Marco Polo Magazine - Issue 1: Senses / 感知

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Marco Polo Magazine Issue 1 : Senses / 感知

Issue #1: Senses / 感知 Table of Contents Foreword – Ting Wei Tai Section I: Beyond Sight The Audible World, Lan Ran The Scent of Bamboo, Yuan Hao A Sad Song to the Food Market, Li Jingrui The Dance of Sound, Liu Shisan

《听到的世界》蓝染 《香香》袁昊 《伤心菜市场之歌》李静睿 《声音的舞蹈》刘十三

Section II: Singing the body Stutter, Yisha That Thing, Lin Zi Poet Mortem, Zhang Guoqiang

《结结巴巴》伊沙 《那东西》琳子 《停诗间》张国强

Section III: Hidden Waters, Hidden forces All the Waters in the World, Lan Ran Digging a Well, Liu Shisan The Tears of Animals, Zhong Dao Martial Arts Conceptions of the Body, Wei Zhou

《这世间所有的水》蓝染 《打井记》刘十三 《动物的眼泪》钟道 《武林身体观》维舟

Postface – Julien Leyre

Chief editor: Ting Wei Tai Cover and internal illustrations: Duy Pepper Concept and lay-out: Julien Leyre



Marco Polo Magazine begins with its inaugural issue focusing on a sensory exploration of China, a rich and complex tapestry of smells, tastes, textures, sounds and sights. What stories lie behind these sensuous, sensual and sensory experiences? In the first section of the magazine, Beyond Sight, Liu Shisan writes about how an operation he had on his ear reinvigorated and sharpened his perception of the world through sound. Li Jingrui has penned a tribute to the local food market in Beijing with all its tastes and smells while Yuan Hao writes about growing up in a village in Sichuan and the discrimination faced by his friend as a mute girl in the country. The second section, Singing the Body, contains three poems. We are particularly glad to feature the translation of Zhang Guoqiang’s Poet Mortem that was completed at a live translation event that we held in Singapore between English-language and Chinese-language writers. We have in the third section, Hidden Waters, Hidden Forces, Lan Ran’s musings on how different bodies of water shape China’s landscape. Zhong Dao writes about the force that drives animals to cry, and Wei Zhou answers a fascinating question: why are the most powerful kung fu masters in wuxia novels never muscular? It’s been a great experience collaborating with Julien to make the first issue of Marco Polo Magazine possible. I hope that you enjoy reading these pieces as much as we enjoyed translating them. Ting Wei Tai


Section I: Beyond Sight .

The Audible World / 听到的世界 Author: LAN RAN / 蓝染 Sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch: these five senses are the channels for us to take in the outside world, and there is a certain proportion between them.

眼⽿耳鼻⼝口⾆舌⾝身,这五种感官在我 们摄⼊入外界信息的途径中,是有⼀一 定⽐比例的。

In ancient times, humanity’s senses of smell and hearing were probably more developed, like that of animals. More of our primal instincts still existed. Vision was important, of course, but it was not out of proportion to our other senses. However, as we reached the agricultural era, where civilisation increased and manual labour developed, touch and taste gained importance, vision also became more important, while hearing gradually lost its preeminence. Then, as the industrial and commercial era came about, vision became the dominant sense, the main channel for taking in information, while touch, taste and hearing began to recede. Thus, visual representation, visual intuition – images of things – has become the basic way for us to take in information about the outside world.

⽐比如在远古,⼈人类的嗅觉和听觉 应该⽐比较发达,⽐比较接近动物性的 ⼀一⾯面,原始本能还存有⼀一⼤大部分, 视觉当然也很重要,但是不会占到 绝对的⽐比例;⽽而到了农业时代,随 着⽂文明程度的增加和劳作的开展, 触觉和味觉开始发达起来,视觉的 ⽐比 例 也 会 增 加 , 听 觉 开 始 渐 渐 让 位,再到了⼯工业时代、商业时代, 视觉可能发展到了⼀一个顶峰,摄⼊入 信息主要靠此,触觉、味觉和听觉 都开始退化,画⾯面的、直觉的、形 象的东⻄西成为我们接收外界信息的 基本。

If we look at history from a distance, we notice adjustments and changes in the way we use our five senses from period to period. But if we look at a smaller range, and compare the eighties and nineties to today, we can observe other interesting shifts.

在⼤大的时代跨度⾯面前,我想五官对 我们的作⽤用,会跟着时代发⽣生⼀一些调 整和变化。⽽而就⼩小的范围⽽而⾔言,拿今 天和上个世纪的⼋八九⼗十年代来⽐比较, 也可以发现⼀一些有意思的变动。

In the eighties and the nineties, many people would listen to the radio, especially in the dead of night. Turning on the radio was like opening a window to a world far away, yet very close. But for people today, except in special jobs or at particular times, listening to the radio is very rare. Taxi drivers probably remain as the most loyal radio listeners today.

在上个世纪⼋八九⼗十年代,很多⼈人都 有听收⾳音机的经验,尤其是在夜深⼈人 静的时候,打开收⾳音机就是打开了⼀一 扇窗,外⾯面的世界虽然很遥远,但是 ⼜又很接近。今天的⼈人们,除了⼀一些特 殊⾏行业和特别时代,很少有⼈人再听收 ⾳音机了,出租⻋车司机可能是收⾳音机最 忠实的听众。


Today, our experience of hearing, our use of hearing as a channel to take in the outside world and weave it in with our inner self, is proportionally declining. The auditory pathway recedes while the visual pathway expands. As transport developed, as visual technology developed, our activities have a broader geographical radius, we experience more, and as we experience more, we get to see more. If we hear songs from the 90s today, we will easily feel nostalgic, as if we had just been exposed, briefly, to whatever happened during that year.

到了今天,我们的听⼒力的经验, 听⼒力对摄⼊入外界信息到⾃自⾝身世界的 编织和结构,其实是⼀一个蛮⼤大的下 降的⽐比例,听觉的⼿手段在退化,⽽而 视觉的途径在增加,因为交通的发 达,因为视觉技术的发达,我们的 活 动 半 径 更 加 ⼲⼴广 阔 了 , ⻅见 识 更 多 了,阅历更多了,看到的也更多 了 。 今 天 我 们 听 到 90 年 代 的 歌 曲,很容易怀起旧来,仿佛短暂地 置⾝身于当年的事物。

I often joke that our fingers are the only element in our sense of touch that have developed even more, because we type on the keyboard and play with our phones all day. Our bodies’ sensory abilities have been alienated by technology: one part is on the decline, the other part is on the rise.

我经常开玩笑说,我们唯⼀一变得 更加发达的触觉,是我们的⼿手指, 因为要上⺴⽹网敲键盘,要玩⼿手机,我 们⾝身体的感觉能⼒力已经被科技异化 了,⼀一部分在下降,另⼀一部分在上 升。

I really envy music lovers – I sometimes even envy blind people – because their sense of hearing is so powerful. I used to watch a TV series called ‘The Way to Heaven’. The hero, Ding Yuanying, has supernatural hearing, and derives most of his pleasure from sounds. His biggest dream is to buy a house in Germany, install the best sound system, and then turn the music as loud as he can bear it, and just let the waves of sound sink deeper and deeper in.

我很羡慕⼀一些⾳音乐发烧友,甚⾄至 羡慕⼀一些盲⼈人,因为他们的听觉能 ⼒力 太 强 ⼤大 了 。 我 曾 经 看 过 ⼀一 个 叫 《天道》的电视剧,主⼈人公丁元英 是⼀一个⾳音响发烧友,他对⾳音响和听 觉的痴迷,视为莫⼤大的享受,他曾 经有个⼀一⽣生最⼤大的梦想,就是在德 国买⼀一套⼤大房⼦子,⾥里⾯面放⼀一套最好 的⾳音响,然后把⾳音乐开到听觉所能 承受到的极限,在那种声⾳音的巨浪 中沉下去,沉下去。

Among humanity’s five senses, the most abstract, the most difficult to grasp, will surely do better than the most superficial, the easiest to use, at reaching those things close to the heart and soul. On this point, there will always be an inversely proportional relationship between medium and volume.

在 ⼈人 类 的 五 官 感 觉 中 , 最 抽 象 的,最难以把握的,⼀一定要⽐比最直 观的,最容易实现的,会更加接近 内 ⼼心 的 、 灵 魂 的 东 ⻄西 。 在 这 ⼀一 点 上,永远是⼿手段和容量成反⽐比的⼀一 种关系。

For instance, we often say that ‘seeing is not as good as hearing’. Hearing is indeed a way to stimulate the imagination and create an internal impression: we can mobilize all our life’s experience and invent things based on what we’re hearing while sight does not allow this kind of imaginary construction – the mountain we see is a mountain, the river a river, and if

⽐比 如 我 们 常 说 的 “ 看 景 不 如 听 景”,听其实是⼀一种蛮掺杂想象⼒力 的 ⼿手 段 , 有 ⾃自 ⼰己 的 思 维 创 造 在 ⾥里 ⾯面,我们能调动所有的⼈人⽣生经验去 配合,去顺着听到的东⻄西来完成⼀一 种建构,⽽而看则天然地摒弃掉了这


we try to compare this landscape with ones we saw before, we will not be easily satisfied. Listening and seeing have drastically different spiritual roles.

种创造,看⼭山是⼭山,看⽔水是⽔水,⽽而 且会拿这种⼭山⽔水和曾经看到过的⼭山 ⽔水去⽐比照,结果是很难完成对⾃自⼰己 的满⾜足。⼀一个是听,⼀一个是看,灵 性的⾓角⾊色⼤大不⼀一样。

Another example is an old monk in a trance, or a person meditating. While their bodies do not move, their spirits can roam around, contemplating the vastness of the universe or the minuteness of a fly. I think this is not necessarily a supernatural power, but during meditation, all systems of perception are closed, and as they shut down their five senses, they simultaneously open the door to another mode of perception, understanding from the heart, a return to deeper understanding. It is a form of perception akin to a superpower and allows them to have direct insight into the changes of the world outside; from the passing of clouds through the wind to the great state of the world’s affairs, they are able to know it all.

再⽐比如⼀一些⼊入定的⾼高僧或者打坐 的⼈人,他们可以⾝身在⽽而神游,观天 地之⼤大,看苍蝇之微。我想倒未必 是他们有多神通,⽽而是在打坐时, 把所有感知系统都关闭了,在关闭 五官的感觉的同时,却打开了另⼀一 扇感觉的⻔门,那就是⼼心的领悟,也 就是觉的归来,正是这种近似于超 能⼒力的感知,让他们能洞察⼀一些外 在的变化,⻛风吹云动,天下⼤大事, 似乎都能知晓。

Beethoven was the same, as a composer who could not hear. How is it that after he became deaf, the quality of his compositions was not affected – in fact, the works he composed after he became deaf, like the “Destiny” and “Pastoral” symphonies, were even greater? His ears could no longer hear, but his heart could hear, and this was combined with the effect of his previous auditory experience and imagination. This was just as he said: “Why do I write music? – there are things in my heart that must be released, and that is why I compose.”

⻉贝多芬也是如此,作为⼀一个听不 ⻅见声⾳音的作曲家,他何以能在失聪 之后,作曲的素质并未受到影响, 甚⾄至他失聪后的作品如《命运》、 《⽥田园》会更伟⼤大?因为他⽿耳朵听 不⻅见了,但是⼼心能听⻅见,⽽而且此前 的听觉经验和听觉想象都在发挥着 效果,这就像他⾃自⼰己所说的:“我 为什么要作曲?——在我内⼼心的东 ⻄西必须将它释放出来,这就是我作 曲的原因。”

One year, in Tibet, a friend drove me back to Lhasa from Yadong county. At midnight, we passed the Karuola Glacier, the bottom of which is 5400 meters above sea level. It was early morning then and my friend was utterly exhausted after driving for such a long time, so we lay down in the car to rest.

有⼀一年在⻄西藏,朋友开⻋车带我从 亚东县回拉萨,半夜路经卡若拉冰 川,它底部的海拔就有 5400 ⽶米, 当时已近凌晨,朋友⼀一个⼈人开⻋车劳 累已极,我们躺在⻋车⾥里休息。

This was a profound experience of absolute silence. Apart from our own breath, we could hardly hear any sound at all: a small car parked by a glacier on the roof of the world, and a few tiny people, like little blades of grass, gently snoring – this absence of sound was like hearing a million sounds. We felt as tiny as ants, and as large as the mountain and rivers. After sleeping, I went

那真是万籁俱寂的⼀一种体验,除 了喘息⼏几乎听不到任何声⾳音,⼀一个 ⼩小⼩小的⻋车辆停在世界屋脊的亘古冰 川下,⼏几个如草芥般微⼩小的尘世中 ⼈人 在 轻 轻 打 鼾 , 那 种 没 有 任 何 声 ⾳音,就像是有⽆无数声⾳音;那种微⼩小


down the side of the road to pee, I looked up and saw the starry sky, the whirring of the wind in my ears, it was like returning to the beginnings of the world.

如蚂蚁,⼜又像是⼀一⼈人独占河⼭山。休 息完在路边⼩小解的时候,我抬头看 到漫天星星如花,⽿耳边听到呼呼的 ⻛风声,如从仙界重回⼈人间。

Perhaps we are different from Beethoven and the wise old monks in precisely this regard: they can stop themselves at any time and place themselves in such a state that their perception of sounds is intertwined with a form of mindfulness, a state where one is simultaneously closed to the outside world and perceptive of everything in it. In contrast, for us ordinary humans, it is only in those rare moments when we are temporarily purified from the daily illusions of life and the pursuit of fame and material wealth that we can come close to that kind of divine awareness for the briefest flash.

我们与⻉贝多芬的不同,与⾼高僧⼤大 德的不同,或许就在于他们能时刻 停下来,处于⼀一种听觉和⼼心觉转换 的状态,⼀一种关闭感觉⽽而有⼤大觉悟 的状态,⽽而我们尘世中⼈人只有在⼀一 时⼀一地,⽚片刻洗净烟⽕火⾯面⺫⽬目和名利 内⼼心的境遇下,才能偶尔接近那种 觉性和神性。

Originally published on the author’s Douban blog.


The Scent of Bamboo / 香香 Author: YUAN HAO / 袁昊 During midsummer, for people who live in rural mountain areas, the early mornings are always the most comfortable time of the day. Often, on mornings like this, I would snuggle in bed for that extra snooze. Even if Mum shouts herself hoarse from downstairs for me to get up, I won’t budge one bit. But this morning, as soon as mum shouted at me from downstairs, I rolled out of bed and descended the staircase on half-slipped-on shoes. Last night, Dad had already arranged with me to ask Uncle Fuxun, who lives by the mountain bend, to come over for breakfast this morning. Today my family was planning to make some new furniture with a dragsaw, and Uncle Fuxun was one of the people we invited around to provide some much-needed help.

盛 夏 的 清 晨 , 对 于 ⼭山 乡 ⼈人 来 说,是⼀一天中最为舒适的时候。 常常,在这样的清晨,我都会窝 在床上睡懒觉,任凭我妈在楼下 喊破了喉咙,我也不会起床。可 是今天早上,我妈刚在楼下喊了 ⼀一声,我就翻⾝身下床,趿拉着鞋 下了楼。我爸昨晚交代过了,让 我今天⼀一早去叫⼭山湾边的福勋表 叔过来吃早饭,今天我们家要拉 锯打家具,需要⼈人⼿手帮忙,福勋 表叔就是要请的⼈人之⼀一。

The real reason Dad sent me to invite Uncle Fuxun over for breakfast this morning is because he is a little unreliable and flaky with his commitments. He doesn’t necessarily complete what he’s agreed to. In reality, Dad made me ask him over for breakfast to force him to come and help out sooner rather than later. Bluntly calling him over to start work wouldn’t be effective, so we had to say we were inviting him for breakfast instead.

我爸之所以要我去叫福勋表叔 过来吃早饭,那是因为福勋表叔 这⼈人有时说话不太算话,答应了 的事不⼀一定会去办。我爸让我去 叫他吃早饭,实际上就是让他快 过来帮忙,不好明说叫他过来干 活,只能说请他过来吃早饭。

Rubbing my half-asleep eyes, I listlessly walked down the stone steps of the courtyard, and headed towards Uncle Fuxun’s house. The early mornings in the mountains are the most enchanting part of the day, especially this morning, with the light mist slowly unfurling on the mountain further adding to its tranquillity. The crops in the fields glow with an even more intoxicating deep green after absorbing their fill of the night’s dew, and all sorts of birds jump and leap about between the branches and the bamboo tips. In order to get to Uncle Fuxun’s house you have to pass through rows and rows of ridges in the fields. Soybeans, adzuki beans, Ba mountain beans and the like were planted on both sides of the ridges. The flourishing bean sprouts and their tightly rolled leaves were full of last night’s dew, and it often soaked the ends of my trousers as I walked through them. I normally won’t follow my parents to work in the

我揉着还未睡醒的双眼,有⽓气 ⽆无⼒力地⾛走下院坝边的⽯石梯,向福 勋表叔家⾛走去。⼭山⾥里的清晨最是 迷⼈人,尤其是这夏天的清晨,轻 雾漫卷的⼭山乡倍加恬静。庄稼饱 吸⼀一夜的露⽔水后⻓长出更加醉⼈人的 深绿,各种宿⻦鸟跳跃枝头⽵竹梢。 去福勋表叔家要穿过⼀一根⼜又⼀一根 ⽥田 埂 , 这 些 ⽥田 埂 两 边 都 种 有 ⻩黄 ⾖豆、⼩小⾖豆或者巴⼭山⾖豆之类,茂盛 的⾖豆苗团团叶⼦子,蓄积的尽是昨 夜的露⽔水,穿⾏行在⽔水淋淋的⾖豆苗 中,裤脚常常湿透。我不愿意夏 天早上随我爸妈下地干活,就是 不喜欢裤脚被露⽔水浸透的那种粘 湿感。今天早上是没有办法,我


fields on summer mornings precisely because I hate that sticky wet feeling of your pants being soaked through from the dew. But this morning there was no way out – Dad told me to go and I didn’t dare to refuse, otherwise he would pull my ear and ask me if I was going to listen to him or not. Nine-year-old me could only meekly obey and let the dew douse cold water on the midsummer morning, startling me from my dreams when I was sound asleep.

爸让我去,不敢不去的,要不然 他⼜又会揪起我的⽿耳朵问我听不听 得进去话。九岁的我只能⽼老⽼老实 实地听他的话,让露⽔水打湿盛夏 的清晨,惊醒我沉睡的梦。

Just after passing through a few long ridges on the field, I turned into the entrance of the mountain and spotted Xiang Xiang, along with her family’s yellow ox. Xiang Xiang was still wearing that set of faint pink clothes that set off her long ponytail, while the yellow ox beside her buried its head to nibble the grass. Xiang Xiang and the ox seemed to float in and out of view amongst the morning mist. For a moment, I was dazed by the scene, and only snapped back after quite a while. I ran over and asked, Xiang Xiang, is your Dad home? Xiang Xiang gave a brief ‘ahuh ahuh’. I also asked her why she didn’t go home to eat breakfast when it was still so dark. She gesticulated, indicating that her Mum hadn’t called her to come home yet. I didn’t say anything else and walked off towards their family’s house.

刚穿过⼏几条⻓长⻓长的⽥田埂,拐过 ⼭山嘴,我就看⻅见⾹香⾹香,还有他们 家的那头⻩黄⽜牛。⾹香⾹香穿的还是那 件淡粉⾊色的⾐衣服,衬着她⾼高束的 发 辫 , ⻩黄 ⽜牛 在 ⾝身 旁 埋 ⾸首 啃 着 ⻘青 草。⼈人与⽜牛若隐若现地⾶飘展在晨 雾 中 。 这 幅 景 致 , 我 ⼀一 时 看 呆 了。好⼀一会⼉儿才反应过来。我跑 过去问道,⾹香⾹香,你爸在家吗。 ⾹香⾹香啊啊了两声。我⼜又问她怎么 不回家吃早饭,都这么暗了。她 ⽐比划着,意思是她妈还没喊她回 去呢。我没再说什么,朝他们家 ⾛走去。

Xiang Xiang is mute, a year older than me, and one of the kids in our little group of playmates. However, everybody has always loved to bully her: after all, who asked her not to know how to speak! In spite of the bullying, she still wants to play with us. We would often prank her during our games, but she usually wouldn’t get angry. Or if she did, she would just grunt “ah ah” a few times, and then she would be on our tails again, happy as ever. Sometimes, I told the little leader of our group, Xiaofei, not to make fun of Xiang Xiang anymore. Our little leader would raise his eyebrows and declare in a loud voice: there is no place for compassion in the enterprise of revolution. Fine, the leader has spoken, and I dare not say anything else, or I might get expelled from the revolutionary ranks as well, and then I wouldn’t even be able to find a playmate. Xiang Xiang doesn’t really get a chance to play with us much though; most of the time she just watches, and even this opportunity to watch is becoming increasingly rare, as she’s always ordered round and about to do this or that, cook the

⾹香⾹香是个哑巴,⽐比我⼤大⼀一岁, 是和我们⼀一起玩耍的⼩小伙伴。可 ⼤大家⽼老是喜欢欺负她,谁叫她不 会说话呢。欺负她,她也要和我 们⼀一起耍,我们做游戏时总喜欢 捉弄她,她⼀一般不会⽣生⽓气,惹急 了,也就啊啊⼏几声,随即⼜又跟在 我们屁股后⾯面,乐颠得不⾏行。有 时我对我们的⼩小领袖⼩小⻜飞说,别 再捉弄⾹香⾹香了。⼩小领袖⼀一扬眉, 厉声说⾰革命事业不得⼼心慈⼿手软。 好嘛,领袖发话了,我也不敢怎 么的,否则我也会被驱除出⾰革命 队伍,连找个⼀一起玩的⼩小伙伴都 不可能。⾹香⾹香也不经常能和我们 ⼀一起耍,很多时候她只是看我们 耍 , 但 是 这 种 看 的 机 会 也 ⽐比 较 少,她⽼老是被使唤做这做那,煮 饭呐放⽜牛呐洗⾐衣服等等。我们虽


rice, let the ox out to graze, wash the clothes and so forth. Even though we were often bossed around by our parents too, most of us dared to defy their orders, and our parents would indulge us in the end. But Xiang Xiang was different. Her parents were alright and usually didn’t order her to do things. Rather, it was mostly her grandma, and if grandma stood in the courtyard and yelled just once, Xiang Xiang would immediately bolt off from our side and leave. Xiang Xiang’s grandma truly treats her like a slave girl to be ordered about and put to work. Now most of the time it is her grandma who orders her to let the ox graze on the part of the mountain that houses the cemetery. Her grandma doesn’t live with her parents, but her parents still have no choice but to do whatever her grandma says, letting her order around this ‘servant girl’ that can’t even utter a word.

