「宴會即將開始」 “Everything’s Ready."

Yes, Clarissa thinks, it’s time for the day to be over. We throw our parties; we abandon our families to live alone in Canada; we struggle to write books that do not change the world, despite our gifts and unstinting efforts, our most extravagant hopes. We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep — it’s as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we’re very fortunate, by time itself. There’s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we’ve ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) knows these hours will inevitabily be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more.
是的,克勞麗莎想著,是該結束這一天的時候了。我們舉行宴會,我們拋棄家庭獨自住在加拿大,我們埋首寫作,儘管我們才氣縱橫,而且嘔心瀝血,抱著殷切的期望,但那些書仍無法改變世界。我們過我們的生活,做我們所做的,然後我們就寢 — 就那麼單純又平凡。有少數人跳樓或投水或服安眠藥,更多人死於非命;我們大部分人,都是緩緩地被某種疾病所吞噬,或者,如果我們吉人天相,就能壽終正寢。只有這個可供慰藉:當成功的機會渺茫,前程黯淡時,偶爾會出現一個小時,使我們的生活似乎柳暗花明,讓我們心想事成,雖然除了兒童(或許即使是兒童)之外每個人都知道,這些時刻之後無法避免的會是其他更黑暗也更艱困的時刻。然而,我們珍惜這座城市,清晨;我們最期盼的,是能有更多收穫。

Heaven only knows why we love it so.

Here, then, is the party, still laid; here are the flowers, still fresh; everything ready for the guests, who have turned out to be only four. Forgive us, Richard. It is, in fact , a party, after all. It is a party for the not-yet-dead; for the relatively un-damaged; for those who for mysterious reasons have the fortune to be alive.

It is, in fact, great good fortune.

我一年前寫了一篇觀影心得「砸了宴會:『時時刻刻』的自由 Failed Party: “The Hours”」,今天早上我終於讀完了『時時刻刻』的小說。很感動。重讀自己抓出宴會砸鍋的這個重點來看,影像敘事跟文字敘事穿透真實的方式真的有巨大的差距。電影讓人瞥見那個想像的場景,給予你意像上的支持、但是也限制了你看見真實的可能。我想除了「蘭花賊」(Adaptation)之外,除了文字很難用電影語言來處理那麼多層次的喃喃自語與多重真實。迎接影像,我看見了宴會的毀敗;因為閱讀,我看見了宴會的舉行。


…It matters. It shines. Much of the world, whole countries, have been decimated, but a force that feels unambiguourly like goodness has prevailed; even Kitty, it seems, will be healed by medical science. She will be healed. And if she’s not, if she’s past help, Dan and Laura and their son and the promise of the second child will all still be here, in the room, where a little boy frowns in concentration over the job of removing the candles and where his father holds one up to his mouth and exhorts him to lick off the frosting.

Laura reads the moment as it passes. Here it is, she thinks; there it goes. The page is about to turn.


The Hours,Michael Cunningham 著,PICADOR USA 出版。「時時刻刻」,蔡憫生譯,希代書版。



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