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更新时间:2018-6-16 7:12:35 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What Is Sadness, and What Is Depression?

I stood onstage as an audience of over a thousand people applauded and cheered. My hosts placed an award in my hands. I nodded to the crowd, and they all rose to their feet. Hooray for you, the strangers shouted. Hooray!


Less than a week later, I sat up in bed in my house in Maine. A voice said: “You’re nothing. You’re a joke. They’d never have given you that award if they knew the truth.”


It was hard to argue. After all, who knew me better than the voice inside my head?


As it turns out, the person who knows me better than that voice is me. This is what depression does: It lies to you. At this point in my life, I’m stronger than it is. But if I were younger — or if the voice were louder — things might be different.


I don’t know what drove Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain to suicide, and all I can wish for their families is love and solace.

我不知道凯特·斯佩德(Kate Spade)和安瑟尼·波登(Anthony Bourdain)自杀的原因是什么,我只希望他们的家人能得到爱与安慰。

But I do know that we don’t have a good language for talking about sadness or depression, which are two countries that have a common border.


Depression can be a kind of blindness that blacks out everything but the worst. An artist — or anyone — who is suffering from that blindness isn’t someone who is seeing a reality the rest of us cannot face. Most of the time, that person is just an innocent soul who has been seduced by a voice that is separating her from the truth.


Sadness, on the other hand, is a natural and reasonable reaction to the miseries of the world, some of them personal, some universal. There’s nothing unhealthy about sadness, and if certain things about the world at present fail to make you miserable, then you’re simply not paying attention. It’s not a state I aspire to. But as Paul Simon once sang, “Sometimes even music cannot substitute for tears.”

另一方面,面对世界上的痛苦,悲伤是一种自然而合理的反应,其中一些痛苦是个人的,一些是普世的。悲伤并不是什么不健康的东西,如果目前世界上的某些事情不能使你感到悲伤,那只是因为你根本就没有去关注。这不是我渴望的状态。但是正如保罗·西蒙(Paul Simon)唱过的那样,“有时甚至连音乐也不能代替泪水。”

The problem is that it can be hard to tell the two apart.


When I was 8, I accidentally crashed through a glass door on my way to something called Aquarama in Philadelphia. That landed me in the emergency room at the Bryn Mawr Hospital, where I got 10 stitches and a bandage.


Fourteen years later, I was sitting on the stoop of a house in Middletown, Conn., with a girl whom I was just about to kiss. She saw the scar on my arm. “Oh, no,” she said. “You too?”


She pulled back her sleeve to show the place on her arm where she had a scar as well. She hadn’t gotten hers en route to Aquarama.


Six years after that I found myself alone at the edge of a cliff in Nova Scotia. A voice whispered: “Go ahead, jump. Who would miss you?”


Fortunately, I was pulled back at that moment, although even now I cannot say by what exactly. But something reached out and held me.


Sadness and depression, and love, are at the heart of “Long Players,” a new book by Peter Coviello, a memoir about the dark hole he fell into after his marriage dissolved and the way music — and the love of his now ex-stepdaughters — helped to save him.

悲伤、抑郁与爱情是彼得·科维洛(Peter Coviello)的新书《长歌》(Long Players)的核心内容,是关于他在婚姻解体之后陷入黑洞的回忆录,以及音乐和她的几位继女(现在已经成了前继女)对他的爱如何拯救了他。

One morning, in the depth of his depression, he went down to the kitchen and stared at a knife.


Mr. Coviello — whom I knew years ago when he was a professor at Bowdoin — emerges from his cave battered but alive. In part, it’s his exuberant love of song that resuscitates him, although it’s also the thing that can instantly transport him back in time to the days of his happiness, shattering him anew.


In response to his work, I wanted to make him a playlist of my own, tracing the movement in the book from its early joy through its darkness, and finally emerging on the other side. I thought of starting off with Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.” Then: “Oh No,” by the Mothers of Invention; then “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber; Schumann’s “Traumeri”; and Bob Dylan’s “Lay Down Your Weary Tune.” I might finish up with “The Man Who Sold the World,” by David Bowie; “Midnight Train,” by Dave Rawlings; and “Better Things,” by the Kinks.

为了回应他的作品,我想为他做一份我的播放列表,按照他书中从早期的喜悦到后来的黑暗,直到最后出现在黑暗另一头的过程。我想从查克·贝里(Chuck Berry)的《你永远说不清》(You Never Can Tell)开始。然后是“发明之母”(Mothers of Invention)的《哦,不》(Oh No);然后是塞缪尔·巴伯(Samuel Barber)的《弦乐柔板》(Adagio for Strings);舒曼(Schumann)的《梦幻曲》(Traumeri);和鲍勃·迪伦(Bob Dylan)的《歇下你疲惫的曲调》(Lay Down Your Weary Tune)。我可能会用大卫·鲍伊(David Bowie)的《出卖世界的男人》(The Man Who Sold the World);戴夫· 罗林斯(Dave Rawlings)的《午夜列车》(Midnight Train);和“奇想”(Kinks)的《更好的东西》(Better Things)作为结束。

Music’s a good way out of the darkness. But it isn’t the only way. Sometimes, for me, baking bread helps. So does getting out and running or riding my bike. So does the love of friends.


Therapy’s good, too.


After that girl touched the scar on my arm, she kissed me and said, “I’m so sorry.”


I kissed her back. I didn’t know anything about the future. “It was a long time ago,” I told her. “I’m better now.”