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|Other Titles:||The Politics of Individuality: a Comparative Study of Eileen Chang$S and Mary Shelley$S Melancholy Writings|
|Abstract:||西方世界對憂鬱之討論者眾，但無論是佛洛伊德（Sigmund Freud）之〈哀悼與憂鬱〉（”Mourning and Melancholia”），抑或近年來深具影響之羅芙（Heather Love），在其理論系統中，其實皆預設了一套個人主義式的邏輯：感情乃是確立主體個體性最重要之指標，而所謂主體，究其定義必為具有明確意識與情感感受能力之獨立個體。因為此一個體性乃主體形構最關鍵之核心質素，憂鬱者的避世獨立，往往在當代西方理論界，被有意無意地解讀為時間上的退化或逆反。許多文學作者（如詹姆斯[Henry James]）甚至理論家（如討論詹姆斯之莎菊克[Eve Sedgwick]）作品中對個人心理之探討，之所以每每令讀者產生「封閉」感，原因即在於此一逆反之動作，本身已預設主體vs 社會之二元對立，而主體於個人生命與心理發展之時間順序上則早於社會出現（佛洛伊德之超我說雖挑戰此說法，卻仍將自我心理視為具有明確藩籬界線之封閉性單位），故回歸心理面總意味將自我放「回」區隔主體與客體的界線之內。但個人主義不僅為倫理意義上區分自我與他者、主體與客體間的定義原則，同時也是一種西方潛在的思維型態。所謂「我思故我在」之主體架構，意味的是主體之成其為主體，關鍵在其否能在意識層次上明確區隔出思考或感受此一動作兩端之主受體，唯透過此一明確角色二分，主體方可將自身客體化，將本人的意識也化為思考省視之對象。這種類似鏡像之迴身模式，遂可視為西方個人主體證成自身的正統。但此套個人主義式之感知邏輯，卻不適用於華人社會，蓋在華人以社群為中心之體系中，個人主義式之主體其實並不存在，因此，也就沒有定義個體之個人式情感可言。感情，多半不被明確感知與抒陳，而以渾渾噩噩之狀態或朦朧之印象出現。人能夠成為個體，往往需要經過激烈之抗爭或強烈之創傷經驗，使人自懵懂狀態覺醒、甚至驚醒，最後始能冷靜觀照人情乃至自身感知狀態；因個體之出現晚於社會，故上述出現於西方脈絡之感情返祖想像，在本地脈絡並不存在。相反地，因個人的形成往往必須依賴人自覺性切斷社群主義加諸於身之伊底帕斯式感情聯繫，故本質上必定具有西方個人未有之抗爭性與抗議性。此兩年期計畫擬分別針對張愛玲與瑪麗‧雪萊（Mary Shelley）進行中西兩種感情主體之比較研究。在第一年計畫中，本人透過對張愛玲〈紅玫瑰與白玫瑰〉的解讀，指出所謂白玫瑰的「白」，不僅僅意味的是性別意義上的純潔，同時亦指涉上述知性與感情狀態之渾渾噩噩。因此，張愛玲的這個短篇，如同她其它重要著作，皆可被視為國族寓言（national allegory），批判中國人的反個體社群主義，如何將知識與情感盲此等認識障礙，轉化為道德意義上的純潔與好。在第二年計畫中，我將談論個人主義在西方脈絡之發展與社群意識之矛盾糾結。作為西方現代個人主義濫觴—浪漫主義—既中心卻又邊緣之人物，瑪麗‧雪萊於《科學怪人》(Frankenstein)對浪漫主義主要作者奉為圭臬之個人主義，提出了來自邊緣觀點的針砭與批判。然而，在此同時，雪萊其實仍無法（亦不想）與她所批判之個人主義割袍斷義，在書寫形式上，她延續的仍是浪漫主義的個人主義式自白，在哲學意念上，她和十八世紀亞當斯密（Adam Smith）以降之道德感情哲學則有著曖昧的反叛暨傳承關係。雪萊與個人主義間的幽微依存關係，遂使《科學怪人》陷入本體論上之兩難情境：小說雖企圖透過個人自白之眾聲喧嘩創造「民主多元」式之語境，並不斷企圖進入社會關係，卻始終陷溺在個人各說各話之偏執恐懼。雪萊之書寫，仍未跳脫前述西方將情感個人化之邏輯，因此雖然對個人主義提出最強烈之質疑，卻亦同時受其制約，其作品之「封閉感」，可謂充分體現西方世界對情感、憂鬱之去政治化、去社會化之聯想。|
There has been a considerable amount of critical attention in the West devoted to the affect call melancholia. Whether in Sigmund Freud’s “Mourning and Melancholia,” or in literary critic Heather Love’s recent call to the negativity of melancholic withdrawal, discourses on melancholia, in effect, have always presupposed a logic of individualism: affect is the very defining essence of subjectivity, and the so-called subject is first and foremost an individual. Affect is, in short, something privatized and individuated, something circumscribed by the physical and psychological bounds of a sentient being. It comes as no surprise that in contemporary theory, the melancholic’s reclusive claim to individuality would be frequently construed as regressive or atavistic. Insofar as the subject is, by default, taken as that which comes before the social, the increasing lingering gazes upon psychology or the interiority of the self as we’ve seen in many writers (such as Henry James) or critics (such as Eve Sedgwick) would more often than not be viewed suspiciously as a flight or retrogressive return to a perfectly bounded enclosure where the social does not exist. The unavoidable impression that one has about Western psychology’s antagonism to politics testifies precisely to the binary opposition of subject versus object, or the individual versus the socio-cultural. Individualism, however, not only serves as the governing principle that distinguishes between self and other; it is, most of all, what lies at the core of one’s consciousness. The epistemological model of “I think, therefore I am” rests on the subject’s ability to objectify its own thinking/feeling process in exactly the same way as it objectifies the world. Only through this kind of reflexive or specular objectification will the subject ensure its absolute