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马奈的花瓣

马奈的花瓣

ÉDOUARD MANET. WOMAN READING, 1880 OR 1881. THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, MR. AND MRS. LEWIS LARNED COBURN MEMORIAL COLLECTION.

我们翻译这篇文章的理由

美是什么呢?是在乔伊斯的笔下,斯蒂芬站在沙滩前看着海边的女子不加情欲、仿佛灵魂融合般的顿悟;是在马奈晚期的画中,水晶瓶里的玫瑰花瓣上的无穷可能性;它是自然的、静态的、超脱的、治愈的,属于个人的。

——郭嘉宁

👇

马奈的花瓣

作者:CODY DELISTRATY

译者:何翔宇 & 张松

校对:张力文

策划:郭嘉宁

What’s the Use of Beauty?

美的作用

The halo effect is a type of cognitive bias in which your initial superficial assessment of a person influences your perception of their other, more ambiguous traits. In the name of cultural journalism, I conducted an informal experiment to test this. I posted five different photographs of myself to a website called Photofeeler, which people mostly use for their acting headshots, company photographs, andonline dating profiles. Strangers vote on your attractiveness, trustworthiness, and intelligence, and, using a weighted algorithm, the website tells you the percentile you’re in compared with the rest of the people on the website so you can choose the best photograph. The photo of mine that was voted the most attractive—my fingers awkwardly crinkled around a wineglass on a terrasse—was the one in which I was voted smartest and most trustworthy.Thephotograph in which I was deemed ugliest—sitting in a cab—was the one in which I was voted dumbest and least trustworthy. In every photograph, my perceived attractiveness determined my perceived trustworthiness and intelligence, traits that, of course, are impossible for anyone to actually know from a picture.

“光环效应”是一种认知偏见,你对一个人第一印象会影响你对这个人其它特质的看法。我以文化新闻的名义做了一次非正式实验来验证这一现象。我在Photofeeler网站上发布了五张不同的照片,人们大多用这个网站来选择头部特写、公司照片和在线约会头像。陌生人会从魅力值、可信赖度和智商水平三个方面进行打分,网站会通过加权算法得出你与网站上其他人相比的结果,你就据此选择最合适的照片。在五张照片中,我坐在露天咖啡座上拨弄酒杯的照片最吸引人,这张照片的可信赖度以及智商水平的得分同样为最高。而我坐在驾驶室里的照片被评为最丑陋,同时也是最愚蠢且信赖度最低的。在每张照片中,我外在的魅力决定了我的可信赖度和智力,而这些特征是任何人都无法从照片中了解到的。

The notion of the halo effect and the idea that “beauty is good”—meaning that we assume people who are prettier must also be cleverer, kinder, more moral than uglier people—were first tested in 1972 by the psychologists Karen Dion, Ellen Berscheid, and Elaine Walster. They found that people almost uniformly believed that those who they found more attractive on the basis of three small photographs were also more generous and more stable and had better marriages, better jobs, and better families than less attractive people. A similar study from just a few years ago found that people trust those they consider more attractive significantly more quickly than those they consider less attractive.

1972年心理学家凯伦·迪翁(Karen Dion)、艾伦·伯夏伊德(Ellen Berscheid)和伊莱恩·沃尔特(Elaine Walster)首次对“光环效应”的概念和“美丽至上”进行验证,结果发现人们会认定漂亮的人比丑陋的人更聪明、更善良、更富有道德。人们几乎一致认为,照片中显得更有魅力的人要比魅力低的人更慷慨、更稳健,拥有更好的婚姻、工作和家庭。几年前的一项类似研究发现,魅力高的人更容易获取他人的信任。

Is beauty, therefore, the most useful trait one might have?

那么,美丽是一个人能拥有的最有用的特质吗?

From the amount of money people spend on skin care, makeup, haircuts, clothes, and the like, it seems that we may have already subconsciously accepted this as a truth.

从人们在护肤、化妆、发型、衣着等方面的花销来看,我们似乎已经默认了这一事实。

In his Essays, Montaigne took stock of the ancients’ wisdom and his own experiences and concluded the same: there is no more persuasive and influential trait than beauty: “I cannot say often enough how much I consider beauty a powerful and advantageous quality,” he wrote.

