慢的美学 – The Aesthetics of slowness – English

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I.

In 2007, after moving from Guangzhou to Guanxi, I had already lived in the small town of Guilin for almost 3 years.

When I think back about it today, although almost 6 years have passed, I still remember all the details of it, as if things had occurred yesterday. These years was really quiet, like a mountain hermit, going to and from work every day at the same time, with all leisure to read, buy and cook food, a laid-back experience, and when compared to that of a metropolitan city, closer to the origins of life.

On the shore of the Li river, 有一家名为刀锋书店的小书吧,七八十平米的营业面积,and in the window were a few tables where you could read books and drink tea, there were not many books, but they were chosen with very good taste, 从中可窥见老板娘的眼力。I went there almost every second day, to see what new books and magazines had arrived, and see who else was looking at the books, 那几乎是我接触外界消息的很大一条通道。有时候你翻厌了,走出来就是漓江,江面上或有渔船,或有水草,你可以想象它如何从华南第一峰猫儿山流出,一路漂流向南,形成美甲天下的桂林山水。

你也可以想象,这条江以前的形态和水量,you can imagine how many people through history have come to observe it and pay it homage, what have they seen, and what have they left, how many people have seen this famous river, and in turn, how many different kinds of people has this river seen!. 有了这样的悠闲,你即使是身在一个盆景式的山水小城,没有风云际会和惊天动地,也一样可以安身安心,因为你不单单是只活在眼前,还活在江水逝者如斯的亘古之中。

When the weather was nice, I would stroll to the vegetable market, 看到集市上物品琳琅,青菜是一把把从田间割出来的,桔子上面还带着树枝和叶子,你甚至可以感受得到菜农在田里的劳作状态,会想象得到他采摘桔子时候的力度,你自然会感觉出一种丰盛,心里也会生出一种富足和安定,虽然那东西并不属于我,而只是零零散散地摆在菜市场上,一份份被摆出来,又一份份被卖出去。

Sometimes, I also went to the small alleys around ‘Kind city’, 这座王城是明太祖朱元璋其侄孙朱守谦被封为靖江王时修造的王城,比故宫还早36年。王城周围是几条横七竖八的寻常巷陌,有人来人往,有狗叫,有阳光,有时光在石板路和灰砖墙上漫漶过的痕迹,有名字雅致实则平常的胡同,有炊烟和煎炒声,有煤气罐,有阿婆阿爷打纸牌的声音,市声隐隐,但是听着却很亲切。我把这个山水之外的桂林,称为第二个桂林,这里藏着一些让你慢下来的东西。

I’ve always thought that, when you adopt a slower, less hurried pace, there’s very few things which are not beautiful, and very few things that do not ring true. But when you’re always faced with urgency, when you’re always faced with speed, profit, and material things, that beauty and that truth will often be confused, because there is no time to organise our emotions, and allow our minds to go to these things and back to itself.

In today’s urban society, among some of the people who get rich, many seem to want to escape the city, return to small towns and nature. Either they go to a long trip to the border areas of Yunnan, Tibet or Xinjiang, or they go and enjoy themselves in small towns and villages, but why? I think it’s a kind of awakening, a kind of awakening that follows the experience of speed and strength, because there is some sort of very stabilising power in small towns and nature, a very thick and slow kind of strength, that can fill the empty place in their hearts.

我们经常说礼失求诸野,那么我们的都市社会丢掉了什么呢?是一些接地气的、生活化的东西,是一些人情的、市井的东西,而这些东西,我们内心的其实是有莫大用处的。

日本的都市、台湾的都市,其实都是有这种稳定的力量的。你看《入殓师》,作为一个大提琴演奏师,小林大悟不得不放弃在东京的演奏家之路,回到故乡,开始一段他本不愿接受的入殓师职业,他去观察各种各样的死亡,凝视围绕在逝者周围的充满爱意的人们。我无意述说入殓师的伟大和死亡哲学,而是觉得日本人有这种安定的、回归的力量,有回到慢的生活的勇气,而换到中国的都市人身上,基本上我们很难回头,经过一种都市生活后再安于故乡。

台湾也是这样,它的现代与传统并不脱轨,与自然也不脱轨,你到台北、高雄这样的国际化都市,一点也不会感觉到都市的荒凉感和压迫感,你到垦丁、美浓这样的小镇,一点也不会感觉到落后、蛮荒或者破败。而且,台湾人比较好的一点是,他们从都市回到乡野不会觉得不适应,饭衣蔬食仍可以捡拾起从前的习惯,他们从山村来到台北或者新北,也不会自惭形秽或者妄自菲薄,而能用从故乡带来的风土融合都市社会的生活方式,结合如一。

