2008年10月29日 星期三

《我(卞仲耘) 虽死去》王晶垚

文化社会 | 2008.10.28

是中国人都应该看的一部电影

科隆东亚系举办的中国纪录片节上,关于文革的纪录片《我虽死去》是其中最具有震撼力的一部影片。这部拍摄于两年前的纪录片其实应该成为中国人了解历史、了 解自己的一部经典影像教材,就像“文革博物馆”不应该只存在于呼吁中,而应该落成并成为反映中国现代史不可或缺的一面明镜。

科隆大学东亚系现代中国专业的大学生们10月23日至28日举办了一个"素颜中国-中国纪录片电影节",共放映了11部电影,其中除了最后 一部是剧情片"安子",其它10部都是纪录片。11部影片中,除了"北京798艺术工厂"为德国人弗里克制作,其它均为中国独立电影人作品。这些影片在中 国基本上属于"小众"电影,几乎不会在电影院里看到,因此能在德国看到,实在要感谢那几位组织了这一电影节的汉学专业德国学生。每晚放映前,都有一位学生 为观众介绍一下影片所涉及的历史与社会背景,从而使那些对中国不太了解的德国观众能更好地看懂影片。介绍《我虽死去》的那位德国小伙子说:"我相信今晚你 们没有白来,这是一部看了不会让你后悔的电影。"

《我虽死去》是独立电影人胡杰第二部关于文革中个人命运的纪录片,第一部《寻找林昭的灵魂》就已经引起很大反响。《我虽死去》讲述的是前北京师大女 附中党总支书记、副校长卞仲耘女士文革中被摧残致死的事件,影片的主要叙述者是卞仲耘的丈夫、今年已经87岁的王晶垚老先生。王晶垚老先生收藏了有关他妻 子遇害的大量历史证据,影片就是通过他的叙述、回忆和展示,重构了40前(影片拍摄于2006年)一个生命个体、一个家庭如何在人性丧失的疯狂时代被毁灭 的。

影片虽然是站在今天的位置回看历史,但采取的是黑白片的形式。编导胡杰应该更多的是出于对死者的尊重和对血腥的不忍再现,才采取了黑白两色,而不是 刻意营造一种历史片的效果。1966年8月5日,也就是毛泽东写出《炮打司令部--我的一张大字报》的著名历史一日,北京师范大学附属女子中学党总支书记 兼副校长卞仲耘在校内被造反的女学生活活打死,她也是文革中第一位遇害的教育工作者。学生打老师是文革的标志性暴力特征,因为它标志着对讲究"师道尊严" 的中国传统文化道德的根本性破坏。卞仲耘是被一群女学生用人格侮辱的方式活生生打死的,是什么把花季少女转眼变成如此残暴冷血?这是这部电影提出的一个没 有得到解答的问题,也是中国官方迄今回避和拒绝寻找答案的问题。

当时在中国社会科学院历史所做研究工作的王晶垚在妻子遇害后,用老式120相机拍摄了卞仲耘的尸体和丧事处理过程,也用照片记录了红卫兵抄家时贴在 他家里的语言下流恶俗暴戾的大字报。影片一开始就平静地展示出一幅卞仲耘半裸尸体的照片,效果却十分震撼。在那样的时刻还顾得上用心地摄记录惨不忍睹的一 幕幕,乍看上去王晶垚似乎有着超乎常人感情的克制与冷静。但是随着影片叙事的展开和深入,观众理解到,王晶垚在看到血淋淋的妻子尸体那一刻,心就已经在悲 恸中死去了,因此他是带着死而后生的勇气,直面痛苦,为历史为后人留下证据。卞仲耘在屈辱中暴死给老人留下了什么样的心理与心灵创伤,在影片中有一个镜头 表现得最清楚。王晶垚将胡杰的摄影镜头引向当年旧居的书房兼卧室,他指着窗口说,他在妻子遇害后的头几年,每天都盼望妻子熟悉的身影能出现在窗外楼下,就 像她活着的时候每年上班下班那样。说到这里,老人痛哭失声,一个85岁的老人的痛哭!

在王晶垚和死者的教师同事林莽老先生的回忆与陈述中,卞仲耘被屈辱虐待致死的细节过程渐次剥开。王晶垚将尘封了40年的箱子在镜头下展开,一件件晾 出妻子的遇害时粘满血迹和粪便的衣物和随身用品,那个在外力作用下变了形的手表的指针停在下午三点四十分,那是一个鲜活的个体生命被暴力无端扼杀的时刻, 那是一个家庭生离死别的时刻,那是一个人性扭曲畸形的时刻,那是中国被钉上历史屈辱十字架上的时候。这是他40年来第一次打开箱子。打开箱子,无异于撕开 伤口。曾经在学生时代就投身革命的知识分子王晶垚对着镜头说,妻子死后,本来是无神论的他开始对基督教的画像有了个格外的热爱和理解,他感觉身上背负了一 个十字架,背负着中国人承受的苦难和集体罪恶。他坚强地活下去,就是为去揭露这段历史。无独有偶,胡杰第一部文革纪录片中的林昭也是在生命的最后时刻称自 己是"为奉着十字架作战的自由志士"。人性的沦丧和宗教精神的缺失是否有某种必然的关联?看过胡杰的两部文革纪录片,就不能不去思考这一问题。

文革时北师大女子附中可谓是"贵族学校",学生中差不多有三分之一是中共最高层干部的女儿,毛泽东和邓小平的子女都曾在这里就学。2007年,北师 大附属实验中学,即原北师大女子附中举行90年校庆活动,当年红卫兵造反派头头宋彬彬为毛泽东献红卫兵袖章的照片被当成学校辉煌历史来炫耀,而这件文革象 征性事件发生在宋彬彬的校长被打死后两周,宋彬彬本人也是红卫兵暴行的主要责任人之一。最具有讽刺意味的是,校庆活动中,宋彬彬的照片和受难者卞仲耘的照 片一并刊登在《校史》和《图志》中,前者被冠以"知名校友"的荣誉光环,后者只被轻轻一笔带过。王晶垚老人给北师大附属实验中学校长袁爱俊写了一封抗议公 开信,但并没有得到任何回应。在胡杰拍摄这部纪录片时,当年的参与过施暴的女学生中没有一人愿意接受采访,时至今日更没有一名当年的女学生出面对卞仲耘之 死表示过道歉,与事件有关的责任人中更没有一人被追究过法律责任。

文革历史的伤痕并没有愈合。没有反省,没有忏悔,没有道歉,没有纪念,这就是中国对待文革的态度。凡是看过这部纪录片的人,肯定都会感到悲伤、愤 怒、无奈和迷惑。王晶垚老人执着探寻的是中国人的集体灵魂和良心,寻找的是正义和人性。然而,文革中失去的人性并没有真正回归,而没有人性回归的现代化, 必然是一个灵魂、情感和心智都不健全的现代化。从这个意义上说,《我虽死去》应该成为中国人必看的一部影像教材。被于丹通俗演义了一回的孔老夫子说过"不 知生,焉知死",其实这话反过来对今天的中国也许更有意义:不知千百万中国人是如何死去的,怎知现在的中国人是怎么活的?!

影片快结束时,老人表示要将他收藏的遗物和证据都交给文革博物馆。但文革博物馆在哪里呢?它什么时候能建成呢?它还会有机会问世吗?

2008年10月28日 星期二

孔德成

孔德成辭世 享壽89
孔德成的專長是「三禮研究」、「金文研究」及「殷周青銅彝器研究」,他從一九五五年起,在台大中文系和人類學系擔任兼任教授;並曾與臺靜農、王靜芝、王北嶽、吳平等著名書法家成立「六修書畫會」,他的金文、楷書最為書法界稱道。

孔德成強調自己「是個教書的人,只談學術」。擔任院長期間,都住在自己 買的公寓裡,沒有住官舍。民國八十二年,輿論有逼退孔德成的聲音,當時他二話不說,就主動請辭,第二個任期的考試院長只作了一半,這種風骨,讓人欽佩。

圖/聯合報提供



孔府宴精緻 豆芽縫能鑲肉絲
山東曲阜孔府宴以繁複手法見長,簑衣黃瓜即是將小黃瓜以精密刀工切成鏤空的簑衣。
本報資料照片/記者陳靜宜攝影
孔府宴菜名也極為講究漂亮,「一卵孵雙鳳」其實就是西瓜煮雞。
本報資料照片/記者陳靜宜攝影
孔德成辭世,他「衍聖公」的獨特身分,讓他自小就有機會見識到孔家宴席的繁複精美,這也反映在他的飲食觀上。 孔府宴精神可回溯至孔子,他可說是史上第一位美食家,對吃見解獨到,與現今流行的飲食觀不謀而合,名句「食不厭精,膾不厭細。」米麥碾舂得愈精白愈好,魚肉切得愈細愈好,就是講究用餐的精緻。 歸納孔府宴有幾項特點:高低有、菜名美、規矩多。「高低有」是指孔府宴菜色上至魚翅、下至豆芽都能上桌,最讓人印象深刻的莫過於「鑲豆莛」,明明是普通的 豆芽菜,卻能掐頭去尾,從中空的豆芽菜裡嵌入比牙籤還細的火腿絲與雞肉絲,好紅白兩色分明,如此細工,即使是現代科技都不見得辦得到。 「菜名美」,應該與孔家學問多有關,明明是涼拌小黃瓜,經過刀刀不斷、層層疊疊,成了件鏤空的簑衣,取名「簑衣黃瓜」;另外一道怎麼看就是西瓜煮雞,卻名為「一卵孵雙鳳」。「規矩多」,包括身分有別,座位有別、出菜順序有別。 在山東曲阜大型餐館都能吃得到「孔府宴」,第一等是迎接國賓的滿漢全席,其次是婚宴、壽宴,第三是便宴。便宴一桌約台幣三千五至四千。



我所知道的孔德成老師

民國53年我即受教於孔德成老師,迄今四十五年,老師字達生。大家都知道老師生下來才滿百日即嗣為衍聖公,後來政府改任為大成至聖先師奉祀官,當選國民大會代表,被聘為資政,更做了八九年考試院長。但老師一生的志業實在於治學和教學。

