Unpleasant Matter

Unpleasant Matter不愉快的物質

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.

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。

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.

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。

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.

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.

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。

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.

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.

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。

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.

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。

P85

Earth and Reveries of Will by Gaston Bachelard

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

https://springhero.wordpress.com

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

  

Unpleasant Matter 02

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.

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。

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.”

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.

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。

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.

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。

P86

Earth and Reveries of Will by Gaston Bachelard

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

https://springhero.wordpress.com

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

Unpleasant matter 03

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。

P88

Earth and Reveries of Will by Gaston Bachelard

Translated by Springhero雄伯

https://springhero.wordpress.com

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

Unpleasant Matter 04

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。

P89

Earth and Reveries of Will By Gaston Bachelard

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

https://springhero.wordpress.com

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

  

Unpleasant Matter 05

 

We have only to reread , in Maurice Genevoix’s Raboliot, the many pages devoted to sticky snares, to experience a detailed, minute offensiveness that illustrates the degree to which human existence is reactive, a response to circumstances. Our earliest impressions of snares, decoys, and traps resonate with the experience of beings subject to existence.

我們只需要重讀Maurice Genevoix Raboliot,裏面有好幾頁專注於談黏性陷阱,就可以體會到一種詳細、微細的攻擊,舉例說明人類的存在對於環境的反應,反動到什麼程度。我們對於陷阱、誘餌、及羅網的最初印象都迴響著生命隸屬於存在的經驗。

 

This example also serves to distinguish the masculine unconsciousness from the feminine. For when we take offensive action against viscous matter, we abandon the deepest and most basic regions of the unconscious, the realm that is essentially feminine, and, with the weakest of weapons, we response to the first conscious stirrings of masculine aggression.

這個例子也充當區別陽剛的無意識跟陰柔的無意識。因為當我們採取攻擊的行動對抗黏性物質,我們放棄了無意識最深層、最基本的地區,這個領域基本上是陰柔的。用這個最軟弱的武器,我們回應陽剛的攻擊性第一個意識到的激動。

 

We enter the realm of cunning will, stubbornly determined to turn the forces of the world to its own advantages. The human being thus becomes a center of hostility. Its prodigious offensivity leaves no force in the universe unactivated. If power reveals itself in substance, the first question is: against whom or against what it can be utilized? The viscosity experienced by human beings seeks an enemy. We overlook this dynamic if we think of ourselves as victims.

我們進入狡猾意志的領域,頑固地決心要將世界的力量轉為己用。人類因此成為一個敵意的中心。它巨大的攻擊性啟動了宇宙所有的力量。假如力量在物質中顯示自己,那第一個問題是可使用來攻擊誰或攻擊什麼?人類所經驗到的黏性尋找敵人。假如我們只認為自己是受害者,那我們就忽略了這個動力。

 

But this is not the typical experience, and it may be preferable to offer a simple image of the viscous universe by recalling our first childhood experiences with jam. Picture for instance bowls overflowing with pitted cherries. The fingers stick to them a bit already, an agreeable sign that the fruit is ripe.

但是這個並不是典型的經驗。我們不妨回憶一下我們童年吃果醬的經驗,提供一個簡單的黏性宇宙的形象。試著想像一下去核的櫻桃流溢碗盆,手指已經稍微黏住他們,欣喜地顯示水果已經成熟。

 

Then the juices brighten in the great copper kettle. The ladle drips red, the air fills with the buzzing of bees…As idle onlooker might find everything about this disagreeably sticky, perceiving the disorderly kitchen as dirty, though every object contributes to the aesthetic of making syrup. To avoid boasting of my own jam-making skill I will simply transcribe a passage from Josephine Johnson to put us in the proper frame of mind.

然後果汁使得大銅壺輝煌起來,長柄杓都滴到紅,空氣洋溢著蜜蜂的嗡嗡聲。旁觀者可能會發現每一樣東西都黏得令人化不開,感覺到廚房又亂又髒,雖然每一樣東西都促成製造果醬的美感。為了避免是在誇張我自己製造果醬的技巧,我將僅僅引述一段Josephine Johnson的文章,我們就可以親臨體會。

 

A young woman stands before a raging oven in the middle of summer, watching cherries slowly dissolve “ in a rich, syrup redness. She stormed around among the kettles, testing and slopping,–shouted Whoa! And Haw! to the cherries pouring over, dripped wax with one hand and stirred with the other, and sniffed at the strong smell of burned juice blackening where the stuff boiled over. I don’t know what it was—only health perhaps, too much to be contained inside and radiating out like her overstoked ovens.”

