Soft Matter: The Valorization of Mud 05

Soft Matter: The Valorization of Mud 05

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

 

Sartre would return to an existentialist study of sticky, viscous matter in Being and Nothingness. But this time he would forgo the device of a fictional character with a right to his idiosyncracies. The philosopher here takes viscosity as a serious object of study, demonstrating by the density of his remarks the importance of positive, real experience for concrete philosophical meditation.

在「存在與空無」一書中,沙特常常回到存在主義的研究粘貼黏性物質。但是這一次他塑造一個虛幻人物的特質,擁有怪癖的權利。在此哲學家將黏性當著一種嚴肅的研究客體,以他談話的密度證明積極、真實的經驗作為具體的哲學沉思。

 

In, as we might say, “ working” this theme, Sartre makes clear his view that matter is a revelation of being, that is to say of human being: “ The simple revelation of the substance of those objects by which the child is surrounded expands the child’s horizons to the extreme limits of being and offers at the same time clues for deciphering the essence of the human condition.”

如我們所言,在從事這個主體時,沙特澄清他的觀點:物質是存在的啟示,換言之,就是人的啟示。這些環繞小孩的客體物質的簡單啟示,擴充了小孩存在極限的地平線,並且同時提供線索來詮釋人類情況的本質。

 

Matter, in fact, gives us the sense of hidden depths; it compels us to unmask superficial being. And this is precisely what Sartre does when he unmasks the viscous. In this vein, it is certain that studies could be multiplied.

事實上,物質給我們隱藏的深度感。它逼迫我們揭開膚淺存在的面具。這確實就是沙特所為,當他揭開黏性的面具時。從這個特質來看,這個研究確實能夠再多幾倍發揮。

 

Broad examination of viscosity would lead to more specific studies, say of pitch or honey, that would reveal matter’s powers of individuation. Pitch, for instance, is the stuff of unremitting anger, of aggressive melancholy—melancholy in the material sense of the term. It is enough to read the writings of the shoemaker Jacob Boehme to recognize that pitch is, in the Sartrean sense, a key to his entire oeuvre.

廣泛的審查黏性,我們將得到更明確的研究,例如瀝青跟蜂蜜,更可看出個別化的力量。例如,瀝青是憤怒不已、憂鬱侵奪的物質,從這個詞語的物質含義而言,確實是憂鬱。我們只要閱讀一下鞋匠Jacob Boehme 我們就會體會到,就沙特而研,瀝青的黏性足以形容他一生之所以契而不捨地著作。

 

On the theme of viscosity, however, we can recognize a difference between existentialism of real matter and a doctrine of the material imagination. For me, the material imagination of soft substances is essentially concerned with labor. Viscosity, then, is only a passing offense, a skirmish between reality and the laborer in which the dynamism of the latter ensures victory.

可是在討論黏性的主題時,我們體認到真實物質的存在主義跟物質想像的信條不同。對於我而言,柔軟東西的物質想像基本上是關心到勞動。因此黏性只是過程的冒犯,是真實界與勞動者之間的伏擊,後者的動力最後終將獲勝。

 

Active material imagination of this sort is scarcely affected by the vertigo Sartre invokes when he writes of viscosity: “ It is a soft and yielding action, a moist and feminine sucking; it lives obscurely under my fingers, and I feel a dizziness that draws me as the bottom of a precipice might draw me. There is a quasi-tactile fascination in slimy things, a sense of appropriation I am unable to arrest but which continues.”

沙特在寫到黏性時,召喚一種暈眩:「這是一種柔軟而順服的行動,一種潮濕而女性化的吮吸。它模糊地生活在我手指間,我感受到一種暈眩吸引我,如同懸崖的底端吸引我。這是一種虛假觸覺的著迷於黏稠的東西,一種我無法阻擋,卻又繼續下去的篡奪感」不過,這種暈眩卻很少影響到我這種積極的物質想像。

 

It continues, no doubt, if we take no action, if we experience viscosity on its own terms! But if we work viscosity, all is changed. For one thing, in kneading, if dough sticks to the fingers, a sprinkling of flour is enough to clean the hands. We can domesticate the viscous though an indirect attack with dry matter. At the mixing bowl we are demiurges. We determined the destiny of the matter.

