杀人魔不像史瑞克那么可爱–不要欺瞒孩子

“二战之后,每一年的圣诞节,挪威都会送英国一棵圣诞树,这颗树就会种在伦敦市中心的Trafalgar Square(特拉法加广场)上。”

挪威惨剧,我读到了一篇最好的文章。

英国著名儿童作家 麦克•莫波格 (Michael Morpurgo),写了这一篇:《For the people of Norway》—致挪威人民。(文章链接;可收听作者的文章朗读)

绘画:J.R. Skelton

他把挪威的杀人魔比喻成8世纪英国史诗 Beowulf 《贝武夫》中记述的妖怪。

这只妖怪,叫 Grendel(格伦戴尔)。贝武夫对抗妖怪,先是把它的手臂拉断,最终把它掐死。

麦克•莫波格说,民间传说故事里,正邪交战的故事,是很常见的。目的是什么?除了娱乐大众之外,就是警戒、提醒人们,让人畏惧。故事的终极目的,是提醒人类,原来我们是如此的脆弱。(This struggle between good and evil is at the heart of so many of our legends and folktales, and these were told not simply to children but to everyone. And they had a purpose. They are warning tales, to alarm and to terrify – yes, to entertain too – but essentially to remind us of our frailty. )

作者也叫我们不要欺瞒孩子。这世界并不美好。不要瞒骗孩子,应该让他们知道世界的残缺。

他说,人类无法完全保护自己。但是,为了我们的子孙,我们必须提高警觉。我们可以让孩子们有所准备。千万不要欺骗孩子。妖怪就在外面,这些妖怪不像动画片里的Shrek(史瑞克),而是像《贝武夫》里的 Grendel (格伦戴尔)。我们每一个人都必须对抗这个妖怪。(We cannot protect ourselves entirely. But we can be vigilant, particularly on behalf of our children. We can better prepare them. Let us not kid them. The monsters are out there, and they are not like Shrek, they are like Grendel. Each of us must face the monster down. )

不管这个邪恶的东西叫什么名字—妖魔、鬼怪、巨怪、龙,我们都要戒慎恐惧。这些故事的用意,是用来警戒我们,让我们对人类的困境有所了解,让我们对人类不安稳的生存有所理解。(Whatever the evil one is called – witch, devil, troll or dragon, we have to be watchful and wary. These stories are there to prepare us, to give us some understanding of our human predicament, of the precariousness of our existence.)

挪威的那个杀人魔,就像Beowulf (《贝武夫》)里那只叫 Grendel (格伦戴尔) 的妖怪一样,四处追踪人们。杀人魔攻击无辜的年轻人,为的就是把希望消灭掉。但是,贝武夫坚持奋战。他的一生中,都在坚决对抗邪恶的格伦戴尔。挪威曾经奋战过。他们知道该如何生存。(The perpetrator of the massacre in Oslo and on the island of Utoya stalked the land as surely as the monster Grendel in Beowulf. He attacked innocent young people in a determined attempt to extinguish hope. But Beowulf fought on. All his life he confronted the evil Grendel. Norway has done this before. They know how to survive. )

二战之后,每一年的圣诞节,挪威都会送英国一棵圣诞树,这颗树就会种在伦敦市中心的Trafalgar Square(特拉法加广场)上。今年,英国何不送棵圣诞树给挪威,种到Utoya (于特雅)岛的土地上,象征英国和挪威的友情和团结?

(At Christmas time, every year since the Second World War, the Norwegians send us a Christmas tree to put up in Trafalgar Square.

Wouldn’t it be an idea, now, at this terrible time for the Norwegian people, to offer to plant a tree of ours on Utoya, as a symbol of our solidarity and friendship with them? )

作者:麦克•莫波格 (Michael Morpurgo)

For the People of Norway, by Michael Morpurgo

Only last Summer I was sailing along the coast of Norway, in and out of the fjords. We picnicked on deserted islands, explored tiny villages, with their simple clapperboard houses painted oxblood red.

We visited ancient stave churches, entirely built from wood, black with pitch, each a symbol of survival and hope and fortitude.

All the while I wondered at the majestic beauty of the place, at the dark rearing cliffs, the thunderous waterfalls. We warmed to the generosity of the people we met – a people without envy, it seemed, at peace with themselves.

As we know, they had done their share of invading centuries before, had since been invaded themselves often enough, but had in recent history set all that aside, become hugely prosperous and developed one of the most equitable and democratic societies the world has ever known.

Like the Irish and the Canadians, and others, they have carved out a place for themselves as the great peace-makers.

I had brought with me a book to read on the boat, Beowulf, a story set in this very place, an ancient story/poem. It seemed appropriate.

Grendel the Monster stalks this land, preying on the people, bringing death and destruction – it seems to be what he was born for, this foul fiend. Beowulf, our hero, confronts him and kills him in a titanic struggle, but this is not the end of it. Evil is not so easily vanquished.

This struggle between good and evil is at the heart of so many of our legends and folktales, and these were told not simply to children but to everyone. And they had a purpose. They are warning tales, to alarm and to terrify – yes, to entertain too – but essentially to remind us of our frailty.

Whatever the evil one is called – witch, devil, troll or dragon, we have to be watchful and wary. These stories are there to prepare us, to give us some understanding of our human predicament, of the precariousness of our existence.

The perpetrator of the massacre in Oslo and on the island of Utoeya stalked the land as surely as the monster Grendel in Beowulf. He attacked innocent young people in a determined attempt to extinguish hope.

But Beowulf fought on. All his life he confronted the evil Grendel. Norway has done this before. They know how to survive.

These ancient folk tales have great wisdom for us today. They can remind us that even the most prosperous and openhearted people, living in a country where respect for human rights is a given, where all seems so well, are vulnerable to evil.

We cannot protect ourselves entirely. But we can be vigilant, particularly on behalf of our children. We can better prepare them. Let us not kid them. The monsters are out there, and they are not like Shrek, they are like Grendel. Each of us must face the monster down.

At Christmas time, every year since the Second World War, the Norwegians send us a Christmas tree to put up in Trafalgar Square.

Wouldn’t it be an idea, now, at this terrible time for the Norwegian people, to offer to plant a tree of ours on Utoeya, as a symbol of our solidarity and friendship with them?

挪威国旗

向极右派说 NO WAY!

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Janet Williams 張玉雲

I am Janet Williams, an academic living in the southeast of England. I blog about culture, history, languages and my community. I created Chandler's Ford Today. During my spare time, I make Origami. Thank you for stopping by.

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