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'When I Run I Am in a Peaceful Place'

(2009-07-08 19:54:24)
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杂谈

镜报对村上的采访,尝试一下翻译,翻的不好请多原谅。

Japanese author Haruki Murakami, 59, also runs marathons. His memoir about jogging has been translated into German, and he talked to SPIEGEL about the loneliness of the writer and the runner.

59岁的日本作家村上春树(Haruki Murakami)是一马拉松健将。他关于跑步的回想录前不久刚刚译成德文。在以下《明镜》周刊的采访中,他谈起作家和长跑者的孤独。(就是那本 当我谈跑步的时候我谈些什么)

SPIEGEL: Mr. Murakami, which is tougher: writing a novel, or running a marathon?

村上先生,写小说和跑马拉松哪一个更难?

Murakami: Writing is fun -- at least mostly. I write for four hours every day. After that I go running. As a rule, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). That’s easy to manage. But running 42.195 kilometers (26 miles) all at once is tough; however it’s a toughness I seek out. It is an inevitable torment which I deliberately take upon myself. For me that is the most important aspect of running a marathon.

写作很有趣---至少大部分时候是的。我每天写4个小时,然后去跑步。通常我跑10KM(6.2英里),这个比较容易。但是一次跑完42.195KM就难的多了;这种困难正是我所追求的。一种我加诸自身的痛苦。对我来说,这是马拉松最重要的方面。

SPIEGEL: And which is nicer: completing a book or crossing the finishing line of a marathon?

哪一种感觉更好呢:完成一本书或者冲过马拉松的终点线?

Murakami: Putting the final full stop at the end of a story is like giving birth to a child, an incomparable moment. A fortunate author can write maybe twelve novels in his lifetime. I don’t know how many good books I still have in me; I hope there are another four or five. When I am running I don’t feel that kind of limit. I publish a thick novel every four years, but I run a 10-kilometer race, a half-marathon and a marathon every year. I have run 27 marathon races so far, the last was in January, and numbers 28, 29 and 30 will follow quite naturally.

给一个故事划上句号是一个无与伦比的时刻,就好像诞生一个婴儿。一个幸运的作家一生也许能完成12部长篇小说。我不知道我还能有多少部好作品,希望还能有4-5部吧。跑步的时候我没有感觉到这种限制。我每4年发表一部大部头的小说,但我每年都参加10公里跑,半程马拉松和全程马拉松。我已经跑了27个马拉松赛事,最后一个就在一月份,第28、29、30个会很自然的到来吧。

SPIEGEL: In your latest book, the German translation of which is to be released next Monday, you describe your career as a runner and discuss the importance of running for your work as a writer. Why did you write this autobiographical work?

Murakami: Ever since I went running for the first time, 25 years ago in the autumn of 1982, I have been asking myself for why I decided on this particular sport. Why don’t I play football? Why did my real existence as a serious writer begin on the day that I first went jogging? I tend to understand things only if I record my thoughts. I found that when I write about running I write about myself.

从1982年的秋天我第一次跑步到现在有25年了。我也问过自己为什么要从事这样一项运动,为什么不是踢足球?为什么我作为一个严肃作家的体验就是从我开始跑步那一天开始的?我往往只有把思想记录下来才有办法理解事物。我发现当我写跑步的时候我写的我自己。

SPIEGEL: Why did you start running? 你为啥开始跑步啊?

Murakami: I wanted to lose weight. During my first years as an author I smoked a lot, about 60 cigarettes a day, in order to be able to concentrate better. I had yellow teeth, yellow fingernails. When I decided to stop smoking, at the age of 33, I sprouted rolls of fat on my hips. So I ran; running seemed to me to be most practicable.

我想要减肥。我刚开始写作抽太多烟了,为了更好的集中精神,一天大概抽60支烟。我牙齿和手指都是黄的。33岁的时候我决定戒烟,然后我屁股就长出了一圈的肥肉。所以我开始跑步,我觉得跑步减肥最适合我。

SPIEGEL: Why?为什么

Murakami: Team sports aren’t my thing. I find it easier to pick something up if I can do it at my own speed. And you don’t need a partner to go running, you don’t need a particular place, like in tennis, just a pair of trainers. Judo doesn’t suit me either; I’m not a fighter. Long-distance running is not a matter of winning against others. Your only opponent is yourself, no one else is involved, but you are engaged in an inner conflict: Am I better than I was last time? Exerting yourself to the limit over and over again, that is the essence of running. Running is painful, but the pain doesn’t leave me, I can take care of it. That agrees with my mentality.

