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November 9, 2017
批評和反批評
向日葵 在 YLib Blog 發表於 8:30:13


最近在網路上讀到一段非常精闢的論文,值得介紹給喜歡文藝評論的各界作者和讀者參考。這段話的原文頗長,附在文末,謹供有志於鑽研優越英文的讀者參考。這裡是中文試譯:

「維吉尼亞. 吳爾芙呼籲的是對於美國詩人華特. 惠特曼所言『我包羅萬象』的進一步內省,以及對於法國詩人亞瑟. 韓波所言『我即他者』的深度透視。她呼籲一個不要求統合認同的環境,因為統合是一種限制,甚至壓迫。我們經常注意到,吳爾芙在自己的小說中為各種角色做這種呼籲,也偶爾在論文中以身作則,用調查、評判的口吻予以表揚、延伸,堅持要求多樣性,不受削減或復歸,追求神秘性,後者亦即事物的持續發生,擴展,無可限制,兼容並蓄。

「吳爾芙的論文經常是對於此一無羈意識、此一不確定原則的宣言以及相關的範例或調查。這些論文也是反批評的範本,畢竟我們經常認為批評的目的在於釘死某一對象。在我從事文藝評論的這些年來,經常開玩笑說,博物館對於藝術家就像標本製作者對於活生生的野鹿那樣喜愛,那是一種渴望獲有,要求穩定,追求確信,對於開放、變幻不定而充滿冒險性的藝術家的作品做出定義的態度,常見於許多在所謂『藝術界』的封閉環境中工作的人。

「在文學批評和學術研究的領域中,針對藝術家企圖和意念的隱晦性以及其作品多變性也有類似的侵略態度,總想確認那些無法確認的部份,探知那些難以探知的東西,把天空中的飛鳥轉變成餐盤中的烤雞,凡事都要分門別類,歸納統合。無法歸類的東西就無法偵測了。

「有一種反批評追求對於藝術作品的擴展,為其進行聯繫,開放其意念,邀請各種其他的可能性。優秀的批評可以解放一部藝術作品,促進其完整的體現,保持其生命長存,推動永不止息的對話而持續鼓動想像。這不是反對詮釋,而是反對限制,反抗對於靈性的戕害。這種批評本身就是優秀的藝術。

「這種批評不在於評論者和文本的對抗,不追求權威。其著重的是和作品及其意涵一起遨遊,誘導其開花結果,邀請他人一起對話,發現前所未知的境界,開啟過去封鎖的門戶。這種批評對藝術作品本質的神秘性保持尊重,這神秘性正是藝術作品的美和歡悅之所在,不容削減,更充滿主觀。最壞的批評是堅持己見,讓別人都啞口無言:最好的批評則是開展一場永遠不必結束的對話。」

這段話出於美國文化歷史學家瑞貝卡. 索爾尼 (Rebecca Solnit) 於 2014 年 4 月 24 日在《紐約客》雜誌網路版發表的論文「吳爾芙的黑暗世界:擁抱無解」(Woolfs Darkness: Embracing the Inexplicable,寫於 2009 年),後來收入她在同年出版的《直男為我解說》(Men Explain Things to Me) 一書。關於「直男」一詞相當有趣,中文有「直男癌」一詞,形容的就是那些自以為是、好為人師的(男)人經常滔滔不絕地為其他(女)人解釋後者早已知道的事物。

不過,在此長篇大論引用索爾尼這段論文的目的,在於和各界作者、讀者、論者分享一個觀點,希望和大家進行交流、對話。其實「批評」一詞不如「評論」,因為後者鼓勵論辨,邀請對談,提倡客觀,推廣「百花齊放」,而這也是文藝作品的本質,在喚起「百家爭鳴」之餘更追求知音。「權威」在當前的網路時代已經不復也不應存在,唯有提倡、堅持並捍衛言論自由,才能確保並提倡網路的民主性,文學和藝術也才能保有活活潑潑的生命。

(作者註:本文開端引用圖片中的英文姑且可以翻譯為:讚許讓你好受,批評卻能助你精進。)

以下為英文原文:

"Woolf is calling for a more introspective version of the poet Walt Whitmans I contain multitudes, a more diaphanous version of the poet Arthur Rimbauds I is another. She is calling for circumstances that do not compel the unity of identity that is a limitation or even repression. Its often noted that she does this for her characters in her novels, less often that, in her essays, she exemplifies it in the investigative, critical voice that celebrates and expands, and demands it in her insistence on multiplicity, on irreducibility, and maybe on mystery, if mystery is the capacity of something to keep coming, to go beyond, to be uncircumscribable, to contain more."

"Woolfs essays are often both manifestos about and examples or investigations of this unconfined consciousness, this uncertainty principle. They are also models of a counter-criticism, for we often think the purpose of criticism is to nail things down. During my years as an art critic, I used to joke that museums love artists the way that taxidermists live deer, and something of that desire to secure, to stabilise, to render certain and define the open-ended, nebulous, and adventurous work of artists is present in many who work in that confinement sometimes called the art world."

"A similar kind of aggression against the slipperiness of the work and the ambiguities of the artists intent and meaning often exists in literary criticism and academic scholarship, a desire to make certain what is uncertain, to know what is unknowable, to turn the flight across the sky into the roast upon the plate, to classify and contain. What escapes categorisation can escape detection altogether."

"There is a kind of counter-criticism that seeks to expand the work of art, by connecting it, opening up its meanings, inviting in the possibilities. A great work of criticism can liberate a work of art, to be seen fully, to remain alive, to engage in conversation that will not ever end but will instead keep feeding the imagination. Not against interpretation, but against confinement, against the killing of the spirit. Such criticism is itself great art."

"This is a kind of criticism that does not pit the critic against the text, does not seek authority. It seeks instead to travel with the work and its ideas, to invite it to blossom and invite others into a conversation that might have been unseen and open doors that might have been locked. This is a kind of criticism that respects the essential mystery of a work of art, which is in part its beauty and its pleasure, both of which are irreducible and subjective. The worst criticism seeks to have the last word and leave the rest of us in silence; the best opens up an exchange that need never end."

“Woolfs Darkness: Embracing the Inexplicable” by Rebecca Solnit, The New Yorker, April 24, 2014.



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