老師教書長達五十三年,沒有間斷過,直到今年四月以前都還在上課。老師講書時聲音的洪亮,可以由台大中文系第五研究室傳到椰林大道,和傅鐘二十二響相為共鳴。老師上起課來興致很高,總是忘了下課時間,研究室的燈火也與椰林梢頭的星月相為輝映。

老師早年受到呂鴻陞、丁惟汾、王獻唐、傅斯年等耆宿大儒的教誨,並受五四以來科學精神的薰陶,使他在治學上講求堅實的基礎和正確的態度與方法,同時也強調 集體研究的重要。老師曾說,他為了研究《禮經》,就要博通群經,還要兼治金文和商周彝器,乃至於考古學和民俗學。為此他在台大就開設了《三禮》、金文和古 器物學三門課程,學生來自台北各大學。老師為了復原《儀禮》使之動態呈現,就在民國54年與臺靜農老師帶領十餘位研究生成立「儀禮復原實驗小組」,分題探 討研究,除撰成一套《儀禮復原研究叢刊》,由中華書局出版外,並拍攝一部《士昏禮》黑白影片。老師治學的態度和方法,對我們學生的影響很大,就我個人而 言,我研究戲曲而兼及詩詞、俗文學與民俗藝術,多次主持集體型研究計畫和舉辦大型藝術文化活動,實在也是來自於老師的啟迪和鼓勵。

老師為「儀禮小組」同學上課,不只學期之中,連寒暑假也不放過。上課時,老師常要我們討論,各自發表意見。如果有精采的見解時,老師就會拍案而起,說: 「太好了!值得喝杯酒慶賀去!」但有次老師要我們背誦陳寅恪先生的一篇文章,說這篇文章不只文字好,而且有極重要的學術觀點。結果我們沒一個能背得出來, 惹得老師不高興。老師說,當年他背不出來,是要挨板子的。而老師在我們師生杯酒小聚時最為和藹可親,每劇談晚清民初掌故,使我們增長不少見聞;也喜歡和臺 老師機鋒相對,使我們忍俊不禁的笑出聲音來。

老師在還沒擔任考試院長之前,都搭公車上下學。每次下課,都會有同學陪他在舟山路等候二五四路公車。有次我陪老師等了二三十分鐘,我已經不耐煩,老師還談笑自若。我曾經建議老師搭計程車好能及時趕到中華路的會賓樓,但老師還是堅持搭零南公車,即使臺老師也順著他。

老師居家很簡樸,以前住過的南京東路五段和現在住所都一樣,就其空間和陳設而言,很難想像他的身分和地位。

然而老師很慷慨,學生到他家,常留下來吃飯;每設法使學生有足夠生活費好能安心讀書。對待親友,更有子路「分財與共」的況味。

在《士昏禮》影片拍攝完成後一兩年,有天老師拿了十六萬元,要我送去給他的同鄉好友企業家尹復生先生。尹先生說:「我早和你老師說好了,拍片的錢我來 付!」但我深知老師為人,堅持把錢還給尹先生。因此我們才明白,《士昏禮》影片的拍攝經費原來出自老師。而那時老師的經濟情況,還得向友人先行告貸。

老師是七十七代孔子嫡孫,一般人總以為道統在老師身上。老師去世,高雄市黎建南先生即在《聯合報》為文〈嘆失落的孔子精神〉。但老師從不以道統自居,終其 一生只在實踐孔子「學不厭,教不倦」的精神,使得他的學生如沐春風化雨,廣被均霑,感受無限溫馨。誠如同門葉國良院長在〈事略〉中所說的:「蓋知之淺者, 唯知其善各體書、食不厭精、唯酒無量;而知之深者,則於其學問人品,敬畏有加,學者教授、弟子門生,執禮之恭,近數十年僅見。」

老師的身體一向很健旺,平居注意運動。遵醫師之囑,不喝酒就一滴也不沾,哪怕在國宴的場合也一樣;該一天走一萬步,也就用計步器走一萬步,哪管風雨晴晦也 不間斷。我們長年以來,每個月總有一次聚集在老師周圍杯酒歡笑。誰料得到,今年四月以後,他那瀟灑的風度和爽朗的笑語,就一天比一天的減弱了,他那書聲傳 聞椰林大道的洪鐘聲響也闃然無聞了。

而今老師已縱浪於大化之中,我們做為門下弟子的,雖然難免頓失導師之痛,但更重要的實是謹記老師教言,發揚老師的學術理念和人格典範,完成老師對我們每個人的期望,以此來告慰老師在天之靈!

最後我在這裡謹以章景明教授的一副輓聯代表我們同門弟子的心聲,獻於達生吾師靈右。聯云:

博我以文約我以禮忝列門牆稱小子

義屬師弟情同父子空依絳帳哭先生

【2008/12/10 聯合報】





Wu Mi-cha

吳密察

INTERVIEW/ Wu Mi-cha: Taiwanese nationalism a model for all of Asia

06/02/2008

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

The following are excerpts from an interview with Wu Mi-cha, director of the National Museum of Taiwan History, about the 10 biggest incidents in modern and contemporary history in East Asia. This is part of a series to complement the "Impact of History--150 Years in East Asia."

* * *

The 10 biggest incidents I choose are:

1) The First Sino-Japanese War and Japanese colonization of Taiwan

2) Political, military and cultural impact of the United States on East Asia

3) China's reform and market opening

4) The Second Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War

Events (5) to (10) are in chronological order.

5) The Opium Wars and the opening of China

6) Meiji Restoration and the opening of Japan

7) Japan's annexation of Korea

8) The Xinhai Revolution

9) The establishment of the People's Republic of China

10) The Korean War

* * *

Depending on whether you choose the 10 biggest incidents from the viewpoint of the national history of each East Asian country or that of East Asia as a whole, they could be different. Seen from the vantage point of East Asia as a whole, the incidents can be categorized into four major themes: 1) The collapse of the supremacy of the Chinese empire; 2) The establishment and collapse of the Japanese empire; 3) The establishment of U.S. supremacy; and 4) China's rise to power again.

But things look different when seen from Taiwan. The First Sino-Japanese War and the colonization of Taiwan are the most important. The war changed the East Asian power structure and led to the development and eventual collapse of the Japanese empire.

Up to then, Taiwan was not a state but as a result of the war, a powerful colonial government emerged there. To Taiwanese people, it was almost as if a modern state descended from heaven. But it was a modern state advocating colonialism.

The greatest developments in East Asia in the time leading up to the mid-20th century were the rise and fall of Japan and China. While remaining hostile, they had an impact on and learned from each other. In the second half of the 20th century, the United States entered East Asia as a third power. This was the Cold War order.

Since the second half of the 20th century, with the exception of resistance by the Arab world, virtually every country has been influenced by the United States. U.S.-led globalization has made the world more homogenized and convenient. But at the same time, it caused traditional local cultures to vanish. Young people who grew up eating at McDonald's do not know the taste of traditional local foods.

The rise of China is a major challenge that all of us living in the 21st century inevitably face. Due to its massive population and land area, the damage China could have on the global environment is significant. If it continues to build up its military, it will grow into a latent military power. Although the world is counting on China's future advancement, this could also become a burden the entire world would have to shoulder.

After the Manchurian Incident, Japan lost the power to control its expansion. If the Japanese empire had stopped at Manchukuo, it may not have collapsed as it did.

Why did Japan throw itself into the 15-year war? This is a question I cannot answer. The direction of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere advocated by Japan was not entirely wrong in the sense that it was meant to counter the West. But the West was too strong and the Japan-led sphere was no match for it. Actually, Japan did not lose to China. It lost to the United States.

In writing modern Japanese history, postwar Japanese historians refer to the history of its four main islands, including Honshu. But I disagree. Setting aside the propriety of the matter, since Japan existed as an empire during the first half of the 20th century, historians should seriously come face to face with this fact.

Let me focus on East Asian nationalism. I think nationalism should be emphasized. But nationalism in this case is not the forcible and violent ideology that was advocated in the age leading up to the mid-19th century. Contemporary nationalism must be based on the reflection of modernism and be independent and fair, befitting the 21st century. This kind of nationalism could acquire a new name. I don't know when this can be realized, though.

I want Japan to respect the movement for Taiwan to create a new society on its own initiative. Japan should understand its 50 years of colonial relations with Taiwan and not remain indifferent to such efforts by Taiwan.

The East Asian community cannot come together as one as long as China acts like a big brother. Moreover, there are still grudges held from the past. Countries have attacked each other in an attempt to resolve internal contradictions within themselves. Only when members can share a Taiwan-style nationalism which is neither expansionist, militaristic nor imperialistic can they form a community.

* * *

Wu Mi-cha is professor of history at National Taiwan University and director of the National Museum of Taiwan History, which will officially open next year. He graduated from a University of Tokyo graduate school and is the author of books on Taiwan's history. (IHT/Asahi: May 30,2008)

2008年10月25日 星期六

Konosuke Matsushita 松下幸之助

ㄧ直沒空看電視來比較日本經營之神松下幸之助1905-89)之喪及其他層面……【紐約時報引AP之文半頁WEB PAGEKonosuke Matsushita, Industrialist, Is Dead at 94 則有數倍之篇幅專文….



Konosuke Matsushita, Industrialist, Is Dead at 94

Published: April 27, 1989

LEAD: Konosuke Matsushita, who rose from poverty to found the world's largest producer of home electric appliances and to become Japan's leading postwar industrialist, died this morning in Osaka, Japan. He was 94 years old.

Konosuke Matsushita, who rose from poverty to found the world's largest producer of home electric appliances and to become Japan's leading postwar industrialist, died this morning in Osaka, Japan. He was 94 years old.

Mr. Matsushita died in a hospital he founded. The cause of death was pneumonia, but he had been ailing for some time.

An orphan who became one of Japan's wealthiest men, Mr. Matsushita (pronounced mat-SOOSH-ta) started his business career as an entrepreneurial maverick not connected with the giant financial and industrial groups, known as zaibatsu, that dominated the Japanese economy in the prewar years. Model Emulated in West

Yet after the war, the former outsider came to symbolize the emergence of Japan as a more egalitarian, consumer-oriented society. His approach to business and managing people became a model emulated in Japan and widely studied in the West.

The Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, which Mr. Matsushita established in 1918, is often described as the prototype of clan-like corporations that have been the engines of Japan's postwar ''economic miracle.'' In tens of thousands of stores around the world, its products are sold under the brand names of Panasonic and National.

Mr. Matsushita started his company with one product - an electric light socket of his own design - three employees and capital of about $50.

Today, Matsushita Electric Industrial makes more than 14,000 products, ranging from electric batteries and rice cookers to video cassette recorders and computer chips. The company employs 120,000 people worldwide and had estimated sales last year of $42 billion. The Company as Family

Mr. Matsushita had a traditional businessman's belief in profit making. Yet one of his motivational insights -especially timely given Japan's economic straits and cultural turmoil after the war - was to inspire the total commitment by his workers to the company's goals by offering them not just material well-being, but also social meaning. ''People need a way of linking their productive lives to society,'' Mr. Matsushita once said. In his view, private companies, properly directed and run, could provide such a link. ''Profits should not be a reflection of corporate greed,'' he explained, ''but a vote of confidence from society that what is offered by the firm is valued.''

At Matsushita Electric, the devotion of the workers to the company is evidenced by the daily singing of the company song, the recitation of the company's seven ''spirutual'' values and, typically, taking less than half of one's allotted vacation days each year.

For its part in the reciprocal bond, the company not only guarantees lifetime employment, but also provides the workers with houses, gymnasiums, hospitals, schools and wedding halls. In fact, those who marry another Matsushita employee receive a cash bonus. Concept of Total Embrace

Matsushita personifies the Japanese employment system called ''marugakae,'' or total embrace. Recent social changes in Japan seem to have had little effect as yet on Masushita's close-knit corporate culture. However, there are signs that the younger generation of Japanese, who tend to be more individualistic in outlook than their parents, are generally less eager to link their values so closely with those of their employer. Similarly, many younger Japanese prefer higher wages to the package of benefits paternally provided by a company.

Indeed, during an interview at the company's Osaka headquarters in 1982, when Mr. Matsushita was 87 years old, he observed that even in Japan, communal interests seemed to be giving way to individual desires. ''People's actions are now too much arranged by self-interest,'' he said. ''This is the beginning of evil.''

The aged executive was small to the point of frailty; he was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed about 125 pounds. Throughout his life, Mr. Matsushita's daily regimen was abstemious. Forceful in Business

Though diminutive in stature, self-effacing in manner and soft-spoken, Mr. Matsushita was a forceful and articulate advocate of his views on a wide range of contemporary issues. During the 1982 interview, he dwelt on the problem of Japan's increasing trade frictions with the West because of its flood of exports, many of them the very products that Matsushita makes.

''After the war, we had nothing so we had to export to rehabilitate,'' he recalled. ''But Japanese industry cannot depend so much on exports in the future. In particular, we should not have so many 'hungry exports,' ones that hurt the workers of foreign countries. And we should collaborate more with other countries by building factories and creating jobs abroad.''

Mr. Matsushita practiced that philosophy. At the start of the 1980's, Matsushita began to build more plants in foreign nations to insure that an increasing share of its products sold abroad are also produced overseas. Japanese Horatio Alger Story

Born on Nov. 27, 1894, Mr. Matsushita's life and business career have the elements of a Japanese Horatio Alger story. His parents and five of seven siblings died when he was a child, leaving him to fend for himself. To survive, he got a job at 9 as an errand boy.

Even at an early age, Mr. Matsushita displayed an independent-mindedness that tends to be rare in Japan. At the age of 16, he left his job as an apprentice bicycle repairman to work for the Osaka Electric Light Company.

Eight years later, he deserted a steady job as a wiring inspector to start his own business. His first try with a light socket he designed was a failure. To make ends meet, he had to pawn his wife's kimono. Attachment Plug a Success

But he had more success with his next effort, an electric attachment plug that sold for 30 percent less than the competitors' products. With that, the fledgling entrepreneur was on his way.

Yet Mr. Matsushita was known more for being an imaginative merchandiser than an inventor. For example, when shopkeepers refused to believe that his battery-powered bicycle lamp could shine continuously for 30 hours, he placed one in each one of the skeptic's stores and turned it on. Soon, the bicycle lamp was a big seller.

Mr. Matsushita once explained that his business hero was Henry Ford, who brought the automobile to millions of ordinary citizens.

During World War II, Mr. Matsushita's plants were drafted into the war effort. Near the end of the war, the military came to him and told him to make wooden training planes. ''When they came to me to manufacture airplanes,'' he said, ''I knew things were hopeless.''

After the war, the United States occupation at first grouped Matsushita with the zaibatsu, industrial combines with links to the military, and marked the company for dissolution as part of the democratization. Workers Helped Save Company

To stop the breakup of their company, delegations of Matsushita workers traveled to Tokyo to plead with the occupation authorities that their boss was not one of the industrialists imbued with militarism who pushed Japan into war. After three years of entreaties, Matsushita was taken off the purge list.

By the late 1950's, with Japan's recovery well under way, Matsushita was the main supplier of the ''three treasures'' that every Japanese household desired and increasingly could afford: a washing machine, refrigerator and black-and-white television. 'Fill the World With Products'

A man given to philosophical pronouncements, Mr. Matsushita once explained his life's mission: ''I watched a vagrant drinking tap water outside somebody's house and noticed that no one complained about it,'' he said. ''Even though the water was processed and distributed, it was so cheap that it didn't matter. I began to think about abundance, and I decided that the mission of the industrialist is to fill the world with products and eliminate wants.''

Mr. Matsushita was far more than a charismatic leader and an aggressive merchandiser. His flexibility was his particular genius, enabling his company to make the transitions necessary to become a major industrial enterprises.

Though he had little formal education, Mr. Matsushita studied broadly, particularly foreign business practices. Sometimes borrowing and at other times using home-grown tactics, he installed at Matsushita elements of the modern corporation.

Explaining the changes in his own approach, Mr. Matsushita said, ''When you have 100 employees, you are on the front line and even if you yell and hit them, they follow, but if the group grows to 1,000, you must not be on the front line but stay in the middle. When the organization grows to 10,000, you stand behind in awe and give thanks.''

2008年10月24日 星期五

井上 俊夫

有學問、道德的前輩。因先我而聞道,故稱為「先達」。
文選˙任昉˙為蕭揚州薦士表:「故以暉映先達,領袖後進。」
初刻拍案驚奇˙卷十:「出場來將考卷謄寫出來,請教了幾個先達幾個朋友,無不嘆賞。」



井上 俊夫さん(いのうえ・としお=詩人、本名中村俊夫〈なかむら・としお〉)16日、肺炎で死去、86歳。葬儀は17日午前11時から大阪府寝屋川市中木田町25の10の自宅で。喪主は長男俊春さん。

 大阪府寝屋川市生まれ。42年に徴兵され、中国で飛行師団の気象部隊に所属。戦後、中国の捕虜収容所で1年過ごし復員。57年、詩集「野にかかる虹」で H氏賞、農民詩人と評される。詩集「従軍慰安婦だったあなたへ」、エッセー「わが淀川」など。著書「八十歳の戦争論」では、軍隊生活について赤裸々につ づった。06年、日本現代詩人会の先達詩人に選ばれた。


せんだつ 先達

a guide; a leader; a pioneer.


さきだって 【先達て/先立って】

(副)
〔「さきだちて」の転〕
(1)さきごろ。せんだって。
「―公時次の殿に召し具し候/歌舞伎・源平雷伝記」
(2)前もって。あらかじめ。
「かくて数馬の小姓坂田一角は―やしきへ帰れば/歌舞伎・水木辰之助」

こうしん 後進

a younger person; 《後輩》a junior.
~に道を譲る give place to younger people.
後進国 an underdeveloped nation.
後進性 backwardness.

Greenspan, once more 格林斯潘蒼然走下神壇

The Washington Post leads with the lashing that lawmakers delivered Alan Greenspan, the man who was once referred to as "the Oracle" on the economy. Angry lawmakers trampled over themselves to blame the former Federal Reserve chairman for the current crisis and criticize decisions Greenspan made during his 18-year tenure.

美國前聯邦儲備局局長格林斯潘承認,他賴以執行美國貨幣政策十八年的主導思想:自由市場概念,在全球經濟危機中給暴露了"錯誤"。
《衛報》的頭條標題說:"格林斯潘 - 關於經濟,我錯了,大約是這樣。"
格林斯潘長期反對監管,但是昨天他在美國國會委員會上說在他對銀行業採取的放任政策方面,他有"部分錯誤"。 報道說,格林斯潘被讚譽為戰後最長期繁榮的策劃者,這是他首次承認在席捲全球銀行系統的危機中曾經犯錯。

《國際先驅論壇報》的頭條標題說:"格林斯潘罕見地承認失誤"。 格林斯潘今年面對著越來越大的批評,因為他曾經力抗對信貸衍生工具的管制,這個沒有管理的市場是造成目前經濟危機的部分原因。


Greenspan Admits Errors To Hostile House Panel

2008年10月24日13:40
Alan Greenspan, lauded in Congress while the economy boomed, conceded under harsh questioning from lawmakers that he had made mistakes during his long tenure as Federal Reserve chairman that may have worsened the current slump.

In a four-hour appearance before the House Oversight Committee Thursday, Mr. Greenspan encountered legislators who interrupted his answers, caustically read back his own words from years ago, and forced him to admit that, at least in some ways, his predictions and policies had been wrong.

Returning to Capitol Hill amid a financial crisis rooted in mortgage lending, Mr. Greenspan said he had been wrong to think banks' ability to assess risk and their self-interest would protect them from excesses. But the former Fed chairman, who kept short-term interest rates at 1% for a year earlier this decade, said no one could have predicted the collapse of the housing boom and the financial disaster that followed.

