《莫斯科绅士 / A Gentleman in Moscow》读后感想(上)—优雅绅士的七大养成术

入选我的 2020 年度选书!也是最适合居家隔离者阅读的小说!亚历山大•罗斯托夫伯爵因为一首鼓励革命的诗,被苏联内政人民委员部判处软禁,从此不得离开居住的大都会饭店,房间也从豪华套房改成阁楼小房间。不过伯爵并未因此丧志,往后的三十年,他陆续认识和结交很多朋友,包括饭店的员工和房客,并且影响了九岁女孩妮娜的一生…
 图片  面对无法改变的命运,伯爵用适应取代屈服,用乐观取代抱怨。
原来充满意义的人生,只跟自己的态度和心境有关,学会这七件事情,我们也能当一位处变不惊、风度翩翩、幽默聪明的绅士!
1. 够自律
2. 乐阅读
3. 交好友
4. 动真情
5. 爱小孩
6. 重仪容
7. 有勇气Part 1:够自律相对于囚犯被硬性规定每日时间表,什么时候该做什么事,伯爵能够自由安排自己的时间。可是他没有睡到自然醒,而是过着自律的生活。【早起的习惯】伯爵固定七点起床,做完十五个深蹲和十五次伸展之后,享用咖啡、面包和水果,再洗澡和换衣服,八点到大厅看报纸,他说:有毅力的人一向很早起。Men of purpose usually are. (early risers)我也是晨型人,五点出头起床,先热身拉筋,再做两百二十下腹肌运动,接着去买早餐,开始写文章,然后冲澡和换衣服,送儿子搭娃娃车,再去上班。其实时间真的是挤出来的,早起或熬夜都可以,重点是「持续」。一天没做你以为没差,接着两天没做也还好,再来变成三天没做,最后干脆不做了。相对来说,今天有做,明天即使想偷懒,会觉得不想输给昨天的自己,而明天又不想输给今天的自己,这样才能养成习惯。
【善用上午时光】伯爵曾跟苏菲雅说明设计双响钟的原因:伯爵的父亲相信,人应该关注生活,而不应该过度关注时钟。他是斯多葛学派与蒙田的信徒,相信上帝创造上午时光,是为了让人辛勤工作。也就是说,如果一个人在六点以前起床,吃个简单的早餐,然后开始工作,不受任何干扰,那么到中午时分,他应该已经完成这天该做的事了。因此,他父亲相信,中午十二点钟是个总结的时刻。正午钟响,勤奋的人应该为自己善用上午的时间而引以为豪,心安理得坐下来吃午餐。至于那些轻浮懒散的人,一个上午赖在床上,或吃一顿早餐看三份报纸,再不然就是在客厅闲聊混时间的人,到了正午钟声响起时,别无选择,只能去祈求造物者的谅解。而下午的时间呢,伯爵的父亲相信,我们最要注意的,是不要让生活被挂在背心上的怀表所控制。千万不要分秒必争,把生活里的每一个事项都当成是火车路线上的一个车站似的,严格控制抵达时间。相反地,因为午餐之前已经孜孜不倦勤奋工作了,下午的时间就应该过得悠游自在。也就是说,他应该在柳树林里散步,读一篇隽永的文章,和朋友在藤架底下聊天,或在火炉前面沉思。这些事情都不应该受时间限制,随心所欲,由自己决定何时开始,何时结束。The Count’s father had believed that while a man should attend closely to life, he should not attend too closely to the clock. A student of both the Stoics and Montaigne, the Count’s father believed that our Creator had set aside the morning hours for industry. That is, if a man woke no later than six, engaged in a light repast, and then applied himself without interruption, by the hour of noon he should have accomplished a full day’s labor.Thus, in his father’s view, the toll of twelve was a moment of reckoning. When the noon bell sounded, the diligent man could take pride in having made good use of the morning and sit down to his lunch with a clear conscience. But when it sounded for the frivolous man—the man who had squandered this morning in bed, or on breakfast with three papers, or on idle chatter in the sitting room—he had no choice but to ask for his Lord’s forgiveness.In the afternoon, the Count’s father believed that a man should take care not to live by the watch in his waistcoat—marking the minutes as if the events of one’s life were stations on a railway line. Rather, having been suitably industrious before lunch, he should spend his afternoon in wise liberty. That is, he should walk among the willows, read a timeless text, converse with a friend beneath the pergola, or reflect before the fire—engaging in those endeavors that have no appointed hour, and that dictate their own beginnings and ends.