歷史的艱難

I 歷史與真實

在某一層面上,紀錄片作為一種「結果」,經常承擔著落後於「時代(時間)」,落後於「人」,甚至落後於「真實」,並在其中遍嚐遙望的艱苦與喜樂。

「落後」意味著雖然我們永難企及,卻依然冀盼追溯到一種更接近「真相」的事實,這當中也許來自於時間的錯置,或觀念的差距,亦或在不同條件下的事實之複雜,又甚或是面對人的心念與思慮之多樣,讓歷史之流中諸種人事的面貌與記憶,變得極度迷濛又不可知。

因此若要嘗試以八十年前集結的文學詩社為主題,攝製「人物傳記」,我們深感難能有堅穩立足之處;若要成就一部「口述證言」,又恐受訪者面對過往記憶的模糊或不便訴說,所面臨的痛苦。而要嘗試站在已逝者的前方,如同為已逝者發聲般的宣揚,更令人深感恐懼與憂慮。原來,面對歷史,無論是拍攝者或被攝者,人能施力的點竟顯得如此脆弱,如此微不足道。那麼,又如何試著道出如此之微?更何況對於他人生命片段的撿拾,即已堆疊著積累至今的所有過程,才得以歸整出我們所理解的,歷史的「真實」。

在這些基礎點上,《日曜日式散步者》(2015)這部以風車詩社為起點的紀錄片,最初與最終都面臨了──它是一部「當事者」缺席,任憑後人觀看與述說的對象。少了「當事者」的證言,後代家屬「合理地」成為代言者,而這些留存於後代家屬記憶中的過往,歷經拍攝訪談的一次次翻攪,透過拍攝者的介入,一次又一次進行著反覆篩釋與想像的過程。

 

這著實無比艱難。

一漫長過程中,紀錄片的倫理性遠比想像中來得更為龐雜與纖細,這份倫理性不僅時常提醒並擾動著拍攝者的觀點與詮釋,更不時凜然地質問拍攝者,是否已充足地反覆省思。誰有資格詮釋?誰應該接受這些詮釋?這些詮釋訴說了甚麼?這些千絲萬縷牽繫於拍攝者與被攝者之間的關係,猛烈地往返於歷史的過去和當下,成為我們面對「歷史」的態度,點明了「歷史」不再是一個抽象空洞的代名詞,而是具體而微,與每一細節切身相關,並使遙遠的後人時常茫然困惑的、無盡的,與等待填補的記憶之海。

然而,明知歷史「再現」的不可能,何以拍攝者仍天真又急切地試圖去追尋「歷史真實」的可能?在製作《日曜日散步者》這部紀錄片的過程中,對我個人而言,最根本的立基點,或許是源自對於「過往曾經存在」的情感關注,並深切認為「歷史真實」是可能被趨近或探問的。然而,這份對於歷史真實的企求,並非僅類比於劇情片式的考究或擬真,更多是依靠著拍攝者與被攝對象或主題之間的互動──拍攝者置身於他者的感同身受,更進一步回應/映自身,並將自我投擲進歷史殘篇中,於其中感受困惑、傷感、懷疑、詰問、停滯、茫然,及更多更多的不確定性,最終匯聚成跨越時間與空間──迴盪於人事物之間的互語與自語。而這樣的艱難,正反映出廣袤歷史之流中的未知(甚或永遠不可知),形成了當代的人在認知、體會與理解上的諸種複雜性。

 

在此一切點上,紀錄片沉默地吶喊。

而今,歷史的斷片經由日常概念化之後,又續以各種面貌現身:黑白斑駁的老照片,晃動粗劣的八釐米影片,耆老的喃喃回憶描述,泛黃陳舊的老報章及手稿,不同年代裡各家詮釋的各種話語,相對的線索裡……。但,歷史的真實卻似乎正在遠去(或早已不存在)。

