Spiritual Salvation – >The Remains of The Day< and Humanistic Studies [精神的救赎 – 《长日留痕》之人本主义研究], Master thesis, English Language and Literature, Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan, China 2014 [application of Fromm's theories to art].

  • 英籍日裔作家石黑一雄是当代最著名的英国小说家之一,年轻时即享誉文坛,曾被英国皇室授勋为文学骑士,并获法国艺术文学骑士勋章。石黑一雄以细腻优美的文笔著称,擅长描写帝国、阶级、回忆、失去等主题。其代表作《长日留痕》获1989年布克文学奖。该小说以第一人称讲述了一位典型的英国管家史蒂文斯的故事。他压抑内心情感,盲目效忠被纳粹利用的没落贵族达林顿勋爵达三十五年之久。直至暮年的一次西部乡村旅行,史蒂文斯回顾过去,方才意识到一直以来自己犹如惟命是从的机器人,沉湎于追求>尊严<而牺牲了个人情感。在旅行将尽之时,史蒂文斯醒悟应该积极度过余生。一经出版,《长日留痕》立刻受到国外学者、评论家的高度关注,研究主要围绕人物角色、后殖民语境、回忆主题及叙事策略等角度进行。在中国,对石黑一雄及其文学作品的研究不如国外成熟,但国内学者已开始把目光投向这位国际作家。然而,总体来说,研究角度和国外大体一致。毫无疑问,《长日留痕》体现了石黑一雄对现代人生存困境细致入微的刻画,对人性的敏锐洞悉,因此,深入探究主人公史蒂文斯的精神救赎之路具有重要意义。而20世纪著名心理学家、社会学家、哲学家埃里希•弗洛姆关于现代西方人生存困境的>人本主义<理论为这一研究提供了理论支撑。本论文即是尝试运用弗洛姆的人本主义解析《长日留痕》中史蒂文斯的精神危机,探讨造成此境遇的内外部原因及可能的救赎之路。全文分为六个部分,由引言、四章正文及结论组成。引言概述石黑一雄的生平及其主要文学创作,重点介绍《长日留痕》及目前国内外对其研究的现状,进而提出本论文的研究意义,即深入解读主人公的精神危机,并揭示石黑一雄对人性的深刻洞察以及对现代人生存状况的真切关怀。第一章是本文的理论基础,介绍埃里希•弗洛姆的生平,并详述其人本主义思想。弗洛姆试图用人本主义调和马克思主义和弗洛伊德学说,以关于人的处境的学说为整个思想体系的逻辑起点,总结人的基本需要,分析不同的社会性格,重点关注现代西方人的生存困境与精神危机:逃避自由及异化,并提出通过成熟的爱和创造性活动,这种根植于人内心深处的强大动力,人类或能改善现在的处境。第二章具体分析史蒂文斯严重的精神危机。立志成为一名像父亲一样的伟大的管家,史蒂文斯选择依附于显赫的家族,屈从于主人的权威,并自信其艰辛努力>为历史进步贡献了一份力量<。与史蒂文斯在面对权威时表现出的受虐冲动相应的是他在同职业的人群中的机械趋同倾向,完全丧失个性和自我。除了消极的逃避自由机制,史蒂文斯还与父亲及曾经的女管家肯顿小姐疏离,与自己异化。时间的错失与爱情的悲剧,以及长久的精神困境使斯蒂文斯这个虽是虚构的人物具有了普世追问人性的意义。第三章解析造成斯蒂文斯精神困境的外在和内在原因。弗洛姆认为,人的生死是不可改变的,尽管人被赋予无限的潜能,但短暂的生命却剥夺了其完全实现自我的可能。除了不可消除的存在背反,匿名权威也隐蔽性地干预着史蒂文斯的性格形成和行为习惯。母爱的缺失使史蒂文斯仅在象征法律、秩序、纪律的父爱下成长,阻碍了其与女性的交际。此外,史蒂文斯接受性和市场性的性格促使他与周围人保持距离,仅以主人所需为中心,而占有性的生活方式更使其失去活力,加重情感异化的危机。第四章探索了斯蒂文斯精神救赎的可能性途径。弗洛姆建议,通过成熟的爱和创造性活动,人体验到自我作为独立个体的力量,赋予与他接触的>物<以生命。旅途中的所见所闻,让史蒂文斯发现自然世界的美丽,感受到陌生人的热情。他重新审视自我,决定应该停止无休止地追溯往事,积极乐观地享受剩余的时光,去爱,去创造。史蒂文斯对未来的热切期望,对一度迷失的灵魂的救赎既令人欣慰,又鼓舞人心。基于以上分析和讨论,结论部分指出,史蒂文斯的重生,对未来的关注,是对所有经历过或经历着精神危机的现代人的警醒,体现了石黑一雄对现代人精神生活的深切关怀以及对人性的深邃思索。石黑一雄的作品是多维度的,涵义具有多层性,而对《长日留痕》的人本主义解读对于现代社会及现代人都有一定的实际意义,即如何实现人类精神的健康,实现人的全面发展。show moreshow less
  • Japanese-British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the most celebrated contemporary fiction writersJapanese-British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the most celebrated contemporary fiction writers in the English-speaking world, being appointed OBE for contributions to literature in1995 and awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in1998. He is famous for exquisite and elegant style of writing and expert in themes of empire, class, memory, loss and so on. His representative piece, >The Remains of the Day< , winning the Man Booker Prize for Literature in1989, is narrated from the first person point of view about a quintessential English butler Stevens. Extremely obedient and emotional lyre pressed, Stevens blindly serves, for thirty-five years, the declining aristocratic Lord Darlington who had been taken advantage of by the Nazis. Until the motoring trip to West Country in his twilight years, Stevens reviews the past, becomes aware of his sacrifices for pursuit of >dignity< and realizes that he should be positive in his remain days. Ever since its publication The Remains of the Day has been studied by scholars abroad from various perspectives and researches are mainly concentrated on character analysis, postcolonial context, aspects of memory, narrative strategies and so on. Although in China, Kazuo Ishiguro and his literary works have not received as much attention as in foreign critical circle, scholars begin to turn their interest to the study of this world-famous writer as his reputation rises steadily. In general, researches at home are mainly carried out with similar approaches as abroad. Undoubtedly, The Remains of the Day embodies Ishiguro’s pains taking observation of modern living situations and genuine concern for human nature. Thus, to study the protagonist’s spiritual predicaments and salvation is of great significance. And to fill this vacancy, Erich Fromm’s humanism, aiming to solve modern man’s existential plight, can be adopted as the theoretical framework. - This thesis attempts to analyze the protagonist Stevens’ spiritual crises, to explore both external and internal causes of his spiritual predicaments and search for possible ways to Stevens’ spiritual salvation. This article consists of four main sections apart from introduction and conclusion. Introduction presents a general overview of Kazuo Ishiguro and his literary achievements, chiefly focusing on The Remains of the Day, present studies and comments at home and abroad, and significance of