Newsletter No. 353

10 No. 353, 4.3.2010 下回〈十方吐露〉将访问科大卫教授 Prof. David Faure will be featured in the next instalment of ‘TEN QUESTIONS FOR’. 预告 Coming 1 你有不少学术界以外的工作经验,从中有什么得着? You have had a lot of professional experience outside academia. What did you learn from this? 我发觉世上许多有才华和成功的人士都忽视了人文学科的 重要,但也有许多人是重视的。我也发觉即使与哪些最繁 忙的行业相比,学者的工作也是颇为繁重的,不过他们有 幸得享较大的思想自由,这是他们应该珍视和维护的。 I learned that there are many talented and successful people in the world who don’t see the point of the humanities: but also many who do. I learned that academics work pretty hard even by comparison with people in those busy careers, but that they are fortunate in the degree of intellectual freedom they have. They should value and preserve this. 2 你在澳洲国立大学是人文学院院长,究竟是什么吸引 你来港担任中大的英文系系主任? You were head of the School of Humanities at Australian National University. What most appealed to you about coming to Hong Kong and taking up the chair of English at CUHK? 香港是世界城市,文化丰盛迷人,位处中国和西方交汇,更 适值此历史关键时刻,家乡各人都认为我和家人能有机会 来港实属幸运,我们也有同感。中大英文系是一个年轻热 诚、勤种勤收、轻松愉快的学系,学生优秀,从属国际级大 学,校方对人文学科的重视更是举世无双。 Hong Kong is a world city, culturally rich and fascinating, at the junction point of China and the West, at a crucial time in history. Everyone back home thought I and my family were very lucky to have the chance to live here right now: so do we! And CUHK English is a young, enthusiastic, productive and happy department, with great students, in a world-class university where there is also a level of respect for the humanities you don’t find everywhere in the world. 3 在一所以「中文」为名的亚洲/中国大学中,英文可以 扮演什么角色? What role can English play in a university in Asia/China that is eponymously Chinese? 中大的创办人建立一所双语学府服务这个双语(也是多元 文化)城市,真是胸怀睿智。这样一来,他们便把大学的定 位扣准香港核心价值。也因此大学需要(也是一向得到明 确认同和支持的)一个壮实而活泼的学系,充当西方人文 学科的重镇,以及语文的基地,以提升学生对双语和多元 文化的了解与能力。这是英文在此独特的地方扮演的独特 角色。 I think CUHK’s founders showed great wisdom in creating a bilingual institution to serve this bilingual (and multicultural) city. They thereby positioned the University at the heart of what Hong Kong itself stands for. It follows that such a University would need (as it has always clearly and supportively recognized) a strong and lively department to act as the hub of the Western humanities and a focus for the language, fostering that bilingual and cross-cultural awareness and ability in our students. It’s a unique role in a unique place. 4 有什么发展英文系的计划或构思? What plans or initiatives do you have for the English Department? 我希望英文系不但成为(或者继续是)大学里学生和同事 最感友善的工作环境,而且成为一个更强大的研究部门, 甚或是一个愈趋年轻的学系。我们的应用英语语言学文学 硕士课程办得有声有色,稍后会增办文学研究文学硕士课 程。另外,著名的莎士比亚节也会陆续加入新猷。 I would like to see the department become (or continue to be) not only the friendliest working environment in the University for students and staff alike, but an even stronger research department, and maybe also an even younger department. We have a new MA Programme in Literary Studies to run alongside our highly successful MA Programme in Applied English Linguistics, and some new plans for the famous Shakespeare Festival. 5 「人文学科的用处」─你觉得这个说法是否矛盾? ‘The uses of the humanities’—do you think it’s a contradiction in terms? 也许「人文学科的价值」这个说法较好一点。实用和价值 的争辩由来已久。约翰.斯图亚特.密尔是最伟大的实用 主义哲学家,但他的人文胸怀也非常深广。他最终目的是 改革建制和思想─他努力的目标是实用的。可是,有一 天他反问自己:要是你努力追求的社会和政治改革突然 之间像变戏法般全都实现了,那又将如何?你会满心欢喜 吗?答案是:不!实用是不够的,关键在于手法,而令我 们快乐的则关乎目的。密尔转向诗歌寻求那更深刻的满 足感。在人文学科的领域里,我们、或是我们所读的书, 提出的问题是:「 为什么 我们要做这些有用的事情?我们 想成为什么样的人?什么样的朋伴?生命的最终意义是什 么?」 ‘The value of the humanities’ is perhaps a better phrase. The quarrel between utility and value is an old one. John Stuart Mill was the greatest of the Utilitarians, but also a man of deep humanity. He wanted above all to reform institutions and opinions: he served utility. But then one day he asked himself: what if every social and political reform you have ever worked for was suddenly achieved, as if by magic? Would you be full of happiness? And the answer was: No! Utility is not enough. It is about means; what makes us happy has to do with ends. Mill turned to poetry for that deeper sense of fulfilment. In the humanities we, or the books we read, ask: why are we doing all these useful things? What sort of people, what sort of companions, do we want to be? What are the true ends of life? 6 人文教育如何装备个人应对当今生活? How does an education in the humanities prepare one for contemporary life? 传统来说教育的目的是「诱发」学生潜在的价值和素质。 由此来看,人文教育就是 唯一 真正的教育。它「装备」我们 应对的不止是「当今生活」,而纯粹就是生活本身。生活最 艰巨的挑战不是我们的学历是否足以应付工作所需,而是 我们活出个什么样式来,在内心深处─我们如何应对生 与死、信仰、背叛或信任、爱、苦痛与仇恨等事情。人文学 科教育不会巨细无遗告诉你在这些骨节眼上该怎样做,然 而却会令你更省察其重要性。不过,我们也该务实一点: 是的,我们希望学生了解英国语文的丰富内涵和千变万 化,好使他们日后能在全世界的英语社群游走自如,当然 ─也觅得优差。 An education in the classical sense is a ‘bringing out’ of the values and qualities inside the student. In that sense a humanities education is the only true education. It ‘prepares’ us not just for ‘contemporary life’ but, simply, for life itself. The hardest challenges life throws at us aren’t to do with whether our qualifications have prepared us sufficiently for a job, but with what sort of people we have made of ourselves, deep down—how we respond to matters of life and death, faith, betrayal or trust, love, bitterness and hatred. An education in the humanities won’t exactly tell you what to do at those crucial points, but it will make you much more alive to their importance. But let’s also be pragmatic: we want to give our students an enhanced awareness of the richness and versatility of the English language, so that they can be full members of its world user community and, yes, get better jobs! 7 你的浪漫诗作和欧洲哲学论着等身,你最喜爱哪位作 家或哪部作品? You have written extensively on Romantic poetry and on European philosophy. Who is your favourite author or work? 总的来说,我不得不说荷马、但丁和莎士比亚之所以被尊 为最伟大的三位西方诗人,是自有其因的。他们的优点采 之不竭。我最喜爱的哲学家是亚里斯多德,他实在是绝顶 理性。 On the whole I’d have to say that there’s a good reason why Homer, Dante and Shakespeare are widely regarded as the three great poets of the West. They are inexhaustible. My favourite philosopher is Aristotle, because he is just so sensible. 8 你希望中大英文科主修生怎样渡过他们的大学生活? What would you like to see English majors at CUHK do? 我们一直希望学生尽量投入学系生活,在这儿,我们会竭 尽所能,例如安排海外学习和交流等,让他们深入感受英 国语文的多采多姿。到他们离开后,我希望见到他们生活 得精采、活得出色,并且回来告诉我们! We always want our majors to become part of the life of the department as much as possible, and while they are here to gain as deep a sense as we can give them of the possibilities of the English language: including by overseas trips and exchanges. Then after they leave here I’d like to see our majors make huge successes of their lives! And come back and tell us about it! 9 你曾周游列国,最喜爱哪个城市?为什么? You have travelled far. Which is your favourite city and why? 当然是香港!可是,我的两个「家乡」,也是成长的地 方—温彻斯特(英格兰南部)和坎培拉也让我惬意,还有 伦敦……巴黎……和博洛尼亚……还有三藩市…… Hong Kong! Of course! But my two ‘home towns’, where I grew up, are Winchester (south of England) and Canberra, and I’m always happy there. And London…and Paris…and Bologna…and San Francisco… 10 闲来如何打发时间?学术和行政以外,你是否有另 一面象? What do you do in leisure, or is there another side to you other than the academic and administrative? 我有三个孩子,所以闲时多会和他们一起。我得承认我爱 美酒,又爱歌剧、意大利、旅游、侦探小说,还有那叫板球 的玩意儿。我当众承认的就是那么多了! I have three children, so leisure preferably involves them in some way. I like good wine, I have to admit: and opera: and Italy: and travel: and detective fiction: and that strange game called cricket. That’s all I’ll admit to in public! Prof. Simon Haines