The wilderness is closest to eternity
As a concept, “wilderness” is close to “nature”, but the connotations of the two are still different. “Nature” includes land, mountains, and starry sky, all these external spaces that have not been altered by human hands; “wilderness” refers to a large area of land with no or less artificial traces on which there are unexpectedly dense plants. Growth is a vast expanse and a part of “nature”.
When the wilderness is in contact with people, they will interact with each other. Facing the wilderness alone will cause many emotional fluctuations, and usually will not remain indifferent. In fact, the wilderness is one of the biggest objective things that shape the human mind. When people observe the wilderness, their emotions will change, from the inside to the outside or from the outside to the inside, they will be agitated or depressed. This is a very natural phenomenon. For example, the two ancient poets sighed by Deng Gao Yuan Wang, “No ancient people before, no one afterwards. I am stunned and stunned when I read the world.” (Chen Ziang “Deng Youzhou Taiwan Song”) Sad, Zhu Qingsha and white birds flew back. The boundless fall of the woods slumped down, and the endless Yangtze River rolled in. Thousands of miles of sorrowful autumn was often a guest, and he was alone on the stage for more than a hundred years. It was hard to hate Fanshuang on the temple, and fell down the new turbid wine cup.” (Du Fu” “Climbing”) People’s mood is always affected and pulled by different sceneries in the field of vision, triggering a series of associations, breeding complex emotions such as expression, love and compassion.
Talking about the meaning of wilderness is to focus on the relationship between such a proposition and wilderness. We live on the earth, and the wilderness is what we often call “Mother Earth”. This is the basis of our standing, where we start and grow. Realizing this is the only way to surpass the complex and illusory artificial creations in the Internet age. Of course, the first is the surpassing of thinking. From a spiritual and psychological point of view, the wilderness often inspires a sense of human aesthetic sublime, because it has no or few artificial creations and is full of primitive growth.
From the perspective of literary writing, this cannot be simply attributed to the category of understanding of “natural literature”, and it is not just as simple as “scene description”. The aesthetic and philosophical issues it involves are much more complicated, important and in-depth.
In a sense, protecting the wilderness is protecting freedom and growth. Facing the wilderness, we can imagine that it originated from a mysterious power with powerful regulations, and is a great sculpture created by it. It is vast and vast, unpredictable and endless. Wilderness has great aesthetic value to people. For example, it can arouse our many different thoughts and different imaginations, and will make people feel passionate and imaginative. On the other hand, it also implies a lot of ominous and treacherous feelings. Danger and terror, because it is unfamiliar and unknown to a large extent, it hides and hides countless things, which means the vigilance and fear that will happen when stepping into the wild. If a person is in a wilderness with no artificial traces, and can forget the fear, there will be nothing to restrain, this time will be quite happy. People can express their mood here, and there is a sense of unrestrained and natural fluency and freedom. The earth is far and wide, full of possibilities, and it means that the search has just begun.
One’s feelings in the wilderness are complex and often indescribable. People have become accustomed to modern group living. After tossing around in the concrete jungle, they suddenly come to the middle of the wilderness. The various impulses triggered by the stimulation of nature will be very huge. At this time, I may feel shocked and shocked, or radiate unprecedented passion. If we look at it from the perspective of literary expression, the wilderness as an object is not only a special presentation of the description object, but also a brand-new and relatively crude life background for the character’s story. This aesthetic effect will be greatly different from the usual socialization and urbanization expression, becoming an ancient and novel element.
Wilderness means the individual faces the boundless nature of nature. When such an extremely asymmetric relationship approaches and comes, one has to face it and think about it. The wilderness represents loneliness. Once a person approaches it and enters it, and bids farewell to the same kind for a long time to trek, he begins a solitary journey between heaven and earth. Whether he wants or not, he must be with strange things, time, and Unknown begins a conversation. This is actually a conversation about eternity.
Existence determines consciousness, and performance requires objects. There is very little boundlessness in people’s field of vision today, which is a common condition of human life in modern society. The population of China is mainly concentrated in the eastern coastal areas, and it is difficult to see the real wilderness. In contrast, people in the west and more north will be a bit easier. “Wilderness” has something to do with the vastness of the country, but it is not entirely true, because it also depends on the willingness, intensity, and results of a group to open up, that is, how much primitive wilderness can be retained in the end. In this way, it is more or less related to people’s attitude towards nature: whether there is a sense of awe to nature and what kind of view of nature they have will be reflected in the spirit of a group and will definitely determine their state of existence.
Although the United Kingdom is an island country, not a continental country, we will find a strong “wildness” in their literary classics. Britain has its own well-known writers who write about wilderness, such as Hardy’s “Waste Hand”. The famous Ayton Wasteland in “Returning Home” is fascinating and a well-known chapter. People usually regard Hardy as a novelist, but in fact he is also a great poet. This profound poetry was first expressed in Ayton Wasteland. He had the dream of a poet when he was young, but he was not successful at the beginning of writing poetry, but the novel won the honor. When he was about fifty years old, people misunderstood his novels such as “Away from the Crowd” and “The Obscure Jude”, which may have some influence on his turning to writing poetry. In Hardy’s poems and novels, the wilderness is an important element of expression and an inexhaustible source of poetic sentiment.
In addition to Hardy in Britain, there are three Bronte sisters. If people are on the scene and see the wild land full of heathland in the UK, they will understand that it is their daily life, the background of survival, and they cannot escape. The three Bronte sisters wrote about the Haworth Moorland in North Yorkshire, England. It is not only the real scene of Wuthering Heights, but also the spiritual homeland. It is closely connected with themes such as revenge, love, the perverted coldness of human nature, and death. The extreme personalities of the heroes and heroines Heathcliff and Catherine resemble the wild, volatile, and uncertain natural environment. Emily Bronte also wrote many poems in the same style. Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” has a much warmer tone, but the same wilderness is still a non-negligible existence, such as the rain in the wasteland of the orphanage, and Jane Eyre’s running on a rainstorm night, which is unforgettable. .
The wilderness in their works is different from ours, it is integrated with the characters and the story. The wilderness in our contemporary literature has become a rare thing. When people express some delicate modern emotions in a virtual way, only a small part of the works set foot in the “wilderness”. However, this is roughly the symmetry of fragility and deformity in the digital age, an addition to the so-called “alienation” and “ugliness”, and another type of expression. It seems to be a supplement to the existing literary territory, with a certain backlash, but it actually only exists as a literary strategy. They still lack real wilderness awareness. If the writer’s mental state and objective object cannot be deeply unified when facing the wilderness, the purpose of expression will no longer be pure. This is just writing to show the so-called “characteristics” and “different interests”. Compared with the wilderness described by Hardy and Bronte, its meaning and depth of presentation are quite different. This is still characteristic literature and utilitarian literature in the era of materialism and commercialism.
The process of human loss of the wilderness is first manifested on the material level and then on the spiritual level. The latter is the most serious problem. If we only discuss literature, we still have to analyze the presentation of human spiritual qualities. In fact, we are concerned about the life quality of a ethnic group. Modern people are becoming more and more controlled by the material desires in front of them, so even if there is a vast wilderness in front of them, it seems as if they see a rough picture, they can’t face it truly, so that they can’t turn their minds for a long time. The cumbersome and tortuous man-made space entangles us strongly, attracts all the attention, changes the way of thinking, and determines the fate of modern people. Although today’s wilderness still exists, it has shrunk in some remote corners: this not only refers to the natural area in the absolute sense, but also includes human beings who are consciously or unconsciously avoiding and filtering after they have chosen the way of living. No longer see and think of them, ignore their existence. People’s attention has shrunk step by step to the world of cement and chemical fiber, and then it continues to shrink back into the small electronic screen.
A mobile phone can actually solve our basic thirst for knowledge, most of our entertainment and spiritual needs, making it a place to pass the time, and even a home ground for spiritual communication. This is ridiculous and terrible. We will live an extremely satisfying life, and gradually regard the virtual as a greater reality. There is almost an irreversible trend in life: the more you are at a stage that requires learning and cognition, such as young people who are still shallow in the world, the more they avoid the real nature. In the beginning, people couldn’t do without the TV, then the Internet and the computer, and then they couldn’t do without the smartphone. The evolution of mankind to this point is already an existential reality that is difficult to change.
Since then, human beings have gradually formed a serious separation, separation, and even opposition from nature in the two aspects of material substance and spirit and psychology. What will happen to this kind of consequences in the end may be more serious and many times worse than we thought.
