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  • Translator: Morton Bast Reviewer: Thu-Huong Ha

    在西元1819年的某一天,

  • One day in 1819,

    距離智利的海岸線3,000英哩之遙,

  • 3,000 miles off the coast of Chile,

    在一個太平洋上最偏遠的角落,

  • in one of the most remote regions of the Pacific Ocean,

    有20個美國水手看著海水湧入他們的船。

  • 20 American sailors watched their ship flood with seawater.

    他們的船被一條抹香鯨撞上了,

  • They'd been struck by a sperm whale, which had ripped

    船身破了一個足以造成災難的大洞。

  • a catastrophic hole in the ship's hull.

    當他們的船開始下沉的時候,

  • As their ship began to sink beneath the swells,

    這些水手擠上了三條小船。

  • the men huddled together in three small whaleboats.

    他們離家10,000英哩遠,

  • These men were 10,000 miles from home,

    最接近的陸地也在超過1,000英哩之外。

  • more than 1,000 miles from the nearest scrap of land.

    在他們的小船上,也僅僅只有

  • In their small boats, they carried only

    簡陋的導航設備

  • rudimentary navigational equipment

    和有限的食物和水。

  • and limited supplies of food and water.

    這些人是捕鯨船艾塞克斯號上的船員,

  • These were the men of the whaleship Essex,

    他們的故事後來成為了 名著《白鯨記》(Moby Dick) 的一部分。

  • whose story would later inspire parts of "Moby Dick."

    即使在現代,他們遭遇的情況也是非常可怕的,

  • Even in today's world, their situation would be really dire,

    更不用說在他們的年代這有多麼糟糕。

  • but think about how much worse it would have been then.

    在陸地上的人都不知道這次事故。

  • No one on land had any idea that anything had gone wrong.

    也不會有搜救團隊來尋找這些人。

  • No search party was coming to look for these men.

    我們大多數人從未經歷過

  • So most of us have never experienced a situation

    像這些船員所遭遇般如此令人害怕的情況,

  • as frightening as the one in which these sailors found themselves,

    但我們都知道害怕是怎麼一回事。

  • but we all know what it's like to be afraid.

    我們知道恐懼的感覺是什麼樣的,

  • We know how fear feels,

    但我不確定我們有花足夠的時間思考

  • but I'm not sure we spend enough time thinking about

    到底我們的恐懼有什麼樣的意義。

  • what our fears mean.

    在我們長大的過程中,我們常被鼓勵把恐懼

  • As we grow up, we're often encouraged to think of fear

    當作是弱點,只是一種該被棄掉的幼稚東西,

  • as a weakness, just another childish thing to discard

    就像乳牙或是溜冰鞋一般。

  • like baby teeth or roller skates.

    而我認為我們會這樣來看待恐懼,並非是偶發的事件。

  • And I think it's no accident that we think this way.

    神經學家的研究實際上顯示了,人類

  • Neuroscientists have actually shown that human beings

    天生就是會變成樂觀主義者。

  • are hard-wired to be optimists.

    也許這就是為什麼我們有時候會把恐懼,

  • So maybe that's why we think of fear, sometimes,

    當成是可能隱含著甚至本身就是危險的。

  • as a danger in and of itself.

    我們常會對別人說「別擔心」,「不要慌」。

  • "Don't worry," we like to say to one another. "Don't panic."

    在英語中,恐懼是我們征服的對象。

  • In English, fear is something we conquer.

    恐懼是我們要對抗的,是我們要克服的。

  • It's something we fight. It's something we overcome.

    但如果我們用新的方式來看待恐懼呢?

  • But what if we looked at fear in a fresh way?

    如果我們把恐據當做是人類想像力的令人驚異的演出呢?

  • What if we thought of fear as an amazing act of the imagination,

    如果恐懼也可以是深刻而有見地的

  • something that can be as profound and insightful

    就如同說故事一般?

  • as storytelling itself?

    恐懼與想像力之間的連結,最容易看到的例子

  • It's easiest to see this link between fear and the imagination

    就是在年幼的兒童身上,他們的恐懼往往格外生動。

  • in young children, whose fears are often extraordinarily vivid.

    我小的時候住在加州

  • When I was a child, I lived in California,

    如你所知的,加州在大部分的情況下是很棒的居住地,

  • which is, you know, mostly a very nice place to live,

    但對於我這個小孩來說,加州是有點可怕的。

  • but for me as a child, California could also be a little scary.

