中文诗与短篇小说 A Chinese Poem & Short Story

中文诗与短篇小说 A Chinese Poem & Short Story

陈宇昕推荐 (Tan Yu Xin Recommends)

中文诗与短篇小说

A Chinese Poem & Short Story

中文诗与短篇小说有趣而意味深长。快看看联合早报记者陈宇昕推荐的两个文本吧!

Chinese poetry and stories are interesting and full of meaning. Lianhe Zaobao journalist, Tan Yu Xin gives us two recommendations to enjoy!

 

 

谢裕民《蹲向传统或坐看现代》

这篇小说有三个关键词:

  • 什么是家
  • 什么是传统
  • 什么是本能

如果是你,你会怎么写?

谢裕民以他一贯的幽默笔调,用一个马桶串联了这三个看起来沉重的关键词。

我们常囿于文字,小说家是创造者,也可以扮演仓颉的角色。托尔金为《魔戒》世界创造了精灵语,谢裕民也为这篇小说创造新字,而且是只属于新加坡的文字。

谁说简单的文字、结构、概念不能探索深刻的主题?

摘自小说的一段文本:

买下这间房子其实也只是一种冲动,带有传统情趣行为的冲动。女主角说,噢!感觉很好,很乡土,熟悉、自在,刚好我们需要一间房子。过后我们才发现,唯有抢修,我们的传统情趣才不会倒塌,但又不想,也不准完全以今助古,却在无法找到材料的情况下,只好以今拟古,在整体视觉上似古。

"Squatting Towards Tradition or Sitting In Search of Modernisation" by Chia Joo Ming

This short story explores the themes of:

  • Home
  • Tradition
  • Human Instinct

If you were the author, how would you write this story?

In his witty way, Chia Joo Ming uses the analogy of choosing a toilet bowl to explore in depth the three themes above. We are sometimes defined, and limited by words that exist, but novelists are creators who can play the role of Cangjie*, creating new language systems and meanings.

Just as J.R.R Tolkien invented the Elvish language for The Lord of the Rings, Chia Joo Ming likewise created new Chinese characters, unique to Singapore, for this short story.

Who says we are unable to explore profound themes with simple words, structures and concepts?

*Cangjie is a legendary figure in ancient China, who was said to be an official historian of the Yellow Emperor and the inventor of Chinese characters.

 

英培安《哀伤的儿歌》

小说家英培安最初是以现代诗人的身份受到文坛瞩目的。他早期的诗有一种理想主义的慷慨,夹杂淡淡的惆怅。

这首《哀伤的儿歌》虽然写于1974年,但在这个后真相时代,读起来还是那么切身。

诗不必多解释,慢慢咀嚼,缓缓感受其中滋味吧。

 

《哀伤的儿歌》

孩子

当你长大

开始自己走路

你才发现

整个城市

没有了街道

 

当你也像

每一个的大人们

热心地,要在早上细读新闻

你才惊觉

最后一份报纸

多年以前

已经死了

 

于是你真正懂得了哭

而你只能

张着你干枯的

干枯的眼睛笑

 

孩子愤怒而且不安的孩子

从此你认识什么是忧伤

在一面又一面的夜色飘浮辗转

就像现在每一个的我们一样

就像现在每一个的我们一样

1974年

英培安

 

“Lament for a Child” by Yeng Pway Ngon

Yeng Pway Ngon first gained attention in the literary scene as a poet through his work with modern poetry. His early works had notions of idealistic fervour, mixed with a tinge of melancholy. Although “Lament for a Child” was written in 1974, it still feels relatable in this post-truth era.

Let us slowly digest and savour the poem.

Four Questions with a Reluctant Sleuth

Four Questions with a Reluctant Sleuth

Walter Woon’s Peranakan lawyer turned mystery solver tells all

By Jaclynn Seah

 

We are hurtling back in time to the 1940s – during the tumultuous Japanese occupation in Singapore where we managed a furtive meet-up with Dennis Chiang, erstwhile lawyer now just trying to survive and find his lost lady love.

 

BuySingLit (BSL):  You studied law - how did you end up getting involved in all these mysteries and adventures?

 

I didn't set out to have an exciting life.  After the growing-up years I spent in Fenton Abbey and Cambridge I came back to Singapore as a stranger in my home and homeland. D'Almeida was a family friend and the best criminal lawyer in the Straits Settlements and Malaya and I was honoured that he accepted me as his pupil.

 

I didn't realise his penchant for extra-curricular activities outside the courtroom.  His doings took me all the way north to the wilds of Malaya and back again after racing the incoming tide of the Japanese invasion.

 

BSL: You've gone through a lot these past few years - What is the most interesting/disturbing mystery that you've heard about?

 

Frankly, our time at Batu Sembilan chasing the British traitor and rooting out Indian nationalist subversion among the Bhurtpore Regiment was heart-stoppingly exciting.  I never expected to be in the orchestra pit when the curtain went up on the Japanese invasion.

 

There were lots of other hairy moments too in the last few years.  Getting home from northern Malaya ahead of the Japanese.  Being in the front line with Colonel Daley's forlorn hope of trying to stop the Japs from landing on Singapore Island.

 

On top of that, keeping up a triple life working for Takeda-san in Syonan while harbouring the head of the Communist resistance, and at the same time collaborating with an undercover D'Almeida; I was walking on the edge of a samurai sword between the devil and the deep blue sea.

 

I think that all these adventures must have taken at least a decade off my lifespan.

 

BSL: Do you ever wish you had a sidekick or a partner to help you solve a mystery?

 

To tell the truth, I'm the sidekick - well, me and George Singham to be honest.  D'Almeida is the expert at dressing up and mixing with ordinary folk.  He's clearly the brains.  George (who is D'Almeida's nephew, though he's uncommonly touchy about admitting it) has the family grey cells and connections within the Indian nationalist community.

 

Between them they do all the intellectual heavy lifting, and I'm the general purpose dogsbody; not that I mind, though.  It keeps life from getting humdrum.

 

BSL: Tell us one mystery about you or your life that no one has ever solved.

 

The great mystery of my life is how three so different girls can cause severe dents in my heart. First there was Siew Chin, the Communist activist; then Daphne, the lost American; and finally, Helen, the Nationalist songbird.  How it's going to turn out ... well, we'll see.

 

Pick up a copy of The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea to find out what happens to Dennis Chiang next.

Thanks to Walter Woon for Dennis’ interview and Marshall Cavendish for the photo of book cover.

 

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is part 3 of The Advocate Devil’s series – Follow Dennis Chiang’s adventure in The Advocate Devil, The Devil to Pay, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and finish off with The Devil’s Circle.