Newsletter No. 455

10 455 • 4.4.2015 本刊由香港中文大学资讯处出版,每月出版两期。截稿日期及稿例载于 www.iso.cuhk.edu.hk/chinese/newsletter/ 。 The CUHK Newsletter is published by the Information Services Office, CUHK, on a fortnightly basis. Submission guidelines and deadlines can be found at www.iso.cuhk.edu.hk/english/newsletter/ . 常听到人说,把散文分行就是诗。怎样告诉他们甚麽是诗? 很多人不满意新诗,就说它是散文分行而已。放远点来看,中国 古典诗并不分行。李白写「床前明月光」是连下去写的,不会分 成四行。写得不好的文字,分行就当作诗,的确引人嘲笑。散文 也有富于诗意的,就像我们常读的「暮春三月,江南草长,杂花 生树,群莺乱飞。」这四句信里的话,本质上是诗,可是用散文 写出来。有些写得整整齐齐的,像格律诗一样,可是没有想像 力,有诗的外壳而没有诗的灵魂。所以单看外表很难分得出来, 还是要看真正的想像。 互联网和手机盛行,对文字创作与传播是好是坏? 就看你怎样用这个媒体。台湾手机公司大哥大举行的短讯创作 比赛,限七十字以内,意念有趣,有诗意,就可得奖,第一名奖七 万台币。有一年得奖短讯就六个字——「爸,母亲节快乐。」很 平凡的一句话,可仔细想,是个辛酸动人的单亲家庭父兼母职 的故事。我任评判多年,也应邀写了一两则示范之作,譬如男友 对女友说:「不要再买LV了,LV只是LOVE的一半而已。」科技制 造创作机会,不过假如你每天就是低头发短讯跟朋友聊天甚麽 的,那也不过是通讯比较方便而已,没跟有血有肉的人在一起, 拨拨拨的就造成隔阂,也使得你跟壮丽的大自然疏远了。 中大是适合写诗的地方吗? 这个就不用问啦!中大的校园那麽理想,当然能写诗。不单是中 文系、外文系、艺术系,念理工的也可以写吧。我从台湾来教书 十一年,宿舍面对大埔公路,右边一点就是八仙岭,远处是船湾 淡水湖,这边还有马鞍山,太好了。我在山上写了很多诗,很多 散文,〈沙田山居〉、〈吐露港上〉这些文章就是在这儿写的。我 也写了很多论文,还翻译了两本书,收获很丰富。 可以谈谈你对中文西化的看法吗? 西化也有成功的。徐志摩的《偶然》——「你我相逢在黑夜的海 上,你有你的,我有我的方向。」中文习惯说「你有你的方向,我 有我的方向。」可是他巧妙用了西方文字的文法——「You have your direction. I have mine.」,「方向」只出现一次,很好。可 西化得不好的也很多,台湾香港都有,大陆最严重,他们几乎把 所有的动词都交给「进行」去做,动作本身变成名词——进行研 究、进行甚麽大会呀等的,像现在我俩在对谈,大陆就会说成 A跟B进行热烈的对谈。还有「作出贡献」,「作出决定」,诸如 此类的,并不是好事情。 成因在哪里?可以怎样抗衡? 从五四以来,我们用了一个世纪的白话文来写作、教育,也认为 文言已经废除了,其实不然,因为有一部分文言以成语的身分保 留下来。成语讲求铿锵、对仗、简洁。「这个人张三李四都认得。」 为什麽不讲张四李三呢?张三是平声,李四是仄声啊。「千山万 水」不是过了一座山就会碰到十条河,「千军万马」也不是一个 兵坐十匹马,逻辑上不太对,但因为是平平仄仄,听觉上很对。 所以我们的日常用语有不少文言特色。但是这些好处大家都不 管,英文的观念、想法和说法愈来愈多,就会欧化。我写文章有 一个原则,就是白以为常,文以应变——白话是常态,可是碰到 紧要关头,就会用文言,不但是为了变化,也为了文言里头有很 多好的观念,好的表意方式,用起来说服力强。 回到中大来,感到最大的改变在哪儿? 离开中大到现在三十年了,当中回来也有二十次吧,所以也没感 到很陌生。尽管如此,每次回来都觉得建筑物多了,大概是本来 的三倍了吧。那时候是三间书院,现在是九间啦。当时就两个水 塔高耸,现在高楼很多,教职员也愈来愈多。我住的教授宿舍已 观看录像,请扫描QR码或浏览以下网址: To watch the video, please scan the QR code or visit: www.iso.cuhk.edu.hk/video/?nsl455-yu-kwang- chung Some comment that poetry is nothing more than prose in lines. How would you tell them what poetry is? Many people who are not happy with modern Chinese poetry would say so. But looking back, classical Chinese poetry was not necessarily presented in lines. To think that a badly written piece of text can be disguised as a poem by splitting into lines is ridiculous. On the other hand, prose can also be poetic, like the first few four-character phrases in a famous letter (written by Qiu Chi, 463–508 A.D.). It’s a poem by nature but was presented as prose. Interestingly enough, there are lines that fulfil the rigid form requirements of classical Chinese poetry, but lack the essential element of imagination. They have the body of a poem but no soul. The distinction is not simply in the appearance. Is the popularity of the Internet and mobile phones advantageous or disadvantageous to literary creation and dissemination? It depends on how you use the medium. The short message contest of Taiwan Mobile calls for creative and poetic messages of no more than 70 words. The message which won the first prize of NTD 70,000 was ‘Dad, Happy Mother’s Day!’ Simple and short, it tells a story of a single-parent family in which the father also plays the motherly role. As one of the adjudicators, I have been invited to write some sample messages. One of them is written for a man to his girlfriend— ‘Buy no more LV (Louis Vuitton), for it’s just half of LOVE.’ Information technology creates platforms for literary writing. But if you just keep phubbing on your smartphone day after day, without paying attention to face-to-face interaction with people or the beautiful nature around you, what you can benefit at most is just a little convenience in communication. Is the Chinese University a good place for poetry writing? Needless to say, yes! No other activities can complement this ideal campus better than writing poetry. Everybody can do it, it doesn’t matter whether you’re studying Chinese, foreign languages, fine arts or even science and technology. I came from Taiwan to teach here for 11 years. My quarters faced Tai Po Road, with Pat Sin Range a little bit to the right, Plover Cove in the far horizon and Ma On Shan close by. That was fantastic! I wrote a lot of poems and prose, plus some academic papers and two translated books. Those were very productive years. Would you tell us how you feel about the westernization of the Chinese language? Some cases are successful. Xu Zhimo (Chinese poet, 1897– 1931) has two famous lines about a romantic encounter, which literally read ‘You have yours, I have my direction.’ He could have written in a traditional Chinese way—‘You have your direction. I have my direction.’ But he avoided the repetition of the word ‘direction’ by adopting the omission allowed in English grammar as in ‘You have your direction, I have mine.’ This is a good attempt. As for unsuccessful cases of westernization, there are far too many in Taiwan and in Hong Kong. It’s the worst in mainland China where people habitually add ‘ jinxing ’, which means ‘to proceed with’, before verbs and then nominalize the original verb, creating awkwardly redundant phrases in terms of Chinese grammar. For example, instead of saying ‘We are talking’ now, it will be ‘We are proceeding with a talk’. Another example is ‘ zuochu ’—‘to do’ as in ‘to do a contribution’ instead of ‘to contribute’, ‘to do a decision’ instead of ‘to decide’. Such cases of westernization are undesirable. Why is it like this? What can be done? We have been using vernacular Chinese to write and to teach since the May Fourth Movement a century ago. We think that classical Chinese has been abandoned; in fact it has not. Some parts of it have been retained as idioms in our daily usage. Chinese idioms are tonally pleasant, syntactically balanced, and succinct. Sometimes we even sacrifice the internal logic of an idiom in order to maintain these qualities. For example, ‘ qianjun wanma ’—‘a thousand soldiers and ten thousand horses’. It’s illogical to have one soldier to 10 horses, but the combination of level and oblique tones make it sound right. Our daily conversation is decorated with lots of classical Chinese elements, it’s a pity we don’t pay much attention to it and seek to borrow ideas and usages from the English language. It’s one of the factors leading to the abusive westernization of the Chinese language. I basically write in vernacular Chinese. But when it comes to crucial points, I would turn to classical Chinese, not only for variety, but also for the many good concepts and marvellous expressions which make my points more convincing. What is the biggest change that you experience upon returning to CUHK? I left CUHK about 30 years ago. But I have revisited the campus some 20 times since my departure, so I don't feel like a complete stranger here. That said, I noticed there are more buildings every time I come back. I guess the number has tripled. There were only three Colleges, now there are nine. The two water towers were the only tall buildings then, now there are plenty, and staff numbers are also increasing. The hostel I lived in has turned into a postgraduate student hostel. I am not allowed to go inside for a nostalgic tour. The diesel trains of the Kowloon– Canton Railway before would make a turn after reaching Cheung Shu Tan, and the sound of the engine would die off after that. Now we have electric trains, and the scene of hawkers carrying baskets of snacks, like chicken feet, can no longer be seen. CUHK students today are taller, stronger and better-looking than their predecessors, and they all look happy. 变成研究生宿舍,我也不能进去凭吊一番了。以前的九广铁路, 到了樟树滩转一个弯,车声就听不见了。现在换了电动火车,老 火车里很多挑担子卖凤爪呀甚麽的,都不见了。现在的中大学生 比以前要高大一点,也比以前漂亮,而且看起来都很快乐。 余光中教授 诗人,散文家,翻译家, 中国语言及文学系教授 (1974–85) Prof. Yu Kwang-chung Poet, prose writer, translator, Professsor, Dept. of Chinese Language and Literature (1974–85) 请扫描QR码阅读全文版: Scan the QR code for the full version Photo by Tommy Cho

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy NDE2NjYz