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【AEON】不要活在书本里

【AEON】不要活在书本里

 

一本书,如同一个陌生人,面对一个陌生人,我们不知道他会说什么,不知道他会做什么,不能从衣着判断出他的职业,不能从表情看到他的性格,这时,我们是应该高兴,还是害怕呢?

 

不要活在书本里?

【AEON】不要活在书本里

作者:Frank Furedi

译者:朱小钊

校对:沈园园

笔记&导读:朱星汉

策划:王瑞&朱星汉

Books are dangerous

阅读是危险的?

 

本文选自aeon | 取经号原创翻译

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Contagion, poison and trigger. The idea that books are dangerous has a long history, and holds a kernel of truth

在有些人看来,书籍是传染病、毒药,是坏事的导火索。阅读是危险的这一想法由来已久。实际上,它有一定的道理。

At universities around the world, students are claiming that reading books can unsettle them to the point of becoming depressed, traumatised or even suicidal. Some contend that Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway (1925), in which a suicide has taken place, could trigger suicidal thoughts among those disposed to self-harm. Others insist that F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925), with its undercurrent of spousal violence, might trigger painful memories of domestic abuse. Even ancient classical texts, students have argued, can be dangerous: at Columbia University in New York, student activists demanded that a warning be attached to Ovid’s Metamorphoses on grounds that its ‘vivid depictions of rape’ might trigger a feeling of insecurity and vulnerability among some undergraduates.

世界各地有很多大学生都表示,读书让他们感到不安、抑郁、心灵受创甚至想自杀。有人认为,弗吉尼亚·伍尔芙小说《达洛维夫人》所描绘的自杀场景可能会让那些有自残倾向的人萌生自杀的念头;有人表示,弗朗西斯·斯科特·菲茨杰拉德的作品《了不起的盖茨比》中潜藏的婚姻冷暴力会触发人们对家庭暴力的痛苦回忆;还有学生说,即便是古典文学名著也同样危险:在纽约哥伦比亚大学,就有学生中的激进分子要求校方在奥维德的《变形记》上附上警示标语,因为这本书中对‘强暴行为生动形象的描写’,可能会引发一些大学生的不安和恐惧。

This is probably the first time in history that young readers themselves are demanding protection from the disturbing content of their course texts, yet reading has been seen as a threat to mental health for thousands of years. In accordance with the paternalistic ethos of ancient Greece, Socrates said that most people couldn’t handle written text on their own. He feared that for many – especially the uneducated – reading could trigger confusion and moral disorientation unless the reader was counselled by someone with wisdom. In Plato’s dialogue, the Phaedrus, written in 360 BCE, Socrates warned that reliance on the written word would weaken individuals’ memory, and remove from them the responsibility of remembering. Socrates used the Greek word pharmakon – ‘drug’ – as a metaphor for writing, conveying the paradox that reading could be a cure but most likely a poison. Scaremongers would repeat his warning that the text was analogous to a toxic substance for centuries to come.

尽管数千年来阅读都被视为心理健康的一大威胁,但这大概是历史上第一次出现学生因令人不安的课本内容而寻求保护。根据古希腊的家长制思想,苏格拉底认为大部分人根本无法自主阅读。苏格拉底担心很多人,尤其是那些未受教育的人,如果没有睿智的老师指点迷津,在阅读时会产生困扰,道德会迷失。公元前360年,柏拉图在《斐德罗篇》中便提出警告:依赖书籍将会导致个人的记忆力衰退,还会让他们不再去努力记忆。苏格拉底在他的作品中把阅读比作药(希腊单词pharmakon),认为阅读是一把双刃剑:它能治愈人类,但更有可能毒害人类。几个世纪以来,一些危言耸听的人一直把苏格拉底关于文字如毒药的警告挂在嘴边。

paternalism /pə,tə:nəl’istik/ 家长式的;家长作风的;Someone who ispaternalistic takes all the decisions for the people they govern, employ, or are responsible for

Many Greek and Roman thinkers shared Socrates’ concerns. Trigger warnings were issued in the third century BCE by the Greek dramatist Menander, who exclaimed that the very act of reading would have a damaging effect on women. Menander believed that women suffered from strong emotions and weak minds. Therefore he insisted that ‘teaching a woman to read and write’ was as bad as ‘feeding a vile snake on more poison’.

很多希腊和罗马的思想家也同意苏格拉底的观点。公元前3世纪的希腊剧作家米南德警告说,阅读是坏事的导火索,它会对女性产生不良的影响,危害女性的身心健康。他认为,由于女性情感丰富但意志力薄弱,她们在阅读过程中会十分痛苦。因此他坚称:“教会女性阅读和写作,就好像用更多的毒药去喂养毒蛇一样糟糕。”

In 65 CE, the Roman stoic philosopher Seneca advised that the ‘reading of many books is a distraction’ that leaves the reader ‘disoriented and weak’. For Seneca the problem was not the content of a specific text but the unpredictable psychological effects of unrestrained reading. ‘Be careful,’ he warned, ‘lest this reading of many authors and books of every sort may tend to make you discursive and unsteady.’