this thesis, proposing a further reading of Stevens’ spiritual crises and salvation, and revealing Ishiguro’s keen insight into human nature and deep concern for modern man’s existence. - Chapter One introduces briefly about Erich Fromm, the internationally renowned psychologist, sociologist and humanistic philosopher, and elaborately explains the main concept of his humanism. As a unique blend of Marxism and Freudianism, Fromm’s humanism starts with analysis of human being’s living conditions, summarizes man’s basic needs and different types of social characters and primarily concerns with modern westerners’ spiritual dilemma: escape from freedom and alienation. To shed a light on modern man’s wretched living situations, Fromm regards mature love and productive activity as an effective medicine, powerful and incredible strength incarnated in man and innermost strivings of human beings. - Chapter Two provides a detailed analysis of Stevens’ severe spiritual crises. During his lifelong pursuit of being a great butler of dignity and keeping with his position like his father, Stevens has chosen to attach to a distinguished household, submitted himself to Lord Darlington’s authority, and narcissistically confirmed that his efforts have >comprised a contribution to the course of history<. Corresponding to Stevens’ masochistic strivings towards authorities is his automaton conformity with the group who share the same profession at the cost of his self and individuality. In addition to negative escape mechanisms, Stevens has been estranged from his fellow men, especially the most intimate two, his father and one-time love Miss Kenton, and has been alienated from him as well. His tragic loss of time and love, and his enduring process of spiritual crises sublimate the particular fictional figure into general meaning. - Chapter Three probes causes of Stevens’ spiritual predicaments from both external and internal as-pects. According to Fromm, man’s birth into the world and his eventual death is unalterable, and although man is endowed with unlimited potentials, his short life span leaves him no time to com-pletely fulfill them. Along with the insoluble existential dichotomy, anonymous authority covertly intervenes in Stevens’ character cultivation and daily performance. Moreover, absence of maternal love leaves Stevens under sole guidance of his father, who stands for law and order, discipline and world of thought, and thwarts Stevens’ association of female figures. Besides, receptive and marketing orientation of Stevens’ character results in his indifference to fellow men and employer-centered attitude. His having mode of life further deprives him of aliveness and exacerbates his alienation of affections. - Chapter Four comes up with possible ways to Stevens’ spiritual salvation. Through mature love and productive activity, one experiences himself as an independent entity of his own strength, and brings life to other people and to things at the same time. What Stevens sees and hears during the six-day trip leads him to rediscover the beauty of nature, the hospitality of strangers, reexamine both himself and his old days and eventually determines to cease introspection and actively look into the future, to love and to create. Stevens’ optimistic expectation for a fresh beginning manifests his redemption of the once lost soul, which is comforting and inspiring. - Based on above analysis and discussion, conclusion points out that Stevens’ rebirth to concentrate on his remaining years serves as an encouragement for all human beings who have been undergoing spiritual crises. It expresses Ishiguro’s genuine care for modern man’s spiritual state and profound thought of human nature. While significances of Ishiguro’s productions are multidimensional, capable of several levels of meanings, last but not least, the humanistic interpretation of The Remains of the Day possesses certain practical meaning to both modern society and modern man, like how to be sane and how to realize the comprehensive development of human beings. [Author’s translation]show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Qian Yang
Document Type:Dissertations
Language:Chinese
Year of first Publication:2014
Release Date:2016/09/29
Format:no download and copy possible
IdNo:Yang_Qian_2014
Writings about Erich Fromm (Secondary Literature):Dissertations / Dissertationen
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Dissertations / Dissertationen
Licence (German):