如何評價現在流行的「喪文化」?

一紙夢錄2020-06-22 10:01:46

這是2006年考研英語一Text4,一篇名為《藝術的功能》的閱讀真題。


來,朋友們,做一篇閱讀。


Text 4


Many things make people think artists are weird. But the weirdest may be this: artists’only job is to explore emotions, and yet they choose to focus on the ones that feel bad.

許多事情使人們認為藝術家是怪人。而最怪異的可能是:藝術家唯一的工作就是探索情感,但他們卻將焦點投向負面的情感。


This wasn’t always so. The earliest forms of art, like painting and music, are those best suited for expressing joy. But somewhere from the 19th century onward, more artists began seeing happiness as meaningless, phony or, worst of all, boring, as we went from Wordsworth’s daffodils to Baudelaire’s flowers of evil.

情況并不總是如此。最早的藝術形式,如繪畫和音樂,是最適合表達歡樂的。但是從19世紀的某個時候開始,當我們從華茲華斯的《水仙花》轉向波德萊爾的《惡之花》時,越來越多的藝術家開始把快樂看作是毫無意義的、虛偽的甚至是令人厭倦的東西。


You could argue that art became more skeptical of happiness because modern times have seen so much misery. But it’s not as if earlier times didn’t know perpetual war, disaster and the massacre of innocents. The reason, in fact, may be just the opposite: there is too much damn happiness in the world today.

你可能認為藝術對快樂產生越來越多的懷疑是因為現代社會經歷了太多的痛苦。但是這并不是說以前的時代就沒有經歷過連年的戰爭、災難和濫殺無辜。事實上,原因可能正好相反:如今的世界上有太多的快樂了。


After all, what is the one modern form of expression almost completely dedicated to depicting happiness? Advertising. The rise of anti-happy art almost exactly tracks the emergence of mass media, and with it, a commercial culture in which happiness is not just an ideal but an ideology.

現代社會最熱衷于表達快樂的形式是什么呢?廣告。反快樂藝術幾乎是隨著大眾傳媒的出現而同時興起的。與此同時還興起了一種商業文化,在這種文化中,快樂不僅是一種理想,而且是一種意識形態。


People in earlier eras were surrounded by reminders of misery. They worked until exhausted, lived with few protections and died young. In the West, before mass communication and literacy, the most powerful mass medium was the church, which reminded worshippers that their souls were in danger and that they would someday be meat for worms. Given all this, they did not exactly need their art to be a bummer too.

早些時代的人們處于令人處處想到悲苦的境地。他們工作到筋疲力盡,生活幾乎沒有保障,最后英年早逝。在西方,在大眾傳播和教育普及之前,最強大的大眾傳媒是教堂,教堂提醒信徒,他們的靈魂處于危險之中,他們有一天會成為蛆蟲的食物。有了這一切,他們無需藝術再來表現這種失落感。


Today the messages the average Westerner is surrounded with are not religious but commercial, and forever happy. Fast-food eaters, news anchors, text messengers, all smiling, smiling, smiling. Our magazines feature beaming celebrities and happy families in perfect homes. And since these messages have an agenda -- to lure us to open our wallets -- they make the very idea of happiness seem unreliable. “Celebrate!” commanded the ads for the arthritis drug Celebrex, before we found out it could increase the risk of heart attacks.

如今一個普通西方人面對的信息轟炸不是宗教的,而是商業的,而且是永遠快樂的。快餐食客、新聞主播、收發短信者,都在微笑、微笑、微笑。我們的雜志刊登滿面春風的名人和美滿幸福的家庭。由于這樣的信息都有一項任務——誘使我們打開錢包——從而使“快樂”的概念本身顯得虛假?!皻g慶吧!”宣傳關節炎良藥西樂葆的廣告這樣鼓動道,隨后我們卻發現它能增加心臟病的發病率。


But what we forget -- what our economy depends on us forgetting -- is that happiness is more than pleasure without pain. The things that bring the greatest joy carry the greatest potential for loss and disappointment. Today, surrounded by promises of easy happiness, we need art to tell us, as religion once did, Memento mori: remember that you will die, that everything ends, and that happiness comes not in denying this but in living with it. It’s a message even more bitter than a clove cigarette, yet, somehow, a breath of fresh air.

但是我們所忘記的——我們的經濟依賴我們忘卻的——是:幸福絕不僅僅是沒有痛苦的快樂。帶來最大快樂的東西也最有可能帶來損失和失望。如今,我們的周圍充斥著唾手可得的幸福的承諾,我們需要藝術來告訴我們,正如宗教曾經告訴過我們的:記得你終將死亡,一切都會結束,幸福不在于拒絕、而在于承認它們的存在。這一啟示甚至比丁香香煙還要苦,但不知何故,它卻帶來了一縷清新的空氣。


注:

本文摘自Time(《時代周刊》)2005年1月9日一篇題為The Art of Unhappiness(悲情藝術)的文章。


所以,我們只是在經歷發達國家曾經經歷并且仍將繼續的事情。


沒有必要太緊張,放松點吧,朋友們。





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