In the summer of 1925, Lu Xiaoman, who was in love, wrote in his diary:
”Because of lack of energy, I spent time in bed reading a copy of “The Painted Veil” (“The Veil”). Maybe it won’t be as miserable as the woman in the book. The protagonist in the book struggles for love to achieve his goal; but after a few days together, the man died, leaving her alone with her father Hardship in the dying years. Mo! Do you think there is such a cruel thing in the world? I don’t know why I should worry about my deceased person. I cried for a long time, and I still feel a pain in my heart after crying! Thinking of you even made me tremble. I hope that unfortunate things won’t find us.”
Two months later, Lu Xiaoman and Xu Zhimo got engaged, and two months later, they got married. Five years later, Xu Zhimo’s plane crashed. Lu Xiaoman’s pain and trembling at the time were interpreted as a hunch, but people in love are easily trembling with faint pain. In fact, it can be seen from the diary that Lu Xiaoman is really a naive person. If Lin Huiyin reads Maugham’s “The Veil”, he would definitely not cry, let alone Zhang Ailing. Zhang Ailing is Maugham’s number one confidant. About love, death and truth, Maugham is almost writing with her hand.
The plot of “The Veil” summarized by Lu Xiaoman is specious, indicating that she did not take it seriously. Of course, the diary is also a very subjective style. Maugham’s story goes like this: more than a hundred years ago, the beautiful and vain Katie saw that she was about to become a second-class product in the marriage market, and she hurriedly married the bacteriologist Walter who was obsessed with her. After marriage, she went to Hong Kong with Walter, but soon derailed the romantic and suave Hong Kong Assistant Secretary Charlie. After the incident was exposed, Walter gave her two paths, one was to get Charlie to marry her after divorce, and the other was to go with him to practice medicine in Meitan Mansion where cholera was ravaged. Playboy Charlie will naturally not divorce, and the frustrated Katie comes to the epidemic area with her husband. Walter worked day and night, but Katie slowly found her place in the plagued monastery, and slowly forgot Charlie the “Scumbag”, but for Walter, who was loved and worshipped by everyone in the affected area, she always There is no way to truly fall in love with him. Although she experienced cholera and was reborn, as Proust said, love cannot persuade.
In the end, Walter contracted cholera and stopped breathing. His dying words were: “The dog was the last to die.” This sentence is the last line in the “Elegy” of Goldsmeet, which means that the kind people took in A dog, but then the dog went crazy and bit people. But in the end the man came alive and the dog died. Walter had previously admitted that when he first brought Katie to the epidemic area, he wanted the plague to kill her. Later, Walter’s friends analyzed that he contracted the plague, how much a self-selection, because he contracted the disease in the laboratory.
In the first half of the novel, after the affairs of Katie and Charlie were exposed, Katie and Walter had a close encounter. Katie said: “It was a big mistake to marry you. I regret it. I am a fool. I have no feelings for you. We are not the same.” Then, Walter Smiled slightly, and said: “I have no illusions about you. I know you are stupid and frivolous, and mindless, but I love you. I know you have no ambitions and vulgarity, but I love you. I know you are mediocre and shallow, snobbish and vain. , But I still love you.” This conversation happened before they went to the epidemic area. Love, or more accurately, the discovery of “not love”, does not need the help of the plague. “Love in the Time of Cholera” is the most typical text. Cholera will not change love. Cholera is just a simile of love. What is the effect of the plague in “The Veil”, or what is the plague?
The plague is a mechanism of nudity. The plague in “The Veil” assumes the function of “uncovering”. Because of the plague and seeing “thousands of people’s lives taken by the plague” every day, Katie felt that love and cheating have become very small in the big rivers of life. She told Walter: “The epidemic is currently , You really don’t have to bother for a silly woman like me.” Katie, who has experienced the epidemic, even understood Lao Tzu’s “Tao”. “The way is the road, the person who walks.” The plague lifted Katie’s veil and turned the vain mid-air girl into a person on the ground. The plague also lifted the veil of Walter, a bacteriologist who was respected by everyone but died of heartbreak. At the same time, he was “struck down by dimensionality reduction” by love and the epidemic, and the dog died as desolately.
Therefore, Maugham’s conclusion is: love is colder than death, but the plague is the enemy. Upon hearing this, Shakespeare nodded.
”Romeo and Juliet” was written in 1595, just after the first major outbreak in London. Romeo was scared from the beginning. The dark doom is not only poisoned today, the disaster has begun, and the future lies behind. And when Romeo went to Mandoya, Juliet’s cry was also due to the shadow of the plague, “Heaven, you are capricious.” The plague intervened and directly changed the fate of Romeo and Juliet. Because the messenger Father John wanted to find a companion, he made an appointment with his fellow junior, but just as the junior was visiting the home of the infected patient, and when the patrol passed by, the messenger was enclosed in the epidemic area and went to Mandoya to deliver the letter to Romeo. This delay caused Romeo to not know that Juliet was in suspended animation, which eventually led to the death of the most famous pair of children in the history of English literature.
The whole play takes a turn for the worse in the fifth act. The plague initially spared the two families physically, but finally eliminated them spiritually. We can also see in the Prince’s final statement that Romeo and Juliet replaced their families. Atonement. In the past, the two families that had feuded plagued the whole city into a mess. Now, the “forgiveness and punishment” have cleared their bills in the plague.
The plague is a kind of cleanup restart. The Capulet family and the Montagu family have returned to the starting point where they can walk hand in hand. Love or death is a small program in the ultimate plague button.
As a hacker of world history, the plague is an intruder and a revolutionist. Boccaccio and Chaucer nodded together.
”The Decameron” and “The Canterbury Tales” were both created in the context of the Great Plague. The emerging bourgeoisie launched a cultural offensive by telling stories. The authority of the church collapsed in “The Decameron” and “The Canterbury Tales”. The plague opened the prelude to the Renaissance. The old world stood on the right side of the plague, the new world on the left, and the new world portrayed by new literature , You can wait until Shakespeare takes over, and European short stories start from then on.
Nothing is brighter than the weather in “Canterbury Tales”, “The sun of youth has turned half of Aries, the birds sing tunes, and open their sleepy eyes all night, it is natural to fiddle with their heartstrings”, without shame. The woman of Bath didn’t know that her few words would last forever in the history of literature. “I thank the God of Eternal Life. I have received five husbands at the door of the church.” So, even though she was told that “Christ only attended one wedding”, Bath The reason for the wife comes from the desire of the new class: “I only know that God has ordered us to give birth. Look at Mr. Solomon, he has so many wives and concubines, may God allow me to have half of his nourishment!”
What is more vigorous ! Can vitality and the joy of the earth better defeat the plague? Although the plague brought the darkest moments in literary history, it also brought great revolutions time and time again. “Plague Years Chronicle” started the style revolution; “Plague” started the honest revolution, “the only way to fight the plague is honesty” “can only live at the vertiginous peak, that is honesty”; Shakespeare started the youth revolution; Marl X started the old age revolution. Defoe said that the plague made death openly embedded in our lives, much more than we usually allow. In 2020, the new crown virus has plundered many lives. This time, what has it brought?
Camus taught that the easiest way is to see how the people living in it work, how to love each other, and how to die. This is what we can answer after the epidemic is over.
In the summer of 1925, Lu Xiaoman, who was in love, wrote in his diary: