Wang Anyi’s novel narrative is always buried in a deep and deep, dense environment depiction, character description, mentality description, and even a delicate and tireless description of sound, smell, touch, imagination, and memories. Reading her novels, such as deep-rooted, hot-smelling, noisy tropical rain forests, will accidentally fall into a dilemma, difficult to pull out, do not distinguish the direction, lose the goal. Always go back and confirm, so that I am not lost in her narrative maze. Therefore, reading her novels as an expedition, the reader must always be alert, reminding himself that he must not let go of the grass snake gray line that the author is in the dark but is very important, and carefully follow this clue. Thorns, traps, push the obstacles on the road, follow the author’s eyes, on her designed route, make a long journey, tired, sly, but will eventually walk out of the rainforest adventure. The novella “Westward, Westward, and Southward” is in the hope of reading.
First, a geographical map, or a trace on the mind map
Wang Anyi is good at writing novels. She always seems to have a strong interest in the origin, origin and past of a person, and she likes to clearly understand the beginning and the way. In the process of confession, she naturally brings out this character. Personality characteristics and behaviors in a specific life context. As early as many years ago, she wrote an article that traced the origins of her family. She personally went to the field to research, along a legendary route, looking for a verbal testimony from a client, looking for a large amount of information, only to have a firm understanding of the family’s past. And the perception of realism. Later, she wrote the process of this research, so that the trace of this search was left in the archives of literature rather than the bookshelf of history. This kind of obedience is somewhat similar to archaeological literary writing. For some writers, it is simply unreasonable. It takes so much effort to write a novel. If you want to fiction, you won’t have it. Wang Anyi does not like this. She just wants to go step by step, to see, to ask, to check, so that everything that is obtained is real, conclusive, visible, tangible, and smellable. She left these visual, tactile, and olfactory imprints in the depths of memory, brewing and ready to use.
Looking back at this middle article, the story structure is still a pursuit of the hero’s way of going, but this search has crossed the continents of the continent, all the way west, westward, southward, a little around the world. . The relationship between the novel’s narrator Chen Yujie and another main character, Xu Meizhen, is clearly and refreshing in the first sentence of the opening sentence. “In fact, Chen Yujie and Xu Meizhen had an intersection as early as ten years ago. It was in the 1990s. In early Berlin, on the street of Kudang, this seemingly minimalist sentence is actually the foreshadowing of the whole story. The two men met in ten years ago, in Germany, and will meet again in ten years, then where will it be? ? During this period, how many human legends have happened to them? What happened to them after they met? The answer can only be found by the readers. A group of lines has been thrown, and the thread is here. The author seems to be saying that the journey of the pursuit has been opened, and everyone should not lose it.
After the first encounter, the novel’s pursuit came to an end. During the long narrative and the turnaround, when the reader seems to have to forget this clue and immerse himself in the author’s infinite life flow narrative, he crossed the whole two. In chapters, in Chapter 4, the two finally met again. The opportunity to meet was the same as the first time, or inadvertently strolling, inadvertently entering a Chinese restaurant, the two met, but this time the location is in New York, another bustling city in the Western Hemisphere, and the two have the first time The long talk, clarified the main life experience of the “boss wife” Xu Meizhen from the age of sixteen to forty-six. Here, I would like to mention the title of “the boss wife”. Xu Meizhen has always been a “boss wife” in the novel narrative. In Germany, she was selected by her German-Chinese counterpart in her thirties, and escaped from the vain. Life, become the owner of a Chinese restaurant in Berlin. After the death of this unnamed husband, she left with interest and left all of Berlin’s property to her husband’s legitimate wife. After that, she and her true fellow Fujian fellows moved to the United States, stayed in New York, still open a Chinese restaurant, still the status of “the boss.” When the husband of Fujian fellow died, she resold the restaurant and the identity of the “Lady’s wife” was finally lost. The proprietress is a kind of appellation, but also a manifestation of dependency. It shows the attachment of women to men. Women are not in the form of independent individuals. She is recognized by the society as a symbol of men. Identity tag. Eventually, at the end of the novel, there were no men around the two women, and there was no reference coordinate for identification. Chen Yujie bought a restaurant and became the boss, and Xu Meizhen was hired to become the manager of the restaurant. Here, only the relationship between the owner of the property and the employee, the relationship of friends, the gender relationship, social relations, and kinship of men and women, husband and wife, mother and daughter disappeared completely. The two women developed in such a way that they were recognized by society and peace of mind. An independent and dignified life of the same sex. Wang Anyi used this arrangement to show her thoughts. Wang Anyi has her own unique ideas about gender relations, parent-child relationship, intergenerational relationship, and Eastern and Western cultural differences. She set these ideas step by step. In this novel, the reader is also given a copy of the answer to her. Whether the answer is satisfactory to the reader and she is satisfied with herself, then there is only time to judge.
