2015年12月24日 星期四

蘭佩杜薩《豹》“The Leopard” By Lampedusa《豹——兰佩杜萨文集》

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa was born in Palermo, Sicily, Italy on this day in 1896. He was an Italian writer and the last Prince of Lampedusa.
"We were the Leopards, the Lions; those who'll take our place will be little jackals, hyenas; and the whole lot of us, Leopards, jackals, and sheep, we'll all go on thinking ourselves the salt of the earth."
--from THE LEOPARD (1958)
The Sicilian prince, Don Fabrizio, hero of Lampedusa's great and only novel, is described as enormous in size, in intellect, and in sensuality. The book he inhabits shares his dimensions in its evocation of an aristocracy confronting democratic upheaval and the new force of nationalism. In the decades since its publication shortly after the author's death in 1957, The Leopard has come to be regarded as the twentieth century's greatest historical fiction. Introduction by David Gilmour; Translation by Archibald Colquhoun

21世紀的蘭佩杜薩悲劇......


"The boy next to me fell to the floor and for a moment I didn’t know if he had fainted or was dead – then I saw that he was covering his eyes so he didn’t have to see the waves any more. A pregnant woman vomited and started screaming. Below deck, people were shouting that they couldn’t breathe, so the men in charge of the boat went down and started beating them. By the time we saw a rescue helicopter, two days after our boat had left Libya with 250 passengers on board, some people were already dead – flung into the sea by the waves, or suffocated downstairs in the dark. It’s very difficult for me to think about this, nearly four years after I paid a smuggler to get me out of Libya, but it’s important for people to understand what is happening to us and why."


I was a Lampedusa refugee. Here’s my story of fleeing Libya – and surviving

No one gets on those deadly ships to Italy unless it’s a last resort; and...
THEGUARDIAN.COM|由 HAKIM BELLO 上傳



《豹——蘭佩杜薩文集》 費慧茹、 艾敏等譯; 吉林出版集團, 2008

目錄


譯者序言


引言(E.M.福斯特)


豹(費慧茹 艾敏譯)


第一章 親王其人
第二章 多納富伽塔
第三章 堂法布裏契奧的煩惱
第四章 多納富伽塔之戀
第五章 彼羅內神父返鄉
第六章 舞會
第七章 親王之死
第八章 尾聲




莉海婭(袁華清譯)