公元65年,罗马斯多葛学派的哲学家塞内卡提出了“涉猎太广会让人分心”的观点,他认为这种做法会使读者变得“迷茫和脆弱”。塞内卡认为问题的关键不在于某种特定书籍的内容,而在于无节制的阅读会产生不可预测的心理影响。他警告说:“小心!不要因为接触太多作家的书籍或涉猎太多书籍而使自己坠入漫无边际和惴惴不安的深渊。”

By the Middle Ages, the potentially harmful effects of text had become a recurrent theme in Christian demonology. According to the late University of Washington free speech expert Haig Bosmajian, author of Burning Books (2006), texts that probed Church doctrine were denounced as poisonous substances with destructive consequences for the body and soul. Unsupervised reading could be heresy, the Church feared, and blasphemous texts, such as the Jewish Talmud, were consigned to the fires or ‘metaphorised into deadly serpents, pestilence, and rot.’

中世纪时期,阅读的潜在危害已经成为基督教魔鬼学中反复出现的主题。已故的华盛顿大学言论自由专家黑格·博斯马吉安在《燃烧的书籍》一书中提出,探讨基督教教义的文章曾被视为摧残身体与灵魂的洪水猛兽。教会人士担心,如果阅读不受监督,便可能会发展成异端邪说和亵渎神明的书籍,比如《塔木德经》。教会将这本书烧掉,称其是“致命的毒蛇、瘟疫,纯属一派胡言”。

recurrent ri ‘kʌrənt/adj. happening or appearing several times一再发生的; 重复出现的

The representation of reading as a medium through which readers become psychologically disoriented and morally contaminated continued to influence Western literary culture through every historical epoch. In 1533, Thomas More, the former Lord High Chancellor of England and fierce opponent of the Protestant Reformation, denounced the publication of texts written by Protestant theologians such as William Tyndale (1494-1536) as ‘deadly poisons’ that threatened to infect readers with ‘contagious pestilence’. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, terms such as ‘moral poison’ or ‘literary poison’ were frequently employed to draw attention to the capacity of a written text to contaminate the body.

这种将阅读视为导致读者心灵迷失、道德败坏罪魁祸首的看法久经不衰,并持续影响着西方文学及文化的每个历史发展时期。1533年,前任英国大法官、强烈反对宗教改革的托马斯·莫尔宣称,像威廉·廷代尔等新教神学家所写的文章都是“致命的毒药”,如同“具有传染性的瘟疫一般”危害读者健康。在17、18世纪, 类似“道德毒药”或“文学毒药”这类形容书籍的词屡见不鲜,其目的是让世人了解书籍对人体造成的危害。

With the emergence of the novel in the early modern era, the risks posed by reading to the state of mind of the reader became a regular source of apprehension. Critics of the novel claimed that its readers risked losing touch with reality and consequently became vulnerable to serious mental illness.

在近代早期,随着小说的兴起,人们普遍开始担忧阅读会对心智造成不良影响。小说的批评者声称,小说会让读者与社会脱节,因此十分容易让读者患上严重的心理疾病。

The English essayist Samuel Johnson asserted that the realism of fiction, in particular its tendency to deal with the issues of everyday life, had insidious consequences. Writing in 1750, he warned that the ‘accurate observation of the living world’ is more dangerous than the previous ‘heroic romances’. Why? Because since it directly engages with the experience of readers it has the power to influence them. What perturbed Johnson was that the realistic literature directed at impressionable youth failed to provide them with moral guidance. He criticised romantic fiction for mingling ‘good and bad’ qualities of characters without indicating to readers which ones to follow.

英国散文家塞缪尔·约翰逊断言,现实主义小说——尤其是倾向描述日常生活的小说——具有潜在的不良影响。在1750年的文章中,他警告说:“那些对于现实生活观察细致入微的小说比此前的英雄传奇小说危害更大。”为什么?因为书中所描述的内容与读者的经历高度契合,因此对读者造成更大的影响。约翰逊担心,年轻读者往往易受影响,而现实主义文学作品并没有为他们提供道德指引。他批评浪漫主义小说中的角色品格良莠不齐,但作者没有指明读者应该向哪一些角色学习。

impressionable /ɪm’preʃ(ə)nəb(ə)l/ adj. (of a person, especially a young one人,尤指年轻人) 近义表达:be susceptible to; be prone to; be vulnerable to

The triggering of dysfunctional imitative behaviour constituted a particular risk to the virtue of women. The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, writing in his novel Julie (1761), warned that the moment a woman opens a novel – any novel – and ‘dares to read but one page’, she ‘is a fallen girl’.

