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  • I am a writer.

    我是個作家

  • Writing books is my profession but it's more than that, of course.

    寫作是我的專業,但當然,不僅如此

  • It is also my great lifelong love and fascination.

    這也是我一輩子的最愛與迷戀

  • And I don't expect that that's ever going to change.

    所以我也沒想過這會有所改變

  • But, that said, something kind of peculiar has happened recently

    但,說到這,最近有件相當奇特的事發生了

  • in my life and in my career,

    在我的生命與事業生涯中

  • which has caused me to have to recalibrate my whole relationship with this work.

    這讓我重新審查我與這份工作間的整個關係

  • And the peculiar thing is that I recently wrote this book,

    而這特別的事就是我最近寫了這本書

  • this memoir called "Eat, Pray, Love"

    這本回憶錄叫做"飲食,禱告,愛"

  • which, decidedly unlike any of my previous books,

    這本書很明顯地,跟我之前的書很不一樣

  • went out in the world for some reason, and became this big,

    因著某些原因被出版

  • mega-sensation, international bestseller thing.

    並成為相當轟動且國際知名的暢銷書

  • The result of which is that everywhere I go now,

    這讓我現在不論到了哪

  • people treat me like I'm doomed.

    人們都異樣地對待我,彷彿我已經完蛋了

  • Seriously -- doomed, doomed!

    真的! 玩完了,沒救了!

  • Like they come up to me now all worried and they say,

    像是,他們會往前走向我,並擔心地說著

  • "Aren't you afraid -- aren't you afraid you're never going to be able to top that?

    "你不怕嗎?你不擔心你再沒有辦法寫出超越這本書的作品了嗎?"

  • Aren't you afraid you're going to keep writing for your whole life

    你不怕你終身都要一直寫作嗎?

  • and you're never again going to create a book

    你不怕你再也無法創作出一本

  • that anybody in the world cares about at all,

    讓全世界的人都在乎的書

  • ever again?"

    從此不再

  • So that's reassuring, you know.

    所以這一切都還蠻慶幸的,你也知道的

  • But it would be worse, except for that I happen to remember

    但情況也可能更糟,要不是我突然記起

  • that over 20 years ago, when I first started telling people -- when I was a teenager --

    二十年前,當我還是個青少年時,我第一次開始告訴人們

  • that I wanted to be a writer,

    我想要成為一個作家

  • I was met with this same kind of, sort of fear-based reaction.

    我常碰到同樣帶著出自幾分恐懼的反應

  • And people would say, "Aren't you afraid you're never going to have any success?

    然後人們會說,"難道你不怕你永遠都不會成功嗎?"

  • Aren't you afraid the humiliation of rejection will kill you?

    難道你不怕被人拒絕的恥辱會把你逼到絕路嗎?

  • Aren't you afraid that you're going to work your whole life at this craft

    難道你不怕終身都要做著這樣的工作

  • and nothing's ever going to come of it

    卻一點成就都沒有嗎?

  • and you're going to die on a scrap heap of broken dreams

    然後你就這樣困死在破碎的夢當中

  • with your mouth filled with bitter ash of failure?"

    言語中還充滿著失敗的苦楚

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Like that, you know.

    諸如此類,你知道的

  • The answer -- the short answer to all those questions is, "Yes."

    這答案,所有問題的答案,就是"是的"

  • Yes, I'm afraid of all those things.

    是的,我是害怕著這所有的事情

  • And I always have been.

    而且我一直這樣害怕著

  • And I'm afraid of many many more things besides

    而同時也有更多的事令我感到害怕

  • that people can't even guess at.

    這些是其他人不曾猜想到的

  • Like seaweed, and other things that are scary.

    像是海草,還有其他可怕的東西

  • But, when it comes to writing

    但,當講到寫作這一件事

  • the thing that I've been sort of thinking about lately, and wondering about lately, is why?

    我最近常想到,並且不斷思索的是"為什麼"

  • You know, is it rational?

    你知道的,這合理嗎?

  • Is it logical that anybody should be expected

    這合乎邏輯嗎?人們被預期著

  • to be afraid of the work that they feel they were put on this Earth to do.

    應該要為他們覺得在這世上註定做的工作感到害怕

  • You know, and what is it specifically about creative ventures

    你知道的,創意工作到底有著什麼樣具體的東西

  • that seems to make us really nervous about each other's mental health

    似乎用著某種方式,讓我們變得如此緊張擔心於彼此的心靈健康

  • in a way that other careers kind of don't do, you know?

    在別種行業不太會這樣,對嗎?