瞎眼的貓(費慧茹譯)
幸福與法規(呂同六譯)
我幼年呆過的地方(郝一匡譯)
編者後記



譯者序言

2007723是義大利作家朱塞佩
托馬西蘭佩杜薩逝世50周年忌日。他的一生富於傳奇色彩,值得我們追思和紀念。
195811月,一位名不見經傳的西西里島巴勒莫人寫的長篇小說《豹》出版發行了。此舉立即轟動了義大利文壇,小說成為當年暢銷書。19595月,書已經印到了十八版,並獲得Strega文學獎(女巫獎)1961年,小說被譯成法、英、德等國文字。
  這個不為人知的巴勒莫人就是朱塞佩·托馬西··蘭佩杜薩;然而,書在斯人去,作者已于1957723病故。書的出版是一波三折。作者在世時,相繼遭到MondadoriEinaudi出版社的拒絕,後來,書稿輾轉傳到了作家喬治·巴薩尼手裏。他認定這是本世紀一部佳作,遂把它推薦給了Feltrinelli出版社,並為該書寫了序言,《豹》終於得以問世。
  多年來經過研究蘭佩杜薩的學者的探尋和考證,蘭佩杜薩的身世之謎慢慢浮出水面,他的基本生活軌跡也日漸清晰。事實證明他的成功不是偶然的,並非是人們所謂的奇跡,而是和其特殊的家庭環境和淵博的學識分不開的。
  18961223,蘭佩杜薩誕生在巴勒莫一個古老而又日趨沒落的貴族家庭。曾祖父是一位天文學家。蘭佩杜薩是獨生子,孤寂的童年養成了內向、沉默的性格。閱讀是他的愛好,給了他許多樂趣。
  蘭佩杜薩在10歲之前就開始和父母去巴黎旅遊,後來,他學習法語,可以直接讀法文書籍,他喜歡巴黎的文化氛圍和法國文學,讚賞盧梭、司湯達、巴爾扎克和普魯斯特等法國作家。
  1914—1915學年,他在熱那亞大學法律系讀書。第一次世界大戰爆發,他中斷了學習,應召入伍,在戰場上受傷,被俘,關在匈牙利的松博特海伊戰俘營中。後來,蘭佩杜薩越獄成功,歷盡艱辛,徒步返回祖國。
  從1925年開始,他多次去倫敦旅遊。這使他和英國文學結緣。莎士比亞、狄更斯、薩克雷等古典作家令他折服。他在倫敦結識了未來的生活伴侶——亞曆桑德拉·沃爾夫·斯托梅爾西。亞曆桑德拉是拉脫維亞人,母親是義大利人。1932824,一對情侶在拉脫維亞里加城的一座教堂裏舉行了婚禮。婚後,在里加居留期間,蘭佩杜薩學習俄語,閱讀俄國文學作品,普希金、托爾斯泰等作家把他帶進了一個新的文化天地。
  1953年至1955年, 他在家鄉以私人授課方式召集了一些有才華的青年,和他們一起探討文學。在這群人中,有的日後成為著名學者。例如:焦阿基諾·蘭紮··馬紮里諾(蘭佩杜薩 的義子)成為研究音樂的學者;弗朗切斯科·奧蘭多成為法國文學專家。奧蘭多寫的《回憶蘭佩杜薩》提供了許多這一階段關於老師的有價值資料。
  1955年至1957年是蘭佩杜薩致力於文學創作時期。父母的過世、外祖父家府邸被變賣、自家府邸在二戰期間被飛機炸毀等事件對蘭佩杜薩是很大的打擊,令他感到更加孤寂和失落。1954年夏天,他陪表弟——詩人彼科洛參加了在倫巴底的聖·佩雷克里諾舉行的一次文學會議。早年就萌發的創作意識此時已日趨成熟,此後,他就全神貫注地投入到長篇小說《豹》的創作之中。
  蘭佩杜薩天資聰慧,通曉英、法、德、俄及西班牙等國語言。在閱覽群書中,他吸收了本國及其它多國經典文學中的精華,化為己有,再把它們融入到自己的作品中。他豐富的人生經歷和多元化的文化底蘊是他寫作的源泉。
  書稿完成後,1957527,他被診斷患有肺癌,到羅馬醫治無效,於1957723離開人世。
  《豹》敍述的是西西里一個古老貴族家庭在資產階級革命風暴中經歷衰亡的歷史。是這個家族的族徽,象徵著這個家族的權勢和威嚴。
