北京第二外国语学院学报 ›› 2022, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (3): 99-110.DOI: 10.12002/j.bisu.396

• 外国文学研究 • 上一篇    

多棱镜中的犹太小魔鬼——评辛格的《最后一个魔鬼》

韩颖()   

  1. 中央美术学院人文学院, 北京 100102
  • 收稿日期:2020-05-08 出版日期:2022-06-30 发布日期:2022-07-06
  • 作者简介:韩颖,中央美术学院人文学院副教授,100102,研究方向:英美文学、美国犹太小说。电子邮箱: yinghan225@163.com

Jewish Little Demon in a Prism: On Singer’s “The Last Demon”

Han Ying()   

  1. Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing 100102, China
  • Received:2020-05-08 Online:2022-06-30 Published:2022-07-06

摘要:

美国犹太作家艾萨克·辛格的小说中描绘了各类魔鬼形象,包括一群有着鲜明犹太特性的低阶小魔鬼。短篇小说《最后一个魔鬼》中的小魔鬼肩负诱惑拉比的任务,却以失败告终;在犹太人被屠杀后,他成了世上最后一个犹太鬼。基于文本细读,本文发现,对这个小魔鬼的阐释可以是多方面的:从喀巴拉,即犹太神秘主义的角度来看,小魔鬼是拉比欲望的投射;从历史角度来看,辛格借小魔鬼之口批判了哈斯卡拉,即犹太启蒙运动,鉴于犹太世俗文学正是犹太启蒙运动的产物,辛格亦是在自嘲;从误读理论来看,小魔鬼对《托拉》《塔木德》等犹太经典的曲解可以看作是对评论者误读的揶揄。因此,通过阐释小魔鬼形象,如目睹小魔鬼在多棱镜里的变形,而这只映照小魔鬼的多棱镜包含了小说人物视角、作者视角、评论者视角,以及来自不同时空的千千万万读者的视角。本文对《最后一个魔鬼》中小魔鬼的变形研究亦是对我们自身不同身份的探寻。

关键词: 辛格, 小魔鬼, 喀巴拉, 哈斯卡拉, 误读, 犹太文学

Abstract:

The stories written by Isaac Singer are populated with demonic images, including a group of low-ranking demons who bear distinctly Jewish characteristics. In “The Last Demon”, a demon was given the task of seducing a rabbi, but he failed in the end. After the slaughter of the Jews, he became the last demon in the world. Based on a close reading of the text, this demon can be interpreted in various ways. From the perspective of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, the demon reflects the desire of the rabbi. From the perspective of history, Singer is criticizing Haskalah, or the Jewish Enlightenment Movement, through the mouth of the demon; since Jewish secular literature is a product of the Jewish Enlightenment Movement, Singer is mocking himself as well. Finally, from the perspective of the theory of misreading, the demon’s distortion of the Jewish classics, such as the Bible and the Talmud, may be taken as a joke on critics. Interpreting the little demon from these three different angles is like witnessing his metamorphosis in a prism, which includes perspectives of the characters, the writer, the critics, and the thousands of readers in different spaces and times. This study on the little demon in “The Last Demon” is also a probe into ourselves.

Key words: Singer, little demon, Kabbalah, Haskalah, misreading, Jewish Literature

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