蒙田研究了古人的观点,并根据自己的经历得出了同样的结论。他写道,没有什么比美更具有说服力和感染力:“我无法言说美是一种多么强大而有力的品质。”

Socrates called it “A short tyranny,” and Plato, “The privilege of nature.” We have no quality that surpasses it in credit. It holds the first place in human relations; it presents itself before the rest, seduces and prepossesses our judgment withgreat authority and a wondrous impression.

苏格拉底称美丽为“短暂的专制”,柏拉图称其为“大自然的特权”。没有东西比美丽更能攻占人心。它在人际关系中占据第一要位;它先声夺人,以其巨大的威力和令人深刻的印象来吸引我们注意,干扰我们的判断。

Beauty circumvents our logic. It “prepossesses our judgment.” Against our better instincts, we succumb to the halo effect again and again. Keats bought into it(“beauty is truth, truth beauty”). Rilke was more suspicious (“beauty isnothing but the beginning of terror … it serenely disdains to destroy us”).

美丽使我们丧失逻辑,它“先入为主,掌控我们的判断。”我们一次又一次地屈服于光环效应,无法用直觉做出更好的判断。济慈推崇它——“美是真理,真理之美”,里尔克有一丝怀疑——“美丽不过是恐怖的开始……它蔑视一切,进而摧毁人类。”

马奈的花瓣

ÉDOUARD MANET. IN THE CONSERVATORY, ABOUT 1877–79. STAATLICHE MUSEEN ZU BERLIN, NATIONALGALERIE.

Is ugliness the absolute biggest setback one might be born with? Of course not. The idea that ugliness might be more of a handicap than race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or some combination thereof is a slippery slope toward thekinds of arguments incels and “proud boys” like to make. But looks are still asignificant factor in one’s life. There’s no question that for those on the extreme side of the attractiveness scale—either very beautiful or very ugly—their lives will be fundamentally altered by their looks. The history of beauty is broken into two parts. For the ancients through the medievals, beauty was an empirical and objective concept. The belief, put forth first by Plato, was that beauty was a fundamental property of a person or an object; beauty was inherent and had been “created.”

丑陋是一个人生来就可能有的最大短板吗?当然不。有观点认为丑陋比种族、性别、社会经济地位、性取向或其中的某种组合更能成为障碍,这会让人落入“incels”和“Proud Boys”的陷阱。但外表确实是生活中的重要因素。毫无疑问,对于那些非常美丽或非常丑陋的人,他们的生活会因外表有着巨大的差异。美的发展历史分为两个阶段。对于中世纪人来说,美是约定俗成的客观概念。柏拉图首先提出,美是一个人或一个物体的基本属性;美丽本固有,已经被“创造”。

译者注:Incels是“Involuntarily celibate”的缩写,意思是“非自愿独身者”,通常指那些无法与女性发生性关系的男性。而所谓的“Incel造反运动(Incel Rebellion)”就是呼吁这些非自愿独身者联合起来,“推翻”那些拥有性关系的人!

“proud boys” 成立于两年前,它在美国,加拿大,和英国有成员。他们主张“暴力滋事、反女权主义,反政治正确、赶走移民、男子独大。”

But in his 1757 essay “Of the Standard of Taste,” David Hume undermined all this forever. The Scotsman set forth the notion that beauty is actually about perception, that the way the mind thinks about an object or person has little to do with the object or person itself. “Beauty is no quality in things themselves,” he wrote:“It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.” In other words, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The only explanation for why we even discuss beauty as a trait at all is because of how it makes us feel.

但大卫•休谟(David Hume)在1757年发表的《品味标准》(the Standard Of Taste)一文中,推翻了所有前人的观点。休谟提出,美实际是源于感知,大脑思考物或人的方式与物或人本身无关。休谟认为,美本身并不是一种特征,它只存在于每个人的大脑中,每个人对美的感受也不尽相同。换句话说,情人眼里出西施。我们之所以会把美作为一种特征来讨论,完全是因为它让我们感受的方式。

Hume’s ideas about beauty fueled new ideas about art, too, many of which the Viennese arthistorian Ernst Gombrich explored in his hundreds of essays, books, and lectures. In his 1960 book Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation, Gombrich made the Humean argument that art is based solely onperception, that there is no objective art just as there is no objective beauty.