然也经常被爸妈使唤,可我们⼤大 多敢违抗命令,⽗父⺟母终究是宠着 的。⽽而⾹香⾹香不⼀一样,她爸妈倒还 好,⼀一般不怎么使唤她,使唤她 的⼤大多数是她奶奶,只要她奶奶 站在院⼦子⾥里吼⼀一声,⾹香⾹香⽴立⻢马就 会从我们⾝身边⾛走开。⾹香⾹香奶奶真 的是把⾹香⾹香当做使唤丫头来⽤用。 现在让她在坟⼭山上放⽜牛多半是她 奶奶安排的。她奶奶没和他们住 在⼀一起,⽽而她爸妈还是不得不听 她奶奶的话,任她使唤着这个不 会说话的丫头。

I always felt somewhat uncomfortable when I thought of Xiang Xiang’s situation. Walking to Uncle Fuxun’s front door, I didn’t enter the house, but shouted a few times from the footpath at the backyard. Uncle Fuxun answered to say that he would come over after breakfast; I insisted that he come over to my house for breakfast – my mum had already prepared a meal for him. After spending a lot of time on talking back-and-forth, Uncle Fuxun walked out of the grass hut. As we were about to leave, Aunt Xiulan called Uncle Fuxun and asked Xiang Xiang to return home for lunch. I followed behind Uncle Fuxun, going back home by the same route. While walking up to the cemetery, I saw that Xiang Xiang was still quietly watching that yellow ox nibble at the grass; she hardly seemed to feel hungry at all. Uncle Fuxun walked to Xiang Xiang’s side and yelled, “Go home and eat! Such a stupid child, it’s been so long and you still don’t know you’re hungry.” Xiang Xiang didn’t react at all. When we were about to pass the cemetery, I told Xiang Xiang, “Let’s go to my house to play today. Xiaofei, Chaoping, Xiao Yanzi and the rest will all be there.” Xiang Xiang looked in my direction for a while, and her face bloomed into the crimson of the morning sun.

我想着⾹香⾹香的处境,有些不是 滋味。⾛走到福勋表叔家⻔门前,我 也不进家⻔门,在他们屋后的⽥田埂 上喊了⼏几声,福勋表叔答应说他 吃了早饭就过来,我坚持说到我 们家去吃早饭,我妈都把饭做好 了。磨磨蹭蹭半天后,福勋表叔 才从茅草屋⾥里出来。临出⻔门时, 秀兰表婶给福勋表叔说了⼀一声, 叫⾹香⾹香回来吃饭。我跟在福勋表 叔后⾯面,由原路返回。⾛走到坟⼭山 上时,看到⾹香⾹香依然安静地看着 那头啃草的⻩黄⽜牛,根本就没感到 肚⼦子饿。福勋表叔⾛走到⾹香⾹香⾝身边 喊 了 ⼀一 声 , “ 回 去 吃 饭 。 ⽠瓜 得 很 , 这 么 半 天 了 也 不 知 道 肚 ⼦子 饿。”⾹香⾹香⼀一点反应都没有。要 ⾛走过坟⼭山时,我对⾹香⾹香说,“今 天到我们家来耍,⼩小⻜飞、超平、 ⼩小艳⼦子他们都会来的。”⾹香⾹香朝 我这边看了⼀一下,脸上绽开了夏 ⽇日绯红的朝阳。

People in the villages seldom have big construction projects. Other than fixing the house, making furniture and so forth, we hardly need to call upon anybody else to help for most of the year. Our family

⼭山 村 ⼈人 家 ⼀一 般 很 少 搞 ⼤大 建 设 的,除了修房、打家具之类,⼀一 年到头家⾥里难得⽤用⼏几次⼈人。我们 家刚修过新房不久,需要打⼀一些


just completed a new house and needed some furniture, so we had to invite people to saw the timber, then ask the carpenters to craft the furniture. Asking people to help with the house is a troublesome affair; you have to spend money, prepare good wine and good food, and for the village people in the mountains who rarely have an income, this is indeed a difficult matter. To make or not to make furniture? My parents deliberated for a long time. They secretly planned not to do so, but my grandma insisted that they had to: how could a new house be left in such an empty state, without even a few pieces of presentable furniture? Speaking on the subject, my grandma went on and on to educate my parents about the arduous experience she and grandpa had in the thirties, first raising up a family, then running a business. In those days, grandma and grandpa carried naught but a tattered bundle on their backs, escaping from the city to seek refuge here. With their own hands, they literally built a home and raised a family that was of a decent size. Every time she talked about this, grandma would carefully enumerate grandpa’s strengths and competences, and conversely, scold my parents’ laziness and incompetence. At this moment, I and my sister would always snuggle next to grandma and sit on both her legs, one on her left and the other on her right. We would look at her with grand admiration, and feel that she must be the world’s most capable person. The long towel that she wrapped her head in, her hair below the towel that was speckled in white – all excited our loving admiration. My parents could not fend against grandma’s glorious stories of raising a family, so they had no choice but to bite the bullet and call on the neighbours to help make some furniture.

家具,不得已请⼈人拉锯破⽊木料, 然后再等⽊木匠来打家具。家⾥里⽤用 ⼈人对⼤大⼈人来说可能是件⿇麻烦事, 得花钱,⼜又得准备好酒好菜,这 对很少有收⼊入的⼭山村⼈人来说,确 实是件犯难的事。在要不要打家 具这件事上,我爸妈犹豫了很 久,他们密谋不打,但我奶奶坚 持说⾮非打不可,哪能修了新房家 ⾥里空空荡荡,⼏几件像样的家具都 没有,这怎么像话呢。说到此, 我奶奶就要搬出她和我爷爷在三 ⼗十年代兴家⽴立业的艰苦事迹来教 育我爸妈。我爷爷奶奶当年背着 ⼀一个破包裹,从外乡逃难到此, 凭⾃自⼰己的⼀一双⼿手,硬是兴起了⼀一 个 不 ⼤大 不 ⼩小 的 家 。 每 每 说 到 这 ⾥里,奶奶就要细数爷爷的好与能 干,相反就要骂我爸妈的懒惰与 ⽆无能。这时,我和妹妹往往很讨 巧地⼀一左⼀一右依偎在奶奶两条腿 上,⾮非常敬佩地看着奶奶,感觉 奶奶就是全世界最有能耐的⼈人, 她头上缠的⻓长⻓长的葛⼱巾和葛⼱巾下 花⽩白的头发,⽆无不激起我们的敬 意。不得已,我爸妈拗不过奶奶 光荣的兴家史,硬着头⽪皮也得打 些家具。

For children, the occasions on which the house would call upon others for help was a rare festival, and even more important than a festival. Festivals were usually short, and the celebration had to be with your family. In those difficult years, your own family would usually tighten their belts and be reluctant to eat or drink well. It was not that they did not wish to feast or drink heartily; it was more that there was nothing much that they could bring out to feast or drink on. It wasn’t bad if the national grain quotas could be delivered without a hitch each year; the remaining grain usually could not wait until the second year’s new round of collection. Whatever chicken,

对孩⼦子们来说,家⾥里⽤用⼈人却是 难 得 的 节 ⽇日 , 甚 ⾄至 ⽐比 过 节 还 重 要。节⽇日⼀一般很短,⽽而且节⽇日只 能是和家⾥里⼈人⼀一起过,在那艰苦 的年⽉月,⾃自家⼈人往往勒紧裤腰带 舍不得⼤大吃⼤大喝。不是不愿好吃 好喝⼏几顿,确实是没有什么能拿 出来⼤大吃⼤大喝的东⻄西,粮⾷食每年 能顺利上缴国家公粮就不错了, 剩下的粮⾷食⼀一般都不能等到第⼆二 年粮⾷食新收季节。什么鸡鸭⻥鱼⾁肉


duck, fish or meat there was, it was even fewer than the grain. But on these days when others came to help out at the house, whoever’s house it was had to prepare the best wine and food. Moreover, the duration where one had to call upon others for help was slightly longer than a festival; it wouldn’t end in one or two days. As such, for kids like us, the days where others came to your house to help were happy days of celebration, a happiness that was so indulgent that we would even giggle in our dreams, brimming with satisfaction.

更是少之⼜又少。但是在⽤用⼈人的⽇日 ⼦子 ⾥里 , 谁 家 都 得 准 备 上 好 的 酒 菜 。 ⽽而 且 ⼀一 般 ⽤用 ⼈人 时 间 都 ⽐比 较 ⻓长 , ⾮非 ⼀一 两 天 就 会 结 束 的 。 所 以,对我们这般⼩小孩⼦子来说,⽤用 ⼈人的⽇日⼦子就是我们欢乐的⽇日⼦子, 这种欢乐显得如此奢侈,我们在 梦⾥里都会流淌着满⾜足的欢笑。

In the mid-afternoon, just when I and Xiaofei were watching the adults in the courtyard flapping their arms as they pulled the dragsaw, Xiang Xiang walked up the stone stairs to my house without a sound. The big yellow dog barked twice as a formality; it was his way of greeting her. He was already very familiar with the other kids. Uncle Fuxun spotted Xiang Xiang, and angrily shouted, “What did you run here for! Get back home!” Xiang Xiang eyed me, and silently tugged at the corner of my shirt with her hand. My father helped to intervene. “She’s just a child, she won’t be a problem. Just let her play with Ah Yong and friends.” “Xiang Xiang, it’s ok then, just have lunch here and don’t go back.” After hearing this, I quickly pulled Xiang Xiang, Xiaofei, and the rest, and we ran towards the bamboo forest near the courtyard, the paradise of our childhood.

⼤大半上午的时候,我正和⼩小⻜飞 们 在 院 坝 ⾥里 看 ⼤大 ⼈人 们 甩 膀 ⼦子 拉 锯,⾹香⾹香⽆无声⽆无息地从⽯石梯路上 ⾛走了上来。⼤大⻩黄狗象征性地叫了 两声,算是向⾹香⾹香打招呼。⼤大⻩黄 狗 已 ⾮非 常 熟 悉 我 这 帮 ⼩小 伙 伴 们 了。福勋表叔看⻅见⾹香⾹香,怨怒地 吼道,“跑来干什么,赶紧回 去。”⾹香⾹香眼瞅着我,默默地⽤用 ⼿手 拉 着 ⾐衣 服 ⾓角 。 我 爸 忙 搭 腔 , “碎娃⼉儿嘛,莫得事,就让她和 阿 永 他 们 耍 。 ” “ ⾹香 ⾹香 , 不 ⽤用 怕,晌午就在这⼉儿吃,不要回去 了 。 ” 听 了 这 话 , 我 忙 拉 着 ⾹香 ⾹香,和⼩小⻜飞们,跑向院坝边上的 ⽵竹林,那是我们童年的天堂。

The bamboo forest is so pleasant in summer. No matter how hot it is, once you enter the forest, you immediately feel the light passage of wave after wave of cool air. We built our own world in the bamboo. Our favourite game was called “pulling the power line”. Today was no exception; there were so many kids, it was perfect to play this game together. Xiaofei and Chaoping would first cut out palm leaves, and the material for the power line would be woven by rolling them up. This time we wanted to pull the power line all the way from China to faraway Africa to help our suffering black brethren, so we required even more palm leaves. Xiaofei and Chaoping even used backbaskets to carry the palm leaves that they cut from the trees beside the fields. Xiang Xiang, Xiao Yanzi and I were in charge of tearing the palm leaves into strands and tying them into a line. Xiao Yanzi was the

夏天的⽵竹林是那么怡⼈人,⽆无论 怎样热,只要钻进⽵竹林,⽴立⻢马赶 到层层凉意轻袭,我们在⽵竹林⾥里 搭建起我们的世界。我们最喜欢 玩的游戏是牵电线。今天也不例 外,伙伴们这么多,正好可以⻬齐 ⼼心协⼒力玩这个游戏。⼩小⻜飞和超平 先去割棕榈树叶⼦子,电线的材料 就是⽤用⼀一匹匹棕榈树叶⼦子连接起 来的。我们此次想把电线从中国 ⼀一直牵到遥远的⾮非洲,⽀支援⾮非洲 苦难的⿊黑兄弟们,需⽤用的棕榈树 叶⼦子就更多,⼩小⻜飞和超平都⽤用背 篓背从⽥田塝上割来的棕榈叶⼦子。 我和⾹香⾹香,还有⼩小艳⼦子,负责把


daughter of our village leader and she was very finicky, always grumbling when asked to carry out a task. In reality, the matter of joining the power line was completed by me and Xiang Xiang. Xiang Xiang sat on the ground and tore loose the palm leaves carried by Xiaofei and Chaoping while I was in charge of tying them together. Xiang Xiang moved very fast – her little hands whooshed, the ground was stacked with thick layers of leaves – soon, she was done. After finishing the job, Xiang Xiang didn’t slack off and play by herself at one side like Xiaofei, but she squatted next to me and handed me the leaves so I could join them together even faster. We kids were roughly the same age, and we loved to play, running around everywhere for the whole day and doing strange things. Only Xiang Xiang was more obedient; she was always helping us do stuff, and rarely was she petulant and naughty like us. She was very quiet, and silently followed us around. Although we didn’t like her, we couldn’t leave her either, so she always played with us as if she was distant from us. But in reality, she was a part of us.

棕榈叶⼦子撕成⼀一缕⼀一缕,并连接 成⼀一根线。⼩小艳⼦子,是我们村村 ⻓长的⼥女⼉儿,娇⽓气得很,做事磨叽 得不⾏行。连接电线的事,实际上 就是我和⾹香⾹香来完成。⾹香⾹香坐在 地上,把⼩小⻜飞和超平背回来的棕 榈叶⼦子撕散,我负责系。⾹香⾹香动 作⾮非常快,⼩小⼿手唰唰地,地上⼀一 会⼉儿就堆起厚厚⼀一层,不久⾹香⾹香 就撕完了。⾹香⾹香撕完后并没有像 ⼩小⻜飞们在旁边闲耍,⽽而是蹲在我 ⾝身旁,递给我叶⼦子,这样我连接 起来要快许多。我们这⼏几个⼩小伙 伴都差不多⼤大,都好耍,整天东 奔⻄西跑,搞些莫名其妙的事情。 只有⾹香⾹香要懂事些,她总是为我 们这帮孩⼦子做东做⻄西,很少像我 们爱使性⼦子、爱哭爱闹,她很安 静,默默地陪着我们。虽然我们 不喜欢她,但是我们往往离不开 她,她也能始终似远实近地和我 们玩在⼀一起。

The bamboo forest was huge. There was tortoiseshell bamboo and spotted bamboo. We chose to call the best-positioned and most verdant section of the spotted bamboo forest “China” while the tortoiseshell bamboo forest that was slightly further and poorly-grown was called “poor Africa”. Before today, we would only set up the power line in China because it was the centre of the world; only if the centre held light could the periphery have hope. This time we were going to extend the power line from China, the centre of the world, to darkest Africa to fulfil our long-held dreams. Xiaofei often pretentiously told us that when he grew up he would definitely be an electrician so that he could send light from China into Africa and fulfil the unrealised aspirations of good old Chairman Mao. Xiaofei guaranteed this to the whole class when we were in school. That was when our teacher wanted us to talk about our future aspirations, and Xiaofei solemnly announced that his aspiration was to be an electrician, so he could bring China’s power lines to Africa. The teacher asked him if he knew how far Africa was. Xiaofei replied that no matter how far it was, whatever Chairman Mao said

⽵竹林很⼤大,有⽑毛⽵竹、斑⽵竹。我 们把位置最好、⻓长得最好的斑⽵竹 林称为中国,把偏远⼀一些且⻓长得 很差的⽑毛⽵竹林称为苦难的⾮非洲。 以往我们牵电线只在中国境内 牵,因为中国是世界中⼼心,只有 中⼼心有了光明,远⽅方才能有所希 望。这次我们要把电线从世界中 ⼼心的中国牵到⿊黑⾮非洲,是为了实 现我们久有的梦想。⼩小⻜飞经常煞 有介事地给我们说,他⻓长⼤大了⼀一 定要当⼀一名电线⼯工,把我们中国 的光明送到⾮非洲去,实现⽑毛主席 ⽼老⼈人家未实现的愿望,这事⼉儿⼩小 ⻜飞在学校⾥里当着全班同学们的⾯面 是⽴立了保证的。那次⽼老师让我们 谈⼀一下我们将来的理想,⼩小⻜飞庄 严地宣称他的理想是当电线⼯工, 要把中国的电线牵到⾮非洲。⽼老师 问你知道⾮非洲有多远吗,⼩小⻜飞说


was possible, he had to achieve. Xiaofei’s bout of heroic spirit was probably the result of his father’s words and deeds. His father was the village’s only railroad worker, and his father said that the railroad workers’ dream was to build a railroad all the way to Africa. Xiaofei had an even grander aspiration than his father. After all, at least the railways were laid on the ground; he was even more bull-headed than his dad for he wanted to bring the power lines to Africa from the air. Every time Xiaofei talked about his grand aspirations, we were secretly ashamed. Why didn’t we have any thoughts of our own? We only thought about spending an entire day catching crabs or searching birds’ nests, doing miscellaneous and trivial things that seemed neither solemn nor holy at all.

