate and curious bystanders joined the party; and headed by one of the constables arm in arm with Bartleby, the silent procession filed its way through all the noise, and heat, and joy of the roaring thoroughfares at noon.The same day I received the note I went to the Tombs, or to speak more properly, the Halls of Justice. Seeking the right officer, I stated the purpose of my call, and was informed that the individual I described was indeed within. I then assured the functionary that Bartleby was a perfectly honest man, and greatly to be compassionated, however unaccountably eccentric. I narrated all I knew, and closed by suggesting the idea of letting him remain in as indulgent confinement as possible till something less harsh might be done—though indeed I hardly knew what. At all events, if nothing else could be decided upon, the alms-house must receive him. I then begged to have an interview.Being under no disgraceful charge, and quite serene and harmless in all his ways, they had permitted him freely to wander about the prison, and especially in the inclosed grass-platted yard thereof. And so I found him there, standing all alone in the quietest of the yards, his face towards a high wall, while all around, from the narrow slits of the jail windows, I thought I saw peering out upon him the eyes of murderers and thieves."Bartleby!""I know you," he said, without looking round,—"and I want nothing to say to you.""It was not I that brought you here, Bartleby," said I, keenly pained at his implied suspicion. "And to you, this should not be so vile a place. Nothing reproachful attaches to you by being here. And see, it is not so sad a place as one might think. Look, there is the sky, and here is the grass.""I know where I am," he replied, but would say nothing more, and so I left him.As I entered the corridor again, a broad meat-like man, in an apron, accosted me, and jerking his thumb over his shoulder said—"Is that your friend?""Yes.""Does he want to starve? If he does, let him live on the prison fare, that's all.""Who are you?" asked I, not knowing what to make of such an unofficially speaking person in such a place."I am the grub-man. Such gentlemen as have friends here, hire me to provide them with something good to eat.""Is this so?" said I, turning to the turnkey.He said it was."Well then," said I, slipping some silver into the grub-man's hands (for so they called him). "I want you to give particular attention to my friend there; let him have the best dinner you can get. And you must be as polite to him as possible.""Introduce me, will you?" said the grub-man, looking at me with an expression which seem to say he was all impatience for an opportunity to give a specimen of his breeding.Thinking it would prove of benefit to the scrivener, I acquiesced; and asking the grub-man his name, went up with him to Bartleby."Bartleby, this is Mr. Cutlets; you will find him very useful to you.""Your sarvant, sir, your sarvant," said the grub-man, making a low salutation behind his apron. "Hope you find it pleasant here, sir;—spacious grounds—cool apartments, sir—hope you'll stay with us some time—try to make it agreeable. May Mrs. Cutlets and I have the pleasure of your company to dinner, sir, in Mrs. Cutlets' private room?""I prefer not to dine to-day," said Bartleby, turning away. "It would disagree with me; I am unused to dinners." So saying he slowly moved to the other side of the inclosure, and took up a position fronting the dead-wall."How's this?" said the grub-man, addressing me with a stare of astonishment. "He's odd, aint he?""I think he is a little deranged," said I, sadly."Deranged? deranged is it? Well now, upon my word, I thought that friend of yourn was a gentleman forger; they are always pale and genteel-like, them forgers. I can't pity'em—can't help it, sir. Did you know Monroe Edwards?" he added touchingly, and paused. Then, laying his hand pityingly on my shoulder, sighed, "he died of consumption at Sing-Sing. So you weren't acquainted with Monroe?""No, I was never socially acquainted with any forgers. But I cannot stop longer. Look to my friend yonder. You will not lose by it. I will see you again."Some few days after this, I again obtained admission to the Tombs, and went through the corridors in quest of Bartleby; but without finding him."I saw him coming from his cell not long ago," said a turnkey, "may be he's gone to loiter in the yards."So I went in that direction."Are you looking for the silent man?" said another turnkey passing me. "Yonder he lies—sleeping in the yard there. 