我自己同样上午的工作效率最高,无论是早起在家写文章,或者到公司做事情。现代上班族很可怜,没有明显的下班界线,回到家还是得绷紧神经,关注 email、Skype、WeChat、LINE,直到睡觉为止。
相对来说,之前看过几本自由工作者写的书,只要早起,通常最多到下午,就能把一天该做的事完成,接着看场电影,出门走走都好,甚至在一年之中放自己一到两个月的假。总之,没有样样都好的生活,全看自己要什么选择,是收入稳定但不自由的生活,还是自由但担心收入的生活。要注意的是,前者的风险会随年纪而增加,后者反而是渐入佳境,活到老赚到老。
【记录表是动力大补丸】在伯爵被软禁一年之后,他思考为什么要记录过了多久:详尽记录时日可以让孤立的人知道,自己又熬过了艰苦的一年,战胜了这艰苦的困境,活了下来。无论支撑他们活下去的力量是来自坚定不屈的决心或某些愚昧的乐观,这三百六十五道刻痕都是他们毅力坚强的明证。因为,如果专注力应该以分钟来衡量,自律应该以小时来计算,那么毅力就应该以年作为测量的标准。A careful accounting of days allows the isolated to note that another year of hardship has been endured; survived; bested. Whether they have found the strength to persevere through a tireless determination or some foolhardy optimism, those 365 hatch marks stand as proof of their indomitability. For after all, if attentiveness should be measured in minutes and discipline measured in hours, then indomitability must be measured in years我的经验是「眼见为凭」,设定完目标之后,最好是把单位纪录表(日、周或月)印出来。如果是消去法,每完成一项就打叉;如果是累积法,每完成一项就记录次数,两者都能帮你知道还离目标多远。不要小看这个动作,如同无期徒刑和有期徒刑的差别,前者遥遥无期,一点动力都没有,后者因为有期限,可以继续咬牙撑下去。Part 2:乐阅读哪边也去不了,伯爵正好可以拿起十年前就想读的书,而且看书是消磨时间最好的方式之一,除了充实知识,还能思考人生。【绅士的标配是书桌】当伯爵被强迫从顶级套房搬到楼梯旁的小房间时,他请服务生搬所有的书,还有超重的书桌,他的理由是:国王拥城堡以自重,绅士则拥书桌以自重。A king fortifies himself with a castle, a gentleman with a desk.这让我想到当初规划新家的室内布置时,唯一的坚持就是要有间书房。从国中毕业后开始在外地念书和求学,从来没有过自己的书房,住校期间甚至六人一间。对我来说,每天早起到书房写作或读书,是一天最自由和最幸福的时刻,也是和心灵或灵魂最靠近的时刻。

【孤单读书之必要】但在此时此刻,总算没有任何事情可以打扰伯爵了,他有充裕的时间和孤独,可以好好读这一本书了。But here, at last, circumstance had conspired not to distract the Count, but to present him with the time and solitude necessary to give the book its due.伯爵吃早餐、洗澡、换装,以及整理房间,之后才拿起父亲留给他的唯一一本书《蒙田随笔》,准备开始阅读。我认为孤单为阅读之必要,可是只要翻开书本,时间和空间由你决定。一本书就像时空旅行机器,瞬间带你前往过去或未来;也像任意门,马上让你认识想象不到的人物。夸张一点说,爱书人只要有书为伴,就算一辈子孤单也不会孤独。

【读书不是单向输入】伯爵有一个同学和好友米哈伊尔,宁可拒绝舞会邀约,独自在家看书。但是米哈伊尔一个人在屋里,读完五十页之弗拉明赫舍的内心独白之后,就跳起来,开始踱步,从这个墙角到那个墙角来回走,充满热情地大声讲出他对作者的论点、文风、甚至标点符号的种种不同意见。等伯爵两点钟回来住处,米哈伊尔书才读了五十页,鞋底磨损的程度却比徒步去圣保罗大教堂的朝圣客还严重。