Eileen Chang: The Book of Change

Book Launch: Eileen Chang's The Book of Change
張愛玲「易經」英文原著新書發布會

The Hong Kong University Press and University’s Project for Public Culture of Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC) will co-host a book launch for a noted contemporary Chinese writer, Eileen Chang's semi-autobiographical novel The Book of Change「易經」on 3 September 2010. The book launch also marks the 90th birthday and 15th anniversary of Chang’s death.

The Book of Change was written in English, and, likes its prequel, The Fall of the Pagoda, depicting Chang’s childhood in Tianjin and Shanghai. It provides a first-hand account of life in wartime Hong Kong following the Japanese invasion, with scathing details of widespread cowardice, as well as inspiring examples of human resilience.

Eileen Chang (1920-1995) arrived in Hong Kong from Shanghai in 1939 and enrolled in The University of Hong Kong. Her childhood in Shanghai was a gothic horror tale in which she finally ran away from her father and stepmother. Her student life in Hong Kong was a happy interlude, but Chang soon found herself stranded by the war. The Japanese occupation of late 1941 provided many brutal lessons on the fragile nature
of personal attachments.

At the launch, Dr Roland Soong, the executor of Eileen Chang’s estate will donate a photocopy of the manuscripts of Eileen Chang’s English novel The Book of Change to HKU and shares his views on Chang’s writing career. Professor Leo Ou-fan Lee, renowned scholar and cultural critic, will analyze the book.

All are welcome, the details are:
Date: 3 September 2010(Friday)
Time: 12pm noon
Venue: 1/F, Main Library, HKU
Language: English

Guests:
Prof. SP Chow, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, HKU
Dr Roland Soong, Executor, Eileen Chang's Estate
Prof. Leo Ou-fan Lee, Renowned Scholar and Cultural Critic
Mr. Michael Duckworth, Publisher, Hong Kong University Press
Prof. Kam Louie, Dean, Faculty of Arts, HKU
Prof. Ying Chan, Director, Journalism and Media Studies Centre, HKU


(信報)    2010.09.02

自年前張愛玲遺作《小團圓》及英文自傳體小說The Fall of Tha Pagoda(《雷峰塔》英文原著)面世後,轟動整個華語文壇,記得卡夫卡在出版當日也飛撲買了一本回家拜讀珍藏。最近為紀念今年9月張愛玲九十冥壽及逝世十五周年,香港大學出版社將於明天(9月3日)發行張愛玲新書The Book of Change(《易經》英文原著)。

據出版社介紹,此書並不是張愛玲的自傳,只是以自傳體風格寫的英文小說,張愛玲以大篇幅描述女主角Lute在香港一間名為維多利亞大學的生活,以及戰火圍城時的經歷和心路。書的賣點是其內容與張愛玲描述戰時港大的散文《燼餘錄》及《小團圓》的戰時大學氛圍之篇章極為相似,充滿張愛玲大學時代影子,提供了張愛玲在香港求學時期的珍貴參考材料,相信張學研究者及張迷定會為此雙眼發光。


宋以朗:“张爱玲还用英文写了散文《重访边城》,后来我又找出来了她自己用中文再写一遍的《重访边城》,我觉得没人能把这篇文章翻译得像张爱玲自己写的一样,因为没有人可以写出张的中文。”

  重访边城

  张爱玲

  我回香港去一趟,顺便弯到台湾去看看。在台北下飞机的时候,没预备有认识的人来接。我叫麦先生麦太太不要来,因为他们这一向刚巧忙。但是也可能他们托了别人来接机,所以我看见一个显然干练的穿深色西装的人走上前来,并不感到诧异。

  「你是李察.尼克逊太太?」他用英语说。

  我看见过金发的尼克逊太太许多照片,很漂亮,看上去比她的年龄年青二三十岁。我从来没以为我像她,而且这人总该认得出一个中国女同胞,即使戴着太阳眼镜。但是因为女人总无法完全不信一句谀词,不管多么显与事实不符,我立刻想起尼克逊太太瘦,而我无疑地是瘦。也许他当作她戴了黑色假发,为了避免引起注意?

  「不是,对不起,」我说。

  他略一颔首,就转身再到人丛中去寻找。他也许有四十来岁,中等身材,黑黑的同字脸,浓眉低额角,皮肤油腻,长相极普通而看着很顺眼。

  我觉得有点奇怪,尼克逊太太这时候到台湾来,而且一个人来。前副总统尼克逊刚竞选加州州长失败,在记者招待会上说了句气话:「此后你们没有尼克逊好让你们踢来踢去了。」显然自己也以为他的政治生命完了。正是韬光养晦的时候,怎么让太太到台湾来?即使不过是游历,也要避点嫌疑。不管是怎么回事,总是出了点什么差错,才只有这么一个大使馆华人干员来接她。

  「你们可晓得尼克逊太太要来?」我问麦氏夫妇。他们到底还是来了。

  「哦?不晓得。没听见说。」

  我告诉他们刚才那人把我误认作她的笑话。麦先生没有笑。

  「唔。」然后他有点不好意思地说:「有这么个人老是在飞机场接飞机,接美国名人。有点神经病。」

  我笑了起来,随即被一阵抑郁的浪潮淹没了,是这孤岛对外界的友情的渴望。[原文不是这意思,而是说美国是台湾的唯一朋友,所以也是敌人。下面一段英文被删掉。]

  一出机场就有一座大庙,正殿前一列高高的白色水泥台阶,一个五六十岁的太太相当费劲地在往上爬,裹过的半大脚,梳着髻,臃肿的黑旗袍的背影。这不就是我有个中学同班生的母亲?

  麦先生正在问我「回来觉得怎么样?」我惊异地微笑,说:「怎么都还在这儿?当是都没有了嘛!」除了年光倒流的感觉,那大庙几乎直盖到飞机场里,也增加了时空的混乱。当时没想到,送行怕飞机失事,要烧香求菩萨保佑,就像渔村为了出海打渔危险,必定要有妈祖庙一样。[英文沒有﹐因為要跟洋人解釋「媽祖」。]

  我以前没到过台湾,但是珍珠港事变后从香港回上海,乘的日本船因为躲避轰炸,航线弯弯扭扭的路过南台湾,不靠岸,远远的只看见个山。是一个初夏轻阴的下午,浅翠绿的欹斜秀削的山峰映在雪白的天上,近山脚没入白雾中。像古画的青绿山水,不过纸张没有泛黄。倚在船舷上还有两三个乘客,都轻声呼朋唤友来看,不知道为什么不敢大声。我站在那里一动都不动,没敢走开一步,怕错过了,知道这辈子不会再看见更美的风景了。当然也许有更美的,不过在中国人看来总不如── 没这么像国画。

  轮船开得不快,海上那座山维持它固定的姿势,是否有好半天,还是不过有这么一会工夫,我因为实在贪看,唯恐下一分钟就没有了,竟完全没数,只觉得在注视,也不知道是注入还是注出,彷佛一饮而尽,而居然还在喝,还在喝,但是时时刻刻都可能发现衔着空杯。末了它是怎样远去或是隐没的,也不记得了,就那一个永远忘不了的印象。这些年后到台湾来,根本也没打听那是什么山。我不是登山者,也不想看它陆地上的背面。还是这样好。
[原文没有,首次在《易经》出现。]

  「台北不美,不过一出城就都非常美,」麦先生在车上说。

  到处是骑楼,跟香港一样,同是亚热带城市,需要遮阳避雨。罗斯福路的老洋房与大树,在秋暑的白热的阳光下树影婆娑,也有点像香港。等公车的男女学生成群,穿的制服乍看像童子军。红砖人行道我只在华府看到,也同样敝旧,常有缺砖。不过华盛顿的街道太宽,往往路边的两层楼店面房子太猥琐,压不住,四顾茫茫一片荒凉,像广场又没有广场的情调,不像台北的红砖道有温暖感。[原文没有。]