Because literature is just a life phenomenon, it cannot be simply regarded as a professional skill strictly speaking. Therefore, we always regard literature as an important, detailed and indexable presentation method for the evolution of human life. If you start to take care of it earlier, you will find that the literary landscape of the classical period is very different from today. In the “Book of Songs”, “Jianjia is blue, white dew is frost” (“Qin Feng·Jianjia”), “Heming is in Jiu Gao, and the sound is heard in the sky” (“Xiaoya·Heming”) and “Songs of Chu” “Thunder fills in the rain and the dark, the ape tweeted and the night screamed, the wind was rustling and the wood was dying” (“Nine Songs·Mountain Ghosts”), and the familiar “Da Mo Zhi Yan Zhi” (Tang·Wang Wei “Zhizhi “The Frontier”), “A lonely city and Wanren Mountain” (Tang·Wang Zhihuan “Liangzhou Ci·yi”), “Yanshan Snow is as big as a seat” (Tang·Li Bai “Northern Wind”), “Jing Huang Wei and Ling Shi Jian” ( Tang Gaoshi’s “Sing of Yan Ge”), such images and realms are absolutely impossible now, because the life relationship that humans and nature established in the past has disappeared.
At the beginning of Hardy’s “Homecoming”, Ayton Wasteland was written. Since I like “Returning Home”, I have specially found three translations to read. The first is Zhang Guruo’s translation adopted by People’s Literature Publishing House. Mr. Zhang has a solid foundation in Chinese studies, and his translator was very old when he was young. Then there is a translation by Mr. Sun Yu, which is more fluent and concise, and seems more suitable for the current convenience and lightness. Recently, the writer Mr. Chen Zhanmin has published a new translation, dedicated to implementing Hardy’s original meaning to the Chinese level without any difference, and his writing is extremely vigorous. Although this affects the smoothness of reading to a certain extent, there may be more gains if you endure it. The free and independent life meaning of Ayton Wasteland, the sense of mystery and oppression that it gives people, its relationship with time, and the relationship with busy people of all colors, these unspeakable things have all been conveyed. Mr. Chen’s translation is rough and obscure, but once it is read in, the huge covering power and reducing power make people feel very emotional: this is the wasteland, this is Hardy. It turns out that the wasteland is the protagonist of Hardy’s life, not Tess, not the mayor, nor the red-faced youth. In the atmosphere of the wasteland depicted by the limited text, these characters have all become foils. They are just some lives that live on the wasteland, and are some small animals that grow and multiply on the wasteland, like a small tree.
Ayton Wasteland is the first hero in Hardy’s works. Hardy’s pen is close to the wasteland, and the shadow of the wasteland covers his writing. Even if he leaves the wasteland, the power of the wasteland still oppresses his writing. People in the chemical fiber and virtual age are too unfamiliar with the primitive and unknown power of nature and its eternal sculptural power. Many times, once literary expression is far away from the wasteland, it becomes weak and weak. Both Pushkin’s long poems and the wasteland in his novels are outstanding. He has a famous poem: “I am a man who sows freedom in the wilderness”, what a boldness this is. Did he sow the freedom in the wilderness, or did the wilderness determine his life and call out all the elements of freedom in him? He has been singing the praises of freedom all his life, like a long poem “Izgang”, writing about the people of Izgang wandering in the wilderness, in fact he is writing about freedom.
To get away from the wild imagery is to escape freedom. The image of wilderness in contemporary literature is gradually withdrawing from the field, and finally disappears. This is a compromise that has to be accepted. This is far from the “difference” between modernism and classicism, but the difference in breadth and depth. A considerable part of modernist literature seems to have nothing else besides the desires of the flesh, the overwhelming passions, and the pride and depression of the world. Let’s think about Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. A sailor was thrown onto a deserted island by a sudden disaster. From then on, he bid farewell to the world full of man-made materials and came to the real desert. The lonely life has to face an unsculpted primitive world and reset itself: it is not only a resettlement of material life and physical aspects, but also a resettlement of spirit and soul.
One of the greatest significance of “Robinson Crusoe” is not that it reproduces and condenses the process of Western capitalist society’s transformation of the world and capital accumulation, which is often mentioned in textbooks, but that after the collision of the human soul with the wilderness, Changes in the texture of life that have occurred. It can be said that the protagonist is closer to eternity.
Get rid of the narrow spiritual space
For a long time, Chinese literature was mainly produced in the eastern region. The West is sparsely populated and there are few writers, but this situation has changed in recent years. This is an excellent phenomenon. It completes the geographical map of our contemporary literature, makes up for some of the shortcomings of literature itself, and presents a rough expression of wasteland. But some of these expressions are still limited to the level of artistic style.
The degradation of the eastern wilderness occurred earliest and fastest. In the 1970s and 1980s in the last century, there were still many remnants of wilderness in the east, which have all disappeared now. The peninsula east of the Jiaolai River that I am most familiar with, the northwestern coast is a small alluvial plain. Before the alluvial plain was formed and stabilized, there were a large number of marshlands and sand castle islands, which were barren everywhere with pampas and reeds. Sandcastle Island is formed when the river enters the sea with a large amount of sand. The tide rushes into the sea and it keeps accumulating, forming many large and small sand castle islands. I could still see this natural landscape when I was a child, but then it disappeared. There are some typical architectural rules in the peninsula. For example, before the end of the Qing dynasty, all town centers would not be built on the seashore, but at least 20 to 30 li from the coast, because most of this area is swampland, and the seawater has been flooded for a long time. Not conducive to people’s lives. The offshore area looks very primitive, with a lot of waterfowl and other creatures inhabited, and it has been quite desolate for a long time.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, China launched a campaign to transform wasteland. A large number of wild mountains and lands were transformed and the wilderness disappeared. From the perspective of reality, this may be the “progress” of civilization. But everything has two aspects. Once the “progress” loses its limits, many ecological problems will occur. Therefore, there are remedial measures for returning farmland to forests, but it is a bit late. Humans first destroyed the wilderness for survival, and then had to restore a little wilderness for the same purpose. From the destruction of the wilderness to the restoration of the wilderness, mankind finally awakened, but it seems that everything is too late, because too much has been lost: the natural landscape is irreversible, and the spiritual loss is even more so.
China has a large population. To feed so many people, we must transform the wilderness into farmland. In addition, it has nothing to do with our national character. We are an agricultural country and often cannot tolerate the existence of wilderness. We always want to make it “useful”, so we have to start cultivation. The result is what we know as the destruction of the ecological balance, causing an existential crisis, and then causing other problems. We lack basic awe of nature, and humans and nature have not established a harmonious life relationship. These must also be presented in our literature, from which we can see some symptoms and consequences.
While a large amount of wilderness has been transformed, the relationship between people has also been adjusted accordingly. The society is turbulent, and people have to adapt again. In this way, it is not just natural problems. In ancient times, people were faced with a very sharp contradiction between man and nature. Human beings belonged to the retreat. When man had advanced tools to open up the wilderness, he lost awe of nature and paid more attention to it. Turned to the social level, that is, the relationship between people. This reversal of the subjective direction has accelerated the withdrawal of nature from human vision. People no longer care about nature as they did in the past, and to a large extent relieved the pressure in this area, and only focused on the governance of the social environment. In the period of industrialization and modernization, the trend and rhythm of this change became more obvious, and the wilderness as an entity and memory was almost wiped out. The social movement that transformed the wilderness in the past has brought about a decisive change in the geographical appearance of the wilderness in eastern China, and the changes in the spiritual environment are also in harmony with it.
Entering modern society, the development of technology and commercialism has been further strengthened. Compared with the physical and spiritual nature, it is obviously drier and less poetic. Human life in this state has undergone drastic changes, aesthetics and expressions have become increasingly deformed, and the spiritual horizon has disappeared. Agricultural civilization was replaced by industrial civilization. As a kind of progress, many writers cheered and cheered. They naively believed that it would simultaneously step into the modernization of art. The literary theory that supports this concept is also plausible. It talks about historical, moral, and social changes at every turn. It does not care about the characteristics of language art, and even ignores the evolution of literary aesthetics. This empty sense of morality and responsibility harms not only literature, but also leads to spiritual paleness and hypocrisy, forming an empty and superficial social and cultural form.
Literary criticism parallel to creation must be called social historical morality, progress and retrogression. The problems involved in these big words are important, but the problems of language art itself, such as basic aesthetic judgments, still need to be resolved. The literary criticism of Soviet Russia during the “Biechedu” period is a strong building. It must talk about morality and history, and discuss how to push the wheel of history. The purpose and significance here are self-evident. They belong to the writer’s mission and responsibility, and they are also the meaning of the subject of literature. But the problem is that if literary criticism is not interested in language art itself, and completely ignores and deviates from language, it will definitely become a simple neglect of the work’s temperature, texture, poetry, and sense of humor, including the artistic conception and emotions. The social criticism of the People’s Republic of China has nothing to do with literary aesthetics. It seems that the responsibility of literature is getting bigger and bigger, and the spirit is getting higher and farther and farther and farther and farther and farther away. This is just a period of routine and inertia, which is actually of no avail. Once the aesthetic power is lost, no matter how much knowledge is accumulated and how much social enthusiasm erupts, it is irreparable and irretrievable.
