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掠奪   納丁·戈迪默
掠奪 納丁·戈迪默
楚塵文化     阅读简体中文版

此前曾有過一場地震:但這是測量天啟災難強度的里氏震級問世以來,所記下的最強地震。


它傾覆了整個大陸架。這種強震常常帶來洪水;而這巨人則恰恰相反,它深吸一口氣,將海水回吸。我們這世界上最隱秘的一層被展示出來了:就在海底——遇難的船只,房屋的前頭,舞廳里的燭臺,便池,海盜的大箱,電視屏幕,郵車,飛機機身,大炮,大理石塑像,卡拉希尼科夫式沖鋒槍,旅游車的金屬外殼,洗禮盆,自動洗碗機,電腦,被藤壺包裹的劍,化為石塊的硬幣。震驚的目光掃過這些物件。從搖搖欲墜的房屋逃到沿海山地的人又朝下面跑去。大地的破碎與怒吼鎮住了他們,他們徹底靜默下來。海洋的涎水在這些物件上閃光,過往和現今的事物雜亂無章地靜躺著,仿佛時間已經停止,也從不存在,萬物同一,一切歸零——或者說,突然間一切都變得觸手可及。


人們急匆匆地拿,拿啊,拿。這可是有價值的東西——什么時候?可能過去如此、抑或一直如此,這可能會有用,這個是什么,應該有人知道,這個則可能是富人的,不過現在是我的了,你不抓緊了別人就會拿走,腳一滑就會滑倒在海草上,陷在浸濕的沙子里。奄奄一息的海生植物盯著他們,也沒人留意到魚的缺席,棲居此處的它們被卷走了,隨水而逝。政治叛亂時期人們常有機會掠奪商店,不過和這根本沒法相比。縱欲之樂給了男人女人甚至他們的孩子力量,讓他們克服淤泥與沙子的阻撓,抓起他們其實也不想要的東西,加快蹣跚的步伐徘徊著。這可不僅是飛來橫財,這可是在搶劫大自然的力量啊,而他們此前還得無助地逃離這力量。拿吧,拿啊;掠奪之時他們便忘卻了家園的破碎,忘卻了所擁已久之物的失去。他們相互呼喊著,撕碎了沉默,他們就像早已不見的海鷗那樣喊叫,因而也就沒聽到狂風大作般的聲音正從遠方而來。接著大海回來了,將他們吞咽,收進自己的寶庫中。


人們知道的就只有這些了;電視采訪上只看得見那深淵的白鑞色外皮,電臺節目則采訪了那一小部分因為膽小怯懦或小心謹慎沒跑下山的人,而報紙報道了那些不知為何被大海拒絕、在某個海灘被沖上來的尸體。


不過筆者知道些別人所不知的東西;想象中海水的變換。


現在聽著。有個男人終其一生都想得到一樣東西(是什么呢)。他擁有很多——東西——有些東西經常攫取住他的目光,他十分喜愛;也有些東西他故意不去注意,都是那些他不應得到卻無法舍棄的東西,比如一個新藝術派風格的臺燈,平常他就在旁邊讀書,而在床頭上方則有一幅日本版畫,是葛飾北齋的作品《巨浪》,他并不怎么收集東方的物品,如果將這幅畫掛在面朝他的墻上,它可能就不僅僅是家居裝飾的一部分,可惜它還是棲居他的頭顱之后,多年沒被他注意到過了。他有那么多——東西——但就是沒有找到那件東西。


他退休了,也離婚很久了,在沿海山丘上選擇了一間雖然陳舊但裝飾精美的別墅,以遠離城市的襲擊。村里的一個女人負責烹飪清掃,除此之外別無交流,不會干擾到他。這種生活幸運地遠離了激情,他受夠了這種打擾,不管愉快與否。當他看到這從未發生、從未被惠賜的景象時,他相信這是個命令。他是那群人中的一員:奔向閃光的海底,看見過去的一切展露無遺——瓦礫=珠寶,全都一樣。


他沒和其他掠奪者混在一起,和他們也沒有什么相同之處,但他和他們一樣,從一件物品跑向另一件物品,翻轉上漆瓷器的碎片、被毀滅荒涼和銹蝕造就的雕塑、被海水捕獲的酒桶、陷在泥中的摩托跑車、牙醫椅。他跨著大步,行過破碎的人類肋骨和趾骨,反正他也辨認不出來。他和其他人不同,他什么也不拿走——直到:就在那,它裝飾著棕褐色的海草,緊緊陷于珠貝和紅珊瑚的雉堞間,就是那件東西。(一面鏡子?)看來這不可能之物是真實存在的;他知道它就在這里,在海的下面,因此之前他才不知道它是什么,也從不能找到它。只有從未發生的事物才能將它展現出來,只有里氏震級所測量到的地球最強震才能做到。


他將它拿起來,拿起這東西,這面鏡子,將沙子抹去,殘留在上面閃光的水珠流下來,他將它拿到了,他最終擁有了它。


巨浪從他的床頭后方涌來,帶走了他。


他的名字在首都的前政權圈子里十分有名,卻沒能留在幸存者名單上。他處身于最新一批遇難者的骷髏中,陪伴他的則是古時的海盜和漁民,還有那些在獨裁時期被從飛機上扔下來的人,由于海洋的同謀,他們永遠不會被找到。那一天,在他們靜躺之處,有誰認出他們了嗎?


