從左傳到朦朧詩——訪瑞典學院院士馬悅然

:::

1990 / 3月

文‧王家鳳 圖‧Gunner Malmqvist


瑞典漢學開山始祖,也是世界知名的比較語言學家高本漢曾在臨終前嘆道:「我搞了六十年的研究,現在總算開始有點懂得先秦文學了。」這段話一直在學界廣為傳頌,而當時在榻前聆聽訓誨的,正是他的高足——馬悅然(Prof.N.G.D.Malmqvist)。

 

馬教授不但繼承了高本漢審慎嚴謹的語言學研究,還一手建立斯德哥爾摩大學中文系,並把瑞典漢學研究獨尊先秦的傳統,拓展到對當代中國文學的關注。他同時也是瑞典學院十八位院士中唯一的漢學家,擁有諾貝爾文學獎的投票權。


約訪馬教授時,他正在瑞典南部鄉居專心譯作。不過他隨即直上瑞京,約定先在城堣@家中國餐館用膳小敘後,再驅車前往遠東圖書館正式進行訪談。

圖書館距藏有不少仰韶遺物的斯德哥爾摩東方博物館不遠,原是個海軍軍營,現在則是北歐最大的中文資料中心,擁有七萬五千餘冊中文藏書,其中包括來自台北故宮的全套四庫全書;另有中文期刊三千多種。此外,高本漢(Bernhard Karlgren)藏書和馬教授本人,包括他早年由四川購得的二千多卷地方志在內的珍貴收藏,也已進館等待編目。

高本漢的得意門生

比起英、法、荷等國發軔極早的漢學界,瑞典的漢學研究,還算是「後起之秀」。高本漢在辛亥革命初期到中國河北一帶作方言調查,一九一八年在戈登堡大學(Gothenbmg Univ.)開設瑞典第一個中文講座;廿年後,他出任斯德哥爾摩遠東古物博物館館長職,並執教斯大。

在高本漢的心目中,文必先秦,兩漢以下即無可觀,因此他傾其一生致力先秦文學的研究,一心找回唐代以前的中原古音。由於他花了大部分的時間在研究工作上,真正稱得上是入室子弟的學生並不多,而馬悅然無疑是他的繼承者。

馬悅然早年原在離瑞京一百公里外的烏普索拉大學(Uppsala Univ.)念拉丁文,可是很早就對東方哲學感興趣,讀過不少經典譯著。問題起自老子的道德經。他遍讀了英、法、德等好幾種不同譯本,卻不敢相信它們出自同一原著,因為翻譯的結果完全不同。他決定求教當時任遠東博物館館長的漢學權威高本漢。

「老子」領入門,索性學中文

「我問他,這麼多譯本,到底那一本比較接近原著、比較好?」馬教授回憶,高本漢當時毫不考慮地回答「都不好!」隨即拿出一份尚未付梓的英文手稿,借給他回家讀。

原來這是高本漢自己的英文譯稿。一星期後,馬悅然帶著幾個疑問去還書,高本漢問他:「為什麼不乾脆學中文呢?你就可以自己讀原文了呀!」

這句話讓年輕的馬悅然當下決定了他的將來,「其實,從我第一次與高教授談話,就知道自己和中國的關係已經確定了。」於是當父母仍然以為他在烏普索拉學拉丁文時,馬悅然已經跑到百里外的斯德哥爾摩當起漢學生來了。一九四六年的瑞京一屋難求,他足足在公園和巴士站的長椅上睡了兩個月,才找到蔽身之地。

事實上,當時斯大並無中文系,高本漢在人文學院開了講座,一星期兩次,上先秦文學。「那時候沒有所謂的初級課程,第一次上課就念左傳和莊子」,馬教授形容:「左傳前前後後讀了好幾次,腦袋堮琤遠d不清中國是什麼。」