Aesthetic power is composed of talent and learning. A person’s sensitivity to language art, intuition, grasp, expression, and even language characteristics are not only acquired through training, but also derived from nature. It comes from the earth and stars, from a complex force that is difficult to detect, and belongs to the specificity of life itself. In this sense, writers cannot be cultivated to a large extent. Since it can’t be cultivated, why study and read? Because only acquired education can activate and awaken talent, induce it to the greatest extent, make it fixed and clear. Literary creation is a kind of expression, which requires ways and methods. The natural ability is fresh, sensitive, warm and textured. If it is not treated properly, it will be framed by subsequent reading and stylized education. Bundle and control. So if our education leaves aesthetics from the beginning, it will be extremely absurd.
The narrowness of literary writing and criticism matches the abnormal relationship between man and nature. The withdrawal and loss of the wilderness is just an external sign that people are farther and farther away from eternal thinking. The immediate, useful, close, and utilitarian, a practical and instrumental way of thinking will be modified and decorated in the name of modernity. This process eventually led to conceptual expression and fell into a cramped spiritual space. When natural growth disappears, creativity is also lost. There are no more deep and unexpected discoveries, only clichés. The intonation and even vocabulary commonly used in a certain period of literary writing abound. Regarding literary discourse, such as those large and improper high-level sermons, no matter what the object of the commentary is, the words are roughly the same, nothing more than society and morality, reform and progress. With the input of new knowledge, or another routine, the Soviet-Russian literary criticism tradition is usually mixed into the Western stream of consciousness, existentialism, structuralism, semiotics, etc. This is a postural evolution, a fashion requirement, a rhetoric of a period of time, and it has nothing to do with poetic grasp and aesthetic thinking.
The uniform clothing of the times is just a representation, which cannot prove the inner quality. Just like a group of masters and doctors who have just come off the modern education assembly line, they just wear special clothes and hats and take a photo. The true talents and abilities are still different. When taking pictures, you usually throw your hat into the sky and capture this moment. These are all very old-fashioned things. There can be visible forms, but they are not the most important core part.
We have to get out of the established set, establish a deep connection with the living things, activate our inherent potential and spirituality, and open our own spiritual space. The problem now is to care too much about entertainment, caring about the body, caring about the material, but being numb and not interested in the spirit. The current literary writing is keen on murder, betrayal, conspiracy, and struggle, and is full of materialistic fate. The writer thinks this is a big thing, but has lost his keen grasp of the bigger thing, that is, the human mind. From the time we rose to expel the wilderness, into the agricultural civilization to the urban civilization, and then to today’s post-industrial era and the Internet era, the material has become abundant in this process, but the spiritual desert is so obvious. The relationship between the two, and its obvious correspondence, really requires us to think deeply. If there is no early warning of this process, no deep worries, it will be a terrible absence.
The core of the contemporaryity of literature, the so-called “avant-garde” that some people respect, should be concerned with the evolution of spiritual life in modern times, as well as the many problems that have emerged in this process. If we don’t ask indiscriminately to understand “pioneer” and “modern” as simple follow-up and imitation, it is far from enough to learn how to wake up early in the morning and become a beetle that cannot stand up. The spiritual desertification of modern people also includes this kind of “carving a boat for a sword.” Lack of real experience, trying to become a “big beetle”, enter a “castle”, and welcome a “trial”, such a design is vain.
A whole generation of people lacked the attention and experience of physical wasteland and spiritual wasteland. This is a fatal problem. Eliot wrote “The Waste Land” because he felt the strong stimulation and spiritual oppression of reality, which is inimitable.
Wilderness and Agricultural Civilization
During the farming period, China had a lot of wilderness, and people established a natural life relationship with it. “The Book of Songs” and “Chu Ci”, Han Yuefu, 19 ancient poems, some poems of “Three Cao” and frontier poems of Tang Dynasty preserved this distinctive feature. But “land” and “wilderness” are not the same, and the two cannot be completely confused. As an agricultural country, China may be even more lacking in wilderness culture and awareness. Farmers are afraid of the wilderness, and they want to cultivate every inch of the wilderness into farmland. The “wilderness” quickly becomes “pastoral” under the intervention of humans. China is the country with the largest area of reclaimed wilderness and the highest achievement in the world. This is certainly a huge progress in the process of civilization, and it is the resettlement of the living environment of mankind, which has the meaning of meeting basic survival needs. But as time went on, more and more serious overdevelopment occurred in this, and more mental problems accompanying it.
In literary writing, it is easy to produce a misunderstanding, that is, replacing the feeling of life in the wilderness with pastoral expression is actually very wrong. Different from “ecological literature” and “natural literature”, the life experience and profound expression of nature is not just a literary category, but the product of human beings’ dependence and adherence to it. It is deeply indulged and moved by humans. Pounding heartbeat.
The pastoral beauty of China is an integral part of agricultural civilization. It is quiet, man-made, and settled. It is part of the natural changes in the early stages of modernization. The poetic expression of the beauty of the pastoral was in the “Poetry Miao” written more than two thousand years ago. There are many pastoral poets in the history of Chinese literature. They write about farming and pity for agriculture, and the wilderness consciousness we talked about is not the same thing.
Tao Yuanming is the most typical Chinese pastoral poet. If you want to list the four or five most important poets in ancient times, Tao Yuanming’s name is often included. His reputation is somewhat like that of Van Gogh in the West. He was rarely ignored when he was alive. It was only one or two hundred years later that someone interpreted him and gradually realized that he was an amazing artist. Tao Yuanming is known as a “hermit poet” or “pastoral poet”. Comparing his poetry with other works about wilderness, the difference is obvious and interesting. Tao Yuanming is immortal. The countryside in his works has a clear and simple beauty, but it is still different from the beauty of the wilderness. Pastoral and wilderness are not the same thing, the pastoral is marked with heavy artificial marks, although the pastoral at that time is not the same as our current pastoral. Today, we can see vast expanse of fertile fields, which was hard to see back then. In his poem, Tao Yuanming described his hard work to rectify the countryside, and in a blink of an eye he was overwhelmed by weeds: “Morning and filth” and “Grass and bean sprouts” (Jin·Tao Yuanming, “Returning to the Garden · Three”). At that time, the fields were still desolate mountains and forests, and when you looked up, you could see a vast expanse, and the wilderness was still in sight. In other words, Tao Yuanming’s “pastoral” and “wilderness” are neighbors.
The ancients were often powerless against the wilderness, and the countryside was always surrounded and submerged, which is of course not the same as today’s industrialized agriculture and modern plantations. The horizon was visible back then, but today is no longer visible. This difference is important. The ancient wilderness has not withdrawn, and it is still in the vision and experience of human society, whether people want to establish a relationship with them for survival. Now it’s different. People in the city are all tall buildings, there is no distance, let alone the wilderness. The real wilderness like the “Book of Songs” and “Chu Ci” cannot be displayed in contemporary literature. The so-called “nature” we often express is actually a rural scenery that has been artificially transformed.
If you look at Li Bai’s “The Road to Shu”, you will find that his fear and awe in writing about the Road of Shu are beyond words, because the objective thing is a huge, mysterious and obtrusive existence, just like Hardy’s Ayton Wasteland, with an independent spirit. temperament. I couldn’t understand when I first read “The Difficulties of Shu Dao”, and then I became more amazed when I got older. “There are six dragons returning to the high standard of the sun, and below are the rushing waves and turning back to Sichuan. The yellow crane cannot fly, and the ape wants to be sad and climbing. The green mud is pan, the hundred steps are tenfold and the rocky mountains. Lijing leaned back to his breath, and sighed with his hand. I asked the king when he would travel to the west? The rock is unclimbable. However, I saw the old wood of the mourning bird, and the male and female flying around the forest. Then I heard the son sings the night and the mountain is sad. The difficulty of the Shu Road is difficult to climb to the sky, making people listen to this withered beauty.” (Li Bai’s “Shu Road is Difficult”) What is surprising is that this extreme exaggeration is completely derived from the imagination that Li Bai has not set foot on this Shu Road in his entire life. Based on the indulgence and conjectures he heard, he created the landscape of the mountains and wilds necessary to travel through the west into Shu. Because at that time there were too many deep, steep and boundless vastnesses that were almost the same. The city streets and wells were just the embellishment, and people’s awe of the earth was natural.
