蘇童紅粉小說的審醜藝術
On the Aesthetics of the Ugly in Su Tong’s Novel on Female

2017/2018 School of Chinese Research Students Seminar

蘇童紅粉小說的審醜藝術
On the Aesthetics of the Ugly in Su Tong’s Novel on Female

辜雨瑤 KU Yu Yiu

April 27, 2018 (Friday), 5:30-6:45pm
Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus
Language: Putonghua

中國文人寫“醜”自古有之,但“醜”多作為“美”的陪襯而存在,未嘗成為一個獨立的藝術範疇。直至八十年代,中國較寬鬆的文藝環境孕育了文學“審醜”潮流,“醜”得以在文藝作品中大行其道。內容的血腥、病態,形式語言的奇譎、晦澀,成了文壇一道醜陋的風景線。八十年代崛起的作家蘇童(1963-)亦同樣有意識地在作品中描寫陰暗糜爛的環境、殘酷畸形的社會、人性異化扭曲等世間醜陋面。誠如美有千姿百態,不同作家表現的“醜”也有所不同。相較部分作家不惜把一切醜陋纖毫畢現,蘇童的審醜追求則較為節制,他不恣意渲染放大,而多是輕描淡寫,不使人作噁,而使人不寒而慄。其中,蜚聲文壇的“紅粉系列”小說(<妻妾成群>、<紅粉>、<婦女生活>、<另一種婦女生活>),可謂蘇童“審醜”代表作。小說以女性為主角,細膩地呈現了在新舊交錯的年代裡,女性生存的困境,以及女性自身醜陋的一面。作為男性作家,蘇童能擺脫男權意識下對女性詩化的臆想,以中性的視角摹寫女性、難能可貴。這次報告,在釐清何謂“審醜”後,重點分析蘇童如何在他的女性系列小說中建構屬於自己的審醜藝術。

Chinese literati have included “the ugly” in their writing since the ancient times, but it has often served as an accompany of “beauty”—the Ugly has not evolved into an independent aesthetic category all along until the 1980s: the comparatively freer literary environment in China then gave rise to the literary trend of the aesthetics of the Ugly, making ugliness a popular theme in literary texts. The blood and gore and morbidity of the plots and the peculiar language have formed a hideous literary landscape and burst upon the literary circles. Su Tung (1963- ), a writer who emerged in the 1980s, also incorporates worldly ugliness in his works, consciously depicting shoddy environment, degenerate and ruthless society, as well as distorted and denatured humanity. Just as beauty can have millions of manifestations in literature, the representation of the Ugly differs among writers. There are some writers who go after every minute detail of ugliness, whereas more subtlety can be found in Su Tong’s pursuit of the aesthetics of ugliness. He does not play with exaggerations or obsess over lurid details to nauseate people; his light touch for the Ugly sends a shudder down people’s spine all the same. His renowned “Hongfen xilie” (“Red Faces”/”Blushes” series) novels, including Wives and Concubines (Qiqie chengqun)Blushes (Hongfen)Women’s Life (Funü shenghuo), and Another Kind of Women’s Life (Lingyizhong funü shenghuo), could be said to be Su Tong’s signature works that explore the theme of ugliness. The female protagonists in Su Tung’ novels represent the struggle of women in the era where ideas new and old, traditional and modern collide; his characterisation also reveals the ugliness of the female. Albeit himself being a male writer, Su Tong managed to turn away from the literary tradition’s patriarchal poeticizing of females. His adoption of a neutral point of view in writing the female is exemplary. This presentation will first clarify what “the aesthetics of ugliness” means and then focus on how Su Tong constructs his own aesthetics of ugliness in his series of novels depicting female.

ALL ARE WELCOME!

http://www.hku.hk/chinese