Let me first talk about Chen Yujie. Her path of searching is actually clear in the encounter with Xu Meizhen. Her life is also unclear. She only knows her career, her family, her husband, her daughter. Out of the endless effort to get out. But at the beginning, her departure and search was just a forced and helpless choice. In order for a family to lead a better life, she quit her job as a stable company, joined a private company, and went to Europe to develop her business. In order to follow her daughter in the United States and lay a good foundation for her daughter to stay in the United States, she gave up. Europe’s established business market turned to the United States; when the cause of the United States was stagnant, she was deliberately arranged by her husband and daughter to decide to buy a house in New York; when she learned that her husband and Xiaosan had set up a new home, the daughter did not know. Reporting, and willing to let her stay in New York in the future, no longer participate in their new life, Chen Yujie lost her goal and direction, she has been pursued for career, family, marriage, and children. As soon as she broke, she had nowhere to go.
Going out of the way without a road, this is the style of Wang Anyi. Chen Yujie met Xu Meizhen at the most difficult time, and found the courage and strength to regain life in Xu Meizhen. According to the author’s confession, Xu Meizhen is a prosperous woman, such as a volcanic eruption, magma rushing. However, Chen Yujie is obviously lack of heat. She is too deeply poisoned by civilization, and she maintains the existing order. She is too self-sustaining. The result of self-sustaining is self-injury. When the order she maintains is broken, she Overwhelmed and shrinking day by day. After Chen Yujie first met Xu Meizhen, there were many encounters or deliberate searches. This inevitable development came from the accident. The reason behind Xu Mei’s courage and persistent pursuit of Chen Yujie led her. . Xu Meizhen taught Chen Yujie a magic weapon for self-rescue, which is “crash.” “Crash” is to break all order, remove all taboos, and break free of the real self from the imprisoned body, break out, and then rebuild a new order and place your soul. From the life of Xu Meizhen, Chen Yujie saw the possibility of another life she longed for and the possibility of realizing a true self.
Xu Meizhen, who has always been a “boss wife”, has the shadow of the protagonist in Wang Anyi’s many works. He is cheerful, capable, courageous, and dare to act. The most important thing is to know how to manage life and appreciate himself. A pair of big white hands can The days are fascinating. Wang Anyi, her life before the age of sixteen, did not confess. Her life in the novel began at the age of sixteen. At the age of sixteen, she has the ability to judge and superficially judge the world. Driven by unknown reasons, she was like a phoenix, from the hometown of Fujian, Qingtian all the way to the west, to Italy, to Germany, but Berlin is still not her last stop, she went west again, to the United States. After a long time in New York disappeared, she continued to go westward and southward. This time, she was no longer a fellow, a lover, but Chen Yujie, who was in the water, and another woman who was looking for herself.
2. Find the balance of totals in the paradox between two pairs.
There are many philosophical speculations in Wang Anyi’s works. She is a writer who is good at discovering problems from the details of life, inductive reasoning, and then thinking about life. As her age and experience change, her thinking about philosophical issues is changing. She sees life as a balance of totals, similar to the law of conservation of energy in physics. In the change of yin and yang, in the unity of opposites, life always walks in the process of losing balance and maintaining balance.
By combing this novel, we can find that as an experiment, Wang Anyi listed several groups of experimental objects in her laboratory. They are opposite each other and depend on each other. Wang Anyi promotes meticulously through the setting of characters, plots and relationships. Out of her experimental process, and give her experimental results step by step. These relationships can be succinctly summarized as: men and women, parents and children, middle-aged and younger generations, the East and the West, belief in piety and faith. These relationships do not appear independently and are discussed in a single way. They appear in a scene at the same time, or appear on the same person, or appear in different characters in different time and space. They are intertwined and together constitute the work of Wang Anyi. Experimental characteristics.