阅读能使人产生想要模仿那些叛逆行为的念头,而这尤其不利于女性美德的塑造。哲学家让-雅克·卢梭在小说《朱莉》中提出警告:女性只要打开任何一本小说,哪怕就读了一页,她也已经沦为堕落的女孩了。

译注:德国女作家斯特凡·博尔曼曾在《阅读的女人危险》 一书中列出了六种性格特质的女性阅读潜藏着危害,它们是天赋异禀的女读者、自视甚高的女读者、全神贯注的女读者、陷入沉迷的女读者、多愁善感的女读者、寂寞难耐的女读者。包法利夫人兼具以上六种特质,阅读的危害成倍扩大。主要表现在以下三个方面:一是有如纵欲一般的自慰性阅读会危害身体。福楼拜也曾说过:“承受人生的唯一方式是沉溺于文学,如同无休止的纵欲。”爱玛就是这样一个阅读狂。阅读激发出爱玛无限的想象力, 使其偏离当下的生活。 在爱玛的世界里,虚构就是真实,想象就是生存。不是爱玛在读书,而是书在“读”爱玛。爱玛为了消磨时光消解痛苦自我催眠而玩文学, 结果却被文学“玩”了,而且还玩出了泪,玩出了血,玩掉了性命。然而,懂得这种危害并且大加批判而且还开出了“处方”的是包法利老太太。她曾训诫夏尔:“你知道你老婆该要的是什么吗? 是强迫她做事,干手工活儿!要是她也像旁人一样得自食其力, 她就不会犯这种头晕气郁的毛病了,整天无所事事,脑子里装着这么些乱七八糟的念头,当然就要犯这种病喽。”二是过分单一的阅读偏好会导致知识结构单一化。 尽管包法利夫人也曾想试着阅读历史和哲学著作,可终因兴趣不浓而时作时辍,虎头蛇尾。 因而一头扎进了矫饰浮夸的言情小说,让她只瞥见了生活中喧闹繁华、淫逸享乐的一面,其他的生活场景都被她的这种阅读偏好通通掩埋。 这种“沉迷嗜好、不动脑筋的阅读” 产生的结果就是“毫无意义的铺张浪费,难以纠正的好逸恶劳,漫无节制的耽于奢糜,受到压抑的良知召唤,对生活的厌倦和提早死亡”。当下大学生人文精神的缺失,与过分细化的专业培养产生的阅读偏好不无关系。三是缺乏理性思辨的阅读会毒害心灵。保罗·德曼认为在文学文本中“真理和错误同时存在”。 所谓“旁观者清”,读者在阅读时只有与文本保持距离,才能具备清醒的自我意识,取其精华,去其糟粕。“爱玛与文学本文之间几乎没有距离,在她的爱情故事里,她甚至就是本文。”爱玛的阅读只是一味地接受,把幻想等同于生活,丝毫不存在批判与反思。 因此,当她依样画葫芦地把文字编织的“爱情” 照搬进生活时,现实给了她残酷的教训。 无疑,包法利夫人这种缺乏理性思辨的阅读,深深毒害了她的心灵,让她加速走向死亡。

Continuing in this vein, The Lady’s Magazine of 1780 warned that novels were ‘the powerful engines with which the seducer attacks the female heart’. The novels in question were, of course, popular bestsellers such as Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (1740), about a 15‑year-old who resists seduction and rape, and is rewarded with marriage in the end. Those issuing such warnings had no doubt that since women readers were particularly susceptible to powerful emotional arousal, they risked being overwhelmed by unrestrained sexual passions.

1780年的《女性杂志》则警告说,小说是“玩弄女性之徒骗取女性芳心的葵花宝典”。一些畅销书也涉及了这一话题,比如塞缪尔·理查森的《帕梅拉》,又名《贞洁得报》,讲述了15岁少女抵御诱惑、反抗强奸,最终收获美满婚姻的故事。涉及这一话题的作品无一例外都认为女性读者尤其容易被强烈的情绪所牵引,有被旺盛的性欲所冲昏头脑的危险。

Novels were the focus of a moral panic in 18th century England, criticised for triggering both individual and collective forms of trauma and mental dysfunction. In the late 18th century the terms ‘reading epidemic’ and ‘reading mania’ served to both describe and condemn the spread of a perilous culture of unrestrained reading.

