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张锷:爱是互相成全 ——读 Jojo Moyes 小说Me before You 《我先你而去》有感

发布日期: 2013-12-23   作者:   浏览次数 1473

 

I dived into Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You right after finishing Jeanntte Wall’s Glass Castle. It is almost a reading shock at first because of its contrasting writing style and culture references from the black humored, hard knuckled American woman writer vs the refrained, refined, but witty English woman writer. The first 20% of the book is almost too slow paced for me. But oh boy!  Isn’t Jojo a great story teller?! In no time, I was deeply immersed in the story.

My Hanvon page indicator showed 100% and I put down the book. I thought I was going to read a romance but what I just finished was really a story about humanity and human rights. You may not choose how you come to this world but you sure can decide how you exit this world, and most importantly, how you live the life in between.  It asks everyone, “What kind of life is worthy of living?” “What do you need to do to make your life worthy of living?”

Then comes the question of choices. Will Traynor, the ex-financial whiz kid and successful business man is determined to end his life after a motor accident which left him Quadriplegic (unable to move his body from neck down.) He was destined to live a Big Life but he does not have that choice any more. His choices are dignified death or living a pained life with 24/7 care. He chose the former.  However, he encouraged Clark, the girl who lived a small life in a claustrophobic English village under the shadow of her pained past to challenge herself and open up to new opportunities and dare to choose a bigger life. He even made that choice easier by leaving her with enough money to start a new life.

You may disagree with Will’s choice. You may think him cowardly and selfish. You may find enough Quadriplegic people living a full life despite of its pain and suffering. But you cannot disagree with the fact that Will is entitled to make his choice. No religion or believe should overwrite this basic human right. I think that is where the author stands with this complicated question of dignified death.

The secondary characters of this book, Will’s parent, Clark’s parents, sister and boy friend also provide a very interesting insight to the current English society, its supportive, closely knitted lower working class family versus the entitled, somewhat vain yet still well meaning old money upper class. Being English, you can see Jojo Moyes and its Me before you in the sight of old English greats such as Withering Heights, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice.  Time slows down in her detailed narration and storytelling. Life is worthy of enjoying a lot more if you choose to pay attention to all the little details and little people and little things in your life.

The book digs deep into an interesting topic of humanity and human right but with great story telling. To a great extent, it is not just the story that matters but how the story is told. Jojo is a very talented writer and worthy of following up with future reading.

 

这是个关于生命质量的故事, 也是一个高富帅男人和一个穷矮挫女孩的爱情故事。

富家子弟Will是一个意气风发的青年才俊,他幽默机智,热爱旅游,热爱远方,热爱挑战极限的户外运动,热爱美女,年纪轻轻就是伦敦一家著名金融公司的合伙人, 事业和个人生活都无比尊贵优越, 是上天的宠儿,白富美女郎们争相追逐的白马王子。

Louisa Clark 是英国一个小镇上的平民女孩,她善良单纯,和老实巴交的父母和一个未婚生子的妹妹一起住在一个贫民社区非常狭小的房子里, 一家人虽然恩爱互助, 但是经济拮据,为钱烦恼的阴云总徘徊在他们的头顶。27岁的Louisa从来没离开过她生活的小镇,她的足迹甚至没有超出过家附近的几条小街。她满足于在咖啡馆打工的简单生活,从没想过除此以外还能以何种方式帮助拮据的家人。

这两个人的生活,本是没有任何交集的。神话里的灰姑娘通过一双神秘的水晶鞋走进了国王的世界,而生活不是神话, 一场无情的车祸让 高富帅 Will Traynor和穷矮挫女孩 Louisa Clark的生活轨道意外交汇了。

高位截瘫的Will从天堂落到地狱,被限制在一张轮椅上,永远失去了行动自由。除了各种病痛的折磨,最绝望的是他的一切从此受制于人,这对一个自我意识极强,永远按照自己的意愿安排自己人生的人来说是无法接受的。依赖于他人,这不是他想要的生活,他选择结束自己的生命。自杀未遂后, 他坚决求去瑞士接受安乐死。刚刚失业的Louisa在这个时候作为家庭助理走进了他的生活。

从最初的陌生, 到互相欣赏,一个感人的爱情故事徐徐展开。一个高傲受挫的灵魂和一颗善良单纯的心,慢慢融合在一起,交织着病痛,交织着生和死的较量。最感动我的, 竟不是生离死别,也不是我一直充满了敬畏的安乐死主题,而是他们的爱情,真正诠释了什么叫“爱是互相成全”!

Louisa为了让Will能重新燃起生的希望,做了种种努力,鼓励他重新规划自己的人生,重新享受生活,她克服重重困难带他去参加各种活动,甚至去远方旅行, 要让他看到他可以有另一种生活,一种虽然不同以往却依然有意义的生活, 充满爱的生活! 可是对Will来说,生活中光有爱是不够的,失去了自由的意志就失去了一切,他去意已定。而他是多么爱这个善良热情又单纯的姑娘啊, 他一直鼓励她要多读好书,重新去上学,要跳出自己的狭小的圈子,多出去看世界,去勇敢地拥抱生活。他似乎拖着病体配合着Louisa为他苦心安排的种种活动, 包括去非洲的旅行,貌似他也努力尝试要重新燃起生的希望, 其实到最后万达娱乐官网明白, 他所做的这一切都是为了她,是为了带她去体会一个全新的世界, 让她认识到人生中还有那么多的可能性,让她意识到自己的聪明智慧和潜在才华,去发掘, 去追求。而对他自己,他要做此生最后一个自我意志的决定:结束!很多篇章我读得泪流满面, 为了人性中这些最美好、高尚的东西。每一个个体,都应该按照自己的意愿去度过自己的人生,每一个个体,都应该去实现自己的生命价值。

作为一个中国女人,这份爱情的高度更让我喟叹不已。它超越了通常的男欢女爱,更超越出中国文化中对爱的某种定义。当中国人把负责与否,甚至养活与否定为爱一个人的最高标准时, WillLouisa的爱, 是要她去追求作为一个人的价值, 这才是对人性最高的礼赞!当一个男人爱一个女人,还有什么比鼓励她去追求梦想,并尽一切可能在精神上和物质上让她没有牵挂地去实现人生最大的价值更高的表现形式呢?可这在一个基本还是把女人当作从属物并崇尚三从四德,甚至从骨子里认同“女子无才便是德”的文化里几乎是不可想象的。他们之间的对话,让我几次感动得落泪。 爱不是恩赐和回报,爱她/他, 就给她/他自由, 这个自由不是简单的头脑所理解的想干啥就干啥, Louisa而言,Will要给她的自由是去发现自己的聪明才智,发掘自身的各种可能性,去开拓视野,尝试新事物,大胆追求自己的梦想,努力活出自己的精彩,最后在精神灵魂的层面自由地驰骋;对Will而言,Louisa给他的自由是他能够按照自己的意志,结束自己的痛苦,结束自己生命。他们真正互相因爱而成全。

Jojo Moyes 是一位居住在伦敦的女作家, 作品曾多次获得英国小说奖。她的语言非常有特色, 幽默诙谐,轻松愉快。整部小说不停切换叙述视角, 每个人物都栩栩如生,可读性极强。Me Before You 在今年一月被亚玛逊电子书库推荐为最佳小说。