Vanitas vanitatum, omnia vanitas.


Hearn had argued that the "heart" of the Japanese could be grasped through his "life sketching" techniques, but Soseki demonstrates the reverse. If someone wishes to keep a secret, Soseki would argue, you can never discern it unless that person tells you. In Soseki's "Kokoro," Sensei's wife, Shizu, never learns from her husband the true cause of the death of someone identified only as "K." Nor would the narrator, a younger man known only as Watashi, understand the hidden secret of Sensei if the older man had not explicitly written down his life story for him.

The human heart or psyche in other words can be impenetrable. This is nothing to do with what an Orientalist of the day may have called "the mysterious Japanese," but is a universal constant of the human condition . . . 

Soseki argues that a novel's potential for accessing and analyzing the interior thoughts of a character offers writers a means of probing the human psyche. In other words, the most significant barrier is not, as Hearn once believed, any form of cultural wall between Japan and the rest of the world, but the wall that existed between the psyche of one individual and the people around them.



关于《心》这部作品本身,对作者后文分析出来的deliberate manipulation of external reality as a cover for turbulent inner motives云云还是不太赞成,太西洋理论了。但就摘录的这段里谈到的心的障壁来说,于我多少还是可以算心有戚戚焉吧。



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