管它多远,⽑毛主席说能达到的地 ⽅方我⼀一定要到达。⼩小⻜飞的这股豪 迈劲⼉儿,多半受到他爸的⾔言传⾝身 教,他爸是我们村唯⼀一的铁路⼯工 ⼈人,他爸说他们铁路⼯工⼈人的理想 是把铁路修到⾮非洲去。⼩小⻜飞⽐比他 爸理想要⾼高远点,铁路毕竟是在 地上,他要在空中把电线牵到⾮非 洲,⽐比他⽼老爸还要⽜牛。每次⼩小⻜飞 说到他远⼤大理想时,我们都暗暗 惭愧,为什么我们什么想法都没 有呢,除了⼀一天抓螃蟹捣⻦鸟窝, 干些杂⼩小琐碎的事,⼀一点都不显 得庄重神圣。

Now we could only follow Xiaofei in extending the power line from the spotted bamboo forest to the tortoise-shell bamboo forest, from China to Africa. The fun in pulling power lines is in seeing who could set it up the highest and who could stretch it the furthest. If you want to set it up high, you need to know how to climb the bamboo. This was more difficult for me because I was slightly fatter, so I could climb for hours without getting up. Furthermore, bamboos are even more slippery to climb on than trees. Sometimes, you would spend all of your strength just to get on and just when you were about to unload the power line from your back to tie it to the bamboo, you’d suddenly slide all the way back down. As such, I would often lose to Xiaofei and friends. Whenever this happened, Xiang Xiang helped me. She would take off the power line coil from my back and nimbly tie it to the bamboo trees. Hence, even though it was nominally a competition between me and Xiaofei every time we played the power line game, in reality it was between Xiang Xiang and him, except Xiang Xiang wasn’t competitive, so she happily gave the fruits of victory to me. Because of this, Xiaofei was often unsatisfied, and teased me: how could I count as a hero if I relied on women, and even worse, a mute woman? This made me doubly uncomfortable, but I had no choice but to vent my frustration on Xiang Xiang by always scolding her. She didn’t really resist, and would only make a few noises, “ah, ah”, then silently wait in a corner as if it had nothing to do with her. And today’s power line competition actually pissed me off. Halfway through

现在我们只能跟着⼩小⻜飞把电线 从斑⽵竹林牵到⽑毛⽵竹林,从中国牵 到⾮非洲。牵电线好玩就好玩在看 谁把电线架得⾼高牵得远。要想架 得⾼高就得会爬⽵竹⼦子,这在我就显 得吃⼒力了,我⽐比较胖,爬半天都 爬不上去。况且爬⽵竹⼦子⽐比爬树滑 多了,有可能费了九⽜牛⼆二虎的⼒力 ⽓气刚爬上去,正要把背在背上的 电线取下来缠在⽵竹⼦子上,突然⼀一 下⼦子⼜又会滑下去。因此我往往就 会输给⼩小⻜飞他们。每每这时⾹香⾹香 就会帮我忙,她从我背上取下电 线团,飕飕地就爬上了⽵竹⼦子,⾮非 常灵巧地把电线拴在⽵竹⼦子上。所 以,虽然每次玩牵电线游戏,名 义上是我和⼩小⻜飞们⽐比赛,实际上 是⾹香⾹香和他们⽐比赛,只是⾹香⾹香不 争强好胜,乐意把胜利果实让给 我。为此,⼩小⻜飞⾮非常不服⽓气,还 讽刺我,算什么英雄好汉,靠⼥女 ⼈人,⽽而且是个哑巴⼥女⼈人。这搞得 我倍加难受,⼜又没得办法,只能 把 ⽓气 撒 在 ⾹香 ⾹香 ⾝身 上 。 ⽼老 是 训 斥 她。她也不怎么反抗,最多啊⼏几 声,然后就默默待在⼀一边,像是 和她没什么关系似的。⽽而今天的 牵电线⽐比赛,却惹⽕火了我。牵电


the game, Xiaofei ran over to check on our progress – you could say he was spying on the enemy – and when he saw again that Xiang Xiang was helping me tie the power line, his disdain was palpable, and it made me very embarrassed. I told Xiang Xiang, stop helping, come down. Xiang Xiang looked as if she didn’t hear what I said and continued tying the power line to the bamboo. I was furious, and I went up to grab her feet and pull her down, and she fell very hard on the ground. I continued to scold her ruthlessly. Xiang Xiang climbed up and pushed me, her eyes full of tears. It seemed that she was really hurt from the fall. I didn’t care – in front of Xiaofei and the others my prestige was more important – who cared that you were mute. She continued shoving me, and I was terribly annoyed, and screamed at her, “Get lost, little mute. You’re no longer welcome. Don’t even think of having lunch at our place!” “Whoever overstays their welcome is a wretched bastard!” Xiang Xiang also turned angry, and her throat rattled and gurgled, as if it was going to spew forth lava, and I became slightly scared. I ducked away and told Xiaofei and the rest to leave with me and ignore Xiang Xiang: let her scram by herself. We slipped away as fast as smoke, and Xiang Xiang didn’t follow behind us as usual.

线牵到⼀一半时,⼩小⻜飞跑过来看我 们的进度,算是勘察敌情,当他 ⼜又看到⾹香⾹香在帮我牵电线时,鄙 夷之情溢于⾔言表,搞得我很是狼 狈,我就对⾹香⾹香说,别帮了,你 下来吧。⾹香⾹香像是没听到⼀一样, 继 续 爬 在 ⽵竹 ⼦子 上 拴 电 线 , 我 ⽕火 了,上去就抓她的脚,把她往下 拉,她重重地摔在地上。我还在 不依不饶地骂她。⾹香⾹香爬起来就 过来推我,眼睛⾥里全是泪⽔水,估 计真是摔痛了。我才不管,在⼩小 ⻜飞们⾯面前我的⾯面⼦子才重要,谁管 你⼀一个哑巴。她还在推搡我,我 ⽓气急了,对他吼道,“滚吧,⼩小 哑巴。晌午不要赖在我们家吃 饭。”“谁赖在这⼉儿谁就是乌⻳龟 ⺩王⼋八蛋。”⾹香⾹香也⽣生⽓气了,喉管 ⾥里咕咕地乱响,像是要喷出岩浆 ⼀一 样 , 我 有 些 后 怕 了 , 赶 紧 躲 开,并叫⼩小⻜飞他们同我⼀一道撤, 不理⾹香⾹香,让她⼀一个⼈人滚回去。 我们⼀一股烟似溜掉了,⾹香⾹香没有 像往常⼀一样跟在我们屁股后⾯面。

During lunch, Xiang Xiang had not yet returned. Xiaofei had been grounded by my mum. She asked me where Xiang Xiang went and I pretended that I didn’t know – she probably went home. My mother scolded me for a while then let it go. Actually I knew Xiang Xiang didn’t go home. She must have been hiding in the forest at the back of my house; she must have been waiting for us to call her back, or at least to tell the grown-ups so that they would call her home. This was the way us kids would resolve any conflict then. We were all very familiar with the hiding places. If the guilty party still valued their friendship to the kid who was offended, then they would usually call their friend home before dinner. Even if they didn’t show up themselves, they would tell a grown-up, who would drag the kid home. However, this time, I simply refused outright to call back Xiang Xiang, who was hiding behind the house. Xiaofei hinted this to me a few times but I ignored him, so they seemed extremely ill-at-ease while we were having lunch. In their hearts they blamed me for bullying Xiang Xiang,

晌 午 吃 饭 时 , ⾹香 ⾹香 没 有 跟 过 来,⼩小⻜飞们被我妈留下来了。问 我⾹香⾹香哪⾥里去了,我赌⽓气地说不 知道,估计回家去了吧,我妈骂 了我⼏几句也就算了。其实⾹香⾹香并 没有回家,我知道,她⼀一定躲在 我们家屋后的⼩小树林⾥里,她⼀一定 在等我们这⼏几个⼩小伙伴过去把她 叫过来,或者等我们告诉⼤大⼈人, ⼤大⼈人来把她喊回屋。这种⽅方式, 是 我 们 这 ⼏几 个 ⼩小 伙 伴 惯 ⽤用 的 ⼿手 法,谁要是和⽤用⼈人家的孩⼦子发⽣生 ⽭矛盾了,就扭捏着躲起来,那些 躲的地⽅方,我们⼏几个是⾮非常熟悉 的。如果该家的⼩小伙伴还看重⼩小 伙伴间的友情的话,在临吃饭 前,⼀一般都会过去把藏起来的⼩小 伙伴叫到家,即使⾃自⼰己不亲⾃自出


but because it was my house, it wasn’t appropriate for them to call Xiang Xiang, so they imperceptibly became my accomplices in bullying her as a group.

⾯面,也会告诉⼤大⼈人,⼤大⼈人就会去 把⼩小孩拉过来。可是这次我偏偏 不去叫藏在屋后的⾹香⾹香,⼩小⻜飞暗 ⽰示了我⼏几次,我也没理他,以⾄至 于 吃 饭 时 ⼩小 ⻜飞 他 们 显 得 极 不 ⾃自 在,⼼心⾥里都在责怪我欺负⾹香⾹香, 因为是在我家,他们也不好过去 叫⾹香⾹香,⽆无形中他们与我构成了 同伙,集体性地欺负⾹香⾹香。

After lunch, I took a sound afternoon nap. Behind my back, Xiaofei and the rest went behind the house to play. In my dreams I was shaken awake by Xiaofei. He quietly told me, “Xiang Xiang has been crying in the forest, go and look.” I didn’t know if I should go or stay, and still bleary-eyed, I was dragged by Xiaofei and Chaoping to the woods behind the house. I saw Xiang Xiang seated beneath that peach tree with streams of tears rolling on her sunburnt face and her hair in a mess. It was a sorry sight, especially when her eyes fixed me – the rage in the early afternoon had dissipated, and what surged was a hidden sense of guilt. Seeing that I wasn’t talking, Xiaofei handled the delicate situation with finesse, pulling Xiang Xiang up and walking her towards our house. I silently followed both of their backs. Xiang Xiang saw that I wasn’t talking, stopped, and refused to go further. Xiaofei grumbled to me, “You bring her home. It’s all your fault.” I silently walked to the front and held Xiang Xiang’s left hand. The surge of warmth from her small hands, sticky with soil, completely woke me up from my haze. I hurried to bring Xiang Xiang home. My mother rushed back and forth to wash Xiang Xiang’s face and hands and to heat up her meal. The few of us kids squeezed in front of the entrance to the kitchen and watched Xiang Xiang sit at the small table, eating bite after bite. Our feelings of guilt slowly dissipated as we jostled against each other to watch her eat.

午饭过后,我呼呼地睡午觉去 了。⼩小⻜飞他们背着我,到屋后玩 去了。我在睡梦中被⼩小⻜飞摇醒, 他悄悄地对我说,“⾹香⾹香⼀一直坐 在 ⼩小 树 林 ⾥里 哭 , 你 快 去 看 看 吧。”我不知道是该去还是不 去,朦朦胧胧中被⼩小⻜飞超平拉到 屋后⼩小树林。我看到⾹香⾹香坐在那 颗核桃树下,如泓的泪⽔水,流淌 在晒红的脸上,头发散乱,看上 去很是让⼈人⼼心疼,尤其是她那双 眼睛定定地看着我的时候,上午 的怒⽓气早已消散,涌动的只是隐 隐的歉疚。看到我不说话,⼩小⻜飞 很知趣地把⾹香⾹香拉起来,往我们 家⾛走。我默默地跟在他们⾝身后。 ⾹香⾹香⻅见我不说话,停在那⾥里,不 往前⾛走,⼩小⻜飞对我怨到,“你把 她拉回家吧,都是你的错。”默 默,我⾛走上前去,拉起⾹香⾹香的左 ⼿手,粘满泥⼟土的⼩小⼿手透过⼀一股温 热,彻底激醒了呆钝的我。赶紧 把⾹香⾹香拉回家。我妈忙前忙后为 ⾹香⾹香洗脸洗⼿手,⼜又为她热饭。我 们⼏几个⼩小伙伴,挤在厨房⻔门⼝口, 看着坐在厨房⼩小饭桌前⼀一⼝口⼀一⼝口 吃饭的⾹香⾹香,负疚之情在你推我 搡中慢慢散去。

Xiang Xiang was mute, so her grandma didn’t allow her to go to school. Since her grandma’s attitude was so stubbornly fixed, her parents could only listen to her and keep Xiang Xiang in the house. The truth was that the teachers in the village’s primary school and

⾹香⾹香是哑巴,她奶奶不上她上 学。她奶奶既然态度这么坚定, ⾹香⾹香爸妈也只能听她奶奶的话, 把⾹香⾹香留在家⾥里。村⼩小学幼⼉儿园


kindergarten never said that they did not accept mutes. The Guang kid from the Zhangs at the back of the mountains was also mute, but all the same, he came to the kindergarten to play and played more happily than anyone else. Xiang Xiang was afraid of her grandma, and since grandma said she couldn’t go to school, she could only stay at home and listen to grandma’s orders. Chaoping, who was slightly younger than Xiang Xiang, was also her grandma’s grandson, but he was treated like a little Emperor – he didn’t have to do anything, plus he ate well and dressed well. I heard afterwards that Xiang Xiang’s grandmother abused her not only because she was mute, but because she was clever and cute, and all the adults in the mountain bend liked this little girl. Xiang Xiang’s father wasn’t grandma’s child but was adopted from the Dengs, who resided on top of the hills across the river. When Xiang Xiang’s father was five, grandma gave birth to a son, who later became Chaoping’s dad. Since grandma now had her own flesh and blood, times became difficult for Xiang Xiang’s father, who practically became child labour for the house. Grandma refused to send Xiang Xiang’s father to school at all while Chaoping’s father studied until high school, as that was the highest level you could study at in those days, and there were only a few high schools in the countryside. Chaoping’s father almost became our village leader. Xiang Xiang’s father, on the other hand, was thrust by grandma into the remote hillsides, where she built a few grass huts for him. When he reached the age for marriage, he lackadaisically found a girl to be his wife; this would later be Aunt Xiulan.

的 ⽼老 师 其 实 没 说 不 让 哑 巴 进 学 校,⼭山后的张家屋⾥里的⼲⼴广娃⼦子不 是哑巴吗,⼀一样来幼⼉儿园耍,还 耍 得 ⽐比 谁 都 欢 快 。 ⾹香 ⾹香 怕 她 奶 奶,奶奶说了不让去学校就只能 呆在家让她使唤。⽐比⾹香⾹香⼩小⼀一点 的超平也是她奶奶的孙⼦子,可享 受的却是⼩小皇帝般的待遇,什么 事都不让干,⽽而且都吃得好穿得 好。后来我听说,⾹香⾹香奶奶如此 虐待⾹香⾹香,不单是因为⾹香⾹香是个 哑巴,⾹香⾹香虽是哑巴,但聪明伶 俐,⽽而且⻓长得很可爱,⼭山湾⾥里的 ⼤大⼈人们都喜欢这个⼩小丫头。⾹香⾹香 奶奶如此对待她还有另外的原 因。⾹香⾹香爸爸不是⾹香⾹香奶奶亲⽣生 的,是从河对岸⼭山梁上邓家过继 来的,到五岁时,⾹香⾹香奶奶⼜又⽣生 下⼀一⼩小孩,就是后来的超平的爸 爸 。 ⾃自 从 有 了 ⾃自 ⼰己 的 亲 ⽣生 ⾻骨 ⾁肉 后 , ⾹香 ⾹香 爸 爸 就 没 得 好 ⽇日 ⼦子 过 了,俨然就成了家⾥里的童⼯工。⾹香 ⾹香奶奶⼀一句书也不送⾹香⾹香爸爸去 读,⽽而超平爸爸却读到了⾼高中, 在那个年代能读到⾼高中,在全乡 也没有⼏几个,差⼀一点超平爸爸就 当 上 了 我 们 乡 乡 ⻓长 。 ⾹香 ⾹香 爸 爸 呢,被⾹香⾹香奶奶撵到偏远的⼭山坡 边 , 在 那 ⾥里 给 他 修 了 ⼏几 件 茅 草 房,到了结婚的年龄,随便找了 个姑娘就成了亲,这就是后来的 秀兰表婶。

I don’t know if the misfortunes of Xiang Xiang’s family should be blamed on her grandma. I only know that Xiang Xiang’s increasing detachment from us was the result of her influence. Before school, Xiang Xiang could still play with us from time to time. Even if her grandma had a tight rein over her, we were clearly still small children, and couldn’t do much, so Xiang Xiang could secretly run over and play with us. Ever since we started to go to school, Xiang Xiang played with us very little. Xiang Xiang wanted to go to school too. Every day she saw us carrying our small

⾹香⾹香⼀一家的不幸是不是怨她奶 奶,我不知道,只知道⾹香⾹香⼀一天 ⼀一天远离我们是她奶奶的使然。 在没上学之前,⾹香⾹香还能时不时 地和我们⼀一起耍,尽管⾹香⾹香奶奶 使唤得紧,但毕竟是⼩小孩⼦子,也 干不了什么事,⾹香⾹香还能偷偷跑 过来和我们⼀一起耍。⾃自从我们⼏几 个⼩小孩开始上学后,和⾹香⾹香⼀一起 耍的时间就⾮非常少了。⾹香⾹香也想


schoolbags, happily walking to the village’s primary school, and she would cry to her parents. The way she cried was different from the way normal people cried. Her cry was soundless except for the moving of her throat and the trickle of her tears. At the start, Xiang Xiang even secretly ran towards school, and would play on the small parade square in school by herself while we had lessons in the classroom. After a period of time spent like this, she probably felt it was too boring, and gradually stopped coming to school. However, she would wait for us on the road home every afternoon after class was dismissed, and we would play together until dark before going home. Sometimes we showed her the newly issued textbooks we received. She would see the pictures in the books and her expression of joy was hung on her eyebrows. She stroked these images for a long time before reluctantly returning the book to us, and then she walked home alone.

上 学 , 每 天 看 着 我 们 背 上 ⼩小 书 包,欢欢喜喜地去村⾥里⼩小学,⾹香 ⾹香就要向她爸妈哭,她的哭不同 ⼀一般⼈人的哭,她哭得没有声⾳音, 只有喉管的响动和潺潺的泪⽔水。 开始时⾹香⾹香还偷偷往学校跑,我 们在教室⾥里上课,⾹香⾹香在学校⼩小 操场上⼀一个⼈人玩,这样有⼀一段时 间后,她⼤大概觉得极其⽆无趣,慢 慢就不来学校⾥里了。只是在每天 下 午 放 学 后 在 回 家 的 路 ⼝口 等 我 们,我们⼀一块⼉儿耍到天⿊黑再各⾃自 回家。我们有时也把新发的课本 翻给她看,她看着书上的图⽚片, 喜悦之情挂上眉梢,久久摩挲那 些画⾯面,然后不⽆无爱恋地还给我 们,寂寂⾛走回家。

I don’t know which year it was when Xiang Xiang’s mother passed away. At that time we were still in the village’s primary school. Returning home after school had ended, we didn’t see Xiang Xiang, but only heard the sound of drums and firecrackers from their house. At once, we scampered towards her house. Just after running past the peak of the mountain, we saw that there was a crowd in her house’s courtyard along with things like flower wreaths. We knew that someone had died, but we didn’t know who it was, and were very worried that it might have been Xiang Xiang. Xiaofei said it wouldn’t have been a child, because they wouldn’t bang on the gongs and hit the drums like this, but would wrap the child in a tattered mat and quickly bury her once and for all in the valley. When we reached her house’s courtyard, we saw that a dead body was displayed in the centre, covered with white cloth, and we couldn’t see who it was. At this moment, Xiang Xiang suddenly ran out to our side, completely dressed in white, and wearing a hat on her head that was made from white cloth skewered together, looking really strange. I asked her who died, and she didn’t indicate anything except cry. Chaoping’s mother, who was helping out by the side, growled at us, “Xiang Xiang’s mother is dead.” We all went “oh”, and didn’t know what to do next but look at the strange mannerisms of Xiang Xiang. She stood by her mother’s corpse, half leaning on the door on which it

也不知是哪⼀一年,⾹香⾹香妈妈去 世 了 。 那 时 我 们 还 在 村 ⾥里 上 ⼩小 学 , 放 学 回 家 , 我 们 没 看 到 ⾹香 ⾹香,只听到⾹香⾹香他们家那边有锣 ⿎鼓响和鞭炮声。我们⼏几个撒腿就 往⾹香⾹香家⾥里跑。刚跑过⼭山尖,就 看⻅见⾹香⾹香家院坝⾥里有好多⼈人,还 有花圈什么的。我们知道是死⼈人 了,不知道是死的谁,很担⼼心不 会 是 ⾹香 ⾹香 吧 。 ⼩小 ⻜飞 说 不 会 是 ⼩小 孩,⼩小孩⼦子死了才不会这样敲锣 打⿎鼓呢,卷⼀一张破席⼦子往⼭山沟⾥里 ⼀一埋就了事了。当我们跑到⾹香⾹香 家院⼦子时,看到院坝中央摊着⼀一 个死⼈人,⽤用⽩白布遮住了,看不清 是谁。这时⾹香⾹香忽然出现在我们 ⾝身边,她穿⼀一⾝身的⽩白布⽚片,头上 还带着⽤用⽩白布串起来的帽⼦子,显 得有点怪兮兮的。我们问她谁死 了,她什么也没表⽰示只是流泪。 旁边的在这⾥里帮忙的超平他妈, 对 我 们 低 吼 道 , “ ⾹香 ⼥女 ⼦子 妈 死 了。”我们⼀一同哦了⼀一声,就不 知道该干什么了,只是看着怪怪 的⾹香⾹香。⾹香⾹香站在她妈妈⼫尸体旁


rested, looking somewhat tired, somewhat sad, and suddenly I felt the utmost pity for her. From now on, Xiang Xiang would have no mother. Originally published on My1510.

边,半靠着摊⼫尸体的⻔门板,看上 去有些累,⼜又有些伤⼼心,⼀一时觉 得⾹香⾹香是如此的可怜。从此⾹香⾹香 就没有妈妈了。


A Sad Song to the Food Market / 伤心菜市场之歌 Author: LI JINGRUI / 李静睿 In March 2007, I had just arrived in Beijing. The place I rented was a twenty minutes’ stroll from a very large wholesale food market. To get there, you had to pass through a dilapidated commercial street behind the residential area. One of the shop windows displayed stacks and stacks of flatbread. Because the windows had not been wiped for so long, the dust on that window formed itself into every conceivable pattern. I always thought a relatively small patch of dust on the right fringe resembled a chubby panda. For no particular reason, I would imagine that it wanted to hold on to the flatbread, large and satisfyingly round, and eat it up, one mouthful at a time. If you walked ahead there was a railway track that was still functioning. The sound of approaching trains clattering down the track from a distance would always make you tense, even though it took a mere five seconds to step across the narrow track. Beside the track was a metal-roofed shelter which could seat one person, but I never really saw anyone sitting there. Life can similarly mould the most insignificant details into suspenseful drama, with no way to dispel the sense of mystery. Beijing was not hazy from dust back then. When the cold of winter was particularly acute, I would sometimes make the painful decision to spend three dollars for a trishaw ride; but because most trishaws expose their passengers to the wind, I would be stiff from cold when I entered the food market. The smell of meat assaulted the senses so much that I wondered if I should not have been cut open myself, and hung from the rust-free iron hooks.