'Tis not twenty minutes since I saw him lie down."The yard was entirely quiet. It was not accessible to the common prisoners. The surrounding walls, of amazing thickness, kept off all sounds behind them. The Egyptian character of the masonry weighed upon me with its gloom. But a soft imprisoned turf grew under foot. The heart of the eternal pyramids, it seemed, wherein, by some strange magic, through the clefts, grass-seed, dropped by birds, had sprung.Strangely huddled at the base of the wall, his knees drawn up, and lying on his side, his head touching the cold stones, I saw the wasted Bartleby. But nothing stirred. I paused; then went close up to him; stooped over, and saw that his dim eyes were open; otherwise he seemed profoundly sleeping. Something prompted me to touch him. I felt his hand, when a tingling shiver ran up my arm and down my spine to my feet.The round face of the grub-man peered upon me now. "His dinner is ready. Won't he dine to-day, either? Or does he live without dining?""Lives without dining," said I, and closed his eyes."Eh!—He's asleep, aint he?""With kings and counselors," murmured I.* * * * * * * *There would seem little need for proceeding further in this history. Imagination will readily supply the meager recital of poor Bartleby's interment. But ere parting with the reader, let me say, that if this little narrative has sufficiently interested him, to awaken curiosity as to who Bartleby was, and what manner of life he led prior to the present narrator's making his acquaintance, I can only reply, that in such curiosity I fully share, but am wholly unable to gratify it. Yet here I hardly know whether I should divulge one little item of rumor, which came to my ear a few months after the scrivener's decease. Upon what basis it rested, I could never ascertain; and hence, how true it is I cannot now tell. But inasmuch as this vague report has not been without certain strange suggestive interest to me, however sad, it may prove the same with some others; and so I will briefly mention it. The report was this: that Bartleby had been a subordinate clerk in the Dead Letter Office at Washington, from which he had been suddenly removed by a change in the administration. When I think over this rumor, I cannot adequately express the emotions which seize me. Dead letters! does it not sound like dead men? Conceive a man by nature and misfortune prone to a pallid hopelessness, can any business seem more fitted to heighten it than that of continually handling these dead letters, and assorting them for the flames? For by the cart-load they are annually burned. Sometimes from out the folded paper the pale clerk takes a ring:—the finger it was meant for, perhaps, moulders in the grave; a bank-note sent in swiftest charity:—he whom it would relieve, nor eats nor hungers any more; pardon for those who died despairing; hope for those who died unhoping; good tidings for those who died stifled by unrelieved calamities. On errands of life, these letters speed to death.Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity! End of Project Gutenberg's Bartleby, The Scrivener, by Herman Melville*** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK BARTLEBY, THE SCRIVENER ***This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net 
  18. 钟彪:“学风”问题还是文字狱?--评《汪晖<反抗绝望--鲁迅及其文学世界>的学风问题》
    社会 2010/06/23 | 阅读: 3143
    还有的地方,王彬彬毫不掩饰地指黑为白,指鹿为马。例如,汪晖在《反抗绝望》第68页对列文森《梁启超与中国近代思想》(四川人民出版社,1986年版)第46页的引用,已有"列文森:《梁启超与中国近代思想》,第46页"的注释,而且其中并无"参见"二字。即使此处没有用引号标注所引词句,也只是稍与现在的习惯不合而已,王彬彬则有胆量说,"读者应该已经笑起来了!",认为这是"对勒文森的剽袭"!

    如果说王彬彬将"参见"式注释诬为"抄袭",还戴了白手套;那么,睁眼瞎说《反抗绝望》忽视鲁迅与梁启超的差别,就是斯文尽失了。其实就在王彬彬指为"抄袭"但实际上已注出处的一句话(第二章第二节第一段中的"这种文化引入包括四部分内容:变更需要、变更榜样、变更思想、变更理由")[13]之后,汪晖即论述了鲁迅的不同之处。
  19. 韩少功:谈文学,谈大师,谈乡村生活
    文学 2009/08/22 | 阅读: 3131
     半年在海南,为海南省文联主席的职务尽责;半年在湖南汨罗乡下,和三亩地里的动植物相处,韩少功的生活,被分成了这“著名”的两块。在讲座和专访中,他也从文学说到自己的生活,说到全中国的“大师焦虑症”和“文化大跃进”。
  20. 一清:南方报系与重庆打黑的纠结
    社会 2010/12/04 | 阅读: 3114
    那天,正在街头自由行走着,一位大嫂级的报贩走近,问买报看么?新出的《南方周末》,写重庆打黑的,陈明亮执行死刑了,原来是个好人哩。我们几位中有几位觉得这报贩也真会逗人,这样卖报,估计会有收益,因为她可以将黑的说成白的,未见得报纸上就这样写了。但我们还是接了一份报纸过来,且漫不经心地看了起来。确实在A4版的头条位置发现了一篇写陈明亮的文章,题目是《末路大哥》,还配有陈明亮穿着号子里衣服的照片。文章占了A4、A5两大版。这是我们所见过的重庆打黑以来所有案件占幅最大的一篇报道,自然也有趣味读将起来。
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