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  • Billy Pilgrim can't sleep

    譯者: Lilian Chiu 審譯者: Marssi Draw

  • because he knows aliens will arrive to abduct him in one hour.


  • He knows the aliens are coming because he has becomeunstuckin time,

    因為他知道一個小時後 外星人會來綁架他。

  • causing him to experience events out of chronological order.


  • Over the course of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-five,


  • he hops back and forth between a childhood trip to the Grand Canyon,

    導致他經歷事件的順序 並不是依照時間來排列。

  • his life as a middle-aged optometrist,


  • his captivity in an intergalactic zoo,

    他不斷在這些經驗當中來來回回: 兒時前往大峽谷的旅行、

  • the humiliations he endured as a war prisoner, and more.


  • The title of Slaughterhouse-five and much of its source material


  • came from Vonnegut's own experiences in World War II.

    他身為戰俘所要忍受的羞辱, 以及許多其他的。

  • As a prisoner of war, he lived in a former slaughterhouse in Dresden,

    《第五號屠宰場》的書名 以及它大部分的來源素材

  • where he took refuge in an underground meat locker

    來自馮內果在第二次 世界大戰時的親身經歷。

  • while Allied forces bombed the city.

    他曾身為戰俘,住在 德勒斯登的前屠宰場,

  • When he and the other prisoners finally emerged,


  • they found Dresden utterly demolished.


  • After the war, Vonnegut tried to make sense of human behavior


  • by studying an unusual aspect of anthropology:

    他們發現德勒斯登 已經完全被摧毀了。

  • the shapes of stories,

    戰後,馮內果試圖 要將人類行為合理化,

  • which he insisted were just as interesting as the shapes of pots or spearheads.

    所以他去研究了人類學中 一個不尋常的面向:

  • To find the shape, he graphed the main character's fortune


  • from the beginning to the end of a story.

    他堅持認為故事的形狀 就和罐壺或矛頭的形狀一樣有趣。

  • The zany curves he generated revealed common types of fairy tales and myths


  • that echo through many cultures.


  • But this shape can be the most interesting of all.


  • In a story like this,


  • it's impossible to distinguish the character's good fortune from the bad.


  • Vonnegut thought this kind of story was the truest to real life,


  • in which we are all the victims of a series of accidents,


  • unable to predict how events will impact us long term.


  • He found the tidy, satisfying arcs of many stories at odds with this reality,

    馮內果認為這種故事 是最忠於真實人生的,

  • and he set out to explore the ambiguity

    在真實人生中,我們都是 一連串意外的受害者,

  • between good and bad fortune in his own work.


  • When Vonnegut ditched clear-cut fortunes,

    他發現許多故事的弧形很整齊、 讓人滿意,和現實大相徑庭,

  • he also abandoned straightforward chronology.


  • Instead of proceeding tidily from beginning to end, in his stories


  • All moments, past, present and future always have existed, always will exist.”


  • Tralfamadorians, the aliens who crop up in many of his books,


  • see all moments at once.

    他的故事中,不是整齊地 從頭到尾進行下去,

  • Theycan see where each star has been and where it is going,

    「所有的時刻, 過去、現在、未來,

  • so that the heavens are filled with rarefied, luminous spaghetti.”

    一直都存在著, 也會一直存在下去。」

  • But although they can see all of time,

    特拉法馬鐸人是一種外星人, 在他的許多書中都出現過,

  • they don't try to change the course of events.


  • While the Trafalmadorians may be at peace with their lack of agency,

    他們「能看見每一個星星以前 到過哪裡及將來要往哪裡去,

  • Vonnegut's human characters are still getting used to it.


  • In The Sirens of Titan,


  • when they seek the meaning of life in the vastness of the universe,


  • they find nothing butempty heroics, low comedy, and pointless death.”

    雖然特拉法馬鐸人很安於 這種沒有動力的狀態,

  • Then, from their vantage point within a “chrono-synclastic infundibulum,”


  • a man and his dog see devastating futures for their earthly counterparts,


  • but can't change the course of events.

    他們在浩翰的宇宙中 尋找人生的意義,

  • Though there aren't easy answers available, they eventually conclude


  • that the purpose of life isto love whoever is around to be loved.”


  • In Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut's characters turn to a different source of meaning:

    接著,從他們在「同向彎曲的 漏斗狀時間地區」中的有利位置,

  • Bokonism,


  • a religion based on harmless lies that all its adherents recognize as lies.

    他們在地球上 對應人物的災難性未來,

  • Though they're aware of Bokonism's lies,


  • they live their lives by these tenets anyway,

    雖然沒有簡單的答案, 他們最後還是做出結論,

  • and in so doing develop some genuine hope.

    人生的目的是要「去愛那些 在身邊且能夠被愛的人」。

  • They join together in groups called Karasses, which consist of people we

    在《貓的搖籃》中, 馮內果的角色轉向

  • find by accident but […] stick with by choice”—


  • cosmically linked around a shared purpose.

    它是一種宗教,以其支持者 都認可的無害謊言為基礎。

  • These are not to be confused with Granfalloons,


  • groups of people who appoint significance to actually meaningless associations,


  • like where you grew up, political parties, and even entire nations.

    並在這麼做的同時, 發展出真實的希望。

  • Though he held a bleak view of the human condition, Vonnegut believed strongly that


  • we are all here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is."

    成員是我們不小心遇到, 但自願待在一起的人——

  • We might get pooped and demoralized,


  • but Vonnegut interspersed his grim assessments


  • with more than a few morsels of hope.

    和「假的情投意合者」 (Granfalloons)搞混了,

  • His fictional alter ego, Kilgore Trout, supplied this parable:

    也就是極為看重 沒有實際意義關聯性的那些人,

  • two yeast satdiscussing the possible purposes of life

    比如在哪裡長大的、 支持哪個政黨,甚至整個國家。

  • as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement.

    雖然他對於人的境況 有著很陰暗的看法,

  • Because of their limited intelligence,


  • they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne.”

    「我們來到這個世界上, 就是要協助彼此度過這些,

  • In spite of his insistence that we're all here to fart around,


  • in spite of his deep concerns about the course of human existence,


  • Vonnegut also advanced the possibility, however slim,

    但馮內果用不少小小的希望 來點綴他的無情評估。

  • that we might end up making something good.

    他虛構的另一自我 「吉爾戈.圖勞特」寫了這個寓言:

  • And if that isn't nice, what is?

    兩個酵母菌坐著 「討論人生的可能目的,

Billy Pilgrim can't sleep

譯者: Lilian Chiu 審譯者: Marssi Draw


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你為什麼要讀庫爾特-馮內古特? (Why should you read Kurt Vonnegut?)

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    Raven Lin 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日