但是我后来离开桂林,又先去上海、后来北京,我发现无论我自己还是身边的人,经常可以看到大家一脸神色匆匆,每个人身上都有一种失魂落魄,从我自己的身心经验出发,我知道我们是焦虑的、不安的、仓皇的,总怕一不小心落下什么,赶不上什么,唯恐自己不时髦了,跟不上最新的生活方式了,而不懂得用缓慢去平衡疾驰,用本色去对抗光怪陆离。

这个问题,是我们割裂了乡野力量的城市化造成的,有太多政治的、经济的力量,但是最后造成的结果,却都需要我们每一个人来承担,要我们自己去寻找各自的身心寄托。

II.

In an increasingly fast-paced social life, slowing down requires courage and determination.

There’s a poem by Li Shanyin called “Night rain going North” 夜雨寄北 :“君问归期未有期,巴山夜雨涨秋池。何当共剪西窗烛,却话巴山夜雨时。” He wrote this to his distant wife in Chang’an on a rainy night in Bashu, and we generally interpret it as an expression of affection and longing for his distant wife, but something else in this poem is worth pondering on, and that is, what state of mind is it, that a person on the rainy Ba Mountain will listen to the sound of rain at night outside the window, and think of someone absent?

When we think about it, among the people of today, who will listen to the sound of rain at night? And as the rain falls around them, would they think of someone far away?

The technological developments of our age have shattered our aesthetic enjoyment of dark clouds and moonlit landscapes, mountains and rivers,自然已经被揭开了天灵盖; transport and communications have reduced time and space so much that if you miss someone, you can just phone them, and a video call can make it seem as if they were right in front of you, we’ve lost the habit of lying down at night and listen to the rain on the banana leaf, and we have no time to appreciate the snow falling and melting, confronted with the speed of everything around us, slowness has become a luxury, something outdated, a kind of perversion, like ignoring the world.

The slowness of Li Shanyin seems further and further away from us. And his slowness was not just his alone, the excessive sense of leisure in his mind was also dictating by the slow spirit of his time. Not only was this a pastoral and agricultural slowness, but the period he lived in was the late Tang Dynasty, when the dynasty’s high point of prosperity had already passed, and the regime was slowly declining.

After the industrial revolution took place in 18th century Britain, spread through the whole European Continent, then swept through America, and spread to Asia, in just over two centuries, it has become the engine of the earth, and the whole world has transitioned from the agricultural age to the industrial and commercial age.

All humans are prisoners of this wide, quick and irresistible conquest, hardly anyone can evade it, 我们的衣食住行和生活方式都在被改变着,人类搭上工业革命这列车速越来越快的列车后,突然发现自己再也下不来了,我们被速度、感官、刺激绑架了,我们也许不喜欢,也许已经萌生退意,但是我们却没有办法,一种遍布山河的、消魂摄骨的气氛已经牢牢存在了。

The industrial civilisation pursues speed and efficiency. Franklin’s ‘time is life, time is money’ was once used as a motto for everyone. The worship of speed and quantity has already taken control of our consciences, and become the basis for our value judgements.

对这列在以加速度前进的列车的对抗,其实早已存在。1986年,意大利记者卡洛•佩特里尼有一次漫步罗马的西班牙广场,在一瞬间他被几十名学生在广场上同时大嚼汉堡的画面震惊了,当得知广场又要开一家麦当劳时,他组织人们到广场端着传统意大利面食议抗。3年后,他成立了慢餐协会,倡导人们放慢节奏享受美食和生活,这拉开了慢生活的帷幕。

继卡洛•佩特里尼的慢餐运动之后,上世纪90年代初有一个名为SlowMovement运动,短短几年就有几十个国家、八十几万会员参加,它没有总部,没有组织,只一个简单的理念,唤醒被速度绑住的人,劝导人们慢慢吃、慢慢呼吸、慢慢思考、慢慢做爱、慢慢休闲。

同时,慢并不是为了不快,而是建立一种快和慢的平衡,就像SlowMovement网站上的那句话:“慢活并不是将每件事牛步化,而是希望活在一个更美好的世界。它是一种平衡,该快则快、能慢则慢,尽量以音乐家所谓的TempoGiusto(正确的速度)来生活。它没有一成不变的公式和万用守则,只是让每个人都有权利选择自己的生活步调,如果我们愿意腾出空间容纳各种不同的速度,这个世界会变得更加丰富”。

After slow food and slow pace came the slow city, the slow city is the old Medieval city of Orvieto in Italy.