Lawmakers weren't buying his explanations. 'You had the authority to prevent irresponsible lending practices that led to the subprime-mortgage crisis. You were advised to do so by many others. And now our whole economy is paying its price,' said Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.), chairman of the House committee.

Lawmakers read back quotations from recent years in which Mr. Greenspan said there's 'no evidence' home prices would collapse and 'the worst may well be over.'

Mr. Greenspan said he made 'a mistake' in his hands-off regulatory philosophy, which many now blame in part for sparking the global economic troubles. He conceded that he has 'found a flaw' in his ideology and said he was 'distressed by that.' Yet Mr. Greenspan maintained that no regulator was smart enough to foresee the 'once-in-a-century credit tsunami.'

The hearing made clear how far the 18-year central banker's reputation had fallen from the days when he was hailed for his stewardship in keeping inflation low, holding growth up and helping pull the world through financial crises, including the Asian and other turmoil a decade ago.

Two and a half years after Mr. Greenspan left office, Congress is drawing plans to remake global financial regulation with the kind of tight government hand that he long opposed. At the same House hearing, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, himself a longtime free-market Republican, said he supported merging his agency with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, creating a beefed-up supercop to police certain previously unregulated financial products.

Amid the barrage of questions, Mr. Greenspan dodged and weaved. He would begin meandering responses in the elaborate phraseology that once served him so well, only to be cut off as lawmakers sought to use their brief question time for sharper attacks.

Echo of Watergate

In an echo of the Watergate hearings 35 years ago, Mr. Greenspan was asked when he knew there was a housing bubble and when he told the public about it. He answered that he never anticipated home prices could fall so much. 'I did not forecast a significant decline because we had never had a significant decline in prices,' he said.

Mr. Greenspan's confidence in the resilience of home prices -- shared by most in the industry at the time -- became a critical forecasting error. The belief spurred more mortgage underwriting because lenders assumed that borrowers living on the edge could always refinance or sell their homes for a profit if they ran into trouble. Instead, with home prices now falling, hundreds of thousands of homeowners are facing foreclosure. Prices nationwide have fallen nearly 20% since their 2006 peak, and many economists foresee a further decline of 10% or more in the next year.

The difficulties of forecasting served as a key defense for Mr. Greenspan. The Federal Reserve, with its legions of Ph.D. economists, has a better forecasting record than the private sector, he said, but that's still not enough to prevent every problem. 'We were wrong quite a good deal of the time,' he said. Forecasting 'never gets to the point where it's 100% accurate.'

Subprime mortgages led to a global economic crisis in considerable part because of securitization, in which the home loans were sliced up, packaged into securities and sold off to investors all around the world. Anticipating such a crisis is 'more than anybody is capable of judging,' Mr. Greenspan said.

If the best experts were not able to foresee the development, 'I think we have to ask ourselves, 'Why is that?'' Mr. Greenspan said. 'And the answer is that we're not smart enough as people. We just cannot see events that far in advance.'

He continued, 'There are always a lot of people raising issues, and half the time they're wrong. The question is what do you do?'

Lawmakers, stung by having to put $700 billion of taxpayer money on the line to rescue the financial system, were unmoved throughout the hearing, and eager to make their own points about the situation.

The former Fed chief also said he was often following the 'will of Congress' during his long tenure and did 'what I was supposed to do, not what I'd like to do.'

Mr. Greenspan has spent much of this year defending his record at the Fed, trying to take apart arguments to show how his decisions were far less significant than outside forces in causing the crisis.

The central bank is blamed for too vigorously spurring home buying through its low short-term interest-rate targets, which were initially set to fight the economic slump after the dot-com bubble burst in 2000-01. Mr. Greenspan maintains that a global savings glut was largely responsible for low rates -- around the globe and not just in the U.S. -- contributing to a housing boom that was world-wide.

Lawmakers took Mr. Greenspan to task for his advocacy of credit-default swaps, an unregulated kind of insurance contract that can help investors protect themselves against another party's bankruptcy. Credit-default swaps were also used as a way of taking risks and are widely blamed for adding to financial-market instability. Rep. Waxman asked pointedly, 'Were you wrong?'

Mr. Greenspan said, 'Partially.' While he cautioned the lawmakers against excessive regulation, he said credit-default swaps 'have serious problems' and, after some pointed questions, agreed they should be subject to oversight.

The treatment was a striking contrast with one of Mr. Greenspan's last appearances before Congress as Fed chairman, on Nov. 3, 2005. 'You have guided monetary policy through stock-market crashes, wars, terrorist attacks and natural disasters,' Rep. Jim Saxton (R., N.J.) told him then. 'You have made a great contribution to the prosperity of the U.S. and the nation is in your debt.'

Kara Scannell / Sudeep Reddy




格林斯潘承認曾錯估金融形勢

|
2008年10月24日13:40
林斯潘(Alan Greenspan)在國會議員們的嚴辭質詢下承認,他在長期擔任美國聯邦儲備委員會(Fed)主席期間犯過錯誤,而這些錯誤可能加劇了目前的經濟蕭條。這與經濟繁榮年代格林斯潘在國會受到的推崇大相徑庭。

Getty Images
周四格老在眾議院監管委員會召開的聽証會上作証
周四在眾議院監管委員會(House Oversight Committee)歷時4個小時的聽証會上,議員們不時打斷格林斯潘的應答,語帶挖苦地復述他幾年前的言論,並強迫格林斯潘承認,他當年的預判和政策至少在某種程度上是錯誤的。

發 端於按揭貸款的這場金融危機使格林斯潘重返國會山,他對議員們說,自己當年曾錯誤地認為銀行有能力評估其所面臨的風險,而它們出於自身利益的考慮也會避免 濫放貸款。但格林斯潘同時表示,沒人能夠預見到房市繁榮的戛然而止以及緊隨其後的金融災難。他在擔任Fed主席期間曾於本世紀初將美國短期利率保持在1% 的水平達一年之久。

但議員們並不買他這番解釋的帳。眾議院監管委員會主席、加州民主黨人亨利﹒魏克斯曼(Henry Waxman)對格林斯潘說,你當時有權防止導致次貸危機的不負責任放貸行為的發生,許多人都曾建議你這麼做,而現在整個美國經濟都在為此付出代價。

議員們還復述了格林斯潘近年來一些講話的片斷,比如格林斯潘曾說“沒有証據”顯示房價將會暴跌,“最壞的時候可能已經過去。”

格 林斯潘說,他在貫徹自己不涉主義監管哲學方面“犯了個錯誤”,許多人現在認為這種監管手法一定程度上引發了當前的全球性經濟困局。格林斯潘承認,他已察 覺這一監管思想“存在問題”,他“為此感到難過”。但格林斯潘堅持認為,沒有哪個監管者能聰明到預見這一“百年一遇的信貸海嘯”。

這次聽証會清楚地表明,與他執掌Fed的那18年相比,格林斯潘的聲譽現在已經跌落到了何種地步。人們當時紛紛盛讚他將通貨膨脹率控制在了低水平,維持了經濟增長,並幫助全世界渡過了一次次金融危機,比如10年前發生在亞洲和世界其他地方的金融動盪。

在 格林斯潘離開Fed兩年半後的今天,國會正著手制定重塑全球金融監管體系的各項計劃,新體系的一大特色就是政府要加強對市場的預,而這正是格林斯潘一貫 反對的。美國証券交易委員會(SEC)主席考克斯(Christopher Cox)在出席此次聽証會時表示,他支持讓SEC與美國商品期貨交易委員會(CFTC)合並,組建一個規模更大的超級監管機構,從而能對某些以往未受監管 的金融產品實施監督。考克斯本人一直是持自由市場觀點的共和黨人。

面對議員們洶湧而來的質詢,格林斯潘極盡閃轉騰挪之能事。他一開始又想以字斟句酌式的措辭對議員們的詢問娓娓作答,這種應答方式當年曾使他顯得那麼遊刃有,但議員們卻不理他這套,他們為了能在有限的提問時間內對格林斯潘發起更猛烈的攻擊,粗暴地打斷他的話。


水門事件再現


聽証會的氣氛使人回想起35年前的水門事件國會聽証。格林斯潘被問到他何時知道存在著住房泡沫以及他又是何時告知公眾這一點的。格林斯潘回答說,他從沒料到房價會跌成這樣。格林斯潘說:我沒有料到房價會大幅下跌,因為房價從來沒有這麼嚴重下跌過。

格 林斯潘對房價彈性的信心成了關鍵的預判錯誤,不過當時業內大多數人士都這麼認為。這種信心帶來了更多的按揭承銷交易,因為貸款機構認為,如果捉襟見肘的借 貸人陷入困境,總可以獲得再融資或者賣房子獲利。然而隨著房價的不斷下跌,有數十萬貸款購房者面臨止贖。全美房價已經較2006年的峰值回落了將近 20%,許多經濟學家預計明年房價還會再跌10%甚至更多。

格林斯潘把預測的困難當作主要擋箭牌。他表示,擁有大批經濟學博士的Fed的預測準確性紀錄一直強於私人部門,但仍然做不到萬無一失。格林斯潘說,我們這次預測的確太偏離實際了。預測“永遠達不到百分百的準確度”。

次級抵押貸款引發了全球性經濟危機在很大程度上是因為証券化產品的問題;住房貸款在証券化過程中被分拆打包成証券產品,再出售給遍布全世界的投資者。格林斯潘辯白道,預測這樣一場危機超過了任何人的判斷能力。

格林斯潘說,如果最好的專家都沒有能力預見到事態發展,我想我們該問問自己“為什麼會這樣?”。答案是我們還不夠聰明,我們預見不到那麼遠的事情。

他說,總是有很多人會提出問題,半數時間他們都是錯的。問題是你能做什麼?