Thinking about the relationship between men and women, Wang Anyi has already begun when she entered the literary circle. Her “Love of the Wild Mountain”, “The Love of the Small Town”, “The Love of the Splendid Valley”, and later the famous “The Song of Everlasting Sorrow”, etc. The novels such as the Age of Enlightenment can also see the delicate description and thinking of this relationship. The women in Wang Anyi’s writings are not the kind of obedience, skillfulness and weakness. They have their own ideas and have the motivation and courage to dare to realize their own ideas. On the contrary, the male image seems to be weaker and softer than these women. There are no corners. In terms of the relationship between men and women, such a yin and yang parity, and even some yin and yang dynamism, Wang Anyi’s creation over the years has been classified by many critics into feminism, although Wang Anyi does not agree with this return. class.
Judging from this novel, Wang Anyi’s cognition and thinking about this relationship has made new developments. When men and women are middle-aged, the relationship between them is no longer sex and love, but more similar to the long-term relationship, the closeness and self-confidence of each other. However, once this kind of closeness and confidant disappeared due to external forces, middle-aged men and middle-aged women, the last thread that is held together by mutual knowledge, will also collapse. As written in the novel, Chen Yujie’s relationship with her husband, when sex is missing, when the last point of direct communication interest disappears, the husband chooses to stay away from the cold treatment of exiling his wife in New York, ending between them. The relationship between men and women. When the relationship between men and women is no longer eliminated, the energy generated by the break of the relationship will be released and released. How to release it and where to release it? When the yin-yang relationship chain is missing, the balance is broken. How to find the balance to keep the total amount unchanged? Wang Anyi has been thinking. In the novel, Chen Yujie was abandoned in the icy apartment building in New York. She was like a beast, she was initially closed, and then went out to find a vent, a breakthrough, and she would break the relationship. The energy is released and prevents yourself from being destroyed by this energy. Xu Meijun’s choice of vent is to instruct the fortune teller’s instructions to go west, west, and south, and keep looking for ways to re-establish the balance of totals and avoid the destruction caused by imbalances. At the end of the novel, two women, accompanied by each other, do not have the relationship between male and female. In the southwestern land, like two trees standing next to each other, not far from each other, not humble, accommodating, warming each other, Together, they opened a new life journey.
Parents and children seem to be more like two worlds. As the age grows, the human heart will change. The former relatives are no longer. After the children grow up slowly, the psychological distance from the parents is gradually lengthened. This alienation seems to be caused by time, but it is closely related to the psychological needs of people at different stages. In the article, “their mothers and daughters have always been more or less polite. This is nothing bad, but there is nothing good.” In one sentence, the parents and their children are gradually drifting away from each other. The pain, “She thinks that children are the same as people who are weak.” The relationship between parents and children is based on a physiological connection, which is a passive choice relationship that has no choice. In order to maintain the normal operation of this physiological relationship, human beings have created an ethical relationship, which is to distinguish people from animals that also multiply. Between parents and children, between the previous generation and the next generation, starting from the self-sustaining instinct of the organism, parents often give more and less demand; while children often ask for more and give less. A generation of parents and a generation of children can not form a complete cycle of closed loops. This cycle needs to be passed down from generation to generation. As the saying goes, the previous generation’s accounts are for the next generation, parents pay for their children, and children become parents after they become their parents. The children’s efforts, this is the fundamental driving force for the endless cycle of human relations. Wang Anyi used the language of the novel to trace the section of the circular chain to us. There are love, tears, pain, and reluctance, and there is a long-term sorrow.
