Tainaron: Mail From Another City (2004 t.) by Leena Krohn


來自異界蟲城的三十封信,橫跨四季的風土「人」情,這薄薄 124 頁的小書乍看之下並沒有情節可供讀者推動,心情不對時驟然翻閱往往也摸不著頭緒,但全書其實就是個整體的 Tainaron 概念。寫信的敘事者角色定位頗為微妙──它(?)是新進入 Tainaron 的移民,正可以一種外來者的角度,代表讀者來旁觀這座蟲城。這城市其實就隱身在我們的四周,只不過需要細膩的觀察及豐富的想像,才能譜出 Tainaron 的一切種種。而更驚人的是:就算寫成文字「紀錄」,這些人事物仍然會隨著每一回不同時地情境下的閱讀,而有所更迭變化。

「變」,正是 Tainaron 的常態,或許更應該說是幻想文類的常態。敘事者和其城中響導 Longhorn 有段關於全城地圖是否可繪的爭論,可以為這個概念做下完美的註腳:
"I should like to have a map of Tainaron," I said yesterday to Longhorn. "It would be much easier to wander here alone, and you would not always have the bother of being my guide. I could not find a single map in the department store. Could you perhaps find a map somewhere? Would it be possible?"

"Unfortunately it is impossible," he answered.

"Why impossible? Have all the maps sold out?"

"That is not why," he said. "No comprehensive map of Tainaron has ever been made."

"What? No proper map has been made? But that is very strange," I said, dissatisfied and astonished.

"It is not at all strange," Longhorn said abruptly. "It would be sheer impossibility to draw up such a map, a completely senseless project."

"Why so?" I asked, increasingly irritated. "To me a kingdom which has no map is not a real kingdom but barbary, chaos, mere confusion."

"You still know very little about Tainaron," he said quietly. "We too have our laws, but they are different from yours."

I felt a little abashed, but that did not wipe away all my irritability.

"A map cannot be made," he continued, "because Tainaron is constantly changing."

"None as fast as Tainaron," Longhorn replied. "For what Tainaron was yesterday it is no longer today. No one can have a grasp of Tainaron as a whole. Every map would lead its user astray."

"All cities must have maps, at least of some kind," I continued to argue.

Longhorn 決定以實際行動來證明。他帶著敘事者登上極高的 obervation tower,在那兒他們終於見識到了:
"What is happening there?" I asked.

"Changes," he said.

That was indeed how it looked. Clouds of dust spread on the plain--and in a moment all that could be seen where the crenelations of towers and blocks had meandered were mere ruins. But there had been no sound of any explosion.

"That part of the city no longer exists," he said calmly.

"Not an earthquake, surely?" I asked fearfully, although I could not yet feel any tremors.

"No, they are merely demolishing the former Tainaron," Longhorn said.

Longhorn raised his finger and pointed westward. And there, too, I saw demolition work, destruction, collapse, landslides. But almost at the same time, in place of the former constructions, new forms began to appear, softly curving mall complexes, flights of stairs that still ended in air, solitary spiral towers and colonnades which progressed meanderingly toward the empty shore.

"But..." I began.

"Shh," Longhorn said. "Look over there."

I looked. There, where a straight boulevard had run a moment ago, narrow paths now wandered. Their network branched over a larger and larger area before my very eyes.

"And this goes on all the time, incessantly," he said. "Tainaron is not a place, as you perhaps think. It is an event which no one measures. It is not use anyone trying to make maps. It would be a waste of time and effort. Do you understand now?"

I could not deny that I understood that Tainaron lived in the same way as many of its inhabitants; it too was a creature that was shaped by irresistible forces. Now I also understand that I should never again taste those smoke-scented wafers which I had wanted so much this morning. And yet I understood very little.

儘管本書是從芬蘭文翻譯而來,其文字仍極為優美。最好的閱讀方式,應該是在夏日傍晚,清風徐徐之時,搬張小凳坐在門廊,蟲鳴蛙鼓為伴,引開喉嚨放聲朗誦;此時,長角的 Longhorn 將會落在書頁之上,引領我們進入 Tainaron......

Leena Krohn, Tainaron: Mail From Another City,
Hildi Hawkins trans. (Canton, Ohio: Prime Books)

http://www.kaapeli.fi/krohn/tainaron/index.html (本書專頁)


http://www.sfsite.com/03b/ta196.htm (連同訪談都是出自 Matthew Cheney 之手,順便附上他所整理的 Krohn 專頁
http://www.locusmag.com/2005/Features/01_VanderMeer_BestOf2004.html(Jeff VanderMeer 大推本書,還有特賣

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...