这不是翻译,这是创作。


(明報)   張愛玲紀念月序幕﹕《易經》揭開    趙桐    2010.09.03

九月,為張愛玲九十週年冥壽及逝世十五週年紀念月。張愛玲英文自傳體小說下部The Book of Change的面世揭開了紀念月序幕。皇冠出版社將於9月17在港推出中文翻譯版《雷峰塔》和《易經》,台版則將於9月6日在台灣上市。

「長篇遺作這是最後一本了,剩下可以出版的最多也只有書信了。」張愛玲文學遺產執行人宋以朗表示,張愛玲的英文自傳體小說從4歲寫到22歲,全書從她幼年走筆至太平洋戰爭爆發期間,原文達800多頁,因太長拆分成兩本書。四月面世的上半部The Fall of the Pagoda 講述上海童年家庭故事,與《私語》、《小團圓》等有重複之處;下半部The Book of Change(中文譯名《易經》),講述描寫香港求學經歷,與《燼餘錄》、《對照記》有重複。

香港大學出版社推出的The Book of Change以大篇幅描述女主角Lute在香港一間名為維多利亞大學的生活,以及戰火圍城時的經歷和心路,當中描繪女主角從上海來到香港,香港淪陷又想辦法買船票返回上海的經歷。內容和張愛玲描述戰時港大的散文《燼餘錄》,及自傳小說《小團圓》中的戰時大學氛圍的篇章極度相似,充滿張愛玲大學時代的影子,具有自傳色彩。

張愛玲於1939年入讀港大文學院,香港淪陷被逼輟學返回上海,但該兩年多的香港經驗帶來的衝擊及啟發,卻是她綻放一生光華的重要階段。相信The Book of Change將對張學研究者及張迷,提供了張愛玲在香港求學時期的珍貴參考材料。

除了遺作出土,香港大學新聞及傳媒研究中心將於9月17日至19日在堅道葵里畫廊舉辦「發現張愛玲」展覽,展現張愛玲的香港情。「張迷」可一睹「祖師奶奶」未曝光的英文小說十八頁原稿、《異鄉記》、《雷鋒塔》、《易經》等作品手稿,還有張與一生摯友宋淇夫婦的往來書信手稿、照片、私人物品等。屆時,宋以朗還將親自主持五場展品導賞。查詢電話為2219 4012。

此外,浸會大學的繪畫展、手稿及書信展、電影工作坊、國際學術研討會、主題紀念舞台演出等圍繞張愛玲展開的活動亦將紛至沓來。九、十月份,上海和北京都將舉辦系列研討及紀念活動。


(中廣新聞)    張愛玲「自傳三部曲」全部出齊    葉柏毅    2010.09.03

新華社報導,知名作家「張愛玲」的英文自傳體小說「易經」,星期五正式由香港大學出版。報導說,加上先前已經面世的「小團圓」與「雷峰塔」,張愛玲的自傳體小說三部曲,已經全部出齊,以紀念這位名滿文壇的女作家,90周年誕辰,以及逝世15周年。

報導說,出版社繼張愛玲中文遺作「小團圓」之後,再推出英文自傳體小說上半部的「雷峰塔」,今天再推出下半部「易經」,「易經」在1963年成書,比「小團圓」還早了十年創作,小說背景是以二十世紀三○年代為背景,講述主角由天津到上海的童年,經歷父母離異、父親再娶,再由上海轉到香港求學,結果香港又被日軍攻陷,深具自傳色彩。

報導說,「雷峰塔」與「易經」兩本書的中文譯本,也將在這個月上市,由台灣知名譯者「趙丕慧」翻譯。


(中央社)    張愛玲英文自傳體「易經」面世    2010.09.03

張愛玲英文自傳體小說「易經」(The Book of Change)今天在母校香港大學召開新書發布會,並拉開9月紀念張愛玲90周年冥壽及逝世15周年的系列活動序幕。

香港中通社報導,皇冠出版社將於9月17日推出中文翻譯版「雷峰塔」和「易經」,台版則將於9月6日在台灣上市。

「易經」是張愛玲英文自傳體小說合集的下部,上部為「雷峰塔」。張愛玲遺產執行人宋以朗表示,這將是張愛玲最後出版的長篇遺作,剩下可以出版的只有書信。

「The Book of Change是一個歷史紀錄,」他認為自小洞察世情的張愛玲,作為一個戰時香港大學的學生、一個具有敏銳觀察力的外來者,作品極具歷史和文學參考價值。

張愛玲英文自傳體小說描寫4歲到22歲的生活。上半部小說「雷峰塔」(The Fall of the Pagoda )已於今年4月由港大出版社出版,主要講述上海童年家庭故事;下半部「易經」描寫她在香港的求學經歷,於1963年完稿。

張愛玲於1939年入讀港大文學院,香港淪陷被逼輟學返回上海,但兩年多的香港經驗帶來的衝擊及啟發,卻是她一生的重要階段。

此外,香港大學新聞及傳媒研究中心將於9月17日至19日舉辦「發現張愛玲」公開展覽,展示未曾曝光的英文小說18頁原稿、「異鄉記」、「雷鋒塔」、「易經」等作品手稿等。


(新華社)    張愛玲英小說《易經》出版    2010.09.03

張愛玲英文自傳體小說《易經》(The Book of Change)今日在香港大學正式推出。

加之已先後問世的《小團圓》《雷峰塔》,其自傳體小說三部曲已全部出版,以紀念這位譽滿中文文壇的女作家誕辰90周年及逝世15周年。

繼張愛玲中文遺作《小團圓》榮登兩岸三地暢銷排行榜之後,其英文自傳體小說上部《雷峰塔》(The Fall of the Pagoda)今年4月經香港大學出版社推出。

今次最新出版的《易經》則是張愛玲英文自傳體小說的下部,於1963年完稿,早於《小團圓》10年創作。小說主要以上世紀三十年代為背景,講述了主角由天津到上海的童年,經歷父母離異、父親再娶,由上海轉至香港求學,又遭逢香港淪陷,具有自傳色彩。

香港大學客座教授、知名學者李歐梵表示,《易經》以大篇幅講述了女主角在香港一所大學的生活,特別是細緻描摹了戰火圍城時的經歷和心情,與張愛玲1944年散文《餘燼錄》、1976年小說《小團圓》文中戰時大學氛圍相互照應,儘是張愛玲大學時代的影子。

他認為,《雷峰塔》一書中尚可瞥見張愛玲有意將中國事物向西方「轉接」、將中文向英文「轉型」的痕迹,或許令英語讀者不易把握,《易經》則截然不同,可讚之為真正意義上的傑作。

張愛玲於1939年入讀香港大學文學院,在香港淪陷後輟學返滬,但香港兩年有餘的生活經歷實屬她重要的人生階段,也對她綻放一生光華具有重要意義。

張愛玲遺產執行人宋以朗說,父母宋淇夫婦是張愛玲至交,張愛玲曾在信中對他們提及希望找到海外出版社出版《易經》卻未果,如今這部英文小說在47年之後終能出版,希望還張愛玲一個心願,也為「張學」研究者和廣大「張迷」提供珍貴的參考資料。

他還說,大學時代戰時生活給張愛玲留下不可磨滅的記憶,又隨著她對同類題材不斷咀嚼,對個人和世情有更為透徹澄明的看法,整個提煉和反思的軌迹也反映在《易經》等晚期作品之中。

宋以朗當天還將《易經》英文原稿的副本贈送給香港大學。

《雷峰塔》和《易經》中文譯本也將於9月17日問世,由台灣知名譯者趙丕慧翻譯。

 

新华社香港9月3日电(记者孙浩)张爱玲英文自传体小说《易经》3日在香港大学正式推出。加之已先后问世的《小团圆》《雷峰塔》,其自传体小说三部曲率先在港“团圆”,以此纪念这位女作家诞辰90周年及逝世15周年。

