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Manhattan

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总第 417 期 /2012 年第 09 期
MangZhong
Literature

作家论丛

论欧 · 亨利式结尾的固化及其精神内涵




、“欧·亨利式结尾” 的形成和固化

欧·亨利以其欧·亨利式的结尾被世界文坛奉
为经典。正如王永年在 《欧·亨利小说全集》 译者
前言里的概括:
他先在故事情节发展过程中透露一些情况,
作为铺垫,埋下伏笔,但对最重要的事实却一
直秘而不宣,结尾时 峰 回 路 转,豁 然 开 朗,产
生了意料不及、画龙点睛的效果,向读者揭示
了整个故事的意义和人物性格及行为的全部真
实,使读者在惊愕之 余,不 禁 拍 案 叫 绝,不 能
不 承 认 故 事 的 合 情 合 理, 赞 叹 作 者 构 思 的
[1

巧妙。
在欧·亨利的小说集中,作品结尾极少出现其
,“欧·亨利式结尾” 已经具有一定的
他的创作模式
固化倾向。这一风格的出现、成熟和固化,是作家
在文学创作中,由初见个性风格到逐渐成熟再到难
于突破和创新的自然过程。

从他开始正式发表短篇小说开始 “欧·亨利式
结尾” 已经初现端倪,如在 《四百万》 中欧·亨利
已经能比较成熟地运用这样出人意料的结尾来吸引
读者的注意了。
名篇 《最后的常春藤叶》 将 “欧·亨利式结尾”
运用得极为出色,结尾处与前文中医生提出的 “要
将贝尔曼送进医院,让他舒服点儿地走向死亡” 这
个铺垫前后呼应,情节的发展流畅自然,无刻意造
作的感觉。同时更使这篇小说想要揭示的人性的美
丽这个主题在结尾处得到了升华。可以说,这篇作
品的问世,代 表 了 欧 · 亨 利 短 篇 小 说 创 作 的 高 峰,
也是他 “欧·亨利式结尾” 创作的成熟表现。
有时作家的创作难以摆脱自己已经成熟的创作
模式,成为创作突破的瓶颈。由于欧 ·亨利的创作
时间比较短暂,还要考虑到迎合消费者需要而连篇
,“欧·亨利式结尾” 在成为经典的同
累牍式的创作
时也就难免一定的固化倾向。

二 “欧·亨利式结尾” 的精神内涵
既然作者已经形成了稳定的创作风格,作家创
作有了固定的模式,对于读者来说,只要熟读其中
的某一篇就能够以偏概全,那么欧 ·亨利的魅力长
存的原因何在呢? 我们认为欧·亨利式的结尾不仅
仅是叙事技巧,而是蕴涵着深厚的精神内涵,这是
他的小说结尾虽然有一定的固化倾向,却仍吸引读

062





者的内在原因。下文将探讨欧·亨利创作的短篇小
说是以怎样的精神内涵来吸引读者的注意力和阅读
兴趣的。
时代是影响文学创作的一个因素,欧·亨利出
生于 1862 年,去世于 1910 年,在这段时期里,美国
社会中发生的一系列问题是肯定对其创作有一定影
响的。
南北战争之后的美国小说转向了现实主义,
强调可信性和真实性。这个时期的美国地域扩
张、不断 发 现 新 的 资 源、不 断 做 出 新 的 发 明,
不断涌现新的工业,美国小说的发展也达到了
最有活力的一个时期。此时的美国小说的数量
剧增,同时反映了蓬勃发展的社会生活的方方
[2

面面。
美国内战以后是美国历史发展最快的一个时期,
这个时期美国一跃成为世界上首屈一指的资本主义
工业大国,发展的同时也带来了不少社会问题。美
。城市里
国社会变成了一个适者生存的 “原始森林”
嘈杂肮脏、失业率居高不下、工厂主的投机盈利等
使得这个城市充斥着疾病贫困和暴力犯罪。
这一时期的美国文学不可避免地都带有了一些
映衬时代社会混乱的色彩,着力描写着真实的社会,
尤其是社会的黑暗,表现了一定的社会悲观主义色
彩,比如马克 ·吐温。他所处的时代背景与 欧·亨
利所处的时代背景比较接近,欧·亨利创作时所处
的时代社会的模样也正是马克·吐温所感同身受的。