In October 1999, at a Slow Food movement in Orvieto, the mayors of Five Italian cities made the first clear definition of a ‘slow city’: applicants need to meet 55 strict criteria, including a population of no more than 50,000, the use and development of environmentally friendly technologies, they cannot used genetically modified seeds, crops or food, and they must protect local customs and culture. The goal of the slow city movement is to put forward the importance of slowness for the overall human environment,protect local characteristics, and resist the standardisation and homogenisation brought about by globalisation.

Milan Kundera wrote a novel called ‘Slowness’, and the novel only describes what happens over one night: a writer and his wife working on a project in some castle during their holidays; a French intellectual who joined the society of entomology; a lady and her lover in the 18th century. The gathering of intellectuals is part of the plot that the writer is working on, while the lady and her lover are characters from a book he read. At the end of the novel, the time and space structure of these three narratives twist, the intellectuals and the writer are staying in the same hotel, which also happens to be where the lady and her knight, and the intellectual and his lover are staying. And this writer seems to be Kundera himself.

Kundera’s Slowness spans only a very short time and space, as if to slow down history, and let more people enjoy the philosophy and aesthetics of slowness.

I have a feeling that, the quicker our lives, the weaker our memory, the slower our days, the more startingly profound they become. There is a proportional relationship between slowness and memory, and a proportional relationship between speed and forgetfulness. This might be what the Ancients meant when talking about the life of immortals, “one day on the mountain is like a thousand years in the world”. Not that the Gods can span time and space, but that the Gods experience all feelings very slowly. It’s like fishing, fishing is better than having a fish, what you want is not the pleasure of catching a fish, but the pleasure of fishing even without catching one. Or to take another example, gardening is not just about the pleasure of the days when flowers open, but the careful and meticulous attention to that little flower and that blade of grass. Fishing and gardening bring us these thousand year days.

A friend said to me that the poet Bai Hua (柏桦) called his son ‘Bai Man’ (Slow Bai, 柏慢). I was surprised and admirative. Because in this way, he was telling us, he wanted to confront speed with depth, confront strength with density, confront the machine with the person, and confront forgetting with feeling.


Sources :

source: Douban, 12 December 2012 (Part I)
source: Douban, 17 December 2012 (Part II)

