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梵高真的割下了自己的整只耳朵吗?

更新时间:2016-7-14 15:52:30 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

New Evidence on van Gogh’s Ear Continues Debate on Painter’s Mental State
梵高真的割下了自己的整只耳朵吗?

AMSTERDAM — Everyone knows that Vincent van Gogh cut off his left ear. But since that fateful event nearly 128 years ago, there has been continuing debate among scholars about the severity of that mutilation, which took place in Arles, France, in December 1888. Did he simply slice off a little chunk of his ear, or did he lop off the entire ear?

阿姆斯特丹——大家都知道文森特·梵高(Vincent van Gogh)割掉了自己的左耳。不过,自从近128年前那个重大事件发生后,学者们对于1888年12月发生在法国阿尔勒的那次自残的严重程度一直存在争议。他是只割掉了一小块耳朵还是割掉了整只耳朵?

The author and amateur historian Bernadette Murphy, while researching the last period of that Dutch Post Impressionist’s life for a new book, discovered a document in an American archive that may help resolve the issue. A note written by Félix Rey, a doctor who treated van Gogh at the Arles hospital, contains a drawing of the mangled ear showing that the artist indeed cut off the whole thing.

作家、史学爱好者贝尔纳黛特·墨菲(Bernadette Murphy)为写新书研究了这位荷兰后印象派画家人生的最后一个时期。她在美国的一个档案馆发现了一份文件,可能有助于解开这个谜团。费利克斯·雷伊(Félix Rey)是在阿尔勒医院为梵高治疗的医生,他在一封短笺中画下了被割掉的耳朵,表明这位艺术家真的割下了整只耳朵。

The letter and drawing will be displayed for the first time at the Van Gogh Museum’s exhibition “On the Verge of Insanity,” which opens here on Friday and runs through Sept. 25, along with previously unexhibited documents and artifacts that try to provide more detailed evidence about van Gogh’s mental illness.

这封信和这张图首次在梵高博物馆(Van Gogh Museum)的展览“濒临疯狂”(On the Verge of Insanity)中展出。该展览周五在阿姆斯特丹开幕,将持续至9月25日。它还包括之前从未展出过的文件和艺术品,努力提供更多关于梵高精神疾病的具体证据。

The exhibition will also include about 25 paintings and other objects, like a corroded revolver that van Gogh may have used to kill himself, museum officials say. These will try to explore, in particular, the final stretch of his life while his troubles escalated, from the ear-cutting incident to July 29, 1890, when he apparently committed suicide in Auvers-sur-Oise, France.

博物馆的工作人员说,这场展览还将包括大约25件画作和其他物品,比如梵高可能用来自杀的已经腐蚀的左轮手枪。这些东西将着重探索他人生的最后一程,也就是从割耳事件到1890年7月29日他在法国瓦兹河畔欧韦自杀,期间他的精神疾病越来越严重。

The subject of the artist’s mental state has always fascinated people who admire his art, but until now the Van Gogh Museum, which contains the largest collection of his work in the world, has not directly addressed the subject. Until recently, the museum has focused on van Gogh’s aesthetic and technical progression, but interest in his biography is driving a different approach to exhibitions.

这位艺术家的精神状况一直令仰慕他艺术作品的人着迷,不过直到现在,梵高博物馆都没有直接探索过这个主题。梵高博物馆是世界上收藏梵高作品最多的地方。直到不久前,该博物馆依然重点关注梵高的美学和技术成长,不过对他生平的兴趣正开启一种不同的展览方式。

“This is really the start of a new series of small, focused exhibitions, which will only take one floor of the building but will enable us to give the visitors more information about van Gogh’s life,” said Nienke Bakker, curator of paintings for the Van Gogh Museum and curator of this exhibition. “This seemed for us to be the perfect subject to start with.”

“这真的是一系列新的小型专题展览的开端,它将只占一个楼层,不过将给观众带来更多关于梵高生平的信息,”梵高博物馆的绘画策展人宁克·巴克(Nienke Bakker)说。他也是这场展览的策展人。“我们觉得这个主题似乎是个完美的开端。”

Ms. Bakker said that most museum visitors wanted to know the details of van Gogh’s life: “The three most frequently asked questions are: What happened with his ear? What kind of illness did he have? and, Why did he commit suicide?”