因此我們也將愈加明晰地發覺,永遠不可能自外於當下歷史的彼處,去勾勒歷史過往的絕對性,充其量只能夠透過這段深慮與追索的過程,去思考並探問更多,或許從中能夠使我們找到對於歷史真實的一種更深刻之趨近。其中包含了如何去思索一個跨(文化、語境、身份……等等)詩社的集結,背後所牽繫的繁複意涵;如何在歷史殘篇中收納與梳理直接或間接關聯的人事物;如何追問與檢視各方線索中的客觀性或合理性;如何在當事者的缺席中,找到互語的可能。這看似拍攝者單向面對歷史,獨自提問的過程,卻使拍攝者或許有幸得以覓見歷史「真實」短暫折返的某些珍貴瞬間。

 

II 「殖民」的兩端

不曾在殖民經驗下真切生活過的拍攝者,要如何詮釋一段過往的文學經驗?

這個問題所提示出的,不單是關於當事者的生存「真相」為何,而且含括了當代臺灣歷經了戰後國內外政經情勢的變化,以及政治權力的轉移更迭之後,對於日本殖民經驗整體的想像與詮釋(及更多的再詮釋),尤其是戰後長期的集體性壓制與噤聲,對於日治時期的不可言、不敢論,形成了臺灣歷史敘述中一處失語、斷裂的空白。在2015年此刻的臺灣,這些複雜的因素共同交織出的歷史詮釋為何?作為傷痕經驗的承接者,如何如履薄冰地撫觸這些傷口?

1930年代初期的風車詩社,歷經父祖輩抗日歷程的逐步衰頹,在第一波鄉土文學論戰之後,這一群活躍於昭和初期、以日文做為文學創作基礎的臺灣詩人,集結了成長於臺灣的日本詩人,試圖為當時的文壇引進一股文學的新力量。在強烈意識到以文學來反抗殖民的困難下,全心嚮往與追求從日本轉譯導入的最新文藝表現形態,在其中當然可見詩人們全神灌注地散發著對於文學本身最直覺的的熱望,而這份追求固然也同時含藏了無法忽視的殖民性問題。(在這當中,我們必須注意到,這其實是一個臺灣人和日本人共同集結的詩社。對日本政權有抵抗心意的,究竟是只有部分的臺灣人成員,或是也包含了日本人成員?這些,也因為日本成員的生平之不可考,成為一處永遠未知的空白。)

在今天,套用反殖民的理論架構,來為這個詩社的立場進行批判,確實是最直接也很方便的抗衡姿態,也是多數評論再合理不過的立基點。然而,越是套用頻繁,卻越容易流溢出教條化、單一化的語言,但避去不論,又恐流失主體上的意識。或許我們可以再省思,論及「殖民」與「反殖民」問題之時,我們還能夠挪移出多少空間來包容這兩端中之間的不確定性?如何接納屬於少數群體、單一個體、,非我族類或主流論述下,屬被劃歸於「他者」的、,理直氣壯的生存姿態?處於最安穩的同化時期,文學者的「反」殖民策略,能夠以什麼手段,來呈現問題,翻轉現實?而若文學者選擇了避開「反」殖民的現實,傾力雕琢出的文學創作,還會有價值嗎,此又該如何為當代人所理解與對待?這反與不反之間,共織著多少生存的艱難和殖民歷史的現實?

風車詩社這樣的現代主義文學經驗,使我們不得不面對,即使在1970年代末期,詩社創辦人楊熾昌先生仍健在之時,卻也由於戰後政治肅殺的高壓氣氛,致使我們不免於將其或此一戰前文學世代於戰後所留下的任何隻字話語置入「括號」之中,而這個「括號」不僅增添了後人與歷史真實的距離,也幾乎宣告了真相將永遠無解,更難以如實再現的無奈,此一永遠的「懸置」,提示出日治時期「跨越語言的一代」所面臨的,最為現實,也極為嚴酷的處境。

 