休谟的观点也激发了艺术领域的创新,维也纳艺术史学家恩斯特·冈布里希(Ernst Gombrich)在他的数百篇随笔、书籍和讲座中进行了大量探索。冈布里希在其1960年出版的《艺术与幻觉:图像表征心理学研究》一书中提出了休谟主义观点,即艺术完全建立在主观感知上,没有客观存在的艺术,也没有客观存在的美。

“There is no reality without interpretation,” he wrote; “just as there is no innocent eye, there is no innocent ear.”

冈布里希写道:“没有理解就没有真理; 正如没有清澈的双眼,就没有明辨的双耳。”

*

This understanding of art—in which beauty is solely about individual perception—is what makes Édouard Manet’s final artworks so confusing and enigmatic. Throughout his forties, the French painter’s health had been suffering, and, in 1879, at age forty-seven, he began hydrotherapy treatments out in Meudon, to the southwest of Paris. The treatments weren’t taking. His doctor in the capital believed that he had a circulatory issue, which caused intermittent paralysis in his legs and pains throughout his body so severe that he often had trouble sitting up. What he actually had, as would be later discovered, waslocomotor ataxia, which made him unable to control his bodily movements or to feel his arms and legs. It’s a side effect of syphilis—and a brutal one atthat. He would die just four years later, unable to stand for more than an hour or two, experiencing terrible, constant pain in his limbs.

美仅仅是个体的感受,这一艺术理解使得爱杜尔·马奈后期的作品相当令人费解。他四十多岁的时候,健康状况一直很差。1879年,47岁的他开始在巴黎西南部的默顿接受水疗治疗。然而,治疗效果不佳。巴黎的医生认为他血液循环问题引起的双腿间歇性瘫痪和全身疼痛难以坐立。后来人们发现,他实际患上的是运动性共济失调,这使他无法控制自己的身体,也失去了胳膊和腿的知觉。这病是梅毒的副作用,而且是最疼痛的那种。仅仅四年后,他便去世了,这几年间他无法站立超过一两个小时,并经受着可怕而又持续不断的四肢疼痛。

马奈的花瓣

ÉDOUARD MANET. PORTRAIT OF ÉMILIE AMBRE AS CARMEN, 1880. PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART. GIFT OF EDGAR SCOTT, 1964. COURTESY OF THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART.

Those final years marked a significant shift in his painting style. He reoriented how he both conceived of and depicted beauty. In his early thirties, he had taken on the massive Modernist projects of Olympia and Déjeuner sur l’herbe, questioning the very fundamentals of formalism and art history. Toward the end of his life heturned to small-scale projects—tiny still lifes of fruits, such as Bunch of Asparagus and The Lemon, and portraits of society women, such as Jeanne(Spring) and Autumn (Méry Laurent). His final project was a series of roughly twenty still lifes of flowers in crystal vases. When he painted them, he was so sick he could not stand and he could barely lift his arms.

最后几年马奈的绘画风格发生了重大转变。他改变了构思美和描绘美的方式。三十出头的时候,他的大型现代主义作品《奥林匹亚》和《草地上的午餐》质疑形式主义和艺术史的基本原则。在生命的尽头,他开始绘制小规模作品——水果静物画如《一捆芦笋》和《柠檬》,社会女性肖像画如《珍妮(春季)》和《秋季(梅瑞·洛朗)》。他最后的作品是一套静物画,描绘了水晶花瓶中的鲜花,共约20幅。完成这些作品时,马奈病得很厉害,艰难度日,几乎无法举起双臂。

What were these seemingly meaningless, end-of-life confections?, many critics have wondered. Most determined that he had capitulated to the comforts of prettiness. The arthistorian John Rewald wrote, “Manet had to fight frequently against a dangeroustendency to faire joli,” to prettify everything. “Now that he was tired andill, an opportunity was given to him to obey his whole instinct, to capture his frequently suppressed charm and frivolity.” Jacques-Émile Blanche, a portrait painter and contemporary of Manet, wrote similarly: “It seems that, as the invalid became less able to go out, the society of lively young women of easy virtue and their lovers became an increasingly compelling attraction for him.”The art historian Douglas Cooper, in his monograph of Manet, simply called his last works “a charming diversion.”

