读过 Normal People
In just a few weeks’ time Marianne will live with different people, and life will be different. But she herself will not be different. She’ll be the same person, trapped inside her own body. There’s nowhere she can go that would free her from this. A different place, different people, what does that matter?
In seminars they express their opinions passionately and conduct impromptu debates. Unable to form such straightforward views or express them with any force, Connell initially felt a sense of crushing inferiority to his fellow students, as if he had upgraded himself accidentally to an intellectual level far above his own, where he had to strain to make sense of the most basic premises.引自第999页（这不是我本人吗）Helen has given Connell a new way to live. It’s as if an impossibly heavy lid has been lifted off his emotional life and suddenly he can breathe fresh air. It is physically possible to type and send a message reading: I love you! It had never seemed possible before, not remotely, but in fact it’s easy. Of course if someone saw the messages he would be embarrassed, but he knows now that this is a normal kind of embarrassment, an almost protective impulse towards a particularly good part of life.
In the weeks they’ve been apart, his emails to Marianne have become lengthy. He’s started drafting them on his phone in idle moments, while waiting for his clothes in a launderette, or lying in the hostel at night when he can’t sleep for the heat. He reads over these drafts repeatedly, reviewing all the elements of prose, moving clauses around to make the sentences fit together correctly. Time softens out while he types, feeling slow and dilated while actually passing very rapidly, and more than once he’s looked up to find that hours have gone by. He couldn’t explain aloud what he finds so absorbing about his emails to Marianne, but he doesn’t feel that it’s trivial. The experience of writing them feels like an expression of a broader and more fundamental principle, something in his identity, or something even more abstract, to do with life itself.引自第999页（这段还蛮喜欢的）Everything is possible now because of the scholarship. His rent is paid, his tuition is covered, he has a free meal every day in college. This is why he’s been able to spend half the summer travelling around Europe, disseminating currency with the carefree attitude of a rich person. He’s explained it, or tried to explain it, in his emails to Marianne. For her the scholarship was a self-esteem boost, a happy confirmation of what she has always believed about herself anyway: that she’s special. Connell has never really known whether to believe that about himself, and he still doesn’t know. For him the scholarship is a gigantic material fact, like a vast cruise ship that has sailed into view out of nowhere, and suddenly he can do a postgraduate programme for free if he wants to, and live in Dublin for free, and never think about rent again until he finishes college. Suddenly he can spend an afternoon in Vienna looking at Vermeer’s The Art of Painting, and it’s hot outside, and if he wants he can buy himself a cheap cold glass of beer afterwards. It’s like something he assumed was just a painted backdrop all his life has revealed itself to be real: foreign cities are real, and famous artworks, and underground railway systems, and remnants of the Berlin Wall. That’s money, the substance that make the world real.引自第999页（既没钱又懒惰学习如我：真好啊真羡慕啊。Connell thinks the aspects of himself that are most compatible with Helen are his best aspects: his loyalty, his basically practical outlook, his desire to be thought of as a good guy. With Helen he doesn’t feel shameful things, he doesn’t find himself saying weird stuff during sex, he doesn’t have that persistent sensation that he belongs nowhere, that he never will belong anywhere. Marianne had a wildness that got into him for a while and made him feel that he was like her, that they had the same unnameable spiritual injury, and that neither of them could ever fit into the world. But he was never damaged like she was. She just made him feel that way.
What they had together was normal, a good relationship. The life they were living was the right life. He took the bag off her shoulder and lifted a hand to wave Marianne goodbye. She didn’t wave back, she just nodded. Have fun! Helen said. Then they went to get the bus. He was sad for Marianne after that, sad that nothing in her life had ever truly seemed healthy, and sad that he’d had to turn away from her. He knew that it had caused her pain. In a way he was even sad for himself. Sitting on the bus he continued to picture her standing in the doorway with the light behind her: how exquisite she looked, and what a glamorous, formidable person she was, and that subtle expression that came over her face when she looked at him. But he couldn’t be what she wanted. After a time he realised Helen was speaking, and he stopped thinking about all that and started listening.引自第999页(.....你别再感情泛滥了! 我求你! )He was like a freezer item that had thawed too quickly on the outside and was melting everywhere, while the inside was still frozen solid. Somehow he was expressing more emotion than at any time in his life before, while simultaneously feeling less, feeling nothing.
He knows that a lot of the literary people in college see books primarily as a way of appearing cultured. When someone mentioned the austerity protests that night in the Stag’s Head, Sadie threw her hands up and said: Not politics, please! Connell’s initial assessment of the reading was not disproven. It was culture as class performance, literature fetishised for its ability to take educated people on false emotional journeys, so that they might afterwards feel superior to the uneducated people whose emotional journeys they liked to read about.
Not for the first time Marianne thinks cruelty does not only hurt the victim, but the perpetrator also, and maybe more deeply and more permanently. You learn nothing very profound about yourself simply by being bullied; but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget.引自第999页
(.....你别再感情泛滥了! 我求你! )