巴克说,大部分博物馆观众想知道梵高人生的一些细节:“最常问的三个问题是:他的耳朵到底怎么了?他有什么疾病?他为什么自杀?”

The exhibition coincides with the release of the book, “Van Gogh’s Ear: The True Story,” by Ms. Murphy.

展览进行之时,正好是墨菲的书《梵高的耳朵:真实的故事》(Van Gogh’s Ear: The True Story)出版之际。

Steven Naifeh, an American historian and author of the 2011 “Van Gogh: The Life,” said in an email after looking at the new document, “I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, that they had indeed found new information from Rey, but it is not new, and it is not credible.”

美国历史学家史蒂文·奈菲(Steven Naifeh)2011年曾出版《梵高传》(Van Gogh: The Life)。他在看完这份新文件后在电子邮件中写道:“我本来真心以为他们从雷伊那里找到了新东西,可惜它不是新信息,也不可靠。”

In his biography, Mr. Naifeh argues that witnesses who saw van Gogh after Dr. Rey, including his brother Theo’s wife, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, the artist Paul Signac and van Gogh’s doctor in Auvers-sur-Oise, Dr. Paul Gachet, said that the entire ear was not missing.

奈菲在自己的传记中声称,在雷伊之后见过梵高的证人都说割掉的不是整只耳朵,他们包括梵高弟弟西奥(Theo)的妻子约翰娜·梵高-邦格尔(Johanna van Gogh-Bonger)、艺术家保罗·西尼亚克(Paul Signac)以及梵高在瓦兹河畔欧韦的医生保罗·加谢(Paul Gachet)。

They all “saw a portion of the mutilated ear remaining — so much, in fact, that, when Vincent was seen from face-on, the damage could go unnoticed,” Mr. Naifeh wrote. “Dr. Gachet, who saw Vincent in Auvers in 1890, made a very detailed etching of the artist’s mutilated ear at that time showing that the entire pinna (outer portion) of the ear was not taken off, but the missing portion was more than just a lobe.”

奈菲写道,他们都“看到部分耳朵还留着,实际上留下的部分很大,从正面看,根本注意不到耳朵被割过”,“1890年在欧韦见到文森特的加谢非常细致地画出了这位艺术家当时残缺的耳朵,它表明,整个耳廓没被割掉,不过,割掉的部分比耳垂要大”。

Various reasons for van Gogh’s self-harm have been given in the past. In Paul Gauguin’s autobiographical novel,“Avant et Après,” he describes a disagreement between him and van Gogh in Arles after Gauguin decided to leave. Gauguin wrote that van Gogh chased him with a razor until Gauguin stopped him, and then van Gogh went home and wounded himself.

过去,对于梵高为何自残,可谓众说纷纭。保罗·高更(Paul Gauguin)在自传体小说《此前此后》(Avant et Après)中描述了在阿尔勒,自己决定离开之后与梵高之间发生的争执。高更写道,梵高拿着剃刀追他,直到高更制止了他,然后梵高回到家做出了自残的举动。

In her research, Ms. Murphy, who was born in Ireland and has lived in Provence, just outside Arles, for many years, was also able to identify the woman to whom van Gogh gave his ear. She said her name was Gabrielle, a young maid who worked in a brothel. She suffered for many years, Ms. Murphy said, with being called a prostitute because of the contact with van Gogh. According to a local newspaper report, he told her, “Keep this object carefully,” and she immediately fainted.

墨菲出生于爱尔兰,在普罗旺斯住了很多年,就住在阿尔勒郊外。她在研究中还弄清了梵高把自己的耳朵交给了哪个女人。她说,那个女人名叫加布丽埃勒(Gabrielle),是在一家妓院打工的年轻女仆。墨菲说,由于跟梵高的接触,她被称为妓女,这让她痛苦了很多年。当地报纸的一篇报道称,他对她说“好好保管这个东西”,随即她晕了过去。

“There’s something semireligious to the way he offers a part of his body to repair a part of her body,” Ms. Murphy said at a preview of the exhibition. “She had a nasty scar on her body, and it’s as if he’s giving her fresh flesh.”