2007 年 3 ⽉月我刚到北京,租的 房⼦子附近有⼀一个很⼤大的批发菜市 场,从家⾥里慢吞吞⾛走过去得⼆二⼗十 分钟,沿途经过⼩小区后⾯面破败的 商 业 街 , ⼀一 叠 叠 ⼤大 饼 堆 在 橱 窗 ⾥里,窗⼦子因为太久没有擦过,灰 尘⾃自动排列出各种任由想象的图 案,我总是把右边边缘处⽐比较⼩小 的⼀一块想成圆滚滚的熊猫,我⽆无 端端觉得它愿意抱住圆滚滚⼤大饼 ⼀一⼝口⼝口吃下去。再往前⾛走是⼀一段 依然在使⽤用的铁轨,很远就能听 到⽕火⻋车哐当哐当接近的声⾳音,让 ⼈人⽆无端端紧张,即使跨过窄窄的 铁轨只需要五秒,铁轨边有个铁 ⽪皮亭,⾥里⾯面按理说应该坐着⼀一个 ⼈人,但我却从来没有真的⻅见过, ⽣生活可以把最渺⼩小的细节同样塑 造成悬疑剧,⽽而且终⽣生都没有获 得谜底。那个时候北京还没有灰 霾,冬天冷得分外真切,我有时 候会痛下决⼼心花三块钱坐三轮⻋车 过去,但⼤大部分三轮⻋车总是四处 透⻛风,所以我总是全⾝身僵硬⾛走进 批发市场,⾁肉味扑⾯面⽽而来,让⼈人 疑⼼心⾃自⼰己也应该从中剖开,被挂 在永不⽣生锈的铁钩上。

The wholesale food market was simply too big. There was one hall for beef and mutton, another for seafood and poultry. The pork retail and wholesale sections were separate from each other, and vegetable wholesale and retail stalls were some distance apart; it seemed as if I could never walk to the end of the marketplace in my high-heeled shoes. I lived alone, and without a gas stove in my rented house, I had to use an electric hotplate, which I always felt was too weak for stir-frying. One portion of double-cooked pork would make up two meals.

市场太⼤大了,⽜牛⽺羊⾁肉⼀一个厅, ⽔水产品和鸡鸭⼀一个厅,猪⾁肉交易 厅和猪⾁肉批发厅分开,蔬菜批发 和零售隔着⽼老远的距离,穿着⾼高 跟鞋好像永远都⾛走不到头。我不 过是⼀一个⼈人,租的房⼦子⾥里没有燃 ⽓气灶,只能⽤用电磁炉,爆炒的时 候总是觉得有⽓气⽆无⼒力,做⼀一次回 锅⾁肉要吃两顿,最后剩下⼀一点蒜 苗作料还能再煮碗⾯面。去那⾥里不


The last bit of leftover garlic sprout could still be cooked with a bowl of noodles. I went to the wholesale food market for the sake of saving some money, even though I actually disliked the place. After walking all that distance, I ended up buying just a small piece of streaky pork. When I impulsively bought a ready-cut, whole free-range chicken, I had to drink chicken soup for one full week. After I finally finished all the soup, I sat alone, feeling nauseous in an empty, desolate room. Finally, I poured away the dregs with a mixture of chicken meat and skin, and the pulp of a few slices of old ginger.

过是为了省⼀一点点的钱,我其实 讨 厌 那 个 批 发 市 场 , ⾛走 了 ⽼老 远 路,最后只拎着⼀一块⼩小⼩小的五花 ⾁肉回家,要是⼀一时赌⽓气多买了⼀一 只开膛破肚的⼟土鸡,我就得喝整 整⼀一周的鸡汤,喝到最后⼀一个⼈人 坐在空荡荡的房间⾥里恶⼼心,终于 把沉底的那点渣滓倒了,混着鸡 ⾁肉鸡⽪皮,以及⼏几块完全炖烂了的 ⽼老姜。

When my finances got better, I started buying food from supermarkets. I patronised a huge Carrefour supermarket before I was married, and a very small JKL supermarket after I was married. Carrefour had pork spareribs at specially discounted prices every morning. On two occasions, I set my mind on buying some. I arrived at about eight fifty, only to find that long queues had already formed. Elderly men and women held environmentally-friendly shopping bags, appearing poised for battle while waiting for the doors to open. Since I lacked a winning strategy, I happily ate breakfast at MacDonald’s on the first floor instead. The JKL supermarket sold only the most basic cuts of pork and mutton. Occasionally there were a few fishes, frozen so hard they sounded like rocks when they hit the ground. JKL’s business was always poor, but miraculously, it did not close down. I liked their thinly-sliced pork belly, perfect steamed with pickled mustard greens or ground glutinous rice. There were also large and small boxes of diced meat which were great for fried bean sauce. That was why in summer we always had noodles cooked with fried bean sauce for lunch. A very big bowl of fried bean sauce could last one week. After the stewed onion had disintegrated, the sauce seemed to be chock-full of diced pork. This gave a deep feeling of abundance and wealth, in a way that seemed particularly direct, even if the extent of my wealth was merely that I had as much pork as I wanted in my noodles. Sometimes, when we tired of eating noodles, we would buy a piece of flatbread to dip in the fried bean sauce. Now, as before, there is a dilapidated commercial row in the neighbourhood I live in. Layers of flatbread are piled behind the very dusty display window. Cooks wearing dirty tall hats stand and smoke in front of the flatbread. Afterwards they take out big and blunt

后来我不那么缺钱,就开始去 超市买菜,结婚前在⼀一个硕⼤大的 家乐福,结婚后在⼀一个⼩小⼩小的京 客隆。家乐福每天早上会有⼀一些 特价排⾻骨,有两次我痛下决⼼心要 去买到,⼋八点五⼗十到⻔门⼝口发现已 经排着⻓长⻓长的队,⽼老头⽼老太太们 拎着环保袋以备战状态等着开 ⻔门,我觉得⾃自⼰己全⽆无胜算,就在 ⼀一 楼 的 ⻨麦 当 劳 ⾼高 ⾼高 兴 兴 吃 了 早 餐。京客隆⾥里只能买到最基本的 猪⽜牛⽺羊⾁肉,偶尔有⼏几条⻥鱼,还通 通冻成掷地有声的样⼦子,他们⽣生 意总是不好,却奇迹般⼀一直没有 倒闭,我喜欢他们家有切成薄⽚片 的五花⾁肉,⽤用来做梅菜扣⾁肉或者 粉蒸⾁肉正好合适,还有⼀一盒盒⼤大 ⼩小正好合适做成炸酱的⾁肉丁,所 以夏天的时候我们⽼老在中午吃炸 酱⾯面,⼀一海碗炸酱能吃⼀一周,洋 葱炖化了,显得酱⾥里满是⾁肉丁, 特 别 直 接 地 给 ⼈人 沉 甸 甸 的 富 ⾜足 感,即使我只是富⾜足到吃炸酱⾯面 的时候想有多少⾁肉就有多少⾁肉。 有时候⾯面条吃腻了,我们会去买 ⼀一块⼤大饼蘸炸酱吃,现在住的⼩小 区⾥里同样有⼀一排破败的商业街, ⼀一叠叠⼤大饼同样堆在落满灰尘的 橱窗⾥里,厨师戴着污脏的⾼高帽⼦子 站在⼤大饼前抽烟,然后拿出⼀一把 看起来很钝的⼤大⼑刀擦擦把饼切成


knives to cut up the bread into eight portions. The flatbread stays piping hot until we reach home. Each time I reach home, I realise that I’ve forgotten to look out for the dust on the display window. It doesn’t matter though because every imaginable form of dust pervades Beijing. You can let your imagination play, as you would for a serial.

⼋八块,⼀一直到回家,饼还是滚烫 的,每次都是回家我才恍然想到 刚才忘记留意橱窗上的灰尘,但 是没有关系,北京到处都是任由 想象的灰尘,你可以连续剧⼀一般 地想下去。

After returning from America, I went through a cynical phase of detesting China’s supermarkets. I kept nostalgically thinking about New York’s Chinese supermarkets. I began to buy food online from Taobao. Orders placed the previous night were delivered the following afternoon. The badly mangled fish head was wrapped in a plastic bag, and the soft green leaves of the small Chinese cabbage were covered with sparkling water droplets. We had spicy fish head and cabbage soup for dinner that night. The Taobao branch proprietor gave us a free pack of fern root powder with every delivery. That’s why my kitchen cabinet has many packs of unopened fern root powder even now. I doubt I will ever open them. Such are life’s gifts: not totally worthless, just totally useless.

从美国回来后有⼀一段时间我愤 世嫉俗地讨厌中国超市,或者说 牵肠挂肚想念纽约的华⼈人超市, 我开始在淘宝上买菜,前⼀一天晚 上下单,第⼆二天下午也就到了, ⻥鱼头⾎血⾁肉模糊地裹在塑料袋⾥里, ⼩小⽩白菜嫩绿嫩绿的泛着⽔水光,晚 上我们就吃剁椒⻥鱼头,以及⼩小⽩白 菜汤。那家淘宝店主每次都送我 ⼀一包蕨根粉,所有现在我的橱柜 ⾥里有好多包没有开封的蕨根粉, 我疑⼼心我永远不会打开它,⽣生命 ⾥里的赠品总是这样,并⾮非全⽆无价 值,只是全⽆无⽤用处。

Now I have returned to the wholesale food market. It is winter again. The market is just as infinitely massive as before. I still walk into a chaotic blend of odours of meat. There is mud all over the floor in the seafood shed. Sometimes, one or two brave mantis shrimps leap onto the floor, undaunted, but with nowhere else to go. Eventually they will be picked up and sold off at half-price. I always feel that their struggle is completely futile, but then again I realise that without this struggle they would be doomed to the certain fate of the fifty-one-pound lot. I buy two pounds of sinewy beef shank from the beef and mutton hall. Then I walk on to the pork hall happily, planning to buy a piece of liver dripping with blood, and later cook a spinach and liver soup. My slender shoe heels get stuck in the crevices of the cement floor several times. All around me is a cacophony of annoyingly loud noises, yet each one is indistinct. I realise that never again will these form an ensemble, playing a sad song to the food market.

现在我重新回到了批发市场, ⼜又是⼀一个冬天,市场还是那样⽆无 边⽆无尽的⼤大,还是⾛走进去⼀一股混 沌的⾁肉味,卖⽔水产品的棚⾥里泥泞 满地,偶尔会有⼀一两只⽪皮⽪皮虾奋 不 顾 ⾝身 跳 到 地 上 , 却 ⼜又 ⽆无 处 可 去,最后就被拣起来半价卖掉, 我总觉得它们的挣扎毫⽆无⽤用处, 却⼜又知道应该挣扎,否则就是认 定了那五⼗十⼀一⽄斤的命运。我在⽜牛 ⽺羊⾁肉厅买到⼀一只两⽄斤⼤大满是筋的 ⽜牛腱⼦子,满⼼心喜悦地⾛走向猪⾁肉交 易厅,打算买块滴⾎血的猪肝回去 做菠菜猪肝汤,细细的鞋跟⼏几次 嵌进⽔水泥地的裂缝⾥里,周围吵得 要死⼜又什么都没法听清,我知道 它们再没有合奏⼀一⾸首伤⼼心菜市场 之歌。

Originally published on the author’s blog.


The Dance of Sound / 声音的舞蹈 Author: LIU SHISAN / 刘十三 We are often only concerned with images, and ignore everything about sounds. But apart from ‘gazing’, there must be an equally important physical and spiritual act of ‘listening’. Excessive emphasis on the visible world over the long term has led to the repression of hearing and our other senses. To make an extreme case, the way a blind man experiences this world may not be more monotonous than that of people who can see, but possibly richer and more pure.

我们常常只关注影像⽽而忽略了声 ⾳音。在“凝视”之外,应该还有⼀一 种 同 样 重 要 的 ⽣生 理 和 精 神 动 作 “ 听 ” 。 过 于 重 视 “ 看 ⻅见 ” 的 世 界 , 导 致 很 ⻓长 的 时 间 内 , 包 括 “听”在内的其他感觉受到了压 抑。设想⼀一个极端的情况,⽐比如盲 ⼈人感受这个世界的⽅方式,那未必⽐比 健全⼈人单调,可能还更丰富和更纯 粹。

This is how I console myself – I have experienced a metamorphosis that has made me perversely more sensitive to sound, or maybe I have progressed further in my capacity to perceive the world and myself – at least this is one of the reliable rewards of the sickness in my ears.

我由此安慰⾃自⼰己——有些变态地 对 声 ⾳音 敏 感 , 或 许 是 我 在 感 知 世 界、认识⾃自⼰己⽅方⾯面更进了⼀一步,⾄至 少 它 是 我 ⽿耳 朵 ⽣生 病 的 可 靠 回 报 之 ⼀一。

In the winter of 2006, as I was walking in the wind along the south road of the schoolyard, I suddenly felt that the wind was no longer uniform, even as it kept passing along both sides of my body. I vaguely felt that the sound of the wind in my right ear was softer and lower, like that of a person covering their mouth when speaking, or like a noise on the other side of a wall. After a few minutes of confusion, I used up all my nerves to figure out what happened, and I finally understood – the problem was not with the wind, it was something wrong with my ear. I finally realised that my right ear seemed filled by a mass of solidified air, and all sounds came to me through my right ear as if through something invisible.

06 年冬天,我⾛走在学院南路的⻛风 中,忽然觉得⻛风并不是均匀的,即 使它同时从我⾝身体两侧穿过。我模 糊 地 感 觉 到 右 ⽿耳 边 的 ⻛风 声 声 ⾳音 低 沉,仿佛被⼈人捂住了嘴巴的叫喊, 仿佛隔着⼀一堵墙。经过⼏几分钟的困 惑之后,我让所有的神经去感受究 竟发⽣生了什么,终于明⽩白,不是⻛风 的问题,是我的⽿耳朵出了⽑毛病。我 终于辨别出,右⽿耳孔似乎塞了⼀一团 凝固的空⽓气,让我听任何声⾳音都像 隔着⽆无形的什么东⻄西。

I ran to the university hospital for a check-up, and the doctor said: you’ve got otitis media, we will need to pierce your eardrum. At the time, I did not know what that meant, but the word ‘piercing’ made my heart tighten a bit, and I couldn’t help thinking: Oh my God, I might just become deaf in one ear. The doctor said that she had just started work, and could not do that kind of operation – but it was a simple operation,

我 跑 到 校 医 院 去 做 检 查 , 医 ⽣生 说:你得了中⽿耳炎,需要做⿎鼓膜穿 刺。我当时并不知道这是什么,但 穿刺两个字还是让本能地我⼼心头⼀一 紧,有些控制不住地想到:天哪, 我的⼀一只⽿耳朵可能正⾛走在变成聋⼦子 的途中。医⽣生说她刚来上班,做不


and she gave me a referral. I took the paper, and happy that I was not forced to stay in the University Hospital, I headed to Beijing Third Hospital the next morning at four a.m. and started queuing in front of the ENT section. I registered, started queuing again, then waited until an old doctor inserted a very long needle inside my ear-hole and pierced through my eardrum, pierced through what separated me from the world’s atmosphere.

了这样的⼿手术——⼩小⼿手术,于是给 我开了转院单。我带着那张单⼦子和 没 有 被 强 ⾏行 留 在 校 医 院 摧 残 的 庆 幸,清晨四点多到北医三院的⽿耳鼻 喉科去排队、挂号,再排队,然后 等着⼀一个⽼老医⽣生把⼀一根⻓长⻓长的针管 伸进我的⽿耳洞,刺穿⿎鼓膜,刺穿那 团隔着世界的空⽓气。

I did not feel the pain of the operation, not even in my imagination, and when I came out of the hospital building, I found I had discovered a whole new world: it was so clear, and from this clarity so sharp, and from this sharpness so very different. I could clearly feel that, after it was pierced, my right ear completely opened to the world outside my body and it greedily absorbed all the sounds from it: cars driving, people talking, walking, hawking … together with all their impurities. For me, noises had taken a new life; they were newly defined. It was a new awakening of my ears, and from inside my ears, the sounds began their dance.

⼿手术并没有想象中的剧痛,从医 院⼤大楼⾛走出来,我发现⾃自⼰己获得了 ⼀一个全新的世界:它是如此清晰, 并因清晰⽽而明了,因明了⽽而截然不 同。我能够清楚地感觉到,做完穿 刺的右⽿耳完全向⾝身体外部敞开了, 它贪婪地吸收着所有的声⾳音:汽⻋车 声,说话声,⾛走路声,叫卖声…… 以及它们的混杂物。对我来说,声 ⾳音从另外⼀一个意义上活了过来,被 重新定义,这是⽿耳朵的⼀一次苏醒, 在苏醒的⽿耳朵⾥里⾯面,声⾳音开始了它 们的舞蹈。

I went to a little snack stand opposite the hospital, I picked a window seat, and slowly ate a bowl of wonton soup, not only with my mouth, but also with my ears: I could hear the sound of my own chewing which I had never noticed before, the grinding of my teeth on the food, and the soft sound of my throat when I swallowed. Last night’s snow had not yet melted, and back on the bus, I could hear the friction of the tires on the ice-covered road, the driver’s seat creaking and screeching, the conductor sniffling, and a conversation among young people which they did not consider private; I could hear the window pane sending off minor bumps and vibrations, a person rhythmically pounding their finger on their knee, the heavy breathing of an old woman back from grocery shopping; I heard the music of all things interweaving. If someone had noticed me then, what they would have seen is a strange passenger on the bus with their body tilted to the right.

我⾛走到医院对⾯面的⼀一个⼩小吃店, 选了靠窗的位置,缓慢地吃⼀一碗馄 饨,不但是⽤用嘴巴,还是⽤用⽿耳朵, 我听到了到此前从未注意的咀嚼的 声⾳音,⽛牙齿和⾷食物的⽿耳鬓厮磨,吞 咽时喉咙的轻微声响。那时⼀一场宿 雪未化,回去的公交⻋车上,我听到 了轮胎摩擦略有些结冰的地⾯面,司 机的座椅吱吱喳喳地响着,售票员 吸着鼻⼦子,⼀一对年轻⼈人不算私密的 悄悄话;我听⻅见⻋车窗玻璃因颠簸⽽而 发出细微的振动,有⼈人⽤用⼿手指有节 奏地敲着⾃自⼰己的膝盖,买菜回去的 ⼤大妈眯着眼睛的呼吸;我听⻅见了⼀一 段万物交织的乐曲。如果当时有⼈人 注意到,⼀一定会发现⻋车上有个⾝身⼦子 向右倾斜的奇怪乘客。

Before this happened, I was like everyone else – although we naturally and instinctively receive the

我应该在很⼤大程度上如同我们, 在这之前,不过是本能⽽而⾃自然地接


sounds of the world, we feel that we can hear them, but we don’t actually hear; just like we might see something for a thousand times, but not notice it at all. This reminds of the famous sentence in ‘Avatar’: I See You. I see you. I – see – you. Or South Korean film director Lee Chang-Dong’s movie, ‘Poetry’, whose plot goes like this: during a poetry lesson, the teacher, holding an apple, asks the students: how many times have you actually seen an apple? One thousand times? Ten thousand times? A million times? Wrong: you have never seen an apple. These examples point to the same central idea: in the act of seeing and hearing, our eyes and ears are no longer just physical organs, but they finally communicate with the soul, mind, and sensing self. Ancestral wisdom has long spoken about that road to the self – as in the Bible, when God said, let there be light, and there was light; or as Wang Yangming said, “When you have not yet seen this flower, it remains as quiet and lonely as you are; when you come to see this flower, its colours immediately brighten.” It is not that God created light, but God became aware that there is light, and in naming the light, the light could then exist in our consciousness. We mortals are like this: only the things that we become aware of by seeing and listening will become light and flowers.