  继张爱玲中文遗作《小团圆》荣登两岸三地畅销书排行榜之后,其英文自传体小说上部《雷峰塔》今年4月经香港大学出版社推出。

  据介绍,此次最新出版的《易经》是张爱玲英文自传体小说的下部,于1963年完稿,早于《小团圆》10年创作。小说主要以上世纪30年代为背景,讲述了主角由天津到上海的童年,经历父母离异、父亲再娶,由上海转至香港求学,又遭逢香港沦陷,具有自传色彩。

  香港大学客座教授、知名学者李欧梵表示,《易经》以大篇幅讲述了女主角在香港一所大学的生活,特别是细致描摹了战火围城时的经历和心情,与张爱玲1944年散文《余烬录》、1976年小说《小团圆》文中战时大学氛围相互照应,尽是张爱玲大学时代的影子,诸多片段皆透出“张式”独具的灵光。

  据介绍,张爱玲于1939年入读香港大学文学院,在香港沦陷后辍学返沪,但香港两年有余的生活经历实属她重要的人生阶段。

  张爱玲遗产执行人宋以朗说,父母宋淇夫妇是张爱玲至交,张爱玲曾在信中对他们提及希望找到海外出版社出版《易经》却未果,如今这部英文小说在47年后终能出版,希望还张爱玲一个心愿,也为“张学”研究者和广大“张迷”提供珍贵的参考资料。

  他还说,大学时代战时生活给张爱玲留下不可磨灭的记忆,又随着她对同类题材不断咀嚼,对个人和世情有更为透彻澄明的看法,整个提炼和反思的轨迹也反映在《易经》等晚期作品中。

  宋以朗当天还将《易经》英文原稿的副本赠送给香港大学。

  香港大学副校长周肇平表示,很高兴张爱玲的文学遗产近年来在各方努力下陆续回归母校,也为各界建立了一个公共文化平台。

  另据介绍,《雷峰塔》和《易经》中文译本也将于9月17日问世,由台湾知名译者赵丕慧翻译。

  宋以朗认为,若要活脱脱译出独具风采的“张式”文字实属“无法完成的任务”,对译本而言更重要的是直译出英文原文的含义。


(香港大學   2010.09.03

Book Launch on Eileen Chang's The Book of Change

The Hong Kong University Press and University's Project for Public Culture of Journalism and Media Studies Centre , HKU co-hosted a book launch for a noted contemporary Chinese writer, Eileen Chang's (1920-1995) semi-autobiographical novel The Book of Change《易經》today at HKU, the book launch also marks the 90th birthday and 15th anniversary of Chang's death.

The Book of Change was written in English, likes its prequel, The Fall of the Pagoda, depicting Chang's childhood in Tianjin and Shanghai. It provides a first-hand account of life in wartime Hong Kong following the Japanese invasion, with scathing details of widespread cowardice, as well as inspiring examples of human resilience.

Eileen Chang (1920-1995) arrived in Hong Kong from Shanghai in 1939 and enrolled in the University of Hong Kong. Her childhood in Shanghai was a gothic horror tale in which she finally ran away from her father and stepmother. Her student life in Hong Kong was a happy interlude, but Chang soon found herself stranded by the war. The Japanese occupation of late 1941 provided many brutal lessons on the fragile nature of personal attachments.

Dr Roland Soong, executor of Eileen Chang's estate, HKU's Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor S.P. Chow and renowned scholar Professor Leo Ou-fan Lee attended the book launch. Professor Chow congratulated Hong Kong University Press for delivering this incredible project after publishing Chang's first part of her semi-autobiographical novel, The Fall of the Pagoda in April. Professor Chow also expressed his thanks to the Project for Public Culture at HKU's Journalism and Media Studies Centre, which started its Eileen Chang Project three years ago and has worked hard to bring Eileen Chang back home to HKU.

The Book of Change is the second part of Chang's English which depicts lively wartime HK and the protagonist also bears a large resemblance to Chang during her student life at HKU from 1939 to 41.

At the launch, Dr Roland Soong donated a photocopy of the manuscripts of Eileen Chang's English novel The Book of Change to HKU. Last year, Dr Soong donated one million dollars to set up the Eileen Chang Memorial Scholarship in her memory, Ms Yang Zhi Yan, who received the second ever scholarship to study at the Faculty of Arts also attended the book launch.

Dr Soong shared his views of The Book of Change saying that Eileen Chang initially wanted to publish it as a literary work when it was completed in 1963.

"By publishing it today, we offer readers the choice to decide on its literary merits.  But I believe today that the book is just as important as a historical document about Eileen Chang.  The 1964 The Book of Change stands between the 1944 From the Ashes and the 1976 Small Reunions and gives us an intermediate point in her evolving thoughts and attitudes about the events in her own life."

He also said, "Beyond the particularity of this author, this book contains the observations by a certain Hong Kong University student during the one and only time that Hong Kong was wounded by the trauma of war.  This Hong Kong University student hailed from Shanghai and therefore had an outsider's eye for things.  She wrote down and reflected continuously on what she saw, leaving us with a legacy that continues to touch and influence us even today."

Professor Leo Lee, renowned scholar and cultural critic, analyzed the book. He said The Book of Change is proof that Eileen Chang is an international writer in the literary landscape. "This is a near-masterpiece," he added and recommended that it should be a required reading for every student in the Faculty of Arts.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Kam Louie, said that The Arts Faculty has housed some very talented and famous writers in the last hundred years. Eileen Chang has been one of them. "I am overjoyed that HK University Press has been able to publish her The Book of Change which describes that part of her life with HKU as background."

Eileen Chang (1920-1995) is now recognized as one of the greatest modern Chinese writers, though she was completely erased from official histories in mainland China. She was the most popular writer in Japanese-occupied Shanghai during World War II, with English and Chinese stories focusing on human frailties rather than nationalist propaganda.

At the launch, Professor Ying Chan, Director of Journalism and Media Studies Centre announced the forthcoming Eileen Chang public exhibit to be held from 17 until 19 September in the Galerie Klee-Yushi House on Caine Road, Central, with 6 guided tours by Dr Roland Soong.

Entitled "Eileen Chang Uncovered", the exhibit will showcase original manuscripts of Chang's work, including the handwritten manuscript of her recent Chinese and English publications : The Book of Change, The Fall of the Pagoda and Private Sayings of Eileen Chang 《張愛玲私語錄》Sayings, Strange Country《異鄉記》, and a never published English short story. Also on display are Chang's forever best friends Soong Qi couple's correspondences with Chang, photos and personal works.

揭張愛玲戰時港大求學心路

英文自傳體小說The Book of Change《易經》今面世 

繼年前轟動中港台的暢銷書《小團圓》面世,及英文自傳體小說The Fall of Tha Pagoda(《雷峯塔》英文原著)出版後,為紀念九月張愛玲九十周年冥壽及逝世十五周年,香港大學出版社及港大新聞及傳媒研究中心「公共文化計劃」今日假張愛玲母校香港大學合辦The Book of Change(《易經》英文原著)新書發布會。嘉賓包括張愛玲遺產執行人宋以朗博士;香港大學副校長周肇平教授及著名學者李歐梵教授等,以及剛入讀港大文學院的張愛玲紀念獎學金第二任得主楊之龑同學。

港大副校長周肇平教授為香港大學出版社繼四月出版了張愛玲的英文自傳體小說上部The Fall of the Pagoda《雷峰塔》後,現在進一步推出下集The Book of Change《易經》而感到高興。他又感謝港大新聞及傳媒研究中心的公共文化計劃,自三年前開展張愛玲項目至今,陸續把港大校友張愛玲的文學遺產回歸母校,建立公共文化的平台。

