JoyceLin_Franschhoek01如果说开普敦就像一篇华丽的交响乐,那么法兰西霍克(Franschhoek)小镇就像是巴哈的法国组曲,轻扬、优雅、并充满朝气的回荡在山谷间。

大部分的人一提到南非,想到的便是一望无际的草原、狮子和大象,再不然就是充满原始风的非洲部落和舞蹈,但其实从大航海时代以来,南非就一直深深的被欧洲文明所影响着,尤其是临海的西南部。也因此,南非的西南部,也就是西开普省(Western Cape Province)这一带是最早被开发的地区,这里拥有许多古老的城镇,其中有几个城镇拥有浓厚的欧洲气息。


为得着自由流亡异乡

法兰西霍克,一个座落在南非西开普省狭长山谷中的小城镇,也是南非最古老的城镇之一。这个小镇的历史起源于十七世纪,由一群自法国流亡而来的胡格诺教徒(Huguenot)落脚在这个地区开始。这些早期的开拓者原本是法国胡格诺派的新教徒,十六世纪时经历了36年残酷的战争之后,原本以为可以平安的在家乡生活着,毕竟这场战争不仅是一次宗教战争,更是一次各派封建贵族以宗教分歧为名,争夺政权的斗争,也为法国带来很大的破坏和影响。

然而,1685年法王路易十四废除了代表宗教信仰自由宽容的《南特敕令》(Édit de Nantes),进而发布了《枫丹白露敕令》(Édit de Fontainebleau)重新将胡格诺派视为非法宗教,这个敕令使得大量的胡格诺教徒因为受到法国天主教廷和王室的迫害,被迫逃离至海外,大多数移居到荷兰、普鲁士、英国、北欧和北美,一些人则远离故土来到了辽阔的非洲大地。

1687至1689年间约有270多名胡格诺新教徒流亡至南非开普敦的好望角,他们被当时统治南非的荷兰殖民政府安置在名为「奥利芬霍克」(Olifantshoek)的小镇并赠予土地。「奥利芬霍克」在南非文的意思是「大象的落脚处」,因为原本这里拥有大片辽阔的草原,成群的大象在此处生活着。不过随着大批的法国流亡者移居至此,这里很快就改名成「le Coin Francais」,意指「法国人的角落」,最后才定名为「法兰西霍克」(hoek为荷兰文角落之意)。

因着这样特殊的历史背景,这个小镇的风情相当的法国:你可以慵懒的漫步在老橡树步道间,身边伴随着葡萄园或是其它果园,彷佛置身在欧洲的乡间小径;也可以登上附近的山脉或是骑着马倘佯在大自然中。这里的建筑物融合着法国及开普荷兰式风格的影响,许多百年以上的老建筑和酒窖至今仍然坚固尽责的陪伴保护着当地居民。

 

佳酿、美食与无尽故事

十八世纪的英国作家同时也是艺术家的安.柏纳夫人(Lady Ann Barnard),曾经在她的诗中对于这个地区有过这样的形容:

永不止息,仍在新生阶段 - 这块土地值得我们去赢得它吗?

是的,这里拥有气候、土壤,

就在你的身边:努力耕耘,这是众神们给予你的。

Never ending, still beginning - was this country worth the winning?

Yes, here's climate, soil,

beside thee: Cultivate - the gods provide thee


JoyceLin_Franschhoek02早期的开拓者很多都是身怀技艺的人士,他们不仅在此地自给自足的展开新生活,更将法国优良的葡萄栽种和酿酒技术带到了法兰西霍克。为了纪念他们的故乡,这里的许多葡萄酒庄园以开拓者的家乡为名,一直延续至今。

这个小小的城镇目前容纳了四十多家历史悠久的酒庄,由于拥有和法国乡村相似的地理及气候条件,相当适合种植葡萄,因此这里成了西开普省五大葡萄种植区之一:富饶绵延的山坡地、春天时山上融化的雪水顺流而下,饱满的阳光普照,邻近的大西洋和印度洋也为山谷间带来丰沛的水气。这里出产的葡萄酒虽然不算多,但独特的历史地理背景给了本地葡萄酒很不一样的独特风味。

有了香醇的美酒之余,最不可或缺的当然就是名闻世界的法国美食了。法兰西霍克亦被称为「南非的美食之都」(The Gourmet Capital of South Africa),除了质量极佳的葡萄酒,还拥有更多世界级的餐厅及充满荷兰田园情调的旅馆和民宿。