    我還記得我有多害怕,當我看到家裡的吊燈

  • I remember how frightening it was to see the chandelier

    在餐桌上方來回擺盪,

  • that hung above our dining table swing back and forth

    這樣的事情在每一次輕微的地震都會發生,

  • during every minor earthquake,

    而我有時候晚上甚至會害怕到睡不著,

  • and I sometimes couldn't sleep at night, terrified

    擔心當我們都睡覺的時候,可能會有大地震。

  • that the Big One might strike while we were sleeping.

    我們會說像有這樣恐懼的孩子們

  • And what we say about kids who have fears like that

    是具有非常豐富的想像力的。

  • is that they have a vivid imagination.

    但在成長的某些時間點上,我們大多數人

  • But at a certain point, most of us learn

    都會學著放下這些想像而長大。

  • to leave these kinds of visions behind and grow up.

    我們知道,床底下並不會有怪物躲著

  • We learn that there are no monsters hiding under the bed,

    也不是每個地震都會震垮建築物。

  • and not every earthquake brings buildings down.

    但或許這是不是巧合,一些最有創意的頭腦的人們

  • But maybe it's no coincidence that some of our most creative minds

    並無法在長大成人後擺脫這些恐懼。

  • fail to leave these kinds of fears behind as adults.

    這樣的超凡想像力創造出《物種起源》

  • The same incredible imaginations that produced "The Origin of Species,"

    《簡 · 愛》和《追憶似水年華》,

  • "Jane Eyre" and "The Remembrance of Things Past,"

    同樣也造成了終生的強烈憂慮,影響著

  • also generated intense worries that haunted the adult lives

    查理斯 · 達爾文、 夏綠蒂 · 博朗特,和馬塞爾 · 普魯斯特。

  • of Charles Darwin, Charlotte BrontĂŤ and Marcel Proust.

    所以,問題來了,我們可以從別人的恐懼學習到什麼?

  • So the question is, what can the rest of us learn about fear

    特別是從這些遠見者和年輕的孩子?

  • from visionaries and young children?

    讓我們再回到前面說的1819年的時候,

  • Well let's return to the year 1819 for a moment,

    那些埃塞克斯捕鯨船上的船員所面對的情況。

  • to the situation facing the crew of the whaleship Essex.

    讓我們看一看因他們的想像力所產生的恐懼,

  • Let's take a look at the fears that their imaginations

    當他們漂流在太平洋上的時候。

  • were generating as they drifted in the middle of the Pacific.

    捕鯨船翻覆已經過了二十四小時了。

  • Twenty-four hours had now passed since the capsizing of the ship.

    這些人必須作出一些計畫了

  • The time had come for the men to make a plan,

    但是他們的選項很少。

  • but they had very few options.

    在他令人著迷的災難記述中

  • In his fascinating account of the disaster,

    納旦尼爾 · 菲爾布裡克寫道:這些人大概

  • Nathaniel Philbrick wrote that these men were just about

    可以說是在地球上的一個離任何陸地都最遠的地方。

  • as far from land as it was possible to be anywhere on Earth.

    這些人知道離他們最近的島嶼

  • The men knew that the nearest islands they could reach

    是馬克薩斯群島,有 1200 英里遠。

  • were the Marquesas Islands, 1,200 miles away.

    但他們聽說過一些令人恐懼的謠言。

  • But they'd heard some frightening rumors.

    他們聽別人說過,這些島嶼,

  • They'd been told that these islands,

    和其他幾個附近的島嶼,都住著食人族。

  • and several others nearby, were populated by cannibals.

    所以這些人腦海中的想像,如果上了岸,也是會被殺掉

  • So the men pictured coming ashore only to be murdered

    被當成晚餐。

  • and eaten for dinner.

    另一個可能的目標是夏威夷,

  • Another possible destination was Hawaii,

    但在當時的季節,船長擔心去那個方向

  • but given the season, the captain was afraid

    會遭遇到嚴重的風暴。

  • they'd be struck by severe storms.

    現在最後一個選項是最遠的、 也是最困難的:

  • Now the last option was the longest, and the most difficult:

    就是向南航行 1500 英里,然後希望能進入到

  • to sail 1,500 miles due south in hopes of reaching

    一個季風帶,然後順著風能夠

  • a certain band of winds that could eventually

    航行到南美洲的海岸。

  • push them toward the coast of South America.

    但是,他們也知道這樣的航行的距離

  • But they knew that the sheer length of this journey

    對他們的食物和水的供應是非常勉強的。

  • would stretch their supplies of food and water.

