【Review】|Language and Literature-From words to sentences and “The Enigma of Arrival”
Time: November 25, Sunday, 15:00-16:30
Venue: Yan Ji You Bookstore
作家：Jussi Valtonen（芬兰），Doina Rusti（罗马尼亚），王威廉（中国），魏微（中国）
Writers: Jussi Valtonen (Finland), Doina Rusti (Romania), Wang Weilian (China), Wei Wei (China)
Moderator: Hu Chuanji (China)
“在座各位作家文学创作的语言风格可谓各不相同。”胡传吉的开场白直奔“语言与文学”的主题，“这个主题可能不太好讲，比较天然、虚无缥缈，但若我们可以具体到不同的语言和语言限度上，可以谈得就多了。”Doina Rusti的作品极具史诗感，同为编剧的她善于讲故事、制造悬念；Jussi Valtonen科学家和小说家的双重身份给其作品带来科幻、虚构元素；魏微各种文体写作能力都很强，基本每一篇都能成为经典，如《化妆》、《姐姐和弟弟》、《回家》，情绪表达很出彩，叙事语言节制到位；而王威廉的创作实验意味强，善于把愤怒的情绪隐藏在修辞当中，对未来充满想象力和激情。可见不用作家进入文学的方式不同，写作风格也各具特色。
“The language styles of writers here are so different.” Hu Chuanji’s opening words went straight to the topic of today’s discussion- “language and literature”. “This topic is pretty hard to start, is natural and illusory, but if we can be specific to different languages and give limitations to the use of language, then there is much that we can talk about.” Doina Rusti’s work is very epic, she is good at telling stories and making suspense; the dual identity of Jussi Valtonen, a scientist and a novelist, brings sci-fi, fictional elements to his works; Wei Wei’s various styles of writing are very strong, basically every article she wrote can become a classic, such as Makeup, Sister and Brother, Go Home, her emotional expression is very good, narrative language control is in place; Wang Weilian’s creative experiment for writing is strong, and he is good at hiding angry emotions in rhetoric, full of imagination and passion for the future. It can be seen that the way writers enter literature is different, and their writing styles have their own characteristics.
So what is the relationship between language and literature? Undoubtedly, language is the basis of literary creation, “word is the smallest language unit of poetry, and sentence is that of novels”. Good language and expressions, such as bricks and tiles, are built into a literary building. They are enduring and widely known, which can withstand the test of time and reading. For example, in Western literature, Shakespeare wrote Hamlet’s classic monologue of “To be or not to be”, Homer’s Epic; and in Chinese literature, the Chinese classical novel The Story of the Stone and the folk story’s opening remark of “once upon a time”. Hu Chuanji believes that if a work and language want to become a classic, it must be able to withstand repeated interpretation, reading and reciting. Repeated interpretation, is for understanding the ambiguity of language; reading is for the appreciation of the rhythm of language; reciting, is the result of the power of language, for people cannot let the sentence go out of their minds. Wei Wei puts forward: “Language is the first essence of literature, but language is not only a tool for storytelling.” We can therefore understand that language has the independence and vitality beyond literature.
语言的使用者，是人；文学的创作者，是作家。作为语言和文学的“中间人”，作家们在文学创作的过程中是否有过挣扎呢？Jussi Valtonen提到自己在写作前会努力找寻正确的叙述声音，在写作时不人工地机械地把叙述声音和故事情节分开。魏微谈到：“小说的开篇第一句话对我来说很重要，开头往往最难，因为语感很重要。”Doina Rusti则谈到对作品的整体把握，“只有故事都在我脑中之后，我才落笔写下第一句话”。王威廉笑谈：“文字于我是声音，是风格，所以要反复敲打琢磨。作家想要记得自己的文字不是易事，因为作家要有整体观。文字是否能流行开来，是读者决定的。”
The users of the language are the human beings; the creators of the literature are the writers. As a “middleman” between language and literature, have writers struggled in the process of literary creation? Jussi Valtonen mentioned that he would try to find the correct narrative voice before writing, and would be careful no to manually separate the narrative voice from the storyline throughout his writing journey. Wei Wei said: “The first sentence of the novel is very important to me. It is often the hardest at the beginning because the sense of language is very important.” Doina Rusti talked about the overall grasp of the work. “Only when the whole stories are in my mind do I wrote down the first sentence.” Wang Weilian said with a smile: “The words tell the voice and style of my work, so I have to repeatedly examine them closely. It is not easy for writers to remember their own words, because writers must have a holistic view. Whether words can be popular or not is decided by readers.”