The history of civilization development in China and the West is different. The ancients in the West lived largely nomadic life. The history of the nomadic people’s trek through the water is a long history of wandering in the wilderness. Their wilderness consciousness is deeply rooted in their blood, which can be described as Western national genes. The Bible, as the most important scripture in the West, often writes about the wilderness. For example, the prophet Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and trudged in the wilderness for forty years before reaching the promised land of Canaan. The Huaxia Han nationality is an agricultural nation. On the one hand, it is keen on reclaiming the wilderness, on the other hand, it is more psychologically inclined to pastoral interest. Both in terms of real existence and poetic imagination, they have similar tendencies. The difference in wilderness consciousness between Chinese and Western writers is basically due to cultural differences.
There are a lot of moving descriptions of wilderness in the West. The famous American poet Stevenson was originally a lawyer, and later the vice president of an insurance company. The best poem he wrote was about the wilderness. One of the most famous poems was “Anecdotes of the Jar”, which said that a jar On the hills of Tennessee, the surrounding wilderness gathered towards the jars, arousing widespread alertness. There are also Elliot’s “Wasteland” and “Four Quartets”, which all involve the wilderness: “April is the cruelest month. From the dead land/bringing lilacs, mixing memories and desires/, using spring rain / Stir the dull roots.” “Zhongdong’s spring is its own season/The day is long and it is wet at sunset,/Hanging in time, between the extreme ridge and the tropic./When the short day is cold because of the cold Frost and fire became the brightest moments, and the hurried sun ignited the ice on the ground and in the ditch.” Gary Snyder has been living in the wilderness of Nevada, USA, calling himself the son of the mountain god, writing about logging, hunting and walking. Such as “Sordo Mountain Observatory in Mid-August” and “Berry Banquet” are all masterpieces. There are so many wilderness in American poetry, it is difficult to find a poet who has never written about wilderness.
If you do not explore the cultural genes, and simply imitate the forms and techniques of Western literature, it will inevitably become skinny. There are many weird things in the so-called “post-modern art” in East Asia, such as getting some electric irons, broken bicycles, and decaying wood in the house; for example, placing squashed cow dung in beautiful mirror frames. These phenomena are very exciting, and I can’t help but sigh: How did “art” get to this point? In fact, certain literary writings have similar tendencies and methods. When I saw this kind of “art” in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the early 1990s, they had been displayed there for a long time. I lived in the “Taipei Art Village” for a period of time. I went to the Taipei Art Museum and saw many electric irons placed on the table with some famous historical figures painted on them, which I called “post-modern art”. I also saw a folded paper airplane in a certain art gallery, hanging in the air for a large area, occupying a large area. In the Mainland, there are more of this kind of things. Some “calligraphy art” went further: the book writer first screamed, then danced and painted before the case.
Looking at the Western “Dadaism” and the “urinals” that Duchamp placed in the majestic art museum, it is easy for today’s people to suddenly realize the impulse, and then find a shortcut: you hang some paper airplanes, and I too You can hang it; you can hang a few clods in the air, and I can also hang them, and the area and quantity are larger; you pour out some inexplicable words that do not follow the preface, and I can double the pile and stain it with more messy colors. These direct imitations and transplants leave nothing to say. I have also seen a lot of strange things in France, but they are already more than half a century ago. Picasso painted so many exquisite works of art in his lifetime. When he was old, he no longer bored patience and began to indulge in sex. For example, he painted his eyes on some weird parts, people grew several faces, and even painted the genitals on his forehead. In fact, it is not only painting, but some literary experiments and reforms are also very extreme. Among them is a kind of “automatic writing”, which requires the author to exclude consciousness and cannot deliberately control the perceptual or logical direction of thinking. The proliferation of literary neutrality, the culmination of ugliness, absurdity and irrationality, and the weird and abrupt emotions abound. This happened very early, and they came through little by little, and finally there was a context and process. In an agriculturally civilized area like ours, literature and art are following the same step in the post-industrial era of Western nomads, which always makes people feel unreal and faceless.
We seem to be able to hear distant echoes from the nonsense of Western postmodernism, from their delirium and babble. That is the tragic roar that humans uttered in the cage of self-imprisonment after entering the area of industrial civilization, and this voice casts farther, where is the boundless wilderness in memory, the place where ancestors endlessly crossed and left.
Close and profound poetry
If we examine the poetic qualities of different ethnic groups in the sense of physical geography, we have to talk about the trans-Eurasian Russia and the wilderness in Russian literature. Its outstanding status and outstanding achievements need to be discussed separately.
Speaking of Russia, one thinks of Siberia, of exile, of Decembrists, of Nekhludoff’s repentance and trek in “Resurrection.” The suffering of Russia and the spiritual purgatory of the Russian nation are inseparable from the coldness and remoteness of Siberia. When we think of Siberia, we feel a sense of coldness.
Russian writers are very different from writers in Europe, North America, and Paris in particular. The geography of Russia has shaped the national character. The vast wilderness has triggered generations of exploration, producing confusion and confusion, solemnity and awe, and shaping a group of special hearts. One cannot live in such a place without being serious. I went to Russia in a winter, this is not a suitable season for travel. When the car walks through the birch forest and pine forest, one day, I feel that the protagonist of this land is the wilderness. Braving the heavy snow in the cold and severe weather to go to Tolstoy’s Jasnaya Polyana Manor is really an unforgettable journey, an amazing spiritual journey. The main buildings in this manor are too insignificant compared to the forest where it is located. This vast forest can’t go to the edge for a while. Some parts of it have appeared in Toon’s works, such as the place where he and his brother were looking for the small stick, the pond and the avenue. Thick snow covered the fertile land. Big Oak was silent, as if condensing the old man’s gaze, he had just left. Although it is cold here, there are still many admirers. The forest is too big and people are scattered around. I walked into a simple building with a green roof and boarded a small attic with a small bed and a small round table. A woodworking saw and a sickle were hung on the wall as it did in the past. The old man lay down on the small round table and wrote “Resurrection”.
The return journey will pass through Tula County, through large tracts of pine and birch forests, until Moscow. According to the record, Toste, who was already very old, had walked this long road for two to three days. When he was tired, he sat on a one-legged stool that could be used as a walking stick for a while. This forest is still free of densely populated people, and only occasionally see a small wooden house. White snow, black pine, birch trees, condensed air. We really can’t imagine that such a land will cultivate characters like hippies. The spirit here is highly serious, contemplative, sacrifice and tragic beauty.
Today’s Russia has also entered the age of internet and entertainment, and some urban youths are also imitating Europe and the United States. Their literature and art began to take on a “postmodern” look. We are of course familiar with its overall tone, and we are not unfamiliar. Some traditional Russian writers are very painful, like Rasputin, who thinks this is a kind of betrayal and depravity, which is unbearable. Of course, there are the differences of the times and the problem of “generation gap,” but there is also another problem. The deviation and deviation of Russian literary temperament cannot be uncondemned. The tradition of this continent is really not light and material. It was not in the past, and it is difficult to change now. It is still like a cold cat, thinking seriously; the representative of it will definitely stay away from chemical fibrillation and materialization. As a great and primitive existence, the wilderness has played a huge role in shaping the soul of the nation. Even today, people here still have aesthetic impulses different from Western “postmodernism”.
I have read a lot of Tolstoy’s works since I was young, including his autobiography, representative long and short stories. Not long ago, I reread his “Cossacks” and “Assaults” in the Caucasus. Tolstoy was young at the time of writing these works, still serving as a soldier, and did it during vacations and between battles. I watched it again after a few decades, but I was still deeply moved. A large part of this touch comes from his nature, mountains and wilderness. He established a deep and sacred relationship with him. He described the contours of the mountains under the moonlight and the changing colors of the ravines under the stars. It is amazing. One’s feelings and expressions can reach such a keen and precise point. This is beyond the meaning of general literary description, and it makes people feel far away, as if they are in a cold mountain together, the moonlight is pure and sharp. The sound of horseshoes, dark military uniforms, and held breath, all these are not exaggerated.
Tolstoy’s description of the Caucasus mountains is accurate to the point of “extraordinary work”, but it is far from a technical interpretation, that can’t hit the point. It is a very special mind’s capture and reproduction of nature. It is essential, detailed, more subjective, clearer and more sacred. Many foreign literary anthologies contain a short “Blizzard” by Toweng, which is about a lost story: how a person drinks, how to get drunk, and finally how to escape the confusion of the night. After reading it, I found that the real protagonist was Blizzard itself, not a person. It writes the relationship between snow and people, the relationship with horses, and the relationship with wheels, with high accuracy and precision. He is a great nature painter, whose works are reminiscent of the depiction of his friend and great painter Repin Rumusanfen.