  • Like my dad, for example, was a chemical engineer

    舉個例來說,像我父親,他是個化學工程師

  • and I don't recall once in his 40 years of chemical engineering

    而你知道嗎?在他四十年的化學工程生涯中,我不曾記得

  • anybody asking him if he was afraid to be a chemical engineer, you know?

    任何人問過他是否他害怕成為一個化學工程師

  • It didn't -- that chemical engineering block John, how's it going?

    並沒有。 化學工程妨礙了約翰嗎?,狀況如何了呢?

  • It just didn't come up like that, you know?

    你知道的,事情並沒有變成這樣

  • But to be fair, chemical engineers as a group

    但平心而論,化學工程總體來說

  • haven't really earned a reputation over the centuries

    在過去的幾個世紀裡,並沒有因酗酒躁鬱症

  • for being alcoholic manic-depressives.

    而享譽全世界

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • We writers, we kind of do have that reputation,

    我們作家,就有點這樣的聲譽

  • and not just writers, but creative people across all genres,

    當然不只是作家,也包含了各領域的創作人才

  • it seems, have this reputation for being enormously mentally unstable.

    似乎都有著情緒非常不穩定的惡名

  • And all you have to do is look at the very grim death count

    你所需做的就是看看光在二十世紀,就有無數偉大的創作靈魂隕落

  • in the 20th century alone, of really magnificent creative minds

    這是多令人悲痛的死亡

  • who died young and often at their own hands, you know?

    這些藝術家通常早逝且總是死於自己的手上,你知道嗎?

  • And even the ones who didn't literally commit suicide

    而即使是那些沒有真的自殺的人

  • seem to be really undone by their gifts, you know.

    就像你所知的,似乎也因著他們的天賦而被困擾抑鬱著

  • Norman Mailer, just before he died, last interview, he said

    諾曼˙梅勒,就在他死前的最後一場訪問,他說道

  • "Every one of my books has killed me a little more."

    "每個在我書中出現的角色都扼殺了我一些

  • An extraordinary statement to make about your life's work, you know.

    你知道的,這是對於你生命中的作品非常特殊的陳述

  • But we don't even blink when we hear somebody say this

    但當我們聽到有人這樣說時,我們甚至連眼睛都不會眨一下

  • because we've heard that kind of stuff for so long

    因為長久以來我們都聽著這類的話語

  • and somehow we've completely internalized and accepted collectively

    且不知為何,我們完全將這觀念內化並全面接受

  • this notion that creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked

    這觀念就是--我們的創造力和所遭受的痛苦息息相關

  • and that artistry, in the end, will always ultimately lead to anguish.

    而其中藝術的本質,到頭來,都會導致心中的苦悶

  • And the question that I want to ask everybody here today

    而今天我想問在場各位的問題是

  • is are you guys all cool with that idea?

    你們全部都接受這樣的想法嗎?

  • Are you comfortable with that --

    你覺得這樣妥當嗎?

  • because you look at it even from an inch away and, you know --

    因為即使是從一吋遠的地方來看這件事

  • I'm not at all comfortable with that assumption.

    我對這樣的臆測仍無法完全認同

  • I think it's odious.

    我覺得這是很可恨的

  • And I also think it's dangerous,

    我也認為這是危險的

  • and I don't want to see it perpetuated into the next century.

    而且我並不想看到這樣的想法延伸到下一個世紀

  • I think it's better if we encourage our great creative minds to live.

    我認為如果我們激勵我們偉大的創造心靈繼續活躍下去,那會更好

  • And I definitely know that, in my case -- in my situation --

    我當然知道,就我而言,在我的狀況來說

  • it would be very dangerous for me to start sort of leaking down that dark path

    如果我開始走入剛提的那條黑暗的假設路途,那是相當危險的

  • of assumption, particularly given the circumstance

    尤其是我現在處於這樣的處境中

  • that I'm in right now in my career.

    處於現在的工作環境中

  • Which is -- you know, like check it out,

    這有點像是,你懂的,你瞧

  • I'm pretty young, I'm only about 40 years old.

    我相當年輕,我只有大概40歲

  • I still have maybe another four decades of work left in me.

    也許我還有大概另外四十年的工作年頭

  • And it's exceedingly likely that anything I write from this point forward

    而很有可能的是我從這一刻起寫的東西

  • is going to be judged by the world as the work that came after

    將被世界論斷為我上一部

  • the freakish success of my last book, right?

    曠世巨作後的作品

  • I should just put it bluntly, because we're all sort of friends here now --

    我應該直說,因為我們現在在此有點像是朋友

  • it's exceedingly likely that my greatest success is behind me.