國會議員們在整場聽証會中始終不為所動;他們對不得不投入7,000億美元的納稅人資金來救助金融體系大為光火,急切地想說明他們自己的觀點是對的。

格林斯潘還表示,自己在執掌Fed的多年時間裡經常遵從“國會的意願”,做了“自己被認為該做的事,而不是自己想做的事。”

今年許多時候,格林斯潘都在為自己統領Fed時期的決策辯護,竭力地想辯白外部因素才是引發危機的主要因素,自己的決策次要得多。

外 界怪罪Fed此前將短期利率目標降的太低,從而過度刺激了美國的購房熱潮;Fed調降利率最初是為了阻止美國經濟在2000-2001年網絡股泡沫破滅後 出現下滑。格林斯潘堅稱,全球儲蓄資金充裕(這不僅是美國問題,更是全球范圍內的普遍現象)是利率在低水平徘徊的主要原因,進而引發了全球性的住房熱潮。

議員們還指責格林斯潘支持信用違約掉期產品;這是一種不受監管的保險合約,可以幫助投資者防范對方破產的風險。信用違約掉期還被用做一種風險投機手段,被普遍認為加劇了金融市場的波動性。魏克斯曼直言不諱地問道:“你是不是錯了?”

格林斯潘回答道,“部分是吧”。盡管他就過度監管的危害向議員們提出了警告,他承認信用違約掉期存在著“嚴重問題”;在一些尖銳的問題之後,格林斯潘同意應當對這類產品實施監管。

格 老此番遭遇與2005年11月3日他之前最後一次在國會露面有天壤之別,當時的格老還貴為Fed主席。新澤西州共和黨眾議員薩克斯頓(Jim Saxton)當時恭維道,您引領著美國貨幣政策走過了股災、戰爭、恐怖襲擊和自然災害。您為美國的繁榮作出了巨大貢獻,整個國家都感謝您。

Kara Scannell / Sudeep Reddy

2008年10月23日 星期四

DAVID POGUE Interviewed E.O. Wilson

By DAVID POGUE

This past Sunday, "CBS News Sunday Morning" aired my report on the Encyclopedia of Life project. (I'm campaigning hard for them to post the segment online.)

As usual, putting this story together involved conducting a number of interviews, which were fascinating--but I had time to use only a few sentences of each one in the finished story. It always seems such a shame to let the rest of these interviews go to waste. '



E.O. Wilson





So today, I offer a much longer version of my interview with E.O. Wilson (friends call him Ed), the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, naturalist and Harvard research professor who's the father of the Encyclopedia of Life.

DAVID POGUE: So how did this project come about?

DR. E.O. WILSON: I've been in systematics and the mapping of biological diversity all my life. And a little more than ten years ago, I thought the time had come to undertake a complete mapping of the world's fauna and flora.

Because remarkably--and this is little known even in the scientific community--we've only begun to explore this planet. It was 250 years ago this year that Karl Linneus, the great naturalist in Sweden, began what became the official form of biological classification: two names, like "homo sapiens" for us, and ranging the species in hierarchies according to how much they resemble one another. 250 years ago.

And in that period of time, we have found and given names to perhaps one-tenth of what's on the surface of the earth. We have now found 1.8 million species. But the actual number is almost certainly in excess of 10 million, and could be as high as a hundred million, when you throw in bacteria.

Let me give you an example. Fungi. The world depends on fungi, because they are major players in the cycling of materials and energy around the world. They're necessary for the health of other organisms. (We should get rid of the idea that fungi are what gives you athlete's foot...feet.) Some 60,000 species are known, and it's been estimated by experts that more than 1.5 million exist. So we've just begun to explore it. And that's true, group after group. We're just beginning.

For a period of time, I was a voice in the wilderness, with a few others, wandering around and trying to raise a lot of money, unsuccessfully, saying, "You know, we need to bulk up the exploration of the planet, the living part." And finally, in 2003, I wrote a paper called "The Encyclopedia of Life." And I said, "What we need is to get out there and search this little-known planet, and then put all the information that we get on species already known into a single great database, an electronic encyclopedia, with a page that's indefinitely extensible for each species in turn, and that would be available to anybody, any time, anywhere, single access, on command, free."

We were about to enter the age of Google. We were about to enter an age where, technically, we could have everything available to everybody all the time.

So I published that article and began to promote it. And some others picked up on it. The key, however, was the warm reception made to it by the MacArthur Foundation. [The MacArthur and Sloan foundations eventually contributed $12 million to launch the project. Later, Dr. Wilson also won the TED Prize, which brings with it $100,000 and, more importantly, a lot of exposure and contacts to help three visionaries each year make their wishes come true.]

DP: And what do you say to people who think, "Oh. Oh, how interesting. A database for scientists." I mean, is there a greater purpose to a Web site like this?

EOW: The public will have this unlimited encyclopedia, where it can browse [at eol.org]. Where individual students can do their own research projects. Where you can make your own field guide wherever you're going. It will tell you what the butterflies are of Oregon, or maybe you're hoping to make a trip to Costa Rica and the whole family would like to see turtles. In time, you'll be able to do this with a few keystrokes.

DP: So I understand that the Encyclopedia will operate Wikipedia-style, with contributions from the public, which are then approved by experts?

EOW: The world is full of amateurs: gifted amateurs, devoted amateurs. You can pick almost any group that has any kind of intrinsic interest in it, from dragonflies to pill bugs to orb-weaving spiders. Anybody can pick up information in interesting places, find new species or rediscover what was thought to be a vanished species, or some new biological fact about a species already known, and can provide that right into The Encyclopedia of Life.

DP: Haven't there been previous attempts to catalogue every species in the world?

EOW: Yes, there have been several. And if you have access to one of the great libraries and a LOT of time, you can, with great effort, pull out everything known about every species. But it would take an army actually to get all the information on all species, all 1.8 million species and on beyond, around the world.

For example, 30 feet from where we sit is the largest ant collection in the world. One million specimens, 6,000 species, and it's a wonderful resource. [DP notes: This collection represents Wilson's own life's work.]

But any scientist who wants to utilize this collection--and that's most of them who are doing research on ants--have to come here [to my department at Harvard]. But when The Encyclopedia of Life receives all the information that we have, like the superb photographs and basic data on the species, just a few keystrokes away, it'll be possible to do high-level, cutting-edge, real-time research, wherever you are.

Simultaneously, to speed things along even more, the Biodiversity Heritage Library Initiative has set out to scan and make available maybe 500 million pages published all through time, on all species. [They are literally scanning thousands of books and journals, converting the scans to text, and making it all available to the Enyclopedia of Life.] I just got a letter from one of the leaders of this who said, "We've just passed the eight million mark."

DP: It sounds like this is going to be a major world resource. How is it gonna pay for itself? Are you gonna sell ads?

EOW: This project has to pay for itself. We got our break through the MacArthur and Sloan Foundations to get started. But now we have to pick up funds to expand it to anything near completion.

And right now, I don't have an idea of what that will take in funding. But I'm pretty sure of one thing. It's not going to cost more than the Human Genome Project, because it's way ahead. And it's gonna cost a lot less than our space programs--a lot less. In fact, if we could have a small fraction of one of a space program budget alone, we would see this project go way fast into the future.

It's a scientific moon shot--big science. But I think it's gonna turn out to be one of the least expensive. It doesn't take a lot of high technology to discover species and work out their characteristics.

DP: Is there a larger purpose to The Encyclopedia of Life?

EOW: Oh, yeah. The Encyclopedia of Life is absolutely vital in saving the environment. Because we're losing the vast percentage of species; we are losing them. Whenever we focus on a particular group, whether it's birds, frogs, whatever, we can just see them disappearing. So what happens among all these other groups, from beetles to ants to bacteria to fungi and so on? You know full well that they're disappearing, too. But we don't even know what's disappearing. And we don't know how to save most of them. And we don't know how this is going to affect the environment.

We need to have this information, this great database, in order to plan strategies that are maximally efficient, cost the least, square kilometer by square kilometer around the world, and save the most. And we can't do that without a thorough knowledge of what we're trying to save.

Listen: What would thrill people the most about space exploration? Surely it would be the discovery of life on another planet.

Then, Congress, if it weren't busted, would be willing to put out billions to explore that planet--find out all of the life forms there. Why shouldn't we be doing the same for planet earth? It's a little-known planet. Ninety percent of the life forms unknown to us.

And this is gonna be fun. This is a return to exploring a little-known planet.

DP: What is your involvement with The Encyclopedia of Life these days?

EOW: Here at Harvard, I've started a part of The Encyclopedia of Life effort: the Global Ant Project. I've obtained the funds. We've just had a meeting of ant specialists from around the country.

DP: That's gotta be a party.

EOW: Yeah, it was. (LAUGHTER) The word for them is myrmecologists. And believe me, this was an exciting but, I have to admit, idiosyncratic clan meeting. (LAUGHTER)

And for a skeptical audience who says, "Well, how could studying ants be very important?" Well, let me tell you, ants are the dominant insects. They make up as much as a quarter of the biomass of all insects in the world. They are the principal predators. They're the cemetery workers. Ants are the leading removers of dead creatures on the land. And the rest of life is substantially dependent upon them.

In many environments, take away the ants and there would be partial collapses in many of the land ecosystems. Take away humans, and everything would come back and flourish. But I don't wanna go down that down that road for a broad audience. (LAUGHTER)

DP: I'm just curious: when you see an ant in the kitchen…Has your life's work caused you to reach a point where you wouldn't just stomp on it?

EOW: Oh, no. (LAUGHTER) I've slaughtered more ants in my life than possibly any living person. Whole colonies.

DP: What is your sense of The Encyclopedia of Life's likelihood of success?

EOW: Likelihood of success? Certain. Challenges? Large. Some unknown. But right now, those that can be imagined don't seem to be insoluble. It won't take a huge amount of funding. It'll be relatively a small "big science" effort. No. I think this whole effort has a great future.

DP: So you don't see it being derailed by people leaving, or money running out, or--

EOW: What's to derail? I mean, we're not talking about the Hadron Collider, with people standing outside, wringing their hands thinking that the Earth will disappear into a black hole. We're not talking about religious believers trying to put the stop on the stem cells. We're talking about finding out about life on a little-known planet and making full use of that knowledge.

An Invented Life: Reflections on Leadership and Change

An Invented Life: Reflections on Leadership and Change by Warren Bennis. 238 pgs.


