The Lady with the Dog by Chekhov

看完Chekhov的The Lady with the Dog。

故事其实很简单,一个有艳遇癖的男人遇到一个带着狗散步的妇人,又展开一场艳遇。书中多次提到这种pattern:热情、外遇、日久显丑恶、分手,再遇到新的人新的恋情的重复,既是枯燥无聊,但又难以抵挡诱惑。

“Experience often repeated, truly bitter experience, had taught him long ago that with decent people, especially Moscow people—always slow to move and irresolute—every intimacy, which at first so agreeably diversifies life and appears a light and charming adventure, inevitably grows into a regular problem of extreme intricacy, and in the long run the situation becomes unbearable. But at every fresh meeting with an interesting woman this experience seemed to slip out of his memory, and he was eager for life, and everything seemed simple and amusing.”

但这次艳遇有点不同。不同在于男子跟女子分手后,还是意犹未尽。面对家里没有爱的伴侣和流于外表的社交,使到人产生强烈愿望要逃离这种生活,即使一瞬间也好。这种感觉驱使男主人公主动去寻找他的情人,两人最终结合成秘密的恋情。读者从旁观者角度看,会认为这种危险的恋情是不应该的,明明分开了,再走在一起是非常愚蠢的。但是人作出某种行为,通常不是理智驱使,而是某个时刻,某个环境下,一刹那的非理智造成。人面对某种困境和问题,不是直接去解决问题,而是寻求别的渠道去进行逃避。例如大多数感情不和的夫妻,解决让自己不快乐的方式不是离婚而是外遇,工作不顺利的人往往将心思放在工作以外的事情,情场失意的人会去喝酒或者赌博等等。

“The rage for card-playing, the gluttony, the drunkenness, the continual talk always about the same thing. Useless pursuits and conversations always about the same things absorb the better part of one’s time, the better part of one’s strength, and in the end there is left a life grovelling and curtailed, worthless and trivial, and there is no escaping or getting away from it—just as though one were in a madhouse or a prison.”

大多数人都渴望过诚实清白的生活,但是现实却是人人都差不多要有不同程度的虚伪和掩饰。假如男主人公诚实,直接告诉他妻子他讨厌她,告诉身边的朋友他们有多愚蠢,那么他将会被社会孤立。而女主人公诚实面对她丈夫,则意味着生活全毁,她不得不依赖她的情人或自己。人只要活在社会里,多少要遵循社会的游戏规则。其他动物其实也是如此,只是越是高级的动物,组成的社会层次和结构越复杂,这种 pretense就越是广泛和深入。

“He had two lives: one, open, seen and known by all who cared to know, full of relative truth and of relative falsehood, exactly like the lives of his friends and acquaintances; and another life running its course in secret. And through some strange, perhaps accidental, conjunction of circumstances, everything that was essential, of interest and of value to him, everything in which he was sincere and did not deceive himself, everything that made the kernel of his life, was hidden from other people; and all that was false in him, the sheath in which he hid himself to conceal the truth”

如果能够清楚看到人的内心,每个人的内心都是一个垃圾场,区别只是垃圾多少而已。每个人都有自己隐秘的东西,不可言。但是人能够欺骗别人,却唯一不能欺骗自己。人类产生那么多奇怪矛盾的行为,就是不能完全压制这种隐秘的欲望。这就产生了另外一个问题:什么是对和错,什么是善与恶?

故事中偷情的男女看似是错的,但是从另一个角度看,他们却是不幸婚姻的受害者,而且他们也没有伤害到其他人;那他们是对的吗?如果是对的,为什么女的多次哭泣,深感自己罪孽深重,男的又自我催眠说这是合理的,不得不这样的。但如果双方都遵循自己的内心,诚实地处理他们的问题是对的真的,那就是意味着两个家庭的破裂,两个人将会被驱逐出社会,这似乎又跟真和善相背离。一个人在某种行为犯错,但在别的行为上又具有真善美的优点,那究竟这个人是好人还是坏人。

在社会上经历多了,我就更加深感人性的复杂,就越是不直接对某个人下某个定论。人都是丑恶的,那么虚伪那么夸夸其谈,那么自以为接近真理,但其实都是从自己出发去评判世间事情;但人又是值得可怜,某种程度上也是可爱的,就如同永远追着月亮一样,既渴望接近伟大和真理,但却永远达不到如此。

想到当年看的The Reader(《朗读者》),恋人在床上缠绵着,男人给女人念着The Lady with the Dog,女人着迷地听着,用手指爱抚着男人的头发。只有女人自己心中知道,自己有阅读障碍,恋人欣赏的文字,她却无法阅读。面对这个问题,她逃避了。她离开了自己爱的男人,逃离得远远的,为了生活,当上了纳粹集中营的女看守,犯下很多罪孽。人能够爱,能够杀人,有时也不怕死,那就害怕暴露自己的内心和自己的自卑纠结。人不断地逃避,在逃避中产生更多的问题,逃啊逃,最终无法逃避自己。

最终只有孤独,或悲剧。

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