Newsletter No. 341

16 No. 341, 19.8.2009 白先勇 1 可以说一下你跟中大的渊源吗? How are you related to CUHK? 七十年代,中大建校没多久,这地方还叫马料水的时候,我就 来看了。八十年代,我曾来中文系演讲。金圣华教授创办的新纪 元全球华文青年文学奖,我当了三届的决审评判。此外,中大 出版社在2000年替我出版了中英双语版的《台北人》。 I first visited CUHK in the 1970s, gave a talk at the Chinese Department in the 1980s, and thrice sat on the adjudicating panel of the Global Youth Chinese Literary Award founded by Prof. Serena Jin. The Chinese University Press published a bilingual version of my book Taipei People in 2000. 2 中文小说要翻译为英文,最难的地方在哪里? What is the greatest challenge in translating a Chinese novel into English? 人名最难。中文单字都有意思,名字变成了拼音,就索然无味。 当时的编辑乔志高先生在这方面很厉害。此外,每个人的语气 不同,有时候翻成英文就不见了。没有翻译可以做到百分之一 百,能够近一点已经很不错。 Names. Chinese is monosyllabic and each character carries meaning. Simply transliterating the names into pinyin can be dry. The unique tone of voice of the different characters also easily gets lost in translation. 3 你推广昆曲多年,在多地掀起轰动,该怎样把这热 潮承继下去? Your efforts at promoting kunqu has made it extremely popular in many places. What should be done to maintain that popularity? 政府和民间应该双管齐下。既然联合国把昆曲定为人类文化 遗产,中国政府就有责任给予保护承传,更应该如保护青铜 器、宋五窑瓷、秦俑般严肃,在国宴或国外作最高规格的文化 展示,把昆剧推出去。港台多个基金支持我们的推广工作已好 几年,只是中国大陆的企业还没有很强的支持文化观念。 Now that UNESCO has named kunqu one of the master- pieces of the heritage of humanity, the Chinese government should conserve and promote it with the same seriousness as it does ancient bronze artifacts and the Qin terra cotta warriors. It should be presented at national banquets and on cultural occasions with the highest order of protocol. Our work has received much support from private sectors in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It seems that enterprises on the mainland are not as keen on supporting cultural promotion. 4 大学应该担当怎样的角色? What is the role of universities in this respect? 每个人都应该对艺术有起码的接触和认识,教育很重要。我们 把大陆所有的名校由北到南通通去过了。厦门大学、武汉大学 学生都疯掉了,在港台也是场场满座,那么就应该立刻留下来 开昆曲欣赏课,可以给两个学分。假如全中国二十所名校都这 样做,就会生根。 Education is crucial. We paid visits to famous universities all over China. Students of Xiamen and Wuhan universities flocked to our performances by the thousands; they went crazy. We should have stayed to offer credit bearing courses in kunqu appreciation. If all 20 key universities in China did the same, kunqu would find its place. 5 昆曲何以要「青春化」? Why is there a youthful edition of kunqu ? 演员年轻化是为了接班。《牡丹亭》等爱情故事的主人翁都 是十来岁的,找个六十多岁的演员扮演小姑娘,年轻人不会接 受,不利推广。即使是「青春版」,我们也非常认真保存优美 的传统,主角是跟名宿一招一式地把老功夫学下来的。 To pass on the torch, we must groom young actors. The protagonists of romances like The Peony Pavilion are all teenagers. If played by actors over 60, they would not strike a chord with young viewers. We have been very serious about upholding tradition. Our young actors learn the art from great masters word by word, step by step. 6 「现代化」的具体革新如何? How can one modernize kunqu ? 把传统跟现代结合是最大的挑战。二十一世纪的观众的视觉 审美不可能跟几百年前一样,怎样改得好而不至于伤它的筋 骨,这就是功夫。《玉簪记》的布景用了书法、水墨画、观音、 佛像等古老元素,但是奇怪,合起来却带来很强的现代感。 To combine tradition and modernity is the biggest challenge. The aesthetic standards of 21st-century audiences are very different from centuries ago. The trickiest part is to reform kunqu without hurting its essential structure. For the stage set of The Jade Hairpin , we incorporated classical elements such as Chinese calligraphy, water ink painting, and images of Guanyin Bodhisattva and the Buddha. Strangely enough, they conveyed a strong sense of modernity. 7 西洋歌剧在欧美社会地位重要且普及,昆曲将来也 可以达到这个地步吗? Will kunqu attain the same popularity and status as opera in the west? 希望可以,昆曲本来是「雅部」,在明清时代,也曾走进民间。 我们在台北演出,中学生看得跳起来,因为教育发达,中学以 上的程度都可以看懂了,曲是高,但「和」可是「众」。一个五 百年前的戏,学生几千几千地去看,可见它本身就有这个力 量,欠的只是配合和推广。 