    很有可能的是,我最偉大的作品已在我身後了

  • Oh, so Jesus, what a thought!

    噢,天啊,這是多糟的一個想法

  • You know that's the kind of thought that could lead a person

    你知道的,這是那種想法,會讓一個人

  • to start drinking gin at nine o'clock in the morning

    一早九點就開始喝著琴酒

  • and I don't want to go there.

    而我並不想這樣

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • I would prefer to keep doing this work that I love.

    我較喜歡繼續做我愛的工作

  • And so, the question becomes, how?

    而這問題現在變成該怎麼辦呢?

  • And so, it seems to me, upon a lot of reflection,

    似乎對我來說,在多次省思後

  • that the way that I have to work now, in order to continue writing,

    為了能繼續寫作,我現在必須採取的方式是

  • is that I have to create some sort of protective psychological construct, right?

    我必須創造出某種保護式的心理架構

  • I have to, sort of find some way to have a safe distance

    從現在起,我必須,有點像是找出某個方式讓我在寫作時

  • between me, as I am writing, and my very natural anxiety

    在我內心憂慮與我本身間保持安全距離

  • about what the reaction to that writing is going to be, from now on.

    而這憂慮無非來自他人對作品的反應

  • And, as I've been looking over the last year for models for how to do that

    過去的幾年,為了如何做到,我一直在尋找可以仿效的模式

  • I've been sort of looking across time,

    我依著歷史的時間軸去尋找

  • and I've been trying to find other societies

    我也一直在找其他的社會模式

  • to see if they might have had better and saner ideas than we have

    看看是否他們有更好且更合乎情理的想法

  • about how to help creative people, sort of manage

    讓我們可以知道如何幫助有創作力的人們

  • the inherent emotional risks of creativity.

    這有點像是管理創作力下天生的情緒風險

  • And that search has led me to ancient Greece and ancient Rome.

    這研究引領我回到古希臘與古羅馬

  • So stay with me, because it does circle around and back.

    所以請專心聽我說,因為我們還會繞回來講這個話題

  • But, ancient Greece and ancient Rome --

    但,當時古老的希臘與羅馬人

  • people did not happen to believe that creativity

    並不是湊巧相信創造力

  • came from human beings back then, OK?

    來自於人類

  • People believed that creativity was this divine attendant spirit

    人們相信創造力是種跟隨著人的神聖靈魂

  • that came to human beings from some distant and unknowable source,

    這來自於遙遠不可知的源頭,並存於人類

  • for distant and unknowable reasons.

    因著遙遠且不可知的原因

  • The Greeks famously called these divine attendant spirits of creativity, daemons.

    著名的希臘人稱這伴隨著人的創造力神聖靈魂為"守護神"

  • Socrates, famously, believed that he had a daemon

    名聲顯赫的蘇格拉底相信他就有這樣的守護神

  • who spoke wisdom to him from afar.

    會從遠方向他傾瀉智慧

  • The Romans had the same idea,

    羅馬人也有相同的概念

  • but they called that sort of disembodied creative spirit a genius.

    但他們稱這種虛幻的創作靈為天才

  • Which is great, because the Romans did not actually think

    這是很棒的,因為事實上羅馬人並不認為

  • that a genius was a particularly clever individual.

    天才是一個聰慧的單獨個體

  • They believed that a genius was this, sort of magical divine entity,

    他們相信天才是一種不可思議並神聖的實體

  • who was believed to literally live in the walls

    並相信這實體是真的住在藝術家工作室的牆壁中

  • of an artist's studio, kind of like Dobby the house elf,

    有點像是家中的小精靈多比

  • and who would come out and sort of invisibly assist the artist with their work

    祂能不為人察覺地出現並幫助藝術家完成作品

  • and would shape the outcome of that work.

    並修飾作品讓其成形

  • So brilliant -- there it is, right there that distance that I'm talking about --

    這是如此地聰慧!就是這個,這就是我在講的距離

  • that psychological construct to protect you from the results of your work.

    心靈層面的構造可以讓你與作品保持距離

  • And everyone knew that this is how it functioned, right?

    而大家都知道這是如何運行的,對吧?

  • So the ancient artist was protected from certain things,

    所以古代的藝術家就可以受到保護,不被某些事物影響

  • like, for example, too much narcissism, right?

    像是,太多的自我陶醉,對吧?

  • If your work was brilliant you couldn't take all the credit for it,

    如果你有著令人讚嘆的作品,你不能完全歸功於你本身

  • everybody knew that you had this disembodied genius who had helped you.

    大家都知道你有著這非實體的天才幫著你

  • If your work bombed, not entirely your fault, you know?