  19世紀,義大利經歷了一場轟轟烈烈的反外族佔領,要求自由和解放的民族統一運動。世紀初,義大利出現了秘密團體燒炭黨。30年代,馬志尼成立了青年義大利党,主張建立共和國。當時,奧地利、法國和西班牙分別控制著義大利北部、中部和南部,義大利處於四分五裂狀態。1859年意、法對奧戰爭獲勝,迫使奧軍退出倫巴底,推動了義大利北部和中部的革命浪潮。一些城市和地區,如帕爾馬、摩德納、馬爾凱、翁布裏亞、托斯卡納併入了彼埃蒙特的撒丁王國,部分實現了統一。不久,革命風暴席捲南方各地。18604月,西西里島爆發了農民起義,遭到南部波旁王朝政府軍的血腥鎮壓。青年義大利党人加里波第聞訊率千人團前往援助。511,他們在西西里島西部的馬爾薩拉登陸,消滅了政府軍。波旁王朝覆滅,西西里全境得到解放。1021日, 經過公民投票,統一的義大利王國誕生了。北部原撒丁王國國王艾瑪努爾勒成為一國之君。義大利復興運動是義大利人民爭取民族獨立與統一的資產階級革命運動。 從實質上講,是經濟發達,思想開明的北部(城市)與經濟落後、思想保守的南部(農村)的較量,北部在這一番較量中勝出。北部和南部之間的差異與矛盾,始終 是困擾義大利的一大問題。
  小說《豹》正是以加里波第登陸馬爾薩拉為切入點,展開了薩利納家族在這一動盪時期發生的故事。薩利納親王在這一社會變革中,像海藻一樣,隨波逐流,同 時由於同舊王朝有著千絲萬縷的聯繫,內心的衝突十分激烈,經常為一種不安、失落和死亡感所折磨。外甥唐克雷蒂投身革命,他的一句話假使我們希望一切如 故,就得先讓它一切都變令薩利納恍然大悟:以不變應萬變。國家的統一在歷史上是前進了一步,但是,國家的體制仍然是君主專政制,而不是人民共和國制。新 興的資產階級與沒落的封建貴族階級經過較量後,不但互相妥協,而且進一步勾結,勞動人民則受到雙重壓迫。加里波第在阿斯普羅蒙特受傷後,貴族們頻頻舉行舞 會,慶倖劫後餘生。作者的出身背景使他在書中流露了對未來的悲觀情緒和懷疑主義,但是客觀上揭示了義大利復興運動的軟弱性和妥協性。
  小說中除了社會變革這一條主線外,還有一條支線,那就是愛情。薩利納親王的外甥唐克雷蒂和市長女兒安琪麗卡的愛情與結合是建立在政治和經濟利益基礎上 的。唐克雷蒂要憑藉安琪麗卡家的財富步入政界,而安琪麗卡則需依靠薩利納家族的聲望進入所謂的上流社會。小說從這個側面襯托了新、舊兩個階級的互相利用、 互相滲透的現象。
  《豹》對西西里島的社會也作了一定的剖析。它通過生動的語言向讀者展示了這個島嶼的旖旎風光、物質和精神上的貧困以及黑手黨的猖獗。西西里長期以來受到外族的侵佔和統治。自西元前735年以來,它就成為異族佔領的殖民地。希臘、迦太基、東哥特、拜占庭、撒拉遜、諾曼第以及西班牙等侵略者接踵而來,使西西里人民處於水深火熱之中。
  小說對人物性格刻畫得有血有肉,活靈活現。薩利納親王是中心人物,他表面上威嚴,內心卻很脆弱。他不善理財,卻憐香惜玉,醉心於對星際的研究。他的複 雜而矛盾的精神世界被描繪得十分細膩,層次分明,跌宕起伏,表現了他思想上的多面性。這個人物的原型是作者的曾祖父朱利奧·托馬西。他生於1814年,是個天文學家,曾發現兩顆小行星,獲得法國索邦神學院的獎勵。書中其他人物也各具鮮明個性,栩栩如生。
  《豹》出現在第二次世界大戰以後義大利新現實主義由盛而衰時期。它以國人關切的歷史題材、生動詼諧的語言及高超的藝術技巧,打破了當時義大利文壇沉寂的局面,令人耳目一新。從出版到20世紀80年代,銷售量超過百萬冊,被譯成15 語言,並且引起文藝界的廣泛關注。小說《豹》曾在電臺廣播,還被改編成歌劇,反響很好,後被搬上銀幕。影片由義大利電影大師維斯康蒂執導,由美國演員伯特 ·蘭卡斯特、法國演員阿蘭·德隆以及義大利女星克勞迪亞·卡爾迪納利連袂主演。該片大獲成功,獲得戛納電影節金棕櫚獎。
1961年, 蘭佩杜薩的《短篇小說集》也出版了。其中包括短篇小說《莉海婭》和《幸福與法規》,還有一部未完成的長篇小說《一個佃農的早晨》。除此之外,他還寫過一篇 幼年時期的回憶錄,以及關於法國作家司湯達的文學講稿,至今還被歐洲大學作為參考教材。如果他不是過早地被病魔奪去生命,一定會給讀者奉獻更多優秀的作 品。蘭佩杜薩的一生是短暫的,但是,他留下的長篇小說《豹》卻是不朽的。
值此作家逝世50周年之際,我們將這部小說修訂再版,這不僅是對作家蘭佩杜薩最好的紀念,同時也對長期以來喜歡《豹》的中文讀者們一次最好的回饋。