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February 8, 2015 @ 16:48:26Current Revision
Content
<p>I.</p> <p>I.</p>
<p><span style="color: #ff6600;">In 2007, after moving from Guangzhou to Guanxi, I had already lived in the small town of Guilin for almost 3 years.</span></p>  <p>In 2007, I moved from Guangzhou to Guanxi, and lived in the small town of Guilin for almost 3 years.</p>
<p>When I think back about it today, although almost 6 years have passed, I still remember all the details of it, as if things had occurred yesterday. These years was really quiet, like a mountain hermit, going to and from work every day at the same time, with all leisure to read, buy and cook food, a laid-back experience, and when compared to that of a metropolitan city, closer to the origins of life. </p> <p>When I think back about it today, although almost 6 years have passed, I still remember all the details of it, as if things had occurred yesterday. These years was really quiet, like a mountain hermit, going to and from work every day at the same time, with all leisure to read, buy and cook food, a laid-back experience, and when compared to that of a metropolitan city, closer to the origins of life. </p>
  <p>On the shore of the Li river, there is a small bookstore called 'blade', seventy to eighty square meters in total, and in the window, a few tables where you can read books and drink tea. There are not many books, but they're chosen with very good taste, and you can see the discerning eyesight of the owner from them. I went there almost every second day, to see what new books and magazines had arrived, and see who else was looking at the books: this was one of the main channels for me to connect to the outside world. Sometimes, you would get tired and turn around, the Lijiang river was just outside, and in the river were fish or water plants, and you could imagine how it came out of the Maoer Shan peak in South China, and drifted down towards the South to form the heavenly landscape around Guilin. </p>
<p>On the shore of the Li river, 有一家名为刀锋书店的小书吧,七八十平米的营业面积,and in the window were a few tables where you could read books and drink tea, there were not many books, but they were chosen with very good taste, 从中可窥见老板娘的眼力。I went there almost every second day, to see what new books and magazines had arrived, and see who else was looking at the books, 那几乎是我接触外界消息的很大一条通道。有时候你翻厌了,走出来就是漓江,江面上或有渔船,或有水草,你可以想象它如何从华南第一峰猫儿山流出,一路漂流向南,形成美甲天下的桂林山水。</p> <p>You can also imagine what this river used to look like in the past, you can imagine how many people through history have come to observe it and pay it homage, what they saw, and what have they left, how many people have seen this famous river, and in turn, how many different kinds of people this river has seen! With such a quiet environment, even if you live in a miniature scenic town, whether clouds cover the sky or the earth tremble, you will feel a sense of calm and ease, because you do not only live in the present, but also among the immemorial times that the river has flown through. </p>
<p>你也可以想象,这条江以前的形态和水量,you can imagine how many people through history have come to observe it and pay it homage, what have they seen, and what have they left, how many people have seen this famous river, and in turn, how many different kinds of people has this river seen!. 有了这样的悠闲,你即使是身在一个盆景式的山水小城,没有风云际会和惊天动地,也一样可以安身安心,因为你不单单是只活在眼前,还活在江水逝者如斯的亘古之中。</p>  
<p>When the weather was nice, I would stroll to the vegetable market, 看到集市上物品琳琅,青菜是一把把从田间割出来的,桔子上面还带着树枝和叶子,你甚至可以感受得到菜农在田里的劳作状态,会想象得到他采摘桔子时候的力度,你自然会感觉出一种丰盛,心里也会生出一种富足和安定,虽然那东西并不属于我,而只是零零散散地摆在菜市场上,一份份被摆出来,又一份份被卖出去。</p> <p>When the weather was nice, I would stroll to the vegetable market, 看到集市上物品琳琅,青菜是一把把从田间割出来的,桔子上面还带着树枝和叶子,你甚至可以感受得到菜农在田里的劳作状态,会想象得到他采摘桔子时候的力度,你自然会感觉出一种丰盛,心里也会生出一种富足和安定,虽然那东西并不属于我,而只是零零散散地摆在菜市场上,一份份被摆出来,又一份份被卖出去。</p>
<p>Sometimes, I also went to the small alleys around 'Kind city', 这座王城是明太祖朱元璋其侄孙朱守谦被封为靖江王时修造的王城,比故宫还早36年。王城周围是几条横七竖八的寻常巷陌,有人来人往,有狗叫,有阳光,有时光在石板路和灰砖墙上漫漶过的痕迹,有名字雅致实则平常的胡同,有炊烟和煎炒声,有煤气罐,有阿婆阿爷打纸牌的声音,市声隐隐,但是听着却很亲切。我把这个山水之外的桂林,称为第二个桂林,这里藏着一些让你慢下来的东西。</p>  <p>Sometimes, I also went to the small alleys around ‘Royal city, 这座王城是明太祖朱元璋其侄孙朱守谦被封为靖江王时修造的王城,比故宫还早36年。The royal city is surrounded by several winding laneways, with people passing back and forth, dogs barking, sun shining, 有时光在石板路和灰砖墙上漫漶过的痕迹,有名字雅致实则平常的胡同,有炊烟和煎炒声,有煤气罐,有阿婆阿爷打纸牌的声音,市声隐隐,但是听着却很亲切。This Guilin away from the scenery I called 'the second Guilin': there was something hidden there that made you slow down. </p>