团体运动不适合我。我发现我比较喜欢能按照自己速度来的运动。跑步不需要人陪,也不像网球需要特殊的场地,只要有双跑鞋就够了。柔道也不适合我,我不是个战士。长跑不需要战胜别人,你唯一的对手是你自己,没有其他任何人,你进行的是一场和自己的战争。我是否比上次表现更好?一次又一次超越自己的极限,这就是跑步的本质。跑步是痛苦的,但这种痛苦不会弃我而去,我可以应付得了它。这和我的思想状态一致。

SPIEGEL: What kind of shape were you in at the time?当时你的状况如何?

Murakami: After 20 minutes I was out of breath, my heart was hammering, my legs were trembling. At first I was uncomfortable when other people saw me jogging. But I integrated running into my day like brushing my teeth. So I made rapid progress. After just under a year I ran my first, though unofficial, marathon.20分钟后我就喘不过气来了,我心咚咚狂跳,腿在颤抖。刚开始别人看到我慢跑时我有点不舒服。但我把跑步变成我生活的一部分,就想刷牙一样。于是我进步神速。仅在一年后我就参加了我的第一个马拉松,虽然不是正式的 。

SPIEGEL: You ran from Athens to Marathon on your own. What appealed to you about that?你自己从雅典跑到马拉松市。什么吸引你这样做的?

Murakami: Well, it’s the original marathon, it’s the historic route -- though in the opposite direction, because I didn’t want to arrive in Athens during the rush hour. I had never run more than 35 kilometers; my legs and my upper body were not particularly strong yet; I didn’t know what to expect. It was like running in terra incognita.哦,它是正宗的马拉松,就是延历史上第一次马拉松的线路,不过是反方向的,因为我不想在到达雅典的时候赶上交通高峰期。我之前从没有跑超过35公里。我的腿和上身还不是特别强壮;我不知道会发生什么,好像跑在一个未知的空间。

SPIEGEL: How did you get along?你怎样进行下去的?

Murakami: It was July; it was hot. So hot, even in the early morning. I had never been to Greece before; I was surprised. After half an hour I took off my shirt. Later I dreamt of an ice-cold beer and counted the dead dogs and cats lying along the roadside. I was furious with the sun; it burnt down on me so angrily, small blisters formed on my skin. It took me 3:51 hours, a passable time. When I arrived at the finish I hosed myself down at a petrol station and drank the beer I had dreamt of. When the petrol pump attendant heard what I had done, he presented me with a bunch of flowers.7月,非常热,即使是在清晨。我之前从未到过希腊;我很吃惊。大概跑了半小时我就把衣服脱了。后来我我一边梦想着冰啤酒一边数着躺在路边的死猫死狗。烈日烤得我暴怒,让我快疯了,皮肤上冒起了水泡。我跑了3小时51分,还过得去的成绩。冲过终点后我在一个加油站用水管把自己冲了个透,然后喝到了我梦想的啤酒。加油站工作人员听了我干的事,给我送了一束花。

SPIEGEL: What is your best time for a marathon?你的马拉松最好成绩是怎样?

Murakami: 3:27 hours by my watch, in New York, in 1991. That’s five minutes per kilometer. I am very proud of that because the last stretch of the course, which leads through Central Park, is really hard. I have tried a few times to improve on that time, but I’m getting older. In the meantime I’m no longer interested in my best personal time. For me it’s a matter of being satisfied with myself.我的手表是3小时27分,1991年在纽约。大概是5分钟跑1公里。我对这个成绩很骄傲。在最后一段,也就是穿过中央公园那段,真的非常痛苦。后来好几次我想超越这个成绩,但我老了 。我对创造个人最好成绩没那么感兴趣了,自己满意就行。

SPIEGEL: Is there some mantra that you recite while running?跑步的时候你会不会念点经或者啥的?

Murakami: No. I just tell myself once in a while: Haruki, you’ll make it. But in fact I don’t think of anything while I’m running.

没有。我只是偶尔告诉自己:村上,你行的。不过实际上,我跑的时候啥都没想。

SPIEGEL: Is that possible, to think of nothing?真的吗,啥都没想?