結一段中國姻緣

所幸他很快就有機會親眼看到中國了。

一九四八年,馬悅然得到美國洛克斐勒獎學金,到中國作研究。由於高本漢早年的研究集中在北方,一直沒有機會一探南方語音系統,便趁此機會,讓他到四川去作田野工作。

馬悅然在四川兩年,非但不負先生所託,完成重慶、成都、峨嵋、樂山等地的方言調查,還因此結識了馬夫人陳寧祖女士,成就了一段中國姻緣。

「其實我一到成都就認識了寧祖,可是直到離開中國,到了香港才結婚」,馬教授透露了一段「內情」——原來他在離開瑞典前,已與交往數年的女友訂婚,後來未婚妻到美國求學,他則飛到太平洋的另一岸作研究,其間因中國動亂,一直無法聯繫。「我到香港後的第一件事就是設法聯繫上她,可是我們都覺得彼此分開太久了,不應該繼續這份關係」,馬教授接著說:「然後我就給寧祖的父親拍電報,問他願不願意把女兒嫁給我。」

向岳父大人求婚

過了兩天,回電來了。馬悅然急急打開信封,只見「1256.9237.……」之類的電碼,卻苦無譯碼可查。他連忙撥電話到電報公司,偏又是個禮拜六下午,接電話的是個掃地工人,大字不識一個,更別說解碼了。「我急壞了,好容易挨過周末,直到星期一早上電報公司上了班,才確定沒問題,我就在香港等寧祖,我們後來是在香港結的婚。」

婚後,馬悅然帶著中國妻子回到瑞典烏普索拉大學語言系教了一年中文,即應聘往倫敦大學亞非學院任教三年;一九五五年又回瑞典,此後加入外交部,五六年往北平擔任了三年文化專員;五八年秋天又應聘前往坎培拉澳洲國立大學,重回學術崗位,並且一待就是六年。

馬教授表示,外交生涯忙碌,沒有時間作研究,當時又逢中共反右、大躍進、大鳴大放等一連串政治運動,北平的氣氛十分緊張。不過,在這三年當中,他們也結交了許多作家,老舍就是他們非常好的朋友。至於澳洲國立大學亞洲學院的六年教席,則是一段充實豐富的經驗。

籌建斯大中文系

由於當時的澳洲首相Robert Menzies深具遠見,看到澳洲與亞洲的關係勢必益形密切,因此大力支持澳大亞洲學院的經費,因此學院無論圖書、設備、師資都屬上乘,「學院堣坉茯膍s員,只有一個是澳洲人,其他都是遠從歐美或是亞洲應聘而來的,可以見得學院的用心」,馬教授並且表示,在澳洲學制下,中文系學生有四年的課程,其中兩年必須兼修日文以便廣泛運用資料,學生學得很紮實。

此外,整個學院的研究氣氛也相當好。因此當一九六五年高本漢教授退休,斯大囑意馬悅然回到瑞京建立中文系時,馬教授夫婦很是猶豫了一陣子,「當時真捨不得離開,但寧祖認為孩子們生在瑞典、長在倫敦、北平,又在澳洲度過六年,都到了十來歲的青少年期,他們需要一個自己的國家。」

馬悅然於是帶著亞非學院和澳洲大學的經驗回到瑞典,著手籌建斯德哥爾摩大學中文系。

當時系裡中文書難求,但瑞典皇家圖書館、斯大圖書館,和遠東古物博物館都擁有相當具特色的中文藏書,馬教授為此提出計畫,希望合併集中,成立遠東圖書館以利使用。這個計畫在一九六八年提出,一直到一九八六年才實現。「他們考慮了整整十八年」,馬教授笑道。

從先秦直下當代

而在這十八年中,斯大中文系由草創時寥寥可數的學生,到如今總有八、九百人申請,只能精挑卅個新生;系上的課程,也由專注古代經典、語言學,擴展到近代、當代的文學、歷史、思想等範疇;馬教授本人,則兩度擔任「歐洲漢學協會」(European Association of Chinese Studies)會長,並在一九八五年獲選加入瑞典學院(Swedish Academy),成為十八位院士中唯一的漢學家,擁有諾貝爾獎投票權。