III 文學與政治

回推「為藝術而藝術」這個在當代已被普遍簡化傳誦的概念,早已自十九世紀中期,隨著法、德、英等國知識份子之間的思潮流動,被轉換成各種面貌。在1920年代的日本文壇,伴隨西方文藝的自主性、創造性思潮洗禮之後,引發了一連串人生派和藝術派的對立,甚至也直/間接影響了當時在日本留學的中國學生,更在中國引起了相應的論戰。日本詩壇也於大正末期形成了以主知與創新為理念的「藝術立場」、無產階級立場的「社會立場」、及力主破壞舊有傳統秩序的「第三立場」。這些,恐怕不能過於簡略地將之界分為對於西方的「模仿」或「挪用」來一語概括。

換句話說,若非要斷論「為藝術而藝術」是從西方模仿來的,以及「為藝術而藝術」所引發的論戰模型亦是由西方挪移所過來的,那麼,也許更重要的探問是:為什麼當時這些文藝者對於這些模仿或挪用有如此強烈的需求?背後有多少的「誘因」與「條件」來促使這樣的需求成立?這當中堆疊了哪些潛在的問題?

從文學的觀點來看,或許應該試著去體會觀察,為什麼在大正末年及昭和初年,文學者熱衷於展開更內向性的尋求,更細微地探詢人性與心理的不確定性?我們也因而看到風車詩人所著迷的,橫光利一的物性新感覺、川端康成及谷崎潤一郎的頹廢淫靡、永井荷風的清新耽美、芥川龍之介的藝術至上、尚‧考克多 (Jean Cocteau)的飛躍與想像、梵樂希(Paul Valery)的知性與秩序等等,這些跨越了十九世紀後半和二十世紀初等最精華的文藝思想。自二十世紀初始,日本便以最快速度吸納的西方文藝進程,風車詩人便在殖民母國日本的教育體系下,吞嚥領受從世界各地湧入的文藝巨浪衝擊,再以更壓縮的時空,殫精竭力以自身微薄之力,召喚臺灣文壇的參與。

或許正如日本文學史家加藤周一所形容,1918至1923年間的日本青年為「一九〇〇年的一代」,並認為他們是通過進口書籍來體驗西方,他們心之嚮往的是被「翻譯」之後的歐美,而非以切身經驗的歐美。非但日本文學者對於帝國與民族國家有更具野心的想像,作為日本殖民地出身的風車詩人,亦是這個世代的接續,甚至透過更便利嶄新的現代化經驗,強化一層層連動的、潛移默化的認同感。同時,也必然會生成殖民身份所遭遇的階級差異等各種矛盾情結。這從被殖民的歷史來看,當然是永遠的「政治不正確」。

但這並不意味著一手扣緊超現實主義或新感覺派等多元混種的前衛精神,一手與日本作家以文字互為切磋的友好關係下的風車詩社,對於馬克思主義或左翼思想沒有任何理解,或只是無知天真地崇洋媚日。然而,這個時代是否有一處空間容他們立身?或是此般歷史時空已注定了他們僅能在邊緣的一角相互取暖?

類似風車詩社此般曇花一現的文學團體,在1980年代有機會被意外尋獲,確實是文學史上的奇蹟,卻也是臺灣戰後歷史語境不意外的一章,因為這透露了或許有更多文學史中恐再也不復見的,已永遠深埋於歷史更迭的灰燼裡。

 

IV跨越

而今,回頭看這些風車詩人沒有回聲、奮力逆行的痕跡,總充斥並聯繫著諸多難言的、複雜的生存處境。就算將這群風車詩人如何地美化,都必然要面對他們處於一個時不我予的現實處境。時不我予雖使其在此刻更顯得哀傷且瑰麗,卻仍舊需面對「你可以避開政治,但政治卻會來找你」的最終命運。

雖然,最終被臺灣文學史上劃分為「跨越語言的一代」之風車詩人,終究沒有跨越語言,也無法跨越政治。而後人在回首為風車詩社蓋棺論定時,無論將其所懷抱的「為藝術而藝術」視為一種對於政治的逃避,或反而視其理念本身即為一種政治性的反抗態度,都說明了文學藝術本身具有的開放性與複合性。