一位年輕女仕在仲夏站在熱驣驣的火鍋前,觀察櫻桃慢慢溶化成為豐富的紅色果汁。她在各個水壺間走來走去,品嚐試探,哇塞哇塞地叫嚷,面對滿溢的櫻桃汁,一隻手滴滿汁,另一隻手攪拌著,鼻子嗅著強烈的味道,當滾燙的果醬漸漸變黑及沸騰起來。我不知道那是什麼,只知那是健康,健康洋溢,無法被包裝在裏面,不得不像添火過熱的火鍋般輝煌起來。

 

One has the sense here of a cook fully at the center of her work, conscious of her strength in action. Viscous, sticky, gummy matter has been rendered powerless against her.

我們可以理解到一位廚師站在工作的正中央,意識到自己行動的力量。黏性、粘著、膠黏的物質在她面前變得任由擺怖。

 

In this way the human being is revealed as the being opposed to things, not siding with things but standing up to them. From unhappiness at feeling stuck, feelings of anger rise in dialectical response, and with them a sense of liberation.

以這個方式,人類被顯示為與物質對抗的存在,不是偏袒物質,而是對抗物質。從感覺被黏住的不快樂,憤怒之氣昂揚興起回應,隨之而來的是解放之感。

 

A passage from Jacob Bochme describes this secondary order of human will, this will-in-response which generates oppositional beings: “ The will, if wrapped in the gloom of anguish, reasserts itself as a second will to fly from anguish, to engender light; and this second will is the affective base from which thoughts of breaking free of anguish arise.”

Jocob Bochme的這個段落描述人類意志的次等順序,就是反應意志產生了相對的存在:意志假如被包裹在痛苦的陰鬱中,會以次等順序重新主張自己,而逃離痛苦,產生光輝。這個次等順序就是情意的基礎,掙脫痛苦的思想從這裡飛揚起來。

 

In a quick turnabout, the existence of stickiness is supplanted by the oppositional being of the hand. Characterized anthropomorphically, pitch represents the will to “ become unstuck.” In the psychoanalysis of labor, the will makes a weapon of the naturally offensive quality of a substance. Compressed in the shoemaker’s gauntlet, the stickiness of pitch serves him well. Pitch-coated rope groans against the pull of the gears. It becomes a powerful astringent, a subtle protection against moisture, a force to counteract warping.

迅速回轉,黏性的存在被手的相對存在所取代。用擬人化來說,瀝青代表「不甘受困」的意志。在勞動的精神分析學,意志以物質的自然攻擊特質為武器。被壓縮在鞋匠的保護手套裡,瀝青的黏性服務得最好。塗上瀝青的繩索對抗機械的拉扯哀鳴。它變成一種嚴峻的力量,一種微妙的保護,避免潮溼,一種反抗被扭曲的力量。

 

Once more the worker has domesticated matter. So taught Jacob Boehme, shoe-maker and “ vanquisher of pitch,” for whom the lesson was so clear it became the source of his loftiest metaphors. A person’s whole being comes to life when the hand takes control of matter. When the hand “ breaks through the gloom, the penetrating eye will look upon itself in delight, far from the shadows, in the sharp light of the will.”

再一次,工作者馴服物質。Jocob Boehme 如此教導。對於鞋匠及「瀝青的征服者」,這個教導是如此清楚,足以做為他最崇高的比喻。當手掌控物質時,人的整個存在展現生命。當手衝破陰鬱,炯炯有神的眼睛顧盼自喜,遠離陰影,自得於意志的強烈光輝。

 

It is impossible to understand a passage like this if one does not begin with the material image of a shadowy substance, a substance that manifests the density of shadow. From there one must proceed from the imagination of matter to the imagination of power and thus overcome sticky density. Darkness, thickness, and stickiness are thee substantial stages through which the imagination must pass. Once stickiness has been conquered, darkness and density are automatically overpowered.

要了解這一段是不可能的,假如我們不先從陰影物質的物質形象開始。那種物質展示了陰影的密度。從那裏,我們必須從物質想像進展到權力想像,然後克服黏性密度。黑暗、厚度、黏性是三個實質上的階段,想像必須經歷的。再一次,黏性被征服,黑暗跟密度自動地被壓制。

 

P90–P91

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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