But once alone, having torn through the first fifty pages of Herr Flammenhescher’s little monograph, Mikhail would leap to his feet and start packing from corner to corner in order to voice his fervid agreement or furious dissent with the author’s thesis, his style, or his use of punctuation. Such that by the time the Count returned at two in the morning, though Mishka had not advanced beyond the fiftieth page, he had worn out more shoe leather than a pilgrim on the road to St. Sophia’s. 另外,伯爵跟朋友说过:欧西普,我的朋友,学术研究的基本规则是,学者是否仔细研读过著作的每一页并不是那么重要,最重要的是,他能不能对基本的要旨有合理程度的了解。Oisp, my friend, it is a fundamental rule of academic study that whether a student has read every word of a work matters less than whether he has established a reasonable familiarity with its essential material.这让我想起何则文在《成就未来的你》写过:若你要好好理解一本书,可以从三个层次出发:
– 理解作者写这本书的要点
– 探索自己对这本书的看法
– 思考书中论述的使用情境因此看书不是用看的就好,读书不是读出来就好,关键仍在于动脑。尝试了解但不照单全收,思考自己的类似经验,在书中的情境下,自己会做的决定和作者是否相同,如果不同那原因是什么。透过自问自答的过程,才能加强阅读的深度。

【独一无二的人生哲学】人生不可避免的,最终总是要选择某一种哲学… 不论是大量阅读书籍之后爬梳出来的想法,或是凌晨两点喝着咖啡激烈争辩之后所得到的结论,甚至只是天生的个性癖好,我们终究都需要一个基本的框架,一个合理且连贯的因果关系系统,让我们不只可以理解时时刻刻发生的事件,也可以了解构成我们每日生活的所有微小行动与互动,不管是刻意或偶发、是无可避免或出乎意料的一切。It is a fact of human life that one must eventually choose a philosophy…whether through careful consideration spawned by books and spirited debate over coffee at two in the morning, or simply from a natural proclivity, we must all eventually adopt a fundamental framework, some reasonably coherent system of causes and effects that will help us make sense not simply of momentous events, but of all the little actions and interactions that constitute our daily lives—be they deliberate or spontaneous, inevitable or unforeseen.伯爵的哲学素养来自气象学,相信天气变化会影响一个人的命运。换成我来看,很难把自己的哲学连结到单一学科,只能说是从小到大读过的书,加上生活和工作经验,结合而成的思考模式,或者处世之道。另外,随着年纪渐长,这个模式或系统会持续变化,可以因为读了一本书,又有新的启发,或者遇到某件事情,改变了原来的看法。
【看书与借书】无论是小贩叫卖声、钢琴练习声,或者上楼脚步声,伯爵都可以继续看书。只要坐在椅子里看书,什么事情都打扰不了他。事实上,他还喜欢在稍微有点嘈杂声的环境里看书….When he had read in his chair, no interruption could be counted as a disturbance. In fact, he preferred to read with a little racket in the background.我自认有一种超能力—「五秒入定」,拿起书本就静心,三分钟也能读书。不过,在火车或医院看书时,如果遇到把手机影片用正常音量播放的陌生人,我还是会起身劝说,因为那会打扰到全部的人。至于财物,他一点都不在乎。有熟人需要伞或书,他总是第一个出手相借。(尽管从开天辟地以来,就没有人归还借来的伞或书,但他才不在乎呢。)As to possessions, he hadn’t cared a whit about them. He was the first to lend a book or an umbrella to an acquaintance (never mind that no acquaintance since Adam had returned a book or an umbrella).我没有伯爵那么大方,新书我很乐意借给别人,但旧书不一定,尤其是绝版书。另外,借书出去要有拿不回来的心理准备。还有,与其借书,我更爱送书,自己有一本,别人也有一本,愿意的话,有机会还能聊聊这本书。