從先秦兩漢、春秋左傳,到活生生的現代派、朦朧詩,斯大中文系取向的轉變,事實上兼有環境因素,和主事者性之所向的雙重影響。

馬教授解釋,早年的著重先秦,固然是高本漢教授對漢學的獨到見解;但當代研究需要大量深入的田野工作,中共對外關閉了將近十五年之久,使得漢學界不得不傾注於古籍研究。直到七○年代末期,毛澤東逝世之後,文壇突然活躍了起來,接著而來的所謂「開放政策」,也讓學者、學生有機會實地研究。

至於馬教授個人近十年來對當代文學,尤其是七○年代末期以來的新詩所表現出的熱忱投注,他表示,年輕的時候,受高本漢教授親炙,對語言學研究有一份很嚴肅的責任感,同時也急切於證明自己對學問的真誠,「現在年紀大一點了,我想也許可以做一點自己喜歡做的事,而當代文學和翻譯一直是我的嗜好」,他說。

出版現代中國文學評選導讀

也是對當代文學的關注和喜愛,馬悅然在歐洲漢學協會會長任內主持的幾項大研究計畫中,同時包括了一項名為「一九○○至一九四九年現代中國文學」的龐大編纂工作。這是一套包括長篇小說、短篇小說、詩、戲劇四巨冊的工具書。每冊選一百篇作品附作家資料、初版介紹、內容摘要、評析,及其它譯本、書評等參考資訊。在上百位學者跨國合作之下,目前第一、二冊已經出版,收攬極為廣泛,被認為不但極具學術價值,也同時能吸引一般讀者的興趣。

第三冊詩集,將由馬教授親自輯選,預計收集一百五十個集子,再編輯成一百個左右。在他看來,中國現代詩壇在廿年代末、卅年代初期最豐富,艾青、聞一多、徐志摩都是偉大的詩人,「尤其是聞一多,巧妙運用了中國語言的內在美感,創造新的語言」,他說。此外,胡適的嘗試集原不能算是好詩,但他是頭一個寫白話詩的人,有一定的歷史價值,因此也在輯錄之列。

諾貝爾為何忘了中國?

作為執有諾貝爾文學獎選票的唯一漢學家,加上日本、拉丁美洲、非洲等非歐美作家相繼得獎,馬教授自然不斷被問起「中國作家為什麼一直沒有得獎?」之類的問題。

對於這樣的疑問,他多半會強調「諾貝爾文學獎得主不是世界冠軍」的觀念,他認為文學是主觀的藝術,不是運動比賽可以用分數評高下,「十八位瑞典學院院士的意見,或許不是你的意見」,他說。

但馬教授也同時指出,好些中國作家早就該得獎的,只是西方沒有人知道他們;換句話說,中國人雖有偉大的作品出現,卻沒能好好地被翻譯出來。

於是又有人要問:難道諾貝爾獎是頒給翻譯的?答案當然是否定的。但是馬教授表示,翻譯扮演的是非常重要的溝通角色,一個好的翻譯者,除了必須對文學語言有強烈的敏感、和敏銳的表達力,還要真心喜歡這個作家,與他的作品同呼吸,才可能準確表達出作品的精神。「可惜的是」,他說:「喜歡作家作品的人未必受過好的翻譯訓練,對文字敏感又能敏銳表達的人,又未見得耐於翻譯工作。」

致力譯介中國當代文學

為了將中國當代文壇的作品推介給西方讀者,馬教授本人近年來投注了不少精力在翻譯工作上,已經發表的就有近百種之多,其中包括老舍的小說,聞一多、艾青、卞之林、舒婷的詩,和再版三次的水滸傳。去年一年堙A他又翻譯出版了沈從文的短篇小說和自傳,高行健的短篇小說和劇本,李銳的小說「厚土」,以及顧城、北島的詩集。

