「Always on the side of the egg 永远站在鸡蛋的一侧」

 

Good evening. I have come to Jerusalem today as a novelist, which is to say as a professional spinner of lies.

各位晚上好,我今天作为一名小说家来到耶路撒冷的,也就是说一名职业谎言制造者。

Of course, novelists are not the only ones who tell lies. Politicians do it, too, as we all know. Diplomats and generals tell their own kinds of lies on occasion, as do used car salesmen, butchers and builders. The lies of novelists differ from others, however, in that no one criticizes the novelist as immoral for telling lies. Indeed, the bigger and better his lies and the more ingeniously he creates them, the more he is likely to be praised by the public and the critics. Why should that be?

当然,并不是只有小说家才说谎的。政治家也说谎,正如大家所知道的。外交官和将军有时也要说着他们自己的谎言,就如同二手车推销员、刽子手以及建筑师一样。但是,小说家的谎言与其它人不一样,因为没有人会批评小说家,称他们说谎不道德。实际上,小说家的谎言说得越大越好,编造谎言的能力越高明,他才更可能受到公众和评论家的认可和好评。这是为什么呢?

My answer would be this: namely, that by telling skilful lies--which is to say, by making up fictions that appear to be true--the novelist can bring a truth out to a new place and shine a new light on it. In most cases, it is virtually impossible to grasp a truth in its original form and depict it accurately. This is why we try to grab its tail by luring the truth from its hiding place, transferring it to a fictional location, and replacing it with a fictional form. In order to accomplish this, however, we first have to clarify where the truth-lies within us, within ourselves. This is an important qualification for making up good lies.

我的答案是:通过更有技巧地说谎——也就是说,创作看起来似乎是真实的小说——小说家才能够将真相带到新的地方,才能让新的阳光撒到这片新的土地上。在多数情况下,几乎不可能以其原始形式掌握真相,也不可能准确地阐述真相。这就是为什么我要将真相从众多掩盖之中拉出来,将它放到一个虚幻的地方,再用一种虚幻的形式将它替代。但是要想做到这一点,我们首先要清楚真实的谎言在我们心中,就在我们自己的心中。这是要想编造完美谎言的一个非常重要的资质。

Today, however, I have no intention of lying. I will try to be as honest as I can. There are only a few days in the year when I do not engage in telling lies, and today happens to be one of them.

但今天,我并不想说谎。我会尽可能地做到诚实。这也是一年当中我不说谎的为数不多的几天之一,今天碰巧就是其中之一。

So let me tell you the truth. In Japan a fair number of people advised me not to come here to accept the Jerusalem Prize. Some even warned me they would instigate a boycott of my books if I came. The reason for this, of course, was the fierce fighting that was raging in Gaza. The U.N. reported that more than a thousand people had lost their lives in the blockaded city of Gaza, many of them unarmed citizens--children and old people.

让我来告诉你们真相。在日本有许多人建议我不要来这里接受“耶路撒冷文学奖”。甚至有些人警告我,如果我要坚持来的话,他们就会掀起抵制阅读我的小说的活动。当然,原因是加沙的战争正如火如荼。据联合国报道,已经有一千多人在已封锁的加沙城失去了他们的生命,许多都是手无寸铁的平民——孩子和老人。

Any number of times after receiving notice of the award, I asked myself whether traveling to Israel at a time like this and accepting a literary prize was the proper thing to do, whether this would create the impression that I supported one side in the conflict, that I endorsed the policies of a nation that chose to unleash its overwhelming military power. Neither, of course, do I wish to see my books subjected to a boycott.

在接到这个获奖通知后我不断地问自己,是否要在这样一个特殊时刻来耶路撒冷,接受这样的文学奖是否是现在该做的事情,这样做是否会让人产生一种印象,说我支持冲突中的其中一方,说我支持选择向世界展示其庞大军事力量的国家的政策呢。当然我也不希望看到我的书遭到抵制。

Finally, however, after careful consideration, I made up my mind to come here. One reason for my decision was that all too many people advised me not to do it. Perhaps, like many other novelists, I tend to do the exact opposite of what I am told. If people are telling me-- and especially if they are warning me-- “Don’t go there,” “Don’t do that,” I tend to want to “go there” and “do that”. It’s in my nature, you might say, as a novelist. Novelists are a special breed. They cannot genuinely trust anything they have not seen with their own eyes or touched with their own hands.