<p>I've always thought that, when you adopt a slower, less hurried pace, there's very few things which are not beautiful, and very few things that do not ring true. But when you're always faced with urgency, when you're always faced with speed, profit, and material things, that beauty and that truth will often be confused, because there is no time to organise our emotions, and allow our minds to go to these things and back to itself. </p> <p>I've always thought that, when you adopt a slower, less hurried pace, there's very few things which are not beautiful, and very few things that do not ring true. But when you're always faced with urgency, when you're always faced with speed, profit, and material things, that beauty and that truth will often be confused, because there is no time to organise our emotions, and allow our minds to go to these things and back to itself. </p>
<p>In today's urban society, among some of the people who get rich, many seem to want to escape the city, return to small towns and nature. Either they go to a long trip to the border areas of Yunnan, Tibet or Xinjiang, or they go and enjoy themselves in small towns and villages, but why? I think it's a kind of awakening, a kind of awakening that follows the experience of speed and strength, because there is some sort of very stabilising power in small towns and nature, a very thick and slow kind of strength, that can fill the empty place in their hearts. </p> <p>In today's urban society, among some of the people who get rich, many seem to want to escape the city, return to small towns and nature. Either they go to a long trip to the border areas of Yunnan, Tibet or Xinjiang, or they go and enjoy themselves in small towns and villages, but why? I think it's a kind of awakening, a kind of awakening that follows the experience of speed and strength, because there is some sort of very stabilising power in small towns and nature, a very thick and slow kind of strength, that can fill the empty place in their hearts. </p>
<p>我们经常说礼失求诸野,那么我们的都市社会丢掉了什么呢?是一些接地气的、生活化的东西,是一些人情的、市井的东西,而这些东西,我们内心的其实是有莫大用处的。</p>  
  <p>We often say that, when we lost ritual, we seek the wilderness; so what has our metropolitan society lost its rituals? It's no more than a few things in the ground and air, that support life, a few things in the way people feel, a few things about the markets; but these things are actually very precious for our inner lives. </p>
<p>日本的都市、台湾的都市,其实都是有这种稳定的力量的。你看《入殓师》,作为一个大提琴演奏师,小林大悟不得不放弃在东京的演奏家之路,回到故乡,开始一段他本不愿接受的入殓师职业,他去观察各种各样的死亡,凝视围绕在逝者周围的充满爱意的人们。我无意述说入殓师的伟大和死亡哲学,而是觉得日本人有这种安定的、回归的力量,有回到慢的生活的勇气,而换到中国的都市人身上,基本上我们很难回头,经过一种都市生活后再安于故乡。</p>  <p>Japanese big cities, Taiwanese big cities, all actually possess this stable, grounded strength. 你看《入殓师》,作为一个大提琴演奏师,小林大悟不得不放弃在东京的演奏家之路,回到故乡,开始一段他本不愿接受的入殓师职业,他去观察各种各样的死亡,凝视围绕在逝者周围的充满爱意的人们。我无意述说入殓师的伟大和死亡哲学,而是觉得日本人有这种安定的、回归的力量,有回到慢的生活的勇气,而换到中国的都市人身上,基本上我们很难回头,经过一种都市生活后再安于故乡。</p>
<p>台湾也是这样,它的现代与传统并不脱轨,与自然也不脱轨,你到台北、高雄这样的国际化都市,一点也不会感觉到都市的荒凉感和压迫感,你到垦丁、美浓这样的小镇,一点也不会感觉到落后、蛮荒或者破败。而且,台湾人比较好的一点是,他们从都市回到乡野不会觉得不适应,饭衣蔬食仍可以捡拾起从前的习惯,他们从山村来到台北或者新北,也不会自惭形秽或者妄自菲薄,而能用从故乡带来的风土融合都市社会的生活方式,结合如一。</p>  
<p>但是我后来离开桂林,又先去上海、后来北京,我发现无论我自己还是身边的人,经常可以看到大家一脸神色匆匆,每个人身上都有一种失魂落魄,从我自己的身心经验出发,我知道我们是焦虑的、不安的、仓皇的,总怕一不小心落下什么,赶不上什么,唯恐自己不时髦了,跟不上最新的生活方式了,而不懂得用缓慢去平衡疾驰,用本色去对抗光怪陆离。</p>  
<p>这个问题,是我们割裂了乡野力量的城市化造成的,有太多政治的、经济的力量,但是最后造成的结果,却都需要我们每一个人来承担,要我们自己去寻找各自的身心寄托。</p>  
  <p>Taiwan is also like that, its modern society has not broken off with tradition, nor with nature. If you go to cosmopolitan cities like Taipei or Gaoxiong, you won't feel that sense of metropolitan pressure and desolation in the least. 你到垦丁、美浓这样的小镇,一点也不会感觉到落后、蛮荒或者破败。而且,台湾人比较好的一点是,他们从都市回到乡野不会觉得不适应,饭衣蔬食仍可以捡拾起从前的习惯,他们从山村来到台北或者新北,也不会自惭形秽或者妄自菲薄,而能用从故乡带来的风土融合都市社会的生活方式,结合如一。</p>
  <p>But when I ended up leaving Guilin to go first to Shanghai, then to Beijing, I found that both myself and the people around me all had a hurried expression on our face, everybody seemed somehow distracted. From what I experienced in my own mind and body, I realised that we were anxious, restless, pressed, always afraid of accidentally falling behind, not keeping up, fearing that we were not fashionable enough, that we weren’t keeping up with the latest lifestyle trend, not knowing that we could balance speed with slowness, and oddness with character. </p>
  <p>This problem comes from the fact that urbanisation has cut us off from the strength of the countryside. We're exposed to too much political and economic powers, but in the end, we all need to be responsible, and seek our own physical and spiritual sustenance. </p>
<p>II.</p> <p>II.</p>
