Soft Matter: The Valorization of Mud 04

Soft Matter: The Valorization of Mud 04

軟泥:泥巴的穩定

From Earth and Reveries of Will 泥土與意志的幻想

By Gaston Bachelard 巴舍拉

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

 

Continuing our study of unpleasant matter, we will now attempt to characterize, from the point of view of the material imagination, a work of literature that contains great psychological truths. In Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre presents a character, Roquentin, who exemplifies with unusual clarity a certain psychological type. This character serves to distinguish between a psychological originality profoundly rooted in the unconscious and the contrived originality found in woks of secondary novelists.

One discovers, if one reads enough, that novelists imbue their heroes with numerous contradictions, in the belief that they will appear “ life-like” by means of gratuitous inconsistencies. But contradictions do not necessarily produce ambivalence. A contradiction not rooted in ambivalence remains a mere psychological incident.

 

繼續我們對不愉快物資的研究,我們現在將從物質想像的觀點,表現一個具有心理真相的文學作品的特色。在「嘔吐」的小說中,沙特呈現一個人物羅圭亭,非常清楚地作為某個心理類型的典範。這個人物充當區別一個深深根源於無意識的心理的真知灼見,以及在二流小說家的作品中常發現靈巧噱頭。假如我們時常閱讀,我們就會發現到,小說家替他們的角色沾染無數的矛盾,相信在境遇偶然的不一致中,他們更酷似真實人生。但是矛盾未必產生猶豫不決。矛盾而未根源於猶豫不定,始終僅是心理的偶發事件。

 

Sartre, on the other hand, develops his psychological novel by following the opposite course, proceeding from ambivalence to contradiction. He presents a character who, in the realm of the material imagination, cannot attain “ solidity,” and consequently can never maintain a firm position in life. Roquentin is sick even in the realm of material images, that is to say even in his attempt to establish a viable relationship with the substance of things. He attributes contradictory qualities to the essence of things because he himself is divided by ambivalence as he approaches them.

 

在另一方面,沙特以追蹤相反的途徑,發展他的心理小說,從猶豫不定進展到矛盾。他呈現他的人物,在物質想像的領域,無法得到「完整性」,結果永遠無法維持一個牢固的人生立場。羅圭亭即使在物質影像的領域中都是病態的。換句話說,即使在他企圖跟物質建立可來往的關係。當他接近物質的本質時,他給這他們賦予矛盾的特質,因為他自己就受到猶豫不決所分裂。

 

We can see this ambivalence play out precisely in Roquentin’s imagery of the consistency of objects. In a single paragraph, Sartre shows the hero of Nausea in the process of gathering  “chestnuts,” : old rags,” and, later, “ heavy and sumptuous papers, probably soiled by excrement. Yet Roquentin recoils from contact with a pebble on the beach—a pebble washed clean by the sea! The conventional responses of attraction and disgust are here reversed. This material inversion excites irregular, and as a consequence passionate, concern. Unpleasant material suffices to make an unhappy man conscious of his unhappiness.

 

我們能夠看出,這個猶豫不決在羅圭亭的物體一貫的意象中,如何準確地運作。有一段中,沙特描寫到「嘔吐」的主角在收集「栗子」「破爛」,以及後來「笨重大量的紙板」的過程,可能是受到糞便所污染。可是羅圭亭在海灘遇到海浪沖刷得乾淨的石礫,卻畏縮不前!迷人與厭惡的傳統反應在此被顛倒過來。物質的倒轉引起不正常,結果是激情的關心。不愉快的物質足夠使一個不快樂的人意識到自己的不快樂。

 

We must observe that what the writer describes sequentially, in obedience to the ineluctable law of narrative, he imagines simultaneously. Many signs betray this art of simultaneity that gives life to the Sartean hero. Here, at the slightest hint of infantile behavior, the mature personality resurfaces. Roquentin is childish in his reactions.

