回 上層

「Always on the side of the egg 永遠站在雞蛋的一側」

Good evening. I have come to Jerusalem today as a novelist, which is to say as a professional spinner of lies.

Of course, novelists are not the only ones who tell lies. Politicians do it, too, as we all know. Diplomats and generals tell their own kinds of lies on occasion, as do used car salesmen, butchers and builders. The lies of novelists differ from others, however, in that no one criticizes the novelist as immoral for telling lies. Indeed, the bigger and better his lies and the more ingeniously he creates them, the more he is likely to be praised by the public and the critics. Why should that be?
當然,並不是只有小說家才說謊的。政治家也說謊,正如大家所知道的。外交官和將軍有時也要說著他們自己的謊言,就如同二手車推銷 員、劊子手以及建築師一樣。但是,小說家的謊言與其他人不一樣,因爲沒有人會批評小說家,稱他們說謊不道德。實際上,小說家的謊言說得越大越好,編造謊言 的能力越高明,他才更可能受到公衆和評論家的認可和好評。這是爲什麽呢?

My answer would be this: namely, that by telling skilful lies--which is to say, by making up fictions that appear to be true--the novelist can bring a truth out to a new place and shine a new light on it. In most cases, it is virtually impossible to grasp a truth in its original form and depict it accurately. This is why we try to grab its tail by luring the truth from its hiding place, transferring it to a fictional location, and replacing it with a fictional form. In order to accomplish this, however, we first have to clarify where the truth-lies within us, within ourselves. This is an important qualification for making up good lies.
我的答案是:通過更有技巧地說謊——也就是說,創作看起來似乎是真實的小說——小說家才能夠將真相帶到 新的地方,並讓新的光明灑落其上。在多數情況下,以其原始形式掌握真相並準確地闡述之幾乎是不可能的。這就是爲什麽我要將真相從衆多掩蓋之中拉出來,將它 放到一個虛幻 的地方,再用一種虛幻的形式將它替代。但是要想做到這一點,我們首先要清楚真相就在我們,就在我們自己的心中。這是要想編造完美謊言的一個非常重 要的資質。

Today, however, I have no intention of lying. I will try to be as honest as I can. There are only a few days in the year when I do not engage in telling lies, and today happens to be one of them.

So let me tell you the truth. In Japan a fair number of people advised me not to come here to accept the Jerusalem Prize. Some even warned me they would instigate a boycott of my books if I came. The reason for this, of course, was the fierce fighting that was raging in Gaza. The U.N. reported that more than a thousand people had lost their lives in the blockaded city of Gaza, many of them unarmed citizens--children and old people.
讓我來告訴你們真相。在日本有許多人建議我不要來這堭筐“耶路撒冷文學獎”。甚至有些人警告我,如果我要堅持來的話,他 們就會掀起抵制閱讀我的小說的活動。當然,原因是加沙的戰争正如火如荼。據聯合國報道,已經有一千多人在已封鎖的加沙城失去了他們的生命,許多都是手無寸 鐵的平民——孩子和老人。

Any number of times after receiving notice of the award, I asked myself whether traveling to Israel at a time like this and accepting a literary prize was the proper thing to do, whether this would create the impression that I supported one side in the conflict, that I endorsed the policies of a nation that chose to unleash its overwhelming military power. Neither, of course, do I wish to see my books subjected to a boycott.

Finally, however, after careful consideration, I made up my mind to come here. One reason for my decision was that all too many people advised me not to do it. Perhaps, like many other novelists, I tend to do the exact opposite of what I am told. If people are telling me-- and especially if they are warning me-- “Don’t go there,” “Don’t do that,” I tend to want to “go there” and “do that”. It’s in my nature, you might say, as a novelist. Novelists are a special breed. They cannot genuinely trust anything they have not seen with their own eyes or touched with their own hands.
但最後在經過深思熟慮後,我還是決定來到耶路撒冷。我之所以做出這樣的決定,原因之一就是有太多的人不想讓我來這堙C可能與 許多其他小說家一樣,我總是要做人們反對我做的事情。如果人們對我說——並且特别是如果他們警告我——“不要去那”、“不要這樣做”,我就偏偏要去那 堙A偏偏要這樣做。你可能會說,這就是小說家的性格。小說家是另類。如果他們沒有親眼所見,沒有親手觸摸,他們是不會真正相信任何事情的。

And that is why I am here. I chose to come here rather than stay away. I chose to see for myself rather than not to see. I chose to speak to you rather than to say nothing.

Please do allow me to deliver a message, one very personal message. It is something that I always keep in mind while I am writing fiction. I have never gone so far as to write it on a piece of paper and paste it to the wall: rather, it is carved into the wall of my mind, and it goes something like this:

“Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg.”

Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg. Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will do it. But if there were a novelist who, for whatever reason, wrote works standing with the wall, of what value would such works be?