<p>In an increasingly fast-paced social life, slowing down requires courage and determination. </p> <p>In an increasingly fast-paced social life, slowing down requires courage and determination. </p>
<p>There's a poem by Li Shanyin called "Night rain going North" <span style="color: #ff6600;">夜雨寄北</span> :“君问归期未有期,巴山夜雨涨秋池。何当共剪西窗烛,却话巴山夜雨时。” He wrote this to his distant wife in Chang'an on a rainy night in Bashu, and we generally interpret it as an expression of affection and longing for his distant wife, but something else in this poem is worth pondering on, and that is, what state of mind is it, that a person on the rainy Ba Mountain will listen to the sound of rain at night outside the window, and think of someone absent? </p> <p>There's a poem by Li Shanyin called "Night rain going North" <span style="color: #ff6600;">夜雨寄北</span> :“君问归期未有期,巴山夜雨涨秋池。何当共剪西窗烛,却话巴山夜雨时。” He wrote this to his distant wife in Chang'an on a rainy night in Bashu, and we generally interpret it as an expression of affection and longing for his distant wife, but something else in this poem is worth pondering on, and that is, what state of mind is it, that a person on the rainy Ba Mountain will listen to the sound of rain at night outside the window, and think of someone absent? </p>
<p>When we think about it, among the people of today, who will listen to the sound of rain at night? And as the rain falls around them, would they think of someone far away? </p> <p>When we think about it, among the people of today, who will listen to the sound of rain at night? And as the rain falls around them, would they think of someone far away? </p>
<p>The technological developments of our age have shattered our aesthetic enjoyment of dark clouds and moonlit landscapes, mountains and rivers<span style="color: #ff6600;">自然已经被揭开了天灵盖</span>; transport and communications have reduced time and space so much that if you miss someone, you can just phone them, and a video call can make it seem as if they were right in front of you, we've lost the habit of lying down at night and listen to the rain on the banana leaf, and we have no time to appreciate the snow falling and melting, confronted with the speed of everything around us, slowness has become a luxury, something outdated, a kind of perversion, like ignoring the world. </p>  <p>The technological developments of our age have shattered our aesthetic enjoyment of dark clouds and moonlit landscapes, mountains and rivers, and the heavenly limits of nature have been lifted up. Transport and communications have reduced time and space so much that if you miss someone, you can just phone them, and a video call can make it seem as if they were right in front of you, weve lost the habit of lying down at night and listen to the rain on the banana leaf, and we have no time to appreciate the snow falling and melting, confronted with the speed of everything around us, slowness has become a luxury, something outdated, a kind of perversion, like ignoring the world. </p>
<p>The slowness of Li Shanyin seems further and further away from us. And his slowness was not just his alone, the excessive sense of leisure in his mind was also dictating by the slow spirit of his time. Not only was this a pastoral and agricultural slowness, but the period he lived in was the late Tang Dynasty, when the dynasty's high point of prosperity had already passed, and the regime was slowly declining. </p> <p>The slowness of Li Shanyin seems further and further away from us. And his slowness was not just his alone, the excessive sense of leisure in his mind was also dictating by the slow spirit of his time. Not only was this a pastoral and agricultural slowness, but the period he lived in was the late Tang Dynasty, when the dynasty's high point of prosperity had already passed, and the regime was slowly declining. </p>
<p>After the industrial revolution took place in 18th century Britain, spread through the whole European Continent, then swept through America, and spread to Asia, in just over two centuries, it has become the engine of the earth, and the whole world has transitioned from the agricultural age to the industrial and commercial age. </p> <p>After the industrial revolution took place in 18th century Britain, spread through the whole European Continent, then swept through America, and spread to Asia, in just over two centuries, it has become the engine of the earth, and the whole world has transitioned from the agricultural age to the industrial and commercial age. </p>
