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首页 > 高考总复习 > 高考英语复习方法 > 英文小说连载《朗读者The Reader》Part 2 Chapter 4
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英文小说连载《朗读者The Reader》Part 2 Chapter 4

2019-01-08 19:21:24三好网

  I DID NOT miss a single day of the trial. The other students were surprised. The professor was pleased that one of us was making sure that the next group learned what the last one had heard and seen.

  Only once did Hanna look at the spectators and over at me. Usually she was brought in by a guard and took her place and then kept her eyes fixed on the bench throughout the day’s proceedings. It appeared arrogant, as did the fact that she didn’t talk to the other defendants and almost never with her lawyer either. However, as the trial went on, the other defendants talked less among themselves too. When there were breaks in the proceedings, they stood with relatives and friends, and in the mornings they waved and called hello to them when they saw them in the public benches. During the breaks Hanna remained in her seat.

  So I watched her from behind. I saw her head, her neck, her shoulders. I decoded her head, her neck, her shoulders. When she was being discussed, she held her head very erect. When she felt she was being unjustly treated, slandered, or attacked and she was struggling to respond, she rolled her shoulders forward and her neck swelled, showing the play of muscles. The objections were regularly overruled, and her shoulders regularly sank. She never shrugged, and she never shook her head. She was too keyed up to allow herself anything as casual as a shrug or a shake of the head. Nor did she allow herself to hold her head at an angle, or to let it fall, or to lean her chin on her hand. She sat as if frozen. It must have hurt to sit that way.

  Sometimes strands of hair slipped out of the tight knot, began to curl, lay on the back of her neck, and moved gently against it in the draft. Sometimes Hanna wore a dress with a neckline low enough to reveal the birthmark high on her left shoulder. Then I remembered how I had blown the hair away from that neck and how I had kissed that birthmark and that neck. But the memory was like a retrieved file. I felt nothing.

  During the weeks of the trial, I felt nothing: my feelings were numbed. Sometimes I poked at them, and imagined Hanna doing what she was accused of doing as clearly as I could, and also doing what the hair on her neck and the birthmark on her shoulder recalled to my mind. It was like a hand pinching an arm numbed by an injection. The arm doesn’t register that it is being pinched by the hand, the hand registers that it is pinching the arm, and at first the mind cannot tell the two of them apart. But a moment later it distinguishes them quite clearly. Perhaps the hand has pinched so hard that the flesh stays white for a while. Then the blood flows back and the spot regains its color. But that does not bring back sensation.

  Who had given me the injection? Had I done it myself, because I couldn’t manage without anesthesia? The anesthetic functioned not only in the courtroom, and not only to allow me to see Hanna as if it was someone else who had loved and desired her, someone I knew well but who wasn’t me. In every part of my life, too, I stood outside myself and watched; I saw myself functioning at the university, with my parents and brother and sister and my friends, but inwardly I felt no involvement.

  After a time I thought I could detect a similar numbness in other people. Not in the lawyers, who carried on throughout the trial with the same rhetorical legalistic pugnacity, jabbing pedantry, or loud, calculated truculence, depending on their personalities and their political standpoint. Admittedly the trial proceedings exhausted them; in the evenings they were tired and got more shrill. But overnight they recharged or reinflated themselves and droned and hissed away the next morning just as they had twenty-four hours before. The prosecutors made an effort to keep up and display the same level of attack day after day. But they didn’t succeed, at first because the facts and their outcome as laid out at the trial horrified them so much, and later because the numbness began to take hold. The effect was strongest on the judges and the lay members of the court. During the first weeks of the trial they took in the horrors—sometimes recounted in tears, sometimes in choking voices, sometimes in agitated or broken sentences—with visible shock or obvious efforts at self-control. Later their faces returned to normal; they could smile and whisper to one another or even show traces of impatience when a witness lost the thread while testifying. When going to Israel to question a witness was discussed, they started getting the travel bug. The other students kept being horrified all over again. They only came to the trial once a week, and each time the same thing happened: the intrusion of horror into daily life. I, who was in court every day, observed their reactions with detachment.

  It was like being a prisoner in the death camps who survives month after month and becomes accustomed to the life, while he registers with an objective eye the horror of the new arrivals: registers it with the same numbness that he brings to the murders and deaths themselves. All survivor literature talks about this numbness, in which life’s functions are reduced to a minimum, behavior becomes completely selfish and indifferent to others, and gassing and burning are everyday occurrences. In the rare accounts by perpetrators, too, the gas chambers and ovens become ordinary scenery, the perpetrators reduced to their few functions and exhibiting a mental paralysis and indifference, a dullness that makes them seem drugged or drunk. The defendants seemed to me to be trapped still, and forever, in this drugged state, in a sense petrified in it.