受着世界上的声⾳音,我们⽆无所觉地 听⻅见,但并未真的听⻅见,就像我们 成千上万次地看,但很多时候从未 看⻅见⼀一样。这令⼈人想起《阿凡达》 ⾥里那句著名的:I See You。我看 ⻅见你,我—看⻅见—你。⼜又或者韩国 导演李沧东的电影《诗》⾥里类似的 情节:诗歌课的⽼老师拿着⼀一枚苹果 问学⽣生,你们⻅见过多少次苹果?⼀一 千次?⼀一万次?⼀一百万次?错了, 你们从未⻅见过苹果。它们的指向同 ⼀一 个 重 点 , 在 看 ⻅见 和 听 ⻅见 的 意 义 上,⽿耳朵和眼睛不再只是⼀一个⽣生理 器官,它们终于和那个有着灵魂、 思想和情感的⾃自我实现沟通。智慧 的先⼈人早已经指明了这条通向⾃自我 的路,就像在圣经中,上帝说要有 光 , 于 是 就 有 了 光 ; 就 像 ⺩王 阳 明 说:“你未看此花时,此花与汝同 归于寂;你来看此花时,则此花颜 ⾊色⼀一时明⽩白起来。”不是上帝创造 了光,⽽而是上帝意识到了光,并且 命名了光,光才得以在我们的意识 中存在。我们凡⼈人更是如此,只有 我们意识到了看和听的东⻄西,它们 才能是光和花。

After this event, I became more and more sensitive to sound; I did not just pay more attention to precise details, but I also paid more attention to what hid behind each sound, such as the emotions that the sounds brought up, whether I had experienced them before, whether I could easily replicate them, and so forth. More specifically, late at night, when a small truck full of building materials passed in front of my window, I gradually stopped feeling disturbed by it, but I carefully listened to the engine and the sequence of sounds made by the tyres’ friction on the road. From the snatches of brief conversations, I speculated on the mental and emotional state of the driver and tried to figure out his mood on this night when he wasn’t sleeping. I was pleasantly surprised to discover, at this moment, that all the sounds among the chaos had reached a sort of narrative order, that the sounds themselves had become the contents of the story, and

这之后,我对声⾳音越来越敏感, 不是说我仅仅⽐比以前更注重声⾳音的 细致和精确,⽽而是对它背后藏着的 什么更为关注,⽐比如语⽓气⾼高低所透 露的情绪、是否似曾相识、可否轻 易模仿等等。更具体⼀一些说,深夜 从 窗 前 过 ⼀一 辆 装 满 建 筑 材 料 的 汽 ⻋车,我渐渐不为它⽽而焦躁不安,细 细聆听发动机、⻋车胎摩擦路⾯面⼀一连 串的声⾳音,在简短的交谈声中推测 司机的精神状态和情绪,揣摩他们 对这夜晚不得安睡的⼼心情。我惊喜 的发现,在这样的时刻,所有的声 ⾳音 在 混 乱 中 达 成 了 ⼀一 种 叙 事 的 秩 序,声⾳音本⾝身成为故事的内容,并 因 此 构 造 了 最 真 实 ⾃自 然 的 ⽣生 活 场


therefore constructed the most true-to-nature scenes of life.


I also started to rely on my ears often to interpret others and myself. This, of course, is full of risk, but risk is exciting and intriguing. The phone allowed me to achieve this feeling of safety: I have always liked to listen intently to each word pronounced on the phone, make efforts to perceive all the information contained in the tone of voice, and by extension, detect where my interlocutor lives and what they might be doing. These judgements and speculations based on sounds are sometimes truthful, sometimes made up. The danger of it is that I become more susceptible to fall into all sorts of moods myself – irritability, anger, disdain, mockery, indifference, and so on. Although my language might not change, my emotions might rocket to outer space.

我也常常⽤用⽿耳朵来辨识别⼈人和⾃自 ⼰己,这当然充满了危险性,但危险 性亦是趣味性。电话使我这种辨识 的安全得以实现,我总是喜欢全神 贯注地听对⽅方的每⼀一个字,努⼒力获 取他声⾳音中所包含的⼀一切信息,并 推⽽而⼲⼴广之来测知他⾝身处何地,⼤大概 正在做什么。这些由声⾳音引发的判 断和推测,有时导向真实,有时导 向虚构。它的危险是,我也⽐比以往 更容易陷⼊入烦躁、愤怒、不屑、冷 笑和⽆无所谓等种种冷漠⼼心境,语⾔言 上虽⼀一如往常,可情绪依然跑到了 ⼗十万⼋八千⾥里。

One year, my mobile phone had a problem, and on my new phone, the voices I was familiar with sounded different. The first call I made after changing phones was to my father. My father’s voice as I heard it in the phone was abnormally foreign, and after being stunned for a short time, I quickly said a few words and hung up. The change in my father’s voice made me lose my sense of reality, and brought up a kind of entirely new panic: someone was pretending to be my father, and I had to pretend that nothing happened; or my father was trying to pass off as someone else, and I should not expose him. It was as if a huge black hole had suddenly appeared in the world, and swallowed everything related to me in its big wide mouth. I quickly hung up the phone and went out, panting, then called back home from a public phone, and just when I thought that everything would be back to its place, everything would be back to normal, and my father would be the usual person again, another accident happened – what I heard on the public phone receiver was a woman’s voice, which after a second of silence I recognised as my mother’s. I clearly knew that I had just spoken to my father, but the eerie consequences of this phone call were difficult to eliminate entirely: where was my father when I called? Was that his voice just now?

有⼀一年,⼿手机听筒出了点问题, 在接听电话时,熟悉⼈人的声⾳音会发 ⽣生 变 化 。 出 问 题 之 后 的 第 ⼀一 个 电 话,是打给⽗父亲的。听筒⾥里传来的 ⽗父亲的声⾳音异常陌⽣生,我在短暂的 错 愕 之 后 , 匆 匆 说 了 ⼏几 句 就 挂 掉 了。⽗父亲声⾳音的变化让我丧失了现 实感,堕⼊入⼀一种前所未有的惶恐之 中:有⼈人在冒充我的⽗父亲,⽽而我却 不 得 不 和 他 假 装 ⽆无 事 发 ⽣生 ⼀一 样 谈 话 ; 或 者 是 , 我 的 ⽗父 亲 在 冒 充 别 ⼈人,⽽而我决不能揭穿他。仿佛⼀一直 完 整 的 世 界 突 然 出 现 个 偌 ⼤大 的 ⿊黑 洞 , 张 着 ⼤大 嘴 吞 噬 与 我 相 关 的 ⼀一 切。我迅速挂掉电话,⽓气喘吁吁地 ⾛走出去,⽤用公共电话⼜又拨回家⾥里, 正当我以为万物归宗,⼀一切都将还 原,⽗父亲将重新变成那个熟悉的⼈人 的时候,另⼀一个意外出现了——公 ⽤用电话听筒⾥里传来的是⼀一个⼥女⼈人的 声⾳音,沉默了⼀一秒钟我辨认出是⺟母 亲。我清楚地知道刚才是⽗父亲,但 那个电话的后遗症却始终难以彻底 消除:打电话时⽗父亲去哪⾥里了?刚 才是不是他的声⾳音?


After hanging up the phone again, I sat down on a bench for a long time and thought that my conversation with my father that time was possibly the freest ever, but also the most in line with what a parent-children relationship should be – and it was brought about by this accident of sound. Changes in life have made it such that, on many topics, my father and I could no longer converse as we used to, yet neither of us would admit it. I must retrace the steps that brought us to that point and spare no effort to return to the form of conversation that we were used to in order to ensure the stability of our relationship. This and the affection between father and son are two different things. Pushed to the extreme, the meaning of this is that when you have the deepest and broadest understanding of a person, it is very difficult to have a deep conversation with them, because all of their questions are questions inside you too, and they will only be able to give an irrelevant answer to any question you may have. This may also explain the following problem: how the deepest love always occurs at a period when the two parties are unaware of it, because this is when the exchange is the most effective, the richest in meaning, and the fullest in possibilities. Or to put it otherwise, with regard to human emotions, only those exchanges which are full of imagination can be the most charming.

再次挂掉电话,我久久坐在⻓长椅 上,⼼心想⾃自⼰己和⽗父亲的这次谈话可 能是最游离的⼀一次,同时,也可能 是 最 昭 ⽰示 当 时 ⽗父 ⼦子 关 系 本 质 的 ⼀一 次,竟然是通过声⾳音的意外改变来 抵达的。⽣生活的变化,让我和⽗父亲 在许许多多的问题上不能再向以前 ⼀一样交流,但是我们双⽅方都不会承 认 这 ⼀一 点 。 我 必 须 从 现 在 迅 速 回 撤,尽最⼤大能⼒力回到他们适应的那 种 交 流 ⽅方 式 中 , 以 保 证 关 系 的 稳 固。这和⽗父⼦子间的感情是两回事。 推衍到极端便是,当你在最⼲⼴广和最 深的程度上理解了⼀一个⼈人的时候, 便很难在与他有深⼊入的交谈了,因 为他的所有疑问在你那⾥里都不成为 疑问,⽽而你的任何⼀一个问题他都会 答⾮非所问。这也许会解释类似的问 题:最激动⼈人⼼心的爱情永远是发⽣生 在双⽅方不甚了解的阶段的,因为那 时候的交流是最有效、涵义最丰 富、可能性最多的时候。或者说, 在⼈人类情感⽅方⾯面只有充满想象性的 交流才是最迷⼈人的。

Sounds can be described in a variety of ways, and even when recorded with the latest technology, they remain elusive. Sound is not simple vibrations of the air; it incorporates all the information about the moment when the sound is emitted, and when you record a sound, even if you use the most advanced technology, after a few decades have passed, if you listen to it again, you can still hear the traces of the time that passed. Moreover, these advanced technologies cannot guarantee that what they record and spread is the real you. When I was studying for my Master’s our teacher one said in a lecture that he didn’t like to use a microphone for his lectures. He was even a bit afraid that, because the microphone amplified and exaggerated his voice, this voice would not be his original voice. A few days ago, my wife’s school organised an open lecture and recorded a CD. Afterwards, she listened to the CD, organising the text according to the content. She found her voice on the recording very strange, very awkward. “I didn’t know my voice sounded like this.” Of course she

声⾳音可以被各种⽅方式描述,即使 他被⽤用现代技术录下来,也仍然会 捉摸不定。声⾳音不是单纯的声波震 动,它凝固着发声那⼀一刻的所有信 息,录下⼀一段声⾳音,哪怕你⽤用最先 进的⽅方式保存它,过⼏几⼗十年之后再 去听,你仍然能听到时间流过的痕 迹。更何况,这些先进的技术并不 能保证它传播或录下了你以为的⾃自 ⼰己 。 读 硕 ⼠士 时 , 导 师 在 ⼀一 次 课 上 说,他讲课不喜欢⽤用话筒,甚⾄至有 ⼀一些恐惧,因为话筒放⼤大、夸张了 他的声⾳音,⽽而这声⾳音不是他本来的 声⾳音。前⼏几天,⽼老婆学校⾥里做公开 课,并且录了光盘,之后⽼老婆⼀一边 看光盘⼀一边把讲课的内容整理成⽂文 字。她觉得⾃自⼰己的录像中的声⾳音很 奇怪,听起来很别扭。“我从来不


knew (and heard) her own voice, but only from that internal form of listening; she had never heard her voice recorded and broadcast again through a separate medium. Within our own consciousness, we hear our own voice from the inside and form a strong sense of it this way; this voice is also part of ourselves, and therefore, when experience tells us that our own voice is not as we thought it was, inevitably, this causes some fissure in our sense of self.

知道我的声⾳音是这样的。”她当然 知道(听⻅见)⾃自⼰己的声⾳音,但这种 听总是作为内部的⾃自⼰己在听的,从 来没有让⾃自⼰己的声⾳音通过第⼆二个媒 介的转播,再被⾃自⼰己听到。在我们 的意识⾥里,我们在内部倾听⾃自⼰己的 声⾳音,已经形成了⼀一种稳固认知, 这也是⾃自我的⼀一部分,因此,当有 ⼀一个事实告诉我们你以前所认定的 ⾃自⼰己的声⾳音并⾮非如此时,⾃自我必然 会产裂隙。

I still remember the first time I ate an apple. I was about ten or twelve at the time. A distant uncle had brought back two boxes of fruit from a wholesale place far away, and he divided them among his nephews and nieces, giving them one apple per person. We looked at it; it was so tempting, but at the same time so precious, we didn’t know if we should bite into it and destroy such perfect food. But its perfection would only be achieved with a bite, and so we bit. That first crisp biting sound has always remained in my memory; I’ve eaten many apples since, but I’ve never heard a sound like that first one. Now, I understand that the sound made me aware of its physical characteristics: the reason this first biting sound was so particular is that it marked the moment when the real contact with the apple occurred. That experience of eating an apple was the first time that apples came to existence for me, and some gap was filled in myself.

我仍然记得,⾃自⼰己第⼀一次吃苹果 时的情景。那时候⼤大概⼗十⼏几岁了, 四 叔 从 很 远 的 地 ⽅方 批 发 回 两 框 ⽔水 果,他分给⼦子侄们每⼈人⼀一个苹果。 我们看着它,那么诱惑,可⼜又那么 珍贵,我们不知道该不该咬下去, 该 不 该 把 这 样 ⼀一 个 完 美 的 ⾷食 物 破 坏。可是它的美,只有咬在嘴⾥里才 能实现,我们便咬了。那第⼀一声清 脆的咔嚓声,始终留着,此后我吃 过许多的苹果,可是再也听不⻅见如 第⼀一次⼀一样的声⾳音了。现在,我能 知道声⾳音穿过了它的物理性质,第 ⼀一次咔嚓声之所以特别,是因为我 通过它真正地和苹果发⽣生了联系, 我吃到了苹果,苹果对我⽽而⾔言第⼀一 次成为存在,我的某个缺⼝口得到完 满。

When I think about it carefully, this care and attention for sounds comes from my desire to understand myself and the world. Only when words are uttered and reach my ears do they become a reality within my heart. That is why people are so concerned about hearing a baby’s first cry, the first word it utters clearly, the first time it says ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ … all of these first times are like God naming things for the first time, casually forming it into existence in our consciousness. But sadly, not only are we unaware of our consciousness, we do not even care about it. In possessing or striving to possess worldly wealth, we pretend that this is enough, that there is no need for other things, for instance,

细细想起来,对这声⾳音的记忆和 执着,不过来⾃自了解⾃自⼰己和世界的 欲望。只有说出的,在才能通过⽿耳 朵,⽽而在⼼心⾥里成为现实。⼈人们因此 在意婴⼉儿的第⼀一声啼哭,第⼀一次说 出 的 清 晰 的 字 , 第 ⼀一 次 叫 爸 爸 妈 妈……这所有的第⼀一次,都如同上 帝在为万物命名,悠然⼀一下存在了 我们的意识⾥里。只可惜更多的时候 我们对⾃自⼰己不但⽆无知,⽽而且毫不在 意。在拥有或试图拥有世俗的⼀一切 时,我们假装这就够了,不再需要


knowing how infinitesimally insignificant we are, or knowing the feelings that spring deep inside our heart and which give us our humanity. We give all that we have to the world – eating, drinking, playing, experiencing superficial joy, sorrow, and anger – life, of course, must rely on these, but in the depth of our souls, there always remains a small piece of land where the self you’ve never heard or seen dwells. The self, that person we describe so much yet always fail to reach – for me, this is the only road that can lead to inner peace. As a simple person, we always need to have a small space inside, so as to avoid, later, when we grow old or are about to die, the realisation that there is no foothold left for us to grip on to.

其他东⻄西,⽐比如深深地知道⾃自⼰己是 何等的卑微,⽐比如从⼼心⾥里⽣生出作为 ⼈人的感情。我们把⾃自⼰己全部交付给 ⾝身外之物,吃喝玩乐,浅薄的喜怒 和悲哀,⽣生活当然要靠它们⽀支撑, 可在灵魂深处总得保有⼩小⼩小的⼀一⽚片 领地,给那个你未曾听⻅见、也未曾 看⻅见的⾃自⼰己。⾃自⼰己,我们说得最多 的 ⾔言 辞 , 我 们 遍 寻 ⽽而 不 得 的 那 个 ⼈人,我把这看做唯⼀一可抵达灵魂安 宁的路,作为平凡⼈人,总有要有这 么⼩小⼩小的⼀一块地⽅方,以免在将来⽼老 去,濒临死亡的那⼀一刻,我们会发 现⽆无处⽴立⾜足。

Originally published on My1510


Part II: Singing the body

Stutter / 结结巴巴 Author: YISHA / 伊沙 Stut-tut-tering my mouth is a se-con-cond grade disability it can’t bite my thoughts nor my legs

结结巴巴我的嘴 ⼆二⼆二⼆二等残废 咬不住我狂狂狂奔的思维 还有我的腿

Your saliva fl-flo-flowing all over stinks of mould my my my lungs are so exhausted

你们四处流流流淌的⼝口⽔水 散着霉味 我我我的肺 多么劳累

I want to b-bu-burst through your f-fi-fishy rhythms anxiously wait in ambush

我要突突突围 你们莫莫莫名其妙 的节奏 急待突围

M-my-mine my ma-sch-chine gun language is full of comfort

我我我的 我的机枪点点点射般 的语⾔言 充满快慰

Stut-tut-tering my life my life has n-no-no ghosts you lo-loo-look at me with utter indifference

结结巴巴我的命 我的命⾥里没没没有⿁鬼 你们瞧瞧瞧我 ⼀一脸⽆无所谓


That Thing / 那东西 Author: LIN ZI / 琳子 That thing is clean Before departing my body That thing is torrid Rolling Once a month.

那东⻄西是干净的 在离开我⾝身体以前 那东⻄西是热的 是滚动的 每⽉月⼀一次。

I look at it, that thing Which bursts apart inside my body At most for a day, that thing Viscous and thick Urgent and abrupt Once a month.

我看着它,那东⻄西 从我⾝身体内崩裂 最多的⼀一天,那东⻄西 ⼜又黏⼜又稠 ⼜又骤⼜又急 每⽉月⼀一次。

Before departing my body, that thing Is waiting Like the four limbs of an infant Waiting in my heart. Like the lips and forehead of an infant, In my heart It awaits contraction, Even dissolution. That thing Springs love And hate. My body broadens with each day Becoming sallow Becoming impatient Becoming afraid of the cold. I squat within That small chamber called a toilet, lower my head to watch That thing. To watch A part of my body escaping my body

在离开我⾝身体以前,那东⻄西 是等待的 像婴⼉儿的四肢 等待在我的⼼心脏。像婴⼉儿的嘴唇和额头, 在我的⼼心脏 等到缩⼩小 乃⾄至融化。那东⻄西 让我⽣生爱 ⼜又让我⽣生恨。我⽇日渐宽⼤大的⾝身体 会蜡⻩黄 会急躁 会怕冷。我蹲在 那叫做厕间的⼩小屋,低头看着 那东⻄西。看着 我⾝身体挣脱的⼀一部分


Poet Mortem / 停诗间 Author: ZHANG GUOQIANG / 张国强 The policeman was delivered fractured pale bloodied

警察送来时 断裂 惨⽩白 沾满⾎血

The young man’s Ferrari too fast too fierce for a poem’s body to dodge

年轻⼈人的法拉利 太快太猛 诗闪避不及

The middle-aged man was delivered faded defeated incomprehensible

中年⼈人送来时 衰⽼老 破败 不堪推敲

The middle-aged man’s store-room too small too narrow to contain father’s collections

中年⼈人的储藏室 太⼩小太窄 容不下 ⽗父亲的收藏

The child was delivered fresh eager to break through

⼩小孩送来时 鲜嫩 奋发 急待破⼟土

The house of the child’s heart too pragmatic to accommodate a poem divorced from exams

⼩小孩的⼼心房 太功利 容不下 跟考试绝缘的诗

Those anxious to get in please come early tomorrow we’re closing now

急着上⻔门的⼈人 明天请早 该下班了


Part III: Hidden waters and hidden forces .

All the Waters in the World/这世间所有的水 Author: LAN RAN / 蓝染 There are many ways for land to carry water.

在地⾯面上,对⽔水的承载其实有 很多种⽅方式。

Rivers, lakes, seas, swamps, wetlands, waterfalls or creeks: waters are brought together in these various forms by riverbeds, continental landmasses, and stones.

譬如可以是江、是河、是湖、 是海,是沼泽,是湿地,是瀑 布,是⼩小溪,它们被河床、陆 地、⽯石头托举汇聚成各种各样 的状态。

Although we speak of rivers, lakes and seas, I always think that, specifically speaking, rivers, lakes or seas are not really the same thing. Rivers are linear; they start at one point, and after many turns and twists, reach another point. Their basins are broad and varied. Meanwhile, lakes and seas are vast areas. They form wide circles, or other shapes, in just one large localised patch, or a series of connected patches.

我始终觉得,虽然我们常常说 江河湖海,但是就具体的部分 ⽽而⾔言,江河和湖海其实是不太 ⼀一样的,江河是线性的,从⼀一 个点经过九曲回肠到达另⼀一个 点,流域⾮非常⼲⼴广阔⽽而分布,然 ⽽而湖海却是⾯面积的,是⼤大⽚片⼤大 ⽚片的圆或者其他形状,是⼀一个 局 部 性 的 或 者 连 在 ⼀一 起 的 ⼤大 块。

Generally speaking, compared with lakes and seas, rivers are not as deep, but are more fluid, so they force down with them stones and sediments from the riverbed. Lakes and seas have huge storage capacity, and can be tens, hundreds and even thousands of meters deep. What’s more, except in the case of a large storm, lakes and seas are often static, especially lakes, which are often described as ‘flat as a mirror’.

⼀一般来说,跟湖海⽐比起来,江 河都不会太深,⽽而且是流动性 的,河⽔水裹挟着河床⾥里的泥沙 ⽯石块等沉积物顺流⽽而下;湖海 则会有很⼤大的蓄⽔水量,可以达 到⼏几⼗十⽶米上百⽶米甚⾄至⼏几千⽶米的 深 度 , ⽽而 且 除 了 ⼤大 的 ⻛风 浪 来 说,湖海常常是静态的,尤其 是湖,我们常常⽤用波平如镜来 形容。

To refine the point further, Chinese has two different words for ‘river’, jiang (江) and he (河); lakes (湖) also differ from seas (海).

