漢學「西遊」記

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1989 / 3月

文‧李光真 圖‧張良綱


「漢學」一詞在中國由來已久,它原本不折不扣,專指漢代注經講經之學,也就是傳統的「訓詁學」、「注疏學」,或「考證學」。隨著「漢」字成為「中國人」的象徵符號,今天所指的「漢學」(Chinese Studies),已經成為國際上研究中國事務共稱的專門學問,範圍也從上古到民國,科技、經濟,無所不包了。


對西方人來說,右隔大洋、左隔高原的古老中國,是「神秘而孤立」、和印歐文明截然不同的文化體系。馬可波羅(一二五四∼一三二四年)把元帝國描寫成富庶有禮,神妙進步的樂土,這種印象在歐洲流傳了數百年。

不過,最早較有規模的漢學研究,則是拜天主教之賜,尤其十六到十八世紀的耶穌會教士貢獻卓著。由於當時在中國傳教限制嚴苛,而教士既多是飽學之士,因此常把工夫花在學術研究上。

就這樣,孔子到了西方……

利瑪竇,這個首位來華(一五八三年)、在中國待了廿七年的傳教士,就首先把孔子介紹給西方;他在中國的種種見聞紀錄,也成為研究明朝士大夫文化的重要參考。

到了十九世紀,西方漢學發展更加迅速,不過基本上是基於另一個理由——通商和殖民。

一位畢業於劍橋的台大教授就表示:英國漢學界一向對於中國民俗(民間節慶、戲曲活動、宗教儀典等)頗有研究,此乃因為要殖民、要統治另一個民族,就必須掌握當地人民每一天的生活、細節,就如同要了解台灣早期民俗活動,非得借助日本的研究成果不可。

也從十九世紀開始,西歐的幾個學術中心陸續設立「中國講座」。法國的法蘭西學院首先聘請對道教和中醫頗為專精的盧繆沙(Abel Remusant)為第一位講座,奠定了法國至今仍十分傑出的道教研究。英國倫敦大學的「東方研究院」則是早期英國外交官的搖籃,「末代皇帝」溥儀的英文教席莊士頓(Reginald Johnston)就曾任教於此,他還把在中國收集的珍貴圖書和清皇室函件全部捐給圖書館;直到今天,倫敦大學「亞非學院」(SOAS)仍是歐洲最大的漢學中心。荷蘭萊登大學則是另一個漢學重鎮,它所出版的「通報」(T'oung Pao),一百多年來一直是西方漢學界必讀的刊物。

仍舊是「沈睡的巨人」

當然,西方人要了解中國這樣一個面貌複雜、「神秘而孤立」的文明,紮紮實實的翻譯、考據、版本比較等,從各方面來譯介中國文化,是必要的基礎工作,這也相當符合「漢學」的本義。

以當時研究漢學最盛的法國來說,四書五經、離騷、乃至小說戲劇(「灰闌記」、「趙氏孤兒」、「白蛇傳」、「西廂記」),也都陸續譯成法文,在歐洲流傳開來。此外,英國牛津大學第一位中文系教授李雅閣(James Legge,一八一五∼一八九七年)也譯介了許多儒家經典,對儒釋道三教做廣泛的研究;劍橋大學第一位中文系教授衛德(Thomas T. Wade,一八一八∼一八九五年)致力中國語文,始創中文羅馬拼音,這些成果累積起來,對西方人了解中國有極大助益。

投入漢學的人雖多了,但在西方人眼堙A長期閉關自守的中國一直是個自給自足,近乎「靜止不動」的文明。台大歷史系教授黃俊傑就指出,當時西方的漢學研究是孤立在其他學術之外,從來沒有人把中國的歷史發展和整個西方世界的歷史發展聯想在一起。

那麼,中國要到什麼時候才成為「世界體系」的一環,被視為和整個世界環環相扣、密不可分?