His ambivalent feelings of attraction and repulsion come into play even in the case of dirt’s temptations. As he is about to pick up the above-mentioned papers, almost buried “ beneath a crust of mud,” Roquentin tells us in his own words: “ I bent down, already rejoicing at the touch of the fresh tender pulp which I thought to roll between my fingers into grayish balls But I could not.”

 

我們必須觀察到作者按順序所描述的,服從敘述的不可違抗法則,他同時性地想像。許多跡象都顯現出這種同時性的技巧,賦予生命給沙特的角色。在此,在嬰兒營行徑稍微暗示一下,成熟的人格又重新府浮現。羅圭亭的反應是孩子氣的。他對於迷人跟厭惡感覺的猶豫不決,也發揮在即使是泥土的吸引力上。正當他將要檢起上面所提到「幾乎是埋在泥濘中」的報紙,羅圭亭用自己的話告訴我們:「我彎身,欣喜於碰觸到新鮮的軟泥,我很想用手指將它糅成灰色球團,但是做不到。」

 

It should come as no surprise, then, that one so painfully sensitized to the material drama of uncleanliness should also have a reaction to tactile contact normally considered innocuous.

 

對於骯髒的物質變化如此痛苦敏感的人,會有正常被認為是無害的觸覺的反應,那是不足為奇的。

 

Objects can’t touch us because they aren’t alive. We use them and we put them back in their places; we live in their presence; they are useful, nothing more. But they touch me and I find it unbearable. I fear contact with them as though they were living creatures. Now I understand; I recall better what I felt the other day at the seashore when I held the pebble. It was a sort of sweetish sickness. It was so unpleasant! And it came from the stone, I’m sure; it passed from the stone into my hand. Yes, that’s it, that’s just it—a sort of nausea in the hands.

物體無法碰觸我們,因為他們無生命。我們使用他們,我們將他們放回原位,我們生活在他們面前,他們僅是可以使用而已。但是他們事實上碰觸到我,我覺得受不了。我害怕跟他們接觸,好像他們是活生生的動物。現在我瞭解,我回想起前天在海灘拿起小石礫所感覺的。那是一種甜美的病態,如此令人不愉快,來自於那石頭!我確定,那種不愉快從石頭傳到我的手。不錯,就是那樣,就是那樣,手中有一種嘔吐之感。

 

Nausea in the hands! A crucial phrase for a psychology of unpleasant substances, for a theory of the manual imagination of weakened hands. Such hands, which perhaps have not been given a clear task to accomplish at the proper moment, nor a pleasant substance to work with, rarely succeed in coming to terms with the material world. Before anything slightly insidious or shifty, the separation between subject and object is poorly realized, the toucher and the thing touched are blurred, the one too slow, the other too yielding. The World is my Nausea, a Sartrean Schopenhauer might claim. The world is glue, pitch, paste—always too pliant; a dough that softly kneads the kneader, and whispers to the hand the material absurdity that it should loosen its grip, renounce its labor.

 

手中的嘔吐之感!這是一個重要的詞語,對於不愉快物質的心理學,對於軟弱手的手工想像的理論。這樣的手可能從來沒有被清楚告知要在適當時刻做些什麼,也沒有愉快物質可以工作,對於物質世界罕見能達成和諧。在任何稍微隱伏或變遷的東西之前,主體及客體的隔離並沒有被體認得很清楚,碰觸者跟被碰觸的東西是模糊的,前者太慢,後者太順服。悲觀哲學家叔本華會像沙特一樣說:世界就是我的嘔吐之感。這是世界是黏土、膠漆、漿糊,總是太柔軟,像麵糰一樣輕輕地軟糅著糅麵者,細聲對手說物質的荒謬,它應該放鬆對它的掌握,放棄對它的勞苦。

 

P8—p87

Soft Matter: The Valorization of Mud 04

軟泥:泥巴的穩定

From Earth and Reveries of Will 泥土與意志的想像

by Gaston Bachelard 巴舍拉

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

https://springhero.wordpress.com

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

  

P85

Earth and Reveries of Will by Gaston Bachelard

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

https://springhero.wordpress.com

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

  

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