The Book of Change於1963年完稿,為張愛玲早於《小團圓》十年創作而成的英文小說作品,也是張愛玲首部英文自傳體小說合集的下部(上部為The Fall of the Pagoda,已於今年四月由香港大學出版社出版)。小說講述女主角Lute由天津至上海的童年,以三十年代的上海為背景,自四歲起母親放洋海外,父母離異、父親再娶的 Lute,少女年代因歐戰爆發,1939年由上海到香港求學,但生逢亂世,大學第二年太平洋戰事爆發,香港淪陷,小說以大篇幅描述女主角Lute在香港一間名為維多利亞大學的生活,以及戰火圍城時的經歷和心路,內容和張愛玲描述戰時港大的散文《燼餘錄》,及自傳小說《小團圓》中的戰時大學氛圍的篇章極度相似,充滿張愛玲大學時代的影子,具有自傳色彩。

張愛玲於1939年入讀港大文學院,香港淪陷被逼輟學返回上海,但該兩年多的香港經驗帶來的衝擊及啟發,卻是她綻放一生光華的重要階段。The Book of Change將對張學研究者及張迷,提供了張愛玲在香港求學時期的珍貴參考材料

會上,宋以朗博士捐贈The Book of Change英文原稿之副本予香港大學,並分享他對張愛玲晚期寫作的看法,著名學者李歐梵教授則解讀該書內容及寫作手法。

宋以朗指出,The Book of Change於1963年完稿,內容和寫於1944年的自傳散文《燼餘錄》及寫於1976年的自傳體小說《小團圓》有關大學生活部分相似,當年張愛玲於信中對宋以朗父母,也是張的終身摯友宋淇夫婦表示,希望找外國出版社出版The Book of Change卻不果,處處碰壁。而在四十七年後的今天,The Book of Change終能出版,既可還她一個心願,也給讀者提供一個歷史資料。他說,張愛玲The Book of Change寫於《燼餘錄》及《小團圓》之間,大學戰時生活令她留下不可磨滅的記憶,隨著經驗的累積,同一事情經不斷咀嚼反思,對個人對世情看得更透徹更澄明,這種不斷反思提煉的過程,反映在她的晚期創作作品如The Book of Change中。

宋以朗表示,The Book of Change是一個歷史記錄。自小洞察世情的張愛玲,作為一個戰時香港大學的學生、一個具有非常敏銳觀察力的外來者,她在The Book of Change中描寫得絲絲入扣的大學氛圍,反映學生蒼白和渺小的人生,具有歷史和文學參考價值,為當代文學留下重要一頁,The Book of Change小說可說是劃時代的經典。

著名學者李歐梵教授也高度評價The Book of Change的文學價值,他表示該書是一部經典,更建議列入港大文學院學生的必讀教材。

香港大學新聞及傳媒研究中心總監陳婉瑩教授在發布會上,預告該中心將於九月十七至十九日,於中環堅道的「葵里畫廊」,舉行的「發現張愛玲」公開展覽。展覽內容反映張愛玲和香港以及香港大學的緣份和香港情,包括近年出版的作品The Book of Change, The Fall of the Pagoda, 《異鄉記》,《張愛玲私語錄》等的原稿、手稿和書信;以及一篇從沒發表的英文小說;和摰友宋淇夫婦往來的書信、語錄便條等,詳情於下周公布。


(South China Morning Post)  Author's masterpiece set at HKU    Lo Wei    2010.09.04

The last of late renowned author Eileen Chang's unpublished books, The Book of Change, was launched yesterday at the University of Hong Kong, where a large part of it is set.

Chang writes of her days at the university in the late 1930s and early 40s, an experience that influenced her early stories. Her happy student life came to a halt when the Japanese invaded Hong Kong. She tells of the brutality of war and remarkable human resilience.

Roland Soong Yee-long, the executor of Chang's estate, said: "It is a wartime story with no heroes, no detailed account of fighting but of the experience and feelings of a university student in Hong Kong whose roots were in Shanghai."

Completed in 1963, the 300-page book, which scholar and cultural critic Leo Lee Ou-fan called Chang's masterpiece, is the second part of her fictionalised two-part autobiography. The first part, The Fall of the Pagoda, was published in April. The books were written in English and later translated into Chinese.

Although sales of the English version of the first book were not particularly encouraging, Soong expects the second volume to be a success.

"The first book was about Chang's childhood in Shanghai, but this time it's about her life in Hong Kong during a special time in history, which Hong Kong people will be more able to relate to," he said.

Soong, to whose parents Chang bequeathed her works, said he discovered the books' manuscripts last year. They were being published to coincide with Chang's 90th birthday and the 15th anniversary of her death.

Chang, the author of more than 10 well-known Chinese novels, including Lust, Caution, which director Ang Lee adapted into an award-winning movie, started writing in English when she lived in the United States in the 1950s. After spending about six years to complete The Fall of the Pagoda and The Book of Change, she was deeply disappointed when they was rejected by all the American publishers she approached. Some of them found the characters in her books too unpleasant, Soong said.

She gave up writing English books after that, and wrote more Chinese novels, including Little Reunion, which topped the best-seller lists in Hong Kong and Taiwan and on the mainland last year.

Chang's remaining unpublished materials are mainly letters to Soong's parents, Stephen and Mae Fong Soong, who were close friends of hers, and some of her relatives. Roland Soong is preparing the letters for future publication.


(Xinhua)  Eileen Chang's English semi-autobiographical novel debuts in HK    2010.09.03

A semi-autobiographical novel written in English by renowned contemporary Chinese writer Eileen Chang was issued on Friday in Hong Kong where the author had studied, to mark Chang's 90th birthday and 15th anniversary of her death.  "The Book of Change" was published by the Hong Kong University Press.

At the launching ceremony, Roland Soong, the executor of Eileen Chang's estate, said Eileen Chang initially wanted to published " The Book of Change" as a literary work when it was completed in 1963. "By publishing it today, we offer readers the choice to decide on its literary merits. I believe that the book is just as important as a historical document about Eileen Chang." He noted that "The Book of Change" stood between the 1944 essay "From the Ashes" and the 1976 novel "Small Reunions" and gave readers an intermediate point in her evolving thoughts and attitudes about the events in her own life.

Soong also donated a photocopy of the manuscripts of Eileen Chang's English novel "The Book of Change" to the university.

Likes its prequel "The Fall of the Pagoda" published in April, the novel also depicts the protagonist's childhood in Tianjin and Shanghai, as well as her student days in Hong Kong during the World War II. It provides a first-hand account of life in wartime Hong Kong following the Japanese invasion, with scathing details of widespread cowardice, as well as inspiring examples of human resilience. The protagonist bears a large resemblance to Chang during her student life at the Hong Kong University from 1939 to 1941.

Eileen Chang is now recognized as one of the greatest modern Chinese writers. She was the most popular writer in Japanese- occupied Shanghai during World War II, with English and Chinese stories focusing on human frailties.

Chang arrived in Hong Kong from Shanghai in 1939 and enrolled in the University of Hong Kong. Her childhood in Shanghai was a gothic horror tale in which she finally ran away from her father and stepmother. Her student life in Hong Kong was a happy interlude, but Chang soon found herself stranded by the war.

Chang was noted for unsociability and hypersensitive about her privacy. That she was found dead days after her death in 1995 testified her seclusion. Her work frequently dealt with tensions between men and women in love. Among her best known works were " Love in a Fallen City", " The Red Rose and the White Rose" and " Lust, Caution", which inspired Ang Lee's award-winning film.