在18世纪,英国社会出现了道德恐慌,而小说成为了众矢之的。人们批评小说在个人和社会两个层面引发了精神创伤和心理伤害。在18世纪晚期,“阅读泛滥”和“阅读狂热”这样的词语则用来描述无限制阅读这一文化现象所带来的危险。

The representation of mass reading as an ‘insidious contagion’ was often coupled with sightings of irrational destructive behaviour. The most alarming manifestation of the reading epidemic was its potential for triggering acts of self-harm, including suicide among the impressionable young. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) – a story of unrequited love leading to the act of self-destruction – was widely condemned for triggering a wave of copy-cat suicides on both sides of the Atlantic.

大量阅读就像“潜伏的传染病”,往往伴随着不理智的破坏性行为。最骇人听闻的要数“阅读泛滥”所引发的自残行为,比如一些易受影响的年轻读者在阅读后选择自杀。歌德的小说《少年维特的烦恼》讲述了主人公暗恋而不得,最终自杀的故事。社会各界广泛谴责这部小说在欧美各国掀起了竞相模仿维特自杀行为的高潮。

译注:熊培云《自由在高处》——不要活在新闻里:“天天都有这样的新闻,你难免会心生绝望:这世界、我所处的时代就是这样的吗?当然,这样的绝望时间通常不会很长,常常转瞬即逝,至少我是这样。因为我知道,新闻不是生活的全部,而且新闻是免不了要说人性的坏话的。就像我们现在通常说的“要在生活中维权,不要在维权中生活”,那好也不要活在新闻里。这实际上关系到一个媒介素养的问题。所谓媒介素养,说到底就是受众接受、解读媒介信息的一种能力。就个人而言,如果能积极独立地思考,通常都不会天真地以为新闻里的“坏人坏事”,就是我们的生活全部,并由此得出“形势一片大坏”的结论。我们应该具有的媒介素养是,负面新闻并不构成对其工作的全盘否定,更不意味着媒体包藏恶意。作为平衡,其实重要的是改变受众的观念:一方面,需要提高受众的媒介素养;另一方面,全社会更要直面已然发生的不幸事件,以求彻底改造,而不是头痛医头,脚痛医脚。一个理性的社会,应该给那些潜在的自杀者,以继续活下去的希望,而不是前仆后继的勇气。说一个人以死“唤醒社会”,实在是轻贱了人的生命,因为谁都应该好好活着;如果这种死不能让社会了解背后更实在的原因,而停留于指责是媒体起了坏作用,并大加讨伐,实在是用错了力。就像 “维特效应”,据说歌德的小说《少年维特之烦恼》发表后,造成了极大地轰动,不但使歌德名声在欧洲大噪,而且在整个欧洲引发了模仿维特自杀的风潮。说“风潮”,显然言过其实。事实上,《少年维特之烦恼》也让很多人活了下来,消解了内心的忧愁,其中包括歌德本人。”

unrequited /ʌnrɪ’kwaɪtəd/ adj.(of love ) 无回报的,单方面的; 单恋的,单相思的;If you have unrequited love for someone, they do not love you.[LITERARY]

Though the claims had little basis in reality, they found support in the work of theologian Charles Moore, who published a massive two-volume study, A Full Inquiry into the Subject of Suicide (1790). In this critique and analysis, Moore alleged that Werther was responsible for triggering a wave of suicides among many of its young readers. Despite the lack of empirical evidence, Moore’s study helped to establish a tradition that would associate the reading of romantic fiction with acts of self-harm. His integration of Werther into ‘the scientific’ literature on suicide served as a legacy on which others would draw.

虽然这些批评缺乏现实依据,但批评者还是从神学家查尔斯·摩尔两卷巨作《对自杀的全面探究》中找到了依据。摩尔经过大量批评和分析,断言《少年维特的烦恼》导致了一大批年轻读者自杀。尽管缺乏实证,摩尔在研究中还是将阅读浪漫小说和自残行为联系在一起,并在社会上形成了共识。他将《少年维特的烦恼》整合成了一部探究自杀问题的科学性作品,供后世参考。

The massive, six-volume study A System of Complete Medical Police, published by the German physician Johann Peter Frank from 1779 through 1819, outlined a comprehensive review of the problem of suicide. Among the numerous causes of suicides, Frank listed ‘irreligiousness, debauchery, and idleness, lavishness and its attendant unaccustomed misery, but especially the reading of poisonous novels’ such as Werther that presented suicide as a ‘heroic display of contempt for earthly affairs’.