I hope so. Kunqu was once considered ‘elitist’. The Jade Hairpin received a standing ovation from secondary students in Taipei. It is no longer elitist and can be appreciated by anyone with secondary school education or above. We just need to do more. 8 推广昆曲方面的经验有什么可以给香港推动粤剧借 镜的? What lessons do you have for the promotion of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong? 任剑辉和白雪仙提升词曲的优美意境,跟唐涤生合作,把粤剧 推上了革命性的高峰。剧本的改编、服装的设计是蛮重要的, 香港的设计就很强,而且粤剧比较年轻,生命力强韧,容纳性 高,有时候给它稍微大红大绿的扎进去也没关系,不像昆曲有 古老严格的一套规矩,非常纤巧,碰一点都不行。 Yam Kim-fai and Pak Suet-sin elevated the beauty of the music and the lyrics of Cantonese opera. Together with legendary librettist Tong Dik-sang, they brought this dramatic art to a revolutionary peak. Script adaptation and costume design are important, and Hong Kong is very strong in design. Being relatively young, Cantonese opera is lively and accommodating. It can withstand slightly bold and unconventional treatment. 9 九七前后香港人移居外国的不少,有没有想过写到 小说里? Many Hong Kongers emigrated to other countries before and after 1997. Have you ever thought of including them in your novels? 有可能的。我现在愈发对描写人性感兴趣;社会变迁日新月 异,可是人最基本的感情——喜怒哀乐——好像还没变,我只 是以不同的故事来表现这种情。香港是一个题材非常丰富的 地方,作客他乡的感受本质上都是一样的。 I won’t rule out the possibility. I’ve become increasingly interested in human nature. The world keeps changing, but human emotions seem to remain unchanged. I want to express these emotions through different stories. Hong Kong is a place full of interesting stories. Diasporic sentiments are basically the same everywhere. 10 为父亲白崇禧将军所写的传记《仰不愧天》,进 度如何? What is the progress of the biography of your father General Pai Chung-hsi? 就是为了昆曲,拖下来很久了。这过程可说是我跟父亲精神上 的对话。在我出生之前,父亲已完成了北伐,攀过了事业高峰。 在台湾和他相处十一年,碍于年纪还小,父子之间总是有点隔 阂。撰传的时候,我也通过不同的史料、记载来认识他。传记 将分为两部分,一是父亲的一生功绩,是为人所知的历史;另 一部分是我所看到的父亲,以及他的私生活。希望能为家父重 塑出更为立体的形象。 It’s been delayed because of kunqu . The process is a spiritual dialogue between me and my father. He had completed the Northern Expedition, the prime of his career, long before my birth. During the 11 years I spent with him in Taiwan, I did not feel particularly close to him, perhaps due to my young age. I got to know him better while reading historical documents for the biography. The biography will contain two parts — his achievements as a historical figure known to many, and a father in the eyes of his son. I hope this will paint a more detailed portrait of my father. 1. 本刊每月出版两期,农历新年和暑期停刊。截稿日期 载于本刊网页 (www.cuhk.edu.hk/iso/newslter/) 。 2. 来稿请寄沙田香港中文大学资讯处《中大通讯》编辑部 (电话 2609 8681/2609 8589,传真 2603 6864,电邮 iso@cuhk.edu.hk )。 3. 编辑有权删改及决定是否刊登来稿。 香港中文大学资讯处出版 1. The CUHK Newsletter is published on a fortnightly basis except during the Chinese New Year and the summer vacation. Deadlines for contributions can be found at www.cuhk.edu.hk/iso/newslter/ . 2. All contributions should be sent to the Editor, CUHK Newsletter , Information Services Office, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (tel. 2609 8681/2609 8589; fax. 2603 6864; e-mail iso@cuhk.edu.hk ). 3. The Editor reserves the right to decline contributions and to edit all articles. Published by the Information Services Office, CUHK 为减少大量印刷对环境造成的损害,请与朋友分享本通讯,或上网( www.cuhk.edu.hk/iso/newslter/ ) 阅览。谢谢您爱护环境。 This newsletter will increase your carbon footprint. So share a copy with friends or read it online at your own leisure ( www.cuhk.edu . hk/iso/newslter/ ). Thank you for supporting the environment. Prof. Pai Hsien-yung 下回〈十方吐露〉将访问郑振耀教授 Prof. Jack Cheng will be featured in the next instalment of ‘TEN QUESTIONS FOR’. 预告 Coming . , . .

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