Murakami: When I am running my mind empties itself. Everything I think while running is subordinate to the process. The thoughts that impose themselves on me while running are like light gusts of wind -- they appear all of a sudden, disappear again and change nothing.我跑步的时候思想会把自己清空。我跑步时所想的东西都是附属于这个过程的。跑步时那些加诸于我的思绪就像一阵风--突然间来了,又走了,什么也没有改变。

SPIEGEL: Do you listen to music while running?你跑步时听音乐吗?

Murakami: Only when I’m training. And then rock music. At the moment my favorite is the Manic Street Preachers. When I go jogging in the morning, which is the exception, I load Creedence Clearwater Revival into the minidisk player. Their songs have a simple, natural rhythm.我就是训练的时候听听摇滚,我喜欢Manic Street Preachers。早上慢跑的时候,我会在MD机里放Creedence Clearwater Revival 的歌。

SPIEGEL: How do you manage to motivate yourself again every day?你每天怎样鼓励自己坚持去跑步的?

Murakami: Sometimes I find it too hot to run, and sometimes too cold. Or too cloudy. But I still go running. I know that if I didn’t go running, I wouldn’t go the next day either. It’s not in human nature to take unnecessary burdens upon oneself, so one’s body soon becomes disaccustomed. It mustn’t do that. It’s the same with writing. I write every day so that my mind doesn’t become disaccustomed. So that I can gradually set the literary yardstick higher and higher, just as running regularly makes your muscles stronger and stronger.有时候太热,有时候太冷,有时候又太阴沉了,不过我还是会去跑。我知道如果今天我没有去跑,大概明天也不会去了。身体很容易不习惯承受额外的负荷,人天性如此。这是不行的。写作也是这样。我坚持每天都写,这样我的大脑才不会不适应,这样我才可以把文学的尺度越定越高,就好像规律的跑步让我的肌肉越来越强壮一样。

SPIEGEL: You grew up as an only child; writing is a lonely business, and you always run alone. Is there some connection between these things?你好像是独子,写作是件孤独的工作,而你又一直一个人在跑,这里面是否有种联系呢?

Murakami: Definitely. I am used to being alone. And I enjoy being alone. Unlike my wife, I don’t like company. I have been married for 37 years, and often it is a battle. In my previous job I often worked until dawn, now I'm in bed by nine or ten.肯定有。我习惯孤独,我喜欢一个人,不像我老婆。我不喜欢集体活动。我结婚37年了,还经常为这事别扭。我以前的工作经常要做到黎明,现在我9-10点就上床了。

SPIEGEL: Before you became a writer and a runner, you owned a jazz club in Tokyo. A change in life could hardly be more radical.

Murakami: When I had the club I stood behind the bar, and it was my job to engage in conversation. I did that for seven years, but I’m not a talkative person. I swore to myself: Once I’ve finished here I will only ever talk to those people I really want to talk to.

SPIEGEL: When did you notice it was time for a fresh start?

 

'I knew I Was Going to Write a Novel'

Murakami: In April 1978, I was watching a baseball game in the Jingu Stadium in Tokyo, the sun was shining, I was drinking a beer. And when Dave Hilton of the Yakult Swallows made a perfect hit, at that instant I knew I was going to write a novel. It was a warm sensation. I can still feel it in my heart. Now I am compensating for the old, open life through my new, closed life. I have never appeared on television, I have never been heard on the radio, I hardly ever give readings, I am extremely reluctant to have my photograph taken, I rarely give interviews. I’m a loner.

SPIEGEL: Do you know the novel “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” by Alan Sillitoe?

 

Murakami: I wasn’t impressed by the book. It’s boring. You can tell that Sillitoe wasn’t a runner himself. But I find the idea itself fitting: running allows the hero to access his own identity. In running he discovers the only state in which he feels free. I can identify with that.

SPIEGEL: And what did running teach you?

Murakami: The certainty that I will make it to the finishing line. Running taught me to have faith in my skills as a writer. I learned how much I can demand of myself, when I need a break, and when the break starts to get too long. I known how hard I am allowed to push myself.

SPIEGEL: Are you a better writer because you run?

Murakami: Definitely. The stronger my muscles got, the clearer my mind became. I am convinced that artists who lead an unhealthy life burn out more quickly. Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin were the heroes of my youth -- all of them died young, even though they didn’t deserve to. Only geniuses like Mozart or Pushkin deserve an early death. Jimi Hendrix was good, but not so smart because he took drugs. Working artistically is unhealthy; an artist should lead a healthy life to make up for it. Finding a story is a dangerous thing for an author; running helps me to avert that danger.

