June 8, 2023

《A Gentleman in Moscow》中文版删减部分


1924: Anonymity


But under certain circumstances, the Count finally acknowledged, this process can occur in the comparative blink of an eye. Popular upheaval, political turmoil, industrial progress—any combination of these can cause the evolution of a society to leapfrog generations, sweeping aside aspects of the past that might otherwise have lingered for decades. And this must be especially so, when those with newfound power are men who distrust any form of hesitation or nuance, and who prize self-assurance above all.





To a foreigner, it must have seemed that Russia had become the land of ten thousand lines. For there were lines at the tram stops, lines before the grocer, lines at the agencies of labor, education, and housing. But in point of fact, there were not ten thousand lines, or even ten. There was one all-encompassing line, which wound across the country and back through time. This had been Lenin’s greatest innovation: a line that, like the Proletariat itself, was universal and infinite. He established it by decree in 1917 and personally took the first slot as his comrades jostled to line up behind him.

One by one every Russian took his place, and the line grew longer and longer until it shared all of the attributes of life. In it friendships were formed and romances kindled; patience was fostered; civility practiced; even wisdom attained.

那位形单影只的人狡黠地笑了,心想:别的有没有学会我不知道,至少排队我们是学会了。 那个形单影只的人在想,如果人们为了买面包都情愿排上八小时的队,那花一两小时免费观瞻一具遗体又算得了什么呢。

Antics, Antitheses, an Accident



“没有,”米什卡把头一摇,说道,“他们不鼓励我们教书,也不鼓励我们读书和写作,连吃饭都几乎不鼓励。” 就这样,米什卡开始描述他在亚瓦斯的生活。在描述的过程中,他用了很多第一人称复数,伯爵听了还以为有劳改营的狱友和他一起搬去了那里。可慢慢地他才听出来,原来当他说“我们”的时候,他其实并没有指其他什么人。对米什卡而言,“我们”包括了他和他所有的狱友,不仅仅是他在阿尔汉格尔斯克认识的那些,还包括了上百万甚至更多在索洛维茨基群岛上,谢夫沃斯特拉格劳改营里或者白海运河上艰苦工作的那些人,不论他们已经在那里工作了二十年、三十年,还是会一直干下去。

Stripped of their names and family ties, of their professions and possessions, herded together in hunger and hardship, the residents of the Gulag—the zeks—became indistinguishable from one another. That, of course, was part of the point. Not content with the toll exacted by means of incarceration and forced labor in inhospitable climes, the supreme authorities sought to efface the Enemies of the People.

But an unanticipated consequence of this strategy was the creation of a new polis. Having been stripped of their identities, henceforth the zeks—though millions in number—would move in perfect unison, sharing in their privations as well as their will to persist. Henceforth, they would know each other whenever and wherever they met. They would make room for each other under their roofs and at their tables, addressing each other as brother and sister and friend; but never, ever, under any circumstance, as comrade.



An Announcement




But the Communist Party was not a “State of Nature.” Quite to the contrary, it was one of the most intricate and purposeful constructions ever manufactured by man. In essence: the hierarchy of all hierarchies.


An Announcement


The studious reader will recall that upon Stalin’s death there were eight men of eminence at the pinnacle of the Party. Where were the other two at the time of this dinner? Lazar Kaganovich, a fine old Stalinist in the iron-fisted mold, had been sent on an administrative mission to Ukraine. Within a few years, he would be presiding over a potassium factory a thousand miles from Moscow. But at least he fared better than Lavrentiy Beria. The former head of the secret police, who many Western observers thought well positioned to inherit the throne when Stalin died, instead was decorated by the Party with a pistol shot to the head. And then there were six.