(香港商報)    港大出版張愛玲小說《易經》   2010.09.04

張愛玲英文自傳體小說《易經》(The Book of Change),昨日在其母校香港大學召開新書發布會,由此揭開了9月紀念張愛玲九十周年冥壽及逝世十五周年的系列活動大幕。據悉,皇冠出版社將於本月 17日推出中文翻譯版《雷峰塔》和《易經》,台版則將於本月6日在台灣上市。

    自傳體小說長篇遺作

    《易經》是張愛玲英文自傳體小說合集的下部,上部為《雷峰塔》。張愛玲遺產執行人宋以朗稱,這將是張愛玲最后出版的長篇遺作,剩下可以出版的只有書信。「The Book of Change是一個歷史記錄。」他認為自小洞察世情的張愛玲,作為一個戰時香港大學的學生、一個具有敏銳觀察力的外來者,作品極具歷史和文學參考價值。

    張愛玲英文自傳體小說描寫了4歲到22歲的生活。上半部小說《雷峰塔》(The Fall of the Pagoda)已於今年4月由港大出版社出版,主要講述上海童年家庭故事,與《私語》、《小團圓》等有重复之處;下半部《易經》描寫了她在香港的求學經歷,與《燼余錄》、《對照記》有重复,并於1963年完稿。

    張愛玲於1939年入讀港大文學院,香港淪陷被迫輟學返回上海,但兩年多的香港經驗帶來的冲擊及啟發,卻是她一生的重要階段。

    月中將辦張愛玲展覽

    此外,香港大學新聞及傳媒研究中心將於本月17日至19日舉辦「發現張愛玲」公開展覽,展示未曾曝光的英文小說18頁原稿、《异鄉記》、《雷峰塔》、《易經》等作品手稿等。香港浸會大學隨后也將舉行電影工作坊、國際學術研討會、主題紀念舞台演出等紀念活動。


(明報)    張愛玲最後自傳小說出版    2010.09.04

《易經》 記述戰時港大生活

【明報專訊】適逢本月為張愛玲冥壽90周年及逝世15周年,張愛玲文學遺產執行人宋以朗昨日為她出版最後遺作The Book of Change(中文譯名《易經》)。宋以朗表示,手上已沒有其他張愛玲遺作,相信《易經》將會是張最後一本出版的作品。明報記者 梁琬珊

繼4月出版張愛玲的英文自傳體小說The Fall of the Pagoda(中文譯名《雷峰塔》)後,為紀念張90周年冥壽及逝世15周年,宋以朗昨日出版張愛玲最後的自傳體小說《易經》,並將於本月17日率先在港推出中文版的《雷峰塔》和《易經》。

《雷峰塔》下半部

《雷》與《易》為同一部小說的上下半部,是由英文寫成的自傳體小說,從女主角4歲寫到22歲,由幼年寫至中日戰爭爆發,原文超過800頁,因太長分拆成兩部。4 月面世的上半部《雷峰塔》,講述女主角Lute(琵琶)在上海的童年故事;下半部《易經》約12萬字,篇幅較長,講述Lute因日本侵華,由上海到香港求學,但大學第2年香港亦淪陷,書中大篇幅描述女主角於戰火圍城時的經歷和心路,與張的兩部作品《燼餘錄》、《小團圓》描寫的大學生活相似。

宋以朗說,大學生活情節於3部小說不斷重複,可見戰時的大學生活令張愛玲留下不可磨滅的記憶,而同一事情經張愛玲不斷咀嚼反思,統統反映在其晚期作品《易經》中。他又說,此書最特別之處,是沒有在戰爭中描寫一個大英雄,卻是抒發大學生在這段期間的感受。

張完書後欲出版太傷感被拒

《易經》於1963年完稿,是比《小團圓》早10年創作的英文小說。張愛玲在美國寫成此書後,曾希望找外國出版商出版,但大部分出版商均指書中角色使人傷感,沒有市場,最後擱置計劃,直至47年後的今天才得以面世。由於小說背景時局動盪,很多事都搞不清楚,張愛玲希望找尋出路或啟示,故取名《易經》。

香港大學新聞及傳媒研究中心將於本月17至19日,於中環堅道的「葵里畫廊」舉行「發現張愛玲」展覽,展出張愛玲的作品,包括《易經》、《雷峰塔》、《異鄉記》、《張愛玲私語錄》等原稿、手稿和書信。


(成報)    張愛玲英文小說《易經》出版    2010.09.04

【記者程泰祖報道】著名作家張愛玲的英文自傳體小說《易經》(The Book of Change),昨天正式由香港大學出版;加上先前已經面世的「小團圓」與「雷峰塔」,張愛玲的自傳體小說三部曲,已經全部出齊,以紀念這位名滿文壇的女作家,90周年誕辰及逝世15周年。

        《易經》於1963年完稿,是張愛玲首部英文自傳體小說合集的下部。小說講述女主角Lute
童年由天津至上海,少女年代因歐戰爆發,1939年由上海到香港求學,但生逢亂世,大學第二年太平洋戰事爆發,香港淪陷。小說以大篇幅描述女主角Lute在香港一間名為維多利亞大學的生活,以及戰火圍城時的經歷和心路,內容和張愛玲描述戰時港大的散文《燼餘錄》,及自傳小說《小團圓》中的戰時大學氛圍的篇章極度相似,充滿張愛玲大學時代的影子,具有自傳色彩。

      敘戰時心路 具自傳色彩

        張愛玲於1939年入讀港大文學院,香港淪陷被迫輟學返回上海,但該兩年多香港經驗帶來的衝擊及啟發,卻是使她綻放一生光華的重要階段。《易經》將對張學研究者及張迷,提供了張愛玲在香港求學時期的珍貴參考材料。

        張愛玲遺產執行人宋以朗博士表示,當年張愛玲於信中對宋以朗父母,也是張的終身摯友宋淇夫婦表示,希望找外國出版社出版《易經》卻不果,處處碰壁。而在四十七年後的今天,《易經》終能出版,既可還她一個心願,也給讀者提供一個歷史資料。


(蘋果日報)    張愛玲迷又有小說睇    2010.09.04

張愛玲英文自傳體小說上集《 The Fall of The Pagoda》(雷峰塔) 4月面世,隔咗近半年,下集《 The Book of Change》(易經)噚日終於出版。皇冠出版社 9月 17日仲會同步推出《雷峰塔》同《易經》中文繙譯版,滿足一眾張迷。

《易經》寫於 1957至 1963年,故事由虛構情節以及張愛玲喺港大讀書嘅經歷交織而成,自傳色彩甚濃。張愛玲遺產執行人宋以朗話,如無意外,《易經》係張愛玲最後一部小說作品,「可以出嘅已經出晒」。

宋以朗同八方講,張愛玲筆下人物好多時比較「神話化」,但《易經》就「由一個香港普通大學生眼光出發」,寫吓佢當年喺香港淪陷時期嘅大學生活。

為紀念張愛玲 90冥壽同逝世 15周年,港大新聞及傳媒研究中心將於 9月 17至 19日,喺中環葵里畫廊舉行「發現張愛玲」展覽,到時《異鄉記》、《張愛玲私語錄》等多本作品嘅原稿都會展出,張迷不容錯過。

 


(明報)    發現張愛玲 戰時港大生活對照記    馬靄媛    2010.09.05

張愛玲英文自傳小說The Book of Change(上部是The Fall of the Pagoda《雷峰塔》),《易經》逾三分之二篇幅描寫大學生涯,和她另外兩部作品自傳散文《燼餘錄》,和自傳體小說《小團圓》中,描寫她1939年由上海來港入讀香港大學文學院,遇上二次大戰香港淪陷的情况,充滿戰時港大的氛圍和異鄉人的心情。

但千年的月亮映照的是不同的心情,張愛玲在不同作品中,寫的是百轉千迴的人生,不斷重複檢視自己的過程堙A照見了文壇才女怎樣的面貌?