SPIEGEL: Could you explain that?

Murakami: When a writer develops a story, he is confronted with a poison that is inside him. If you don’t have that poison, your story will be boring and uninspired. It’s like fugu: The flesh of the pufferfish is extremely tasty, but the roe, the liver, the heart can be lethally toxic. My stories are located in a dark, dangerous part of my consciousness, I feel the poison in my mind, but I can fend off a high dose of it because I have a strong body. When you are young, you are strong; so you can usually conquer the poison even without being in training. But beyond the age of 40 your strength wanes, you can no longer cope with the poison if you lead an unhealthy life.

SPIEGEL: J.D. Salinger wrote his only novel, “Catcher in the Rye” when he was 32. Was he too weak for his poison?

Murakami: I translated the book into Japanese. It is quite good, but incomplete. The story becomes darker and darker, and the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, doesn’t find his way out of the dark world. I think Salinger himself didn’t find it either. Would sport have saved him too? I don’t know.

SPIEGEL: Does running give you the inspiration for stories?

Murakami: No, because I’m not the kind of writer who reaches the source of a story playfully. I have to dig for the source. I have to dig very deep to reach the dark places in my soul where the story lies hidden. For that, too, you have to be physically strong. Since I started running, I have been able to concentrate for longer, and I have to concentrate for hours on my way into the darkness. On the way there you find everything: the images, the characters, the metaphors. If you are physically too weak, you miss them; you lack the strength to hold on to them and bring them back up to the surface of your consciousness. When you are writing, the main thing isn’t digging down to the source, but the way back out of the darkness. It’s the same with running. There is a finishing line that you have to cross, whatever the cost may be.

SPIEGEL: Are you in a similarly dark place when you are running?

Murakami: There is something very familiar to me about running. When I run I am in a peaceful place.

SPIEGEL: You lived in the United States for several years. Are there differences between American and Japanese runners?

Murakami: No, but when I was in Cambridge (as a writer-in-residence at Harvard), it became clear to me that the members of an elite run differently from ordinary mortals.

SPIEGEL: How do you mean?

Murakami: My running route took me along the Charles River, and I was constantly seeing these young female students, Harvard freshmen. They jogged with long strides, their iPods in their ears, their blonde ponytails swinging to and fro on their backs. Their entire body was radiant. They were aware that they were unusual. Their self-awareness impressed me deeply. I was a better runner, but there was something provokingly positive about them. They were so different from me. I was never the member of an elite.

SPIEGEL: Can you distinguish a beginner from a veteran runner?

Murakami: A beginner runs too fast, his breathing is too shallow. The veteran is at rest. One veteran recognizes another just the way that a writer recognizes the style and language of another writer.

SPIEGEL: Your books are written in the style of magical realism, reality blends with magic. Does running have a surrealist or metaphysical dimension -- quite apart from the pure physical achievement?

Murakami: Every activity acquires something contemplative if you perform it long enough. In 1995 I took part in a 100-kilometer race; it took me 11:42 hours and in the end it was a religious experience.

SPIEGEL: A-ha.

Murakami: After 55 kilometers I broke down; my legs would no longer obey me. I felt as though two horses were pulling my body apart. After about 75 kilometers I was suddenly able to run properly again; the pain had vanished. I had reached the other side. Happiness surged through me. I reached the finishing line filled with euphoria. I could have gone on running. Nevertheless, I will never run another ultramarathon.

SPIEGEL: Why not?

Murakami: After this extreme experience I went into a state that I have called “Runner’s Blue.”

SPIEGEL: What is that?

Murakami: A sort of listlessness. I was tired of running. Running 100 kilometers is terribly boring, you are on your own for more than eleven hours, and this boredom gnawed at me. It sucked the motivation out of my soul. The positive attitude was gone. I hated running. For weeks.

SPIEGEL: How did you restore your pleasure in it?

Murakami: I tried to force myself to run, but that didn’t work. The fun had gone out of it. So I decided to try a different sport. I wanted to try a new stimulus, and so I started on the triathlon. It helped. After a while, my desire to run returned.

SPIEGEL: You are 59 years old. How long do you intend to go on taking part in marathons?

Murakami: I will go on running for as long as I can walk. You know what I would like to be written on my tombstone?

SPIEGEL: Tell us.

Murakami: "At least he never walked."

SPIEGEL: Mr. Murakami, thank you for this interview.

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