風車詩社儘管短暫一現,但其對於文學自由與創新的企求,及堅持藝術不應受制式規範羈絆的表態,也許至今看來都顯過於純粹,但也正是這份純粹,無論在八十年前,或八十年後的今天,都能夠作為我們仍可去貼近、去感受那樣的時代,與那樣的詩人,一切最堅韌的本源。

 

原文刊載於《藝術觀點》ACT Art Critique of Taiwan | 65. 歷史旁白.負像劇場

 

Struggle with history
by HUANG Ya-li


I. History and Reality
On certain extent, documentary as an “end result” has often times tolerate difficulties and happiness that were falling behind “era (time)”, “people” and even “reality” through looking from a distance.

“Falling behind” implies we can still trace a kind of reality closer to “truth”, which we could never perceive. Among the causes would probably be the dislocation of time, distance between concepts, complexities of realities under different conditions, or even misty and unknown aspects as well as memories in the stream of history when confronting diverse minds and considerations.

Hence, to make a biography based on a poetry society gathered 80 years ago, we felt there is no solid ground. If we want to achieve an “oral testimony”, there are fears if pain of the interviewees’ would be provoked when confronting vague memories or things they couldn’t tell. If we try to stand by the side of those who had passed away, as if propagating in their voice, it would bring even more anxieties and worries. Both for the filmmaker and the subject, the ground to apply forces is so fragile and negligible when we are facing history. How could we voice out the negligibility? Moreover, when gleaning pieces of others’ life, we could only put historical “truth” that we understand into order after going through all the accumulation process. 

On this foundation, Le Moulin (2015), a documentary based on the Moulin, a Taiwanese poetry society, confronts a situation, both in the beginning and in the end that the parties concerned are absent, and they then become the viewing and narrative subject of later generations. Without “testimony” of parties concerned, their successive family members became their “legal” spokesmen. Through interference of the filmmaker, remained memories of their successive family members went through selection and imagination process again and again, being stirred repeatedly through shootings and interviews. 

This indeed is extremely difficult. 

During this lengthy process, the ethics of documentary were far more complicated and delicate than we could imagine. The ethics not only often reminds but also interferes the view and interpretation of the filmmaker. It also questions the filmmaker if they have already thought through. Who has the right to interpret? Who should accept these interpretations? What do these interpretations tell? The complex relation between the filmmaker and the subject went back and forth vigorously between history in the past and current moment. These have become our attitude when confronting “history”. “History” is no longer an empty or abstract term, but something concrete and delicate. Every detail relates to us personally, and “history” is as the ocean of memories. An ocean without borders and waiting to be filled, letting the later generation to be confused.

However, why did the filmmaker still naively and eagerly pursue the possibility of “historical truth”, even if knowing the impossibility to “reenact” history? For me, the foundation of making Le Moulin probably came from concerns on “the past used to exist” and believing that “historical truth” could be approached and inquired. However, seeking historical truth is not a mere parallel to study or photorealistic pursue in fiction films. It relies more on the interaction between the filmmaker and the subject or the theme. The filmmaker put himself in the position of the others and feels what the others feel. He then would further respond as well as reflect, throwing his own self into broken pages of history. The filmmaker would feel confused, sad, doubt, questioned, ignorant and stuck, facing more and more uncertainties. All these will then gather, transform into conversation and self murmur that go beyond time and space, reverberating within different characters and incidents. These struggles reflect uncertainties or even the unknowable in the vast stream of history. They form various complexities in peoples’ cognition, understanding and conviction at current times.

Standing on these grounds, documentary shouted silently. 

After broken pages of history being conceptualized by the dailies, and continue to show themselves in various facets, be it mottled black and white old photographs, trembling and rough eight-millimeter film, murmurs of memories of the elderlies, yellowish old newspaper and manuscript, different languages and words interpreted by different ideologies in different era, clues in the opposite…But, truth of history seems to be drifting away (or was already in non-existence since early on). 