《燼餘錄》寫於1944年,當時張愛玲廿四歲,由香港返回上海兩年,已認識胡蘭成,嘗過戀愛的滋味。而The Book of Change於1963年完稿,那時張愛玲四十三歲,已移居美國,伴着較她年長約三十載及多病的丈夫賴雅,為創作,也為生計,一直懷着出版英文作品的心願,但處處碰壁;至1976年,張愛玲五十六歲,凝聚她一生心血的《小團圓》完稿!在她人生三個階段中,三部作品都書寫了張愛玲在香港大學念書時在炮火中飽受洗禮的創傷記憶,掙扎及的希望。

宋以朗李歐梵 高度評價

新書發布會上,張愛玲遺產執行人宋以朗和李歐梵教授都高度評價描寫戰時港大的《易經》。張愛玲不斷重複改寫的內容,隨時日遷移反而理出頭緒來,千年的月色照出生命的華彩。初寫7500字的有關港大圍城十八天的散文《燼餘錄》時,張返回上海兩年,那是她最迸發光芒的時期,戰爭的創傷記憶仍在,但回到上海就是樂土,年輕躍動的心靈及戀愛的激情,促使她兩年間創作出大量成名之作,在上海文壇一鳴驚人。

她在《燼餘錄》寫道﹕「幾千里路,兩年,新的事,新的人。戰時香港所見所聞,唯其因為它對於我有切身的、劇烈的影響,當時我是無從說起的。」

這無法預知的「切身的、劇烈的影響」,在12萬字的英文小說《易經》中,同是以外來的學生的目光,觀察她最愛着墨的「不相干」的事情,如開戰同學時身心的反應﹕起初因不用考試而歡蹦亂跳,只想到穿什麼衣服,炮火連天時上街看戲,戰後因無聊而提早結婚,所謂「蒼白,渺小和恬不知恥」的年輕生命,易經中通過女主角Lute(琵琶),張愛玲的「化身」的洞察,已昇華到另一種世情。

她寫道戰時港大停止辦公,異鄉的學生只好去守城,到防空總部去報名,遇着空襲。慌忙逃避間面對生命的窘態,《燼餘錄》中﹕「我覺得非常難受——竟會死在一群陌生人之間麼?可是,與自己家堣H死在一起,一家骨肉被炸得稀爛,又有什麼好處呢?」

《易經》中同一個生死時刻,她描寫Lute面對生死則變得深情,不斷思念親人,想到差點炸死了在這世界上也沒法告訴任何人,希望不死的話她可以向久沒聯絡而又最疼她的老工人何干傾訴,又希望告知較母親還要親的姑姑Coral(珊瑚),那刻,她也想到永遠快樂的好友BeBe(比比,炎櫻的化身)。

在較《易經》遲13年寫成的《小團圓》堙A女主角九莉面對轟炸的威脅,想到﹕「我差點炸死了,一個炸彈落在對街,她腦子埵b聽見自己的聲音在告訴人……」和《易經》一樣,九莉也想到老工人韓媽,姑姑楚娣和好友比比,只是,《小團圓》中多了一個人物——「她根本沒想起」的,若即若離的既愛且恨母親蕊秋——事隔五十多年後驀地多了這個烙在心上的「不相干」的人物,女主角一再感嘆﹕「差點炸死了,都沒人可告訴,她若有所失。」多番重複的一幕生死永訣的描述中,沉澱的記憶如冉冉上升的明月,「沒想起的」終究也是令人懸念的人。寫《燼餘錄》時的張愛玲,除了戰爭之苦,還沒經歷愛情帶來的苦與甜,直到人到中年以至步入晚年,隱隱流露了思鄉憶故人的心懷。

《易經》訴說的盡是異鄉人的心情,擅長含英咀華的張愛玲,同樣是在街上走避轟炸一幕——「有人大聲發號命令﹕摸地!摸地!哪兒有空隙讓人蹲下地來呢?但是我們一個磕在一個的背上,到底是蹲下來了。」

《易經》中,張愛玲對這幕的英文描述,反映了她作為異客的處境﹕

Mow dey! Mow dey! Touch the ground! Touch the ground!!cried a pugnacious-looking black-browed young man in an open-collared shirt…Everybody made room with difficulty to crouch down.

什麼是Mow dey-「摸地」?「香港人一望而知是廣東話「踎低!」但來自上海的張愛玲,以普通話理解為「摸地」,加上她敏銳的觀察力,就是「蹲下去」的意思,這「摸地」一摸摸了四十多年,在《易經》中以英文翻譯,變成了Mow dey!

戰時年輕的心,對死亡特別敏感,《燼餘錄》中張愛玲記錄了歷史教授佛朗士被自己人槍殺的消息,只因他黃昏回軍營時在思索着,沒聽見哨兵的吆喝,對方就放了槍。 張是欣賞他歷史的見地﹕「可是他死了——最無名目的死……一個好先生,一個好人。人類的浪費……」對於這位老師之死,張愛玲描寫時筆觸是冷靜而帶着惋惜。

《易經》中,歷史教授布雷斯代被站哨的衛兵問口令時因沒作聲,被衛兵槍殺了,無論是性格和生活軼事,都和佛朗士教授相似。《易經》的Lute洗襪子時知道這消息,抽噎起來,哀悼她老師默默淌淚,內心念着﹕「不管有沒有上帝,不管你是誰,停止考試就行了,不用把老師也殺掉。」(Lute said to herself,「Please, whoever is god, if you are there, it was very kind of you to stop the examination but it's not necessary to kill the teacher too.」)老師之死令她知道什麼是死亡,所有的關係都歸於零和虛無。她因此覺得失落迷失方向。

《易經》和《小團圓》也提到對女主角有知遇之恩的歷史老師,欣賞女主角的好學但家貧,慷慨給了女主角八百元當作小獎學金。

《小團圓》的九莉因懷念歷史老師安竹斯,洗襪子時不禁抽噎起來,默默對上蒼說﹕「你待我太好了,其實停止考試就行了,不用把老師也殺掉。」老師之死,「如一陣涼風,是一扇沉重的石門緩緩關上了。」

《小團圓》這一幕的情景和悲哀心情,和《易經》如出一轍,無論是否張愛玲的真實情感,但也寄寓了她對一位老師的懸念,無論是否戰火圍城,大學內最純真的,除了同學間的友情外,便是師生之情。

張愛玲五十年代醞釀寫自己的故事,她相信「最好的故事就是寫自己最深知的題材」。她腦海中一直裝載着港大的故事,情節隨年月更深刻,同樣的情節但寄寓了不同的心情。

《燼餘錄》中充滿「大我和小我」的掙扎,流露年輕人的迷失悵惘,結尾﹕「時代的車轟轟地往前開……誰都像我們一樣,然而我們每人都是孤獨的。」《易經》最末則充滿希望之歌,描寫夏日的太陽。剛由香港返回上海的女主角,回憶童年由天津到上海時的歌謠,透露了她蓄勢待發,其後文思湧現撰寫頁頁華章的心情。《小團圓》的結尾,訴說了半生充滿起伏的前事後,回到大考的清晨的心情——那「所有的戰爭中最恐怖的一幕,因為完全是等待」,歷盡滄桑無限嗟嘆。

渴望歸宿和出路

《易經》的書名,寄寓了亂世的人,渴望歸宿和出路,當中第十八章提到「易經」﹕戰後,女主角琵琶在宿舍一堆丟棄的書中,想找《易經》來看,終於讓她找着。她知道這是一本很玄秘的哲學書——論陰陽、明暗、男女萬物間此消彼長和興衰,而老子正是是亂世賢哲。這個願望,隨着張愛玲陸續出土的作品,她在書寫中不斷檢視反思自己,讀者也在她不同的作品的對照中,重新認識張愛玲,還她一個本來面貌。


Remarks by Roland Soong on <The Book of Change>
at the September 3, 2010 book launch, Hong Kong University Libraries

In 1957, Eileen Chang wrote to my parents to say that she was working on an English-language novel.  She indicated that this was a story about herself.  By the time that the novel was completed in 1963, there were about 800 typewritten pages.  She then divided this novel into two separate books.  The first book was titled <The Fall of the Pagoda雷峯塔> and the second <The Book of Change易經>.