Here I want to talk about Chekhov’s “Prairie.” This masterpiece describes the changes in the mountains and the wild in different light colors: the protruding stone looks like a man throwing a javelin at a beast, the whole expression is vivid and unspeakable. A certain contemporary writer has a very influential novella, with a paragraph highly similar to “Prairie”. The writer did not imitate the characters in “Prairie”, nor did he plagiarize the story, but wrote a similar description of the scenery, which is a bit strange. The author later stated apologetically about his marriage to this text, saying that he had always been infatuated with Chekhov, and really liked the text so much that it took root in his mind, and he almost unconsciously took it in his creation. Wrote it out. I think this explanation is credible. This allows us to understand the beauty of the text from the side, its unattainable height and difficulty. A natural scenery, a mental image, it is by no means a stylized description of the scenery, but the kind of life correspondence between man and the earth. It is a poetic capture that is only once in a lifetime and an expression of gratitude. Strictly speaking, this is a kind of ability that cannot be learned, just like nature itself.
Tolstoy’s words about nature are hot in the cold, and simplicity in the delicacy. That is the charm of the last era. Today, if someone writes a “scenery” of 10,000 Yu at every turn, the reader may not be able to read it. It is so beautiful without the essay. Because although the text can be beautiful, unobstructed, and gorgeous, without that kind of life relationship, it is difficult to touch our heartstrings. The perfunctory of the chemical fiber digital age is intolerable, and the directness of utilitarianism coupled with vanity will become extremely tiresome. The relationship between man and nature is one of the highest and deepest poetry in literature, and the most common practice today is to write the earth as a cheap symbol, which is painless and painless. When we call it “mother”, we are farther and farther away from the profound life experience. This is just an embellishment, a dispensable decoration. Today’s literary structure mainly refers to the spirit of spirit, and the reason why the whole is becoming smaller is because of this.
Today we are going to talk about a masterpiece, still from Russia, it is Arseniev’s “In the Wild Forest of Ussuri”. This work was translated in the 1950s and was the first internal reference material organized by the Russian Department of Heilongjiang University. Its old version is two volumes, the paper and binding technology are not as “advanced” as they are now, but it is so comfortable to read. A friend of mine said that he is the last person to read the current publications. It smells like a chemical fiber, and the cover is fancy and flashy. He loves to read previously published works of Lu Xun, so simple and natural. In the past, it was type printing. If you look at the book carefully, it is full of strength and slightly pressed into the paper. Later, computer typesetting bid farewell to “Iron and Fire”. The space printed on the paper was only a shallow layer, and the font was not good-looking. It felt frivolous and difficult to get used to for a long time.
“In the Mang Forest of Ussuri” is a geological expedition scholar’s survey notes on the Northeast Ussuri region, which contains records of mountains, rivers, animals and rare human traces. It does not read exactly like a geography or pure academic work, but a long poem. A simple, learned and accomplished scholar, the writing flowing under his pen is the simplest and most moving. This is a text that cannot be reproduced or deduced by those empty-headed writers with accents and so-called professional accomplishments. I read this book very early. Back then, I was lying on the big kang on the Jiaodong Peninsula. I picked it up and read it. Every time I was moved. For example, the chapter about the storm of Xingkai Lake: A scholar and an old Hezhe hunter, Delsu, went to explore the topography there. The old man only speaks a few words of Russian. He raised his face on the shore of the lake and looked at the sky, and warned that he had to go fast, otherwise it would be too late. When the scholar hesitated, the hunter leaned forward in a hurry, pulling the grass desperately. Scholars are surprised to ask why this is the case? A word popped out of the hunter’s mouth: death.
Next, I wrote about the whole process of salvation. The scholar was frightened by the old hunter’s face, and there was no time to hear more explanations, so he had to follow the old man and desperately pull the weeds. But the old man deliberately left a few grass trees and did not pull them out. The big storm came just as it said, and the temperature dropped abruptly. They hurriedly set up tents, and the tents were tied to the thatch trees that had not been pulled out. The large amount of thatch pulled down just now was all piled into the tent, and the two of them arched in. The heavy snow that night was too terrifying, if it were not for this tent and this pile of thatch, they would definitely die this time.
A chapter in the book writes about Polaris: In a long night, scholars and old hunters have a chat together. The wood in the bonfire exploded from time to time. The old hunter is an animist. He described everything as “people”: the firewood that explodes is a “bad person”, and the firewood that burns normally is a “good person”. They looked up at the northern sky, and the old man pointed to the North Star and said, “That’s the biggest person.” The North Star looked like an indistinct bright spot, small and faint, but it was immobile and used to guide the direction, so The old man said it was “the biggest man”.
Until now, I haven’t read a wild poem that is more beautiful, longer, richer and more exciting than “In the Wild Forest of Ussuri”. This work is calm and agitated, it is really hard to surpass. There is also a book called “The Sand County Yearbook”. The author Aldo Leopold is an American botanist and environmental protection worker. In the book, he records climate, hydrology, and wild vegetation, observes the annual rings of oak trees, and is on the snow. Tracking down animal tracks makes people fascinated by reading. We cannot understand literary writing narrowly, thinking that masterpieces will only come from the hands of professional authors and will only be a skillful “professional”. The best literature is probably not written by literary scholars, but other people who do not take literature as their ambitions. The characters created by them with a non-professional mentality and non-literary purpose can occupy the highest position. Because of the pure temperament of such works, it is often difficult for artisans to remember.
The wilderness written by Russian writers is particularly bleak and cold. “Book of Songs”, “Chu Ci” and frontier poems also have endless wilderness scenes, but they are of another style. In North American and English literature, the colors and styles of the wilderness are also different.
Here again I will talk about Japanese literature. The most familiar to the public at the moment may be the best-selling writers with a popular atmosphere. One year I stayed in Japan for more than 20 days. During this period, because I had to have a dialogue with Japanese researchers about this kind of literature, I had to seize the time to read some works. Although I have heard about it before but have not read it, this time I discovered that it was originally written like this: the structure is loose and the style is not high. However, apart from covering up, you can still feel the desolation in the text. This slightly surpasses ordinary popular readings, but the overall view is still slack and the market is full of gas.
Similar writing generally belongs to commercialism, and there is no extreme personal pursuit of language art, and there is no boundary against materialism. It is of course integrated into the fashion of the times, such as writing about the rootlessness and emptiness of modern hippies, writing about the abundance of material and spiritual trance. Indulgence, comfort, sinking, looking westward, pride and inferiority; the sloppyness of passing by, the omnipresent ridicule, and the dejected tobacco and alcohol. In short, it is quite conceptually fashionable and trendy. It is another modern urban disease that is slightly concealed, and some cliches of the 21st century that talk endlessly. The freshness and audacity that we desire to see is not here, and there is no such courage to act independently. Its biggest problem is still not other things, but vulgarity and obsolescence, and the superficial sorrow and sorrow of inheritance. This kind of consumerism’s accommodation and casualness is actually very familiar to us. It is the preference of the rootless generation, in which only a trace of loneliness and high cold is disguised. The character of the back is not found here. I am secretly surprised that where is the pure and beautiful aftertaste that seems to be experienced in some contemporary Japanese literature? I want to have a conversation with the researcher about this, but unfortunately the other party still prefers popular topics.
Today’s East Asian literature has not fallen completely, but has fallen on a large scale, as the Russian writer Rasputin observed. He expressed his inner feelings during a visit to Northeast China: “In the East, Japan was the first to surrender to meaningless and dirty literature, then South Korea. Some countries will be conquered later.” Then He also said: “I don’t want to blame anyone on this point. This is the dictation of the times, and most people have to submit. And where is the truth? A verdict will be made on this dispute in the future.” Only old writers who have inherited the powerful Russian literature can have such insight. Yes, East Asia nowadays is a piece of towering concrete buildings. Rasputin said: “The people who live on it are all celestial beings.” Yes, he is not prepared or expecting that someday, these will be separated from the earth.” Heaven and human will understand their own works. Once a person cuts off the umbilical cord with nature, he must also lose the sense of vastness of his spirit and no longer have the poetic quality that shakes people’s hearts.
There were a lot of wilderness in Japan once, and expressions of wilderness can be found in works such as “Futility Grass” and “The Tale of Genji”. This aspect of artistic sensitivity is more intuitive to painters, such as the prose and paintings of Ikuo Hirayama and Kaii Higashiyama. Higashiyama Kaii paints landscapes. The content of his work determines that he will go to the middle of the mountains and the desolate areas of Japan to paint mountains and jungles. His prose often writes about wild mountains, but that is very different from Russian literature. His writing is full of appreciation and joy, but not too much mystery and fear. The nature is so beautiful, so beautiful that it excites and intoxicates him, so that he is deeply addicted.