事實上,如果拿馬教授對翻譯文學作品的標準,來衡量他自己譯作的態度,兩者之間是十分吻合的。語言學的嚴格訓練,加上對文學天生的愛好和敏銳,一位他的同僚表示,同樣出自馬悅然譯筆的北島、顧城和水滸傳,呈現在瑞典讀者面前的卻是三種截然不同的語調和文字。

「他是一首會走路的詩!」

再說對作家作品的投入和喜愛,馬悅然更可說是鍾愛之情,溢於言表了。提起他欣賞的年輕詩人諸如北島、顧城、楊煉等人時,馬教授臉上的欣慰和驕傲,如同介紹自己的孩子——「這是我老三,喜歡搞攝影……」並無二致,完全「視如己出」。

「北島創造了一個全新的語言,以前沒有人寫過的;楊煉是尋根的詩人,可以回到先秦時代,他們都年輕充滿活力」,他形容顧城是天生的詩人,是「一首會走路的詩」。

馬教授隨即講起兩年前顧城到烏普索拉大學演講時的謫仙氣味,「已經搭上火車了,我問他,你要講什麼呀?他說,嘎?噢,我不知道,我不知道。到了學校,時間頂緊,就進了禮堂,他突然說,這樣吧,就講中國詩堛漁伅◎P好了」,馬教授表示,這是一個極難講的題目,一般人恐怕得苦思好幾個禮拜,才能搞出一個講稿,可是顧城隨手拈來,用非常「簡單、易懂、又漂亮」的語言一說兩小時,渾然天成,而台下中文程度並不特別好的漢學生,竟也都能了解、盡興。馬教授強調,「顧城根本沒受過什麼教育,只唸了幾年小學,字也寫得非常怪,但講話的方式很不尋常,這不是天生的詩人,是什麼?」

為了能夠在翻譯時完全不受打擾,馬悅然通常利用假期,住在南部鄉居專心工作。他的作息非常規律——每天早上六點半到海邊游泳,七點喝完咖啡即開始工作,一直要到下午二、三點才休息,的確做到了他所說的「stay with it, work with it(一起工作、一起生活)」。尤有甚者,他有時索性將原作者邀到瑞典鄉居討論作品,果然是「與作者同呼吸」。高行健和顧城都曾經是他的座上客。

即將退休專心譯作

馬悅然的譯作,大多是經過詳細計畫,在忙碌的學術、行政工作之外,訂出時間表按部就班完成的精心之作。當然也有例外。去年中共六四屠殺之後,他收到顧城、楊煉合作的長詩「悼詞」,當晚就著手翻譯,第二天出現在英文報上,西方讀者即時感受到了中國年輕詩人「給血以血、給火以火」的悲憤。

從一九六五年回到瑞典建立斯大中文系,馬悅然足足綜理了四分之一世紀的系務,也一直是瑞典漢學界的掌舵人。他計畫在今年正式退休,專心譯作,而西遊記是他最想翻譯的作品。「這是世界上第一部小說,可是到現在沒有一部比得上它!」他說。

此外,馬教授也表示樂於多了解台灣現代文壇的作家和作品,他對年輕詩人向陽的作品有很高的評價。

六月以後,馬教授就要把繁瑣的系務交給年輕學者接棒了,但是他緊接著又要著手準備一件大事——因為到了九月,就是當年那個年輕的馬悅然在香港焦急解讀電報的四十周年紀念了。同馬教授伉儷一起慶祝這個日子的,還將有繞膝的兒孫。或許,還有馬教授最喜歡的道地四川炒辣椒和乾扁四季豆。