欧·亨利的作品风格也是幽默的 “类似马克·吐温
那 种 讽 刺、 幽 默、 滑 稽、 诙 谐、 风 趣 的 艺 术 风
[3
]23
格” 。但是他们的文学创作还是有所区别的,分
别代表了两种不同的创作态度。
马克·吐温的作品,比较多的是揭示人性真实
的伪善一面,他对现实认识深刻,并且多采用直截
了当的叙述的表现手法来展现现实,他的作品能让
读者在阅读之后产生对现实赤裸裸的几乎失望的念
头。欧·亨利的作品较多显示的是人性真善的一面,
他对现实的认识很深刻,并且是做了一定的艺术处
理的,他的作品更多的是让读者见识到现实中仍然
有真善美,虽然描写的是贫困窘迫的小人物,但是
在他们身上不缺乏对美的发现,使读者更容易产生
对未来美好的期望。
欧·亨利有着像马克 ·吐温一样对现实清醒的
认识。在逃亡岁月里,欧·亨利有过残酷、奇特的
生活体 验,作 家 把 美 国 这 个 名 利 场 看 得 十 分 透 彻,

总第 417 期 /2012 年第 09 期
MangZhong
Literature

作家论丛

那些 “丛林中的孩子们” 尔虞我诈、勾心斗角、巧
作观念的无意识是什么? 在欧·亨利传记的材料中,
。残忍遇到狠毒,小
取豪夺,行的都是 “丛林法则”
曾有一封没有写完的信件,是作家去世前不久写下
骗子遇到大骗子,更可悲的是,在这种财富的角逐
的,这是欧·亨利小说研究中一件极其重要的手稿。
中,人们的灵魂也受到了腐蚀。
他在信中曾这样叙述道:
社会黑暗的真实和可悲,在欧·亨利小说中常
在书上把 “全部真实” 说出来是不可能的。
《供应家具的房间》 所描写的死亡
常有所体现。如
我想描写一个人的生平,我准备让他经历生活
与 《最后的常 春 藤 叶》 中 的 死 亡 是 完 全 不 一 样 的。
中的主要情景。我准备让他得到经验所能所能
《最后的常春藤叶》 中的死亡是一种救人活命的自我
给他的一切人情世故,然而始终保持着纯真的、
牺牲,是一种人性精神的升华,因而能从死亡中看
合乎 人 性 的 观 点, 让 他 说 出 一 切 事 物 的
[3
]48
到光明,从 痛 苦 中 获 得 力 量,从 悲 剧 中 受 到 感 奋。
真实。
而 《供应家具的房间》 则十分残酷,通过年轻人寻
欧·亨利 希 望 他 描 写 的 人 始 终 保 持 着 纯 真 的、
找爱人的痛苦经历,作者为我们展示了一个令人绝
合乎人性的观点,这个观点流淌于他的小说塑造的
望的环境,对现实进行了严肃的揭露与批判。
人物性格血液中,这是他创作观的根基。因此他的
同样是建立在作家对现实清醒的认识基础上的文

小说中必然存在着爱与善对心灵的救赎 《最后的常
学创作,欧·亨利却体现出与马克·吐温所代表的创
春藤叶》 里的主人公正是以这样的人性心理拯救了
作观不一样的选择。欧亨利的选择,是在对现实的深