The Han people are keen to cultivate wasteland, then yearn for the tranquility of the countryside, then follow the industrialization and urbanization of the West, and finally enter the digital age together. Literature and art are also such a path, but the most critical post-classicism of the industrialization and post-industrial era has been hurriedly passed in the middle, and they have directly made themselves “modern” and “postmodern”. Alienation, absurdity, avant-garde, they look alike. Our “wilderness” has long since become a myth, and it is farther away than ordinary legends. Nature is just a lie to us, it is not even more traceable than legend. In general, we are fed up with the “land”, and the memory of digging in the soil of our fathers is enough to torture people. In terms of spirit and artistic temperament, leaving Asia and entering Europe is already too hypocritical, it is better to directly express your dislike of yourself. Facing nature, Higashiyama Kaii’s joy, Tolstoy’s and Chekhov’s sense of awe and mystery are all very distant emotions and emotions, and we are really very strange.
The sincere and simple literature, the vast and far-reaching literature, of course originated from the earth. Unfortunately, the sense of solemnity and sublime given by the wilderness has long been thrown into the early days of agricultural civilization.
Distant awe and fear
According to Darwin’s theory of evolution, humans come from the boundless wilderness, slowly evolving from crawling in the jungle to walking upright, and finally out. The wilderness, as the first residence and the most distant memory of mankind, has been deposited in human genes. It may be difficult to disappear in modern writing, but it needs to be searched with breathlessness to wait for it to reappear. In some areas, even extremely delicate and delicate writing, such as modern novels with extreme structure and language skills, sometimes have the image and spirit of the wasteland, and even still use that geographical background.
As a new country, the United States does not have a long literary tradition. From the earliest Gothic novels to the modernist literary process, a group of transitional writers appeared. They were a group of writers after World War II. Most of these people went to Paris to study art and became well-equipped, versatile modern writers. Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and later Latin American Kotazars and Marquez, and others, all endured poverty and loneliness there and exercised their skills. Almost all the origins of modern art, the transformation and innovation of art, literature, and film, all occurred in Paris.
The glory of the past may have become sad in Paris today. Some people think that today’s French films lack content, are weird, and that the reform of the form has come to an end, and they have lost their anger. After a part of French art experienced Dadaism, there were all kinds of experiments such as flow of consciousness, deformation, ugliness, and alienation. Later, it was not only pale, but also completely incomprehensible. It has gone through a series of decay and mutation, and has gone through many tortures before it came to today. Although it was a little weak, it was in exchange for countless bitterness.
Marquez’s autobiography writes about how he suffered in Paris in the past, without money, living in a corner of an inferior brothel, eating rough meals; unable to pay the rent, he mortgaged half of the manuscript to the landlord. One morning at the exhibition, he saw a man coming up from the exit of the Paris subway in the thick fog. This man was crying while walking, reminding him of his situation. Marquez can understand poverty because he himself has experienced all the hardships a writer has to accept before he succeeds. At the same time, various attempts and training are being done. Once he was so embarrassed that he needed a little money, so he stretched out his hand to beg a passerby. The man glanced at him, took out a coin, put it viciously into his palm, and walked away without looking back. He will never forget the look in that person’s eyes.
In Paris, Hemingway also had the experience of “hanging the head and piercing the stock” among ancient Chinese scholars. He lives in the attic of a timber yard in Paris. In the cold and wet winter, he buys some small sticks and burns them for warmth if he has a little money. He wrote about these suffering days in “The Flowing Feast”: enduring hunger and writing page after page.
Ishiguro Kazuo and Naipaul, writers of Oriental descent, have all been baptized in Europe. Naipaul’s Indian trilogy is compact and delicate, and may be his best writing. Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Remnant Sun” shows all the respect and sensitivity to language, which has obviously gone through hard professional training. The self-esteem of people written in this book is unforgettable and is a typical spiritual narrative.
Latin American writers who went to Europe to study art, Asturias, Rivera, as well as Llosa and Marquez. The middle of their works echoes the powerful melody of the wilderness, all with a sense of spaciousness and vastness. Sense of depth. Rivera has a work called “The Whirlpool”, which is about slaves sold in the rubber grove. It is shocking to read, like a curse in the middle of nowhere. Contemporary American novels, such as Marilyn Robinson’s “Book of Gilead,” and Walker’s “Purple”, are full of wildness. There is also a French writer Youssnar, homosexual, strong in writing, masculine, the desert temperament, loneliness and loneliness that the work presents, the deep trek of thought, and the heartstrings: like a modern knight returning to the wilderness, just like a hall Quixote patrolled the continent like Quixote.
China’s contemporary novels, from the early days of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, which largely expressed wars and class struggles, to the writing of era changes, economic opening up, and later imitating modernism in the 1970s and 1980s, are largely irrelevant to the wilderness, from content to form. There are few exceptions. A few land reclamation works with nature as the background are also about the struggle and carnival between man and nature, simple social impulses, such as expressing that man will conquer the sky. The spiritual connection between us and the myths of “Co-workers angering the mountain”, “Kuafu chasing the sun”, and the ancient wilderness expressions such as “Shan Hai Jing” has been broken. Now we need to reconnect, even if it is too late.
Elytis’ “Elegy of Heroes” is one of my favorite long poems. It starts with the death of the ensign of Albania, the fear in the eyes of the unknown, and the desolation of the rocks, the sky, and the wilderness. Hair is tight. Abramov’s “Priyaslin Family” is a masterpiece of writing about wilderness in the Soviet period. The first volume of its first volume is about the wilderness and the big river. There is an old big tree stump on the bank of the river, brushed off the debris, and there are countless fine nicks on it, which were left by the pioneers in the distant ages. This is like a history of mankind left behind in nature. When you open it, all kinds of voices fill your ears, and people of all colors come together, and the story of blood and tears begins. The state of existence where man and the unexpected nature are closely integrated. , The insignificance of people, the cry of fate, the vast wild. The protagonist of this book is still nature.
Even in the Soviet period, Russian literature has never been interrupted in the remnants of the wilderness. Its background is too deep. Rasputin’s “Farewell Maggiore” and others, although they are about collective farms, reveal a kind of eternal desolation. This kind of tone and charm belong to that far-reaching continent, even in an era when the system has undergone such tremendous changes, it still has not been eradicated.
Small and ignorant virtual world
The digital age is the most devastating period of entering the wilderness, and it is also a period of blind pursuit by mankind. People are addicted to the virtual world, and even use it as a substitute for real survival, like a solitaire running end to end between everyone. What a danger this is. Nowadays, many people are indulging in the online world, sinking into botched and cheap digital communication, looking through stories that are weird without any responsibility or taboo. Those children who have no real sense and experience of nature have of course caused greater spiritual harm. Their knowledge of the world is more serious than ordinary misunderstandings, and the consequences are more lasting and serious. For example, the so-called interstellar crossing, mixing the practice and piety of astrophysics exploration with virtual chaos and absurdity, distorts the solemn scientific inquiry and the boundless consciousness of the universe in play. Such a childlike heart can’t pretend to be big things. From objective to subjective, the whole world becomes slight and small, becoming unbearably light. The miscellaneous and proliferation of the digital age has changed people’s hearts and minds, bringing people into a life of erratic and playful life, and pulling the heavy reality away from the soles of the feet.
If urbanization blocks people’s physical vision, then digital virtualization will make people further retreat mentally and fall into the depression of personal knowledge and the realm of life. What literature has to do is to join hands with contemplation, walk out of the depression and return to the vast reality. In the era of materialism, a part of literature first connected the rootless “modern”, followed by the abrupt follow-up of the eastern agricultural society, and then the freaks hatched in the digital age. The massive accumulations pouring on the Internet surging like a sandstorm, forming a storm surge of flooding and covering. This may be a period of double mutation of language and spirit in history, and everything needs to be reassessed.
We have not experienced the transition from a complete agricultural society to the post-industrial era, and literature and art also lack the ferry between classicism and modernism. Blindly playing tricks and imitating can only be deformed. We do not have the ability to adapt to and match a digital age. Without a group of stubborn reflectors and conservatives, we can only let digital weapons fiddle with them and look into the distance in the bubble that has flooded the ceiling.