    如果你工作不順,這也不完全是你的錯,明白嗎?

  • Everyone knew your genius was kind of lame.

    大家會知道你內的天才有點拙劣

  • And this is how people thought about creativity in the West for a really long time.

    這就是西方人長久以來對創造力的看法

  • And then the Renaissance came and everything changed,

    接著文藝復興來臨並改變了所有的事

  • and we had this big idea, and the big idea was

    我們有了這偉大的想法,也就是

  • let's put the individual human being at the center of the universe

    我們將人類個人放在宇宙的中心

  • above all gods and mysteries, and there's no more room

    超越所有的神與一切的神祕事物,而且沒有留下多餘的空間

  • for mystical creatures who take dictation from the divine.

    給轉述神聖話語的奧祕生物

  • And it's the beginning of rational humanism,

    這就是理性人文主義的開端

  • and people started to believe that creativity

    人們開始相信

  • came completely from the self of the individual.

    創造力完完全全來自人類本身

  • And for the first time in history,

    在歷史上,頭一次

  • you start to hear people referring to this or that artist as being a genius

    你開始聽到人們稱這個或那個藝術家為天才

  • rather than having a genius.

    而非身邊有著天才的靈

  • And I got to tell you, I think that was a huge error.

    而我必須告訴你,我認為這是個極大的錯誤

  • You know, I think that allowing somebody, one mere person

    你知道的,我認為任憑一個人,就只是一個人

  • to believe that he or she is like, the vessel

    去相信他或她自己就像是個容器

  • you know, like the font and the essence and the source

    負載著像是所有神聖、有著創造力的、不可知的、永恆的奧祕

  • of all divine, creative, unknowable, eternal mystery

    這些事物的形狀、本質與源頭

  • is just a smidge too much responsibility to put on one fragile, human psyche.

    這只是在人類脆弱的靈魂上放上太多的責任

  • It's like asking somebody to swallow the sun.

    這就像要一個人去吞下太陽

  • It just completely warps and distorts egos,

    這只會完全扭曲挫敗一個人的自我

  • and it creates all these unmanageable expectations about performance.

    並製造出無法預期與掌握的成果

  • And I think the pressure of that

    我想這帶來的壓力

  • has been killing off our artists for the last 500 years.

    已在過去的五百年中扼殺了我們身旁的藝術家

  • And, if this is true

    而,如果這是真的

  • and I think it is true,

    我想這也的確是真的

  • the question becomes, what now?

    現在面臨到的問題是,怎麻辦?

  • Can we do this differently?

    我們是否可以有不同的作為?

  • Maybe go back to some more ancient understanding

    也許可以回溯到更古老的理解方式

  • about the relationship between humans and the creative mystery.

    去看待人們與創造奧祕間的關係

  • Maybe not.

    也許不行

  • Maybe we can't just erase 500 years of rational humanistic thought

    也許我們不能就這樣在十八分鐘的演講中

  • in one 18 minute speech.

    就這樣抹煞了五百多年的理性人文主義

  • And there's probably people in this audience

    也許在今天的觀眾中

  • who would raise really legitimate scientific suspicions

    會有人提出相當合法的科學懷疑

  • about the notion of, basically fairies

    懷疑有關精靈的這種基本觀念

  • who follow people around rubbing fairy juice on their projects and stuff.

    這些精靈跟著人們到處跑並在作品上撒下精靈水

  • I'm not, probably, going to bring you all along with me on this.

    或許,我並無法讓你們同意我的看法

  • But the question that I kind of want to pose is --

    但我要提出的問題是

  • you know, why not?

    你知道的,為何不這樣想?

  • Why not think about it this way?

    為何不用這樣的方式作思考呢?

  • Because it makes as much sense as anything else I have ever heard

    因為這就跟我聽過的其他事情一樣地有道理

  • in terms of explaining the utter maddening capriciousness

    尤其是在解釋這徹底瘋狂並變化無常的

  • of the creative process.

    創作過程

  • A process which, as anybody who has ever tried to make something --

    在創作過程中,當一個人試著創作出些什麼時

  • which is to say basically, everyone here ---

    基本上來說,在座的每個人

  • knows does not always behave rationally.

    都知道創作者並不總是理性地創作著

  • And, in fact, can sometimes feel downright paranormal.

