腦力不足,思想淺薄的我素來不愛看嚴肅的經典文學,尤其是諾貝爾文學獎的作品,沉鬱,正統,中規中矩,總有無形的框架把人鎮住.我愛現代小說,形式輕盈自在,內涵依然深刻.然而,最近被納博可夫( Vladimir Nabokov)迷住了.

兒子從高雄市圖借回來Nabokov的小說 Laughter in the Dark.文字簡明流暢,我把它列為過年讀物.哪知,從年前讀到元宵才讀完.半本之後情節陡然緊張,變成page turner,剩下三十多頁,熬夜硬撐卻精神不濟讀不完.週日禮拜完回家第一件事就是把小說拚完.



The winding road had taken them to a pine grove where the creaking of  the cicadas was like the endless winding-up and whir of some clockwork toy. A stream was running over flat stones which seemed to quiver under the knot of water. They sat down on the dry sweet-smelling turf.


……..the snow glitter Christmas-like under the lamps, the sky  was black, and only in the distance, beyond the dark mass of roofs, in the direction of Gedachtniskirche , where the great picture -palaces were, did the blackness melt to a warm brownish blush. All at once he remembered the names of the two ladies on the divan…….


BERLIN-WEST, a morning in May.

………..Sparrows bustling about in the ivy. An electric milk van on fat tires rolling creamily. The sun dazzling in an attic window on the slope of a green-tiled roof. The young fresh air itself was not yet used to the hooting of the distant traffic; it gently took up the sounds and bore them along like something fragile and precious.


An orange-flushed cloud curled in wisps across the pale green sky, above the black mountains; lights glowed in the squatting cafes; the planes trees on the boulevard were already shrouded in darkness.


Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albunis. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster.


This is the whole of the story and we might have left it at that had there not been profit and pleasure in the telling; and although there is plenty of space on a gravestone to contain, bound in moss, the abridged version of a man’s life, detail is always welcome.






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