Hence we will come to know gradually, that we could never shape the absolute past in history when we are in the current times. At most, one could only think and discover more through this exploration process that was given deep thoughts. From it we could probably get closer to historical truth in a deeper way, including how to think of a poetry society that cross the boundaries of culture, context, identity and many others, as well as to think of the complex meaning behind. How to store and sort out people and matters that were either directly or indirectly linked in broken pages of history? How to continue question and examine objectivity and rationality from clues in diverse sides? How to look for possibility of conversation in the absence of parties concerned? It seems to be a process where the filmmaker was facing history from only one side, and raised question individually. But this process might allowed the filmmaker to be lucky enough in pursuing precious moments of the short return to historical “truth”. 

II. Two Sides of “Colonization”
How could a filmmaker who had never lived through the times of colonization interpret a literary experience of the past? This question pointed out not only the living “reality” of parties concerned, but also Taiwan’s internal and external changes of politics and economics in the post-war years, as well as imagination and interpretation (and even more reinterpretation) on Japanese colonization after the political power shift, particularly the long term collective suppress and silence after the war. The fact that people could not talk and dare not discuss about times of Japanese occupation has formed an empty space filled with aphasia and fractures in Taiwan historical narrative. In 2015 Taiwan, what is the historical interpretation intertwined by these complex causes? And as a successor of traumatic experience, how could we carefully touch these wounds? 

Le Moulin during early 1930s, had experience the degenerative of their ancestors’ anti-Japanese movement. These Taiwanese poets create literary works in Japanese language. They were active during the early Japanese Showa period. Gathering together the Japanese poets growing up in Taiwan, they attempted to bring in a new literary force to the literary scene. When were strongly aware of the difficulties to fight against colonization through literature, they then turned into searches and longing for newest literary forms diverted from Japan. We could of course notice the direct passion of these poets towards literature. However, their questions on colonization were also hidden behind those passionate pursue. (We have to be aware that this is a poetry society co-constructed by Taiwanese and Japanese. After all, were there only Taiwanese members that have the intention to fight against Japanese regime, or it actually included the Japanese members? These issues remain a forever-unknown empty due to the lack of information of their Japanese members.)

And today, to criticize this poetry society by using anti-colonization theoretical structure is indeed the most direct and convenient gesture of resistance. It has also become the most rational foundation for most critics. However, the more the theoretical structure was implied, the easier it could reveal dogmatic and monotonous language. There is danger to loss conscious on subjectivity if avoiding this issue. But maybe we can reflect again that how could we allow more spaces to include uncertainties between “colonization” and “anti-colonization” when debating on the two questions? How could we recruit those who were included in the minorities, individual or those of different race, as well as righteous living gesture that was always being classified as “the others” under the mainstream discourse. In a peaceful era of assimilation, how could “anti” colonization tactics of literary people reveal the question and turn over reality? And when writers put all their effort in mere literary writing and chose to avoid the “anti” colonization reality, how could people in contemporary society understand and deal with this matter? How many living struggles and realities on colonization history intermingled between “anti” or “not to”?

Such literary experience of modern literature like Le Moulin has forced us to confront, that even during the end of 1970s, when Shuiyin Ping, the founder of Le Moulin was still alive. We inevitably include words left by him or by this pre-war literary generation in “brackets”, due to the heightened political condition after the war. And this “bracket” not only brings in distance between the successor and historical truth, but also almost declares the helplessness, that truth can never has a solution, and can never be re-enacted. The forever “suspension” pointed out the most realistic and harsh situation confronted by the “cross-language generation” during Japanese occupation. 

III. Literature and Politics
Stepping back on “art for art’s sake”, a popularly simplified concept in contemporary society was already transformed into different facets as early as mid 19th century, following the thinking trend within intellectuals in France, Germany and England. Influenced by autonomy and creative concepts of Western literary scene, the Japanese literary scene in 1920 triggered various oppositions between the “live group” and “art group”. This even directly or indirectly affected Chinese students who were studying in Japan at that time, and eventually initiated similar arguments in China. During the late Taisho period, poetry scene in Japan has divided into three stands, the “art stand” that insisting on intellectualism and innovation, the “societal stand” holding onto position of the proletariat, and “the third stand” proposing destruction of traditional order. All these, could not be simply divided into “imitation” and “appropriation” of the West. 

