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Illusion and the Self: Honglou Meng, Wilhelm Meister, and Bildungsroman

幻象與自我:《紅樓夢》,《威廉.麥斯特》,與教育小說

Abstracts


本文從西方“教育小說”或“成長小說”(Bildungsroman)理論的角度解讀《紅樓夢》,並將其與歌德的小說《威廉˙麥斯特》進行比較。《威廉˙麥斯特》初版於1795年,被廣泛看作“教育小說”的開山之作。本文比較的目的不是將西方理論強加于中文作品,而是期望從《紅樓夢》和它的社會與文化背景中分辨出一種尚未被察覺的“現代性”。大體而言,我認為《紅樓夢》與西方“教育小說”有美學上的共通性,因為兩者同樣表達了自我與社會之間一種難以解決的脫節關系,並通過這一結構呈現歷史中的文化錯位過程。在《紅樓夢》與《威廉˙麥斯特》之間,我們可以發現一系列關於這種內外衝突的相似主題,例如主人公天真的理想主義和藝術家氣質,在他愛情關系中社會與感情力量的對比,還有他相容了宿命論與諷刺性的神秘“啟蒙”過程。由於這兩部作品的成書時間大致相同,這些相似之處尤其值得注意。目前學界正在重築“早期現代性”的東方因素和建立“橫向彙通宏觀歷史觀”。在這種新知識視野中,我們應關注《紅樓夢》與《威廉˙麥斯特》這兩部東西敘事文學標誌性作品之間的相似結構。這種比較分析可以使一向以歐洲為中心的“教育小說”和與其相關的現代自我觀的課題更多元化,也可以在跨文化的角度下重新詮釋地域性的經典作品。

Parallel abstracts


This essay offers a reading of the famous eighteenth-century Chinese novel Honglou Meng 紅樓夢 in light of theories about the European Bildungsroman and in comparison to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's novel Wilhelm Meister's Years of Apprenticeship (Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre), which was first published in 1795 and is widely regarded as the seminal example of the Bildungsroman narrative form. The purpose of this comparative exercise is not about imposing Western theories upon Chinese texts, but about discerning an intellectually obscured form of "modernity" from Honglou Meng and the social and cultural contexts around it. In general, my argument is that Honglou Meng is aesthetically analogous to the European Bildungsroman in that it likewise dramatizes a problematic incommutability between the self and society, and in this manner crystallizes a larger process of cultural displacement. Between Honglou Meng and Wilhelm Meister one can indeed observe a set of striking parallels that all serve to manifest this inner-outer divide, such as the protagonist’s naive idealism and artistic temperament, a social-lyrical binary that characterizes his romantic interests, and his mystified "enlightenment" process that combines a sense of irony and a sense of fatalism. Considering that the two books are closely coeval, these similarities are especially remarkable. Given the emergent thesis of a re-Oriented "early modernity" and concurrent scholarly movements toward "horizontal integrative macrohistories," attention to these structural resemblances between Honglou Meng and Wilhelm Meister-two literary landmarks in Chinese and Western narrative histories-can help pluralize theories of the Bildung-sroman and the related question of the modern self beyond the European trajectory, while reconfiguring the implications of these regionally canonized works in transcultural terms.

References


Emerson, Caryl(Ed.),Holquist, Michael(Ed.)(1986).Speech Genres and Other Later Essays.Austin:U of Texas P.
Bakhtin, Mikhail(1984).Rabelais and His World.Bloomington:Indiana UP.
曹雪芹、高鶚、黃霖(1994)。脂硯齋評批紅樓夢。Jinan:Qilu shushe。
曹雪芹、高鶚、黃霖(1994)。脂硯齋評批紅樓夢。Jinan:Qilu shushe。
曹雪芹,高鶚 John(Trans.), John(Trans.)(1974).The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber.London:Penguin Classics.

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