《江城》读后感

今年五月读完Peter Hessler(中文名:何伟)的《寻路中国》中文版之后,我忽然对这位纽约客驻北京记者的作品产生了浓厚的兴趣。于是我在Amazon下了三个订单,将他的中国三部曲一一买下,存在Kindle里。这三本书按照出版时间先后分别是:《江城(River Town)》,《甲骨文(Oracle Bones)》和《寻路中国(Country Driving)》

冲动购物的后果就是,我没有足够的时间读完他们。我的Kindle里还有一大堆不知道什么时候买的书等待我阅读,这一下子多出三本来,叫洒家如何是好?但好书值得一读,我一直觉得看事情要从多个角度。如果要更深入的理解这个国家,只依靠自己的感受是不行的。一定要从别人的眼里看自己,才可以得到较为全面的看法。

River Town, the Book
Peter Hessler - River Town

所以在读完《谷歌内幕(In the Plex)》之后,我打开了这本书。跟前一本略显生硬的文风相比,我更喜欢Peter Hessler的文字,简单而有感染力。

中国是我的祖国,永远有理由了解她多一些。但这本书至今没有在大陆地区发行简体中文版,按照维基百科的资料介绍,台湾的久周文化公司有正体中文版。如果机缘巧合,到时候再翻翻不迟。

在这本书里,我也看到了我的影子。在1996年,我也在一个地图上也难找到的小镇子。讲到邓小平逝世和香港回归那一段时,十几年前的那些画面忽然清晰起来。1997年我正好在高中,那个时候我跟何伟所描述的那些涪陵大学生很像。从小到大所接受的教育都是这样子,意识形态上的确是一种奇怪的状态:爱国就是爱党,爱党就是爱国。

现在我觉得这种观点是错误的,至少我认为党和国家不应该享受同等待遇,要分开对待。但当时有此想法也说不上谁对谁错,彼时我初中和高中六年政治和历史课几乎全部不及格,这样的人也能够接受高等教育我会认为是个奇迹,呵呵。

邓小平去世的那天,我是从学校的广播站得知消息的。然后就是将近两周的悼念活动,所有的电视都取消了娱乐节目,很烦很无聊。 临近高考,虽然我对政治科目及格这件事情不抱太大希望,但我知道绝对不能犯原则性错误。所以我还得打起精神来学习党的盖棺定论,免得考试中不慎唱了反调。

我没有经历过其他重要领导人的逝世,所以也不知道当年的这些仪式是夸张型还是OK型。听父辈的人讲,这排场远不能跟毛泽东同志相比,我总算是放下心来。

香港回归的时候差不多是暑假,而且正是我参加数学补习班的时候。我放弃了休假,托班主任找了一位退休教师来帮忙辅导数学。也许是我真的在努力,也许是这位老师真的很厉害,总之这次补习大获成功。现在回想起来,这也许是回报最高的一次投资。

那段时间我都在折腾数学题,对于香港的事情不太关心,但我分明记得当时有无数关于香港的流行歌曲。党的电视台放弃了广告,把这些歌曲的MTV串起来播放。这种大规模地毯式轰炸的结果就是,97香港回归期间的那些爱国歌曲我现在还记得一些。古人说“熟读唐诗三百首,不会做诗也会吟”,看来这些歌每一首都至少放过三百遍,而且应该都是党在付钱吧。

这本书很薄(或许在Kindle上应该说很短?),而且用词相对简单,看起来一点也不累。当然,毕竟还是用英文写的。还是那句话,我只能通过读外国人的书来了解中国,这是一种悲哀。

—–我是英文评论的分割线—–

以下是我发布在Amazon.com的书评,内容基本上是这篇Blog的翻译,没啥特别的。

I finished Peter Hessler’s Country Driving(Chinese simplified version) in May. His books suddenly became my favorites. Not long after that, three orders were made on Amazon: River Town, Oracle Bones, and original English version Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory.

Actually I don’t have enough time to read them all. There’s a long reading list in my kindle. But the propaganda was deeply planted in China’s educational system. I need a new perspective to review this country. Hessler’s books are perfect for me.

I found something in common in the book, since I was like three to four years younger than the students of Hessler. I’ll share two small stories here. My stories.

When Deng Xiaoping died in 1997, I heard the news from loudspeaker in campus. Coming up is a two week long national mourning. No entertainment show on TV and radio. Although I was annoyed by the entertainment ban, I still had to learn the event and official comments from the party. This is called the big direction issue. If I made any directional mistakes in college entrance exam, my life would be completely screwed.

No other party leader’s funeral ever happened in my life. I had no idea the national mourning was okay or too much. According to my father, Deng’s death couldn’t compete with Mao’s. That was really a relief to me.

When Hong Kong returned to China, I was in a supplementary class. For a better score in college entrance exam, I gave up the summer vacation.

What I can remember is tremendous amount of pop music on HK’s return. The TV, which was the only source for entertaining, was full of music videos. Countless celebrities expressed their feelings by singing. The impact of this kind of mass media bombing is terrifying. Some jingles linger in my brain even today. There’s a Chinese saying that “Read the 300 Tang poems. You can chant something even if you cannot compose a poem.” It looks every propaganda song was played at least 300 times. Party should have paid the bill.

River Town is a good book. It helps me to understand my country more. Thanks.

“《江城》读后感”的5个回复

  1. 这本书挺好看的
    《甲骨》比《江城》还要略好一点
    《寻路中国》我还没来得及看……也是在amazon上搞了一堆书,慢慢啃吧……

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