「這得等到十九世紀末、中英鴉片戰爭以後,帝國主義大舉入侵,使封閉的古老中國自此門戶洞開,和西方互動頻繁。中國人的思想行為,也在一夕間起了劇烈轉變」,中研院近史所研究員張朋園指出:「這是近代中國的起點,也是中國進入『世界體系』的起點。」

獅子醒來之後

中國飽受帝國主義欺凌;中國開始變法革新,力圖現代化;封建帝王改成民主政體,接下來五四運動、抗日、共產黨赤化大陸、文革、平反、再一次嘗試現代化,乃至於「台灣經驗」……短短一百多年,中國幾乎改頭換面。要從傳統漢學研究中去尋找現代中國的面貌,已經相當困難。

也因此,「漢學」有了新的定義、新的研究領域。

「在學系名稱分歧的歐洲大學中或許看不出來,但在美國則分野相當清楚」,張朋園指出,「凡是研究現代化以前、未受西方影響的傳統中國(Pre-modern China),就歸屬於『遠東文明及語文學系』,而研究近代中國政經社會的學科,就歸『歷史系』。」當然,近代中國發展的蛛絲馬跡,往往可以在傳統中國塈鋮鼽捄炕A只是要想「通論古今」,得下格外深厚的工夫。

歐洲是傳統漢學重鎮

政治情勢影響「漢學」定義,也同樣影響歐美漢學的消長。

歐洲原有相當深厚的文化根柢,從翻譯、考據入手的漢學研究也格外嚴謹紮實,尤其注重「傳統中國」(Pre-modern China),直到廿世紀中葉,還有許多舉世推崇的漢學宗師出現。

瑞典的高本漢(Bernhard Karlgren,一八八九∼一九七八年)是中國文學聲韻、經典考據的權威;法國的伯希和(Paul Pelliot,一八七八∼一九四五年)精通甲骨、鐘鼎,用語言考證來研究中國歷史,也就是他和英國的斯坦因,取走了敦煌寫經數千卷;荷蘭的高羅佩(R. H. Van Gulik,一九一○∼一九六七年)更是標準的中國迷,他彈古琴、搜羅書畫古董、刻印章,還寫得一手娟秀老練的書法!至於比較受冷落的中國古科技,也在劍橋耆老李約瑟(Joseph Needham,一九○八∼)的闡揚下有了新的評價與肯定。

「可惜的是」,張朋園指出,「這幾位漢學大師逐漸地凋零,象徵歐洲傳統漢學的式微。」加上第二次世界大戰後,歐洲不再是世界中心,國力衰弱、經濟萎縮,在在影響了歐洲的漢學發展。

對英國漢學現況非常有研究的中研院近史所副研究員朱浤源就說:「英國政府勢力衰頹,殖民地一塊塊獨立出去,所以『區域專家』的需求量大大減少,縮窄了中文學生的出路,當然也連帶影響學生的就讀意願。」

美國——新起之秀

而在教育經費短絀的情況下,無關國計民生的人文科學已是奢侈品,能省則省。在倫敦大學亞非學院任教的盧慶濱談起目前的情況:「現在大學教席出缺,往往虛懸了幾年不再遞補;從前可以列三、五年的中長程研究計畫,現在則是『走一步,算一步』,有多少錢就辦多少事。」

圖書不夠尤其教人著急:「往往急著要找一本書,會發現圖書館裡根本沒有!」盧慶濱無奈地說。

人才外流也是嚴重問題。像編纂「劍橋中國史」的崔傑士教授(Denis C. Twitchett)轉往美國普林斯頓大學,原因無它,充裕的經費、優厚的待遇,是推動學術計畫的先決條件,誰會不為所動呢?

另一方面,國勢強、財力富,也正是美國在第二次世界大戰後,漢學研究「後來居上」的關鍵。

美國原無漢學傳統,但中共赤化大陸後,許多優秀的中國學者移居美國,像生前任教華盛頓、夏威夷等多所美國大學的語言學大師李方桂等人,對於提昇美國的漢學水準大有助益。

對近代中國格外好奇

「由於經費寬裕,美國盛行大規模的集體長期性研究」,黃俊傑教授指出,像是費時費事的工具書編纂(傳記辭典、索引等),一系列探討儒家哲學的論文集、各種專題漢學會議……,成就的確驚人。「單從一九五○到一九七○年間,美國至少培養出一千位中國研究的博士,就可以想像漢學蓬勃發展的情況」,張朋園說。