    而且,事實上,我們有時會覺得完全超乎常理

  • I had this encounter recently where I met the extraordinary American poet Ruth Stone,

    當我最近遇到傑出的美國詩人露絲·斯通時,就有這樣的感受

  • who's now in her 90s, but she's been a poet her entire life

    她現在約九十多歲,在其一生中,她一直扮演詩人的角色

  • and she told me that when she was growing up in rural Virginia,

    她告訴我她成長於維吉利亞的鄉間

  • she would be out working in the fields,

    她會在外面的田野工作著

  • and she said she would feel and hear a poem

    在那時,她會感受到並聽到一首詩

  • coming at her from over the landscape.

    從山水景色中來到她眼前

  • And she said it was like a thunderous train of air.

    她說這就像是列車行駛下轟隆轟隆響的空氣

  • And it would come barreling down at her over the landscape.

    在山水之間向她傾洩而下

  • And she felt it coming, because it would shake the earth under her feet.

    然後她會感受到這股力量,因為這股力量會晃動她腳下的大地

  • She knew that she had only one thing to do at that point,

    她很清楚在當下,她必須做的只有一件事

  • and that was to, in her words, "run like hell."

    那就是,套句她的話,"死命地奔跑"

  • And she would run like hell to the house

    然後她會瘋狂奔跑到房子裡

  • and she would be getting chased by this poem,

    像是快被詩追趕上一般

  • and the whole deal was that she had to get to a piece of paper and a pencil

    這一切就是要她是以極快的速度拿出紙筆

  • fast enough so that when it thundered through her, she could collect it

    快到讓她可以在當這一切靈感奔向她時,她可以匯集到一切

  • and grab it on the page.

    並將其呈現在字句之間

  • And other times she wouldn't be fast enough,

    當然有時她速度不夠快

  • so she'd be running and running and running, and she wouldn't get to the house

    所以她會一直奔跑,卻怎樣也跑不回家裡

  • and the poem would barrel through her and she would miss it

    而這首詩不再傾洩而下,她錯過了這首詩

  • and she said it would continue on across the landscape,

    她說這靈感會繼續在山水間尋找

  • looking, as she put it "for another poet."

    如她說的"尋找另一個詩人"

  • And then there were these times --

    然後也會有著這樣的時候

  • this is the piece I never forgot --

    這是我不會忘記的片刻

  • she said that there were moments where she would almost miss it, right?

    她說她也會有幾乎錯過一首詩的時候

  • So, she's running to the house and she's looking for the paper

    所以,她會跑向房子並找出紙來

  • and the poem passes through her,

    然後詩會向她襲來

  • and she grabs a pencil just as it's going through her,

    當詩襲向她時,她會抓下一枝筆

  • and then she said, it was like she would reach out with her other hand

    接著她說,這就像她伸出了另一隻手

  • and she would catch it.

    然後她會抓住這感覺

  • She would catch the poem by its tail,

    她會抓住這首詩的尾巴

  • and she would pull it backwards into her body

    接著她會順勢把詩向後拉入身體內

  • as she was transcribing on the page.

    並同時謄寫於紙本上時

  • And in these instances, the poem would come up on the page perfect and intact

    就在這些瞬間中,詩會精準完美地躍然紙上

  • but backwards, from the last word to the first.

    由後往前,從最後一個字到第一個字

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • So when I heard that I was like -- that's uncanny,

    所以當我聽到我就像--這真的很不可思議

  • that's exactly what my creative process is like.

    這簡直像是的我創作過程

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • That's not all what my creative process is -- I'm not the pipeline!

    這也不完全就是我的創作過程,我並不像一個輸油管

  • I'm a mule, and the way that I have to work

    我就像隻驢子,而我必須工作的方式

  • is that I have to get up at the same time every day,

    就是每天必須同一時間起床

  • and sweat and labor and barrel through it really awkwardly.

    然後笨拙地,汗如雨下地創作著

  • But even I, in my mulishness,

    但即使在我笨拙努力下

  • even I have brushed up against that thing, at times.

    即使我不時潤飾我的作品

  • And I would imagine that a lot of you have too.

    我可以想像得到你們大多數人也會這樣

  • You know, even I have had work or ideas come through me from a source

    你們知道的,即使我努力創作或有著點子從某處向我展現時

  • that I honestly cannot identify.

    老實說,我無法認清這源頭

  • And what is that thing?

    而這是什麼呢?

  • And how are we to relate to it in a way that will not make us lose our minds,

    我們要用怎樣的方式與其相處卻不會讓我們喪失心智

  • but, in fact, might actually keep us sane?

    而是,事實上,卻很有可能讓我們保持清醒呢?

  • And for me, the best contemporary example that I have of how to do that

    對我來說,當代有個最好的例子讓我知道怎樣做到

  • is the musician Tom Waits,

    那就是音樂家湯姆威茲

  • who I got to interview several years ago on<