Predicament and Salvation in Paul Auster’s >The Brooklyn Follies< [保罗•奥斯特《布鲁克林荒唐事》中的困境与救赎], Master thesis, English Language and Literature, Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan, China 2015 [application of Fromm's theories to art].

  • 保罗•奥斯特(1947-)被誉为美国当代最杰出的作家之一。到目前为止,他出版了十九部小说,五部传记,四部电影剧本和一部评论集。这些作品为他赢得了很多奖项,如2006年的阿斯图里亚斯王子文学奖。奥斯特的众多作品体现了他对现代人生存状态和精神状态的深刻关怀,《布鲁克林的荒唐事》(2005)就是其中具代表性的一部。在这部小说中,奥斯特带着充满希望的积极态度,生动地描绘出一些疲惫不堪的纽约人如何在和谐的布鲁克林社区中走出他们的精神困境。近年来,奥斯特的很多小说被译成中文,他在中国读者中的影响也日益扩大,但是他的作品尚未引起我国文学评论界的足够重视。到目前为止,有关奥斯特作品的学术论文还为数不多。而且,学者们的注意力大多集中在奥斯特的部分作品,如《纽约三部曲》(1987),对其他的作品,如《布鲁克林的荒唐事》则关注度不够。通过分析小说中人物的精神困境及救赎,本论文旨在填补对这部小说研究的空缺,同时推动国内的奥斯特研究。论文主要关注小说中的三个人物,分别是退休、离婚的内森,他消极的侄子汤姆及他叛逆的侄女奥罗拉。小说中这三个人物经历了相似的人生历程。面对精神困境,他们都采取了逃避机制,却加深了他们的困境。最终他们通过一些积极的行动获得了重生。借助创伤理论、弗洛姆的人本主义思想以及积极心理学的一些概念,论文试图分析三个人物的精神困境,他们的逃避机制以及他们最终的精神救赎。除引言和结论外,论文共由三章组成。引言部分除对作者奥斯特的生平和文学生涯做简单的介绍之外,也简要地介绍小说的主要故事情节,然后详细介绍这部小说的国内外研究现状,论文的理论框架,以及借助创伤理论、弗洛姆的人本主义思想和积极心理学研究这部小说的意义。第一章详细分析三个人物的精神困境。他们在家庭中和社会上都经历了一些创伤性事件。内森在他不幸的婚姻中挣扎,经历了妹妹的去世,同时,作为一名保险销售员,他深受客户创伤经验的影响。汤姆经历的创伤事件包括父母的离婚,母亲的去世,求职的失败以及他所经历的暴力犯罪。奥罗拉的创伤来自父母的离婚和一段在色情电影拍摄片场被轮奸的可怕经历。除了这些创伤经历,他们还承受着异化的影响。在以对金钱的无休止追求为特征的不健全社会中,他们被转变为>物<或者商品。因此,他们与自我异化,也与其他人异化。在创伤经历和异化的人际关系影响下,三个人物经常感到无助、孤独和不安。第二章主要探索人物的逃避机制和他们选择逃避的原因。内森和汤姆选择>机械趋同<的逃避机制以获得心理安慰和安全感。他们没有积极地去追求自己最初的梦想,也没有主动与其他人建立好的人际关系,相反,他们选择与外界的期望保持一致,过着机器人式的生活。内森埋葬了自己的文学梦想,成为一名销售员,过着一种例行公事的生活。汤姆没有动力去追求他做教师的原计划,转而接受哈里的建议,做了他的助理。因为他们都失去了个性,随着时间推移,他们的困境被恶化。奥罗拉选择>受虐冲动<的逃避机制。为了得到大卫的爱,她屈服于他。但是,因为牺牲了自己的独立性,她逐渐被困入新的束缚中。这三个人物选择逃避的倾向受一些外部原因的影响,同时也受他们自身>非生产性性格<的影响。第三章分析人物的救赎。小说结尾,在和谐的布鲁克林社区,这三个人物都通过他们的积极行动逐渐摆脱了精神困境。这些积极行动主要包括成熟的爱和>创造性活动<。通过对爱的能力的培养,他们学会肯定自己的潜力,还逐渐与他人建立起良好关系。除了成熟的爱,他们最终的精神救赎还得益于创造性活动。在弗洛姆看来,创造性活动最基本的要求是要积极主动。通过人际关系领域中的积极参与以及他们自身非异化的劳动,他们最终得以过上有意义的生活,获得满足感和真正的快乐。基于以上分析和讨论,结论部分指出,三个人物的重生是对很多经历着精神危机的现代人的一个鼓励,体现了奥斯特对现代人精神状态的深切关怀以及他对人们未来充满希望的态度。结合创伤理论、弗洛姆的人本主义思想以及积极心理学,论文试图为奥斯特研究提供新视角,增添新内容,同时也有一些现实意义,即提醒陷在精神困境中的人们,开启新生活的唯一方式是通过积极的行动而不是诉诸逃避机制。show moreshow less
  • Paul Auster (1947-) is now acclaimed as one of the most celebrated contemporary writers in America.Paul Auster (1947-) is now acclaimed as one of the most celebrated contemporary writers in America. Up till now, he has published nineteen novels, five memoirs, four screen plays as well as a collection of critical essays, which bring him numerous awards such as the 2006 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature. In many of his works, Auster expresses his deep concern for the living status and the spiritual state of modern people. Among these works, >The Brooklyn Follies< (2005) is a typical representative. With a hopeful attitude, Auster, in this novel, offers a vivid vision of how some debilitated New Yorkers get out of their spiritual predicaments in the harmonious Brooklyn community. Although recent years witness Auster’s reputation on the rise in China and many of his novels have been translated into Chinese, there is not much academic concern accompanying his popularity. Up till now, only a few academic researches based on Auster and his works have been published. Moreover, scholars mainly focus on some of his works such as the New York Trilogy (1987), while few of them pay attention to The Brooklyn Follies. By analyzing the spiritual predicaments and the final salvation of the characters, this thesis aims to fill in the gap and promote the popularity and studies of Auster’s works at home. This thesis mainly focuses on three characters: the retired, divorced old man Nathan, Nathan’s depressed nephew Tom and his rebellious niece Aurora. The three characters experience similar life journeys. In face of their spiritual predicaments, they resort to escape mechanisms which only worsen their predicaments. Finally, through some positive actions, they gain rebirth. With the help of trauma theory, Fromm’s humanistic thoughts and positive psychology, this thesis attempts to analyze the spiritual predicaments of the three characters, their escape mechanisms and their final salvation. Besides the Introduction and Conclusion, this thesis is divided into three chapters. The Introduction presents a sketch of Auster’s life experiences, his literary career as well as the main storyline of the novel. Then in detail a literature review of this novel at home and abroad is presented. In addition, the