沒有康乃馨和玫瑰浮上來。


在足足五英尋深之處


譯注:

葛飾北齋,1760年-1849年,日本江戶時代的浮世繪畫家,葛飾派創始人,其繪畫風格對后來的歐洲畫壇影響很大。

英尋:英制水深單位,合6英尺或1.6288米,主要用于航行或采礦的度量單位。

第二部分開頭的“海水的變換”和最后的“五英尋深之處”受到莎士比亞《暴風雨》的影響。戈迪默原文為sea-change of the imagination和Full fathom five,在莎士比亞中的原文為:

"Full fathom five thy father lies,

Of his bones are coral made,

Those are pearls that were his eyes,

Nothing of him that doth fade,

But doth suffer a sea-change,

into something rich and strange,

Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell,

Ding-dong.

Hark! now I hear them, ding-dong, bell.


五英尋的水深處躺著你的父親,

他的骨骼已化成珊瑚,

他眼睛是耀眼的明珠;

他消失的全身沒有一處不曾

受到海水神奇的變幻,

化成瑰寶,富麗而珍怪。

海的女神時時搖起他的喪鐘,

叮!咚!

聽!我現在聽到了叮咚的喪鐘。


《暴風雨》中腓迪南的父親阿隆佐溺水后,精靈愛麗兒對他唱道。


溫峰寧 譯



Nadine Gordimer: Loot


Once upon our time, there was an earthquake: but this one is the most powerful ever recorded since the invention of the Richter scale made possible for us to measure apocalyptic warnings.


It tipped a continental shelf. These tremblings often cause floods; this colossus did the reverse, drew back the ocean as a vast breath taken. The most secret level of our world lay revealed: the sea-bedded - wrecked ships, facades of houses, ballroom candelabra, toilet bowl, pirate chest, TV screen, mail-coach, aircraft fuselage, canon, marble torso, Kalashnikov, metal carapace of a tourist bus-load, baptismal font, automatic dishwasher, computer, swords sheathed in barnacles, coins turned to stone. The astounded gaze raced among these things; the population who had fled from their toppling houses to the martime hills, ran down. Where terrestrial crash and bellow had terrified them, there was naked silence. The saliva of the sea glistened upon these objects; it is given that time does not, never did, exist down there where the materiality of the past and the present as they lie has no chronological order, all is one, all is nothing - or all is possessible at once.


People rushed to take; take, take. This was - when, anytime, sometime - valuable, that might be useful, what was this, well someone will know, that must have belonged to the rich, it's mine now, if you don't grab what's over there someone else will, feet slipped and slithered on seaweed and sank in soggy sand, gasping sea-plants gaped at them, no-one remarked there were no fish, the living inhabitants of this unearth had been swept up and away with the water. The ordinary opportunity of looting shops which was routine to people during the political uprisings was no comparison. Orgiastic joy gave men, women and their children strength to heave out of the slime and sand what they did not know they wanted, quickened their staggering gait as they ranged, and this was more than profiting by happenstance, it was robbing the power of nature before which they had fled helpless. Take, take; while grabbing they were able to forget the wreck of their houses and the loss of time-bound possessions there. They had tattered the silence with their shouts to one another and under these cries like the cries of the absent seagulls they did not hear a distant approach of sound rising as a great wind does. And then the sea came back, engulfed them to add to its treasury.


That is what is known; in television coverage that really had nothing to show but the pewter skin of the depths, in radio interviews with those few infirm, timid or prudent who had not come down from the hills, and in newspaper accounts of bodies that for some reason the sea rejected, washed up down the coast somewhere.


But the writer knows something no-one else knows; the sea-change of the imagination.


Now listen, there's a man who has wanted a certain object (what) all his life. He has a lot of - things - some of which his eye falls upon often, so he must be fond of, some of which he doesn't notice, deliberately, that he probably shouldn't have acquired but cannot cast off, there's an art noveau lamp he reads by, and above his bed-head a Japanese print, a Hokusai, 'The Great Wave', he doesn't really collect oriental stuff, although if it had been on the wall facing him it might have been more than part of the furnishings, it's been out of sight behind his head for years. All these - things - but not the one.


He's a retired man, long divorced, chosen an old but well-appointed villa in the maritime hills as the site from which to turn his back on the assault of the city. A woman from the village cooks and cleans and doesn't bother him with any other communication. It is a life blessedly freed of excitement, he's had enough of that kind of disturbance, pleasurable or not, but the sight from his lookout of what could never have happened, never ever have been vouchsafed, is a kind of command. He is one of those who are racing out over the glistening sea-bed, the past - detritus-treasure, one and the same - stripped bare.


Like all the other looters with whom he doesn't mix, has nothing in common, he races from object to object, turning over the shards of painted china, the sculptures created by destruction, abandonment and rust, the brine-vintaged wine casks, a plunged racing motorcycle, a dentist's chair, his stride landing on disintegrated human ribs and mettarsals he does not identify. But unlike the others, he takes nothing - until: there, ornate with tresses of orange-brown seaweed, stuck-fast with nacreous shells and crenellations of red coral, is the object. (A mirror?) It's as if the impossible is true; he knew that was where it was, beneath the sea, that's why he didn't know what it was, could never find it before. It could be revealed only by something that had never happened, the greatest paroxysm of our earth ever measured on the Richter scale.


He takes it up, the object, the mirror, the sand pours off it, the water that was the only bright glance left to it streams from it, he is taking it back with him, taking possession at last.


And the great wave comes from behind his bed-head and takes him.


His name well-known in the former regime circles in the capital is not among the survivors. Along with him among the skeletons of the latest victims, with the ancient pirates and fishermen, there are those dropped from planes during the dictatorship so that with the accomplice of the sea they would never be found. Who recognized them, that day, where they lie?


No carnation or rose floats.


Full fathom five.



2015-08-23 08:38

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