    被食人族吃掉,或是被風暴襲擊,

  • To be eaten by cannibals, to be battered by storms,

    或是在到達陸地前餓死。

  • to starve to death before reaching land.

    這些都是這些可憐的船員們的想像力所創造出來的各種恐懼

  • These were the fears that danced in the imaginations of these poor men,

    而他們選擇聽從的恐懼,將會

  • and as it turned out, the fear they chose to listen to

    決定他們是能活下來,或者死亡。

  • would govern whether they lived or died.

    其實我們可以很容易的用一個不同的名稱來稱呼這些恐懼。

  • Now we might just as easily call these fears by a different name.

    比方說,若我們不把它們叫做恐懼,

  • What if instead of calling them fears,

    而是把它們叫做故事呢?

  • we called them stories?

    因為這就是恐懼的真實面貌,如果你想想看就知道。

  • Because that's really what fear is, if you think about it.

    恐懼是一種無意識的說故事的方式

  • It's a kind of unintentional storytelling

    我們從出生就都知道要如何做。

  • that we are all born knowing how to do.

    恐懼和說故事具有相同的元素。

  • And fears and storytelling have the same components.

    他們有相同的結構。

  • They have the same architecture.

    如同所有的故事,恐懼也有角色。

  • Like all stories, fears have characters.

    在我們的恐懼裡,角色就是我們自己。

  • In our fears, the characters are us.

    恐懼也有腳本。也一樣有起承轉合。

  • Fears also have plots. They have beginnings and middles and ends.

    你登上飛機。飛機起飛。引擎失靈。

  • You board the plane. The plane takes off. The engine fails.

    我們的恐懼也通常會包含圖像,就如同

  • Our fears also tend to contain imagery that can be

    小說裡那像生動的描繪。

  • every bit as vivid as what you might find in the pages of a novel.

    想像一下食人族,人類的牙齒

  • Picture a cannibal, human teeth

    咬進人類的皮膚,

  • sinking into human skin,

    在火上烤人肉。

  • human flesh roasting over a fire.

    恐懼也會有懸疑感。

  • Fears also have suspense.

    如果今天我已經把我身為一個故事講述者的工作做完

  • If I've done my job as a storyteller today,

    你應該就已經知道發生了什麼事

  • you should be wondering what happened

    在那些艾塞克斯捕鯨船上的船員們身上。

  • to the men of the whaleship Essex.

    我們的恐懼在我們心中挑起了一種非常類似的懸疑感。

  • Our fears provoke in us a very similar form of suspense.

    就如同每個偉大的故事,我們的恐懼讓我們注意力集中

  • Just like all great stories, our fears focus our attention

    在一個生活中或是文學作品中的重要的問題上:

  • on a question that is as important in life as it is in literature:

    「後來怎麼樣了呢?」

  • What will happen next?

    換句話說,我們的恐懼讓我們思考未來。

  • In other words, our fears make us think about the future.

    順帶一提,人類是動物中唯一能夠

  • And humans, by the way, are the only creatures capable

    用這種方式來思考未來的,

  • of thinking about the future in this way,

    把我們自己向前投射到未來的時間,

  • of projecting ourselves forward in time,

    而這樣的心理上的時間旅行,也是另一個

  • and this mental time travel is just one more thing

    恐懼與說故事共通的事情。

  • that fears have in common with storytelling.

    作為一個作家,我可以告訴你,寫小說的很大一部分

  • As a writer, I can tell you that a big part of writing fiction

    就是學習去預測故事中的一個事件,會如何

  • is learning to predict how one event in a story

    影響所有的其他事件

  • will affect all the other events,

    而恐懼運作的方式也是完全相同的。

  • and fear works in that same way.

    在恐懼之中,就像在小說中,一件事總是導致另一件事。

  • In fear, just like in fiction, one thing always leads to another.

    當我在寫我的第一部小說,《奇蹟年代》的時候

  • When I was writing my first novel, "The Age Of Miracles,"

    我花了幾個月試圖弄清楚可能會發生什麼事,

  • I spent months trying to figure out what would happen

    如果地球的旋轉突然開始慢下來。

  • if the rotation of the Earth suddenly began to slow down.

    我們的生活會發生什麼變化?我們的農作物又會怎麼樣?

  • What would happen to our days? What would happen to our crops?

    我們的心智會怎麼樣變化?

  • What would happen to our minds?

    後來我才發現到,這些問題真的很像那些

  • And then it was only later that I realized how very similar

    我以前拿來問我自己的

  • these questions were to the ones I used to ask myself

    在小時候的嚇壞了的夜裡問的問題。

  • as a child frightened in the night.