“他奉上自己身体的一部分用于修补她身体的一部分,这带有半宗教的意味,”墨菲预展上说,“她身上有一块难看的伤疤,他像是在给予她鲜肉。”

Ms. Bakker now says she thinks this was the delirious, unconscious behavior that became characteristic of van Gogh’s series of mental breakdowns. Van Gogh had no recollection of the events surrounding the ear episode, and said his memories of his actions during breakdowns were usually vague. In the hospital after the ear episode, he was ashamed to learn what he had done, and immediately put himself in the care of Dr. Rey.

巴克现在说,她认为这种精神错乱、神志不清的行为,是梵高一系列精神崩溃的表现特征。梵高对割耳前后的事情没有任何记忆,他说自己对精神崩溃时各种行为的记忆通常是模糊的。他割耳后在医院里得知自己的行为后感到很羞愧,立即让雷伊医生进行处理。

Van Gogh’s fame has always been linked to his complicated biography, and particularly to his madness. “The fact that 5-year-old children know who Vincent van Gogh is is partly because of this mangling of his ear,” Mr. Naifeh said in a phone interview. “If you were going to cite just a few facts about his life, this would be one of them.”

梵高的名声总是与他复杂的人生联系在一起,尤其是他的疯狂。“连5岁小孩都知道文森特·梵高是谁,一个原因是他割掉了自己的耳朵,”奈菲在电话采访中说,“如果你只能着重讲他人生的几件事,这一件肯定包括在内。”

Many have tried to guess what kind of mental illness van Gogh had. Some suppose he may have had temporal lobe epilepsy, which can lead to seizures, erratic behavior and loss of consciousness, while others believe his symptoms were more similar to bipolar disorder. Ms. Murphy said she thought it might have been a combination of the two. During the exhibition, the museum will host a symposium with doctors weighing in on the matter.

很多人试图猜测梵高得的是哪种精神疾病。有些人猜测他可能得的是颞叶癫痫,这可能导致突然发作、各种反常行为和意识丧失,也有人认为他的症状更接近躁郁症。墨菲说,她认为可能是两者兼而有之。趁着这次展览,博物馆还将举办一场研讨会,请医生们参与讨论。

“We’ve been studying all these diagnoses that have been put forward in the 126 years since his death,” Ms. Bakker said. “Of course, it’s very hard to diagnose a person who is dead and has been dead a long time. We know what the symptoms were, because he was describing them in his own letters. He says he has hallucinations, that he’s speaking incoherently, that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

“我们研究了他去世后126年里人们给出的所有诊断,”巴克说,“当然,诊断一个已经死去很长时间的人非常困难。我们知道他的症状,因为他在信中有所描述。他说自己产生幻觉,说话语无伦次,不知道自己在干什么。”

Exhibited for the first time are a police report on van Gogh’s incident in Arles, and a petition by van Gogh’s neighbors there in 1889, which asked the city’s mayor to institutionalize the artist. Dr. Rey’s letter and drawing of van Gogh’s severed ear will be displayed next to the artist’s portrait of Dr. Rey, painted in January 1889 and given to the doctor as thanks for his care.

首次展出的物品包括关于梵高在阿尔勒事故的警方报告,以及1889年梵高邻居们的请愿书——他们要求市长把这位艺术家关进精神病院。雷伊的信以及梵高割下的耳朵的草图,将与这位艺术家给雷伊画的肖像并置展示。那幅肖像是1889年1月梵高为了感谢这位医生而创作并赠送给他的。

The goal of the exhibition is not to link the artwork to his mental state but rather to make clear that van Gogh was struggling to work despite a debilitating illness.

这场展览的目的不是把他的艺术作品与他的精神状态联系在一起,而是想表明,虽然梵高身患令人衰弱的疾病,但仍在奋力工作。

“It’s not the case that he was having these hallucinations and painting them,” Ms. Bakker said. “A lot of people still think that. It’s amazing the amount of art he was able to create, especially considering that there were sometimes quite long periods when he wasn’t able to work.”

“他并不是把自己的幻觉画了下来,”巴克说,“很多人依然是这么认为的。令人惊叹的是,他能创作出那么多艺术作品,尤其是考虑到有时他有相当长的时间都无法工作。”

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