 費慧茹 艾敏
200712月于北京

JSTOR: Lampedusa's Il Gattopardo: Figure and Temporality in an ...
Instead they examine the "pesche forestiere," and Tancredi voices his approbation
of his uncle in this alternate role of "agricola pius. ...庄稼人

Sicily, Through the Eyes of the Leopard


Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896-1957) inherited a palace in Palermo (he was an aristocrat — a prince, no less), and had it not been demolished by an Allied bomb on April 5, 1943, the Palazzo Lampedusa would probably be scrubbed clean today, assiduously restored in honor of an author whose only novel, published posthumously in 1958, is one of Italy’s best-loved books.
“The Leopard” is about the decline of a noble Sicilian family. The patriarch, proud Fabrizio, Prince of Salina (based on Lampedusa’s great-grandfather, Prince Giulio), is acutely aware of this decline and seems almost to embrace it. Set in Palermo and deep in the interior in the early 1860s, during the tumultuous years of Garibaldi’s Risorgimento when Sicily was annexed to a united Italy, the novel could fuel a seminar’s worth of meditations on political and social transformation. (The famous line, which becomes a mantra of sorts for Don Fabrizio, is this: “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”) But though it has sparked heated debates about Sicilian history, most readers respond to the book’s shimmering beauty, and to the towering figure of the Prince himself.
Wise and perplexed, stern and indulgent, loyal and essentially solitary, even in the midst of his crowded household, Don Fabrizio is the indispensable companion for traveling around Sicily. He’s one of those unforgettable literary characters who seem more real than people you’ve actually met (and easily more important than the neighbor who moved away or the great-aunt you last laid eyes on a dozen years ago). The trait that defines the Prince is his dignity, which stems in part from his clear-eyed sense of himself; he claims to be “without illusions” — he lacks, he says, “the faculty of self-deception.” He surveys himself, and Sicily, with unflinching honesty.

By ADAM BEGLEY
Lampedusa’s novel “The Leopard” charts the decline of his noble family, and serves as a portal