1779-1819年间,德国医生约翰·彼得·弗兰克先后发表了长达六卷的研究成果——《完整的医疗警察制度》,对自杀问题进行了综述。导致自杀的原因很多,弗兰克列举了一些,如“无宗教信仰、声色犬马、无所事事、挥霍无度以及伴随的难以适应的痛苦”。他还指出,类似《少年维特之烦恼》这样有害的小说尤其可能导致读者自杀。在他们眼中,自杀是“蔑视红尘俗世的壮举”。

By the late 18th and early 19th century, science was invoked to legitimise health warnings about reading. In his Medical Inquiries and Observations Upon the Diseases of the Mind (1812) – the first American text on psychiatry – Benjamin Rush, a founding father of the United States, noted that booksellers were peculiarly susceptible to mental derangement. Recasting Seneca’s ancient warnings in the language of psychology, Rush reported that booksellers were prone to mental illness because their profession required the ‘frequent and rapid transition of the mind from one subject to another’.

18世纪末19世纪初,人们开始通过科学来论证阅读可能导致健康风险的合理性。美国开国元勋本杰明·拉什在《精神病医学观察与研究》中指出(是美国历史上第一份关于精神病学的研究),图书销售员特别容易精神错乱。拉什从心理学的角度重新阐述了塞内卡古老的警告,他称图书销售员更容易患上精神病,因为这一职业需要他们“经常让思想在不同的领域快速转换”。

deranged /dɪˈreɪndʒdadj : unable to think or act in a normal or logical way especially because of severe mental illness : crazy or insane 精神错乱

One of the consequences of the emergence of a mass public of readers in the 19th century was the proliferation of warnings about the dangerous medical and moral consequences of popular literature. In 1851, the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer described ‘bad books’ as ‘intellectual poison’, for they ‘destroy the mind’: Karl Spindler’s Der Bastard (1826), Edward Lytton Bulwer’s Godolphin (1833), Eugène Sue’s Les Mystères de Paris (1843) all seemed to pose a risk. It was the very popularity of these novels that disturbed Schopenhauer. He associated popularity with the lowering of cultural tastes, which in turn had toxic consequences on the mind.

在19世纪,阅读流行文学作品的风气正盛,这加剧了社会对流行文学的批评,并称其会影响公众的身体健康和道德素养。1851年,德国哲学家亚瑟·叔本华将“不良书籍”称为“精神毒药”,批评它们“毒害了读者的思想”。在叔本华看来,卡尔·斯宾德勒的《私生子》、爱德华·利顿·布尔沃的《戈多尔芬》以及尤金·苏的《巴黎之谜》都具有危害。这几部作品在当时极受欢迎,叔本华为此感到忧虑不已。他认为这类书籍之所以大受欢迎,是因为社会文化品位在降低,而这又会反过来进一步毒害人们的思想。

During the 19th century, conservative critics of popular literature frequently asserted that readers were directly infected by the sentiments that they absorbed through the reading of the novel. The model of contagion was not simply metaphorical: the absorption of pollutants was portrayed as not only a mental but as also a physical act. From this perspective, sentiment could be caught like a common cold and in many cases it could lead to a traumatic moral disease or even a condition that terminated with the physical act of self-destruction. Although written in 1774, Werther continued to be blamed for inciting its young impressionable readers to commit suicide well into the late 19th century.

当时,对流行文学持保守态度的批评家们经常宣称,读者的思想会在阅读小说的过程中被书中所营造的情绪左右。人们称小说为“传染病”,这不仅是一种比喻,因为从书中接受的有害思想不仅会影响人们的心理健康,也会影响人们的身体健康。从这个角度来看,人们的确会像患上感冒一样,被小说中的情绪感染。在很多情况下,这种情绪会使人受到心理创伤,有时候甚至使人做出自残行为。虽然《少年维特的烦恼》创作于1774年,但19世纪末的人们仍旧指责这本书教唆了易受影响的年轻读者选择自杀。

During the second half of the Victorian era, the medicalisation and moralisation of reading acquired a new momentum in response to the dramatic expansion of so‑called sensation novels, starting with the spectacular and devastating Madame Bovary (1856). Gustave Flaubert’s great novel features a doctor’s wife who has adulterous affairs in pursuit of passion and intensity, ultimately taking her own life. Following this masterwork was the massive production of cheap, popular ‘penny dreadful’ novels, said to inflict an illness no less serious than that of a physical disease.

在维多利亚时代的后半期,所谓的言情小说盛行,轰动一时的《包法利夫人》便是杰出代表之一。因此,市面上充斥了大量和医学和道德教化有关的文学作品。《包法利夫人》是古斯塔夫·福楼拜的一部伟大小说,讲述了一位医生的妻子为了追求激情和刺激而出轨,最终付出了生命的代价。《包法利夫人》问世之后,市面上又出现了大量廉价的惊险恐怖小说。在当时的人们看来,这些作品给人们带来的伤害并不比身体疾病小。