Much to her disappointment, she was unable to get these two books published during her lifetime.   In May 1964, she wrote to my parents: “Have you seen Dick McCarthy?  He hasn’t been able to sell <The Book of Change>.  I am greatly discouraged.”  Eventually Eileen Chang would abandon her hope to become an English-language writer in the United States.

Why didn’t American publishers take to these two books?  Here is what Eileen Chang wrote in 1966 for the collection <Mid-Century Authors>:

I have lived in the U.S. for the last ten years, largely occupied with two unpublished novels about China before the Communists … The publishers here seem agreed that the characters in those two novels are too unpleasant, even the poor are no better.  An editor at Knopf’s wrote that if things were so bad before, then the Communists would actually be deliverance.

I personally find this astonishing.  If the criterion to publish a novel is that the characters should be pleasant, then ALL of Eileen Chang’s novels should be unpublishable because they are replete with nasty characters!  The immense popularity of Eileen Chang in China shows this premise to be false.

In any case, these two novels then languished in storage to wait for me to unearth them and seek out Hong Kong University Press to publish them.  Earlier in April this year, the first book <The Fall of the Pagoda> was released.  And on this day, the second book <The Book of Change> is released. 

That is the background.

What is <The Book of Change> about?

Readers familiar with the works of Eileen Chang will immediately recognize the essay <From the Ashes燼餘錄> as well as the first two chapters of the bestselling novel of 2009, <Small Reunions 小團圓>.  <From the Ashes> is a well-known autobiographical essay that Eileen Chang wrote in 1944 regarding her personal experiences as a Hong Kong University student when the Pacific War broke out on December 7th, 1941. This essay <From the Ashes> will be included in a forthcoming collection (tentatively titled “香港大學百年華章”) of the great works by Hong Kong University students and staff members over the past one hundred years.

How does <The Book of Change> compare to <From the Ashes>?

The first and most obvious fact is that <The Book of Change> is longer.  In fact, a whole lot longer.  In quantitative terms, <From the Ashes> runs under 6,000 words whereas <The Book of Change> is more like 120,000 words.   That is a factor of twenty-to-one. 

In chronological terms, <From the Ashes> covers mainly the battle of Hong Kong which lasted 18 days from December 7th to December 25th, plus some general ruminations at the end.  <The Book of Change> begins with the female teenager named Lute preparing to depart  from Shanghai to Hong Kong circa 1938 and ends with Lute returning to Shanghai in the summer of 1942. 

The first 134 pages of <The Book of Change> are about pre-war events.  The battle of Hong Kong runs for more than 110 pages compared to the 14 pages in <From the Ashes>.  The post-battle events run for another 50 pages or so.

By being so much longer, <The Book of Change> gives us a deeper understanding of many other things completely absent in <From the Ashes>.  This is not just more for the sake of more.  Instead it illuminates the other works of Eileen Chang.  She has always said that her best works are about what she personally knew and they often contain cross-references to each other.  So the more she wrote, the more we understand the totality of her works.

For example, in <The Book of Change>, Lute’s mother had a couple of friends with her in Hong Kong, M.H. Cheung and his wife.  It is easy to see that they are the prototypes of the protagonists of the novella <Love in a Fallen City傾城之戀>.  Thus, the <Book of Change> provides a view of how the young Eileen Chang got her view of the two protagonists in one of her most famous works.

However, I should also note that <The Book of Change> is not merely just an expansion of <From the Ashes> through the addition of some minor details.   <From the Ashes> was written in 1944 and <The Book of Change> was completed in 1963.  Over the course of twenty years, Eileen Chang’s perceptions and attitudes have shifted.  Thus, the same events are regarded differently over time.

Let me give you an example.  In <From the Ashes>, there was an episode about waiting out an air raid inside a bomb shelter.  The writer wondered: “I feel terribly uncomfortable – would I die amid a crowd of strangers?”  Eventually the airplane went away and the crowd made a mad dash for the tram car.

In <The Book of Change>, here is the corresponding section:

The bombing moved away.  She took the same tram home.  Walking up she suddenly realized that there was no one to tell it to.  Bebe was gone.  And not just in Hong Kong but in the whole world, who was there?  She would like to tell her old amah if she was still alive.  She had not been heard from ever since she went back to the country and Lute had not written her either, ashamed of not being able to do anything for her.  She would tell Aunt Coral someday although she would not expect her aunt to be greatly stirred that she had nearly got killed.  Bebe would miss her if she had died but Bebe was always happy.

Is this so significant?  As Eileen Chang would state later for <Small Reunions>, this was the moment of epiphany in which the protagonist Jiu Li came face to face with her quintessential loneliness in the world.  She was alone in the world, and she had no one to share a near-death experience.  That realization crystallized only later on in life.  When she wrote <From the Ashes> at age 24, she did not yet comprehend that significance.  The realization appeared in <The Book of Change> for the first time, and then became the central point in <Small Reunions> ten years later.  As Eileen Chang wrote my father, the first two chapters in <Small Reunions> which caused so many new readers so much grief because of the numerous fleeting characters were there solely to communicate this one simple, even obvious, point – many people buzzed around her but they meant nothing to her; she was alone in this world!

Another question: Why was Eileen Chang writing about the same people and the same events over and over again?  If it is the same thing repeatedly, then it does get boring and tiring quickly.  But if every re-write raises the level of understanding up another level, then it is something else.  I suggest that there is simply not enough exploration of the hermeneutical process in the works of Eileen Chang.  Each re-write elevates understanding to a higher level.

At this point I want to make a few points about <The Book of Change> at different levels.

At a technical level, I should note that the published version <the Book of Change> retains what Eileen Chang originally wrote as much as possible.  The temptation to edit her writing was resisted except in cases of obvious errors.

Here is an example of what was not edited.

In the original Chinese-language <From the Ashes>:

有人大聲發出命令:摸地!摸地!哪儿有空隙讓人蹲下地來呢?

Let me translate this exactly in English:

Someone barked out a command: “Touch the ground!  Touch the ground!”  But where is there any room for people to crouch down?

In the English-language <The Book of Change>, the same event is:

A bomb rumbled.

Mow deyMow dey!  Touch the ground!  Touch the ground!” cried a pugnacious-looking black-browed young man in an open-collared shirt …

Everybody made room with difficulty to crouch down.

What is “Mow dey!”?  In Cantonese, 踎低 means to “crouch” or “squat”.  Eileen Chang heard the Cantonese expression and thought that it was摸地(“Touch the ground”) in Mandarin.  But that is not a regular Chinese expression – a Chinese speaker wouldn’t understand what you are talking about and neither does an English speaker.  Why do you want me to “touch the ground”?

The point here is that Eileen Chang did not understand that Cantonese expression踎低 in 1941.  This underscores her alienation from the people around her.  She may or may not have been told about this by the time that she wrote <The Book of Change>, but “Touch the ground” stayed.  Unintentionally or intentionally, the point was always about the inexorable estrangement from the people around her.

Andrew F. Jones’ translation of this portion of <From the Ashes> is:

Someone barked a command: “Hit the deck!  Hit the deck!”  How could one possibly find a place to hit the deck surrounded by such a lot of people?

This is technically incorrect (‘hit the deck’ means ‘fall or drop to a prone position,’ which is not the same as ‘crouching down’) and, more importantly, it changes the estrangement factor.  Therefore this HKUP edition of <The Book of Change> has not changed “Mow dey”/”Touch the ground” to either “crouch” or “hit the deck”.

Eileen Chang wanted to publish <The Book of Change> as a literary work.  She did not succeed.  Maybe Americans didn’t get her, or maybe her work was no so good.  Who is to say?  By publishing it today, we offer readers the choice to decide on its literary merits for themselves.  Instead of me (or anybody else) reading the manuscript and telling you about my (or their) final judgment, you get to decide for yourself. 