但最后在经过深思熟虑后,我还是决定来到耶路撒冷。我之所以做出这样的决定,原因之一就是有太多的人不想让我来这里。可能与许多其它小说家一样,我总是要做人们反对我做的事情。如果人们对我说——并且特别是如果他们警告我——“不要去那里”、“不要这样做”,我就偏偏要去那里,偏偏要这样做。你可能会说,这就是小说家的性格。小说家是另类。如果他们没有亲眼所见,没有亲手触摸,他们是不会真正相信任何事情的。

And that is why I am here. I chose to come here rather than stay away. I chose to see for myself rather than not to see. I chose to speak to you rather than to say nothing.

这就是我来到这里的原因。我选择来这里,而不是逃避。我选择亲自来看一看,而不是回避,我选择在这里向大家说几句,而不是沉默。

Please do allow me to deliver a message, one very personal message. It is something that I always keep in mind while I am writing fiction. I have never gone so far as to write it on a piece of paper and paste it to the wall: rather, it is carved into the wall of my mind, and it goes something like this:

请允许我在这里向你们传递一条信息,是一个非常私人的信息。在我写小说时我总是在心里牢记,但我从来都不会把它写在纸上,贴在墙上,我是把它刻在了心灵的墙上,这条信息是这样的:

“Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg.”

“在一座高大坚实的墙和与之相撞的鸡蛋之间,我永远都站在鸡蛋的一侧”。

Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg. Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will do it. But if there were a novelist who, for whatever reason, wrote works standing with the wall, of what value would such works be?

是的,无论墙是多么的正确,鸡蛋是多么地错误,我都站在鸡蛋的一侧。其它人可能会判断谁是谁非,也许时间或历史会来判断。但是,如果一个小说家无论因何种原因站在墙的一侧来创造,那么他的作品的价值何在呢?

What is the meaning of this metaphor? In some cases, it is all too simple and clear. Bombers and tanks and rockets and white phosphorus shells are that high wall. The eggs are the unarmed civilians who are crushed and burned and shot by them. This is one meaning of the metaphor.

这个比喻是什么意思呢,在有些时候,非常简单明了。轰炸机、坦克、火箭以及白磷弹就是那堵高墙,鸡蛋是被这些武器毁灭、烧伤并击毙的手无寸铁的百姓。这就是这个比喻的其中一层含义。

But this is not all. It carries a deeper meaning. Think of it this way. Each of us is, more or less, an egg. Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell. This is true of me, and it is true of each of you. And each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, is confronting a high, solid wall. The wall has a name: it is “The System.” The System is supposed to protect us, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own, and then it begins to kill us and cause us to kill others--coldly, efficiently, systematically.

但是,并不仅仅是这些。它还有更深一层的含义,我们来这样考虑一下,我们中的每一个人或多或少都是一个鸡蛋。我们中的每一个人都是存在于一个脆弱外壳中唯一的、不可替代的灵魂。我也一样,对你们中的每一个人也一样。并且,我们中的每一个人在某种程度上也面临着一堵高大坚实的墙。这个墙有一个名字:那就是“体制”。这个体制本来是要保护我们的,但是有时候它会呈现出它自己的一面,然后就开使残杀我们,并使我们去残杀他人——冷酷、有效、系统地残杀。

I have only one reason to write novels, and that is to bring the dignity of the individual soul to the surface and shine a light upon it. The purpose of a story is to sound an alarm, to keep a light trained on the System in order to prevent it from tangling our souls in its web and demeaning them. I truly believe it is the novelist’s job to keep trying to clarify the uniqueness of each individual soul by writing stories--stories of life and death, stories of love, stories that make people cry and quake with fear and shake with laughter. This is why we go on, day after day, concocting fictions with utter seriousness.

