Monthly Archives: December 2004

祈福

南亞的地震和海嘯,
摧毀了數萬人的性命與依託,

聞此消息,
令我震撼又心慟,
再一次地體會世事無常,
觀光勝地化成了痛苦的哀號。
據說,尚未找到人以外的動物屍體,
是因為人比較遲鈍,不懂地提前避難嗎?
還是,人,只執著於人,
忘了深層的呼喚?

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2004跨年

今天是2004的最後一天

不像去年跑去跨年,
待在宿舍寫作業。
Why?

去年參加過跨年活動後,
便覺得跨年並沒想像中有趣,
跨年的意義,好像也如許多節日一般被商業化了,
跨年晚會大多已變成藝人表演的大雜燴,
人們忘了對自己做反省與期許,
或是做了錯誤的反省與期許。

事實上,
跨年真的沒有那麼地意義重大,
跨過之後,時間仍以相同速度流逝,
日子照樣過。
而「人」,沒多大變化,
和去年和一秒鐘前的個體是幾乎一樣的,
若沒深切的省思,
每天都可以跨,不過如洗臉刷牙般罷了。
明天將變地不像新年,因為思想仍是舊的。

每一天都可以跨,跨越自己設下的局限,
撕破自己搭建的囹圄,
不斷跨越,
跨出塵俗的限制,
跨出自己的大方世界。


As Shakespeare Did

In the video, a quote, “wherever you find English, you find Shakespeare” has impressed me a lot.
There is no doubt that Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers in the world, his works have been read and liked for centuries, and his influence may continue to last. But, what about ourselves?

In Taiwan, there has been a trend of vernacular literatures recently. Besides using Mandarin, many people now want to use their mother tongues to write works, such as Holo (Taiwanese in strict sense), Hakka, and other aboriginal languages. Take Holo, which I am most familiar to, for example. In the past, some people may argue that there is no writing system in Holo, but the problem is going to be solved. There is a program of finding the correct Chinese characters in Holo, leading by a Chinese professor in National Taiwan University.

Once the problem is gone, what problem will come next? I think the biggest one is language identity. Even though the mother tongues of most people in Taiwan are not Mandarin, people speak their first languages not as proficient as a native speaker should be. People are familiar to use Mandarin and tend to regard it as their mother tongue, which may not be true. Some even think that “I don’t care what my mother tongue is and I don’t want to change my habit of using a language.”

If a language is used seldom, the language may die in some day. I think there is no connection between language identity and political identity, what I worry about is that most people do not think that languages and literatures of Holo, Hakka, and aboriginal are important. Some people even think that these literatures can not be equal to Chinese literature. The history of each literature is different, so it’s not fair to judge which literature is better which is not.

Let’s look at England in 16th century. Richard Mulcaster (ca. 1530-1611) said: “Is it not indeed a marvelous bondage, to become servants to one tongue for learning’s sake the most of our time, with loss of most time, whereas we may have the very same treasure in our own tongue, with the gain of more time? our own bearing the joyful title of our liberty and freedom, the Latin tongue remembering us of our thralldom and bondage ? I love Rome, but London better; I favor Italy, but England more; I honor the Latin, but I worship the English.”
I was quite shocked and impressed by this passage. What we have to do is just give time to vernacular literatures and, more importantly, give them same space and freedom to develop. Just like English versus Latin at that time, Holo (for instance) is not less elegant or complex than Mandarin at all. Indeed, in linguistic point of view, all languages are equal; there are no “better languages.” I believe firmly that there will be a great writer in Taiwan like Shakespeare after decades or centuries, as long as languages don’t fade.

We should be more confident to our mother tongues as some people at Shakespeare’s time in England did that we will feel most comfortable and natural to use our first languages. Once people go back to learn their mother tongues again, it will be very easy for them to pick it up. And with more people use mother tongues more often, some masterpieces of vernacular literatures may appear, like Shakespeare in England or Cervantes in Spain.

Shakespeare is a great writer as well as an ideal model for Taiwanese writers to emulate. The process is difficult but worthy. I do hope that one day there is a Taiwanese writer that s/he can rhyme, alludes, capture “the rhythm of language,” use alliteration, metaphor, paradox, irony, and so on, to the great extent as Shakespeare did.

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” this is a famous quotation of Shakespeare’s in As You Like It. My interpretation is that Shakespeare had built a wonderful literary stage for us, and he was a great player indeed. We should all follow him to do our best as a player, a writer, or a person who loves her/his first language, and then try to build another tremendously abundant literary garden.

At last, the host in the video said, “he finds us.” Shakespeare finds us, we find Shakespeare, and we should find ourselves. We should find ourselves in our mother tongues and literatures.


生命無常

昨天是欣恬的告別式,
甫聽此消息時,
心中大驚,
死亡,離我們是那麼地近,
不之死神什麼時會找上門。

雖然沒見過欣恬,
但今年夏天曾去做過抽血檢查,
看是否有機會捐骨髓給欣恬,
當時好期待,
好期待我和欣恬相符合,可以捐骨髓給她,
這樣就可救她一命了,
捐骨髓雖然痛,
但想到欣恬所受的苦不知比這多多少倍時,
便寧可挨上那一刺。

如今,欣恬走了,
台大外文是她人生最後一站,
站長阻撓,不讓她上月台,
人生之旅提早結束。

生命真的是無常的,
欣恬讓我知道要更加珍惜生命,
不要糟蹋它。