The relationship between the middle-aged generation and the younger generation is carried out in a kind of handover and competition for social control. In the novel, the daughter disdainfully called the middle-aged women who did not keep order and compete for things as “old aunts,” which made Chen Yujie very angry. The daughter is very puzzled by her excessive behavior, but she does not care, and does not want to explore the reasons, just laughed. But in Chen Yujie, this incident cannot be distracted by the wind. She was shocked when she heard her daughter call her middle-aged woman of her age. She was already in middle age. Her usual behavior and words were in her daughter’s eyes. In the eyes of her daughter’s peers, is this also the case? “Old aunt”? What is the status of their generation in the eyes of their generation after their daughter? She began to worry about similar problems. It is indeed frustrating to have a sense of loss in the world in the 1950s when the world gradually lost control. In the novel, he wrote: “In Chen Yujie’s personal, the last ten years of the twentieth century is like overnight, and it is like several generations. It is too late to go forward…. This decade in their fifties Born people can be said to be primitive and the last opportunity for development. Just as they rise, the forerunners of the new industry in the 1960s, when the time goes by two thousand years, will be another generation of romantic guidance.” Seize the career space of the predecessors. Vivian, who is similar to her daughter’s age, was supposed to be her next generation, but she came out to seize her living space and become the hostess of her husband’s new home. This generation of Chen Yujie is like facing the challenges of the entire era, and the results of the battle are self-evident. Chen Yujie’s anger at her daughter’s anger is a long-standing dissatisfaction with her ruthless struggle for her daughter’s next generation. But this is a slap, but this is a provocation, but no one has taken it. The daughter’s smile is a performance that does not want to continue to communicate on this matter. It is an unreasonable performance. It is natural that there is no need to argue, so this ignores it. Deepened the sense of crisis and helplessness of a middle-aged generation. In the face of nothing, you can only do self-blame and sigh.
The relationship between the East and the West, the position is different, the perspective is different, and the conclusions will be very different. Wang Anyi’s novels have a strong oriental charm, but her eyes are not limited to the East. Since the 1990s, Wang Anyi has often traveled overseas, visited schools, and traveled to many countries. She loves to observe the characteristics of love and thinking, so that she has an open world vision and information reserves. This feature is particularly prominent in this “Westward, Westward, and Southward”. The author borrows Xu Meizhen’s mouth to say that the Germans are “a strange human being”. In the United States, “the foreigners’ brains are faulty. They believe in the instruments, the registration of the city hall, or the vows in the church, and the rings are exchanged. If you want me to, I don’t believe in the eyes. This is a sick human.” Xu Meizhen’s perspective is purely oriental. She understands Westerners and the Western world with the eyes and thinking of the Chinese and the Orientals. The Chinese people’s philosophy of life is characterized by steaming and prosperous people. “The wire is leaning in the room, drying towels, clothes, mosquito nets hanging on the bed, standing on the table with a thermos, the rice cooker spit and boiled, and the pig is stewed inside. Hoofs and chickens; the scallops on the inside of the window sill are sown with green onions, and the garlic picks up the green seedlings, one of which is wrapped with red silk lines of prayer. The brains of the life come out, the Chinese-style days, chaos, and heat.” In Chinese-style philosophical thinking, there is a relationship between people and people. I am connected to you, and you are connected to him. As a result, interpersonal relationships have become entangled, like a group. Line, I have you, you have him, he has me, it is difficult to solve, according to the words in the novel is “there are people everywhere.” This has a completely different external manifestation from the independent, individual, and unattached interpersonal relationships led by Western philosophy. The relationship between Westerners and people is short-term, just from me to you, and in me. In your relationship, I am me, you are you, do not interfere with each other, do not depend on each other. Wang Anyi has her own understanding of the cultural differences between the East and the West. Here she uses the novel language to express what she knows about the real Chinese perception of the West. The expression is literary and the way of thinking is philosophical.