我写小说只有一个原因,那就是要给予每一个灵魂以尊严,并且让他们接受阳光的沐浴。情节的目的听起来是一种警报,是对体制进行光芒的培训,阻止它将我们的灵魂缠结在它的圈套中,防止践踏我们的灵魂。我忠实地相信,小说家的职责就是通过创作故事——关于生死、关于爱情、让人哭泣和颤栗以及让人大笑不已的故事,让人们意识到每一个灵魂的唯一性。这就是我不停创作的原因,日复一日,以十分严肃的态度创作小说。

My father passed away last year at the age of ninety. He was a retired teacher and a part-time Buddhist priest. When he was in graduate school in Kyoto, he was drafted into the army and sent to fight in China. As a child born after the war, I used to see him every morning before breakfast offering up long, deeply-felt prayers at the small Buddhist altar in our house. One time I asked him why he did this, and he told me he was praying for the people who had died in the battlefield. He was praying for all the people who died, he said, both ally and enemy alike. Staring at his back as he knelt at the altar, I seemed to feel the shadow of death hovering around him.

我的父亲是在去年去世的,享年九十岁。他是一名退休教师,是一名兼职佛教高僧。他从京都的研究生院毕业后,应征入伍,被派到中国打仗。作为一个战后出生的孩子,我每天早晨在早饭前,总是看到他的在我家的小佛教祭坛前非常虔诚地长时间地祈祷。有一次我就问父亲为什么要这样做,他就告诉我说,他是在为战争中死去的人们祈祷。他说,他为所有死去的人祈祷,无论是同盟还是敌人。当我看着他跪在祭坛前的背影时,我似乎感受到了萦绕在他周围的死亡的阴影。

My father died, and with him he took his memories, memories that I can never know. But the presence of death that lurked about him remains in my own memory. It is one of the few things I carry on from him, and one of the most important.

我的父亲去世了,带着他的记忆,我永远都不可能知道的记忆。但是环绕在他周围的那些死亡却留在了我自己的记忆中。这是我从他那里学习到东西之一,也是最重要的东西之一。

I have only one thing I hope to convey to you today. We are all human beings, individuals transcending nationality and race and religion, and we are all fragile eggs faced with a solid wall called The System. To all appearances, we have no hope of winning. The wall is too high, too strong--and too cold. If we have any hope of victory at all, it will have to come from our believing in the utter uniqueness and irreplaceability of our own and others’ souls and from our believing in the warmth we gain by joining souls together.

今天我只希望向你们传达一个信息。我们都是人类,是超越国籍、种族和宗教的个体的人,我们都是脆弱的鸡蛋,要面临被称作“体制”的坚实的墙。从外表来看,我们根本就没有赢的希望。这堵墙太高太坚实——并且太冷酷了。如果我们有一点战胜它的希望,那就是来源于我们对我们自己以及他人灵魂唯一性和不可替代性的信念,来源于我们对将灵魂联合起来可获得温暖的信念。

Take a moment to think about this. Each of us possesses a tangible, living soul. The System has no such thing. We must not allow the System to exploit us. We must not allow the System to take on a life of its own. The System did not make us: we made the System.

花一点时间来考虑这些,我们每一个人都拥有有形的生动的灵魂,而体制没有。我们不能让体制来剥削我们。我们不能让体制现出它自己的一面。不是体制创造了我们,而是我们建立了体制。

That is all I have to say to you.

这就是我想要对你们说的。

I am grateful to have been awarded the Jerusalem Prize. I am grateful that my books are being read by people in many parts of the world. And I would like to express my gratitude to the readers in Israel. You are the biggest reason why I am here. And I hope we are sharing something, something very meaningful. And I am glad to have had the opportunity to speak to you here today.

非常感谢授予了我耶路撒冷文学奖。我也非常感谢世界各地有那么多人看了我写的书。我还要感谢以色列的读者们。你们是我来到这里的最主要原因。我希望我们能够分享一些东西,一些有非常有意义的东西。我也非常高兴今天有机会在这里发言。

Thank you very much.