有趣的是，四位作家都表示在写作过程中遇到过语言无法表达的情况，即“作家无法抵达的地方”。Jussi Valtonen表示：“经常有这种情况，我想任何一种语言的创作都是如此的。时常觉得自己找不到合适的词语来表达言外之意。但很神奇的是，当我想表达某种含义的时候，落笔的文字表达出了另一种含义，这对我理解自己作品很重要。所以我想，语言是有魔幻色彩的、复杂的，也是我热爱阅读写作的原因，它帮助我理解自己和世界。”魏微则提到：“直接表达我的意思，可能一个词是不足够的，我就会围着意思找更多的表达。……语言是有局限性的，而欣赏画作是直观的。很多情感不是能够通过语言来描述和表达的。这也是其他艺术形式存在的原因和意义。”王威廉从人成长轨迹谈起：“语言是人类存在首要的问题。婴儿，混沌初开，学习语言能让世界清晰了起来。随着成长，语言变得模糊了、又多义了。…….文学的探索是通过语言进行的，语言又让我们走得更远。我写小说，但同时注重现代诗歌、对字与词的推敲和理解。”诗歌是王威廉小说创作的一部分，正如其笔下人物的遗言：“死亡是花/只开一次/他就这样绽放/和我一样。”因此普通语言无法表达的感情色彩，换一种文体，或许就更接近目的地。Doina Rusti谈到：“我欣赏字与句的复杂性和批判性，它们像钻石一样珍贵，在混沌中让我找到丝丝关联。”
Interestingly, all four writers have said that they have encountered situations in which the language cannot express their feelings during the writing process, that is, “where the writer cannot reach.” Jussi Valtonen said: “This is often the case for me, I think literary creation in any language is faced with question like this. I often feel that I can’t find the right words to express my thoughts. But it is amazing to find that the word I write can always bring something new and unexpected to me when I want to express a certain meaning, which is very important for me to understand my work and the world at large. So I think that the language is magical and complicated, and it is also the reason why I love reading and writing. It helps me understand myself, the world as well.” Wei Wei mentioned: “To directly express my meaning, maybe a word is not enough, I will find more expression around the meaning…. Language is limited, but when you think about appreciating paintings, that is intuitive. Many emotions cannot be described and expressed through language. This is also the reason and meaning of other art forms.” Wang Weilian talked about the growth path of human beings: “Language is the primary problem of human existence. Infants are faced with chaos of the world, but with language, they can make sense of the world. As we grow up, language becomes blurred and ambiguous…….. Literature is explored through language, language again enable us to go further. I write novels, but at the same time pay attention to modern poetry, the scrutiny and understanding of words.” Poetry is part of Wang Wei’s novel creation, just like the words of his characters: “Death is a flower / which only blossom once / like this / like me.” So the emotions that ordinary language can’t express, may get through in a different style or genre. Doina Rusti said: “I appreciate the complexity and criticalness of words and sentences. They are as precious as diamonds to help me find the connections in my word.”
Therefore, from a macro perspective, from words to sentences, the ability of the writer to use language is expressed, and the literary works made by the language can help the writer reach beyond his own limitations and “arrival” at the destination where the flesh cannot “arrive”; there are also many limitations in the process of using language for description and narrative. “The fate of man is struggling at both ends of this destination and limitation.”