假如我們沒有採取行動,假如我們按照黏性的特質去經驗它,它無疑會繼續下去。但是我們運作黏性,一切都隨之改變。舉個例子,在塑造時,假如麵糰黏貼手指,噴灑一下麵粉就足夠將手洗乾淨。我們使用乾燥的物質對它從事間接攻擊,就可將黏性馴服。在混合的碗中,我們是造物主。我們決定物質的命運。

 

Our struggles with viscous matter cannot be described parenthetically. Only the gaze can bracket in this way, permitting us to close our eyes and put off introspection until tomorrow, occupying ourselves for the time being with outward appearances. Working hands, hands animated by reveries of work, engage themselves. They take sticky substances and impose a hard future upon them according to a calculated timetable of progress.

我們跟黏性物質的搏鬥無法用括弧的方式來描述。只有眼光才能用這種方式括弧,允許我們閉起眼睛,拖延內省直到明天,暫時專注於外在的表象。工作的手,工作幻想所激動的手,自得其樂。他們接納黏稠物質,依照仔細盤算的進度表,

給予他們一個辛苦的未來。

 

In fact, hands think only as they squeeze, only while kneading, only while in action. Hands that fail to triumph by force, get bogged down or grow enervated in defeat, are no longer hands but mere envelopes of skin. They are afflicted by viscosity as a nose or cheek or upper arm might be. They are no longer powerful doers. They are themselves undone. It is amusing to observe that those who fear viscous matter spread it everywhere.

事實上,只有在壓擠之時,只有在糅捏之時,只有在行動之時,手才會思想。手若無法以用力獲勝,若動彈不得,或若因失敗而變得虛弱,那他們不再是手,而僅是包骨之皮膚。手跟鼻子、臉頰、或手臂一樣,會因為黏性而痛苦。他們不再是有力量的行動者。他們會自行毀滅。說來好笑,那些害怕黏性物質的人,卻到處散播黏性。

 

And, of course, passive hands imagine nothing. At the least contact with something viscous they slip back into so-called “ existentialist experience.” Contact with viscous matter may cause them to retreat into regression, experience the masochism of leeches, the vertigo of annihilation.

當然,被動的手毫無想像力。稍微跟黏性的東西碰觸一下,他們就溜回到所謂的「存在主義經驗」。跟黏性物質接觸可能會引起他們撤退成倒轉,經驗到像水蛭一般的自虐,毀滅的暈眩。

 

This may be the nature of existence, but the creative imagination desires something else. Ultimately, the material imagination derives not from phenomenology but ,as we have shown , on many occasions, from human activity or dynamology.

這可能是存在的本質,但是具有創造力的想像渴望其他東西。最後,物質想像並非從現象學而來,而是如我們剛才所說的,在很多場合,是從人類活動或動力學得來。

 

The forces discovered through experience the material imagination takes as its own, until at last the imagination sees itself as an active genius. If it were necessary for me to experience sliminess, I would become slime. I would set limed snares in the thickets ( God forbid!), playing songs of hypocrisy on my pipes.

物質想像接受經由經驗發現的力量當著自己的力量,直到最後想像看待自己當著自負不凡的天才。若我必需經驗黏滑,我願成為黏滑,我願在叢林設下黏滑的陷阱,用我生命之笛吹奏虛偽之歌,雖則我雅不願如此。

 

P88—p90

Soft Matter: The Valorization of Mud 05

軟泥:泥巴的穩定

Earth and Reveries of Will 泥土與意志的幻想

By Gaston Bachelard 巴舍拉

Translated by Springhero雄伯

https://springhero.wordpress.com

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

 

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