大部分法兰西霍克的酒庄都是历史悠久,如果你有机会来到这边,绝对不要只当个品尝美酒佳肴的过客,一定要停下脚步听听酒庄主人叙述祖先和酒窖的精采故事。

 

摄影/Frank Slack(上) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/slack12/360030222/

Deon Maritz(下)

本文为节录,完整内容请见2010年5月号《人籁论辨月刊》

 

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Being an outsider in the city can give rise to a poetry of sorts. Whether we are business ex-pats, exchange students or foreign workers, we all eventually face the same problem of our wandering impermanence. For this months Focus on poetry in the city, I look back at some written scraps and ramblings on my own impermanence and identity issues whilst I was a student of Mandarin in Taipei. Of Anglo-French descent, studying Chinese, for me it was fitting that I could find scrawlings in the three languages (and cultures) between which I’m torn:

时间之舌

贴在车窗长镜

徐徐刷过

褪金城市角落

ida_yang_may_poetry_nick

When I think of poetry in the city, two films immediately spring to mind. The first is Sofia Coppola's 2003 film Lost in Translation, the other Wim Wenders 1987 film Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin). The first one is set in contemporary Japan, the other in post cold war Berlin (complete with the Wall). In both films, the city in question appears to be observed from the eyes of the outsider. In Lost in Translation, Charlotte and Bob's destinies cross paths in Tokyo. They both feel alienated and ill-fit in their surrogate society; they are both outsiders and loneliness brings them together. Their chance encounter takes place in multicoloured Tokyo, yet like two floating reeds passing by, Tokyo is also where they must part, such is their wandering impermanence. In contrast, The Angels Among Us, is seen through the eyes of an angel; quietly, calmly, observing the human world that he so adores. He adores it enough to be willing to descend into the human world; however, living a different type of existence he is completely unable to transcend the role of observer. He hears every humans' secrets, he is captivated, fascinated by the joy, the love, the rage, the sadness;  the fullness and variety of their emotions. Therefore he eventually leaves his position as an onlooker in heaven, to become a mortal human of flesh and blood...

Of course the subject matter that make up these two films are present in many other literary works;  however, the image created in Lost in Translation is much closer to classical Chinese poetry,  specifically the poets who wrote of their drifting from place to place as the outsider, or sighed the tragedies of separation and death.  For example, when Bob and Charlotte are about to part,  standing on the street embracing, there is a sense that they may never meet again, which for me brings to mind the words of two Chinese poets: Li Shangyin, a Tang Dynasty poet "Though this moment will turn into a precious memory, I cannot help but be devastated at its passing" and Northern Song poet Liu Yong's poem - Yu Linling "The smorgasbord of emotions in times of parting has always caused a world of pain". It's an unfulfilled love story,  no doubt dooming them to separation and feelings of loss, and as Charlottes tears roll down, the two of them keep rolling on. Wings of Desire, in contrast, is a piece of western theology, a reinterpretation of Christianity's fallen angel. When the film starts, a poem is read:

When the child was a child 
It walked with its arms swinging, 
wanted the brook to be a river, 
the river to be a torrent, 
and this puddle to be the sea.

When the child was a child, 
it didn’t know that it was a child, 
everything was soulful, 
and all souls were one.

When the child was a child, 
it had no opinion about anything, 
had no habits, 
it often sat cross-legged, 
took off running, 
had a cowlick in its hair, 
and made no faces when photographed.

 

Als das Kind Kind war, 
ging es mit hängenden Armen, 
wollte der Bach sei ein Fluß, 
der Fluß sei ein Strom, 
und diese Pfütze das Meer.

Als das Kind Kind war, 
wußte es nicht, daß es Kind war, 
alles war ihm beseelt, 
und alle Seelen waren eins.

Als das Kind Kind war, 
hatte es von nichts eine Meinung, 
hatte keine Gewohnheit, 
saß oft im Schneidersitz, 
lief aus dem Stand, 
hatte einen Wirbel im Haar 
und machte kein Gesicht beim fotografieren.


The original German version from the film is in fact read by the main actor Damiel (Bruno Ganz). The poem is called Lied Vom Kindsein (Song of Childhood) and was written by Peter Handke, a poet and scriptwriter. He got his inspiration from another German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke's great work Duineser Elegien (Duino Elegies).