Table of contents

Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xiii

An Invented Life: Shoe Polish, Milli Vanilli and Sapiential Circles 1

Is Democracy Inevitable? 37

The Wallenda Factor 57

The Coming Death of Bureaucracy 61

The Four Competencies of Leadership 75

Managing the Dream 87

False Grit 95

On the Leading Edge of Change 103

Searching for the Perfect University President 109

When to Resign 141

Followership 157

Ethics Aren't Optional 161

Change: The New Metaphysics 165

Meet Me in Macy's Window 173

Corporate Boards 183

Information Overload Anxiety (and how to overcome it) 193

Our Federalist Future: The Leadership Imperative 203

Index 225

2008年10月20日 星期一

姚一葦及曹永坤

北藝大成立「姚一葦專區」及「曹永坤專區」

台北藝術大學今天舉辦「姚一葦專區」與「曹永坤專區」成立茶會,將兩位著名音樂人的生前藏書自成一區,期盼後輩能從藏書中追尋前輩的足跡,體會兩位音樂人對藝術的執著。

被藝術界稱為「一代導師」的姚一葦教授,是台北藝術大學前身國立藝術學院首屆戲劇系系主任,其女姚海星是北藝大現任戲劇系教授,她將父親生前努力到處收購的五百五十五冊英文與日文書籍,捐給北藝大圖書館。內容除戲劇相關以外,還有哲學、心理學、文學批判等多種類圖書。

姚海星回憶,在民國四、五十年代的戒嚴時期,想要買一本外文書非常不容易,媽媽總是節省家用開支,支持爸爸買書。有一次,家裡好不容易存了一筆錢,想買電風扇,但父親卻想買一套外文書,最後母親成全父親的心願。

在整理書籍的過程中,姚海星找到當初哥哥到美國唸書,父親從台灣寄去的手寫訂購單。姚海星表示:「現在上網買書很容易,這些外文書都是爸爸透過各種方式購 買,每一本都是爸爸的用心」。北藝大戲劇學院院長鍾明德說:「姚教授真是一個讀書人,是省她 (姚海星)的奶粉錢去買書,真的很不容易。」

曹永坤則是知名的樂評家,熱衷於推廣音樂,不斷往返各地出席各種藝術演出,邀請各地音樂人到家中演奏,欣賞之餘也不忘評論。曹永坤逝世後,家人為了完成曹永坤推廣音樂的心願,將曹永坤所藏的六千四百冊書籍贈送北藝大圖書館。

曹永坤家屬也捐贈大鍵琴及史坦威鋼琴各一台給北藝大,其中大鍵琴還是曹永坤特別請法國製琴師傅所訂做,除了演奏外,更是一項藝術品。

北藝大校方表示,為了使喜愛音樂的民眾能從中體悟到曹永坤對藝術的堅持,十一月一日將邀請三位日本知名音樂家,包括鋼琴家岩崎淑、小提琴家漆原啟子、大提琴家岩崎洸來台,與北藝大音樂系教授共同舉辦「曹永坤先生紀念音樂會」。

2008年10月13日 星期一

Writing Memoir, McCain Found a Narrative for Life

政治人物模仿自己的"自傳"


The Long Run

Writing Memoir, McCain Found a Narrative for Life

Stephan Savoia/Associated Press

COLLABORATIVE EFFORT John McCain with Mark Salter, his speechwriter and co-author.


Published: October 12, 2008

WASHINGTON — For 25 years after his release from a North Vietnamese prison, Senator John McCain tried to build a reputation as more than a famous former captive. “I never want to be a professional P.O.W.,” he often told friends. He refused to let his campaigns use pictures from his incarceration, and he never mentioned his torture.

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The Long Run

Embracing a War Story

This is part of a series of articles about the lives and careers of the Republican and Democratic candidates for president in 2008.

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Associated Press, left

In his memoirs, John McCain drew parallels between himself as a young aviator, left, and characters that inspired him, like those played by Marlon Brando, right.

Dith Pran/The New York Times

NEW APPEAL Mr. McCain, signing his book in 1999, used his memoir’s story line to shape a campaign message.

“When somebody introduces me like, ‘Here is our great war hero,’ I don’t like it,” Mr. McCain complained in a 1998 interview with Esquire magazine. “Jesus,” he said, “it can make your skin crawl.”

Mr. McCain’s impatience with his war story soon changed, however, when he became not only its protagonist but also its author. His 1999 memoir, “Faith of My Fathers,” for the first time put his prison camp ordeal at the center of his public persona. In its pages, he recalled the experience as much more than a trial: a turning point from glory-seeking flyboy to responsible patriot, the final resolution of a rebellion against his father’s expectations, and the origin of a drive “to serve a cause” larger than himself.

A descendant of Navy admirals who wrote unpublished novels and quoted Victorian poetry, Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, often surprises aides and friends with his literary musings and bibliophilic appetite. He cites characters from fiction and film as role models.

As he recounted his history to his speechwriter and co-author, Mark Salter, Mr. McCain echoed their stories; his memoir incorporated some of the defiance of Marlon Brando’s outlaws, the self-discovery of W. Somerset Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage” and the stoicism of Ernest Hemingway’s dying hero in “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” (“You know he is a fictional character?” Mr. Salter said he once asked Mr. McCain, who replied, “I know, but he was influential!”)

Mr. Salter, taking a little literary license, assembled from Mr. McCain’s recollections a neat narrative that he had never before articulated. It became a best seller, a television movie and the first of five successful McCain-Salter volumes. And on the eve of Mr. McCain’s 2000 Republican primary run, its story line reshaped his political identity. In interviews and speeches, Mr. McCain has increasingly described his life in the book’s language and themes, and never more so than during his current campaign, which has turned back to the story of “Faith of My Fathers” for everything from its first television commercial to his speech at the Republican convention.

Politics was imitating art, said Stephen Wayne, a political scientist at Georgetown who has studied Mr. McCain’s career and memoir. “It is almost as if McCain had described himself as a literary character,” Professor Wayne said, “and then he tried to be that person in real life.”

Some friends say it is only natural that Mr. McCain would begin to sound like his autobiography. “If I have some thoughts in my mind and I take the time to write them down,” said Orson Swindle, a close friend from prison camp, “I find that I will be inclined to say them exactly that way over and over, too.”

Still, other friends say they marvel at how heavily the McCain campaign relies on the chastened-hero image created by “Faith of My Fathers,” for example, citing his prison experience to deflect questions on array of unwelcome questions about his campaign tactics, his personal wealth and his health insurance, among other matters.

Robert Timberg, a marine wounded in Vietnam who became Mr. McCain’s biographer and admired his memoir, said the John McCain he knew 15 years ago would never have suggested that he was more patriotic than a rival the way the senator has in attacking his Democratic opponent, Senator Barack Obama.

“Political campaigns have a way of distorting reality and turning political candidates into caricatures of themselves,” Mr. Timberg said, adding, “In some ways that has happened to him, and in some ways he may have contributed to that.”

Mr. Salter called that assertion “deeply offensive.”

“People who say that kind of thing — I know a lot of reporters who have said it — don’t have the faintest concept or grasp of what motivates John McCain and his personal conception of honor,” Mr. Salter said. “He earned the right to tell that story.”

Reluctant Memoirist

Mr. McCain’s career as an author began not long after the 1995 publication of Mr. Timberg’s book, “The Nightingale’s Song,” which explored the legacy of Vietnam through the lives of the senator and four other graduates of the Naval Academy. It drew critical praise but moderate sales. Mr. Timberg’s literary agent, Philippa Brophy, saw a whole book in Mr. McCain alone.

When she visited his office, however, Mr. McCain resisted. He had turned down plenty of other book offers, and he worried that the image of him as a prisoner could make him look weak, several advisers said. He preferred to rely on black humor in talking about the period — telling an anecdote about stealing a fellow prisoner’s wash rag, or falling out of a shower trying to catch a glimpse of a ponytailed Vietnamese laundress.

Until then, Mr. McCain had always campaigned as an uncomplicated go-getter, full of energy and ideas. A former Navy liaison to the Senate, he presented himself as a well-connected insider with “experience in Washington,” in the words of his first 1982 campaign commercial, who could get things done for Arizona, his newly adopted home. He brought up his five years in Hanoi mainly to rebut criticisms that he was a carpetbagger (prison had made him appreciate the Arizona sunset, he said in the advertisement, smiling behind the wheel of a sports car).

Mr. McCain told Ms. Brophy that the only book he wanted to write was a tribute to others, like John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage” — just what every senator says, she recalled thinking to herself.

Whom might he profile? she said she asked, playing along. Mr. McCain started by naming his grandfather and father, both four-star admirals with storied careers.

“And you!” she interrupted. “That’s your book. You’re done.”

Conceiving of the project as a tribute to his family, Mr. McCain signed on, tapping Mr. Salter to help write it. Mr. Salter, now 53, had been writing speeches for Mr. McCain, 72, for nearly a decade. “Mark literally loves John McCain like a father,” Mr. Swindle said. “Like brothers,” Mr. McCain has said.

An admirer of William Trevor, the often-bleak Irish author — a taste Mr. McCain has picked up — Mr. Salter is known among colleagues for his gloomy view of human nature and the world. Mr. McCain has a similar streak. “It’s always darkest before it’s totally black,” he often says, a motto borrowed from the “Peanuts” character Charlie Brown that he jokingly misattributes to Mao.

The McCain-Salter collaboration imbued the memoir with its confessional, often foreboding tone, friends say. The combination “was like taking darkness and fatalism, then pulling down the shades and contemplating our dark fate,” said John Weaver, a friend and former adviser to Mr. McCain.

Mr. McCain grew up in a family full of aspiring writers, where “people talked about characters in books as though they were real people,” said Elizabeth Spencer, a novelist and a second cousin of Mr. McCain’s who spent much of World War II with him as a child at the family’s Mississippi plantation.

A beloved uncle, Bert Andrews, won a Pulitzer Prize as a reporter for The New York Herald Tribune in 1948. The senator’s grandfather, the first Adm. John S. McCain, had left behind a drawer full of unpublished fiction, including adventure stories under the pseudonym Casper Clubfoot. And the senator’s father, Adm. John S. McCain Jr., loved to recite martial poems to his sons, especially “Ave Imperatrix,” Oscar Wilde’s eulogy for the waning British Empire.