Part 3:交好友在没有网络的年代,又被规定不得踏出大都会饭店一步,社交管道十分局限,可是伯爵依然能够认识新的朋友。【朋友能少却不能没有】伯爵曾对小女孩妮娜说过:人生无可避免的可悲事实是,随着年岁增长,社交圈就变得越小,不管是因为习性越来越多,还是活力越来越少,我们会发现自己只和几个熟人往来。所以我觉得非常幸运,在人生的这个阶段,还能认识你这位新的好朋友。It is a sad but unavoidable fact of life, that as we age our social circles grow smaller. Whether from increased habit or diminished vigor, we suddenly find ourselves in the company of just a few familiar faces. So I view it as an incredible stroke of good fortune at this stage in my life to have found such a fine new friend.我觉得除了「习性」和「活力」,不可忽视的还有「时间」。每位爸爸扣掉「工作」和「家庭」,个人时间所剩不多,如果拿来阅读和写作,社交时间无疑更少。说实话,除了公司的事情,我不太看 LINE;除了自己的粉丝团,我不太看 Facebook。有时候难得想跟某人打招呼,又考虑到这个时间传讯息,会不会打扰到对方,很多时候就忘记联络了。不过,对于交友仍要保持开放态度,有参加课程或活动,至少要认识一个新朋友,因为每个人身上可能都有我们不知道的有趣事情,等于翻开一本新书。
【时间是最好的证明】伯爵在女明星安娜的身上,学到不要对人有先入为主的成见:毕竟,对于在饭店大厅惊鸿一瞥的人,我们如何凭借第一印象得知她的一切?事实上,我们如何凭借第一印象去了解任何人?啊,我们只有从音乐旋律里才能了解贝多芬,从画笔的笔触里才能了解波提切利。人类天性如此善变,如此复杂,如此矛盾而迷人。因此对于人,我们不只要深入思索,甚至必须再三思索,必须掌握一切可能的时间,利用一切可能的机会与他们相处,才能作出最后的判断。After all, what can a first impression tell us about someone we’ve just met for a minute in the lobby of a hotel? For that matter, what can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli. By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration—and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour. 这个道理也适用于职场:1.对于新人:履历上的信息仅供参考,以面试表现为主;面试时的表现仅供参考,以试用期表现为主;试用期的表现仅供参考,以未来工作表现为主。2.对于老鸟:随着年资渐长,如果负责任务一成不变,难免会有倦怠感。有些人只是缺乏机会和舞台,如果让他们负责新的项目或产品线,才会发现潜力无穷,令人刮目相看。

【成功必有人助】女明星安娜的东山再起包括自己的努力,还有别人的帮助:毋庸置疑的,你生命中总是有某几个向前大步跃进的时刻;毋庸置疑的,你回头看这些时刻的时候,心中充满着自信与自豪。但这全然是你自己的成就吗?难道没有其他人的协助?一丝一毫都没有吗?难道没有某位良师益友,家族亲友或同学,提供了及时的建议,介绍你认识某些人,或帮你说了几句好话?No doubt there have been moments when your life has taken a bit of a leap forward; and no doubt you look back upon those moments with self-assurance and pride. But was there really no third party deserving of even a modicum of credit? Some mentor, family friend, or schoolmate who gave timely advice, made a introduction, or put in a complimentary word? 我想到欧阳立中老师,自己只是替他的书写过感想,但他在新书发表会和爆文写作课介绍我给大家认识,也曾在脸书分享我的文章。而且,他对于同事、朋友、编辑、作家,还有学生,都会花时间写篇贴文送给他们,或者分享对方的文章,再多写几句话,每一篇都大幅提升对方的能见度。最难能可贵的是,在我眼中,他早已是成功人士,仍然持续做这些事情。