  Even then, when I was preoccupied by this general numbness, and by the fact that it had taken hold not only of the perpetrators and victims, but of all of us, judges and lay members of the court, prosecutors and recorders, who had to deal with these events now; when I likened perpetrators, victims, the dead, the living, survivors, and their descendants to each other, I didn’t feel good about it and I still don’t.

  Can one see them all as linked in this way? When I began to make such comparisons in discussions, I always emphasized that the linkage was not meant to relativize the difference between being forced into the world of the death camps and entering it voluntarily, between enduring suffering and imposing it on others, and that this difference was of the greatest, most critical importance. But I met with shock and indignation when I said this not in reaction to the others’ objections, but before they had even had the chance to demur.

  At the same time I ask myself, as I had already begun to ask myself back then: What should our second generation have done, what should it do with the knowledge of the horrors of the extermination of the Jews? We should not believe we can comprehend the incomprehensible, we may not compare the incomparable, we may not inquire because to inquire is to make the horrors an object of discussion, even if the horrors themselves are not questioned, instead of accepting them as something in the face of which we can only fall silent in revulsion, shame, and guilt. Should we only fall silent in revulsion, shame, and guilt? To what purpose? It was not that I had lost my eagerness to explore and cast light on things which had filled the seminar, once the trial got under way. But that some few would be convicted and punished while we of the second generation were silenced by revulsion, shame, and guilt—was that all there was to it now?

  法庭的审理我一天都没有错过,其他同学对此感到奇怪,教授对此表示赞赏,因为,这样一来,我们当中就有了一位能把上一组同学的所见所闻传达给下一组同学的人。

  只有一次汉娜向观众和我这边看了看,否则的话,在所有审理的日子里,当她被一位女看守带进来时和坐下之后,她都把目光投向法庭的长椅上。这使她看上去很傲慢,同样使她显得傲慢的是她与其他被告人不交谈,与她的辩护律师也几乎不说什么。不过,法庭审理持续时间越长,其他被告人之间的交谈也越少。他们在法庭中间休息时与亲朋好友站在一起交谈,早上在观众席上看到他们时,向他们招手呼唤。汉娜在法庭休息时仍旧留在她的座位上。

  这样一来我只能从后面看她。我可以看到她的头、她的脖颈和肩膀。我研究她的头、她的脖颈和她的肩。如果事情与她有关时,她会把头抬得特别高。当她感到受到了不公平的对待时,或遭到了诽谤中伤和攻击时,或吃力地回答问题时,她都把肩往前探,脖颈青筋就暴涨起来。她的反驳总是不成功,她的肩也就总是又垂下来。她从未耸过肩,也从未摇过头。她太紧张了,以至于连耸肩、摇头所要求的轻松自如的动作都做不到。她也不允许自己把头偏着,也不允许自己低头或者靠着。她僵硬地坐着,这种坐姿一定很痛苦。

  有时候,一咎头发慢慢地从她的发夹中掉出来,卷曲在一起垂在脖颈上,在穿堂风中来回飘摆。有时候汉娜穿一件连衣裙,它的领口很大,以致她左肩膀上面的一块胎痣都露了出来。这使我想起我把她脖颈上的头发吹开然后去亲吻那块股清、亲吻她的脖颈的情景。但是,这种回忆只是一种记忆而已,我什么感觉都没有。

  在持续了几周长的法庭审理期间,我什么感觉都没有,我的感觉就像麻木了一样。我也偶尔刺激过它,尽可能十分清楚地去想象汉娜被指控的那些行为,同时我也去回想她脖颈上的头发和她肩膀上的那块胎痣。结果就像用手拖了一下打了麻醉药的胳膊一样,胳膊不知道被手掐了一下,而手却知道它把胳膊掐了,大脑起初也分不清这两种感觉,但下一步就把二者分得十分清楚了。也许手用力太大,被掐的地方一时会苍白无血色,过了一会儿血液才流通,被掐的地方才又恢复了血色,但是,感觉却没有随之回来。