中文名稱:當代世界文學經典 朗讀版 托馬齊蘭佩杜薩
別名:浩氣蓋山河
地區:義大利
語言:義大利語
簡介:
通過一個義大利貴族家庭的衰敗,表現了民族復興運動在古老的西西里激起的波瀾和封建貴族階級的沒落。
小說《豹》的作者是約瑟夫托馬齊蘭佩杜薩(Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa)親王,有可能因為他的身世,也開始被人提起。因為喜歡電影,不滿足的觀眾開始搜尋小說,這不是第一次了。很多人就是看完了《一樹 梨花壓海棠》從而去讀《洛麗塔》的。具有歷史相似性的是,蘭佩杜薩親王本人也是因為這部1963年戛納電影節獲得金棕櫚獎的電影而獲得國際性聲譽的(戛納 國際電影節期間,導演魯奇諾維斯康蒂與演員克勞迪婭卡迪納萊、伯特蘭卡斯特一起,與一頭豹子在戛納的海灘上讓記者們採訪拍照時,作者已去世6 了)。小說在21世紀的某些中國讀者中引起興趣,不過是歷史在重演,或者說電影介紹文學這一國際現象在遠東遙遠而沉悶的回聲。
《豹》這部華麗散文體小說其實在1984年就被敏銳的譯者費慧茹和艾敏譯成了精妙的漢語。1986年由外國文學出版社出版後,幾乎沒有什麼反響。《豹》作 為小說,在國際上也有過6年被忽視的命運。在這期間,英國文豪E.M.福斯特對此現象大為不滿,指出此書是最偉大的孤獨作品之一。同樣,我也讀到了詩 人歐陽江河在1990年寫下的詩歌《豹徽》,這首詩顯然是和小說《豹》相呼應的。儘管在詩中,豹與貴族重合這個主題的展開沒有局限於小說內容,而是幾乎窮 盡了這個主題自身發展的可能性,其中,幾個段落包含了對小說的某種解讀:豹子的吼叫驚散了羊群/它把回聲的震動/減輕到薄如蟬翼的傷害/而它奔放的肢體 沉浸在嗓子裏……”,這很像一幅薩利納親王的肖像:威嚴而又脆弱。豹在人的徽章中吼叫/它的前額比以往的憤怒更為廣闊豹在它的憤怒中燃盡/它高貴 的血吹拂著荒原上的羊齒草,這兩句點明了豹徽在小說中的象徵意義,也寫出了主人公和豹的共同點——徒具形式的憤怒和對悲劇命運的漠然。
在多數人的印象中,當貴族與藝術品發生關係,身份多半會是藝術家的贊助人和藝術品的收藏者。文學中對貴族的描寫多半也是側面的。格格林在小說中提到意大 利的貴族時,用令人難忘的筆調寫道:只有八百年的門閥,才能培養出這樣的風度。當蘭佩杜薩親王的小說擺在我們面前,我們對貴族可能會有一個新的定 義。
對於蘭佩杜薩本人,漫長的家族歷史成了他寫作的負擔(名門望族多半把寫作看作是一件令人難為情的事),另一方面,他的一生幾乎就是為準備寫作《豹》而度過 的。傳記作家大衛吉爾莫在《最後的豹:約瑟夫托馬齊蘭佩杜薩的一生》中寫到《豹》的作者所擁有的是傷腦筋的、令人失望和悲哀的一生。他的父 自大、尖刻荒謬的傲慢感常使他充滿憤怒在與親戚關於錢的的爭執中度過了大半生。我們可以看到小說中蘭佩杜薩是這樣寫的:薩利納家族幾 個世紀來從沒有人會把自己家裏的花銷加一加,也不會把自己家裏的債務減一減。堂法布里契奧薩利納常說:每碰到一個親戚,就是觸到了一根刺。而作者 極權的母親,幾乎破壞了他兒子的婚姻。在小說裏,我們也看到作者譏諷一個女人經常掀起家務事的軒然大波
