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在巴黎做个游荡者 城市中漫无目的地闲逛

The word that encapsulates 'Frenchness'
在巴黎做个游荡者 城市中漫无目的地闲逛

To wander aimlessly through a city is so French there’s a word for it that has no English equivalent: flâner.

法语词“flâner”是指在一个城市漫无目的地闲逛,这是如此法式的概念,以至于英语中没有完全对应的词来形容它。

Almost-translations abound, from “stroll” to “lounge” to “saunter”, but none perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the word, which evokes a certain directionless – but far from purposeless – wandering through an urban centre. The flâneur ambles with no destination in mind, despite a clear goal: to be at once part of a place and to be on the outside, observing it in a philosophical spirit that Antoine Compagnon, professor of French literature at the Collège de France in Paris and author of Un été avec Baudelaire, said, “is linked to not knowing exactly what you’re looking for”.

从stroll(漫步),到lounge(闲荡),再到saunter(闲逛),几乎有各种各样的意思,但没有哪个完全概括flâner的意思。这个词让人联想到在城市中心漫步,没有方向,但绝非没有目的。Flâneur(游荡者),看似没有目的地,但有这样明确的内涵:处于某个地方,但又置身事外,以哲学的精神来观察眼前的一切。巴黎法兰西学院(Collège de France)法国文学教授、《与波德莱尔共度的夏天》(Un été avec Baudelaire)的作者安托万·孔帕尼翁(Antoine Compagnon)的解释是:这个词意味着“不知道你在寻找什么”。
 

法语单词“flâner”在英语中没有完全对应的词

For Compagnon – and many other French experts – the flâneur is an archetype linked not just to France but specifically to 19th-Century Paris. Following the 1789 French Revolution, which capitalised on the Enlightenment-era philosophy of egalitarianism, suddenly, any man could be an intellectual, a philosopher, an anthropologist of the present. And Paris was his ideal domain. At the time, the French capital was rapidly undergoing not just social but architectural changes at the hands of Emperor Napoléon III, evolving from a cramped amalgam of medieval streets to the clearly defined avenues, parks and vistas that define today’s city.

对孔帕尼翁和许多其他法国专家来说,“游荡者”(flâneur)不仅与法国有关,而且特别与19世纪的巴黎有关。1789年法国大革命(French Revolution)植根于启蒙时期(Enlightenment)的平等主义哲学。之后,突然之间,任何人都可以成为知识分子、哲学家和人类学家。巴黎是他们理想家园。当时,在拿破仑三世(Emperor Napoleon III)的统治下,法国首都不仅在社会方面,而且在建筑方面也迅速进步,从狭窄的中世纪街道,演变成边界明确的大道、公园,颇具现代城市的特点。

“Factories stood side-by-side with refined boutiques,” said Andrea Schellino, director of the Groupe Baudelaire at Paris’ Ecole Normale Supérieure, of the evolving 19th-Century city. “The flâneurwas privy to this spectacle, turning this changing world into a vast theatre.”

在谈到19世纪城市的演变,巴黎高等师范学院(Ecole Normale Superieure)波德莱尔学院(Groupe Baudelaire)院长谢利诺(Andrea Schellino)说:“工厂和精品店并肩而立,游荡者知道这一奇观,把这个变化的世界变成了一个巨大的剧场。”

In fact, the flâneur was a sort of revolutionary of his own: in a society that was suddenly marked by an ideology of progress, the flâneur desired not to participate, but to observe.

事实上,游荡者本身就是革命者:在剧变中追求进步意识形态的社会里,游荡者渴望的不是参与,而是观察。

“The flâneur is the anti-bourgeois in the 19th Century,” Compagnon said. “The bourgeois knows where he’s going: to work; to church; to the bank. He doesn’t flâne. The flâneur is in conflict with bourgeoisie, with materialism, with capitalism.”

“游荡者在19世纪是反对资产阶级的,”孔帕尼翁说:“资产阶级知道自己要去哪里:去工作,去教堂,到银行,他们不会游荡;游荡者与资产阶级、物质主义、资本主义是相抵触的。”
 

游荡者漫无目的地闲逛,以哲学的精神来观察眼前的一切

The 19th-Century French prose-poet and essayist Charles Baudelaire is often credited with being the first to assign a literary quality to this practice of directionless wandering, elevating the flâneur from a mere loiterer to a philosopher-at-large, thanks to his essays set in Paris, including The Painter of Modern Life, first published in Le Figaro in 1863.

19世纪法国散文诗和随笔作家查尔斯·波德莱尔(Charles Baudelaire)常被认为是第一个在文学作品中刻画这种没有方向的游荡者, 将他们的内涵提升至哲学高度,以区别于混日子的人。他在巴黎的系列文章,包括于1863年首次发表在《费加罗报》(Le Figaro)的《现代生活的画家》(The Painter of Modern Life),都有这方面的贡献。

“Flânerie makes even he who does not have a particular talent into a poet and artist,” agreed Schellino. “It gives them a bit of the spirit of Paris.”

