閒話愛麗絲(三):卡洛爾向夢境道別的孤寂之心

2001 年初夏,倫敦蘇富比一場名為「路易斯卡洛爾的愛麗絲」(Lewis Carroll’s Alice) 的拍賣會上,有兩封信十分受到矚目,因為它們給卡洛爾和愛麗絲之間的關係提供了頗大的想像空間。

蘇富比拍賣目錄的封面。

第一封信是愛麗絲小時候寫給媽媽的。其中有一段提到本名為道奇森(Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)的卡洛爾:

Mr. Dodgson wrote & asked me(for fun)if I would send him a piece of hair(he did not mean me to send it)so I sent him really a piece and then he wrote and told me I was stupid…

「道奇森先生寫信來要我(好玩的)寄給他一束頭髮(他不是真要我寄的),所以我就真的寄了一束給他,然後他回信說我真傻啊 …」

卡洛爾比愛麗絲大二十歲,可以想見她媽媽得知這樣的訊息要不緊張也難。所以她後來把卡洛爾寄給愛麗絲的信通通都扔進字紙簍了,我覺得也情有可原。

愛麗絲小時候寫給母親的信,信中提到了卡洛爾。

另一封信是卡洛爾在愛麗絲婚後寄給她的,也是他們所通的倒數第二封信。這封在 1891 年 12 月 8 日寄出的信長達三頁,但蘇富比的目錄中只附了最後一段的照片。由這段話可看出卡洛爾的心情十分苦澀,有如困於囚籠之中:

… So glad if you could, quite conveniently to yourself, look in for tea any day(to a prisoner in his cell, all days are alike). You would probably prefer to bring a companion, but I must leave the choice to you, only remarking that, if your husband is here, he would be <most> very welcome(I crossed out “most” ── because it’s ambiguous; most words are, I fear.)I met him in our Common Room, not long ago ── it is hard to realise that he was the husband of one I can scarcely picture to myself, even now, as more than 7 years old!

Your “Adventures” have had a marvelous success ── I have now sold well over 100,000 copies, & have(a far pleasanter thought)sent hundreds, to be read by sick children in Homes & Hospitals.

「…會非常高興如果哪天妳覺得方便的話,能來喝杯茶(對一個牢房裡的囚徒而言,哪天都沒差)。或許妳會想帶個伴,人我當然讓妳自己選,只提一下,如果妳先生在的話,<非常>很歡迎他一起來(我劃掉了「非常」── 因為涵義曖昧,恐怕大多數的字都如此)。不久前我在我們的交誼廳遇見他──很難領會他是一個,直到現在,我都還不太能想像長相超過七歲的人的先生。

妳的「歷險記」現在可火紅了,我已經賣了超過十萬本,而且也(想起來就高興得多)送了好幾百本,給住在家裡的和醫院裡的生病的孩子們讀。」

愛麗絲在收到信後的第二天下午赴約,只停留了一下。她沒有帶先生,但帶了妹妹蘿妲(Rhoda)去。

卡洛爾寄給愛麗絲的信,也是他們所通的倒數第二封信。

根據蘇富比的紀錄,愛麗絲的信最後的得標價是 10575 英鎊,卡洛爾的是 91250 英鎊,是單件拍品中賣得最貴的一件。

愛麗絲的先生瑞吉那(Reginald Gervis Hargreaves,1852-1926)是運動健將,射擊、釣魚、高爾夫、板球、帆船樣樣都玩,他受教於伊頓公學(Eton)和牛津的基督學院,是卡洛爾的學生。事實上,愛麗絲的婚姻生活很幸福,和丈夫伉儷情深。即使小別,兩人也魚雁往返得十分頻繁。蘇富比的拍品中有一百多封她們夫妻間的私信,其中還有一封顯然是她丈夫準備讓愛麗絲在他過世後再拆封看的:

God bless & keep you for all your love & care for me, my darling. No words of mine can express what you have been to me.

「為了妳對我所有的愛與關懷願上帝賜福保佑妳,我的寶貝。我找不到任何文字來形容妳對我的意義。」

真是情深意濃。至於卡洛爾呢,我覺得他在兩部愛麗絲書中,寫得最真情流露的一段,是《鏡中漫遊》(Through the Looking Glass)裡的白武士向愛麗絲道別時,藉愛麗絲之口所做的描述:

Of all the strange things that Alice saw in her journey Through The Looking-Glass, this was the one that she always remembered most clearly. Years afterwards she could bring the whole scene back again, as if it had been only yesterday ── the mild blue eyes and kindly smile of the Knight ── the setting sun gleaming through his hair, and shining on his armour in a blaze of light that quite dazzled her ── the horse quietly moving about, with the reins hanging loose on his neck, cropping the grass at her feet ── and the black shadows of the forest behind ── all this she took in like a picture, as, with one hand shading her eyes, she leant against a tree, watching the strange pair, and listening, in a half dream, to the melancholy music of the song.