作者之所以在1960年前寫完這部小說,恐怕也是感到了1860年加里波第登陸並解放西西里100周年給予了他某種壓力。身為貴族,他只能從貴族的角度去 寫西西里的解放。主人公堂法布裏契奧薩利納親王的原型是作者的曾祖父朱利奧托馬西,在歷史上是一個發現過兩顆小行星的天文學家。如果故事講的是加里波 第,多年前的臺灣譯名《浩氣蓋山河》就不算荒謬。因為儘管堂法布裏契奧出於自尊不願意當國王的告密者,但對革命的態度不算反感至少也是漠然的。他輕蔑地稱 加里波第紅衫軍的軍服紅得像大蝦。就那次革命來說,堂法布裏契奧根本沒有表現出什麼浩氣,他的狹小領地恐怕也不能稱之為山河。何況堂法布裏契 奧自己就以他特有的觀察角度說過:遲鈍者對風趣者的反感,總會以政治觀點為幌子傾瀉出來。這個觀察浩瀚的外界空間和探索遼闊的內部深淵的堂法布裏契奧心情是常常不好的。西西里長達26個世紀的不幸歷史、他的財務狀況、他的婚姻、他的子女、 維持一個衰敗中的貴族家庭的正常運轉、外省的平庸氣氛、關於加里波第登陸的各種謠言,都讓他開心不起來。他對於西西里人沒來由的喜悅心情是這樣評價的:西西里人雖然遭受過十個左右不同民族的鐵蹄的踐踏,但他們相信自己的過去是偉大的,因而有權舉行一次奢華的葬禮。對於別的貴族企圖改善財務狀況的努 力,他揶揄道:由於他在那裏不停地搞農業革新,幾乎要把莊園毀了。作者時常把主人公的苦惱與力圖保持威嚴結合在一起,在讀者看來變成了一種令人發笑的 東西。作者接著寫道:親王們有一個守護神,名叫良好的教養他寧可自己愁緒滿懷,也不去打擾別人的閒情逸致。
正是貴族也無法控制自己的命運這一點打動了讀者。與在波旁王朝和加里波第之間無所作為相對應的,是他在自己身邊所發生的事情中保持著高度的敏感。對農民的 同情、對自身欲望的妥協、對暴發戶的輕蔑均在日常事務的觀察中體現得很有質感。這種類似于福樓拜的風格也在義大利完成了福樓拜在法國完成的使命:作為現實 主義的巔峰之作啟迪了現代主義。當然這種風格並不是什麼人都能理解的,至少在大名鼎鼎的《經濟學人》的撰稿人看來也是奇怪的:雖然這本書裏沒有什麼事情發 生,但是卻有這麼多的讀者。也許這個作者感到奇怪的是,在那個波瀾壯闊的時代,有那麼多東西可寫,《豹》的作者卻總是用他的生花妙筆去寫在個人內心中起伏 的細微漣漪。
對於全世界熱情讀者持續增長的好奇,蘭佩杜薩親王的後代既吃驚又厭煩。無論是義大利還是外國的學者,都無法接近到那些還沒有編輯出版的珍貴紙片。經過外界 近四分之一個世紀的努力,蘭佩杜薩親王的家族朋友大衛吉爾莫終於勝利進入到瀕於傾圮的蘭佩杜薩宮,找到了那些信件、日記、筆記和照片。親王去世後,這些 資料一直都不曾見過天日。
以整理和發行有收藏價值的經典電影DVD而知名的Criterion公司,於200468日正式發行了義大利電影大師魯奇諾維斯康蒂於1963年導 演的影片DVD《豹》(又名《浩氣蓋山河》)北美一區版。這部由伯特蘭卡斯特、阿蘭德龍和克勞迪婭卡迪納萊等國際巨星演出的電影至今仍有不少熱心觀 眾。在此之前,法國百代公司發行了二區法國雙碟收藏版,也是全新修復的40周年版。我在國內的一些媒體上也陸續看到了喜愛維斯康蒂的人寫的文字。諸如 斯康蒂在作品中找尋自己家族沒落的痕跡、某句主人公的話就是維斯康蒂的思想自白等。
《豹》作為義大利新現實主義導演維斯康提的重要作品之一,在國際上享有很高的地位,正如義大利影評家隆多裏尼所說:《豹》是一幅上乘的(義大利)歷史壁 畫。。維斯康提通過薩利納親王家族的興衰起伏,表達了自己對新舊交替的感懷,更表達出一種對於時間的無奈和宿命感。同時由於維斯康提本人身為貴族,因此 影片也從其自身的經歷出發,感慨了貴族階級的滅亡,被國際影評人認為是他用心靈拍攝的大手筆影片。