What is the meaning of this metaphor? In some cases, it is all too simple and clear. Bombers and tanks and rockets and white phosphorus shells are that high wall. The eggs are the unarmed civilians who are crushed and burned and shot by them. This is one meaning of the metaphor.

But this is not all. It carries a deeper meaning. Think of it this way. Each of us is, more or less, an egg. Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell. This is true of me, and it is true of each of you. And each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, is confronting a high, solid wall. The wall has a name: it is “The System.” The System is supposed to protect us, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own, and then it begins to kill us and cause us to kill others--coldly, efficiently, systematically.
但是,並不僅僅是這些。它還有更深 一層的含義。我們來這樣想,我們中的每一個人或多或少都是一個雞蛋。我們中的每一個人都是存在於一個脆弱外殼中唯一的、不可替代的靈魂。我也一樣, 對你們中的每一個人也一樣。並且,我們中的每一個人在某種程度上也面臨着一堵高大堅實的牆。這個牆有一個名字:那就是“體制”。這個體制本來是要保護我們 的,但是有時候它會有了自己的主意,然後就開使殘殺我們,並使我們去殘殺他人——冷酷、有效、系統性地殘殺。

I have only one reason to write novels, and that is to bring the dignity of the individual soul to the surface and shine a light upon it. The purpose of a story is to sound an alarm, to keep a light trained on the System in order to prevent it from tangling our souls in its web and demeaning them. I truly believe it is the novelist’s job to keep trying to clarify the uniqueness of each individual soul by writing stories--stories of life and death, stories of love, stories that make people cry and quake with fear and shake with laughter. This is why we go on, day after day, concocting fictions with utter seriousness.
我寫小 說只有一個原因,那就是要彰顯每一個靈魂的尊嚴,並將真實之光灑上。故事的目的是敲響警鐘,是將光芒瞄準體制,阻止它將我們的靈魂纏 結在它的圈套中,防止它踐踏我們的靈魂。我忠實地相信,小說家的職責就是通過創作故事——關於生死、關于愛情、讓人哭泣和顫慄以及讓人大笑不已的故事,讓人 們意識到每一個靈魂的唯一性。這就是我們日復一日,以十分嚴肅的態度創作小說的原因。

My father passed away last year at the age of ninety. He was a retired teacher and a part-time Buddhist priest. When he was in graduate school in Kyoto, he was drafted into the army and sent to fight in China. As a child born after the war, I used to see him every morning before breakfast offering up long, deeply-felt prayers at the small Buddhist altar in our house. One time I asked him why he did this, and he told me he was praying for the people who had died in the battlefield. He was praying for all the people who died, he said, both ally and enemy alike. Staring at his back as he knelt at the altar, I seemed to feel the shadow of death hovering around him.
我的父親是在去年去世的,享年九十歲。他是一名退休教師,是一名兼職佛教修行人。他在京都就讀研究所時應征入伍,被派到中國打仗。作爲一個戰後出生的孩子,我每天早晨在早飯前,總是看到他的在我家的小佛教祭壇前非常虔 誠地長時間地祈禱。有一次我就問父親爲什麽要這樣做,他就告訴我說,他是在爲戰爭中死去的人們祈禱。他說,他爲所有死去的人祈禱,無論是同盟還是敵人。當 我看着他跪在祭壇前的背影時,我似乎感受到了縈繞在他周圍的死亡陰影。

My father died, and with him he took his memories, memories that I can never know. But the presence of death that lurked about him remains in my own memory. It is one of the few things I carry on from him, and one of the most important.

I have only one thing I hope to convey to you today. We are all human beings, individuals transcending nationality and race and religion, and we are all fragile eggs faced with a solid wall called The System. To all appearances, we have no hope of winning. The wall is too high, too strong--and too cold. If we have any hope of victory at all, it will have to come from our believing in the utter uniqueness and irreplaceability of our own and others’ souls and from our believing in the warmth we gain by joining souls together.
今天我只希望向你們傳達一個信息。我們都是人類, 是超越國籍、種族和宗教的個體的人,我們都是脆弱的雞蛋,要面臨被稱作“體制”的堅實的牆。從外表來看,我們根本就沒有赢的希 望。這堵牆太高太堅實——並且太冷酷了。如果我們有一點戰勝它的希望,那就是來源於我們對我們自己以及他人靈魂唯一性和不可替代 性的信念,來源於我們對將靈魂聯合起來所獲得的溫暖的信 念。

Take a moment to think about this. Each of us possesses a tangible, living soul. The System has no such thing. We must not allow the System to exploit us. We must not allow the System to take on a life of its own. The System did not make us: we made the System.

That is all I have to say to you.

I am grateful to have been awarded the Jerusalem Prize. I am grateful that my books are being read by people in many parts of the world. And I would like to express my gratitude to the readers in Israel. You are the biggest reason why I am here. And I hope we are sharing something, something very meaningful. And I am glad to have had the opportunity to speak to you here today.

Thank you very much.

回 上層