There are also huge differences between East and West regarding the perceptions and attitudes of food. The Chinese have always been unaware of the fineness of food, the wide range of food, the odd food, and the food. Only you dare not do it. No Chinese can’t eat it. Eating a few thousand civilizations in China has occupied a very important position. It seems that anything can be attributed to the problem of “eat” in the end. Moreover, Chinese people are accustomed to judging this person with the attitude of one person treating food. For example, when they go out, the fellows recognize each other by eating the same kind of hometown and can resonate emotionally; even if they are not fellow villagers, they are the same. The preference for eating food is enough to make the strangers enthusiasm for each other; those who have eaten at a table become a prerequisite for friendship, love, and so on in the future; if you ask for help, you will be asked to eat. A table of big meals, and the identity and status of the person being asked, the weight of the person in the heart of the guests, the priority of the things he asks for, etc., can be revealed from the level, scale and price of the food. In China, eating has become a kind of scholarship with a lot of connotations and deep connotations. He has mastered the knowledge of eating, or he can walk the world. This kind of pursuit of food repellent and the ultimate development of the social function of food extension can be called a religion in China. In the novel, every encounter between Chen Yujie and Xu Meizhen, every communication, is caused by food (Chen Yujie happened to enter Xu Meizhen’s restaurant twice for dinner), and started the stage with the food display venue-restaurant. The two discuss and trace the deep proposition of where their life path will extend. For the simple food of Westerners, the Chinese cannot understand it anyway. “The Americans are sick.” “They have no good fortune. From small to large, they eat fried chicken, grilled steak, fried salmon, no matter what. The meat must be made into pieces, grasped by hand, and then added seasoning, the so-called ‘sauce, this ‘sauce is just a few flavors, turned over and over.” The novel also wrote at the end that Chen Yujie and Xu Meizhen tried to push the fine and light dishes in the newly opened restaurants. However, the locals did not buy them at all, so they had to pick up their contempt for the thick sand. The big food that the Secretary came to eat. This difference in diet and barriers will still exist as an unsolved puzzle. The barrier of food is actually a cultural barrier.
In the era of the global village, as long as you want to travel and even live around the world is not a problem, but there is a hidden but can not be ignored, that is, the differences and exclusion between different civilizations, this difference and exclusion deep into the bone marrow, difficult to get rid of And revealed in the intention or inadvertently. Chen Yujie has been working hard abroad for many years. She is also conscious of this, but because she is not in that system, she always has a feeling of incomprehensibility. “It can still be far away, separated by a film.” Xu Meizhen is different. When she saw it, she said it straight out, not avoiding it. She showed her oriental identity in a big way. Although she is living among a group of foreigners, she is still a Chinese habit. She opens a Chinese restaurant, trusts and counts her life, and talks about her strengths and lives in the world of her fellow country. Whether in Europe or the Americas, she lives in a self-contained “independent society” she trusts. In this regard, Xu Meizhen not only proudly told Chen Yujie, “There are people everywhere…. Not only Florence, Rome, Paris, Lyon, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin… Yes, there are people everywhere. Oh! She said. Tell you a secret again, the woman waved to her, gestured to close, so that the head met. You know, the world’s economic lifeline is in whose hands? She replied: the United States. No! The woman shook his head and veto, Jewish. She left and looked at the opposite person. The man blinked and said: Wenzhou is a Chinese Jew.” Wang Anyi also wrote in another section of the text: “Wenzhou people take the township as a contract and become a society. The outsiders can’t be thoroughly understood.” This is exactly the case. “Xiangyi has become an unimpeded statute in the world. This kind of socialism is not restricted by geography, time and language. It is hidden in the side of the normal operating world order, and in parallel with it is not perceived by the majority. The people of the same town of the law are scattered throughout the world, and they also support the intangible relationship network.
Dr. Pan, a Hong Kong native who opened a bookstore in Hamburg, appeared in the novel as an important figure in Wang Anyi’s relationship between faith and life. This character, as stated in the article, is the son of a wealthy businessman in Hong Kong. He only wants to go his own way because he disobeys his father’s wishes. He is deprived of his family inheritance qualification and becomes a wanderer who is always looking for life. Dr. Pan may have secretly loved the “boss wife” Xu Meizhen, and there is no explicit statement in the novel. He played a lot of times, seemingly interspersed in the gap between two female stories, but here he is still important. He emerged as a purely religious entity. First of all, he is helpless. Even if the family has prepared a fund for him, as long as he gets married, he can use the fund. After the money is exhausted and the bookstore is closed, he chooses to go to the church to volunteer and eat and drink. He does not choose to marry. . Secondly, he is not mad, he should like Xu Meizhen, from Hamburg to New York, but he does not want to take it for himself, even for the other party’s tacit and accusation. He only looked at her silently with a simple heart, and it was enough to keep the distance not far away. Xu Meizhen does not believe in religion. She would rather believe in the fortune telling and divination of the people. She believes in the remedies of the gods and the gods. She does not believe in religion. When the three people eat the last meal in the “Niu Ling” restaurant, she has a clear explanation: Who is God? We don’t know, he (her husband) should be by my side, there – her fingers are going to the back kitchen – cooking there.” “At first some letter, go to church to listen to the scriptures, listen To what is the dust, the soil is back to earth, can’t sit still, and clearly distinguish a big living person, how can it become dust?” “Life? By what rules, life and death, who gives it power?” This is the strong character Xu Meizhen does not believe in the reasons for Christianity. She believes in practical use, immediate things, or a hint, or a promise, that is an Eastern-style belief, simple and practical, secular and mysterious. Chen Yujie, who is well-educated and has a wealth of knowledge, is more inclined to combine science and religion. “Chen Yujie is serious: God has the power to decide, but it must be implemented with one hand, science is the hands!” You and I are too small, and one’s time is too short. It takes a lot of generations to shine a little light, the light of science!” These dialogues on religious beliefs, as the core sentence, enhance the philosophical thinking of the whole work. degree. This is also a major feature of Wang Anyi’s novels.