In other words, if it is not to make a decisive conclusion that “art for art’s sake” was an imitation of the West, and that the discursive module triggered by “art for art’s sake” was not an appropriation of the West, then probably the more important question would be, why was there a strong need for these imitations and appropriations among people in the literary scene at that time? How many causes and conditions were hidden in order to make those requirements tenable? What are the hidden questions accumulated within? 

Maybe we should try to experience and observe from literary point of view, that why people in the literary scene were keen in developing a quest into the internal, as well as looking into uncertainties of human nature and psychology in a more delicate manner during the end of Taisho period and early days of the Showa period? We then notice matters that attracted poets in Le Moulin, which include YOKOMITSU Riichi’s materiality new sensations, KAWABATA Yasunari and TANIZAKI Jun'ichir?’s decadent and obscene, NAGAI Kaf?’s indulgence in beauty and freshness, AKUTAGAWA Ry?nosuke’s art above everything, JEAN Cocteau’s flying imaginations, Paul VALERY’s intellectuality and order. These are the most important part of literary thinking from second half of 19th century to early 20th century. Since the beginning of 20th century, Japan had been absorbing literary progress of the West in its’ highest speed. Under the education system of their colonial mother country, Le Moulin’s poets were swallowing and receiving huge literary waves coming from all over the world. They then strained their own modest energy, calling the participation of Taiwan literary scene. 

Probably as described by Japanese historian KATO Shuichi, Japanese youngsters from 1918 to 1923 was a generation of the “1900s”. He also argued that they experienced the West through imported books. And the Europe and America that they envisioned were already being translated, rather than first hand experience. Not only Japanese literary scholars had more ambitious imagination towards imperialism and nation state, Le Moulin’s poets born in Japanese colony were also successor of this generation. They even strengthened layers of gearing and slowly formed sense of identity through convenient and new experience on modernization. Simultaneously, inevitably various kinds of contradictory emotions will occur when they encounter divergence in social status due to their identity as the colonized. If seen from the history of the colonized, of course it will be “politically incorrect”. 

Although Le Moulin on one hand hold onto mixed avant-garde spirit of surrealism, New Sensation School and other forms, and on the other hand maintained friendship with Japanese writers through writings. This doesn’t imply that Le Moulin had no understanding on Marxism or leftist thinking, or naively followed the West and the Japanese. However, was there any space that could accommodate them in that era? Or the history had brought them to a corner at the border and they could only warmed each other?

It is a miracle in literary history that short-lived literary group such as Le Moulin had a chance to be found accidentally during the 1980s. This is not a surprise chapter in the post-war Taiwan historical context, for it revealed probably there were more being buried under ashes of history, and never to be seen again in literary history. 

IV. Crossing
Looking back at traces of these Le Moulin’s poets, they retrograded by putting in all their efforts but no echoes were left behind. These traces were full with intermingled unspeakable and complicated living conditions. No matter how these Le Moulin’s poets beautified things, they need to confront the reality, that the time would not wait for them. Although it brought sadness and beauty but inevitably, they need to face their final destiny. “You can avoid politics, but politics will come for you”. 

Though Le Moulin’s poets were finally being regarded as a “cross-languages generation”, they didn’t cross over languages and could not cross over politics after all. Hence when people tried to make their final evaluation on Le Moulin, be it defining “art for art’s sake” as an escape from politics, or seeing their ideologies as a kind of political resistance. Both explained the openness and multiple layers of literary arts.

Le Moulin might be short-lived, but it’s aspiration towards the freedom and innovation of literature, as well as their insistence on not to be bound by any structured forms, both might be seen today as overly pure. However, it is because of this purity that allows us to feel and get closer to that era, be it eighty years ago or eighty years later today.

For more information about Le Moulin: http://docs.tfi.org.tw/content/59

(Translated by AU Sow-yee)