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希望學會聆聽

聽吳爾芙談在家工作

Matters上在家工作(或說不上班的freelancer)的作者不少,最近陸續看到好幾篇關於在家工作的文章 。我是個上班族,這個話題本來我插不上嘴(雖然我還挺喜歡讀自由工作者的經驗),無巧不巧,今早才在想,這幾個月我大量地掛在Matters上,英文閱讀驟減,來溫習一下好了,翻開吳爾芙日記卷三(企鵝出版社),書籤停在第69頁(我家應該有十幾本、甚或是幾十本這種我讀到一半的書,量多到我已經停止為自己的始亂終棄閱讀習慣不好感到羞恥了),往下讀下一篇日記,竟然正好看到吳爾夫寫到在家工作的事。

以下是這筆日記的節錄,吳爾芙的文字很棒,我不敢翻譯。不介意讀英文的人可以看看,部分生字跟典故我會(非字典隨性)註解:


The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume 3: 1925-30Virginia Woolf. Edited by Anne Olivier Bell. 
First published by The Hogarth Press 1980.
Published in Penguin Books 1982. 

Wednesday, 24 March (1926)

"I am going to hand in my resignation this morning" said L. making the coffee.
To what? I asked.
"The Nation".
And it is done; & we have six months only before us. I feel 10 years younger; the shafts (擔子柄) off our shoulders again & the world before us. I can't pretend to make much of a to-do about this either way. It was a temporary makeshift job, amusing at first, then galling (痛苦), & last night, after an argument of the usual kind about literary articles & space & so on with Maynard & Hubert L. came to the decision to resign now. There was no quarrel....

The situation appears to be that L. shall make £300; I £200—& really I don't suppose we shall find it hard; & then the mercy of having no ties, no proofs, no articles to procure, & all that, is worth a little more exertion elsewhere, should it come to that. I'm amused at my own sense of liberation. To upset everything every 3 or 4 years is my notion of a happy life. Always to be tacking to get into the eye of the wind (把帆轉向朝著風眼跑?). Now a prudent life is, as L. pointed out in the Square the opposite of this. One ought to stick in the same place. But with £400 assured & no children, why imitate a limpet in order to enjoy a limpets safety? (limpet: 帽貝,類海螺,會附著在石頭上) The next question will be, I see, the Press. Shall we give that up too, & be quit of everything? ... The time will come, at this rate, when we have nothing in the world to resign: then, to get the effect of change, one will have to accept. We say we will travel & see the world...

I rather like feeling that I have to earn money. I intensely dislike being in office, in any post of authority. I dislike being in people's pay. This of course is part of the reason why I like writing for the Press. But I suppose freedom becomes a fetish like any other. These disjointed reflections I scribble on a divine, if gusty, day...

註:
L.: Leonard Woolf,吳爾芙的先生
The NationNation and Athenaeum. 英國政論雜誌,Labour勞工黨\Liberal自由黨視角,經濟學家凱恩斯在1923年買下這份雜誌,同為Bloomsbury群的好友Leonard在同年四月出任雜誌編輯。
Maynard & Hubert: Maynard Keynes, 凱恩斯,Hubert Douglas Henderson, 經濟學家, 1923-30擔任The Nation編輯
The Press: Hogarth Press. 吳爾芙夫妻創辦的印刷社,最初目的是讓吳爾芙可以自由寫作(自費出版先行者?),印刷機在他們自家樓下,封面設計常出自吳爾芙的姊姊Vanessa之手,裝釘也自己來(吳爾芙有時在日記中提到她當釘書機的工作),陸續也出版了不少後來變成大咖的作家,比如說詩人艾略特T.S. Eliot


其實這篇日記並不是吳爾芙談"作為一個在家工作者"的專文(標題有click bait嫌疑?),不管是寫小說或為各種報章雜誌撰寫的書評,吳爾芙一向都在家工作。儘管吳爾芙想像(腦補?)了半天Leonard辭去雜誌編輯職務後夫妻倆的可能收入、到處旅行去玩的生活樣貌,Leonard後來其實被凱恩斯和另一位編輯勸留了,直到1929年都是還是The Nation雜誌的編輯。

不過我覺得讀這些雜思很有趣,許多自由工作者應該可以在吳爾芙八十多年前的日記中找到共鳴:討厭坐辦公室,不想要有上司,永遠只把上班想成暫時性工作,估算收入能否應付開支,如果收入勉強可應付、何必學一隻寄生螺?
另外有些想法也很有趣:像每三四年就要把生活(抓起來)抖一下人生才算快樂(To upset everything every 3 or 4 years is my notion of a happy life);辭職一身輕之後幾年搞不好得再把自己綁住才能達到轉變的效果;或是(在家工作者追求的或是各種?)自由到後來也是不是也變成某種fetish.. 


我不確定自己讀書的心有所感或會心一笑對其他人來說到底有沒有意義,這篇也算實驗一下轉載有價值嗎以及閱讀行為可不可以產生經濟效應

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