许多批评人士想知道,这些看似毫无意义的临终“甜点”是什么?多数人认为他已向“美”的舒适性缴械投降。艺术史学家约翰·雷华德(John Rewald)写道,”马奈被迫与刻意美化的危险倾向作斗争,”来美化一切。”现在他疾病缠身疲惫不堪,这给了他一个机会,让他听从自己的全部本能,去捕捉他经常被压抑的魅力和轻浮。”肖像画家雅克·埃米尔·布兰奇被喻为是当代马奈,他也写了类似的文章:”似乎,病人的外出能力衰退后,社会中的水性杨花的活泼年轻女子及其爱人对他越来越有吸引力。”艺术史学家道格拉斯·库珀(Douglas Cooper)在他给马奈写的传记中,将马奈最后的作品称为”令人着迷的变化”。

While the Frenchman had tended to look toward historical subjects for his paintings—and, with A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, sporadically continued to do so—his end-of-life paintings were almost exclusively smaller in scale both in size and in subject matter. Floral paintings, portraits of bourgeois women—weren’t these the realms of women artists? Why is it that the artist who spent much of hislife overturning expectations of vantage points, proportions, framing, evenrace was now expending his final brushstrokes on painting pictures of pretty women and flowers?

尽管这位法国人有过为画作寻找历史题材的倾向,且这种倾向在后来也间或出现(比方说《女神游乐厅的吧台》),但他的临终画作在尺寸和题材上几乎都是小规模的。花卉画、资产阶级妇女画像难道不都是女艺术家的领域吗?为什么这位花了大半辈子时间来颠覆人们对有利位置、比例、框架甚至种族的观念的艺术家,现在却把他最后的笔触花在画漂亮女人和花上?

马奈的花瓣DOUARD MANET. THE HOUSE AT RUEIL, 1882. NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA, MELBOURNE, FELTON BEQUEST, 1926.

It wasn’t until a feminist mode of art history came into vogue in the 1990s that some began to reason that Manet hadn’t been dumbing down his work or yielding to vapid prettiness; rather, he was redefining art and beauty altogether. The arthistorian Carol Armstrong identified the “femininity” of his works as a progression of his style rather than a surrender to his illness. Helen Burnham, an art historian and curator, saw his interest in fashion as an epitomizing depiction of modernity, a way for him to make grander points about French society.

直到20世纪90年代,一种女权主义的艺术史模式开始流行,一些人才开始认为,马奈并没有将自己的作品通俗化,也没有向乏味的美屈服;相反,他完全是在重新定义艺术和美。艺术史学家卡罗尔·阿姆斯特朗(CarolArmstrong)认为,马奈作品中的”女性气质”是其风格的进步,而不是对疾病的屈服。艺术史学家兼策展人海伦·伯恩汉姆(Helen Burnham)认为,马奈对时尚的兴趣是对现代性缩影的典范,是他对法国社会提出更宏大观点的一种方式。

Manet was widening the definition of beauty. He was reinventing his own style while using otherwise superficial beauties to fight his illness, his depression, hisexistential dread. Beauty, he knew, was not something that could be determined by critics or gallery-goers. It was whatever he wanted it to be. And what he wanted was an escape.

马奈正在拓宽美的定义。他正在重塑自己的风格,同时用美来对抗他的疾病,他的抑郁,他的生存恐惧。但这种美若是用在其他地方,将会是肤浅的。他知道,美不是评论家或画廊观众由决定的。对美的决定权掌握在他自己的手中。他想要的是解脱。

“His heightened interest in pretty parisiennes, the still lifes of fruits and flowers … all of these show the ailing artist’s passionate attachment to the delicate beauties and fleeting pleasures of this world,” writes Scott Allan, one of three cocurators of “Manet and Modern Beauty,” which is currently on at the Art Institute of Chicago. “Manet’s last works are among the most gorgeous and vibranthe painted but also, given his personal circumstances, the most poignant, and they reveal a more intimately human side of an artist so often lionized as one of the great heroes and rebels of modern art.”