Today, I will look back to earlier and younger American literature, to see the descriptions of nature by these writers, such as Cooper and Owen, and the wilderness narratives of Jack London. Emerson said in “On Nature”: “I have found more precious and intimate things in the wilderness than in cities and villages. In a quiet field, especially when looking at the distant horizon, one can grasp something like his It’s really beautiful.” Looking at today’s changes, in only one or two hundred years, slices of high-tech highlands and wilderness in the United States have lived next to each other. There are as many wilderness there as our west, or even more. The reason for this difference and how it is formed is a source of deep thought. The process of human destruction of the natural environment and the presentation of the spiritual environment is the part that needs to be explored most. Young North American literature cannot be traced back as far as the “Chu Ci” and “The Book of Songs”, and there is no remote chain of observing the destruction of nature and the huge geographical changes that have occurred in some areas, and in others. No. It can be said that, from material nature to cultural spirit, the protection of the original ecology of the “Yellowstone Park” is extremely important.
The immediate problem is how we treat the digital environment we are in, avoiding the small indifferent screen. The difference between poets and mediocrities lies in their transcendental cognition of the world. We must refuse to go all the way along the virtual direction without vigilance, but should converge in a certain area, like a famous saying in Su Dongpo’s writing: “Stop but have to stop.” The virtual world cannot be regarded as a judgment. The whole basis of the above, let alone become the core content of life. There is no fertile soil in the little screen.
Discussion: Wilderness and Meteorology of Works/The World of Writers
Literature is the expression of life. Although there will be an imaginary part, it will not become the original root. Literature is bound to not go far by imagination, because it must be the reflection of daily life and reality, and its projection. In the jungle of social life, people are too crowded, not to mention the wilderness, it takes a lot of effort to find a piece of farmland. Under such circumstances, the “wilderness” must be emphasized. Is it not marginal? But what is said here is obviously the meaning: “wilderness” does not necessarily appear in the work, and it is not necessary to regard it as a specific object of description, but refers to the relationship between people and the wilderness. You don’t have to write about the wilderness, but you can’t leave it behind your chest. Many masterpieces do not appear in the wilderness, but have that kind of vision and that kind of atmosphere.
Being irrelevant to “wilderness” in life does not mean that the soul is insulated from it. There are at least two levels here. One is the material level. For example, when we go to the west to see and feel the vast land, this sense of reality is irreplaceable. It is of course different whether you have seen or not seen these elements of nature in your heart along the way. To feel and understand the “wilderness”, one cannot completely rely on books such as “In the Wild Woods of Ussuri”, “Farewell Maggiora”, “The Whirlpool”, and “The Priaslins”. It requires personal experience. After we have a sense of materiality, we will look back at these words and understand them more deeply. In future writing, once the material space is opened, the spiritual space will also be strongly drawn and expanded.
Nowadays, some works are written very “exquisitely”, but their spiritual space is narrow and narrow. It can be seen that actual life experience and mental state are interdependent. I haven’t seen the mountains, rivers, or earth. I am just stuffed in a small house. I am keen on the tasteless imitation of bars, coffee houses, etc. It is difficult to open the spiritual space. Today we will feel a little disgusted and uncomfortable in the face of tall things. Because I have adapted to the “down-to-earth atmosphere” for a long time, I have a downward pleasure, and I even think that this is fashionable enough. In fact, it has become a routine for a long time and it is a kind of old fashioned. Deformed men and women, smoking with crooked mouths, these things cannot be ruled out, because they are also part of life; the indispensable observations and descriptions of “modernist” art must have a farther reverberation. The sobbing of Western postmodernism is mixed with very complicated things, including the grievances and anxiety of being far away from the earth. Write that life superficially, without an open geographic space, there will be problems with the weather.
The desert of the material substance and the desert of the spirit are equally important. When talking about the wilderness on the material level, I think of the “wilderness” on the spiritual level. What is the relationship between the two kinds of “wilderness” is what we want to explore, and it is the content of our work.
Some works are trivial and some are stretched. Writing a very small time and space, such as things in a small house in a day, can also feel free and spacious, depending on whether the author has major events in his mind. Whether the heart is big or small, whether it has been seen in the world, the tone and temperament of the text are different.
There are no more than two ways to “see the world”. One is actual experience, such as how many places you have traveled, how many twists and turns you have had in your life in society; the other is textual experience, how many books you have read, and how much knowledge you have in text . Writing practice is also part of it, but it cannot replace reading, nor can it replace other experiences in life.
The works of French writer Marguerite Duras, from the form to the content, are so hypocritical that I don’t like it. But she has a collection of essays called “Material Life” and a novella “The Lover”, which reads well. If a writer strives to express his “personality”, he will appear hypocritical. Always want to be sensational, strange tricks are repeated, and it is easy to be small. Her “Lover” is well written because she temporarily got rid of her hypocritical mentality. It is said that this was due to the publication of some old photos of her in a magazine, which required her to write explanatory text for each photo. She wrote photos of her past in Quincy (Saigon, Vietnam). She wrote more and more, and finally found that these words were piled up and linked together to be a novel. The nature of this kind of work determines the return to simplicity and reality, so this work is touching. It turns out that all the tricks are not as powerful as sincere and simple.
It is of course more important for one person to experience a lot and go deep into social life. It is more important than reading, although the two are not interchangeable. One cannot see the big rivers and the seas and mountains more than a few years old. The best way to see the world is to live seriously, not to avoid contradictions, not to be slippery, and not to engage in opportunism. But don’t misunderstand “going deep into life” as having to go to the front lines, factories, etc. That is to find some materials and information. To live honestly and earnestly is the best way to live deeply. People nowadays are very smart, thinking about how to seize opportunities, this is impossible to write well.
A writer may have to write millions of words before he can listen to a few words with a pen. You have to read most of the “canon” at home and abroad. The so-called “canon” is a classic accumulated over thousands of years. “Historical Records” only read a selected section of the textbook, which is not enough; even if you can’t read it through, the main part of “Zi Zhi Tong Jian” needs to be read carefully. Qu Yuan, Tao Yuanming, Li Bai, Du Fu, Su Dongpo, these great poets, plus Wang Wei, Han Yu, Bai Juyi, Du Mu, and Li Shangyin, all these ancient poets have to read. Writing is unimaginable if the basic homework is not completed, because some accumulation and training are indispensable.
Classic spiritual space/direct friction with nature
The good things we left from ancient times seem simple, but they contain too much content. “Thousand Characters” is very popular and basic, but with a big heart and a big handwriting, it is very remarkable. When there is a big event in the heart, the spiritual space is opened, and it is “heaven and earth mysterious yellow”, what a great atmosphere. Of course, sometimes it is easy to write big words, but with understanding in your heart and resonance in spirit, the feeling of writing is another matter. It is not accidental that “Thousand Characters Wen” has such an opening, and the author must have great concerns and great care.
We all know Zhang Zai’s famous “Four Sentences in the Cross Channel”: “Establish a heart for the heaven and the earth, for the life of the people, for the sacred and sacred learning, and for the peace for all generations.” Now some people laugh at Zhang Zai, saying that intellectuals love to blow too much. If you are, you will speak big words. It’s not good to respond to Zhang Zai with such thoughts. What kind of person is Zhang Zai. “Establishing the heart for the heaven and the earth” does not mean that it has the ability and function to establish the heart for the heaven and the earth, but it expresses the ideals, goals and feelings of people. To express and convey “heaven and earth” as an interpretive object is not a big talk, but a very real and remarkable passage.
Let’s look at Mencius talking about big husbands. At that time, many people thought that political strategists like Zhang Yi were terrific. All they needed to do was to instigate their mouths and sell their plots, and all countries would be afraid. They treated them with courtesy, and they were really great men. But Mencius sneered at this, saying that this is what a “big man”, a true “big man” should “live in the world, establish the right position of the world, and walk the road of the world. To gain aspirations, follow the people; if you don’t have aspirations, you can do it alone. Tao. The rich and the rich cannot be fornication, the poor cannot be moved, the mighty cannot be surrendered, this is called a big man.” In the eyes of Mencius, Zhang Yizhi and his ilk traveled among the countries for petty profits and stirred the world. What a small animal that is. “Mencius” is really worth reading. When we break through the basic text barriers, we will feel that Mencius is a real article. The text is full of heart and good things, but it is not empty. Because he was full of energy and had seen the world, like Confucius, he wandered around the earth, and he had experienced everything. “Mencius” records that he traveled around the world and had conversations with princes and kings, which was both reasonable and vigorous. Read “Mencius” do not look at the vernacular translation, because the loss of translating ancient Chinese into modern vernacular is greater than that of translating a foreign language into Chinese.