美國漢學界對「近代中國」格外好奇,尤其對於帝國主義的侵略過程、在中國引起的「挑戰」與「回應」,以及日本現代化非常成功而中國卻為何失敗……等幾個大問題,有不斷推陳出新的探討,熱心的程度,恐怕中國人也要自嘆不如。

美國學術界又崇尚「科際訓練」(Multiple Discipline),往往將各門各派的社會科學理論(哲學、歷史、人類、考古、心理……等)應用到漢學研究上。於是歐洲傳統式的嚴謹考據,在此被林林總總、天馬行空的推論取代,惹得老一輩歐洲漢學家搖頭嘆氣,大大不以為然。

當然,「形勢比人強」,美國漢學人才輩出,圖書出版甚多,而這兩者正是學術的主導力量,因此歐洲目前反過來受美國影響。

或許有人會懷疑:「歐美漢學消長、研究領域和研究方法的轉變,對中國又有什麼影響?」追根究柢一句話:「研究漢學,西方人還能比中國人強嗎?」

禮失求諸野

在某些方面,答案是肯定的。

以傳統中國的研究來說,西方治學方法比較科學、態度嚴謹,往往能得到令人信服的結果。最淺顯的例子,如鑑定考古出土器物的結構、質地、年代,現代化的探測儀器就可以幫上大忙。

同樣的,西方人討論問題,資料蒐羅齊全是先決步驟,要引述一句話,出處、版本、年代、頁數都註明清楚,不會斷章取義,也不可能時空錯置、張冠李戴。比起傳統中國學者慣於引述「五百年前就佚失的某本書上的某句話」,當然可信度較高。這對考據明清戲曲小說的作者、源流、演變,尤其大有裨益。

此外,對中國文化懷著深切的虔敬景仰,幾乎是每一位研究傳統中國的漢學家所共有的。「中國文化這麼深、這麼廣,一輩子也學不完。我能做的,也只是儘量了解它,把它保存下來,介紹給西方人……」,精研道教的法國漢學大師施博爾如是說。

以這種戒慎的心情,加上紮實的努力及西方文化的素養,這些漢學家往往比中國人更了解中國,更懂得欣賞中國之美,「禮失求諸野」或許將來中國西化日深,保存在海外的漢學資源會更顯得可貴。

旁觀者清

「外國人研究漢學還有一個好處:他們沒有傳統觀念的束縛,視野比較寬闊,也比較自由」,正在研究已失傳的明代文人牌戲(谷牌,又稱馬吊)的盧慶濱以自己為例子指出,「牌戲在中國是玩物喪志,那還值得費心考證?但在西方,任何可以增進對中國了解的題目都值得嘗試。」

「旁觀者清」這句話,有時也可用在西方漢學家身上。朱浤源以哈佛大學的「中國通」費正清(J. K. Fairbank)為例,費氏以「近代化理論」研究中國著稱,而他在三、四十年前提出的關於海峽兩岸局勢演變的預測,也都一一兌現,令人不能不佩服其推論精確。

西方人看中國,免不了會有許多奇奇怪怪的疑問。朱浤源說:「這些疑問可能是因為了解不夠而產生,也可能永遠找不到答案,但無論如何,它們可以啟發靈感,刺激我們用新的角度來審視自己的歷史文化。」

隨意舉幾個例子,都足以引發一連串的討論和反省:「中國早就有自由貿易,為什麼沒有發展出資本主義?」「中國的『帝國主義』持續幾千年,為什麼碰到英法帝國主義竟會產生如此激烈的反應?」……儘管眾說紛紜,但是對中國的了解,也就在不斷的爭辯、交流中,逐漸取得比較明確的概念了。

不必吹毛求疵,但求盡心盡力

當然,語文的障礙、文化的隔閡,有時也會使西方漢學家出現荒謬可笑的誤解:「小至把稱謂上的尊稱『×公』、『×丈』誤為名字,大至以偏概全,將傳奇戲曲中的「私訂終身後花園」當做中國社會的常態,這些都曾經發生。而以西方為本位來看中國,更容易導致扭曲或是不公平的評價。

對於這些,朱浤源說得好:「若要以西方漢學家的短處來要求他們,當然可以挑出許多問題,不過這不應該是重點。我們應該要學的是西方人的方法和邏輯,是國際學術慣用的語言,以及研究各種不同文化接觸時可能產生的各種情況。」更進一步,若是我們還抱持成見,只關在中國人的小圈圈堿膍s漢學,那不僅是畫地自限,也無法將國內的漢學成果推展上國際學術舞台。

〔圖片說明〕

P.6

東方神秘婀娜的身影,令許多西方人神往不已。圖為劍橋大學費茲威廉博物館(Fitzwilliam Museum)內的唐三彩收藏。

P.7

「馬可孛羅遊記」將中國描寫成「神秘的樂土」,此一印象在歐洲流傳了數百年。圖為該書第一版的封面。

P.8

古老優美的劍橋是英國漢學的重鎮之一。

P.9

在英國南部喬治四世的別宮中,還留有中國風味的壁畫。

P.10

「中國熱」至今在歐洲仍相當風行。圖為巴黎第七大學東方學院的上課情形。

P.11

一八五一年倫敦海德公園的“中國展”中,還是以“2﹒5英吋長的蓮花小腳”做為海報宣傳的重點。

P.11

圖為巴黎第七大學走廊的佈告欄。

P.11

倫敦大學亞非學院附屬大衛德中國藝術基金會收藏極豐,其中又以中國瓷器最受矚目。其負責人韋陀教授(Roderick Whitfield)是位學養極佳的中國佛教藝術專家。

P.12

對廿世紀的西方人而言,中國,仍是一個遙遠而奇異的國度。

P.13

除了傳統漢學的古典文學、藝術研究,近來西方對近代中國興趣極大。

P.15

雖然在異鄉備受禮遇,這些中國寶物是否也有寂寞失根之感?圖為典藏在英國各大博物館的中國珍寶。

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EN

A Sinological "Journey to the West"

Laura Li /photos courtesy of Vincent Chang /tr. by Peter Eberly

Ancient China, geographically isolated from the rest of the world and belonging to a cultural system completely different from Europe's, was always an exotic and mysterious place to Westerners. Marco Polo (1254--1324) described the Middle Kingdom as a land of riches, courtesy, and marvelous advances, an impression that was passed on in Europe for centuries.


The earliest sinological research of any real scope, however, was indebted to the Catholic church, particularly the Jesuits, during the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Most of the missionaries were scholarly men and because they were restricted from proselytizing, they often spent a considerable amount of time on academic research.

Matteo Ricci, the first Western missionary to come to China (1583), remained there for 27 years. He introduced Confucius to the West, and his records have long served as an important reference for research into the upper class culture of the Ming dynasty.

Western sinology advanced rapidly during the nineteenth century, but the motivation was based on other reasons: trade and colonialism.

For Westerners hoping to understand a civilization as complex and unfamiliar as China's, translation and textual work was a necessary basic task. Although more scholars became engaged in the field, China was still considered a largely static and self-sufficient civilization. Sinology was isolated from other academic disciplines, as Huang Chun-chieh, a professor of history at National Taiwan University, points out, and Chinese history was never linked with the historical development of the Western world as a whole.

At what time did China become seen as an integral part of the greater world system, the oikoumene, as Toynbee called it?

"That had to await the end of the nineteenth century, after imperialist encroachments following the Sino-British Opium War forced China to open its doors and interact more frequently with the West. The behavior and way of thinking of the Chinese people also underwent a dramatic change," says Chang P'eng-yuan, a researcher at the Institute of Modern History at Academia Sinica. "That marked the beginning of modern China and its entry into the world system."

Humiliations by the Western Powers, followed by attempts to reform and modernize; the transition from a feudalistic empire into a democratic system; the May Fourth movement and the War of Resistance against Japan; the fall to Communism and the Cultural Revolution, followed by further attempts at modernization and the call to learn from the "Taiwan experience"--in a short one hundred years, China has undergone sweeping and radical changes, so that the face of modern China is hard to find in the traditional sinological research of the past.

Because of this, sinology has acquired new definitions and new territories for research. It has also been affected in its growth and direction by modern historical and political trends in the West.