目前在芝加哥艺术学院(Art Institute of Chicago)工作的斯科特·艾伦(Scott Allan)写道,“他对美丽的巴黎女人、水果鲜花静物画的浓厚兴趣……..所有这些都显示出这位疾病缠身的艺术家对这个世界中的脆弱美和短暂乐趣的热爱。”艾伦是《马奈与现代美》(Manet and Modern Beauty)的三位策展人之一,他认为:“马奈的最后几幅作品是他所画的最华丽、最有活力的作品之一,但考虑到他的个人环境,这些作品也是最令人心酸的,它们展示了这位经常被奉为现代艺术的伟大英雄和反叛者之一的艺术家,更贴近人性的一面。”

Beauty, Manet seemed to be saying, can be a philosophy in and of itself. Does looking at these flowers ease your pain, too?, he seems to ask.

马奈似乎在说,美本身就是一种哲学。他好像在问,看这些花也能减轻你的痛苦吗。

马奈的花瓣ÉDOUARD MANET. AUTUMN (MÉRY LAURENT), 1881 OR 1882. MUSÉE DES BEAUX-ARTS, NANCY. PHOTO: P. MIGNOT.

The viewer, as Hume reasoned, determines what is beautiful. Even the creator of the universe understood this relative nature of beauty, as brilliantly pointed out by Ken-ichi Sasaki, a professor of aesthetics at Nihon University in Tokyo, in his essay “Politics of Beauty.” After God creates the world in six days, he stops and looks at it in order to deem that “it was very good.” One might think that, for God, the beauty and the goodness of the world would be predetermined, that these traits would be a given. But God needed to take a second look at his creation in order to determine its aesthetic and moral quality. He needed not just to create its beauty but to perceive its beauty as well. “Beauty cannot be determined a priori with concepts,” Sasaki writes; “it needs always to be verified a posteriori. In other words, beauty is not made but given.”

休谟认为,观众决定了什么是美丽的。就连宇宙的创造者也明白美的这种相对本质,正如东京大学(Nihon University)的美学教授佐佐木健一(Ken-ichi Sasaki)在他的文章《美的政治》(Politics of Beauty)中精辟指出的那样。上帝花了六天创造这个世界,随后他停下来审视这个世界,认为”它非常好”。人们可能会认为,对上帝来说,这个世界的美和善都是预先确定的,这些特质会被赋予的。但是上帝需要重新审视他的创造品,以确定它的美学和道德品质。他不仅需要创造它的美,还需要感知它的美。佐佐木写道:”用概念不能先验地确定美。它总是需要事后验证。换句话说,美不是创造的,而是被赋予的。”

Those who criticized Manet’s final works could not see past their own limited definitions of beauty. The macho critics thought of beauty as necessarily including grander meanings or art-historical significance. When their expectations were not met, they classified Manet’s works as superficial, as ultimately pointless other than as his coping mechanism.

那些批评马奈临终前作品的人无法超越自己对美的有限定义。大男子主义的批评家们认为美必然包括更宏大的意义或艺术历史意义。当没有达到他们的期望时,他们将马奈的作品归类为肤浅的,他们认为这些作品毫无意义,不过是马奈的应对机制。

A cohesive“philosophy of beauty” is, of course, impossible. We cannot find a universal consensus on that which is beautiful. What, indeed, even is beauty? This is what Gombrich struggled with: what makes good art? One must—simply and not so simply at all—just see it. One must decide for oneself.

当然,一个连贯的”美的哲学”是不可能的。我们无法在“什么是美的”这件事上达成共识。美到底是什么?这就是冈布里克所求索的:是什么造就了优秀的艺术?我们必须看到它,这简单又不简单。我们必须自己决定.