作者小檔案:
約瑟夫托馬齊蘭佩杜薩(Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa 1896-1957)義大利作家。出生在西西里的一個貴族世家,畢業于都靈大學法律系。生前一直很不得志,晚年在家賦閑。長篇歷史小說《豹》(1958) 在他逝世以後才得到出版,轟動文壇。《豹》描寫1860年民族復興運動高潮至1910年第一次世界大戰前夕這一歷史時期的事件,主人公西西里貴族范布裏齊 薩利納公爵在資產階級革命風暴衝擊下喪失權勢,他的侄子唐克雷蒂不甘心貴族家庭的沒落,投奔加里波第率領的千人團,最後投靠暴發的資產階級權貴。小說 比較真實、細緻地反映出義大利封建制度的崩潰,對資產階級的貪得無厭也有一定的揭露。但作品中也流露出作者對封建貴族階級的衰亡表示的惆悵和對民族復興運 動的結局感到失望的情緒。蘭佩杜薩的其他遺稿,經友人整理,後來又陸續出版了《短篇小說集》(1961)、《論斯丹達爾》 (1959-1961) 



The Professor and the Siren

August 9, 2014 | by 

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s groundbreaking mermaid.
The-Mermaid
Howard Pyle, The Mermaid, 1910
By the side of the path around the circular, volcanic crater of Lake Pergusa, near the town of Enna in the center of Sicily, a carved stone marks the spot where Proserpina, the goddess of the spring, was seized and carried off by Pluto into the underworld. “Qui, in questo luogo,” proclaims the inscription. “Proserpina fù rapita.” This is the very place:
                                          ...that fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpin gath’ring flow’rs
Herself a fairer Flow’r by gloomy Dis
Was gather’d, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world.
(Milton, Paradise Lost, IV)
I was giving a lecture in Palermo in 2011 and asked to see the entrance to Hades. My hosts from the university kindly drove me; it was early summer, the lush undergrowth was starred with flowers, and the tapestry of orchids, campion, arum, acanthus, clover, wild hyacinth, thyme, and marjoram was still green, tender, and damp. Next to the monument I found another sign, which pointed beyond the chain-link fence toward “the cave from which the god issued forth in his chariot.” Again, the use of the past historic declared the event’s definite reality. In a tangle of bushes and fruit trees, some rocks were visible, but the mouth opening on the infernal regions now stands in private grounds.
Ovid tells us, in his Metamorphoses, that the young girls who were gathering flowers with Proserpina that fatal day were turned into the Sirens—the bird-bodied golden-feathered singers with female faces of the Homeric tradition—and then went wandering about over land and sea, crying out in search of their vanished playmate. In “The Professor and the Siren,” Giuseppe Tomasi, Prince of Lampedusa, picks up these echoes when he evokes a passionate love affair unfolding by the sea in the ferocious heat of the dog days in 1887. However, in this late story, which was written in January 1957, a few months before his death, Lampedusa gives his immortal heroine the body of a fish from the waist down; in this he is following the more familiar northern folklore tradition of fish-tailed mermaids; of Mélusine, seal women or selkies; and of water spirits, called undines by the alchemist and philosopher Paracelsus. But both species share the special charm of an irresistible voice. In the case of Lampedusa’s mermaid, hers is “a bit guttural, husky, resounding with countless harmonics; behind the words could be discerned the sluggish undertow of summer seas, the whisper of receding beach foam, the wind passing over lunar tides. The song of the Sirens ... does not exist; the music that cannot be escaped is their voice alone.” 
“The Professor and the Siren” is the only instance of fantastic fiction in Lampedusa’s scanty oeuvre, but enigmatic and brief as it is, it condenses many elements from both local and more distant folklore into a deeply strange, sometimes disturbing fable; in the manner of Giovanni Boccaccio and of The Thousand and One Nights, the tale encloses a visionary and magical adventure inside a naturalistic, quotidian frame story. In the outer frame, Paolo Corbera, a young journalist living a bit on the wild side, who comes from the same aristocratic Sicilian family—the Salina—as Don Fabrizio, the hero of Lampedusa’s novel The Leopard, meets an aged fellow countryman in a dingy café in Turin in 1938. He discovers the old man is a renowned classicist and senator, Rosario La Ciura, a waspish misanthrope who is contemptuous of everything and everyone around him in the modern world. But the younger man is attracted by a quality of mystery and yearning beneath the spiky persona and grows attached to him; the feeling is mutual, though La Ciura does not let up on his withering remarks, bitter denunciations of contemporary society, and mockery of the imagined squalor of his young friend’s promiscuous adventures. Then one evening, over dinner at his house, on the eve of a sea voyage to a conference in Lisbon, La Ciura confides in Paolo the story of his first and only experience of love.
In that torrid summer of 1887, La Ciura tells Paolo, he retreated to a shack by the sea on the magnificent wild shore on the eastern side of Sicily, near the port of Augusta. One day, while he lay studying in a gently rocking boat in order to escape the ferocious heat on land, he felt the craft dip: “I turned and saw her: The smooth face of a sixteen-year-old emerged from the sea; two small hands gripped the gunwale. The adolescent smiled, a slight displacement of her pale lips that revealed small, sharp white teeth, like dogs.’ ” He pulls her into the boat and sees her lower body: “She was a Siren.”
The Siren announces herself: She is “Lighea, daughter of Calliope,” a name that lays a clue to the story’s deeper meaning, for Calliope is the muse of epic poetry who, in the Metamorphoses, tells the story of Proserpina, her abduction, and the transformation of her handmaidens. Through this account of her daughter’s irruption into La Ciura’s life, the overwhelming epiphany he undergoes through her love, and its lifelong aftershock, Lampedusa is placing himself as the heir of an imaginative literary legacy running back to the pagan past, when Christian repression and hypocrisy did not exercise their hold but instead life was bathed in a luminous intensity and heightened by guilt-free passion.