译注: 阅读的危险性来源于书籍、 读者与阅读本身三个方面。首先,“危险”来源于书籍。 书籍是知识、智慧的载体。从有文字开始,图书就被认为是一种威胁,既能给人力量,又能产生危害。在审查官的眼中,书就是一种明确的思想。他们认为,未能通过审查的书籍,或者具有无法估量的刺激人做坏事的能力,或者因为书中的内容与人们接受的观点和信仰相抵触,或者因为作者失去信任,甚至受到羞辱,被认为是“恶”的帮凶,所以有了清理灵魂的火堆,有了书籍审查制度。 因此,人们有理由相信这样的论断:“未能出版的图书,其文化价值绝不比出版了的图书低。”因此,出版了的图书未必就没有审查官们担心的危害。 其实,在读者眼里,书籍的力量与危害远远没有审查官们认为的那么大。其次,“危险”来源于读者。“读书的人会东想西想,东想西想的人会有自己的意见,有自己意见的人会偏离路线,偏离路线的人便是寇仇。”于是,有了“焚书坑儒”,因为强权畏惧一切读书之人。 在男权社会里,男人畏惧读书的女人。因为读书的女人喜欢追问,而追问之后就会打破根深蒂固的成规旧章,能够识破男人的花招,获得一种反叛的力量。 于是,有了“女子无才便是德”,有了当下的“剩女”是“甲女”,有了一切的妇女问题。第三,“危险” 来源于阅读。阅读使书籍得以复生。因此有哲人言:“毫无疑问,图书馆里各种各样的书,无论是稀有或者普通,古书或者新书,它们的性质和品质都没有它们的在场和流通重要。”正是因为阅读在书籍和公众之间建立的身体和智力的联系,才使得图书馆承袭了书籍的教化功能,使得阅读之人从书籍中获得了一种威胁世界秩序的能量。然而女性阅读的危害更多地是指向自身。因为女性的“语言拜物教”天性以及理性思辨能力的缺失,使得女性很容易就被作家的文字罗网“诗意地征服”,从而成为文本的奴隶而非文本的解构者。

In 1875,the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice issued a report written by the American moralist Anthony Comstock condemning the ‘shrewd and wily’ dealers of obscene material who had ‘succeeded in injecting a virus more destructive to innocence and purity of youth, if not counteracted, than can be most deadly disease in the body …Guard with ceaseless vigilance your libraries, your closets, your children’s and wards’ correspondence and companionships, lest the contagion reach and blight the sweetness and purity of your homes,’ Comstock exhorted teachers and guardians.

1875年,纽约反堕落协会发布了一篇由美国道德家安东尼·康斯托克撰写的报告。在这份报告中,康斯托克谴责了那些“精明狡猾又诡计多端”的色情刊物出版商,称他们“给天真单纯的年轻人带来的伤害犹如病毒一般”。康斯托克认为,如果不加以抵制,它们给年轻人造成的伤害将比最致命的疾病更严重。他劝告老师和家长们:“时刻留意图书馆和书柜里的藏书、孩子的通信以及他们身边的玩伴,以免让阅读腐蚀家庭的甜蜜和纯洁。”

Comstock’s call to parents to read their children’s letters and police their reading materials was not simply an expression of Victorian obsession with moral pollution. Like the contemporary advocacy of trigger warnings, Comstock’s demand had as its premise the conviction that dubious texts represented a serious threat to the mental health of the reader.

康斯托克呼吁家长阅读孩子们的通信,时刻留意他们的读物,这不仅反映出了维多利亚时期对于道德沉沦的担忧。与同时代很多认为阅读有害的人一样,康斯托克的呼吁是建立在来历不明的读物会严重危害读者身心健康的前提上。

Moralisers who feared the malevolent influence of texts drew the conclusion that censorship served the functional equivalent of quarantine. For example in 1929, James Douglas, the editor of the Sunday Express, described authors who promoted moral ‘degeneracy’ as lepers. His aim was to force society to undertake the ‘task of cleansing itself from the leprosy of these lepers’.

害怕阅读产生负面影响的道德家们得出结论,审查制度能发挥检疫一样的作用。1929年,《周日快报》的编辑詹姆斯·道格拉斯就将阐述道德沦丧的作家称为“麻风病人”,他希望能促使全社会“行动起来清除‘麻风病人’带来的疾病”。

leper /‘lepər/ noun. a person suffering from leprosy  麻风病患者

Despite being bombarded by the language of fear, the reading public cheerfully ignored the health warnings issued by their betters. Throughout most of the modern era, people bypassed the censor and demonstrated a willingness to embark on the journey into the unknown through their reading. Their open-minded approach towards reading was encouraged by humanist and radical cultural currents that affirmed the capacity of readers to benefit from engaging a whole range of texts.

