2016年1月2日 星期六

Gustav Janouch 《卡夫卡談話錄》

Conversations with Kafka (Second Edition) (New Directions Paperbook) Second Edition Edition

  • Series: New Directions Paperbook (Book 1217)
  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; Second Edition edition (January 26, 2012)
  • Language: English

Conversations with Kafka

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Gustav Janouch met Franz Kafka, the celebrated author of The Metamorphosis, as a seventeen-year-old fledgling poet. As Francine Prose notes in her wonderful preface, “they fell into the habit of taking long strolls through the city, strolls on which Kafka seems to have said many amazing, incisive, literary, and per- things to his companion and interlocutor, the teenage Boswell of Prague. Crossing a windswept square, apropos of something or other, Kafka tells Janouch, ‘Life is infinitely great and profound as the immensity of the stars above us. One can only look at it through the narrow keyhole of one’s personal experience. But through it one perceives more than one can see. So above all one must keep the keyhole clean.’”

They talk about writing (Kafka’s own, but also that of his favorite writers: Poe, Kleist, and Rimbaud, who “transforms vowels into colors”) as well as technology, film, crime, Darwinism, Chinese philosophy, carpentry, insomnia, street fights, Hindu scripture, art, suicide, and prayer. “Prayer,” Kafka notes, brings “its infinite radiance to bed in the frail little cradle of one’s own existence.”
Paperback219 pages
Published December 12th 1971 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published 1953)

《卡夫卡的故事》台北:時報,1983 (卡夫卡百年誕辰;張伯權 【譯序】說,極少部分刊於1974年的中國時報的人間副刊,可能在東海時即喜愛此書。這本書是許多發人深省的極短篇《哥德談話錄》。)
----參考日文資料,此書日譯 《卡夫卡談話錄》。此書需要做不少"小小更正",希望有空時為之。

グスタフ・ヤノーホ(Gustav Janouch、1903年3月1日 - 1968年)は、チェコの作家。ドラウ川マールブルク・アン・デア・ドラウに出生。母はハンガリー出身、父はチェコの建築および保険関係の技術者であった。5歳のとき、父が新しく組織されたプラハの労働災害保険局に呼ばれたため、一家でプラハに移った。ヤノーホは父の母語であるチェコ語を知らなかったが、チェコ語を覚えるべきとの母の考えでチェコ人の小学校に入れられ、その後ドイツ語の実科学校に通った。ヤノーホは中学時代から音楽の才能を発揮し、ことにピアノの演奏や記譜に優れていた。

