今年北京的冬天很冷,这两天最低温有零下十五度左右。这样的天气呆在家里读书最为舒服,当然如果有室内篮球场可以运动就更好了。

Technique

昨天读 Helen Vendler: Seamus Heaney 时看到了这样一段引用,很有收获:
When Heaney speaks (in his essay “Feeling into Words”) of his first attempts as a poet, he says, ‘I was in love with words themselves, but had no sense of a poem as a whole structure and no experience of how the successful achievement of a poem could be s stepping stone in your life’. It was only later that he learned what must be added to the love of words in order to make a poem, a quality he calls ‘technique’.

Technique, as I would define it, involves not only a poet’s way with words, his management of metre, rhythm and verbal texture; it involves also a definition of his stance towards life…. It involves … a dynamic alertness that mediates between the origins of feeling in memory and experience the formal ploys that express these in a work of art…. It is that whole creative effort … to bring the meaning of experience with the jurisdiction of form.

比如说在 “Follower” 中,end rhythm 和 slant rhythm 共存,与诗的主题契合得非常好,这即是技艺的一种吧。我也想学习这样的技艺呢。

自我意识过剩的 Saul Bellow

同样是昨天晚上,读了一点 Saul Bellow 去年出的文集,九月份买的但后来一直没读多少。实在是很普通啊,和他的小说一样无聊。在我看的几篇文章里反复出现“我在芝加哥长大,成为一个知识分子很不容易”,“现在的美国人不重视艺术”,“现代人需要多思考”,“高等教育可能没有用”这样自我意识过剩的废话,让人感觉即使是乘着促销买了这本书也非常不值。布鲁姆很不喜欢贝篓,感同身受!作者有无才能通过文字可以很直接的感受到,对于 Bellow,答案是并没有多少。

Movement and Mechanics

本赛季到目前为止,库里以45%的命中率场均投进接近五个三分,在NBA历史上前所未有。于是很多人说库里投篮准主要凭借天赋,因为其他人例如科比训练刻苦但完全没有同样的准度。

这种思考方式过于简单。重要的不仅是时间与汗水,还有方法。我想起了庄子的庖丁解牛:族疱以蛮力割折,无论流多少汗,杀多少牛,都同样费劲;庖丁则游刃有余,解牛的声响如同音乐。这种轻松并非来源于天赋:「始臣之解牛之时,所见无非牛者」;只有长时间的训练与领悟,才能达到「方今之时,臣以神遇而不以目视…是以十九年而刀刃若新发于硎」的境界。训练的真正困难之处不在于忍受身体劳累,而在于如何找到合理的训练方式,使自己从根本上变得更好。

对于运动,速度与力量等身体素质可谓是「技」,「道」则是最适合自己的 Mechanics. 任何运动员都需拥有前者,而只有伟大的运动员才领悟了后者。合理的 Mechanics 带来优雅而强大的动作:梅西的盘带,费德勒的反手击球,科比的脚步与身体控制,库里的三分投射,乔丹的突破与后仰跳投,等等。这一切都源自艰苦而有创造力的训练:认识自己的比赛方式,有目标地训练与学习。

这也是为什么观看伟大运动员比赛,了解其如何训练是一种乐趣:在欣赏运动的同时,也可以体会到如何通过创造力与训练(discipline)来自我改变。Georges St. Pierre 的 The Way of The Fight 即是与此相关并很有启发性的一本书。从中摘录两段:

Too many people in mixed martial arts talk about hard work without intelligent hard work. It’s the depth of insight that matters. What gives work an intelligent direction is what makes it useful. Georges is restless in his desire to find the most efficient use of that hard work. He’s constantly looking for ways of improving his workout, constantly looking for new ways of applying rules to increase their efficiency rate. That is what makes him unique: his depth of insight and vision. Not just athlete ability and work ethic.

Knowing yourself lets you differentiate between luck and movement. It places them at opposite ends of the spectrum. Luck is not within anybody’s control or prediction. It occurs, and it’s great when it does, but you can’t base your entire life on it. Movement, on the other hand, puts success within reach. The more you know about yourself, the better your movement through all facts of life.

This applies to everybody — doctors, cooks, farmers, whomever. The rule, when applied to me, is ordered by priority: 1) to stick to the things I know and do them well, and constantly improve; 2) to grow, slowly and surely, my knowledge base, to become the greatest martial artist I can ever be; 3) to get the maximum out of myself; 4) to develop my abilities into skills, because there’s a great difference between the two. Ability is related potential, but skill represents the concept of doing, of movement.

Experience

什么是创造性?我想,创造性并不是艺术家或者科学家所特有的东西。以自己的眼睛去看,将自身的经验做为思考的基点,用自己的双手带来改变,便是创造性。换句话说,直面世界,亲自体验一切。

这并没有看起来那么容易。以观看为例,摄影使每个人都可以展现自己所看到的世界,然而我们每天看见的照片是多么同质而乏味:食物、自拍、景点等等。如果说食物的摆放布光,自拍时的手势,景点的经典角度是浅层的相似,那么拍摄对象的选取则是更深层的相似:似乎只有这些值得拍摄,值得给他人展示。而创造性的观看需要想象力,史蒂文斯对梨的描写像是出自「一个从没有见过梨的外星人」,杉本博司拍摄的蜡像与全景画引人思考真实。忘掉那些看起来自然而然的观念,试着去捕捉事物裸露的样子,是学习如何观看的开始。

亲自体验并不意味着不受他人影响,我也很少感受到 Harold Bloom 所说 The Anxiety of Influence. Emerson: “Where do we find ourselves? In a series of which we do not know the extremes, and believe that it has none.” 若是在一望无际的海洋中航行,前人的影响或是洋流将我们带到何处并不重要,重要的是以此为起点将向何处驶去,画出怎样的轨迹。

有很多想看和想做的事。。

所谓爱国

所谓的爱国,常常只是一种消极的恨而已。最近台湾选举。虽然大部分大陆网民对台湾的了解仅限于政治教科书与新闻联播,可能连一个活的台湾人都没见过,更别提见过台湾选举是什么样,但依然满腔热情地进行着各种爱国行动,包括但不限于在微博上骂人,在论坛里吵架,翻墙出去吵架骂人。人们每天要花费多少时间思考与自己无关的事?我想,人们对于越是遥远的事情,越容易产生偏见。因为即使费尽力气得到了一个相对合理的观点,对自己的生活也不会有任何改变。所以,一开始就没有思考它们的必要。

读 William James

这段想法和第一段有关呢。昨天晚上读着他的 Pragmatism, 觉得很多内容让我写也可以写出来,于是干脆不读了。换句话说就是非常 Predictable, 即使读到我没想过的问题,也没有新鲜感. 而读伟大的作家,例如 Kierkegaard 或者 Nietzsche, 会先感到惊讶而后感到一种必然。如同 Emerson 所说,“In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts—they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.”