再细⼀一点说,江与河也是不⼀一 样的,湖与海也是不⼀一样的。

The character he (河) is made of the three dots that



symbolise water and the character ke ( 可 ). Ke represents the sediments and stones carried over for the river. The characters of ‘water’ ( 水 ) and ke brought together, represent the stones and debris that form an embankment to prevent the flood. This is because, in the northern regions, especially in the large basin of the Yellow River, the soil is loose and the vegetation sparse, so the river often changes its course. On the contrary, in the south, because the riverbed is generally hard or rocky, the water rarely changes its course, and resembles a man-made river in that regard. That is why rivers in the south are referred to with the character jiang, because it combines the characters for water and ‘work’ (工). The latter represents human labour, because jiang are like man-made rivers, guiding the flow of water.

上来说,可是肩挑担荷以运送 ⼟土⽯石⽅方。“⽔水”与“可”组合 在 ⼀一 起 , 就 是 挑 ⼟土 ⽯石 筑 堤 防 汛。因为在北⽅方地区,尤其是 ⻩黄河所流经的⼤大⽚片⼟土地,⼟土质 疏松,植被稀疏,经常造成河 ⽔水改道。相反的是,南⽅方的河 流 因 为 是 ⽯石 质 或 者 坚 硬 的 河 床,很少会造成泛滥改道,与 ⼈人⼯工河流相似,所以南⽅方河流 被称为为江,因为江字从⽔水从 ⼯工,⼯工是指⼈人⼯工,就像是⼈人⼯工 ⽔水道,有疏导的功能。

So the difference between he and jiang lies in the way we experience water, and in our historical memory: he is suffering and servitude, while jiang is stability and elegance.

所以河和江的不同,存在于我 们对⽔水的处理经验之中,存在 于我们的历史记忆⾥里,河的苦 难的、劳役的,江则是稳定 的、⾶飘逸的。

In Western languages, jiang and he both translate as ‘river’, probably because Western rivers do not flow through such a vast geographic space as that of China, and the waters do not carry so much soil and stones: therefore the language does not distinguish between the diverse experiences of jiang and he.

在⻄西⽅方的语⾔言⾥里,⽆无论江还是 河都统称为 River,可能是它们 都不会流经中国这样⼤大的幅员 辽阔的地理空间,不会有泥⼟土 和⽯石头这样的对⽔水的承载的差 役,所以不会像我们分成江的 经验和河的经验。

The difference between lakes and seas lies in the boundaries of the water. If the water is surrounded by solid land on all sides, then we speak of a lake, whereas a sea is an area of water connected to the large expanse of the ocean. Of course, some lakes that are inland are called ‘seas’; this is to satisfy the people who never looked at the sea and would like to imagine their lake as one.

湖和海的不同,是在于⽔水的边 界,四周有陆地包围的⽔水域⼀一 般称为湖,⽽而海则是与⼤大洋相 连的⼤大⾯面积⽔水域,当然,在内 陆地区有⼀一些地⽅方的湖也被叫 做海,是满⾜足了⻅见不到海的⼈人 ⽤用湖对海的⼀一种想象。

Another difference between lakes and seas is that lake water is freshwater while sea water is salty.

湖和海的另⼀一种不同,也在于 湖是淡⽔水的,⽽而海是咸⽔水的。

One year, I went to Tibet to see the lakes. I saw the touristic Yamdrok Lake and the deserted Puma Yumco Lake as well as lakes of various sizes on the

有⼀一年,我去⻄西藏看湖,看到 了有游⼈人参观的⽺羊卓雍错湖,


road to Shigatse and Yadong. The blue colour of these lakes was like a quietness that had sunk down from the skies, a vast yet simple space in which a heavenly jewel had fallen, or a giant tear drop between the summits of the mountains; it seemed particularly mysterious.

也看到了荒⽆无⼈人烟的普姆雍错 湖,以及往⽇日喀则和亚东⼀一路 上⼤大⼤大⼩小⼩小的湖,那种湖蓝是 ⼀一种沉下来的安静,在辽阔⽽而 简洁的空间中像⼀一颗从天⽽而降 的宝⽯石,或者⼤大地⼭山峰间⼀一滴 巨⼤大的泪,格外显得神秘。

I have been to the Dalian sea, the Beidaihe sea, the Lianyungang sea, the Zhoushan sea, the Sanya sea, the Hong Kong sea, the Kenting sea, and the Hualian sea. Some were roaring and magnificent, others calm and peaceful; some were muddy estuary waters, and others blue and undisturbed waters. Each place has its own special character, and at each place, the sea has its own special colour.

我 去 过 ⼤大 连 的 海 , 北 戴 河 的 海,连云港的海,⾈舟⼭山的海, 三亚的海,⾹香港的海,垦丁的 海,花莲的海,既有波澜壮阔 的,也有⻛风平浪静的,既有浑 浊的出海⼝口的海,也有清澈的 不被扰乱的海,每⼀一个地⽅方的 海都有⼀一个地⽅方的性格,每⼀一 个地⽅方的海都有⼀一个地⽅方的颜 ⾊色。

The seas I saw at these various places, brought together, constitute my experience and imagination of the sea.

这些地⽅方的海,组合在⼀一起, 构成了我对海的经验和想象。

If I were to talk about the differences between lakes and seas apart from composition, I would consider that lakes are a ‘closed opening’, bringing together the static land and mountains, and injecting life-force into them, just as Taoism injects ethereal transparency into thick and honest Confucianism. In contrast, the seas forms a great transition: they are the separating line between land and ocean, the barrier between life in the ocean and life on land: from the seashore, one can see both the mountains that overlook the land, as well as the many changes of the ocean.

如果说湖和海除了构成上的不 同之外,还有什么差异的话, 那么我会觉得湖造成的是⼀一种 封闭的开放,对⼀一成不变的陆 地和⼭山川的调和,把灵⽓气注⼊入 了其中,就像是在博⼤大敦厚的 儒家中添加了空灵通透的道 家;⽽而海造成的则是⼀一种⼤大的 过渡性,是⽔水陆的分界线,也 是 陆 地 ⽣生 存 和 海 洋 ⽣生 存 的 区 隔,既有陆地的背倚⻓长⼭山,也 有海洋的变幻。

Some people particularly like rivers while others particularly like the sea, especially women. But I don’t have such preferences when it comes to rivers, lakes and seas. I think every form of aggregated water has its own necessity; each has its own unique temperament to express. They draw all sorts of ecologies and water-cultures on the face of earth, and water supplements the soil like wisdom supplements

有⼈人特别喜欢河,有⼈人特别喜 欢海,尤其是⼥女性,但是对于 江河湖海,我却没有这样的分 别⼼心,我觉得每⼀一种⽔水的承载 形式都是必要的,都有着⾃自⼰己 的独⼀一⽆无⼆二和所表达出来的⽓气 质,它们在⼤大地上刻画出各种



各样的⽣生态和⽔水的⽂文明,是⽔水 对⼟土的补充,也是智对仁的调 和。

When we go see rivers, lakes, and seas, it is sometimes easy to be attracted by the details, to lose oneself in the aquatic plants, the flow of water, or the beach, but rarely are we moved by the greater form. Often, when I look down from the plane, I will find myself meditating on the meandering rivers, the mirror-like lakes, and the vast expanse of the sea, and I exclaim in surprise at the luminous dots they throw on the dark land.

我们去看江河湖海,有时候很 容易被细节和局部吸引,对⽔水 草、流⽔水、海滩所着迷,却很 少被它们⼤大的形式所感动,很 多次我在⻜飞机上往下眺望,每 每会对下⾯面蜿蜒的江河、明镜 的湖泊和⽆无垠的海⾯面有⼀一种沉 思,对它们在⿊黑暗的⼤大地上点 缀出的明净澄澈所惊奇赞叹。

Originally published on the author’s Douban blog.


Digging a Well / 打井记 Author: LIU SHISAN / 刘十三 Ten years ago, my family dug a well. It was a handpump-operated well, and you had to push the pump again and again to get the water out. The water pipe was buried a few tens of metres into the earth, right into an aquifer, so water was especially abundant. Once, there was a drought, and half of the village’s wells dried up in spring, but the water in my house did not decrease. As a result, for the whole spring, the courtyard had people coming in and out to fetch water, and the clacking sound of the handpump constantly grew and subsided, grew and subsided.

⼗十年前,我家打过⼀一⼝口井, 是那种洋井,⼀一下⼀一下往外压 ⽔水。⽔水管钻⼊入地下⼏几⼗十⽶米深, 正在⽔水脉上,所以⽔水特别旺。 有⼀一年天旱,春天村⼦子后半⽚片 ⼈人家的井都干了,我家的⽔水愣 没⻅见少,于是⼀一整个春天,院 ⼦子⾥里随时都有来挑⽔水的⼈人,洋 井咔哒咔哒的声⾳音此起彼伏。

The weather is dry and arid in the Mongolian Plateau, and rainwater is scarce. One handpumpoperated well is sufficient for drinking needs, but not so for irrigating the garden in summer or feeding the cows and sheep in winter. My parents always wanted to dig another well, the type where all you need to do is to install the submersible water pump below, open the sluice, and the water would simply flow out, just that you had to use a bit more electricity. But because our family was short of money, we were reluctant to dig it, as it was costly.

蒙古⾼高原天干⽓气旱,⾬雨⽔水较 少,⼀一⼝口洋井吃⽔水是⾜足够,可 夏天浇园⼦子冬天饮⽜牛⽺羊就不太 ⽅方便了。⽗父⺟母⼀一直想着再打⼀一 眼,叫做围模井的那种,能把 ⽔水泵放下去,合上闸,⽔水⾃自然 就流出来了,只是要多⽤用⼏几度 电 。 因 为 家 ⾥里 困 难 , 没 舍 得 打,要花不少钱的。

This summer break, father finally decided to dig a new well. After all, it happened to be a lull period between the business of spring and summer, and all three of us were at home, so the job was easier to complete. Digging a well requires experience and skill, which none of us had, so we had to hire someone else. My parents deliberated many times, and were prepared to call second sister’s husband over. He had dug around ten wells and he had experience and skill. Moreover, he took a few small pigs from us last time without paying, so that took care of the labour costs. We also had to borrow workers for digging the well, as well as metal moulds, concrete troughs, chisels, pickaxes, shovels – not one of these could be missing.

今年暑假⽗父亲终于决定打⼀一 眼围模井了,刚好春忙和夏忙 之间有空闲,三个⼈人在家,活 好干。打围模井得有经验有技 术,我们没有,就去请⼈人。⽗父 ⺟母 商 量 再 三 , 准 备 请 ⼆二 姐 夫 来,他打过⼗十⼏几⼝口,经验技术 都还有;再者,他抓⼩小猪,也 没给钱,也就顶了⼯工钱了。打 井的家伙也要借,铁⽪皮模、和 ⽔水泥的⻢马槽、搓⼦子、镐头、⼩小 铁锨,⼀一样都不能少。

Second sister’s husband was older than me by a few years, and when we were young we played and fought together. Originally we were relatives, and I called him second brother, but I never thought that after he

⼆二姐夫⽐比我⼤大⼏几岁,⼩小时候 ⼀一起玩⼀一起闹的。原本我们就 有亲戚,我喊他⼆二哥的,谁也 没想到后来和我堂姐结了婚,


married my cousin I would have to address him as ‘second sister’s husband’. I wasn’t used to it, so I never addressed him by our family relation, and just said ‘hi’ whenever we met. He didn’t really want to dig that well; last year he was knocked unconscious in a well after something fell and hit him on the head, so he was scared. However, he couldn’t bear losing face, and since he owed us money, he agreed to do it.

就改⼝口叫⼆二姐夫。我不习惯, 就 什 么 也 不 称 呼 , ⻅见 ⾯面 打 哈 哈。他不太想干,去年在井下 被掉下去的东⻄西砸昏了⼀一回, 害怕。耐不住⾯面⼦子,也看在⼯工 钱的份上,答应来打井。

One day, Father said, let’s dig the well. I’ll find people and borrow manpower; you go get concrete and sand. The sand was for mixing the concrete and shaping a mould. In ordinary circumstances, two trucks worth of sand would be enough to create two moulds. Once the well was dug in two moulds deep (one mould was around a metre or so), there would be sufficient sand excavated to be used in later stages. My mother and I picked up the metal shovels and pickaxes, attached the cart to the donkey, and hurried out of the village.

有⼀一天,⽗父亲说打井吧,我 去 找 ⼈人 借 家 伙 , 你 们 去 拉 ⽔水 泥,拉沙⼦子。沙⼦子是⽤用来和⽔水 泥,打模⼦子的。⼀一般情况下, 拉两⻋车沙⼦子,够打两个模的就 好,等井挖过两个模深,(⼀一 个模⼤大约⼀一⽶米左右)地下就有 合 ⽤用 的 沙 ⼦子 出 来 了 , 随 挖 随 ⽤用。我和⺟母亲拿上铁锨镐头, 套上⽑毛驴⻋车,赶着出了村⼦子。

There were three places you could dig for sand: one was the stormwater channel behind the village. The summer rain flows down from the mountains, passes the stormwater channel, and while the mud would be carried away in the water, the sand remains. The good thing about this kind of sand is that the size of its granules are even, but sadly it is too fine, and unsuitable for mixing high grade concrete. (Under prevalent rules in the construction industry, the more lime mixed into the concrete, the higher the grade.) The second place was the faraway riverbanks to the west. The riverbanks were covered with water for much of the year, and there was accumulated sand with a good variety of thickness, just right for mixing concrete. The problem was that it was too far from home; my family’s donkey was too old and could not cart so much sand. The third place was the barren lands to the southwest of the village. It could be counted as the source of sand for the village; most people who required sand dug it from there. Hundreds of millions of years ago, a flood brought the sand inland. The quality was not bad, just that you had to dig several metres deep, for the surface was loess. The good thing was that this place already had many channels dug into the soil; these were the foundations left behind from earlier excavations for sand.

能挖沙⼦子的地⽅方有三个,⼀一 是村后的⾬雨⽔水渠,夏天⾬雨⽔水⾃自 ⼭山上流下,过⽔水渠,泥⼟土随⽔水 ⽽而去,沙⼦子留下了,这类沙⼦子 的好处是颗粒⼤大⼩小均匀,可惜 太碎,不适合和⼤大号泥。(建 筑⾏行⾥里的规矩,和⽔水泥时放的 ⽯石灰越多号就越⼤大,反之就越 ⼩小。)⼆二是⻄西边远处河滩,河 滩常年有⽔水,沙⼦子积的厚,有 ⼤大有⼩小,正适合和⽔水泥,缺点 是 离 家 太 远 , 我 家 ⽑毛 驴 ⾝身 已 ⽼老,载不动这许多沙。三是村 ⼦子⻄西南边上荒地,那⾥里也算是 村⾥里的沙场,⼀一般的⼈人家⽤用沙 ⼦子都从这⾥里挖,是亿万年前发 洪⽔水淤在这⾥里的,质量不错, 只是得挖地⼏几尺深才可以,表 层全是⻩黄⼟土。好在此处已经有 很多沟沟坎坎,都是以前挖沙 ⼦子打下的底⼦子。


After some deliberation with my mother, we chose the third spot.

我和⺟母亲商量再三,决定去 第三处。

The sandpits were already one person deep and had not been used for a long time. They had been through several rain showers and were covered with a layer of fine soil. We shovelled this out, and went to look for the marks where other people previously dug. The donkey cart was parked right on the ridge of the soil, and the wooden planks of the cart were cushioned with fibrous sacks. I dug hard with the pick, and the sand and stone slowly loosened, then scattered. I shovelled it into the dustpan; mother carried it and poured it into the cart. The weather was hot, and this was tough work; very quickly one’s whole body was sticky with sweat. Mother said this wasn’t as easy as studying. I said it was roughly the same: both required effort, you couldn’t complete either unless you strained. Once the cart was filled, we packed up our tools and rushed back.

沙坑已经有⼀一⼈人多深,久⽆无 ⼈人⽤用,⼜又经过⼏几场⾬雨⽔水,坑⾥里 布满了⼀一层细细的泥⼟土。我们 将之铲掉,找出当年别⼈人挖的 ⼟土 茬 。 驴 ⻋车 就 停 在 ⼟土 坎 ⼦子 上 ⾯面 , ⽊木 板 ⻋车 上 ⽤用 纤 维 袋 ⼦子 垫 了。我⽤用镐头狠⼒力地刨,沙⼦子 ⽯石头慢慢松动,散了,再⽤用铁 锨装在簸箕⾥里,⺟母亲端着倒在 ⻋车上。天⽓气热,⼜又是体⼒力活, 很快全⾝身都汗津津的,⺟母亲就 说这没你念书好吧。我说差不 多,都得使劲,不使劲就不下 来。当⻋车箱满了,便收拾好⼯工 具,赶着回去。

This was a rainy summer. The roads in the village were full of the remnants of mud and water, and some areas were a few feet deep. We had no choice but to bypass it, yet it really couldn’t be bypassed, so we had to rush the cart into the water. I laughed and told mother: “Sail across, sail across, look at the spray our splashes kick up!”

今夏⾬雨⽔水多,村中路上尽是 残留的泥和⽔水,深的地⽅方有⼏几 尺。我们不得不绕着⾛走,实在 绕不过,只能赶⻋车进⽔水⾥里了。 我笑着和⺟母亲说:“争渡,争 渡,溅起⽔水花⽆无数。”

When we reached home, father and second sister’s husband had already dug a metre into the earth. Today we would dig the depth of two tanks, two metres, and a circular hole with a diameter of one metre. Loess continuously flew from the well-hole to the surface, and the hole grew deeper and deeper.

我们⾄至家时,⽗父亲和⼆二姐夫 已经挖⼊入地表⼀一⽶米多了,今天 要挖两个缸的深度,两⽶米,直 径⼀一⽶米的圆形洞。⻩黄⼟土不停地 从井洞中⻜飞上地⾯面,井洞越来 越深。

Once the depth was sufficient, the metal-skin mould was placed inside; there was around one inch of space between its edge and the walls of the well-hole. Sticks were used to support the mould and fix the shape. While they were doing this job, I and mother were mixing cement. This was the most exhausting, and I often took off my shirt while completing this task, sweat running down my back. Afterwards, the mixed cement was filled from the side into the gap between the mould and the walls of the well-hole. When this was full, one struck the metal skin hard with a wooden

等深度够了,将铁⽪皮模⼦子放 下去,模⼦子边离井洞壁约⼀一⼨寸 左右,⽤用棍⼦子⽀支撑好,固定了 形状。他们做这个⼯工作之时, 我和⺟母亲在和⽔水泥,这个最要 ⼒力⽓气,我常是脱掉上⾐衣来干这 件活,汗流浃背。之后,把活 好的⽔水泥从模⼦子边上塞进模⼦子 和井洞壁之间的缝隙⾥里,满了 时,⽤用⽊木头锤⼦子狠敲铁⽪皮,⽔水


hammer, and the cement would seep downwards and be packed tightly. This would count as one tank.

泥就会⾃自⼰己下渗,填补的严严 实实的。这就算是⼀一个缸。

After half a day, the metal skin mould would be removed, and the round concrete cylinder securely stuck to the walls of the well, smooth and tidy. The plan was to keep digging in this manner, deeper and deeper, until we found water.

半 天 后 , 将 铁 ⽪皮 模 ⼦子 取 下 来,圆形的⽔水泥筒⼦子已经牢牢 地 粘 在 井 壁 上 , 光 滑 ⽽而 ⼜又 整 ⻬齐。⼀一个⼀一个如此深⼊入,直到 ⻅见⽔水。

What we did not expect was that, as the well grew deeper and deeper, we did not find any dirt and sand that was suitable for mixing concrete. The windlass was already set up, with a few strips of red cloth strung to it. Originally, I was supposed to hoist the windlass to transport the sand up the well-hole. Father and second sister’s husband didn’t trust me enough, and were afraid that if I let go of my grip, I would harm someone. I ended up being in charge of emptying the sand and soil. From the neighbours’ home I borrowed a small mine trolley as my working tool. It was very handy. Father wore a pair of safety gloves and hoisted the windlass; I carried the bucket and pushed the trolley barehanded; mother rushed the donkey to cart more sand; second sister’s husband worked underground and kept digging deeper. At mealtimes, I could see how calloused everybody’s hands became. My thumb also grew a huge blister. I slit it open with scissors, and a huge chunk of flesh and skin fell off.