<p>All humans are prisoners of this wide, quick and irresistible conquest, hardly anyone can evade it, 我们的衣食住行和生活方式都在被改变着,人类搭上工业革命这列车速越来越快的列车后,突然发现自己再也下不来了,我们被速度、感官、刺激绑架了,我们也许不喜欢,也许已经萌生退意,但是我们却没有办法,一种遍布山河的、消魂摄骨的气氛已经牢牢存在了。</p> <p>All humans are prisoners of this wide, quick and irresistible conquest, hardly anyone can evade it. Our ways of eating, dressing, living are all changing. Since humanity boarded the train of the industrial revolution, it’s been going faster and faster, and we suddenly realised we could no longer get off, we've been kidnapped by speed, sensuality, and stimulations. We may not like it, we might have thought of quitting already, but there’s no way, a certain atmosphere that extends over river and mountains and goes to the depths of our marrow already prevails. </p>
<p>The industrial civilisation pursues speed and efficiency. Franklin's 'time is life, time is money' was once used as a motto for everyone. The worship of speed and quantity has already taken control of our consciences, and become the basis for our value judgements. </p> <p>The industrial civilisation pursues speed and efficiency. Franklin's 'time is life, time is money' was once used as a motto for everyone. The worship of speed and quantity has already taken control of our consciences, and become the basis for our value judgements. </p>
<p>对这列在以加速度前进的列车的对抗,其实早已存在。1986年,意大利记者卡洛•佩特里尼有一次漫步罗马的西班牙广场,在一瞬间他被几十名学生在广场上同时大嚼汉堡的画面震惊了,当得知广场又要开一家麦当劳时,他组织人们到广场端着传统意大利面食议抗。3年后,他成立了慢餐协会,倡导人们放慢节奏享受美食和生活,这拉开了慢生活的帷幕。</p>  
<p>继卡洛•佩特里尼的慢餐运动之后,上世纪90年代初有一个名为SlowMovement运动,短短几年就有几十个国家、八十几万会员参加,它没有总部,没有组织,只一个简单的理念,唤醒被速度绑住的人,劝导人们慢慢吃、慢慢呼吸、慢慢思考、慢慢做爱、慢慢休闲。</p>  
  <p>But oppositions to this train racing forward have been around for a long time now. In 1986, the Italian journalist Carlo Petrini was strolling on Piazza di Spagna in Rome, and was shocked by the vision of dozens of students simultaneously munching on hamburgers. When he found out that a McDonald's had opened on the square, he organised a demonstration where people came on the square to eat traditional Italian style pasta. Three years later, he founded the slow food association, encouraging people to slow down and enjoy food and life, and this opened the stage for the 'slow living' movement.</p>
<p>同时,慢并不是为了不快,而是建立一种快和慢的平衡,就像SlowMovement网站上的那句话:“慢活并不是将每件事牛步化,而是希望活在一个更美好的世界。它是一种平衡,该快则快、能慢则慢,尽量以音乐家所谓的TempoGiusto(正确的速度)来生活。它没有一成不变的公式和万用守则,只是让每个人都有权利选择自己的生活步调,如果我们愿意腾出空间容纳各种不同的速度,这个世界会变得更加丰富”。</p> <p>After Carlo Petrini's slow food initiative movement, a whole 'Slow Movemenet' emerged in the early 1990s, and in just a few years, it gathered over 800,000 members in over ten countries. There are no headquarters or formal structure, just a simple concept: when people realise they've been attached to speed, they need to start eating slowly, breathing slowly, thinking slowly, making love slowly, and resting slowly.</p>
  <p>At the same time, slow is not just a rejection of speed, but it’s about finding a balance, like this sentence on the ‘Slow Movement’ website: ‘Slow living is not about everything going at snail pace, but the hope to live in a better world. It’s a form of balance, fast if you need to, slow when you can, trying to adopt what musicians call ‘Tempo Giusto’ to life. It does not have a hard formula or universal code, it's just about allowing everyone to choose their own pace of life. And if we agree to accommodate different speeds of life, this world will be the richer for it.’ </p>
<p>After slow food and slow pace came the slow city, the slow city is the old Medieval city of Orvieto in Italy. </p> <p>After slow food and slow pace came the slow city, the slow city is the old Medieval city of Orvieto in Italy. </p>
<p>In October 1999, at a Slow Food movement in Orvieto, the mayors of Five Italian cities made the first clear definition of a 'slow city': applicants need to meet 55 strict criteria, including a population of no more than 50,000, the use and development of environmentally friendly technologies, they cannot used genetically modified seeds, crops or food, and they must protect local customs and culture. The goal of the slow city movement is to put forward the importance of slowness for the overall human environment,protect local characteristics, and resist the standardisation and homogenisation brought about by globalisation. </p> <p>In October 1999, at a Slow Food movement in Orvieto, the mayors of Five Italian cities made the first clear definition of a 'slow city': applicants need to meet 55 strict criteria, including a population of no more than 50,000, the use and development of environmentally friendly technologies, they cannot used genetically modified seeds, crops or food, and they must protect local customs and culture. The goal of the slow city movement is to put forward the importance of slowness for the overall human environment,protect local characteristics, and resist the standardisation and homogenisation brought about by globalisation. </p>