In Europe, which has a strong cultural background of its own, sinological research--setting out from the tasks of translation and textual criticism--was exceptionally solid and meticulous, and major figures continued to appear up until the middle of this century.

Bernhard Karlgren (1889--1978), of Sweden, was an expert in Chinese phonetics and in textual analysis of the ancient classics. R.H. Van Gulik (1910--1967), of the Netherlands, besides being an accomplished scholar, was an extreme example of the China enthusiast: he collected Chinese paintings and antiques, played the Chinese zither, and wrote beautiful Chinese calligraphy. Joseph Needham (1908-- ), of Cambridge University, gave a new evaluation and affirmation to the long-neglected achievements of Chinese science and technology.

"Unfortunately," Chang P'eng-yuan says, "these old masters of Western sinology have gradually passed away, and the European sinological tradition they represented has declined." In addition, the decline of Europe in status, power, and economic strength after the Second World War also adversely affected the development of European sinology.

The United States, which originally had no sinological tradition to speak of, was a refuge for many outstanding Chinese scholars who fled the mainland after the Communist takeover. Harvard's Li Fang-kuei and others played a major role in raising the level of sinological studies in the U.S.

"Large-scale, long-term collective research has flourished in the U.S. thanks to its ample financial resources," Huang points out. "From 1950 to 1970 alone, they turned out more than 1,000 Ph.D.s, so you can imagine how flourishing the situation is there."

American sinologists have been particularly interested in modern China, especially its response to the challenge of the West and the question of why Japan succeeded where China failed. A multidisciplinary approach combining the fruits of philosophy, history, anthropology, psychology, and other fields is common in the U.S., a practice that rigorously trained European sinologists of an older school tend to shake their heads at.

"The ups and downs of Chinese studies in the West--what's that got to do with us?" the skeptical Chinese reader may ask. "Can foreigners be better at sinology than Chinese?"

In some respects, the answer is yes. "Foreigners have one advantage in studying China: they aren't shackled by traditional concepts, and they have a broader, more open perspective," says Lu Ch'ing-pin, a scholar who is researching p'ai-hsi, a card game, from the Ming dynasty. "P'ai-hsi is considered a trivial pursuit not worth investigating in China, but in the West any subject that can contribute to knowledge is felt to beworthy of study."

"The bystander has a clearer view of the game," a Chinese proverb goes, and the message may also apply to sinology. Chu Hung-yuan, a researcher of Academia Sinica, cites the China expert J.K. Fairbank, of Harvard, as an example. The predictions he made thirty or forty years ago about the evolution of the situation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have proved astonishingly accurate.

Westerners looking at China raise questions that may never have been asked before. "Their questions may be the result of inadequate understanding or may be unanswerable, but they can still provoke us to look at our history and culture from a new perspective."

Some examples worthy of serious reflection: China had free trade long ago, yet why didn't it develop capitalism? China was an imperial power for thousands of years, so why did contact with the imperial powers of the West produce such an intense reaction? Opinions may vary, but constant discussion and interchange will lead gradually to clearer understanding.

[Picture Caption]

The mysterious, graceful image of the Orient has long proved fascinating to many Westerners. This ceramic figurine is kept in the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge.

The Travels of Marco Polo described China as an exotic land ot wonders, an impression that lasted in Europe for several centuries. Shown is the title page of the first printed edition.

Ancient and beautiful Cambridge University is a stronghold of British sinology.

The Royal Pavilion of George Ⅳ in southern England contains many murals with a Chinese touch.

"China fever" is still rampant in Europe. Shown here is a class at the University of Paris.

A bulletin board at Paris University.

The Percival David Foundation at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, owns a rich collection of Chinese art, among which the porcelain is particularly impressive. Roderick Whitfield, the director, is a learned expert in Chinese Buddhist art.

Two-and-a-half inch lotus feet were a big attraction in 1851 at the "Chinese collection" in London's Hyde Park.

For Young Westerners of the twentieth century, is China still a distantand exotic land?

Besides studying classical art and literature, the purview of traditional sinology, Westerners have become highly interested in modern China as well.

Although treated with all courtesy, mightn't Chinese treasures in a foreign land teel a bit lonely and uprooted? Shown are various Chinese artifacts from British museums.

 

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