No matter how obscure the ancient text is, you must read the original text. If you don’t understand it, just read the notes. After you try to understand it by comparing the notes, you will find that the vernacular is not capable of corresponding. Therefore, the “Book of Songs”, “Chu Ci”, Zhuzi’s prose, pre-Qin policy theory, “Historical Records”, “Hanshu”, Li Shangyin’s poems, Su Dongpo’s articles, etc., translated into the vernacular are as few as water. The ancients spoke with sonorous syllables, far-reaching images, and a word with multiple meanings and a word with multiple meanings. Vernacular writing cannot be compared with it.
The logic of literary expression is different from that of official documents, manuals, and papers. The thesis should clarify the connotation and extension of the concept, and the boundary should be clear, one is one, two is two, and ambiguity is not allowed. But what is valuable in literary expression is its ambiguity. A word or sentence literally means one meaning, with multiple meanings in it, as well as allusions and associations.
After all, the words left by the people with great care are different, because they have a background, they are people who have seen the big world, full of vitality, and are by no means simply speaking beautiful words. People like Confucius and Mencius are so amazing, and it has a lot to do with their actual experience. At that time, there were no planes to go abroad, and it was impossible to go outside of China. They were sitting in a carriage or ox cart and bumping the country. How much experience will be gained by spending a lot of time on the earth in a lifetime. It is incredible for an ancient man to be like Confucius and Mencius. Today is different. People got on the plane on the Jiaodong Peninsula, took a nap, fell asleep, rubbed their eyes and slept intermittently for a while, then opened their eyes again and they were in Europe. The space is opened, but there is no real sense of material level, the friction between the body and nature is much less, and the effect is very different.
Wilderness and Graveyard/Early Wu Lan Yin
The cemetery is a very important coordinate and reference object. It stands in front of it and is the tangible destination of life entities. The West, like China, once talks about life and death, it will involve some ultimate objects. The cemetery is a reference for life and death, and in front of it, you will feel that those who have worked hard in life and used all the enthusiasm to chase fame and fortune are really unimaginable. Such people seem to live for thousands of years, and wealth and power can accompany forever.
Often return to the cemetery imagery or life and death topics, almost cruel. But thinking and judging things, some very realistic ultimate coordinates will really broaden people’s minds and help people see many things clearly. The cemetery is the same as the vast wilderness, and the implications of certain aspects are close. When a life belongs to the grave, it is actually to enter a certain unknown boundlessness and vagueness, which is another unpredictable and infinite place unknown to mankind. For small individuals, the wilderness is such a vast and boundless existence. And death is like a wilderness unfolding in front of people, both frightening and awe-inspiring.
Avoidance is powerless, what we need is to face it. The wilderness and the cemetery have overlapping parts in meaning. Eliot’s poems often write about the image of wilderness and fear, which are all big propositions. In Keats’ poems, there is often the imagination of death, and it is directly written to the graveyard. In Valery’s “Seaside Cemetery”, the poet stares at the sea under the sun and the cemetery at noon, and begins his own lyricism. The cemetery here is magnificent and solemn, a place close to eternity. When talking about literature, it is absolutely impossible to be too confined to the inside of literature. Although this kind of discussion is also useful, it cannot always be discussed. We need to constantly return to larger references, to other basic questions. As for how to build a personal spiritual world and literary world around these issues, that is the important issue.
We lament the reduction of wilderness in nature, and the more serious lack of spiritual and spiritual aspects, because it has been unable to face it, or avoid it or feel it. The cemetery mentioned above is actually to face the wilderness that life will eventually enter. No one has experienced how deep the wilderness is and what it is like. Because that is the “wilderness” that you cannot turn back once you enter. This piece of “wilderness” that no one has personally told is indeed a great reference for life.
There is a Peking opera called “Suo Lin Nang”, which is Cheng Pai’s masterpiece. I have watched it many times. The theme is mocking snobs. There is a beautiful woman who is rich and noble. After experiencing a drastic change in her family, she lives somewhere to work and suffers humiliation and hardship. There is a core lyric that talks about the great enlightenment of life. It is very long, singing three sighs. The screenwriter of this play is Mr. Weng Ouhong, who has a solid foundation and wrote excellent lyrics. There are four words in this paragraph, “Early understanding of Lanyin”, which is very simple and deep. The old man worked hard and wrote more than a hundred plays in his life. So I often talk about writing more, reading more and practicing. Some people say that writing less can produce good quality, and writing more is over. This is not the case. There are only a few masterpieces of geniuses we have seen, and most of them are because they live forever. If they live a long life, they will definitely write brilliant masterpieces. The river of life of a great writer is bound to be vast, far-reaching and tenacious. In other words, great writers have wild weather and a huge sense of depth. They will not be like a home decoration, which is impossible to make a porch and hang a roof.
Rough and soft / colorful endless brush strokes
The vastness, vastness and unpredictability of the wilderness lies in the inclusion of various elements. Roughness is a kind of wilderness, it looks like this, but there are more complicated things. This is an all-encompassing life form, and it also contains gentleness. Outstanding expressions of the wilderness “Priyaslin Family”, “In the Wild Woods of Ussuri”, and “The King of Fish” and other books, which contain a strong and deep love, a heart is soft enough to be impossible The point of retelling. Only by entering specific words can you experience these. For animals, a piece of grass, a flower, or even a ray of sky, that kind of compassion and love, that kind of gentle expression can’t be added. For example, the nature described by Chekhov, which runs through the mountains and rivers, is not only rough and cold, but the brushwork is extremely rich and endless.
Su Dongpo’s “Niannujiao: Nostalgia at Chibi” uses a “big river” to represent nature and a huge existence, and many people have cited it as a model of boldness. Ci is not the same as poetry. Ci’s “origin” is not very good, and it is generally used for entertainment in banquet venues, so it is often gorgeous and erotic. Although the poems were originally from the folk, they were fresh and vigorous, but they were later transferred to court entertainment and literati, and into Huajianyuexia Fireworks and Liuxiang, they became delicate and euphemistic. They were good at expressing the leisure and interest of scholar-bureaucrats. The boudoir is sorrowful of men’s and women’s erotic love and so on. The origin of the word determines its texture, and Su Dongpo’s contribution is to wash away the vulgarity with a “big river”. “Going to the east, the waves are exhausted, the romantic figure of the ages” is of course bold and rough, but turned around and wrote “Xiao Qiao married for the first time”, still remembering a man and woman love affairs. On the one hand, it is a history of opening and closing, and it is nothingness. On the other hand, it also remembers the joy of Zhou Lang marrying Xiao Qiao at that time, the charming life of a young couple. Su Dongpo has a lot of affection, and his grasp, yearning, obsession and guessing of emotion are very delicate.
Roughness and softness are not contradictions that are difficult to reconcile, they are a complex. Without an in-depth understanding of roughness, without a comprehensive insight into things, the softness contained therein may be missed. Some poets are not bad, and they are willing to write about big things and elephants, but they still write about subtleties. Like Xin Qiji, he writes “Drunk in the light and watch the sword, dreaming back to blow the horns and even camp”, but also “the eaves are low, the slopes are green and green”; Li Qingzhao is famous for gracefulness, but can write “The water is connected to the south for three thousand miles, the pressure Fourteen states in Jiangcheng”. The human mind should be rich, as all-encompassing as nature. Elephants are running, tigers are jumping, small bugs are also wriggling, and a large number of invisible microorganisms live in them. A writer should be complex and multifaceted.
The crisis brought by high-tech / looking for open space
When talking about childhood, we said that children in the Internet age cannot simply say good or bad, because things are not always that simple. All problems cannot be one-size-fits-all. We only look at weaknesses rather than strengths. We just talk about the negligence of an era from a specific angle. The benefits of the Internet age are of course many, such as transparency of information, such as the function of drying the dark. It brings a lot of convenience to life, saves energy and time, which are all visible benefits, exciting and accepting. People watch the world through a mobile phone, and a lot of music and pictures are gathered in the palm of your hand. Of course, it is a great technological advancement.
But there are many problems hidden in the huge benefits and convenience. We are easily deceived by the size and cheapness in front of us and forget the others. The Internet age has given us such a big bargain. Of course, we have to enjoy it, use it, and even greedily map it. But our greed for benefits and cheapness will also hinder us from thinking about bigger things, and our literature often expresses big things. Feel the joy and pain from the palm of your mobile phone, turn your back to nature, you will lose too much. Everything has two sides. We cannot simply deny modernization and high-tech, but high-tech should help us to pursue some major problems, rather than conceal and cover it, let alone replace it.
No matter how much convenience the small screen in our hands brings, it cannot be allowed to become a symbol of desertification, nor can it be allowed to transform the entire quality of human life beyond recognition. Once it becomes our only or most important window of life, it is not far from tragedy. There are digital virtuals everywhere and electronic reading everywhere, so be careful.
We still have to return to nature and cherish all such opportunities to open up new horizons in our vision.