There is a subtle metaphor here: before the angel fell down to earth, he could maintain the innocent eyes of the observer, like the purity of a child without any preinstalled beliefs or standpoints. However when he becomes human, it's just like when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit; they became aware of their naked bodies and had to find leaves to cover themselves, they then began to nurture a sense of shame and thus had to endure human suffering. This notion stems from a biblical allusion and although the words used in the poem aren't especially profound, what they represent is far deeper than what meets the eye. Another interesting aspect of this film is that when the angel transcends to the human world, the frame switches from black and white to a colour. His head is bleeding as he encounters a pedestrian and asks his first question as a human: "Is this the colour red?" This echoes the meaning in the poem, that whilst he was still an angel he did not possess the human sensory system; after humanisation he felt pain, but he also saw colour. This is the beauty and the tragedy of being human. For him however, it's all worth it, because he experiences love.

Wings of Desire is set in pre-unification Berlin, with many of the city's landmarks appearing in scene. The angel often stands on the famous Siegessäule overlooking the bleak, desolate post-war Berlin. The huge Berlin wall encircles and demarcates the isolated island of democracy that was West Berlin. For those, like myself, that have never been to Berlin, it matches the image of Berlin we imagine, a numbing chill hanging in the air, freezing all the poetry and songs we mutter to ourselves. Perhaps, if I eventually visit Berlin, I will look up, searching to see if there really are angels occupying the skies. Going back to Lost in Translation, the hustle and bustle of modern Tokyo, is in great contrast to the lonely souls of the two protagonists who have nowhere to anchor. Is this not indeed a feeling that all drifters, travellers living as outsiders in a foreign land have, as they walk alone down a road full of traffic? Another Tang Dynasty poem written by Zhang Ji comes to mind:

The moon descends and the birds call, through the frosty midnight bite

Fishing lamps and maple trees lining the riverside accompany my anxiety induced insomnia.

From the Han Mountain Temple outside the Suzhou city walls,

An echo descends from the midnight gongs all the way to this passenger boat

Even if these two examples couldn't be further apart in time and setting, they nonetheless express the same emotions; one follows the insomnia of the drunken immortal Zhang Xu on a boat in ancient Suzhou, the other has Bob and Charlotte lying sleeplessly on their beds in a deluxe hotel in modern Japan; the nostalgic feeling that the moonlight is always brighter in your hometown.

Ida_UntranslatablePoems05Another way the film shows the changes in Charlottes state of mind is that at the beginning, after she visits a temple, she rings a friend and tells her: "Today I visited a temple. Monks were reciting passages, but I didn't feel anything." Finally at the end of the film she takes a high speed rail to Kyoto, moving from one city to another. Transport is a very important setting for travellers and contemporary urban nomads. Staring out of the window onto the ever changing sceneries has a mysterious charm. In the same way life is like a drama, scene after scene, one appears temporarily but then eventually all scenes come to an end. Fittingly, the accompanying background music for this part is 'Alone in Kyoto' provided by the French duo Air. And for me, her time spent in Kyoto is the most poetic of the whole film; strolling the temples of Kyoto, Charlotte eyes catch a newlywed couple passing by, dressed in traditional wedding garb. As she stops and watches them, the groom takes his partner by the hand and the lens slides over to Charlottes face. She is no longer the girl who didn't feel anything; subtle changes in her expressions show us that where she used to only feel a cold alienation, she now feels warmth.

In big cities, one constantly encounters different people; sometimes these can become true lasting relationships, other times we just brush by transient visitors. And this, this is the fatal attraction of the city. People are just words and the streets just phrases, freely interweaving together to create a huge fantastical poem. And every city is a poem, regardless of all the tiny words whirling and dancing within. And every encounter between two of these tiny characters can kindle a moving story, and every story can be a poem;  some disappointing, some tragic, some helpless, some soul destroying; yet some heroic, some romantic, ecstatic and tantalising!

Translated from Chinese by Nicholas Coulson

(Top photo by Ida Yang/ Bottom left photo provided by AtMovies)

時間之舌

貼在車窗長鏡

徐徐刷過

褪金城市角落

BV_CitiesInWinter012009年12月欧洲很冷,到处下雪,这不是每年都见得到的。在我孩提时,街道积雪的光景颇为寻常,随着岁月流逝,却越来越罕见。

QingLe_Shanghai01百多年前,上海是全世界冒险家的乐园。据说,这里充满了机会,令人转眼暴富的机会,听起来有些可笑却奇幻诱人。这「机会」究竟成全了多少人的淘金梦,不过是另一些淘金者眼中的传奇,但一座真实的城市却在这承载着许多梦想的「机会」中打造而出。

一个城市能有多少诗意?

城市居民或游人有多少种化诗意为现实的方法,

诗意又能有多少不同层次与面貌?

这些问题,唯有透过「生活」的本身才能够回答。

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