    就是如果今晚有地震襲擊,我常常會擔心,

  • If an earthquake strikes tonight, I used to worry,

    我們的房子會發生什麼事?我的家人會發生什麼事?

  • what will happen to our house? What will happen to my family?

    而這些問題的答案總是以一個故事的形式來呈現。

  • And the answer to those questions always took the form of a story.

    所以,如果我們把我們的恐懼不只是當作恐懼,

  • So if we think of our fears as more than just fears

    而是當作故事,而我們應該把自己

  • but as stories, we should think of ourselves

    當作是這些故事的作者。

  • as the authors of those stories.

    但同樣重要的是,我們需要也把自己

  • But just as importantly, we need to think of ourselves

    當作是我們的恐懼的讀者,而我們選擇如何

  • as the readers of our fears, and how we choose

    去閱讀我們的恐懼,將會對我們的生活有深遠的影響。

  • to read our fears can have a profound effect on our lives.

    現在,我們中的一些人,天生就能比別人更深入的閱讀恐懼。

  • Now, some of us naturally read our fears more closely than others.

    我最近讀到一個研究,是關於成功的創業家的,

  • I read about a study recently of successful entrepreneurs,

    作者發現了這些人有一種共同的習慣

  • and the author found that these people shared a habit

    所謂的「生產性的偏執狂」,意思是

  • that he called "productive paranoia," which meant that

    這些人,當他們面對恐懼時,並不是去忽略,

  • these people, instead of dismissing their fears,

    而是去深入的研讀恐懼,他們會去研究恐懼,

  • these people read them closely, they studied them,

    然後他們把恐懼轉換成準備和行動。

  • and then they translated that fear into preparation and action.

    以這樣的方式,就算他們擔心的最糟情況成真了,

  • So that way, if their worst fears came true,

    他們的生意也已經做好了準備。

  • their businesses were ready.

    當然有時候,我們最擔心的事情也是會發生的。

  • And sometimes, of course, our worst fears do come true.

    這就是恐懼本身非常特別的事情之一。

  • That's one of the things that is so extraordinary about fear.

    偶爾,我們的恐懼可以預測未來。

  • Once in a while, our fears can predict the future.

    但我們並不可能針對我們的想像力所能編造的所有恐懼

  • But we can't possibly prepare for all of the fears

    都事先做好準備。

  • that our imaginations concoct.

    那我們該如何分辨出

  • So how can we tell the difference between

    值得聆聽的恐懼和其他不值得聆聽的呢?

  • the fears worth listening to and all the others?

    我認為艾塞克斯號捕鯨船的故事的結局

  • I think the end of the story of the whaleship Essex

    提供了一個具啟發性的例子,雖然算是個悲劇結局。

  • offers an illuminating, if tragic, example.

    在一番討論之後,這些船員們做出了決定。

  • After much deliberation, the men finally made a decision.

    因為害怕食人族,他們決定放棄,不朝向最接近的群島

  • Terrified of cannibals, they decided to forgo the closest islands

    而選擇了需要更長時間

  • and instead embarked on the longer

    也更困難的路途,到南美洲。

  • and much more difficult route to South America.

    然後在海上過了兩個多月,這些船員們的食物吃完了,

  • After more than two months at sea, the men ran out of food

    如同他們原先預期的,

  • as they knew they might,

    而他們仍然離陸地相當遠。

  • and they were still quite far from land.

    當最後的那些倖存者被救起到

  • When the last of the survivors were finally picked up

    兩艘路過的船舶時,只有少於一半的船員們還活著,

  • by two passing ships, less than half of the men were left alive,

    而其中的一些船員也選擇了吃人肉的做法。

  • and some of them had resorted to their own form of cannibalism.

    赫爾曼 · 梅爾維爾,在多年之後寫《白鯨記》前,

  • Herman Melville, who used this story as research for "Moby Dick,"

    也研究了這個故事,身處在陸地上,他引述說:

  • wrote years later, and from dry land, quote,

    「埃塞克斯號的這些可憐的船員們所遭受的苦難

  • "All the sufferings of these miserable men of the Essex

    或許是可以完全地被避免的

  • might in all human probability have been avoided

    假使他們能夠,在船難發生以後,

  • had they, immediately after leaving the wreck,

    就立刻直向大溪地航行。」

  • steered straight for Tahiti.

    但是,正如梅爾維爾所說的,「他們害怕食人族。」

  • But," as Melville put it, "they dreaded cannibals."