authority and identity as a thinking/feeling being. The above individuated model of self-reflexivity, however, proves non-existent in the Chinese community. Considering that persons do not live in this communitarian culture as individuals, the individuated subject, which has been so taken for granted in Western philosophy, does not really have an equivalent in the Chinese context, where thoughts and feelings exist in the mode of inchoate sense-impressions, rather than something that can be readily accessed through self-reflexive consciousness and clearly expressed as a particular form of affect that reveals one’s distinct individuality and personhood. In our culture, one does not automatically become an individual, but is rather shocked into this particular mode of being after fierce struggles or certain traumatic events. Given its belated and accidental arrival, individuality is by default a progressive move away from the Oedipal formlessness of thinking and feeling encouraged in our culture, rather than an atavistic return to a fantasmatic space of asociality as we often see in Western conceptions of affect. In this two-year project, I will then use Eileen Chang and Mary Shelley as my textual exemplars to demonstrate the above difference between East and West. In the first year, I will undertake a reading of Chang’s short story “Red Rose and White Rose.” It is my contention that the “whiteness”of the “White Rose”does not only stand for sexual innocence; it should be read, rather, in the context of the epistemic and affective formlessness delineated above. I therefore propose an interpretation of the story as a national allegory that criticizes the Chinese mode of communitarianism by uncovering how it transforms affective uncertainty and intellectual drabness into an absolutist moral norm about what it means to be “good.” In the second year, I will take up individualism’s vexed relation with sociality in the British context. Though married to Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of the most important Romantic poets, Mary Shelley nevertheless frequently reveals doubts and uncertainty about the individualist values wholeheartedly espoused by her husband. One can see a full-blown critique in Frankenstein of the devastating consequences produced by an unconditional valorization of the individual will. In the meanwhile, however, Shelley cannot do without the individualism that she takes to task in this novel. Whereas the form of the novel still relies upon a romantic convention that would privilege the first-person account as a propeller of narrative, philosophically her stress throughout the novel upon the importance of sympathy also indicates her indebtedness to eighteenth-century moral philosophy, which has never called into question the supreme value of the individuated subject as the basic unit of moral feelings. As it turns out, though the novel seeks strenuously to create a “democratic” framework of discourses in which every major character gets to present his/her own view, the novel, nevertheless, has never managed to enter an ideal state of social communicativeness, for it ends up in a permanent fixation on paranoid solipsism in which characters simply talk past each other. Shelley’s critique of individualism thus does not transcend the temporalized logic of individualism in its unwitting reterritorialization of affect within the de-socialized sphere of the personal and the psychological.
|Appears in Collections:||[英國語文學系] 國科會研究計畫|
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