theoretical framework and the significance of interpreting the novel from the perspective of trauma theory, Fromm’s humanistic thoughts and positive psychology are also elaborated in this part. Chapter One provides a detailed analysis of the spiritual dilemmas of the three characters. They experience some traumatic events at home and in society. Nathan struggles in his unfortunate marriage, endures the loss of his sister, and as an insurance man, he is a victim of the traumatic experiences of his clients. Tom is traumatized by the divorce of his parents, the death of his mother, the failure of finding a satisfactory job as well as a violent crime he experiences. Aurora’s trauma results from the divorce of her parents and an awful experience of being gang-raped on the set of a pornographic film. Apart from these traumatic experiences, the three also endure alienation. In the insane modern society characterized by the endless pursuit of money, they are transformed into things or commodities, and thus they are alienated from themselves and from others. Due to the influence of the traumatic events and the alienated relationships, the three often experience helplessness, loneliness and insecurity. Chapter Two explores the escape mechanisms of the three characters and probes into the causes of their choices. In order to gain some comfort and the sense of security, Tom and Nathan choose the escape mechanism of >automaton conformity<. Instead of positively pursuing their own original dreams and actively establishing good relationships with others, they conform to the expectations of the outside world and live like automatons. Nathan buries his literary dream and lives a routine life as a salesman. Tom has no motivation to pursue his original plan of being a teacher, but chooses to accept Harry’s suggestion to be his assistant. Because they lose their individuality, their dilemmas are worsened with time going by. Aurora chooses the escape mechanism of >masochistic strivings<. She submits herself to David in order to gain protection and love. However, because she sacrifices her independence, gradually she is caught in new bondage. Their tendencies to escape are affected by some external factors as well as their >nonproductive character<. The third chapter analyzes the final salvation of the three characters. At the end of the story, in the harmonious community of Brooklyn, the three characters gradually get rid of their spiritual dilemmas through their positive actions: mature love and >productive activities<. With the cultivation of their capacity to love, they learn to affirm their own potentialities and also gradually establish good relationships with others. Apart from mature love, their final salvation also benefits from their productive activities, the fundamental requirement of which, according to Fromm, is to be active. Through active participation in the realms of human relations and their non-alienated labor, the three finally have opportunities to live meaningful lives and gain satisfaction and genuine happiness. Based on the above discussion and analysis, the conclusion points out that the rebirth of the three characters serves as an encouragement to many modern men who have been undergoing spiritual crisis. It embodies Auster’s profound solicitude for the spiritual state of modern man and his hopeful attitude towards the future of modern people. The interpretation of the novel with the help of trauma theory, Fromm’s humanistic thoughts and positive psychology attempts to contribute a new angle and some new contents to the researches on Auster’s works, and it also possesses certain practical meanings, which is to remind those who are trapped in their spiritual dilemmas that the only way to start a new life is to take positive actions instead of resorting to escape mechanisms.] [Author’s translation]show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Chongyang Zhou
Document Type:Dissertations
Language:Chinese
Year of first Publication:2015
Release Date:2017/11/20
Format:no download and copy possible
IdNo:Zhou_Chongyang_2015
Writings about Erich Fromm (Secondary Literature):Dissertations / Dissertationen
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Dissertations / Dissertationen
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