尽管耳边充斥着关于阅读的恐怖言论,广大读者还是全然忽视长辈的警告。在现代大部分时间里,人们总是喜欢绕过审查,在书本中开启未知的旅程。人文主义者和激进文化潮流支持这种开放的阅读观,认为读者可以从任何书籍中获益。

The rise of mass‑market, inexpensive serial literature and sensation novels showed that Victorian moralisers could not inhibit the public demand for entertaining fiction, whatever health warnings they might issue. Meanwhile, in the 21st century, it is the reading public itself that seeks protection from the distressing health effects of reading. And therein lies the difference.

随着大众文化市场、廉价连载文学作品和言情小说的兴起,维多利亚时代的道德家发现无论怎样警告小说的危害性,他们都无法压抑公众对于娱乐小说的需求。但同时,21世纪的广大读者却在试图寻求保护,免除阅读带来的不良影响。

Today, it is not puritanical religious moralists but undergraduate students who demand that Ovid’s poem should come with a trigger warning. For the first time in their career, my academic colleagues report that some of their students are asking for the right to opt out of reading texts that they find personally offensive or traumatising. This self-diagnosis of vulnerability is unlike the traditional call for a moral quarantine from above. Once upon a time, paternalistic censors infantilised the reading public by insisting that reading literature constitutes a serious risk to its health. Now young readers infantilise themselves by insisting that they and their peers should be shielded from the harm caused by distressing texts.

如今,要求给奥维德作品贴上警示语的,不是清教徒式的宗教道德家,而是大学里的本科生。我的同事说,教书这么多年来,第一次遇到学生因为某些读物对自己造成冒犯或者心灵创伤而拒绝阅读,这种自我认定的脆弱与上文提到的传统的道德审查并不一样。曾几何时,家长式的审查制度认为,阅读文学作品会严重威胁健康,审查机制要像呵护婴儿一样保护读者。如今,年轻的读者坚持认为他们应该免受令人痛苦的文字的侵扰,但实际上这种做法只会让自己更幼稚。

The campaign for trigger warnings represents its cause as an attempt to protect the vulnerable and the powerless from any potentially traumatic and harmful effects of reading. Those who are opposed or indifferent to the call for these warnings are condemned as accomplices in the marginalising of the powerless. Paradoxically, censorship, which once served as an instrument of domination by those in power is now recast as a weapon that can be wielded to protect the powerless from psychological harm.

之所以有人宣称阅读是引发负面事物的导火索,是因为他们想要保护弱势群体免受阅读带来的潜在伤害和不良影响。至于反对者或者忽视警告的人则会遭到社会的谴责,成为导致弱势群体边缘化的帮凶。但矛盾的是,曾经作为当权者统治工具的审查制度,如今却成了保护弱势群体不受身心伤害的有力武器。

Often, supporters of trigger warnings draw attention to themselves and their own state of minds and feelings. Their arguments are much more a statement about themselves than an assessment of the content of a text. Indeed, advocates of such warnings are entirely indifferent to the literary merits or the content of the text that they wish to issue with a health warning. What agitates their concern is the conviction that, if readers are unprepared for the unexpected and uncertain experiences encountered through their reading, they might get distressed to the point of psychological damage.

给审查制度背书的人往往只关注自身以及自己的思想感情状态。相比于评估书里的内容,他们更喜欢从自身的情况出发。实际上,审查制度的拥护者对文学作品的价值以及内容毫不关心,他们只是想让读者小心谨慎而已。在他们看来,如果读者没有准备好应对阅读过程中遇到的种种意想不到和不确定的情况,他们便可能受到心灵伤害。

Yet any reports of psychological damage from reading disturbing texts appears to be based on anecdotal rather than rigorous empirical evidence. As the psychologist Richard McNally at Harvard University reported in his review of recent research for Pacific Standard last year: ‘The use of trigger warnings doesn’t just underestimate the resilience of most trauma survivors, it may send the wrong message to those who have developed PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder].’

不过,这些因阅读一些令人不安的内容而受到心灵伤害的故事,更多只是奇闻异事,而非严谨的实证。2017年,哈佛大学心理学家理查德·麦克纳利在《大西洋标准》杂志发表了一篇近期的研究报告总结,文中说道:“提前警告读者的行为不仅仅低估了大部分创伤幸存者的恢复能力,也可能给患上创伤后应激障碍的人传递了错误的信息。”

anecdotal /ænək’doʊt(ə)l/ adj.based on anecdotes and possibly not true or accurate 佚事的;趣闻的;传闻的

The key problem raised in the debate on trigger warnings is not psychological but cultural. It highlights the sensibility of vulnerability and minimises the capacity for resilience. That is why university students who have frequently been at the forefront of reading and debating ‘dangerous’ literature can now perceive themselves as unable to cope with unsettling material.