As a student, Mr. McCain was always more enthusiastic about reading and writing than science or math. At the Naval Academy and then in flight school, he almost flunked out because of his indifference to technical subjects like fluid dynamics, Mr. Swindle said. “He would rather be reading ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.’ ”

Influential Heroes

Sitting down with Mr. Salter for more than 50 hours of recorded interviews that furnished the memoir’s raw material — many episodes were set in print almost as Mr. McCain described them, Mr. Salter said — the senator often brought up the stories and characters that influenced him and they in turn infused the book. “When he tells his story,” Mr. Salter said, “they come through.”

The John McCain of “Faith of My Fathers,” for example, bears more than a little resemblance to the fictional Robert Jordan of “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” the Hemingway hero Mr. McCain later celebrated in another book with Mr. Salter, “Worth the Fighting For,” which was named for a line of Jordan’s dying thoughts. He was “a man who would risk his life but never his honor,” Mr. McCain wrote with Mr. Salter, a model of “how a great man should style himself.”

Each book is heavy with premonitions of mortality. Robert Jordan and John McCain each confront great tests (the temptation to escape a doomed mission for one, the offer of early prison release for the other) in the service of a lost cause (the socialists in the Spanish Civil War, the Americans in Vietnam). And in accepting his fate, each makes peace with his father and grandfather.

Mr. McCain’s admirers, like Mr. Timberg, have often puzzled over what drew him to Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage.” It is a convoluted psychodrama about a young man with a club foot; he seethes with resentment over his disability and nearly ruins his life in the thrall of a waitress-turned-prostitute who rejects him. But the character’s final realization could fit almost as well near the conclusion of Mr. McCain’s memoir: “It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.”

“That explains it,” Mr. Salter said when he heard the line. “Perfect McCainism.”

The appeal of the young Marlon Brando, whose career was at its height during the senator’s adolescence in the 1950s, is easier to see. Both he and Mr. McCain were short (about 5-foot-9) tough guys with volatile tempers and surprisingly soft voices. (Friends say Mr. McCain likes to imitate Brando erupting in rage: “You scum-sucking pig!”)

Brando would have been well cast as the young John McCain of “Faith of My Fathers” — a thin-skinned troublemaker with an authority problem and a righteous streak.

Mr. McCain has often described the Brando film “Viva Zapata!” as the “greatest movie of all time.” It is the tale of a mercurial Mexican revolutionary who forms a new government, then fights against it. “I loved so much the idea of one man on a white horse, fighting for justice,” Mr. McCain wrote. “That was the essential truth of his life: he was a man who fought.”

Like “Faith of My Fathers,” Mr. McCain’s other Brando favorite, the Western “One-Eyed Jacks,” is a father-son story of sorts. Brando played an outlaw known as Kid who kills a former accomplice-turned-sheriff named Dad and runs off with his stepdaughter.

To Mr. Salter, Mr. McCain opened up about his feelings for his father — discomfort at his binge drinking, resentment of the presumption that the son would follow his father to the Naval Academy, and the unexpected emotions he experienced in midlife when his fame had at last exceeded his father’s.

“It is a wonderful narrative, spiced with psychological insights,” said Stanley Renshon, a psychoanalyst and political scientist at the City University of New York who has written about Mr. McCain and his book. “Almost like McCain’s version of psychoanalysis.”

Political Theme

But Mr. McCain was still reticent about his experience in Hanoi. “He kind of shorted me on the prison stuff,” Mr. Salter said.

To fill in the details, Mr. Salter consulted the McCain family, Navy archives and fellow former P.O.W.’s. “I would say 50 to 60 percent of it was from McCain,” Mr. Salter said.

Mr. Salter said he found a summary of what became the arc of the story in a quote tucked deep inside Mr. Timberg’s book, from a Senate aide and Korean War veteran who admired Mr. McCain. “I knew 200 John McCains,” said the aide, William Bader. “They’re vaguely paunchy, overgrown boys. If John McCain had not had this Vietnamese experience, of prison, of solitude, of brutality, he would have just been one more Navy jock.”

Retelling his captivity as a coming-of-age tale was partly a literary device, Mr. Salter acknowledged. By the time Mr. McCain, a Navy pilot, was shot down at age 31, he had already outgrown his extended adolescence, married and become a father, and gotten serious about his Navy career, he told Mr. Salter.

Still, Mr. McCain also said more vaguely that he had matured in prison, that he had learned to see that life was about more than his career and his reputation, Mr. Salter said. As Mr. McCain had put it in his first television commercial, “I have certainly become a better and enriched person for having had that experience, in a myriad of ways.”

In the memoir, Mr. Salter helped sharpen that point into what became the new refrain of his boss’s political ascent. Mr. McCain had thought “all glory was self-glory,” but prison taught him “there are greater pursuits than self-seeking,” Mr. Salter wrote for the senator. “Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles.”

In the Navy archives, Mr. Salter found an oral history in which the senator’s father recounted his last meeting with his own father, on an American ship in Tokyo Bay at the end of World War II.

“Son,” the first Admiral McCain had told the second, “there is no greater thing than to die for the principles — for the country and the principles that you believe in.”

Senator McCain might have heard the sentiment, but he had never seen the quotation. “He was pretty fascinated,” Mr. Salter said.

To tie together the three generations of Mr. McCain’s family memoir, Mr. Salter put the grandfather’s words into the mind of the young John McCain as he was returning home from Vietnam on the last page of “Faith of My Fathers”: “Down through the years, I had remembered a dying man’s legacy to his son,” Mr. Salter wrote in Mr. McCain’s voice, “and when I needed it most, I had found my freedom abiding in it.”

Critics praised the book as a much more gripping tale than the usual Washington fare. Some who knew the senator and Mr. Salter, though, rolled their eyes at the heavy emotion and tidy moral. “I thought, ‘Oh guys, come on!’ ” recalled Victoria Clarke, Mr. McCain’s friend and former press secretary. “In his early years,” Ms. Clarke said, “he tried so hard to make sure people didn’t see him as a P.O.W.”

But when 1,200 people crammed into a church near Kansas City for a book signing on a September night in 1999, Mr. McCain’s campaign managers realized they had found a potent new tool. They quickly expanded a two-week book tour into a major part of Mr. McCain’s 2000 Republican primary campaign. “Faith of My Fathers” sold more than 500,000 copies, easily exceeding the $500,000 advance. (Mr. McCain gave half the proceeds from his books to Mr. Salter, with the other half going to charity.)

When it came time to write Mr. McCain’s speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination this summer, Mr. Salter said, it was only natural to return to “Faith of My Fathers.” “To remind people who he is,” Mr. Salter said. “ ‘Here is who I am, here is why you can believe me.’ ”

Mr. McCain owes much to the book, said Mr. Weaver, who guided the senator’s 2000 campaign. “It made his persona much grander, much more cause-oriented,” Mr. Weaver recalled. “The book played a major role in creating the brand that has served McCain so well.”

2008年10月12日 星期日

J.B. Jeyaretnam, an opposition politician in Singapore

J.B. Jeyaretnam

Oct 9th 2008
From The Economist print edition

Joshua “Ben” Jeyaretnam, an opposition politician in Singapore, died on September 30th, aged 82

AFP

EVEN in appearance, he seemed rather out of place in Singapore’s gleaming, ultra-modern urban landscape. In the early 1980s bankers and stockbrokers on their lunch breaks would shuffle in embarrassment past a courteous, dignified figure, vaguely reminiscent, in his muttonchop whiskers, of a Victorian statesman—Gladstone, say. J.B. Jeyaretnam would be railing against the government of the People’s Action Party (PAP) led by Lee Kuan Yew and hawking the Hammer, the organ of his opposition Workers’ Party.

The government managed to ensure Mr Jeyaretnam was out of place in other ways, too. When, later that decade, The Economist’s correspondent in Singapore invited him to a party for a visiting editor, the gathering quickly polarised into two unequal camps. Few guests, even among the expatriate businessmen there, were willing to be seen mingling with him. It was hard to imagine him as a dangerous subversive. But that was how the government seemed to see him; and as it was leading Singapore to extraordinary prosperity and stability, it seemed wisest not to upset it.



Mr Lee regarded Mr Jeyaretnam with unabashed contempt, as an adhesive nuisance rather like chewing-gum (banned in Singapore). “All sound and fury”, he wrote in his memoirs, adding that Mr Jeyaretnam was “a poseur, always seeking publicity, good or bad”. Mr Lee decided, however, that he was useful as a “sparring partner” for young PAP politicians untempered in the struggle for independence. His son, Lee Hsien Loong, who is now prime minister, took an equally dim view. In a letter of condolence to Mr Jeyaretnam’s two sons, he accused their father of helping “neither to build up a constructive opposition, nor our parliamentary tradition.”

Yet, the younger Mr Lee added, one had to respect Mr Jeyaretnam’s “dogged tenacity”. It was indeed remarkable. Born to Christian parents during a family visit to Jaffna, the heartland of Ceylonese (now Sri Lankan) Tamils, he was brought up in Singapore and, after studying law in London, built a legal practice at home. But he dabbled in politics, not, as a sensible man would have done, as a PAP member, but in opposition, at a time when the ruling party had a monopoly of parliamentary seats. In 1971 he revived the moribund Worker’s Party and preached the socialist ideals he had picked up in post-war London.

He stood for parliament in three general elections and two by-elections, losing every time. He also began to lose money, in a series of libel suits. In 1976 he was found guilty of accusing Lee Kuan Yew of nepotism and corruption and of being unfit to be prime minister. Mr Lee was awarded damages and costs. Appeals—as far as the Privy Council in London—were all defeated. In all, Mr Jeyaretnam calculated that over the years he paid out more than S$1.6m (more than $900,000) in damages and costs, sometimes for remarks that in many democracies would not lead to libel actions but be regarded as part of the cut-and-thrust of parliamentary politics.