There have been attempts at codifying notions of beauty. Lord Shaftesbury, the seventeenth-century writer, thought that a philosophy of beauty might be the solution to all of society’s ills, that if everyone could aspire toward and live with beauty, man’s inherent virtuousness would come through. But Shaftesbury was caught up in a pre-Humean worldview in which he believed beauty to be universal.

曾有人试图将美的概念编成法典。17世纪的作家沙夫茨伯里勋爵认为,美的哲学可能是解决社会所有弊病的方法。他认为,如果每个人都能向往并与美共处,那么人类内在的美德就会实现。但沙夫茨伯里陷入了前休谟的世界观,他认为美是普世的。

马奈的花瓣

ÉDOUARD MANET. BOATING, 1874–75. THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK, H. O. HAVEMEYER COLLECTION, BEQUEST OF MRS. H. O. HAVEMEYER, 1929.

Even as we can not agree on the terms of beauty, beauty continues to run society in myriad ways. Beauty is almost always subservient to—or otherwise tangled up in—money and power. The causality works the opposite way, too: those who are wealthier and of a higher social status can make themselves more beautiful.

即使我们不能就美所应具有的条件达成一致,美仍然以各种方式支配着社会。美几乎总是屈从于金钱和权力,或者与金钱和权力纠缠在一起。因果关系也是相反的:那些更富有、社会地位更高的人可以使自己更漂亮。

This is why Manet’s final investigations into beauty remain so important: they begin with alook at the beautiful and powerful (the portraits of bourgeois women) and end with the beauty of nature (the flowers). Although the portraits tie up beauty with wealth and cultural notions of womanhood, his final series of flowers is free of any other context or characteristics. These paintings are natural, simple. To some, this is endlessly frustrating because they want more— they want to be able to see the world more widely through beauty’s lens.

这就是为什么马奈对美的最终研究仍然如此重要的原因:他们始于美丽和强大(资产阶级妇女的肖像),而终于自然之美(花朵)。尽管这些肖像将美与女性的财富和文化观念联系在一起,但他的最后一系列花朵却没有任何其他背景或特征。这些画很自然,很简单。对一些人来说,这却是无尽的沮丧,因为他们想要更多,他们想通过美的镜头看到更广阔的世界。

But perhaps beauty really can stand alone. Perhaps those bouquets in their crystal vases, whichsit on gray and brown backgrounds, their flowers’ colors muted but real, their water dirtied and darkening, are anything you want them to be. Perhaps their backgrounds’ drabness is a harbinger of the artist’s imminent death. Perhaps the winding brushstrokes and the bursts of vivid floral colors point toward the infinite legacy he would be leaving behind. They contain all of this and none of this. The controversy Manet created is the crux of beauty itself—the infinite variations on a single petal.

但也许美真的可以单独存在。也许那些镶嵌在水晶花瓶里的花束,它们被置于灰色和棕色的背景中,花瓣颜色柔和而真实,水污浊而黑暗,这都是你想要的。也许这背景的单调是艺术家即将死亡的预兆。也许,蜿蜒的笔触和五彩斑斓的花朵,指向了他将留下的无限遗产。它们包含了所有的这些又完全不是这些。马奈创造的争议是美本身的关键——单个花瓣上的无限变化。

马奈的花瓣

ÉDOUARD MANET. FLOWERS IN A CRYSTAL VASE, ABOUT 1882. NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, WASHINGTON, D.C. AILSA MELLON BRUCE COLLECTION.

原文链接:

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2019/07/08/whats-the-use-of-beauty/

One more thing…

马奈的花瓣

🍺我们的分享

去年在敖德萨的黑海海边游玩,一个穿着蓝绿色裙子👗的金发女孩在拉小提琴,让人不知不觉的停下了脚步。有的人学艺术可能是为了一个alternative plan,不知道她们知不知道自己在表演时让人感受到的强烈美感。最后引用Louie里面女儿Jane的一句话“But it’s beautiful!”