在关于是否应提前警告读者的争论中,问题的关键不在心理层面,而在文化层面。这个问题强调了脆弱的敏感性,但也低估了人们从创伤中恢复的能力。因此,经常需要阅读和讨论“危险”文学作品的大学生才认为自己无法应对令人不安的读物。

There is one point on which the crusade for the imposition of trigger warnings is absolutely right. It is not for nothing that reading was always feared throughout history. It is indeed a risky activity: reading possesses the power to capture the imagination, create emotional upheaval and force people towards an existential crisis. Indeed, for many it is the excitement of embarking on a journey into the unknown that leads them to pick up a book in the first place.

不过,有时给予读者警告还是很有必要的。在历史上,人们一直担心阅读有害是有其原因的。阅读的确是一种充满危险的活动:在读书的过程中,人们的想象力被激发,情绪会波动,这使得人们产生了存在主义危机。对很多人来说,踏上未知旅程的兴奋感才是让他们捧起书本的首要原因。

译注:存在主义: 世俗价值都是禁不起推敲的,简而言之,推敲下去觉得活着没意义。你越想意义就越痛苦。所以人们只能有两个选择,肉体自杀和哲学自杀,哲学自杀就是不再想这个问题了,选择信仰宗教,这就是所谓哲学自杀。人如果不愿放弃,继续思考,结果必然面对找不到意义的尴尬,也就是加缪的名词‘荒谬’,很可能走向虚无。在反抗者眼中,最重要的已经不是追问人生值不值得活,而是必须如何去活。加缪面对荒诞、希望、死亡互相纠缠的舞蹈,发出这样的疑问:“人生之荒诞, 难道非要世人或抱希望或用自杀来逃避吗?……荒诞是否操纵死亡?”或者说,是否存在一个通向死亡的逻辑?加缪认为,荒诞是人与世界的关系,不可能用取消一方来保留其他,不能用肉体的自杀或形而上的自杀来取消荒诞。 那么,人类这虚无主义的宿命,又该如何面对呢?加缪给出的答案是:反抗。 一旦将荒诞看做人类永恒的命运,人便接受了自身反抗的命运。

Can one read Proust’s In Search of Lost Time or Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina ‘without experiencing a new infirmity or occasion in the very core of one’s sexual feelings?’ asked the literary critic George Steiner in Language and Silence: Essays 1958-1966. It is precisely because reading catches us unaware and offers an experience that is rarely under our full control that it has played, and continues to play, such an important role in humanity’s search for meaning. That is also why it is so often feared.

文学评论家乔治·斯坦纳在《语言与沉默:1958-1966年间的随笔集》中提出了一个问题:一个人能否在阅读普鲁斯特的《追忆逝水年华》或托尔斯泰的《安娜·卡列尼娜》时做到“坚持自我并且坐怀不乱”?读书可以激发读者的潜意识,读者无法控制书本的内容走向。在探索人性意义的过程中,阅读发挥了重要作用,这也正是人们对阅读充满忧虑的原因所在。

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    https://www.amazon.cn/dp/B011K7GJH4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1524034862&sr=8-2&keywords=emile

  • 博尔曼:《阅读的女人危险》向读者生动活泼地讲解女性在“阅读史”的“悲惨”遭遇。主文《阅读的女人危险》提领全书,见解独到,让读者从不同的角度体会女性阅读的乐趣,以及女性阅读与男性阅读的不同之处。

    豆瓣:7.4

    https://book.douban.com/subject/4736101/

  • 福楼拜:《包法利夫人》少女时代倾心阅读;少妇时期迷恋阅读;情妇期间畸形阅读。 探微包法利夫人的阅读历程,我们会惊奇地发现, 作者无论是在人物性格形成与刻画还是悲剧命运的安排上,都是大有深意的。 同样,也是“阅读”的催化与滋养,成就了包法利夫人鲜明而又具概括性的个性特质:天赋异禀却才质平庸;情调高雅却贪图享乐;寂寞空虚却恣肆放纵;个性叛逆却迷失自我。

    豆瓣:8.5

    https://book.douban.com/subject/2063329/

  • 梁文道:《常识》梁文道先生近两年来撰写的时评文字结集,谈及政治、民主、民族、教育、新闻自由、公民道德等社会诸多方面。文字风格犀利,文章主旨清晰、论述简洁有力,往往一针见血命中问题之要害,其文字在带给读者阅读快感之余,还催人省思,给人启示。本书名曰《常识》,正如梁氏自言:“本书所集,卑之无甚高论,多为常识而已。若觉可怪,是因为此乃一个常识稀缺的时代。”

    豆瓣:8.1

    https://book.douban.com/subject/3344676/

 

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【AEON】不要活在书本里

<原文链接:https://aeon.co/essays/contagion-poison-trigger-books-have-always-been-dangerous>

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