Franz Kafka

Kafka in Prague, Johann Bauer, translated by P.S. Fabra, Praeger Press

AVID Levine has drawn a wonderful caricature of Franz Kafka: the familiar face with hollow cheeks and dark, beady eyes set upon the body of the giant beetle of "Metamorphosis", typing at his desk. So people tend to imagine Kafka, even more than they do most writers, entirely in terms of his work. Because his stories and novels are so intensely personal and often autobiographical, the Kafka of popular imagination shares their qualities. He seems haunted and bizarre, perpetually lost in some awful dream.
The Kafka of Gustav Janouch's Conversations with Kafka is much different, and to a surprising extent, separate from his writings. In his postscript, Janouch claims that he has been much too close to Kafka to bring himself to read the novels and diaries. The Kafka he knew was closer to the Kafka who worked eight or ten hours a day in the Workman's Accident Insurance Association in Prague than to the one who returned to his parent's home at night to write. It is not that Janouch knew only the superficial side of the man, for Kafka speaks in the Conversations on a uniformly profound level, but that Kafka viewed his own "scribbling" as the "exorcism of spectres" and grew reticent and embarrassed whenever pressed too hard about it.
Janouch's Kafka is a man of almost forty, a father-confessor whom the author meets in his office at the Insurance Association or on long walks through the streets of Prague. Neat and quiet, with "great grey eyes" and an expressive brown face, this Kafka ponders the problems of modern life as he walks beside his young friend, finally rising to some statement like "the dream reveals the reality, which conception lags behind. That is the horror of life--the terror of art. But now I must go home." And he strides away, tall and urbane, across the cobbles of Old Prague.
MEETINGS of this pattern are repeated again and again, and if the effect is sometimes artificial, the figure of the writer which emerges is a rich and full one seen through the particular filter of an intense young poet in Prague in the early twenties. Gustav Janouch's father worked with Kafka at the Insurance Association and asked him to advise the son on his poetry. The resulting introduction, in March of 1920, led to several years of close friendship and to the manuscript which became the Conversations. The jottings which Janouch assembled were first published in 1951 with the aid of Kafka's life-long friend and biographer Max Brod, but because of a typist's error important portions of the manuscript were omitted and appear for the first time in the new edition.
Kafka in 1920 is already living under the shadow of the tuberculosis which is to kill him four years later. He is a man, he tells Janouch, in rebellion against himself, caught in the "I", "a cage from the past." Visited by the "ever-recurrent sin of despair," he sees the disintegration of individual and society all around him. In his own double life at his writing and at the office he illustrates the modern dichotomy between what Heidegger called the "I", the real self, and the "one", the anonymous, social self, the role. Trained as a lawyer, Kafka speaks in legal metaphors like those in The Trial of the oppressions of life and disease. He discusses fleeing to a sanitorium for a "reprieve" or speaks of doctors as "barristers."
A number of Kafka's surprising interests emerge. He develops a liking for carpentry and other skills for making "real" things; he cannot stand imitations, photographs, or the cinema. His tremendous reverence for language is evident in every speech, and he loves to seek word sources and double meanings. He has read Lao-tse and is something of an expert of Taoism; he loves Jewish drama and is an ardent Zionist.
AT TIMES the book seems to show a much too serious Kafka. He advances an occasional word-play, but more often cuts off Janouch's little jokes with the admonition that "one should take everything seriously"--he dislikes humor at the expense of others. Although he laughs frequently, he admits that for him laughter is "a concrete wall" behind which to hide.
Janouch, as if he knew what the Kafka critics would want, seems to press Kafka almost to the point of annoyance with questions about his writing. Part of the reason that the actual writings figure so little in the Conversations is Kafka's reluctance. When the subject is raised, he becomes embarrassed, tightens his lips and comes out with some epigrammatic statement about art in general which avoids mention of any specific aspects of his "spectres."
At times, Kafka in his role as an older advisor contradicts a statement of Janouch's, and the contradictions seem somehow more sincere than other sections where Kafka appears loath to force his opinions. At one point, Janouch comments at an exhibit of paintings that Picasso "is a willful distortionist":
'I do not think so," said Kafka. "He only registers the deformities which have not yet penetrated our consciousness. Art is a mirror, which goes 'fast', like a watch--sometimes."
And when Kafka finishes talking, he touches Janouch gently on the shoulder, and, saying goodbye, walks away for the last time, leaving Janouch with the image of an incredibly understanding prophet:
The look of his face, his soft voice and loud fits of coughing: the image of his tall, slim figure; the elegant gestures of his gentle hands: the shadows and the brilliance of his large, changeable eyes, whose light gave emphasis to his words: something that was imperishable and unique, and that was therefore unrepeatable and eternal, in his personality...in his outer and his inner self...
With the immediacy and fondness of personal experience. Conversations with Kafkaconveys one man's image of Franz Kafka in terms that are indisputably real. While reading about him adds new significance to the writings, the Kafka Gustav Janouch knew would be important if he had never written a word.
KAFKA IN PRAGUE, a fat, too-expensive coffee table book, provides some photographs which make interesting illustrations for Janouch's book. There are many views of the places in Prague which Kafka and Janouch passed on their walks, of the halls and the facade of the Workman's Accident Insurance Association, of the churches and courtyards which inspired settings in The Trial.
The text provides a good brief biography, describing the scenes and circumstances of Kafka's childhood, his relationship with his God-like father, and the trials of his several engagements. Passages from the fiction, letters, and diaries are printed in the margins and appropriately echo the stone and shadow of the photographs.
One section comprises a number of documents from old business and government records, ostensibly to show the nature of the bureaucracy which Kafka saw as a reflection of existential authority, but more likely as a filler to pad out the book to its price of fifteen dollars. How much is to be learned from photos of Kafka's passports and the covering letter to his application for a job at the Insurance Association?
While the mood of Old Prague comes through on some of the pages, much of the book bears out Kafka's own statement form the Conversations that "Photography concentrates one's eye on the superficial. For that reason it obscures the hidden life...One can't catch that even with the sharpest lens."