Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Scattered in《大江大海一九四九》



"累積的,不僅只是體力的長期疲累,也不僅只是精神上的無以言說的孤獨,還有這四百天中每天沉浸其中的歷史長河中的哀傷和荒涼。那麼慟的生離死別,那麼重的不公不義,那麼深的傷害,那麼久的遺忘,那麼沉默的痛苦。然而,只要我還陷在那種種情感中,我就無法抽離,我就沒有餘地把情感昇華為文字。
所以我得忍住自己的情感、淘洗自己的情緒,把空間騰出來,讓文字去醞釀自己的張力。我冷下來,文字才有熱的機會。"


Finally finished reading the 《大江大海一九四九》 by 龍應台... it had been my night time reading ever since I got the book(which may not be a very good idea)... maybe that's why I haven't been sleeping that well these days... because I was so touched by the many many stories that's recorded in the book about the civil war in China back in 1949... a time when the communist army was fighting the Taiwanese army...
Who is more suited than 龍應台 to write about this, as she is a Chinese/Taiwanese influenced by the Japanese, and also married to a German with two boys to look at WWII in so many different aspect and perspectives..

There are just too many emotions running through my head, often bringing them with me to my sleep... haunting me in my dreams... feeling their pain..
There are just too many scattered thoughts that I cannot piece together yet...

Small decisions that changes lives forever...
~ getting off the train to go to the washroom off a train separated a mother and son forever...

~ taking a train up North to contribute to the war effort, giving back to your country or riding South to flee to a more "hopeful" place; can mean riding to your death or never able to see your parents again for the rest of your life...

~ so much hope and meaning riding in the name to the child born in the midst of the war...

~ a copy of 古文观止 provided education for a whole school inside a concentration camp during the war and how this copy was returned to the original owner years later in Taiwan

~ the old man who was lucky enough till this day when his band of brothers all died finally realized his destiny was to live and tell the tale so the next generation can hear about this part of erased history...

~ The many stories and people who gathered in Hong Kong in that period and contributed so much who will never recognized...

~ why do we have to fight a civil war right after the victory over the Japanese army? where tens of thousands die in a matter of days, fighting against your own country man...

~ the pain and scars hidden inside each and everyone who have been in the concentration camps, whose parents were taken away, who lost their sons and daughters in the war, their brothers and sisters, their loved ones never to be seen again...

To me, a Chinese who moved to Canada ever since grade 5, I have totally no idea about that part of Chinese history...haven't really experienced any real hardship or war... it is really hard to imagine what they have gone through during those times...

~ How should I face this period of history as a Chinese 60 years after it has declared "victory"...

~ How can a country truly raise up without looking truly and honestly at its own past, history, journey and weakness... are we to wait even longer so that the "witnesses" all pass away, so that we can rewrite the history books AGAIN?!?

~ Who were the "heroes" and "traitors" depends on whose flag is being raised...

~ What is the meaning of "victory" and "failure" when so many lives have been lost, the ugliness of human nature to the bear bone...

I have lots of respect for 龍應台 and appreciate her digging through so much research, traveling across different parts of Taiwan and China to interview the remaining survivors,
to let the voiceless be heard, be a witness to them before they are lost in the streams of time and history...


Also understand from her what it means to "忍住自己的情感、淘洗自己的情緒,把空間騰出來,讓文字去醞釀自己的張力。我冷下來,文字才有熱的機會。"
This reminds me when I was in Sichuan, how I had to really hold down my feelings and emotions when listening to the stories of the students... so that I can better put their tales of courage and love together...
also better understand the struggle that Long Di must have experienced when have to face with so many tragedies from students daily...
they are all very brave people... those on both sides of the witness stand...

4 comments:

Jim L. said...

I am reading this book at night too. Just finished half of it... I didn't want to put it down last night even I was so tired.... Very touching stories. We are so lucky that the communist didn't take over Taiwan. Books like this would never been published in Mainland China. btw, i've heard this book is banned in Mainland....

What's your next night time reading? 《中國文明的反思》 sounds like a good one....

Joseph said...

Hey Jim Jim...

Yea... I think they are very touching stories... of course they have to ban this book in China... but then I don't really know if they will believe what's in the book even if ppl read it...

well... read the 趙紫陽 books awhile ago... but then only finish the part about 6....4... cause they get into too techincial terms after about the level of governemnts and stuff...

Who wrote 《中國文明的反思》?

I just reading this book from 白雙全... about travels and visual stuff... pretty good book actually...makes me want to travel again...and able to sleep..haha

eugene said...

Why is this book banned?

But now I'm curious about the hidden stories of that period -- stories of real people rather than the propaganda machines.
There is no triumph, only ugliness in war, is there?

Drunken Angel said...

This book is banned cause it dealt with a very sensitive issue for China... the period of 1949 when the government was formed...
There are many stories about the suffering of the ppl at the time... and questions the war and who was the "rightful" owner of China... many many stuff...
It is a very great book... makes us look into that period once again...
and again.. we should be a witness to it, cause not everyone have the chance...