But I believe today that the book is just as important as a historical document about the writer and the person known as Eileen Chang.  The 1964 <The Book of Change> stands between the 1944 <From the Ashes> and the 1976 <Small Reunions> and gives us an intermediate point in her evolving thoughts and attitudes about the significant events in her own life.

Beyond the particularity of this author (Eileen Chang), this book contains the observations by a certain Hong Kong University student during the one and only time that Hong Kong was wounded by the trauma of war.  This Hong Kong University student hailed from Shanghai and therefore had an outsider’s eye for things.  After all, she had spent her childhood as a “little spy” recording the words and deeds of the adults in her extended family leading to the famous works such as <Red Rose, White Rose>, etc.  So what she wrote down here was a historical document of significance, especially given the fame of <From the Ashes>.

Beyond the particularity of the battle of Hong Kong, this book is about the changes that China underwent as it went from the traditional to the modern.  Why was this book given the title of <The Book of Change易經> like that classic text anyway? 

In Chapter 18, Lute began looking for a copy of the ancient Chinese text <The Book of Change> in a pile of discarded books in the deserted student dormitory.  Why?

It was philosophy based on the forces of yang and yin, light and darkness, male and female, how they wax and wane, grow and erode, with eight basic diagrams by which fortunes could be told with tortoise shells.

The pandemonium around her made her yearn desperately for some restraint or discipline although that was not going back to the past.  That was not there anymore.

The novel <The Fall of the Pagoda> was about the decay and disintegration of the old order as epitomized by the collapse of Thunder Peak Pagoda in Hangzhou.  The novel <The Book of Change> was about the quest to make sense of the new world, including consulting the ancient text <The Book of Change>.  In hindsight, we know that the quest is futile.

In <Mid-Century Authors>, Eileen Chang wrote:

… there was decay and a vacuum, a need to believe in something.  In the final disintegration of ingrown latter-day Confucianiam, some Chinese seeking a way out of the prevalent materialistic nihilism turned to communism.  To many others Communist rule is also more palatable for being a reversion to the old order, only replacing the family with the larger blood kin, the state, incorporating nationalism, the undisputed religion of our time.  What concerns me most is the few decades in between, the years of dilapidation and last furies, chaos and uneasy individualism, pitifully short between the past millenniums on the one hand and possibly centuries to come.  But any changes in the future are likely to have geminated from the brief taste of freedom …

In 1966, Eileen Chang probably could not foresee her eventual popularity in mainland China after the 1990’s.  But she had perceived the reasons a long time ago anyway.  When the reforms began in China thirty years ago, some people saw that neither Confucianism nor Communism provided the answers about the changes happening to them and became anxious.  But somehow a petit bourgeois Shanghai writer Eileen Chang had already written all about their “uneasy individualism” in a time of chaotic changes a long time ago in a much better way.  That may just be the simplest way of explaining the magic and allure of Eileen Chang in China today.

Finally, I would to announce some future plans:


(海南日报)    张爱玲自传体三部曲出齐    2010.09.06

  据新华社香港电 张爱玲英文自传体小说《易经》9月3日在香港大学正式推出,加之已先后问世的《小团圆》、《雷峰塔》,其自传体小说三部曲率先在港出齐,以此纪念这位女作家诞辰90周年及逝世15周年。

  继张爱玲中文遗作《小团圆》荣登两岸三地畅销书排行榜之后,其英文自传体小说上部《雷峰塔》今年4月由香港大学出版社推出。

  据介绍,此次最新出版的《易经》,是张爱玲英文自传体小说的下部,于1963年完稿,早于《小团圆》10年创作。小说主要以上世纪30年代为背景,讲述了主角由天津到上海的童年,经历父母离异、父亲再娶,由上海转至香港求学,又遭逢香港沦陷,具有自传色彩。

  香港大学客座教授、知名学者李欧梵表示,《易经》以大篇幅讲述了女主角在香港一所大学的生活,特别是细致描摹了战火围城时的经历和心情,与张爱玲1944年的散文《余烬录》、1976年的小说《小团圆》文中战时大学氛围相互照应,尽是张爱玲大学时代的影子,诸多片段皆透出“张式”独具的灵光。

  据了解,张爱玲于1939年入读香港大学文学院,在香港沦陷后辍学返沪,但香港两年有余的生活经历成为她重要的人生阶段。

  张爱玲遗产执行人宋以朗说,父母宋淇夫妇是张爱玲至交,张爱玲曾在信中对他们提及希望找到海外出版社出版《易经》却未果,如今,这部英文小说在47年后终能出版,希望还张爱玲一个心愿,也为“张学”研究者和广大“张迷”提供珍贵的参考资料。

  他还说,大学时代的战时生活,给张爱玲留下不可磨灭的记忆,又随着她对同类题材不断咀嚼,对个人和世情有更为透彻澄明的看法,整个提炼和反思的轨迹,也反映在了《易经》等晚期作品中。

  宋以朗当天还将《易经》英文原稿的副本赠送给了香港大学。

  香港大学副校长周肇平表示,很高兴张爱玲的文学遗产近年来在各方努力下陆续回归母校,也为各界建立了一个公共文化平台。

  另据介绍,《雷峰塔》和《易经》中文译本也将于9月17日问世,由台湾知名译者赵丕慧翻译。

  宋以朗认为,若要活脱脱译出独具风采的“张式”文字实属“无法完成的任务”,对译本而言,更重要的是直译出英文原文的含义。


(新京报)    张爱玲自传小说出下部    2010.09.08

 本报讯 (记者姜妍 实习生周子阳)在出版了张爱玲英文自传体小说的上半部《雷峰塔》的繁体版后,台湾皇冠出版社将于明日在台举行发布会宣布其自传下半部《易经》的出版。此前香港大学出版社率先推出了《易经》的英文版,据悉其简体版可能会在11月中旬由天津青马图书出版公司出版。

  《易经》的英文名是The Book of Change,于1963年完稿,为张爱玲早于《小团圆》十年创作而成的英文小说。小说讲述女主角Lute早年辗转的经历,1939年由上海到香港求学,大学第二年太平洋战事爆发,香港沦陷,小说以大篇幅描述女主角Lute在香港一家名为维多利亚大学的生活,以及战火围城时的经历和心路,内容和张爱玲描述战时港大的散文《烬余录》、及自传小说《小团圆》中的战时大学氛围的篇章极度相似,充满张爱玲大学时代的影子,具有自传色彩。

  学者止庵介绍说,《易经》是张爱玲很重要的作品,与《雷峰塔》里的人物是连续的。“我们一般感觉上世纪五六十年代张爱玲的创作是个空白,这两本书恰好是张爱玲1955年到美国以后,一直到70年代这个时间段里创作的。她希望能够变成一个英语作家,这是她当时的志向。”

  遗憾的是,这两本书并没有让张爱玲的英文写作之路变得顺畅,出版方并不重视这两部作品。止庵认为,这和里面的文化背景不同有关,“总结来说,第一,这两本小说没有适应当时美国的主流意识。第二,不能够取悦于一般读者对于小说的要求。所以没有在美国得到出版。”

  在之前于香港举行的《易经》英文版发布会上,张爱玲遗产执行人宋以朗说,《易经》是一个历史记录,自小洞察世情的张爱玲,作为一个战时香港大学的学生、一个具有非常敏锐观察力的外来者,她在这本书中描写得丝丝入扣的大学氛围,反映学生苍白和渺小的人生,具有历史和文学参考价值。

  据皇冠出版社(香港)有限公司的市务经理方佩诗透露,该书的简体字版将由天津青马图书出版公司暂定在11月中旬推出。但天津青马运营部主任刘丽敏表示,该书简体字版的出版时间还没有定,暂时不方便透露该书简体版的出版细节。