超出我们预想之外的是,井 挖得越来越深,却始终没⻅见能 和 泥 的 沙 ⼦子 。 辘 轳 已 经 架 上 了,上⾯面拴着⼏几条红布。本来 我是摇辘轳,把沙⼦子从井坑⾥里 拉上来的,⽗父亲和⼆二姐夫对我 不够信任,怕⼀一松⼿手伤了⼈人。 我便负责了倾倒沙⼦子和⼟土的环 节。从邻居家借的⼀一辆矿⼭山⽤用 ⼩小推⻋车是我的劳动⼯工具,很好 ⽤用。⽗父亲戴着线⼿手套,摇着辘 轳,我光着⼿手拎桶推⻋车,⺟母亲 还得赶着⽑毛驴拉沙⼦子,⼆二姐夫 在地下不断深⼊入。吃饭时,我 能看⻅见每个⼈人的⼿手上都⻓长满了 茧⼦子,我的⼤大拇指也起了偌⼤大 ⼀一个⽔水泡,⽤用剪⼑刀划开,⼀一块 ⾁肉⽪皮就掉了下来。

The bucket used to carry soil and sand was made of metal, but it wouldn’t last for long. Under strenuous use, many areas had already begun to crack. I suggested using metal wire to screw it together. Father and second sister’s husband did not agree and said that nothing would go wrong. I also felt that my anxiety was unwarranted and that I was over-sensitive to danger.

盛 泥 沙 的 桶 都 是 铁 ⽪皮 箍 制 的,但耐不住⻓长时间、⾼高强度 地⽤用,很多地⽅方已经裂开了。 我建议说⽤用铁丝拧住,⽗父亲和 ⼆二姐夫都不以为然,他们说不 会有事的。我也觉得是⾃自⼰己杞 ⼈人忧天,对危险的敏感过度。

Once, when I carried the metal bucket from the mouth of the well to the side, just as I put it down, the whole bottom of the bucket suddenly fell out and rolled very far away. My back immediately broke out in a cold sweat, and I was scared out of my wits: the bucket carried three huge stones, and there were still people in the well! Thank goodness the bottom fell out when the bucket was above ground – otherwise, if

忽然有⼀一次,我将铁⽪皮桶⾃自 井⼝口边拎到⼀一旁,刚放下,桶 底就整个掉了下来,滚到很远 处。我脊背上⼀一⽚片冰凉,⼼心⾥里 害怕得厉害:这桶⾥里装的可是 三块⼤大⽯石头啊,井下还有⼈人, 幸好上到地⾯面才掉底,要是在


it was still in the air … I didn’t dare imagine. Father and second sister’s husband were also choked with fear. Who would dare to be careless when it came to matters of life and death? Using metal wire, they fixed any potentially problematic areas on the bucket before resuming work.

半空……,不敢想象。⽗父亲和 ⼆二姐夫也吓的够呛,⼈人命关天 的事情,谁也不敢⻢马虎,找来 铁丝把桶上有可能出问题的地 ⽅方都固定了。才⼜又开⼯工。

The sand and soil that came up became increasingly wet; it felt icy cold as you grabbed it in your hand. I put a little small pot of boiled water onto the pile of sand and it cooled very fast. The effect was very good. It was a refrigerator I had made myself, and I buried a few pieces of fruits in the soil to cool down.

上来的沙和⼟土越来越湿,握 在⼿手⾥里冰凉冰凉的,我把盛开 ⽔水的⼩小壶放在泥沙堆上,快速 冷却,效果相当地好,是我⾃自 制的冰箱,也偶尔埋些果⼦子在 ⾥里⾯面降温。

Gradually, water could be squeezed out from the soil grasped in your hand. We knew water was no longer far.

渐渐,握在⼿手⾥里地泥沙已经 能攥出⽔水来了,我们知道井⽔水 已经不远了。

Second sister’s husband kept shouting below, there’s water, there’s water now. Come fast, he shouted loudly.

⼆二姐夫在下⾯面不断地喊,有 ⽔水了,⻢马上就有⽔水了。快看, 他⼤大声地喊道。

We squatted beside the well, and probed our heads to look into the depths. A small puddle of water gave off a bright light in the dark, flickering, like a face full of innocence. Slowly, the puddle spread out to become an expanse that quickly covered the floor of the well. Mother tore a piece of fresh red cloth and tied it to the windlass to signal that there was water. This windlass had dug another well once more.

我们都蹲在井边,探头向纵 深处望去,⼀一汪⼩小⼩小的⽔水在⿊黑 暗中发着熠熠的光,晃动着, ⼀一脸⽆无辜的模样。渐渐,那汪 ⽔水已经衍成⼀一⽚片,并很快盖住 了整个井底。⺟母亲撕了⼀一条新 鲜的红布条,拴在辘轳上,表 明⻅见⽔水了,这架辘轳⼜又打出了 ⼀一⼝口井。

However, problems arose. According to the laws of geological structure, aquifers will usually have quicksand, the type of fine grit that would follow and slide along with the seepage and flow of the water. Instantly they could collapse a large section of the well’s walls, always flowing forward, extending into god knows where. If one did not employ effective measures to prevent this in time, the quicksand could completely bury the well, making all effort spent come to naught. This day, the quicksand could not be avoided.

然⽽而问题来了。按地质构造 规律,⽔水层通常都有流沙,就 是那种细细的沙砾,随着⽔水的 渗透和流动,它们也跟着滑 动,顷刻就能将井壁塌下⼀一⼤大 ⽚片,⼀一直横向延伸,不知终于 何处。如果不采取有效措施, 及时制⽌止,流沙很可能完全把 井掩埋,前功尽弃。这⼀一天, 流沙不可避免了。


The second day, third uncle and fourth uncle all came to help. Second sister husband’s plan was to dig the twelfth tank as fast as possible, and then to install the cement as fast as possible. If fixed in such a manner for ten days to half a month, the quicksand could be blocked by the concrete walls of the well. What nobody could foresee was that the speed of the quicksand was very difficult to control, and the water seeped in even faster. There was almost no time.

第⼆二⽇日,三叔和四叔都来帮 忙。⼆二姐夫的计划是,⽤用最快 的速度把第⼗十⼆二个缸掏好,再 ⽤用最快的速度装上⽔水泥,然后 固定住⼗十天半个⽉月,流沙就能 被⽔水泥井壁挡住。⼤大家没想到 的是,流沙的速度很难控制, ⽔水渗⼊入的更快,来不及了。

There was only one solution left, which was to put the whole metal mould inside, prop it up and block the moving walls of the well, and wait until the water level fell again to remould it. No matter what, once the water pump was installed and the main power switch was flipped on, the turbid yellow waters spurted from tens of metres underground to the surface, and after two hours of pumping, the water gradually became clear, and finally clean.

只能⽤用最后⼀一招了,就是把 铁⽪皮模整个放下去,撑开,抵 住流动的井壁,等着⽔水位下降 时再重新塑模。不管怎样,当 把⽔水泵投进去,合上电闸,浑 ⻩黄的⽔水流还是从⼏几⼗十⽶米深的地 下涌上地⾯面,抽了两个⼩小时之 后,⽔水开始渐渐清晰,终于干 净了。

That night everyone drank a lot of wine and spoke a lot. Before sleeping I walked by the well and looked inside. The well water rippled. The moon was inside. I raised my head to look at the sky, and actually felt stumped for a while. It felt as if I couldn’t tell whether the eye of the well or the night sky was bigger or further.

那天晚上⼤大家喝了许多酒, 说了许多话。我在睡觉前⾛走到 井边去,向井⾥里看了看,井⽔水 晃晃,⼀一个⽉月亮在⾥里⾯面,抬头 望天,⼀一时间竟然有些呆,觉 得 ⼀一 眼 井 和 夜 的 天 分 不 出 谁 ⼤大、谁远来。

Returning back to my room, I wrote a paragraph of strange words on my memo pad and fell asleep. I didn’t dream or wake up during the night.

回到房⾥里,我在记事本上写 下 了 ⼀一 段 奇 怪 的 ⽂文 字 , 就 睡 了,没做梦也没醒来。

Later, I would sometimes think: if we had gone on digging deeper, what might have happened?

后来,我偶尔会想:如果就 这么⼀一直挖下去,会怎样呢?

Originally published on My1510.


The Tears of Animals / 动物的眼泪 Author: ZHONG DAO / 钟道 The tears of people are light, but the tears of animals carry weight. Their tears come from the depths of life.

轻的泪,是⼈人的泪;动物的泪, 却是有重量的泪。 那是⼀一种来⾃自⽣生命深处的泪。

The first time I saw the tears of an animal, I was almost shocked by it. I had believed until then that tears were the sole attribute of humans. Not until you actually see the tears of an animal will you feel consternation, realising that animals have their own kind of soundless sorrow which humans do not understand.

第⼀一次看到动物的泪,我⼏几乎是 被那⼀一滴泪珠惊呆了,我以为泪 ⽔水只为⼈人类所专有。直到真的看 到动物的泪,才会为之感到惊 愕,动物更有种为⼈人类所不理解 的⽆无声的哀怨。

The first teardrop – the first time I saw an animal weep – was from an old cat in my house. That old cat had been in the house for many years. I did not know how many kittens it gave birth to and I did not know how old it was either; it had just become a member of our family. Part of our daily family routine was to play with it. When it was still a kitten, we would tease it to roll around the ground. Later, as it grew, we held it in our arms for a long time and stroked its fur. Maybe we doted on it too much; it could not pass a single day without our caresses. If any member of the family had not stroked it for just one day, it would go look for that person, then quietly lie next to them, waiting for their loving touch, and only when that person had finally stroked it would it leave, contented.

第⼀一滴泪——第⼀一次看到动物的 泪,是我家⼀一只⽼老猫的泪。这只 ⽼老猫已经在我家许多许多年了, 不知⽣生下了多少⼦子⼥女,也不知它 已经是多⼤大的年纪,只是知道它 已 经成了我们家庭的⼀一个成员。 我们全家每天⽣生活的⼀一项内容, 就是和它在⼀一起戏耍。它还是⼀一 只⼩小猫的时候,我们逗引它在地 上滚来滚去。后来,它渐渐⻓长⼤大 了,我 们⼜又把它抱在怀⾥里好⻓长时 间地抚摸它那软软的绒⽑毛。也许 我们和它亲近得太多了,它已经 ⼀一天也离不开我们的抚爱。⽆无论 是谁,只要⼀一天没有抚摸它,它 就要找到那 个⼈人,然后就⽆无声地 卧在他的⾝身边,等着他的亲昵, 直到那⼈人终于抚摸了它,它才会 ⼼心满意⾜足地⾛走开。

But, after many years, that cat grew old, it started looking old too, and its movements became slower. Although our family was still very nice to it, still, I don’t know why, that cat gradually moved away from us. It would lie under the eaves of the roof all day, and no matter how much we teased it to get down, it would not come down; sometimes, it would throw

只是多 少年过去了,这只⽼老猫已 经是太⽼老了,⼀一副⽼老态⻰龙钟的样 ⼦子,⾏行动已经变得缓慢。尽管这 时我们全家还是对它极为友善, 但,也不知道是⼀一种什么原因, 这只⽼老猫渐 渐地就和我们疏远


us a lazy glance, but then, it would just close its eyes, expressionless. Mother said that the cat had reached the limits of its life. But humans are ruthless, and what we feared most was that it would die in a corner of a house without us realising; we were afraid it would give us trouble.

了。它每天只在屋檐下卧着,⽆无 论我们如何在下⾯面逗引它,它也 不肯下来,有时它也懒懒地向我 们看⼀一眼,但随后就毫⽆无表情地 ⼜又闭上眼睛。⺟母亲 说,这只⽼老猫 的寿限就要到了。也是⼈人类的⽆无 情,我们⼀一家⼈人最担⼼心的却是怕 它 死 在 家 中 ⼀一 个 不 为 ⼈人 知 的 ⾓角 落 , 我 们 怕 它 会 给 我 们 带 来 ⿇麻 烦。

So I started observing it, and I saw that the cat was actually getting less and less energetic every day. But it still lay under the eaves or on the windowsill, as if it was sleeping, or as if it was waiting for its final day to come. And that was how I inadvertently made a discovery: I went to the yard to complete some task, and as I saw that the old cat had been lying on the window sill for too long, I went to check whether it was asleep, or whether it was just peacefully enjoying the sun.

就这样每天每天地观察它,看到 这只⽼老猫确实⼀一天⽐比⼀一天地更加 ⽆无精打采了。但它还在屋檐下、 窗沿上静静地卧着,似在睡,⼜又 似 在 等 待 那 即 将 到 来 的 最 后 ⽇日 ⼦子。 也是⽆无意间的发现,我到院 ⾥里去做什么事情的时候,因为看 ⻅见 这 只 ⽼老 猫 在 窗 沿 上 卧 得 太 久 了,我就过去看看它是睡着了还 是和平时⼀一样在晒太阳。

But when I came close to it, I suddenly discovered that in the corner of that old cat’s eye, there was a pearl-shaped tear. Apparently, the teardrop had been in the corner of its eye for a while, and the sunlight made it seem like an amber bead. It sat immobile in the corner of its eye, and speckled flickering reflections from the sun. “The cat is crying!” I couldn’t help exclaiming to mother who was inside the house, and she came out right away, as if she wanted to give the cat its final consolation. Unexpectedly, when the cat saw my mother walk towards it, it made efforts to stand up, and used its last remaining strength to climb up on the roof, step after step. At that moment, my mother wanted to have him come down, maybe she wanted to give him food for the last time, but the old cat didn’t look back, it just went away, step by step, in the distance. With such slow steps, such heavy steps.

但在我靠近它的时候,我却突然 发现,就在那只⽼老猫的眼⾓角处, 凝着⼀一滴泪珠。看来,这滴泪珠 已经在它的眼⾓角驻留得太久了, 那⼀一滴泪已经被太阳晒得活像⼀一 颗 琥珀,⼀一动不动,就凝在眼⾓角 边,还在阳光下闪出点点光斑。 “猫哭了!”我不由⾃自主地向房 ⾥里的⺟母亲喊了⼀一声,⺟母亲⽴立即⾛走 了出来,她似在给这只⽼老猫⼀一点 最后的 安慰。谁料这只⽼老猫⼀一看 到⺟母亲向它⾛走了过来,⽴立即挣扎 着 站 了 起 来 , ⽤用 最 后 的 ⼀一 点 ⼒力 ⽓气,⼀一步⼀一步向房顶爬了上去。 这 时 , ⺟母 亲 还 尽 ⼒力 想 把 它 引 下 来,也许是想给 它最后的⾷食物, 但这只⽼老猫头也不回地,就⼀一步 ⼀一步地向远处⾛走去了。⾛走得那样 缓慢,⾛走得那样沉重。

Only then did I realize that we had been too cold

直到这 时,我才发现,是我们对


towards it: it had lived all its life in our home, and yet we were afraid it would end its life in our home, and always hoping that, before its last moments, it would leave on its own: we didn’t care where it went, as long as it did not stay in our house. At first, we thought it would not go away, and feared that it would seek warmth from us until the end. But we had guessed wrongly: it was just waiting for a final farewell. When it discovered that we understood it was time for it to leave, it only dropped a tear, then quietly left, to somewhere I do not know.

它太冷酷了,它在我们家⽣生活了 ⼀一⽣生,我们还是怕它就在我们家 ⾥里终结⽣生命,总是盼着它在⽣生活 的最后时刻,能够⾃自⼰己⾛走开,⽆无 论是⾛走到哪 ⾥里,也⽐比留在我们家 强。最先,我们还以为是它不肯 ⾛走,怕它要向我们索要最后的温 暖。但是我们把它估计错了,它 只是等着我们最后的送别;⽽而在 它发现我们已经感知到它要离开 我们的时候,它只是留下了⼀一滴 泪,然后就⽆无声⽆无息地⾛走了,不 知⾛走到了什么地⽅方去了。

For a very long time, I have been unable to forget those tears, those sincere tears. They were tears that expressed a nostalgia for life as they saw the end come near. Perhaps we humans are too eager for life, and so we always leave pain to the people who love us. But animals have their own way of feeling this: they only leave their own love behind, and contain their eternal farewell in a teardrop, then take their final pain far away.

很久 很久,我总是不能忘记那滴 眼泪,那是⼀一种最真诚的眼泪。 那是⼀一种留恋⽣生命,⼜又感知⼤大限 到来的泪⽔水。也许是我们⼈人类过 于贪恋⽣生命,所以我们总是给爱 我们的⼈人 留下痛苦。倒是动物对 此有它们⾃自⼰己的情感,它们只给 ⼈人们留下⾃自⼰己的情爱,然后就含 着⼀一滴永远的泪珠向⼈人们告别, ⽽而把最后的痛苦由⾃自⼰己远远地带 ⾛走。

The second drop – the tears of animals are pure, they don’t ask people for anything in return. The second time I saw an animal cry, it was the tears of an old ox. My family has a distant relative in the country, and every year for the holidays, my mother sent me to stay with them. I had many cousins of my age there, and the place is filled with warm nostalgia. My relative had an ox in the house, which had already lived with them for many years. According to my little cousin, that ox was very smart, it could understand our language. Of course, he might have thought this way because of our fondness for that old ox.

第 ⼆二 滴 泪 — — 动 物 的 泪 是 圣 洁 的,它们不向⼈人们索求回报。我 第⼆二次看到动物的泪,是⼀一头⽼老 ⽜牛的泪。我们家在农村有⼀一户远 亲,每年放假,⺟母亲都要把我送 到这 家远亲那⾥里去住。那⾥里有我 许多⼩小兄弟,更有⼀一种温暖的乡 情。远亲家⾥里有⼀一头⽼老⽜牛,这头 ⽼老⽜牛已经在他们家⾥里⽣生活了许多 年。⽽而且据我⼩小兄弟说,这头⽼老 ⽜牛还有灵 性,它能听懂我们的语 ⾔言。当然,这可能是因为我们对 这头⽼老⽜牛过于喜爱的缘故。

Whenever we called it, imitating the calls of oxen, unless it was working, it would come to us. Then, we would ride on its back, and without any command, it

每当我们模仿⽜牛的叫声唤它的时 候,这时只要它不是在劳作,它 就⼀一定会⾃自⼰己⾛走到我们⾝身边,然


would take us to the fields. As for the group of children we formed, sometimes we were inseparable, and sometimes we would have violent quarrels; in the worst cases, we would even start throwing blows until it was difficult to extricate us from one another.

后我们⼀一⻬齐骑到它的背上,也不 ⽤用任何指挥,它就会带我们到⽥田 间去了。⼩小兄弟之间,有时会好 得 形 影 不 离 , 有 时 却 会 反 ⺫⽬目 争 吵。最严重的时候,⼏几个⼈人还可 能纠在⼀一起打得不可开交。

It will sound strange, but when we were playing, that old ox was looking after us, and when we started exchanging blows, it would come forward, like an old friend, and put itself in the middle of us, not letting us hit one another. Within a few minutes, we had all found a new thing to do; we went running out together, and all our hatred was gone with the wind. If you looked at the ox then, it would have gotten back to eating its grass by the side. Of course, when the ox got too old, it had a sense that something would happen, and like all animals then, it started to grow apart from its owner.

说来也怪,在我们玩耍的时候, 那头⽼老⽜牛是睬也不睬我们的,⽽而 到我们之间真的动了拳脚,那头 ⽼老⽜牛就似⼀一个⽼老朋友⼀一样⾛走来, 在我们之间蹭来蹭去,就是不让 我 们任何⼀一⽅方的拳头落在对⽅方⾝身 上。短短的⼏几分钟,⼤大家⼜又发现 了新奇的东⻄西,⼀一⻬齐跑了过去, 刚才的仇恨早就忘到九霄云外, ⽽而这时再看看⽼老⽜牛,它⼜又在⼀一旁 吃它的 草去了。当然,也是在这 头⽼老⽜牛太⽼老了之后,它终于预感 到有⼀一件事就要发⽣生了,这时它 也和所有的动物⼀一样,开始和它 的主⼈人疏远了。

Every day, we would see its eyes heavy with tears, the soundless kind of tears. But the biggest change in the ox’s behaviour is that it no longer looked after the children. Many times, I called it like I’d learnt to do in the past, thinking it would come over; it obviously could hear us calling, but it only turned its head towards us from afar, and then ignored us, bowed his head back and did its own thing. The custom among local people is that when an ox can no longer work, you sell it to the “soup”. This socalled “soup” is actually the slaughterhouse; that is, the place where oxen that can no longer work are sold for meat. That is way too cruel! But Chinese farmers still don’t know how to make their last arrangements for animals.

每天每天,我们总是看到它眼⾓角 挂着眼泪,也是那种⽆无声的泪。 ⽽而且,这头⽼老⽜牛最⼤大的变化,就 是 它 不 再 理 睬 我 们 这 些 ⼩小 兄 弟 了。有好⼏几次我还像过去那样学 ⽜牛的 叫声,想把它唤过来,它明 明是听到了我们唤它的声⾳音,但 它只是远远地抬起头来向我们看 看,然后再也不理我们,低头做 它的事情了。传统的民间习惯, 总是把失 去劳⼒力的⽼老⽜牛卖到“汤 锅”去。所谓的“汤锅”,就是 屠宰场,也就是把失去劳动的⽼老 ⽜牛杀掉卖⾁肉。这实在太残忍了! 但中国农民还不知应该如何安排 动物最后的终 结。

The farmers should not be blamed, every household does it, and how do you make a farmer change his ways? This old ox was prepared for it – it

农家是⽆无可责怪的,家家都是这 样做,你⼜又让⼀一个农民如何改变 这种做法呢?只是这头⽼老⽜牛已经


seemed to have a hunch about what would happen – and every time it came back to the house, it seemed to listen carefully. When there was a movement outside the door, it nervously looked up, and unlike what it did when it was younger, no matter what happened outside then, it would not care about it and it just stuck to its own thing. The day finally came – I was staying as a guest with these relatives then – and just upon hearing that the “soup” people had arrived, before we had even seen the shadow of one, we saw tears gushing out of the old ox’s eyes.