Third, the complex sense of language to write the world of people’s livelihood
Wang Anyi can write the life of the city, and can even write the history of the people who have never experienced the history of fireworks. Her “Chen Songs” is the most praised by the critics. In “Westward, Westward, and Southward”, Wang Anyi’s brushwork does not change, and the fireworks are lingering and vigorous. The works always bring out the unique atmosphere of the writer, and the formation of this atmosphere does not depend on the story structure, does not depend on the theme setting, does not rely on the character to choose, depends on the feeling of language, this sense of language is like the identity of the author. Code, each writer has such a unique set, others can imitate, but the original does not come.
In this novel, the plot structure that drives the narrative forward is not compact. In these huge narrative gaps, Wang Anyi fills up with the rich life image and philosophical thinking she has accumulated, and weaves these images and philosophies together. It is precisely the complexity and urgency of the language. Thoughts are invisible, but in the writer’s pen, they will all be completed. See how Wang Anyi writes about loneliness: “This hotel reminds her of the Chinese building in Hamburg. When I live there, I am alone, but I have a public service. I am always in the society. I have some deliberate avoidance of dealing with big state enterprises. The pride of the unit, and the intention to avoid trouble, is a kind of self-deprecating loneliness, but now, it is really lonely, as if it is in a vacuum zone; how to write: “In the past ten years, China’s human and material resources are like mercury and diarrhea, filling every One inch of space. Large to mergers and acquisitions companies, as small as Zhejiang Yiwu small commodity market, hairpins, industrial medium-sized machinery, agriculture and fruit and vegetable planting, almost no missing”, how to write scenery: “The sun suddenly breaks through the clouds, shines brightly The fog sank, Wolabot Bay, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, all of a sudden float, waterfowl flying. Only in a blink of an eye, the clouds closed, the light was closed, and the scenery retreated, as if the mirage.
These languages, such as cotton wool, are thick, sturdy, and impenetrable. It seems that any word that is taken off is unreasonable and incomplete. This is the charm of language flow. When the language flows according to the author’s thoughts and thoughts, when you read forward under the inertia of this flow, everything in the work will be internalized into your thought flow, producing a literary theory. The word often mentioned in the term – resonance. When readers read a work, they sometimes feel that they can’t read it, and sometimes they feel that they can’t come out of the work. This is related to this language flow. If you can’t read it, your mind is not in sync with it; you can’t come out because you really feel too deep.
Under the circumstance of this language flow, under the layout of this situation, a novel is like the water flowing east, and naturally it flows out of the weather and goes to the place where it goes. For “Westward, Westward, and Southward”, Wang Anyi has a clear coordinate map in her mind. She knows where her novel characters live, where to go, and where to stop. When you can draw a clear and complete map of your fictional world, then perhaps you will believe in the existence of geographic coordinates in these novels, and the characters in the novel actually live on this map. When the truth occupies the heart, all the emotions and feelings in the novel are real and within reach. Does the novel need to be true? The novel needs the existence of reality, not limited to the narrow truth of the thing itself.
This is a journey that is constantly being pursued. For the pursuit of self-emotion, life, and faith, the light of science still has time to disappear, but as long as it goes west, west, south, and the horizon, the sun’s light Never fall down; as long as you are sincere and persistent, the light of faith will never sink. At the end of this philosophical conception, in the end, the novel was plated with a layer of divine glory.