Bloodied but unbowed

The bills mounted after 1981 when, at the sixth attempt, he won a seat in parliament at a by-election in the Anson constituency. Mr Lee blamed the failings of the PAP candidate as a public speaker, and the relocation, to create a container-holding area, of some of Anson’s dockers, who were not given other homes. But in his memoirs he also admitted that, with the dissipation of the sense of crisis that had surrounded independence and the split from Malaysia in 1965, voters wanted an opposition voice in parliament. In the 1984 general election Mr Jeyaretnam held Anson with an increased margin.

He was soon back in court as well as in parliament, accused of misstating the Workers’ Party’s accounts. Found guilty of perjury in 1986, he was fined, served a month in jail, became ineligible to sit in parliament for five years and was disbarred from legal practice. Again, he took his appeal to the Privy Council, which in 1988 overturned his disbarment and ruled he was the victim of a “grievous injustice”. Singapore subsequently abolished the right of appeal to the Privy Council.

Mr Jeyaretnam returned to the political fray, winning a seat in parliament again in 1997. He left it in 2001 and quit the Workers’ Party in disgust at its refusal to help him fight bankruptcy. But, stubborn to the core, he refused to admit he was beaten. Earlier this year he had cleared the bankruptcy, launched a new Reform Party, and readied himself for yet another tilt at the Lees and the PAP. But he was finding it harder to walk. His heart was weak, but he was loth to go through the surgery he needed. He soldiered on. The day before his death he was on his feet in court, arguing a case.

Mr Jeyaretnam never made a dent in the PAP’s power. Singaporeans know their government is efficient and clean, and that those who malign its leaders are likely to end up in court. Lee Kuan Yew argues that PAP ministers command respect because they are ready to be scrutinised, and that his libel actions were designed to defend the government’s reputation, not to silence the opposition. Certainly Mr Jeyaretnam, most distinguished of that tiny band, was never silenced. Lee Kuan Yew may have been infinitely the greater statesman, but some would have judged Mr Jeyaretnam the bigger man.

2008年10月11日 星期六

William M. Murphy, Biographer of W. B. Yeats’s Family, Is Dead at 92

William M. Murphy, Biographer of W. B. Yeats’s Family, Is Dead at 92


Published: October 8, 2008

William M. Murphy, whose biographies of the family of William Butler Yeats shed light on his personal and creative relationships and led scholars to reassess the importance of his father and sisters, died on Sept. 26 in Schenectady, N.Y. He was 92 and lived in Schenectady; Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia; and Pompano Beach, Fla.

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William M. Murphy Collection

William M. Murphy in 1965.

The death was confirmed by his wife, Harriet, known as Tottie.

Mr. Murphy, who taught at Union College in Schenectady for nearly 40 years, put Yeats in a new context with “Prodigal Father: The Life of John Butler Yeats” (1978), a biography of the poet’s father, and “Family Secrets: William Butler Yeats and His Relatives” (1995). Richard Ellmann, Yeats’s eminent biographer, called “Prodigal Father” an “outstanding picture of the life of Ireland’s greatest family.”

Drawing on letters, diaries and other primary documents that he and his wife painstakingly transcribed, Mr. Murphy recreated the complicated creative and emotional lives of Yeats’s Micawberish father, a lawyer turned painter, and his three other children, Jack (also a painter), Lily and Lollie. “He filled in the blanks,” said Edward O’Shea, a Yeats scholar at the State University of New York at Oswego. “For too long we had the notion of great artists like Yeats working in isolation. He revealed the complex interactions between Yeats and his family members, and how that made the art possible. He also helped extricate them from the orbit of Yeats’s influence exclusively, and to encourage us to see them as productive and interesting artists in their own right.”

William Murphy was born in Astoria, Queens, and grew up in Flushing. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at Harvard University, where he taught for three years before becoming secretary of the university’s committee on educational relations.

In 1939 he married Harriet Doane. Mr. Murphy is survived by their children, Christopher Ten Broeck Murphy of Bethany, Conn., Deborah Chase Murphy of Alexandria, Va., and Susan Doane Murphy Thompson of Littleton, Colo.; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

In 1943 he joined the Navy, where he helped write a manual on the use of rockets in aircraft anti-submarine warfare. While an intelligence officer on an aircraft carrier in the North Atlantic, he saw his instructions bear fruit when pilots sank a German submarine.

In 1946 he joined the English department at Union College, where he taught until retiring in 1983. Although Yeats was his passion — he acquired a vast archive of Yeats material, including family letters and paintings by John Butler Yeats — he also wrote on Shakespeare, attacking efforts to propose alternative authors for the plays, and on religious freedom and the separation of church and state in America. A Democrat, he maintained a keen interest in politics throughout his life. He made unsuccessful runs for Congress in 1948, and in the early 1950s was a chairman of the housing authority in Schenectady, overseeing the desegregation of public housing in the city.

He ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate in 1956 and the state Assembly in 1959, and from 1961 to 1968 was on the state advisory committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

At the housing authority one of his colleagues was Jeanne Robert Foster, a poet who had cared for John Butler Yeats in his final years and buried him in Chestertown, N.Y. Mr. Murphy, who had been teaching Shakespeare and Chaucer, gave way to Foster’s importunings and traveled to Dublin with the idea of writing a small article on John Butler Yeats’s American sojourn. There he became friends with Yeats’s son and widow.

“She brought out biscuit tins filled with letters from John Butler Yeats to all his children,” Mrs. Murphy said. “At that point it became obvious that a small article was not going to do the job.”

Mr. Murphy had found his mission. Eventually, he inherited the gravesite of John Butler Yeats. “He is the only author who owns the body of the person he wrote about,” Mrs. Murphy suggested.

Ken Ogata 緒形拳

緒形拳さん死去 71歳 銀幕・TV・舞台…幅広く活躍

2008年10月7日10時3分

印刷

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写真緒形拳さん

 映画「楢山節考」「復讐(ふくしゅう)するは我にあり」をはじめ、テレビ、舞台で活躍、ヒーローから極悪人まで幅広い演技をみせた俳優の緒形拳(おが た・けん、本名緒形明伸〈あきのぶ〉)さんが5日、死去した。関係者によると、病死だという。71歳だった。葬儀は親族のみで行う。

 東京生まれ。58年に辰巳柳太郎にあこがれて新国劇に入り、60年に舞台「遠い一つの道」の主役に抜擢(ばってき)され、その映画化で銀幕デ ビューも果たした。65年、NHK大河ドラマ「太閤記」の主役・豊臣秀吉を演じる一方、テレビドラマ「必殺仕掛人」(72年)では暗殺者の梅安を演じ、す ごみのある演技で人気を集めた。

 映画「鬼畜」(78年)、カンヌ国際映画祭グランプリに輝いた今村昌平監督「楢山節考」(83年)、「火宅の人」(86年)などに主演、日本アカ デミー賞最優秀主演男優賞も3回受賞した。第30回モントリオール世界映画祭グランプリを受賞した奥田瑛二監督「長い散歩」(06年)でも主演した。

 また舞台出演にも熱心で、ベケット作「ゴドーを待ちながら」や、「信濃の一茶」、一人芝居「白野―シラノ―」などに出演した。00年、紫綬褒章を受けた。

 先月30日には、倉本聰さん脚本のフジテレビ系ドラマ「風のガーデン」の制作発表会見に出席。同日付の本人ブログにも「是非是非ご覧下さい」と書 き込んでいたが、その後、体調が急変したという。「風のガーデン」は9日に放送開始。生死、家族愛をみつめる作品で、最後の出演作となった。

 長男の幹太(かんた)さん、次男の直人(なおと)さんも俳優。



Gentle soul of a talented actor fades to black

2008/10/11

Moments before he quietly breathed his last on Oct. 5, actor Ken Ogata apparently gazed off into space like a Kabuki actor. Masahiko Tsugawa, a fellow actor and a longtime friend who was at Ogata's deathbed, recalled: "He made such an enviably cool exit, it made me truly want to go like him when my time comes."

Tsugawa told reporters he rushed to the hospital when he heard Ogata was dying. On his arrival, the 71-year-old actor sat up in bed to chat. After talking shop for a while, Ogata said to Tsugawa, "When I get better, let's go eat unagi (eel)--you know, the plain-broiled kind."

What amazes me about this episode is that it was Ogata, not Tsugawa, who tried to cheer up his friend by proposing a dinner date.

Ogata's final moments were defined by a blend of subtle humor and the sort of "substance" one sees only in extraordinary people.

Ogata was unparalleled in his ability to portray embarrassment, melancholy and insanity. But his talent was most obvious when he delved into the shadowy depths of human emotion, as he did in "Narayama Bushiko" (The Ballad of Narayama, 1983).

Sumiko Sakamoto portrayed an aged woman whose son--played by Ogata--carried her on his strong back into the mountains where, in keeping with an old custom, he would abandon her to die.

She said of Ogata: "I was truly awed that he didn't have to rely on any acting technique. He simply became the very character he was playing. In my heart, he is still my son."

Ogata swore his family to secrecy concerning his liver cancer. His last acting appearance was in "Kaze no Garden" (Garden of winds), a serial TV drama. He soldiered on through six months on the set by sticking to a healthy diet of genmai (brown rice).

The script, by So Kuramoto, dealt squarely with the meaning of life. Ogata was cast in the role of a doctor who made house calls, and many of his lines had to do with death and dying. He must have played this part with his entire body and soul. He died five days after the promotional press conference for the TV program.

Ogata's favorite hobby was calligraphy, and his simple style revealed his warm heart. Kunio Koike, a 67-year-old resident of Komae in western Tokyo who used to exchange e-tegami (illustrated postcards) with Ogata, once received a New Year's greeting card inscribed with the self-effacing word dekunobo (blockhead) in red ink. Another card from Ogata bore the message, "The ox ambles slowly."

Just like his calligraphic style, Ogata lived out his acting career without any pretense concerning his own, easy-going pace of life.

If I can borrow Sakamoto's words of fond recollection, Ogata revealed his true self in every role he played.

At the end, he faded completely in the autumn of his life, and I will always associate the way he looked from the back and his trademark white hair with a gentle, kindly soul.

--The Asahi Shimbun, Oct. 10(IHT/Asahi: October 11,2008)

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