是对此有 所准备了,它似是早就 有了⼀一种预感,每次它回到家⾥里 之 后 , 它 就 似 在 ⽤用 ⼼心 地 听 着 什 么,⽽而⻔门外⼀一有了什么动静,它 就紧张地抬头张望,再也不似它 年轻的时候,⽆无 论外⾯面发⽣生了什 么事,它都理也不理地,只管做 着⾃自⼰己的事。然⽽而,这⼀一天终于 到来了,那是我在这家远亲家作 客的时候,只是听说“汤锅”的 ⼈人来了,我们还没⻅见到⼈人影,就 看⻅见那头⽼老⽜牛的泪哗哗地流下了 泪⽔水。

The tears of the old ox were not like the one drop of the cat; they welled up like a spring and in no time at all, its whole face was wet with tears. At this time, the fur on its face was so wet it had formed into strands, and tears still kept streaming down its face, so that in no time at all, the ground underneath was soaked with tears. The old ox knew its time was up; it had no grudges or hatred, it just cried out once, perhaps in farewell to its owners. Afterwards, the “soup” people took it away. All that remained was the tears that fell in the place where the ox had stood, a patch of wetness on the ground.

⽼老 ⽜牛 的 眼 泪 不 象 猫 那 样 只 有 ⼀一 滴,⽼老⽜牛的眼泪就象泉涌⼀一 样, 没有多少时间,⽼老⽜牛就哭湿了脸 颊。这时,它脸上的绒⽑毛已经全 部湿成了⼀一缕⼀一缕的⽑毛辫,⽽而且 眼泪还从脸上流下来,不多时就 哭湿了⾝身下的⼟土地。⽼老⽜牛知道它 的寿限到了,⽆无怨⽆无恨,它只是 叫了⼀一声,也许是向⾃自⼰己的主⼈人 告别吧。然后,这就被“汤锅” 的⼈人拉⾛走了。只剩最后的泪⽔水, 还在它原来站⽴立的地⽅方,成了⼀一 ⽚片泪 湿的⼟土地。

The tears of animals weigh more than metal. They come from the depths of life, and I won’t forget these tears all my life.

动物的泪,那是⼀一种⽐比⾦金属还要 沉重的泪,来⾃自⽣生命深处的泪, 那是我终⾝身都不会忘记的泪啊!

Originally found on My1510.


Martial Arts Conceptions of the Body / 武林身体观 Author: WEI ZHOU / 维舟 Generally speaking, you won’t hear of any hero from a martial art novel described as muscular. This is no accident, because the mental state shaped by Chinese culture does not allow readers of Chinese literature to accept such a character as the protagonist.

通常来说,你不⼤大可能看到哪本 武侠⼩小说的男主⾓角是肌⾁肉男——这 并⾮非偶然,因为中国⽂文化造就的⼼心 理意识不允许汉语⽂文学的读者接受 这样⼀一个⼈人物担任主⾓角。

Upon reflection, this point is puzzling indeed: in boxing, wrestling and other modern competitive sports, participants typically have a body rugged with the bumps and dents of muscles. However, if such a character appears in a novel, it is usually as a foil who gets beaten up to highlight the main character’s magical and martial prowess, and his own martial arts are unlikely to be strong.

确 实 , 细 想 这 ⼀一 点 是 令 ⼈人 困 惑 的:在拳击、摔跤等现代竞技体育 中,参赛者通常都是⼀一⾝身凹凹凸凸 的肌⾁肉,然⽽而这样的⼈人物形象假如 出现在武侠⼩小说中,⼀一般都是衬托 主⾓角神功的挨揍⾓角⾊色,武功多半也 没机会臻于上乘。

This is very obvious in Jin Yong’s books: in his first Wuxia novel, the Book and the Sword, Zhang Jin, Yang Chengxie and Jiang Sigen from the “Red Flower Meeting” chapter are all characterised by their great strength, but they do not rise to the top of the rank: their leader, Chen Jialuo, is described as a frail-looking scholar. In the 14th Chapter there is a scene where four giants (the Four Tigers of Hulun) from the Qing camp go to battle, each of them “with big and strong physiques, astonishing magical powers, but a slightly oafish appearance”. In comparison, Chen Jialuo looks “frail like a scholar, with a face as delicate as a painting”. But the result is, naturally, that Chen Jialuo beats all four.

⾦金庸作品中这⼀一点是再明显不过 了,在其第⼀一部武侠⼩小说《书剑恩 仇 录 》 ⾥里 , 红 花 会 的 章 进 、 杨 成 协、蒋四根三⼈人均以⼒力⼤大著称,但 在各位当家中却都排名甚后,⽽而他 们的头领陈家洛看上去却像是个⽂文 弱书⽣生。书中第 14 回中有⼀一场, 清军阵营中有四位巨⼈人(“忽伦四 虎”)出战,各个都⽣生得“⾝身材魁 伟 , 神 ⼒力 惊 ⼈人 , 只 是 有 些 傻 ⾥里 傻 ⽓气”,相⽐比起来陈家洛则是“⽣生得 ⽂文弱,⾯面⺫⽬目如画”,但结果⾃自然是 陈家洛⼀一举击败四⼈人。

This plot device is undoubtedly a rehash of the “David vs. Goliath” trope, common in mythical tales and legends, but it is worth noting that in Jin Yong’s story, athletically built characters with superhuman strength generally only play supporting roles. Sometimes it is even the case that they are unavoidably thought to be “physically strong but simple-minded” – here, “the Four Tigers of Hulun” are described as “clumsy and slowwitted”. In Jin Yong’s “The Deer and the Cauldron”, the Imperial Guard Dolong also possesses superhuman strength, “both arms capable of exerting a force of a

这个桥段固然是神话传说中常有 的“⼩小个⼦子巧计击败笨巨⼈人”⺟母题 的重演,但值得注意的是:在⾦金庸 的故事中,这类体格健壮、⽣生有神 ⼒力的⼈人,通常都只能是配⾓角,有时 甚⾄至还不免认为他们“四肢发达, 头脑简单”——这⾥里忽伦四虎就被 描 绘 成 “ 傻 ⾥里 傻 ⽓气 ” 。 在 《 ⿅鹿 ⿍鼎 记》⾥里,⼤大内侍卫多隆也是⼀一⾝身神 ⼒力,“双膀实有千⽄斤之⼒力”,施展


thousand pounds”, and when displaying his martial arts, “the muscles on his arm and the back of his hand would protrude”. However, he only practises a form of martial arts based on brute strength and is clearly not a firstclass expert. His image in the book is also that of a simpleton (or to put it more nicely, a naïve person). In Gu Long’s novels, this type of muscular giants feature in an even more tragic manner: they often appear as slaves. Gu Long loves mentioning giant Persian slaves and Kunlun slaves (often “topless” to bare their muscles), who are often called about and dismissed by their masters and would not even disobey orders to avoid death. In “The Legend of the Banner Heroes”, the “Barefoot Man” also has a “bared upper torso”, “metal muscles and steel bones”, unlimited strength, but is finally reduced to Feng Jiuyou’s slave.

武功时“⼿手臂⼿手背上肌⾁肉凸起”, 但他只练外家硬功,显然远⾮非⼀一流 ⾼高⼿手,⽽而书中的形象也显得脑筋有 点简单(说好听点是单纯)。在古 ⻰龙⼩小说中,这种肌⾁肉发达的巨⼈人的 形象甚⾄至更悲惨:他们往往作为奴 ⾪隶出现。古⻰龙在不⽌止⼀一部⼩小说中都 喜欢提到巨⼈人般的波斯奴、昆仑奴 (往往还“精⾚赤上⾝身”以露出⼀一⾝身 肌⾁肉),都是招之即来挥之即去, 主⼈人叫他死也决不违抗;《⼤大旗英 雄 传 》 中 的 ⾚赤 ⾜足 汉 也 是 “ 精 ⾚赤 上 ⾝身”、“铜筋铁⾻骨”,⼒力量⽆无穷, 但最终他也沦为⻛风九幽的奴⾪隶。

These muscle men who solely practice martial arts based on brute strength are not only unable to scale the peaks of martial arts, they also often appear as evil characters. Using “The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber” as an example, quite a few faction leaders of the Heavenly Eagle Cult are of this genre. For example, Jin Peng’s “muscles bulged on his hand and muscles, as knotted as the roots of a tree”; the two other faction leaders are “famous strongmen, with average martial arts skills but a thick and strong body – born with unusual strength, each could carry huge boulders of around four hundred pounds”. Zhao Ming’s subordinate Ah San “is strong and sturdy, fearsome as a tiger; wherever there was muscle, on the face, the hands, the neck, it was twisted and knotted like roots, as if the whole body was filled with energy, swollen as if it was about to explode”. However, he is from the opposing side, diabolical in his methods, and obviously a villain. In contrast, Zhang Wuji, number one in martial arts in the world, is never described in the book to have protruding muscles; what Zhang Sanfeng sees is only “a look in his eyes that did not reveal any splendour, but a faint glimmer like warm crystal, showing that his inner strength had already reached the highest possible peak.”

这些纯练外⻔门硬功的肌⾁肉男不但 往 往 武 功 不 能 达 致 巅 峰 、 形 象 ⽋欠 佳 , 甚 ⾄至 还 常 常 作 为 邪 派 ⼈人 物 出 现。以《倚天屠⻰龙记》为例,天鹰 教下就有不少坛主、舵主是这⼀一类 型,如常⾦金鹏“脸上⼿手上的肌⾁肉凹 凹凸凸、盘根错节”;另两位舵主 是“出名的⼤大⼒力⼠士,武功平平,但 ⾝身躯粗壮,天⽣生神⼒力,每⼈人所抱的 巨⽯石都有四百来⽄斤”。赵敏⼿手下的 阿三,“精壮结实,虎虎有威,脸 上、⼿手上、项颈之中,凡是可⻅见到 肌⾁肉处,尽皆盘根虬结,似乎周⾝身 都是精⼒力,胀得要爆炸出来”,但 他也是出⾝身邪派,⾏行事毒辣,不必 说是反⾯面⾓角⾊色。相⽐比起来,天下武 功第⼀一的张⽆无忌,书中却没有哪⼀一 处描绘到他肌⾁肉凸起,张三丰看到 的只是“他⺫⽬目光中不露光华,却隐 隐然有⼀一层温润晶莹之意,显得内 功已到绝顶之境”。

The message this reveals is very clear: martial arts novels undoubtedly follow the traditional Chinese way of thinking about the body – contempt for the external muscles that can be seen, but high regard to the “essential spirit”, which is precisely what the “faint glimmer like warm crystal” refers to.

这 其 中 透 露 的 信 息 是 ⼗十 分 清 楚 的:武林中⽆无疑也遵循中国⽂文化的 ⾝身体观——轻视那种外在的肌⾁肉, 却重视⼈人流露出来的“精⽓气神”, 所 谓 “ 隐 隐 然 有 ⼀一 层 温 润 晶 莹 之 意”,⽆无⾮非如此。


In Western culture, whether it is art, sculpture, dissection, or athletics, strong attention is paid to the muscles on the human body. A healthy and strong human body is nothing but what is physically manifested through the visualisation of muscle. The Greeks used muscles to understand the body and how it worked. In contrast, drawings of humans in China since ancient times never emphasised clearly visible lines of muscle (in reality, if one does not have special training, it is not that easy to observe the muscles of the human body), but emphasised instead that the life force of the human body was in its “essence” or “divine force” – think of the word “spirit”, which has already become a common word in Chinese. According to Ge Hongbin’s views in his book “The Politics of the Body”, the conception of the body in traditional Chinese culture rarely focused on physical strength. This is because a notion of the body that emphasised power and muscle “was often linked to notions of attack, independence, personality, and so on, and these elements were without exception viewed negatively in political conceptions of ancient China.” Moreover, since the Chinese did not think that the abilities of self-control stemmed from muscle but from “qi” (the “inner strength” mentioned in wuxia novels), then the mastery of a person’s martial arts was clearly unrelated to the development of their physical muscles. If a person’s fighting prowess stemmed from “inner strength”, then to judge this, one could only rely on observations of the person’s bearing and demeanour (handsome, relaxed and so on). This is why Zhang Sanfeng could tell from one glance at the look of Zhang Wuji’s eyes that “his inner strength had already reached the highest possible peak” instead of grabbing and feeling his muscles.

在⻄西⽅方⽂文化中,⽆无论是美术、雕 塑、⻄西医解剖、运动中,都对⼈人体 ⾝身 上 的 肌 ⾁肉 予 以 强 烈 的 关 注 。 健 美、强壮的⼈人体,⽆无⾮非体现在视觉 化的肌⾁肉上,希腊⼈人正是利⽤用肌⾁肉 来 了 解 ⾝身 体 如 何 运 作 的 。 与 之 相 反,中国⾃自古的⼈人像图画从来不强 调视觉上清晰可⻅见的肌⾁肉线条(实 际上若⾮非经过特别训练,要看⻅见⼈人 体肌⾁肉也并⾮非那么容易的事),⽽而 强 调 ⼈人 体 的 ⽣生 命 ⼒力 在 于 “ 精 ” 和 “神”——想想“精神”⼀一词已经 成为常⽤用的汉语词。按葛红兵《⾝身 体政治》中的观点,传统中国⽂文化 中 的 ⾝身 体 观 极 少 突 出 ⼒力 量 型 的 ⾝身 体,因为从⼒力量、肌⾁肉层⾯面强调的 ⾝身体“常常同攻击、独⽴立、性格等 等相联系,⽽而这些⽆无⼀一例外在中国 古 代 政 治 观 念 中 被 看 作 负 ⾯面 因 素 的”。并且,既然中国⼈人认为⼈人的 ⾃自我操控不是来⾃自于肌⾁肉⽽而是来⾃自 于 “ ⽓气 ” ( 武 侠 ⼩小 说 中 的 “ 内 ⼒力”),那么⼀一个⼈人武功的⾼高强与 否 , 显 然 与 肌 ⾁肉 是 否 发 达 是 ⽆无 关 的。如果⼀一个⼈人武艺的⾼高下取决于 内⼒力,那么要“看⻅见”这⼀一点就只 能 通 过 ⼈人 的 神 态 、 ⽓气 质 ( 俊 逸 handsome 疏朗、闲适 relaxed leisure 超然等等)来判断,此所以 张三丰⼀一看到张⽆无忌的⺫⽬目光就知道 他“内功已到绝顶之境”,⽽而不是 去捏⼀一把他有多少肌⾁肉。

What can best demonstrate the difference is this: traditional Chinese Medicine actually doesn’t have technical terms to refer to the different types of muscle. In wuxia novels, you will never read about the biceps, triceps, or other references of this genre to describe two people fighting. In contrast, every book talks about the different pressure points and meridians (this is a term absent from Western studies of dissection), because the “qi” that warriors rely on for self-control exists in the pressure points and meridians through which it flows. Martial arts warriors do not see the

最能显⽰示这种差异的是:传统中 医事实上没有能够指称各种肌⾁肉的 术语,在武侠⼩小说中你从来不会读 到双⽅方在对战时肱⼆二头肌、三头肌 运动之类的短语,相反每本书中都 会提到各种⽳穴道、经脉(这是⻄西⽅方 解剖学⾥里完全没有的),因为侠客 们⾃自我操控所依靠的“⽓气”都是通 过⽳穴道和经脉来运⾏行的。武林中⼈人 对于⾝身体看到的不是肌⾁肉、神经、


human body as one that is made up of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels, but meridians, pressure points, and other nodes that transport “qi”. In comparison, Western medicine only measures the pulse of the “meridians” – in other words, it only calculates the number of times it beats.

⾎血管,⽽而是脉络、⽳穴道等运⽓气节点 组成的,相⽐比起来⻄西⽅方医学中经脉 只剩下脉搏测量——仅仅是计算跳 动次数⽽而已。

And precisely because prowess in the Chinese wuxia tradition has nothing to do with muscles, it is impossible to judge who is an expert only from looking at the state of their physical body. Muscle men often have a low mastery of martial arts; in contrast, those with seemingly sick and disabled bodies often have undeterminably strong martial arts skills. (Such as: the sickly-looking Mi Haishi and the one-armed Yang Guo from the “Ode to Gallantry”, the legless Wu Qing from the “Four Famous Criminal Catchers”. In Gu Long’s “Chu Liuxiang Series”, the strong and terrifying “Son of Bats” Yuan Suiyun was blind, and Bo Hongxue was a cripple.) Of course, this greatly expands the possibilities for characterisation, and makes it far less boring than the sort of fighting that goes on between two muscle men on a boxing platform.

也正因为中国武侠传统中武艺的 ⾼高低与肌⾁肉并不相关,所以⼀一个⾼高 ⼿手 单 纯 从 体 态 上 是 完 全 ⽆无 法 判 断 的。肌⾁肉男往往武艺低微,相反⼀一 些 ⾝身 体 看 上 去 病 态 残 缺 的 ⼈人 ( 如 《侠客⾏行》中⽶米海⽯石看上去⼀一直病 怏怏的、杨过是独臂,四⼤大名捕中 ⽆无 情 没 有 双 腿 , 古 ⻰龙 “ 楚 留 ⾹香 系 列”中武功极可怕的蝙蝠公⼦子原随 云是盲⼈人、傅红雪则是瘸⼦子)却往 往武功深不可测。这当然也极⼤大地 扩展了⾓角⾊色的可能,不⾄至于像拳击 台上总是两个肌⾁肉男那么乏味。

The high regard for “inner strength” also encourages people to scrutinise inner characteristics. That being so, male leads are typically handsome in their bearing. According to Gong Pengcheng in “Historical Theory on China’s Literati Class”, before the middle of the Tang Dynasty, the warrior heroes in literature were more like bandits, but gradually became more Confucian afterwards, displaying rationalised behaviour. After the spread of the Neijia (literally “internal strength”) boxing in the Ming Dynasty, “the image of warrior heroes in literature increasingly shifted from that of the “plucky lad” to that of the handsome and intelligent scholar; other than a heroic temperament, he had to be gentle, know how to reply with poetic repartees, and be equally proficient in both the pen and the sword.” This cultural psyche that had been established early made the Chinese mentality prejudiced against muscle men. Jin Yong and others naturally could not resist this mental inertia. Imagine if Jin Yong presented a muscle man, specialising in brute strength, as the male protagonist – would you be able to accept it?

对“内功”的重视也使⼈人们更看 重内在⽓气质,既如此,男主⾓角⾃自以 丰神俊朗为是。按龚鹏程在《中国 ⽂文⼈人阶层史论》中的观点,唐代中 叶之前的侠客多类盗匪,但之后却 渐渐濡染⼠士⻛风,⾏行为渐渐理性化, 到明代内家拳理论兴起后,“侠客 的造型越来越由‘好汉’变成俊秀 的 ⽂文 ⼠士 ; 侠 ⾻骨 之 外 , ⼜又 须 具 备 柔 情,能吟诗作对、书剑两⾏行”。这 种⻓长期奠定的⽂文化⼼心理使中国⼈人头 脑中早已习惯了对肌⾁肉发达者的偏 ⻅见,⾦金庸等各位⾃自然也⽆无法对抗这 种⼼心理惯性,试想如果⾦金庸把⼀一位 横 练 外 ⻔门 硬 功 的 肌 ⾁肉 男 作 为 男 主 ⾓角,你能接受吗?

Originally published on the author’s Douban blog.


Marco Polo Magazine

The Marco Polo Project is a Melbourne-based non-profit organisation that bring new Chinese voices to non-Chinese audiences. Our website offers a diverse selection of writing from the Chinese internet, and we facilitate collaborative translation online and offline. Media discussions of contemporary China tend to focus on politics, economics and environmental issues, and represent the country monolithically. In contrast, our goal is to make more visible and accessible the many subjective experiences of everyday life in today’s China, and allow readers to better understand what the world looks like from the point of view of embodied Chinese individuals. This is the first issue of the Marco Polo Magazine, a new initiative from Marco Polo Project. The Marco Polo Magazine brings together some of the best texts from our online selection with reviewed translations, and makes them available to readers around the world in an easy-to-read digital bilingual format. Each issue of the Marco Polo Magazine is the work of one chief editor, and offers a unique transversal reading across our collection of original writing from China. This first issue was edited by Ting Wei Tai from Singapore / New Haven. All texts in this magazine were originally published on the Chinese internet in Mandarin, translated by members of our online community, and reviewed by our editor Ting Wei Tai. The Marco Polo Magazine is a non-commerical initiative. Unless otherwise specified, the copright of all original texts published in this magazine remains with their original author. Translations are published under a creative commons – attribution license. The texts published in this magazine come from a variety of online sources, listed at the end of each piece. Please visit for a direct link to the source. Join the Marco Polo Project, and help us read, translate and share new voices from China. Please contact to discuss collaboration opportunities, or share your comments and insights on this magazine.

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