While the name Lighea (the original title of the story in Italian) echoes the heroine of Edgar Allan Poe’s early tale of erotic haunting “Ligeia,” the coincidence is not altogether helpful; La Ciura has remained spellbound all his life by his youthful love, but Lampedusa’s story does not raise uncanny specters or relish sickly memories. The Sicilian is writing against the morbid obsession of Poe; the passion at the core of his modern mythology conjures the possibility of an earthy, pastoral ecstasy, much closer to Dionysian erotica and its legacy (Mallarmé’s “L’Après-midi d’un faune”) than to creepy high Gothic; animality recurs in the tale as an ideal. In a startling passage, La Ciura even compares the bliss he experienced with his mermaid to Sicilian goatherds coupling with their animals.
Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), Lampedusa’s only novel, a Stendhalian historical reconstruction of Sicilian society in the tumult of the Garibaldian revolution, is one of those books that has such vivid energy of imagination it has replaced Sicilian reality in the minds of thousands. The book unfurls a fabric of luxuriantly worked detail, as encrusted and sumptuous as one of the island’s embroidered mantles of the Madonna, and its worldwide success with readers arose partly from this sensuous plenitude: Lampedusa piles on pleasurable, heady effects, as in the celebrated ball scene when he parades profiteroles, succulent Babas, and irresistible “Virgins’ cakes.” “The Professor and the Siren” likewise stimulates each of the senses—we are invited to smell and taste the siren, not just to see or touch her. The erotic avidity of the eminent, scornful professor startles his young friend, Paolo, just as it can take the reader by surprise, too. The old man wants to eat sea urchins:
“ ... they are the most beautiful thing you have down there, bloody and cartilaginous, the very image of the female sex, fragrant with salt and seaweed. Typhus, typhus! They’re dangerous as all gifts from the sea are; the sea offers death as well as immortality. In Syracuse I demanded that Orsi order them immediately. What flavor! How divine in appearance! My most beautiful memory of the last fifty years!”
I was confused and fascinated: a man of such stature indulging in almost obscene metaphors, displaying an infantile appetite for the altogether mediocre pleasure of eating sea urchins!
Later, Paolo brings La Ciura some very fresh ones for supper and watches him eat them:
The urchins, split in half, revealed their wounded, blood-red, strangely compartmentalized flesh. I’d never paid attention before now, but after the senator’s bizarre comparisons they really did seem like cross sections of who knows what delicate female organs. He consumed them avidly but without cheer, with a meditative, almost sorrowful air.
The effect is a bit queasy, a collision of refinement with explicit fleshly delights. Earlier, La Ciura has quoted the opening line of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 119: “What potions have I drunk of Siren tears?”
The original sonnet, however, continues in a dark Jacobean spirit, that these tears have been “Distilled from limbecks foul as hell within.” The reader may not carry libraries in his head like the author, but turning back to Shakespeare will find that the poet, overborne by “this madding fever” of his love, cries out against the clash between beauty and ugliness, desire and repulsion. La Ciura, idealizing a memory of bliss with one exceptional lover, while furiously denouncing all other women as sluts, or worse, recalls Lear who in his madness rains down curses on women’s organs: “Down from the waist they are Centaurs, / Though women all above; / But to the girdle do the gods inherit, / Beneath is all the fiends’: there’s hell, there’s darkness, / There is the sulphurous pit, burning, scalding, / Stench, consumption. Fie, fie, fie! pah, pah!” (King Lear, IV, 6)
In Shakespeare’s imagination, the centaurs that Lear excoriates are—like mermaids, monsters, mythic hybrids of animal and human parts—close to nature and its bounty and violence, and brimful of classical associations with untamed passions. But La Ciura is taking issue with this dichotomy and its freight of sin and disgust. He declares, “I told you before, Corbera: She was a beast and at the same time an Immortal, and it’s a shame that we cannot continuously express this synthesis in speaking, the way she does, with absolute simplicity, in her own body.”
Lighea’s marvelous duality is reflected throughout the story. The old man and his young friend—the one celibate, the other libidinous—dramatize the traditional Greek antinomy between reason and desire, the civilized and the wild. Yet, as with the mermaid’s form, Lampedusa aims to fashion a coincidentia oppositorum at many levels—supernatural and natural, unreal and material, monstrosity and beauty, animal and human, ideal love and lubricious delight—arraying his love story in language that’s enriched by his famously wide reading across the spectrum of genres, including Calliope’s sphere, epic poetry: The imagery of his siren’s peculiar anatomy owes something to Keats’s Lamia, as well as to Homer’s Scylla. With judicious wit, Lampedusa corrects misapprehensions among his forebears; for example, in canto XIX of Purgatorio, a passage familiar to Italian readers, Dante describes a dream of an ambiguous siren, beautiful and grotesque, and remembers how he woke sharply at the stench from her exposed belly. This is the sort of puritanical horror that Lampedusa rejects utterly. When La Ciura evokes the delicious aroma of his siren, he is pointedly redressing the wrong done to the species. Above all, La Ciura’s heroine declares, “Don’t believe the stories about us. We don’t kill anyone, we only love.”

A version of this essay appears as the introduction to The Professor and the Siren, © 2014 New York Review Books Classics.
Marina Warner’s studies of religion, mythology, and fairy tales include Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Truman Capote Prize; Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary, From the Beast to the Blonde, and No Go the Bogeyman. In 2013 she coedited Scheherazade’s Children: Global Encounters with the Arabian Nights. A Fellow of the British Academy, she is also a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford.


『山猫』
Short Fiction
「リゲーア」

沒有留言:

網誌存檔