再看《霸王别姬》,看程蝶衣的逆风人生

第一次看《霸王别姬》,还是在自己不谙世事的时候。当时,只是觉得程蝶衣美,美而悲壮,惨烈。也被大时代的变迁而震撼。今天再一次重温经典,却看出很多不一样的感受。原来程蝶衣的倔强,才是逆风之人悲剧的宿命。

戏和人生的交错,就是不清不楚。程蝶衣不是单纯的活在戏里。只是对戏,更加较真。因为现实无法与自己期望的相吻合,只能沉醉在戏里的“从一而终”。他的沉醉,他的不醒,以至于在外面的世界不断变迁的同时,把他生生的隔离了。也许,他并没有在逆风前行。只是在风中屹立不动。但是不随风,也就是逆风的一种。

逆风的生命,是被抽打最多的。不仅受风的吹打。因为随风的不仅仅是空气,更是有一切可以被风吹动的东西。那些东西和风一起,将原地扎根的生命使劲儿吹打。风不止,痛苦不止。对大部分生命来说,有方向的前进,是生命进行的标志。而对在风中不动的生命来说,疼痛,就是生的意义。

在时代变迁的背景下,逆与顺,本来就是相对的。逆可以变成顺,顺可以被变成逆。而这逆与顺,又有谁来定?军阀,日本侵略者,国民党,还是共产党的人民?总之,不由程蝶衣。看戏的人在变,唱戏的,也应改变吗?戏呢?戏也应改变吗?随谁而变?

程蝶衣

程蝶衣爱戏,因为戏如生命。他不知道,京剧作为艺术的一种,只能在不动荡的年代繁荣起来。而艺术之所以生命力强大,更是因为它的形式可以被演化。当经典保持为经典,变化的那一部分会随着继续生长。变化,在这一刻,是戏之生命延长的方式。

人民的力量真真是大无穷。京剧可以是国粹,也可以是腐朽无救的下三滥。段小楼可以在汉奸头上砸砖头,可以在为日本人唱了戏的程蝶衣脸上吐唾沫,也可以为了程蝶衣与国民党人干架。但他也可以在人民的批斗下揭发程蝶衣的一切罪行。他是铮铮铁骨的男儿啊,被打被罚从无怨言。让他弯下腰的力量,何其大?他也许是软弱的。软过了菊仙,一个自己赎身来嫁给他的妓女。但是他活着,她却死了。

我相信,在二十一年没有与段小楼唱《霸王别姬》的岁月里,程蝶衣不曾再唱过虞姬。而二十一年后,当一切重新映入眼帘,当儿时的记忆被重新揭开,他知道,一切都不可能再回去。一切,都已经失去了意义。在这一刻,在这个久别重温最初的幸福的时刻,结束自己的一生,或许是他最好的选择。

他没有疯,只是长醉不醒。

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Still Buzzing 20150123 Transculturality and Translatability

I have been wondering how to translate our beloved concept of Transuclturality into Chinese. After discussing with a Professor focusing on Sinology, and getting even more confusion and a sentence our of a devoted Sinologist (“But YOU ARE Chinese! You should have a better idea of creating a new name for our new concept than I could!”), I grew more desperate than ever. How to introduce transculturality and transcultural studies to China, if we don’t even have a proper, and better classy and elegant name for it? (Ok I am a perfectionist!) Anything I can say in Chinese, which are in fact able to describe transcultruality include:

万物有同有异,它求同存异。

万物亦动亦静,它由动观静。

Wuxi-China

These mean the following:

Everything in this world has similarities and differences. It searches for the similarities among the differences.

Everything in this world is still and also in motion. It observes the motion through the still.

Well, translation can be a hardcore work. This is already the best I can do, for now.

Buzzing 20150118: Othering and Study of Materiality

Life of the Objects and The Silent Story-Teller

Objects are born as an “empty space” (according to Pinney). Any discussion on an object must associate with cultural interactions and must not end on an object-level. The notion of separating object and the meaning given to it, as I understand, serves as a precondition of art historian/anthropological research on materiality.

Besides, the original idea for the creation of an object already prepares a certain purpose for it, thus a meaning is given to this object before its creation. Eventually the “empty space” is appropriate only for describing the material(s) before the moment when the idea comes about, not after the creation of the object.

Speyer01

Therefore, born with a meaning, an object is endowed a life by “othering” of human’s natural, self-reflection. The fact is, more than we expect, objects do work not only as an “other”, but also as ourselves. The point for writing biography of an object is to tell stories of the people who create it, pass it on, receive it, and more. Every person appears in the life of an object leaves trace of himself on it, seeable or not. Men make objects to feel subjectivity, and label objects with meaning so that the same objects could be seen, from “the other”‘s point of view, as indicators of themselves. Some agents are visible in the story, some are not. Finally, the materiality exceeds the mere concrete form of itself and serves as a carrier of history, with a life that given by the people around it, becoming a story-teller of cultural interactions.

Aachen-Nacht

Most of objects with historical stories to tell we saw today outlive people of their own time. “The other could speak” is not a simple personification.

Buzzing 20150108: The Unchallengeable Freedom of Speech

What happened in Paris at Charlie Hebdo is an absolutely horrible terrorist attack. Violence is a brutal way to defend Islamic holiness. The al-Qaida terrorist cell in Yemen, according to British media, is involved. This bloody attack has been condemned by the international. Not only the western media is reporting the ruthless murder, they are somehow also conveying additional sentiments to the public. Something provocative, radical, hateful, and worse.

By reading through Weibo feed, I noticed Chinese people’s attitude towards Islam. Some show their fury and some show their fear. What is even more shocking to me is that, some well-educated and renowned journalists/writers, who advocate for well-spread western values (democracy, human right, equality and freedom), all voicing from the same and only term “press freedom”, as the same in almost all western media. Not ANYTHING ELSE. Is this really only another tragic conflict of terrorism and freedom of speech? In China, people never say ill of the dead. (逝者為大) Because they are, well, dead already. What’s the point to talk about if there’s anything that they have done are questionable. But it seems that, since I have devoted to train myself as a qualified journalist from western training, I should of course take the responsibility to tell THE TRUTH, of mine, which is to say of their misbehaviour.

pencils symbol

Have Islam ever enjoyed sarcasm on their holiness?

No.

Why not?

Modern Communist-trained Chinese people all know the following: I won’t offend others, if they don’t offend me; if they do, I will offend them too. (人不犯我,我不犯人;人若犯我,我必犯人。) The words from Mao has become a principle of Chinese diplomatic behaviour. The West has tried for many decades to understand it, and tried to deal with the Communist China.

The West are quick learners in terms of dealing with China. However, dealing with Islam from the beginning of seventh century, the West seems to hardly learned. Learning not how to submit, but to understand, and further, respect, if possible.

If someone has fatal allergy to nuts, another person, who’s playful and is aware of this person’s condition, comes and gives him a nut to eat. He would be furious and think if this guy is trying to kill him and “better kill him before he manages to kill me with nuts”…

image of islam in the west

What can be laughed about, and what should remain serious? Is there a limit of this so-called “absolute and holy” freedom of speech?