“游荡使没有特殊天赋的人也成为诗人和艺术家,”谢利诺表示赞同。“这给了他们一点巴黎气质。”

“For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite,” wrote Baudelaire in The Painter of Modern Life, of the distinct pleasure of disappearing into a crowd beloved by any city-dweller. “To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world – impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define.”

“完美的游荡者、热情的观众,这是建立在众人心中的巨大的快乐。在起伏的运动中,在难以捉摸和无限中,”波德莱尔在《现代生活的画家》中描述了这个城市任何一位居民都喜欢但却迅速消失的快乐。“不在家,却觉得自己处处像在家里;要看世界,要站在世界的中心,但又要对世界保持一种隐遁的态度。这是种不偏不倚的性格,言语所能的定义,都是笨拙的。”

For Compagnon, Baudelaire’s conception of the flâneur is not just inextricable from his life in the 19th Century – a time when “everyone walked,” he said, from Gérard de Nerval strolling through Paris with his pet lobster on a leash to Arthur Rimbaud supposedly walking the 200-odd km from Charleville-Mezieres to the capital – but also from the home of all three writers: Paris itself.

对孔帕尼翁而言,波德莱尔的游荡精神,不仅仅是与他生活的19世纪密不可分:那时“每个人都在行走,”他说,从热拉尔·德·内瓦尔(Gérard de Nerval)和他的宠物龙虾的巴黎漫步,到阿瑟·兰波从沙勒维尔-梅济耶尔(Charleville-Mezieres)步行200多公里到巴黎,波德莱尔的游荡精神还与这三个作家的家乡——巴黎紧密相连。

“Paris is a shell-shaped city,” Compagnon explained, referencing the arrondissements that swirl in the shape of an escargot (snail) from the 1st in the centre to the 20th in the north-east, creating the ideal path for an aimless wanderer, never retracing his steps, often unsure of where exactly he is or where he is going.

孔帕尼翁解释说:“巴黎是一个贝壳形城市,巴黎的区就像蜗牛壳的螺旋形状,1区在中心,20区在东北, 这样的分区为游荡者创造了理想的道路。一个漫无目的的流浪者,不会回溯他的旅途,经常不知道自己在哪里,以及要去哪里。

German philosopher and literary critic Walter Benjamin associated the flâneur specifically with Paris’ street arcades, which were built under Emperor Napoléon III in the 19th Century as a means of providing safe, weather-protected shopping areas for the new middle-class. Benjamin, who famously analysed Baudelaire’s conception of the flâneur in his Arcades Project, written between 1927 and 1940, called attention to “these elegant ancestors of our malls,” noted Schellino, “which made up, in his eyes, the living quarters of the flâneur.”

德国哲学家和文学评论家本雅明(Walter Benjamin)特别把“游荡的人”和巴黎有屋顶的商业街区联系在一起。这些盖有屋顶的街道拱廊是在19世纪拿破仑三世时期建造的,为新中产阶级提供安全、不受天气影响的购物区。本雅明对波德莱尔在1927年至1940年间的拱廊研究中关于游荡者的概念进行了著名的分析,他呼吁人们关注“购物中心优雅的早期雏形”,谢利诺指出,“在他看来,这些街区就是游荡者的生活区。”

At the time, these covered passageways that traverse the city, especially the arcades surrounding the Palais Royal gardens, were known as places where all walks of life converged: high-end boutiques and cafes coexisted with gambling salons and whorehouses: perfect for the withdrawn, philosophical observation that so characterised the flâneur. In fact, for Benjamin, the passages and arcades were the flâneur’s natural habitat. Today, however, these spaces are far more within the purview of Instagrammers drawn to Daniel Buren’s iconic black-and-white striped columns, a controversial art installation built in 1986, or to the antique book shops that line some of the remaining covered passages.

当时,这些购物区遍布整个城市,尤其是环绕巴黎皇宫(Palais Royal)花园的区域,汇聚各行各业:高档精品店、咖啡馆、赌场和妓院并存,非常适合那些性格孤僻、又有哲学眼光的游荡者。事实上,对本雅明而言,走廊和街区是游荡者的天然栖息地。然而,如今,这些空间更多地被instagram用户贴在网络上,以丹尼尔·布伦(Daniel Buren)的黑白条纹立柱(建于1986年,是一件颇具争议的艺术装置作品)为标志,或以古董书店为代表,这些书店位于一些保留下来的有顶走廊中。

“Can we really wander idly and destination-less in cities saturated with tourists, with the permanent temptation to declare our route with a smartphone, or isolate ourselves with headphones?” Schellino asked. “At the risk of seeming pessimistic,” he continued, “flânerie today is probably privilege of a few incurable nostalgics who insist on searching in modern Paris for the Paris of yesteryear.”