——张松

美,究竟为何物?说实话,至今未能领悟美的真谛。朱光潜先生说:“美是事物的最有价值的一面,美感的经验是人生中最有价值的一面”。世间没有唾手可得的美,它是一种感受,一种独一无二的体验,需要经过心灵加工的工序。所谓高山流水,知音难遇,正是大家对美的理解有偏差。子非鱼,安知鱼之乐?多给自己一些体验万物的时间与空间,在世界中神游,不抛弃不放弃每一次感受美的机会。

学会感受美可以让自己保持年轻,在生活中不断追求新鲜。因为我们需要认清这样一个事实,那就是我们要给美一个名分。仔细想想,我们很多时候对于美的感慨看似博大精深,却又空口无凭。如朱自清先生说,只有当我们明白美的本质的时候,才能使欣赏和创造的过程得着更准确的力量。

——何翔宇

于我而言,美关涉于经验与感知,关涉于存在与生命。在这个充斥暴力、失衡的世界,把恐惧看作一种生存的逼近,把生存视作一种美的母体,即是试图为一切事物都保留一种诞生美的可能,从而给自己一种应对未知的信念。

比如,我有写诗的习惯,尤其是在生活状态糟糕的情况下。从生活的陈词滥调中淬炼出诗句,就是从一团乱麻中感知到美。前两周在尼泊尔虚度了一些时光,每天其实蛮累的,最后只写下“我们静静耗掉所有百无聊赖/耗掉日影/耗掉那些转经筒的速度”。好像在这样的句子中,所有的疲倦与不快都成为了美的一个必要的元素,感知美的前提。

——王宇琪

卢梭说,文字相当于根据人的尸体画人的模样。所以不想议论美。只要用心开启自己的灵性,恢复生而为人的真实感觉,美就一定不会缺席。

…母亲着人拿来一块点心,是那种又矮又胖名叫“小玛德莱娜”的点心,看来象是用扇贝壳那样的点心模子做的。那天天色阴沉,而且第二天也不见得会晴朗,我的心情很压抑,无意中舀了一勺茶送到嘴边。起先我已掰了一块“小玛德莱娜”放进茶水准备泡软后食用。带着点心渣的那一勺茶碰到我的上腭,顿时使我浑身一震,我注意到我身上发生了非同小可的变化。一种舒坦的快感传遍全身,我感到超尘脱俗,却不知出自何因。我只觉得人生一世,荣辱得失都清淡如水,背时遭劫亦无甚大碍,所谓人生短促,不过是一时幻觉;那情形好比恋爱发生的作用,它以一种可贵的精神充实了我。也许,这感觉并非来自外界,它本来就是我自己。我不再感到平庸、猥琐、凡俗
普鲁斯特,《追忆似水年华》

俄国形式主义批评的代表人物之一维克多.什克洛夫斯基指出:“艺术之所以存在,就是为了使人恢复对生活的感觉,就是为了使人感受事物,使石头显出石头的质感。艺术的目的是要人感觉到事物,而不仅仅知道事物。艺术的技巧就是使对象陌生化,使形式变得困难,增加感觉的难度和时间的长度,因为感觉过程本身就一注是审美目的,必须设法延长。艺术是体验对象的艺术构成的一种方式,而对像本身并不重要。”
北岛,《时间的玫瑰》

——伍豪

乔伊斯在《一个青年艺术家的画像》中说:“审美的感情因此也是静态的。它使人的头脑停留在某一状态之中,超出于欲望和厌恶的情绪之上。”在乔伊斯这里,艺术取代了宗教。

所以对我来说美的最大意义在于超脱。不论是自然的美,还是文字的美,都让你在那一瞬间从个体的渺小中解脱出来,获得罕见的平静。作为人类,我们注定无法摆脱欲望及其带来的嫉妒、无聊等情绪,但起码在那一刻,在看到花瓣从高塔上散下,漂浮在浅蓝色的长空中时,读到“江声浩荡,自屋后升起”时,正如文中所说,那是一股治愈的力量,或许是能抵抗“生而为人,我很抱歉”的力量。

这样说来,美不止对个体是可贵的,如果社会中的大部分人都能去珍惜与追求美,如文中沙夫茨伯里伯爵提出的,人内在的善良会显露出来,美的哲学也因此可能是社会弊病的一剂解药。

——郭嘉宁

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

马奈的花瓣

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