「愛麗絲在鏡中旅程所見到的怪事當中,始終記得最清楚的就是這一件。多年後她還能讓整個情境在眼前重現,恍如昨日才發生的一般──那武士的淡藍眼珠和和藹笑容──落日餘暉穿過他的髮際,在盔甲上閃著令她暈眩的光──那匹馬靜靜的移動著,韁繩鬆垮垮的掛在脖子上,在她的腳邊啃著青草──這一切她看成一幅畫,如此,她一手遮擋著陽光,靠在一棵樹旁看著這奇怪的一對,同時半夢半醒的,聽著那首歌憂傷的調子。」

阿根廷名作家波赫士(Jorge Luis Borges,1899-1986)曾寫過一篇名為「路易斯卡洛爾的夢想」(El sueño de Lewis Carroll)的短文,對這段話提出了他的解讀,頗合我意:

…Of all the episodes the most unforgettable one is the White Knight’s farewell. Perhaps in that moment the Knight is deeply touched because he cannot anymore ignore that he is only a dream of Alice’s, as she herself is a dream of the Red King, and that he is at the point of vanishing. At the same time, the Knight is Lewis Carroll who says good-bye to the beloved dreams that filled his solitude.

「…所有篇章中最令人難忘的一段是白武士的告別。也許這武士當時之所以如此感傷,是因為他不能再忽略自己只是愛麗絲夢中的一角,就如愛麗絲本人也只是紅皇帝的夢中一角一樣,而且他即該在此刻消失。同時,這武士也就是路易斯卡洛爾,在向這個填滿他的孤寂的,深愛的夢境道別。」

說起孤寂,卡洛爾曾經在 1869 年出版過一本名叫《Phantasmagoria and other Poems》的詩集,其中有一首就名為《孤寂》(Solitude),或可略窺他的內心世界:

I love the stillness of the wood:
I love the music of the rill:
I love to couch in pensive mood
Upon some silent hill.

Scarce heard, beneath yon arching trees,
The silver-crested ripples pass;
And, like a mimic brook, the breeze
Whispers among the grass.

Here from the world I win release,
Nor scorn of men, nor footstep rude,
Break in to mar the holy peace
Of this great solitude.

Here may the silent tears I weep
Lull the vexed spirit into rest,
As infants sob themselves to sleep
Upon a mother’s breast.

But when the bitter hour is gone,
And the keen throbbing pangs are still,
Oh sweetest then to couch alone
Upon some silent hill!

To live in joys that once have been,
To put the cold world out of sight,
And deck life’s drear and barren scene
With hues of rainbow-light.

For what to man the gift of breath,
If sorrow be his lot below;
If all the day that ends in death
Be dark with clouds of woe?

Shall the poor transport of an hour
Repay long years of sore distress –
The fragrance of a lonely flower
Make glad the wilderness?

Ye golden hours of Life’s young spring,
Of innocence, of love and truth!
Bright, beyond all imagining,
Thou fairy-dream of youth!

I’d give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life’s decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer-day.

大致翻譯如下:

我愛樹林的恬靜,
我愛小溪的樂音;
我愛俯臥冥想
在無聲的山丘上。

彎彎樹下 銀冠波光悄悄漾過; 
微風如溪 在草葉間穿梭耳語。
我優游世外,
無人嘲諷;
也沒有喧囂的腳步
踏破這超然獨處
的珍貴寧靜。

我在此靜靜流淚,
以撫平躁動的心。
有如嬰兒
在慈母胸前啜泣
直至入眠。

然而
當苦澀的情緒消弭,
椎心的刺痛平息,
獨臥無聲山丘
隨即甜美無比。

活在曾經的愉悅裡,
將塵世的冰冷忘記。
以七彩虹光
妝點生活的荒蕪與陰翳

若注定憂傷,
又何必賦我以生命?
既難免一死,
又何苦罩我以愁雲?

何不
以一點鐘的神馳,
回報長年辛酸?
以一朵花的芬芳,
歡愉整片荒野?

黃金歲月
在青春年少,
在無邪,
在愛和純真──
那精靈入夢的青春哪!
耀眼得超乎想像。

我願傾盡
漸漸衰敗的身軀
年年累積的財富,
換一日
明媚的夏季兒時!

英國 Studio Anne Carlton 出品的愛麗絲西洋棋組中的白武士和愛麗絲。

今天分享的這本愛麗絲是 Mabel Lucie Attwell(1879-1964)畫的,由倫敦的 Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd. 於 1910 年出版。

Attwell 出身於英國攝政藝術學院(Regent School of Art)和希瑟立藝術學院(Heatherley’s School of Art),天才橫溢,自十六歲起即開始了職業藝術家的生涯。她起先為雜誌畫插圖,自 1905 年起為書籍畫插畫。她特別擅長詮釋兒童稚氣無邪的姿態及表情,除了為童書畫插畫外,她還以兒童為主角,設計了無數的卡片、海報、年曆、及浴室掛匾等等。因此在英國只要提起她的名字,就會讓人發出懷念童年的幽情。

這本 1910 年的愛麗絲是她畫的第一本禮物書(gift book),其中有十二幅全頁的彩色插圖及許多黑白線圖。她的愛麗絲天真無辜又可愛,被藝評家們公認為她最好的作品。

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王 勵群

王 勵群

美國威斯康辛大學博士,台科大機械系退休教授。學術專長雖為機械工程,但教研之餘以閱讀英文小說及藝術史為主要消遣。尤其喜歡收藏十九世紀末至二十世紀初期出版的英文插畫書,並以探究作者及畫家的趣聞軼事為樂。
王 勵群