【像老朋友的新朋友】伯爵和在美国国务院服务的理查德算老朋友,除了成长背景相似,也志趣相投:有人或许会觉得奇怪,他俩不过才认识四年,怎么就把彼此当成老朋友了?但是友谊的深浅,向来就不是以时间长短来衡量的。这两个人才认识不到几个钟头,就觉得彼此是老朋友了….尽管伯爵比这位美国人年长十岁,两人的家乡也相隔四千哩,但他俩之间的共同点,远超过他们和大多数同胞之间的共同点。 Some might wonder that the two men should consider themselves to be old friends having only known each other for four years; but the tenure of friendship has never been governed by the passage of time. These two would have felt like old friends had they met just hours before….though the Count and the American had been born ten years and four thousand miles apart, they had more in common with each other than they had with the majority of their own countrymen.自己有几位见过一次面,甚至从没见过的脸友,久久才透过 FB Messenger 传讯息,却总是无所不聊,这是以前只靠公用电话和手写信联系朋友的我,很难想象的一件事。这种情况通常是双方对于某个领域或专业有兴趣,想要分享或讨论时,会突然想到对方,虽然只聊几分钟,可是非常尽兴,就算下次联系又是几个月之后,双方仍觉得效率很高。
【青少年的交友任务】伯爵认为成年人年纪愈大,愈记不住发生的事情,但青少年时期的孩子正好相反:孩子长到十七岁,开始经历第一个真正独立的时期,他们的感官会变得非常敏锐,情感也变得极为协调,每一个对话,每一个眼神,每一个笑声,都会深深烙印在他们的记忆里。而在最容易留下印象的这几年里所交的朋友呢?真挚的情感会让他们成为一辈子的朋友。When one turns seventeen and begins to experience that first period of real independence, one’s senses are so alert, one’s sentiments so finely attuned that every conversation, every look, every laugh may be writ indelibly upon one’s memory. And the friends that one happens to make in those impressionable years? One will meet them forever after with a welling of affection. 如果可以,在专科或高中时期,最好从同学之中,试着结交一位好朋友。那是最没有利害关系的阶段,纯粹关心对方。相较之下,出了社会,同事之间除了彼此都忙,当上父母之后,能聚会的时间更少,交到好友的难度更高。Part 4:动真情谈完友情,接下来谈谈爱情:【谈恋爱就像当情报员】虽然伯爵采取被动态度,引起女明星安娜的兴趣,但我很认同他说过的话:想在浪漫关系里赢得先机,就必须随时保持警觉。想要成功取得进展,就得凝神聆听每一句话,仔细观察每一个动作,不放过任何细微表情。To be a step ahead in matters of romance requires constant vigilance. If one hopes to make a successful advance, one must be mindful of every utterance, attend to every gesture, and take note of every look.谈恋爱的确是这样,会想知道关于对方的一切,找出对方感兴趣的东西,看有没有共通的嗜好,做好情报搜集的功课。这个世代拜社群媒体所赐,有心的话,做到这些并不是太困难。
【把心交出去的代价】凯特琳因为另一名男子离开伯爵的好友米哈伊尔,让他开始担心:原本就应该如此。我们原本就应该预期也准备好承受失落痛苦,并拥抱着这样的感觉,直到我们人生的最后一刻,因为只有心碎伤痛,才能证明爱情绝非短暂易逝。And that is just how it should be. That sense of loss is exactly what we must anticipate, prepare for, and cherish to the last of our days; for it is only our heartbreak that finally refutes all that is ephemeral in love.失恋真的很难过,但这就是把心交出去的代价。只要去爱,便有可能受伤害,无论是被拒绝,或者在一起之后分手,不过我们仍然一次又一次地踏上情场,相信这次的恋情可以长久。幸好经典名言真的有效—「时间就是最好的解药」,离开那个伤心地,一年、两年、三年过去,你会在某一天发现自己能够走出来,终于过了悲伤的有效期限。
【关于爱的回忆】无论经过多久的时间,我们所爱的人永远不会从我们心里完全消失。No matter how much time passes, those we have loved never slip away from us entirely.伯爵跟苏菲雅说这句话的时候,指的是自己的妹妹,但我觉得放在爱情里同样适用。没有必要去否认一段恋情,当下爱了就是爱了,时间的长短跟恋情的深浅不一定正相关,可是爱过的人会永远留在回忆之中,伴随着为爱付出过的自己。也是因为有很多次的失恋,才会让我们更懂得如何去爱,所以不需要强迫自己忘了对方,反而要谢谢对方,陪自己走过一段人生的路。把《莫斯科绅士》带回家