<p>Milan Kundera wrote a novel called ‘Slowness’, and the novel only describes what happens over one night: a writer and his wife working on a project in some castle during their holidays; a French intellectual who joined the society of entomology; a lady and her lover in the 18th century. The gathering of intellectuals is part of the plot that the writer is working on, while the lady and her lover are characters from a book he read. At the end of the novel, the time and space structure of these three narratives twist, the intellectuals and the writer are staying in the same hotel, which also happens to be where the lady and her knight, and the intellectual and his lover are staying. And this writer seems to be Kundera himself. </p> <p>Milan Kundera wrote a novel called ‘Slowness’, and the novel only describes what happens over one night: a writer and his wife working on a project in some castle during their holidays; a French intellectual who joined the society of entomology; a lady and her lover in the 18th century. The gathering of intellectuals is part of the plot that the writer is working on, while the lady and her lover are characters from a book he read. At the end of the novel, the time and space structure of these three narratives twist, the intellectuals and the writer are staying in the same hotel, which also happens to be where the lady and her knight, and the intellectual and his lover are staying. And this writer seems to be Kundera himself. </p>
<p>Kundera's Slowness spans only a very short time and space, as if to slow down history, and let more people enjoy the philosophy and aesthetics of slowness. </p> <p>Kundera's Slowness spans only a very short time and space, as if to slow down history, and let more people enjoy the philosophy and aesthetics of slowness. </p>
<p>I have a feeling that, the quicker our lives, the weaker our memory, the slower our days, the more startingly profound they become. There is a proportional relationship between slowness and memory, and a proportional relationship between speed and forgetfulness. This might be what the Ancients meant when talking about the life of immortals, “one day on the mountain is like a thousand years in the world”. Not that the Gods can span time and space, but that the Gods experience all feelings very slowly. It’s like fishing, fishing is better than having a fish, what you want is not the pleasure of catching a fish, but the pleasure of fishing even without catching one. Or to take another example, gardening is not just about the pleasure of the days when flowers open, but the careful and meticulous attention to that little flower and that blade of grass. Fishing and gardening bring us these thousand year days. </p> <p>I have a feeling that, the quicker our lives, the weaker our memory, the slower our days, the more startingly profound they become. There is a proportional relationship between slowness and memory, and a proportional relationship between speed and forgetfulness. This might be what the Ancients meant when talking about the life of immortals, “one day on the mountain is like a thousand years in the world”. Not that the Gods can span time and space, but that the Gods experience all feelings very slowly. It’s like fishing, fishing is better than having a fish, what you want is not the pleasure of catching a fish, but the pleasure of fishing even without catching one. Or to take another example, gardening is not just about the pleasure of the days when flowers open, but the careful and meticulous attention to that little flower and that blade of grass. Fishing and gardening bring us these thousand year days. </p>
<p>A friend said to me that the poet Bai Hua (柏桦) called his son ‘Bai Man’ (Slow Bai, 柏慢). I was surprised and admirative. Because in this way, he was telling us, he wanted to confront speed with depth, confront strength with density, confront the machine with the person, and confront forgetting with feeling.</p> <p>A friend said to me that the poet Bai Hua (柏桦) called his son ‘Bai Man’ (Slow Bai, 柏慢). I was surprised and admirative. Because in this way, he was telling us, he wanted to confront speed with depth, confront strength with density, confront the machine with the person, and confront forgetting with feeling.</p>

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About julien.leyre

French-Australian writer, educator, sinophile. Any question? Contact julien@marcopoloproject.org