青年画家 《索利托牧场的卫生学》 中的牧场主雷德
刻的认识基础上有着乐观积极的心态,也就是说在深
勒也是以这样的人性心理把一个酒鬼、赌棍、凶手
刻的悲伤之后还能有温暖的心,这样的创作心态使得
改造成 一 个 痛 改 前 非 的 新 人,救 赎 了 犯 罪 的 灵 魂,
他的小说有了两难的选择,既要再现现实又要温暖人
这样的心理和精神内涵在欧·亨利小说中随处可见。
心,这种两难选择是他的小说令人啼笑皆非的幽默和
而正是这样的一种创作心理,使得欧 ·亨利的语言
突转式结尾的内在基础。欧·亨利的幽默通常是善意
本身也充满了夸张和幽默,而幽默能起到淡化事物
的,但这并不意味着就不能揭示现实,他的小说也能
本质悲剧性的作用,从而更符合生活的本质,使大
令人震惊地揭示出人生的真谛。比如在他的小说 《钟
众读者更能接受。
摆》一文中,在约翰与妻子凯蒂婚后两年一成不变的
虽然欧·亨利创作的结尾形成一定的固定模式
生活中,平静的生活使得约翰不断地想逃离妻子获得
却依旧对读者深具魅力,作家透析人世悲凉后仍选
婚姻的自由,因妻子的母亲生病妻子匆忙离家之后, 择在作品中对人 性 和 生 活 寄 予 美 好 的 希 望 和 信 心,
平静的生活起了波折,令约翰无所适从,但妻子回来
对这一温暖立场的持守正是他写作的出发点,这也
之后的生活又触发了约翰的逃离。这体现了欧·亨利
是欧·亨利结尾 独 特 的 精 神 内 涵 和 艺 术 魅 力 所 在。
透视生活本质的能力。
所以欧·亨利的短篇小说还是无愧于 “美国生活的
对时代社会有着清醒的认识,是时代大环境赋
百科全书” 之誉的,它还是 “以崭新的人性观点和
予作家的。欧·亨利对人性和世界的认识是深刻的
超凡的技巧在美国文学界引起震响,流传深远,给
甚至是悲观的,但在大多数的作品里,他却宁愿选
刚跨进 20 世纪的美国文坛吹来了一股生机盎然的春
择乐观 的 结 尾,那 么 欧 · 亨 利 又 为 何 做 这 样 的 选

天气息,令人神清气爽,耳目一新。
择呢?
这样的创作选择,显然是怀着人性善的信念和 [参考文献]

1][
对生活充满希望的感情的,这种信念和爱的希望在
美]欧·亨利. 欧·亨利小说全集( 第一卷) [C].
2003.
王永年, 北京: 人民文学出版社,
译.

他的小说创作中显示得尤为明显——小人物身上也
[ 朱刚. 新编美国文学史( 第二卷) [M] 上海: 上海外
2]

有真善美。正是由于欧 ·亨利这样的创作选择,他
2002: 15.
语教育出版社,
笔下的善与恶,并不那么截然分开,泾渭分明,它
[ 阮温凌. 走进迷宫——欧·亨利的艺术世界[
3]

M]. 北
们之间有着一个广阔的中间地带,其中存在着良心
1997.
京: 中国社会科学出版社,
发现,幡然悔悟,重新做人的种种可能性。决心洗
[ 巴赫金. 弗洛伊德主义[M]. 佟景韩, 上海: 上海
4]
译.
手不干的保险箱盗窃犯为了救出把自己反锁在保险
1988: 67.
文艺出版社,
库里的 孩 子,当 众 拿 出 自 己 的 看 家 本 领 泄 露 行 踪,
[ 王 晶 红. 美 国 小 说 殿 堂 的 一 块 基 石——我 读 欧 亨
5]

准备跟着警察再去蹲监狱; 一个二流子坏蛋在镇上,

2007( 09) .
利[J] 科教文汇( 上旬刊) ,
用枪和愤怒破坏着居民的财产,因母亲的到来而决
[ 朱雯,
6]

朱碧恒. 欧·亨利名作欣赏[M] 北京: 中国和
定痛改前非; 一个背弃了情人的男人,毕竟还能尽
1996.
平出版社,
自己的 努 力,让 青 梅 竹 马 的 姑 娘 断 了 对 他 的 思 念,
快快活活地去开始新的生活。

作者简介]

弗洛伊德指出 “诙谐无非是被压抑的无意识能
赵峻( 1969— ) , 江苏扬州人,
女,
淮阴师范学院文学院
量的通风口,也就是说,它归根到底也是为这种无
副教授,
文学 硕 士,
研究 方 向 为 比 较 文 学 与 世 界 文 学; 李 娜
[4

( 1990— ) , 江苏淮安人,
女,
淮阴师范学院文学院学生。
意识服务的,受无意识的支配” 。决定欧·亨利创

063…...

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