How Should One Read a Book? 怎样读书?

时间:2014-07-14 23:43 作者:未知 点击:

How Should One Read a Book?

怎样读书?

Virginia Woolf

弗吉尼亚·伍尔夫

It is simple enough to say that since books have classes——fiction,biography,poetry——weshould separate them and take from each what it is right that each should give us. Yet fewpeople ask from books what books can give us. Most commonly we come to books with blurredand divided minds,asking of fiction that it shall be true,of poetry that it shall be false,ofbiography that it shall be flattering,of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices. If wecould banish all such preconceptions when we read,that would be an admirable beginning. Donot dictate to your author;Try to become him. Be his fellow-worker and accomplice. If youhang back,and reserve and criticize at first,you are preventing yourself from getting thefullest possible value from what you read. But if you open your mind as widely as possible,thesigns and hints of almost imperceptible fineness,from the twist and turn of the firstsentences,will bring you into the presence of a human being unlike any other. Steep yourselfin this,acquaint yourself with this,and soon you will find that your author is giving you,orattempting to give you,something far more definite. The thirty-two chapters of a novel—if weconsider how to read a novel first——are an attempt to make something as formed andcontrolled as a building:but words are more impalpable than bricks;Reading is a longer andmore complicated process than seeing. Perhaps the quickest way to understand the elementsof what a novelist is doing is not to read,but to write;To make your own experiment with thedangers and difficulties of words. Recall,then,some event that has left a distinct impressionon you—how at the corner of the street,perhaps,you passed two people talking. A treeshook;an electric light danced;the tone of the talk was comic,but also tragic;a wholevision;an entire conception,seemed contained in that moment.

书既然有小说,传记,诗歌之分,就应区别对待,从各类书中取其应该给及我们的东西。这话说来很简单。然而很少有人向书索取它能给我们的东西,我们拿起书来往往怀着:??衷勇业南敕,要求小说是真是的,诗歌是虚假的,传记要吹捧,史书能加强我们自己的偏见。读书时如能抛开这些先入为主之见,便是极好的开端。不要对作者指手画脚,而要尽力与作者融为一体,共同创作,共同策划。如果你不参与,不投入,而且一开始就百般挑剔,那你就无缘从书中获得最大的益处。你若敞开心扉,虚怀若谷,那么,书中精细入微的寓意和暗示便会把你从一开头就碰上的那些像是山回水转般的句子中带出来,走到一个独特的人物面前。钻进去熟悉它,你很快就会发现,作者展示给你的或想要展示给你的是一些比原先要明确得多的东西。不妨闲来谈谈如何读小说吧。一部长篇小说分成三十二章,是作者的苦心经营,想把它建构得如同一座错落有致的布局合理的大厦。可是词语比砖块更难捉摸,阅读比观看更费时、更复杂。了解作家创作的个中滋味。最有效的途径恐怕不是读而是写,通过写亲自体验一下文字工作的艰难险阻。回想一件你记忆忧新的事吧。比方说,在街道的拐弯处遇到两个人正在谈话,树影婆娑,灯光摇曳,谈话的调子喜中有悲。这一瞬间似乎包含了一种完善的意境,全面的构思。

But when you attempt to reconstruct it in words,you will find that it breaks into a thousandconflicting impressions. Some must be subdued;others emphasized;in the process you willlose,probably,all grasp upon the emotion itself. Then turn from your blurred and litteredpages to the opening pages of some great novelist—Defoe,Jane Austen,or Hardy. Now youwill be better able to appreciate their mastery. It is not merely that we are in the presence ofa different person—Defoe,Jane Austen,or Thomas Hardy—but that we are living in a differentworld. Here,in Robinson Crusoe,we are trudging a plain high road;one thing happens afteranother;the fact and the order of the fact is enough. But if the open air and adventure meaneverything to Defoe they mean nothing to Jane Austen. Hers is the drawing-room,and peopletalking,and by the many mirrors of their talk revealing their characters. And if,when we haveaccustomed ourselves to the drawing-room and its reflections,we turn to Hardy,we are oncemore spun around. The other side of the mind is now exposed—the dark side that comesuppermost in solitude,not the light side that shows in company. Our relations are nottowards people,but towards Nature and destiny. Yet different as these worlds are,each isconsistent with itself. The maker of each is careful to observe the laws of his ownperspective,and however great a strain they may put upon us they will never confuseus,as lesser writers so frequently do,by introducing two different kinds of reality into thesame book. Thus to go from one great novelist to another—from Jane Austen to Hardy,fromPeacock to Trollope,from Scott to Meredith —is to be wrenched and uprooted;to be thrownthis way and then that. To read a novel is a difficult and complex art. You must be capable notonly of great finesse of perception,but of great boldness of imagination if you are going tomake use of all that the novelist—the great artist—gives you.

可是当你打算用文字来重现此情此景的时候。它却化作千头万绪互相冲突的印象。有的必须淡化,有的则应加突出。在处理过程中你可能对整个意境根本把握不住了。这时,还是把你那些写得含糊杂乱的一页页书稿搁到一边,翻开某位小说大师,如笛福,简·奥斯汀或哈代的作品来从头读吧。这时候你就能更深刻地领略大师们驾驭文字的技巧了。因为我们不仅面对一个个不同的人物—笛福、简·奥斯汀或托马斯·哈代,而且置身于不同的世界。阅读《鲁宾逊漂流记》时,我们仿佛跋涉在狂野大道上,事件一个接一个,故事再加上故事情节的安排就足够了。如果说旷野和历险对笛福来说就是一切,那么对简·奥斯汀就毫无意义了。她的世界是客厅和客厅中闲聊的人们。这些人的言谈像一面面的镜子,反映出他们的性格特征。当我们熟悉了奥斯汀的客厅及其反映出来的事物以后再去读哈代的作品,又得转向另一个世界。周围茫茫荒野,头顶一片星空。此时,心灵的另一面,不要聚会结伴时显示出来的轻松愉快的一面,而是孤独时最容易萌生的忧郁阴沉的一面。和我们打交道的不是人,而是自然与命运。虽然这些世界截然不同,它们自身却浑然一体。每一个世界的创造者都小心翼翼地遵循自己观察事物的法则,不管他们的作品读起来如何费力,却不会像蹩脚的作家那样,把格格不入的两种现实塞进一部作品中,使人感到不知所云。因此读完一位伟大作家的小说再去读另一位的,比如说从简·奥斯汀到哈代,从皮科克到特罗洛普,从司各特到梅瑞狄斯,就好像被猛力扭动,连根拔起,抛来抛去。说实在的,读小说是一门困难而又复杂的艺术。要想充分享用小说作者,伟大的艺术家给予你的一切,你不仅要具备高度的感受能力,还得有大胆的想象力。

    讨论