“我们真的能在游客众多的城市里漫无目的地闲逛吗?我们总是忍不住要用智能手机宣布我们的路线,或者用耳机把自己与环境隔离?” 谢利诺问道。“对此我感到很悲观,”他继续说:“今天的游荡可能是少数无可救药的怀旧者的特权,他们坚持在现代巴黎寻找昔日的巴黎。”

But in today’s world, while many people are far removed from walking as a principal method of locomotion, Paris nevertheless remains the ideal city for the sort of withdrawn, philosophical observation that characterises the flâneur. The French, after all, are conditioned to take the time to observe their surroundings in a literary, philosophical way.

但在当今世界,尽管许多人已不再把步行作为一种主要的出行方式,但巴黎仍然是属于孤僻、哲学式观察者的理想城市。毕竟,法国人习惯于花时间以文学和哲学的方式观察和思考周围的环境。

In keeping with a national love affair with intellectualism as detailed in The Week, French students still take philosophy classes through high school, and a philosophy degree is a frequent stepping stone to a career as a political speechwriter or government minister. In France, in contrast with many Anglophone cultures, this philosophy largely remains ensconced in an ideal of happiness that isn’t linked to doing, but rather to being: in fact, the French have no word for forward-thinking, anticipatory excitement; and they’ll happily remain at lunch for two hours, even in the middle of the week.

正如《The Week》杂志所述,法国学生仍然在高中阶段学习哲学课程,而哲学学位通常是成为政治演讲撰稿人或政府部长的必备条件。法国与许多以英语为母语的文化不同,这种哲学在很大程度上仍然植根于一种幸福的理想,这种理想与做什么无关,而是与当下的状态有关:事实上,法国人没有一个词来形容前瞻性思维、预期的兴奋,但他们会开心地花两个小时在午餐上,即使在工作日也是如此。

This rootedness in the present is an essential characteristic of the flâneur – and the indissociability of the flâneur from Paris is no coincidence, even today. Paris’ sidewalk cafes almost exclusively feature chairs that face outwards, towards the street, towards the moving, living city. Its tiny streets still crawl across the city in a serpentine, spiral fashion, spitting the walker out, without warning, onto a massive boulevard or artful bridge offering views of monuments from Notre-Dame to the Eiffel Tower, the Pantheon to the Opéra.

这种植根于当下的状态是游荡者的一个基本特征,即使在今天,游荡者与巴黎不可分离的关系也绝非巧合。巴黎的路边咖啡馆几乎都是椅子朝向外面,朝向街道,朝向移动的、有生命的城市。小街道也仍然在城市中蜿蜒、盘旋,毫无预示地把步行者送到巨大的林荫大道或有艺术美感的桥梁上,然后一眼望去,就能看到那些标志性的建筑,从圣母院(Notre-Dame)到埃菲尔铁塔(Eiffel Tower),从先贤祠(Pantheon)到歌剧院(Opéra)。

A few of the city’s 19th-Century covered arcades remain, dotted with bookstores, cafes and curiosity shops. Any corner could display echoes of nostalgia – an accordionist playing Edith Piaf; an artist sketching a vista – but also reveal a more modern metropolis that is no less enticing to the practiced observer. Older women walk tiny grocery carts and tinier dogs to their local morning markets for fresh, seasonal tomatoes; office workers dressed in impeccably tailored suits puff on e-cigarettes, emitting clouds of vapour that curl around 19th-Century lampposts; teenagers pop ollies on their skateboards in front of the Marianne statue, a symbol of equality and freedom standing tall and proud on Place de la République.

建成于19世纪的几个有屋顶的街区仍然保留着这座城市旧时的风貌。书店、咖啡馆和古董店星罗棋布。任何一个角落都有怀旧的气氛——一位手风琴手演奏着琵雅芙(Edith Piaf)的歌曲;一位艺术家描绘了一幅远景,但也揭示了一个更现代的大都市,这同样吸引着有经验的观察者。上了年纪的妇女推着购物车,牵着小狗去当地的早市买新鲜的、应季的西红柿;办公室工作人员穿着剪裁得体的西装,吸着电子烟,喷出的蒸汽缭绕在19世纪的灯柱上;青少年们在共和国广场上玩滑板,旁边巍然屹立着象征平等和自由的玛丽安娜雕像。

Even today, Paris is a city that caters to people-watchers, to observers of the urban. It remains, more than 150 years later, the world capital of the flâneur.

即使在今天,巴黎仍然是城市观察者的绝佳素材。150多年后,它仍然是世界游荡者们的首都。
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