附記:本文所用圖片,為馬教授幼子Gunner Malmqvist的作品,且並題為「我的漢學家父親」。

〔圖片說明〕

P.48

馬悅然是瑞典皇家學院十八位院士中唯一的漢學家。

P.50

一生與中國結緣的馬悅然,在四川認識了妻子陳寧祖。

P.51

遠東圖書館的構想於一九六八年提出,但到一九八六年才實現,現已成為瑞典漢學研究的中心。(鄭元慶攝)

P.52

從先秦文學到現代中國文學,馬悅然不自束於象牙塔內。

圖為他與大陸詩人北島討論詩集。

P.54

馬悅然常利用閒暇住在南部鄉村,一邊渡假,一邊專心翻譯。

P.55

馬悅然常有機會遊台灣瞭解此地的文學現況。(張良綱攝)

相關文章

近期文章

EN

From Tso-chuan to Modernity--Swedish Academician Goran Malmqvist

Wang Jia-fong /photos courtesy of Gunner Malmqvist /tr. by Christopher Hughes

"Having carried out research for sixty years, only now can I be considered to have begun to understand a little the literature of the pre-Ch'in." This deathbed exclamation of Bernhard Karlgren, the founding father of Swedish sinology and world famous scholar of comparative linguistics, made a deep impression as it fell on the ears of his top student--Goran Malmqvist.

Not only did the young man heed these solemn words in his linguistic research, but he went on to found Stockholm University's Department of Chinese and develop Swedish sinological research towards contemporary Chinese literature. He is also president of the European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS) and is the only sinologist out of the eighteen members of the Swedish Academy, which gives him the responsibility of voting for the Nobel Prize for literature.


Originally a student of Latin at Uppsala University, some one hundred kilometers from the capital, the young Malmqvist's interest in Eastern philosophy led him to begin reading translations of the Chinese classics. Having read many different versions of Lao Tzu's Tao-te-ching he sought out Bernhard Karlgren, who was director of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities at that time. "I asked him, 'Out of so many books, which one is nearest to the original?'" he recalls. Karlgren answered without hesitation, "None of them!" He then pulled out an unpublished English manuscript and lent it to Malmqvist to read at home.

It turned out that this was the manuscript of Karlgren's own English translation, which Malmqvist returned after a week, armed with a battery of questions. Karlgren then asked him the question that was to change the course of his life: "Why don't you just study Chinese? Then you can read the original texts for yourself!"

Fleeing to Stockholm to become a student of sinology Malmqvist had to spend the first two months sleeping on park benches and in the bus station before he could find digs. He joined Karlgren's twice-weekly course on pre-Ch'in literature. There were no elementary classes and he describes how, "I read the Tso-chuan from beginning to end many times but I was really not clear in my mind about what China was."

When Malmqvist won a Rockefeller scholarship in 1948 he got an opportunity to see China for himself. During two years of field work in Szechwan he met his future wife, and they were married in Hong Kong before returning to Sweden. After teaching Chinese in Sweden they then moved to London, where Malmqvist continued his career at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Returning to China in 1956 for a three-year stint as cultural attache to a tense Peking, Malmqvist found the work left little time in which to pursue academic interests, although the couple associated with many writers and the writer Lao She became their good friend. Eventually he returned to the world of academia in 1958, when he accepted a post at the Australian National University in Canberra, which was buzzing with activity under the active support of the Menzies government's policy for building up links with Asian countries.

When he was invited to succeed Karlgren on his retirement in 1965, Malmqvist took his experience back to Sweden. It was not an easy decision for the couple to move country yet again, but Malmqvist went on to found the Chinese Department at Stockholm University and build it up to its present intake of thirty new students each year from around eight or nine hundred applications.

One of Malmqvist's most ambitious plans at Stockholm has been to make access to Chinese books more convenient by bringing together the collections of Sweden's Royal Library, the Stockholm University Library and the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. Although it took eighteen years to get the go-shead, in 1986 his plan was finally realized with the creation of The Stockholm East Asian Library.