  是谁给我打了麻醉药呢?是我自己,因为若不麻木不仁的话,我能承受得了吗?这种麻木不仁不仅仅在法庭的大厅里起作用,它不仅仅使我能够面对汉娜——我好像不是我,而是我的一位熟人,一位爱过她、渴望过她的熟人,它还使我与我身边所有的人都相处得平平淡淡,不论是在大学里的与朋友相处,还是在家里的与父母及兄弟姐妹相处。

  过了一段时间,我发现,类似的麻木不仁在其他人身上也可以观察到,但在辩护律师身上你观察不到这种麻木不仁。在整个审理期间,他们始终是吵吵闹闹、非常自负地争高争低,有时过分尖刻,有时大吵大闹、厚颜无耻,其程度根据个人气质和政治素质而有所不同。虽然审理已使他们精疲力竭,使他们到了晚上也疲惫不堪或者声音更尖锐刺耳,可是经过一夜的养精蓄锐,他们第二天又和前一天一样,吵吵嚷嚷地上阵了。那些法官也并不示弱,每天都斗志昂扬。但他们并没有达到预期结果,这首先因为审理对象和结果太使他们震惊,而后麻木不仁又开始发挥了作用。这种麻木不仁在审判员和陪审员身上体现得最明显。在最初几周的审理中,当他们听到那些可怕的事实时,明显地表现出震惊或者强做镇定自若:有时讲述人泪流满面,有时泣不成声,有时非常具有煽动性,有时又偶然若失。后来,他们的面部表情就又趋于正常了。他们相互之间也能笑着在对方的耳边低声评论什么,或者当一位证人事无巨细地做证时,他们也开始不耐烦地叹气。在审理期间,当需要到以色列一位女证人那儿取证的消息被公布时,人人争先恐后。其他同学总是被新的事实所震惊,他们每周只来一次法庭,每次都要面对可怕的历史打破他们的日常生活的事实。我却日复一日地留在法庭,冷眼旁观他们的反应。

  集中营的囚犯如何才能一个月接着一个月地活过来,如何才能适应自己,如何才能对新来囚犯的惊恐万状冷眼视之呢?麻木不仁!他们以同样的麻木不仁对待杀人和死亡。那些幸存者留下的所有文字材料都记载了这种麻木不仁。这种麻木不仁削弱了生命的作用,使不法行为肆无忌惮,使用毒气杀人和焚烧人的行为变成了家常便饭。在那些罪犯寥寥数语的说明中可以看到,他们也把毒气室和焚烧炉看做是日常生活,把他们自己的作用看得很轻,把他们的肆无忌惮和冷漠无情视为一种像被注射了麻醉药或喝醉了酒一样的麻痹状态。在我眼里,那些被告人好像仍!日而且永久地被束缚在这种麻木不仁中,在某种程度上,他们已变成了化石。

  当我对这种麻木不仁的共性进行研究时,当我不仅仅研究罪犯和受害者身上的麻木不仁,而且也对我们这些人——法官、陪审员、检查官和记录员,这些后来与此有关人员的麻木不仁进行研究时,当我把罪犯、受害者、死亡者、活着的人、幸存者和永垂不朽者相互进行比较时,我就感觉不舒服,过去感觉不舒服,现在仍然感觉不舒服。允许人们做这样的比较吗?当我在发言中做这样的比较时,我虽然总是强调不应该抹杀罪犯是被迫去集中营还是自愿去的这两者之间的区别,以及是他们自己在忍受痛苦还是给别人带来痛苦这两者之间的区别——相反,我们应该特别强调这种区别的重要性,但是,我总是引火烧身——引起别人的震惊和愤怒,如果我的这种观点不是针对其他人的指责所做出的一种反应,而是在他们尚未对我进行指责之前就提出来的话。我现在自问——当时我就已经开始对自己提出这样的问题:我们这代人应该如何对待屠杀犹太人的那段可怕的历史观?我们不应该认为我们能理解无法理解的事情,不应该去比较无法比较的事情,也不应该去询问,因为询问者本人把那可怕的过去变成了一种谈话的题材。虽然他们对那可怕的过去毫不怀疑,但却不把它视为骇人听闻的奇耻大辱和弥天大罪。我们应该仅仅停留在这种耻辱感和负疚感上吗?为什么?我之所以这样自问,不是因为我参加研究班时所拥有的那种清理和解释过去的热情在法庭审理期间消失殆尽了,但是,仅仅审判和惩罚少数几个人,我们肇事者的后代也仅仅感到那段历史是骇人听闻的奇耻大辱和弥天大罪,就可以了吗?

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