    所以問題是,為什麼這些船員對於食人族

  • So the question is, why did these men dread cannibals

    如此的懼怕,甚至還超過了極可能發生的食物短缺呢?

  • so much more than the extreme likelihood of starvation?

    他們為什麼被一個故事動搖的程度

  • Why were they swayed by one story

    遠勝於另一個故事呢?

  • so much more than the other?

    從這個角度看

  • Looked at from this angle,

    他們的故事變成了一個關於閱讀的故事。

  • theirs becomes a story about reading.

    小說家弗拉基米爾 · 納博科夫說,最佳的讀者

  • The novelist Vladimir Nabokov said that the best reader

    結合了兩種非常不同的氣質,

  • has a combination of two very different temperaments,

    藝術的和科學的。

  • the artistic and the scientific.

    一位好讀者有著藝術家的激情,

  • A good reader has an artist's passion,

    願意沉浸在故事中,

  • a willingness to get caught up in the story,

    但也同樣重要的是,讀者還需要

  • but just as importantly, the readers also needs

    如同科學家一般的冷靜判斷,

  • the coolness of judgment of a scientist,

    這會影響並複雜化

  • which acts to temper and complicate

    讀者對故事的直覺反應。

  • the reader's intuitive reactions to the story.

    如同我們已經看到的,埃塞克斯號的船員 在藝術的部分沒有問題。

  • As we've seen, the men of the Essex had no trouble with the artistic part.

    他們想像出了各種各樣的可怕場景。

  • They dreamed up a variety of horrifying scenarios.

    他們的問題在於他們選擇聽從了錯誤的故事。

  • The problem was that they listened to the wrong story.

    在他們的恐懼所述說的各種情境中,

  • Of all the narratives their fears wrote,

    他們只選擇了最駭人,最生動,

  • they responded only to the most lurid, the most vivid,

    他們的想像力最容易發揮的那個:

  • the one that was easiest for their imaginations to picture:

    食人族的情境。

  • cannibals.

    但如果他們已經知道如何閱讀他們的恐懼

  • But perhaps if they'd been able to read their fears

    用更像是一位科學家,用更冷靜的判斷,

  • more like a scientist, with more coolness of judgment,

    他們也許會選擇那個較少暴力

  • they would have listened instead to the less violent

    但更有可能發生的故事,就是食物短缺,

  • but the more likely tale, the story of starvation,

    而選擇航向大溪地,正如梅爾維爾悲傷的評論所建議那般。

  • and headed for Tahiti, just as Melville's sad commentary suggests.

    如果我們都嘗試閱讀我們的恐懼,

  • And maybe if we all tried to read our fears,

    或許我們也將能夠比較不被

  • we too would be less often swayed

    想像的故事中最恐怖的吸引。

  • by the most salacious among them.

    也許如此我們就能少花些時間擔心那些

  • Maybe then we'd spend less time worrying about

    連續殺人犯和飛機空難,

  • serial killers and plane crashes,

    而是花更多的時間去關注細微而且

  • and more time concerned with the subtler

    緩慢的迫近我們的災難:

  • and slower disasters we face:

    比方說,在我們的動脈裡堆積的致命問題

  • the silent buildup of plaque in our arteries,

    還有正在逐漸改變的氣候。

  • the gradual changes in our climate.

    正如同在文學中, 最微小的故事往往是最豐富的,

  • Just as the most nuanced stories in literature are often the richest,

    而我們所面臨的最微小恐懼,也可能就是最真實的。

  • so too might our subtlest fears be the truest.

    以正確的方式看待, 我們的恐懼是一項神奇的天賦

  • Read in the right way, our fears are an amazing gift

    透過想像,就好像每一天都能具有千里眼的能力,

  • of the imagination, a kind of everyday clairvoyance,

    能夠窺見未來將發生何事

  • a way of glimpsing what might be the future

    而且能夠在還有時間的時候就去改變未來。

  • when there's still time to influence how that future will play out.

    正確地去讀,我們的恐懼能夠給我們非常珍貴的,

  • Properly read, our fears can offer us something as precious

    如同人類最好的文學作品一般的:

  • as our favorite works of literature:

    一點點智慧,一點點的洞察力

  • a little wisdom, a bit of insight

    和那個最難以捉摸的東西的一面— —

  • and a version of that most elusive thing --

    就是真相。

  • the truth.

    謝謝。(掌聲)

  • Thank you. (Applause)

Translator: Morton Bast Reviewer: Thu-Huong Ha

在西元1819年的某一天,