The development of the Department's work from the study of the classics and linguistics towards contemporary Chinese studies has been influenced by both circumstance and the character of its head. When younger, while under the powerful influence of Karlgren, Malmqvist felt a responsibility towards serious linguistic research and an urgency to prove his academic sincerity but "now I am a little older, I think that I can also indulge a little in what appeals to me, and contemporary literature and translation are my favorite hobbies."

This love of contemporary Chinese literature led Malmqvist to supervise the EACS Project on Modern Chinese Literature, the fruit of which is a set of four volumes covering novels, short stories, poetry and drama. As well as texts, each entry in the work also comprises basic biographical information concerning the author; complete bibliographical information concerning the first edition of the work; a summary of the content, analysis or appraisal of the work; and references to contemporary reviews, secondary works and translations into English. Malmqvist is responsible for the third volume, which is on poetry and will consist of about 100 collections.

Being one of the selectors of Nobel Prize winners for literature, Malmqvist is always asked why no Chinese has ever won the much-coveted award. He can only stress that the value of literature is subjective. Yet he also points out that many Chinese authors should have won the prize, but remain unknown to the Western audience due to inadequate translation. "Unfortunately," he says, "people who like the works of a particular author may not necessarily have had a good training in translation; while those who have literary sensitivity and expressive ability might not take to translation work."

In order to introduce more contemporary Chinese works to Western readers, Malmqvist has put his rigorous linguistic training and literary flare to use in the translation of nearly one hundred works, which cover a vast range. His main love, however, is for the work of young poets like Pei Tao, Ku Cheng and Yang Lien, whom he speaks of as though he were introducing his own sons. He also expresses his joy at understanding more about Taiwan's literary circles and sees great value in the work of the young poet Hsiang Yang.

He feels that "Pei Tao has created a completely new language, nobody has written like it before; Yang Lien is a 'back to roots' poet who can go back to the pro-Ch'ing--they are all young and full of vitality." As for the natural ability of Ku Ch'eng, he is a "walking poem." He recalls how two years ago Ku gave an off-the-cuff lecture on Chinese poetry for two hours at Uppsala University. His speech was remarkable for its "simplicity, clarity and beauty," and did not fail to rivet the students. "Ku Ch'eng basically had no education, only a few years of primary school, and his handwriting is also quite strange. His way of speaking, however, is remarkable. If this is not a natural poet, then what is it?"

After the Tienanmen massacre Malmqvist received the joint poem "Elegy for the Dead" by Ku Ch'eng and Yang Lien. He immediately translated it and had it published in the English press the next day so that Western readers could know the tragic feelings of the youth of China.

Malmqvist usually uses his spare time to work at his country residence in the south. His holiday routine is very strict--every morning he rises at 6:30 and goes for a swim in the sea. At 7:00 he has coffee and begins translating, not resting until mid-afternoon, living up to his motto Of "stay with it, work with it." He often invites his writers to his country residence where he can "breathe with their works." He retires this year and can look forward to his fortieth wedding anniversary in September, but he will continue his mission with a translation of Hsi-you-chi, or Monkey, "the world's first novel, but it has still not been bettered."

[Picture Caption]

Malmqvist is the sole sinologist among the eighteen members of the Swedish Academy.

Malmqvist met his wife, Ch'en Ning-tsu, in Szechwan.

The Stockholm East Asian Library was conceived as an idea in 1968 but did not become a reality until 1986. It has become the center of sinological research in Sweden. (photo by Arthur Cheng)

His interests ranging from pre-Ch'in to contemporary Chinese literature, Malmqvist is not confined to the ivory tower. Malmqvist and the mainland poet Pei Tao discuss his poetry together.

Malmqvist often spends his vacations in the south of Sweden, where he concentrates on translating.

Malmqvist frequently has a chance to travel to Taiwan and learn about the literary scene here. (photo by Vincent Chang)

 

X 使用【台灣光華雜誌】APP!
更快速更方便!