短篇小說  * 白 指 揮 的 夢 * 張守愚著
主角: 白堂  陳慕仙 白翠微  王正平  方   寫作背景和技巧(in English)在故事之前 
Short Story - THE DREAMS OF CONDUCTOR PAI - by Clever Cheung
Characters: Mr & Mrs Pai, May, David & Fontie
The background and skills of writing the story comes first.


The Writing Background of the Story

Written more than two decades ago, this story reflects the difficult time when we were anxious and worried about our future during the negotiation of the sovereignty of Hong Kong between China and Britain in the early eighties.

Originally I gave the conductor a surname, Tseng (曾), resulting that its pronunciation in Cantonese sounds like "hating the communism". While writing the story, I had nightmares in several successive nights in which I was pursued by some people. One day I woke up and changed intuitively his surname from Tseng to Pai (白), which comes from the Chinese character 怕. Its pronunciation in Cantonese sounds like "afraid of the communist party", which seems much less sensitive than "hating the communism", posing animosity to the communist party. I then didn't suffer from nightmares any more.

By the time I finished it, the Sino-British Joint Declaration had been signed in Beijing. This ultimate agreement assured us of the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong. The comment I made at the end of the story seemed not right:

"The young frog, the old shrimp, the young shrimp, and the goldfish are staying still in front of the old frog. Other tiny creatures in the pond have   become dull, and the color of the lotus flowers and leaves begin to fade..."

Since the significance of this story had lost its meaning, I put it aside and gradually forgot about it. Until recently severe conflicts have been happening in this society:


On 9th of June, more than one million Kong Kong people toke to the street to oppose the Extradition Bill. Our government insisted to second read the bill as schedule on 12th of June. On that day, thousands of Hong Kong youngster surrounded the Legislative Council to stop the bill being passed. Hundreds of policemen fully equipped with tear gases, plastic bullets, pepper sprays, man-body-tall hard plastic transparent shields and strong batons were appearing to expel the youngsters. A heavy clash happened and severe excessive forces were used by the police. Over one hundred youngsters were arrested. On the coming weekend, nearly two-million people toke to the street again with the same demands. Our government still unwilling to withdraw the bill from the Legislative Council; but merely said: "The bill is dead."

It has been more than four months since the first clash between the angry youngsters and the cruel policemen. During the pass four months, happening non-stop every weekend youngsters take to the street to fight against the policemen who always use excessive forces and abuse their power in arresting demonstrators, some of them being only twelve-year old kids. Youngsters with the fear in their heart that they might lose their human rights, democracy and their freedom of speech and in daily acts. The clash between the two sides has become more and more violent. Blocking roads, petrol bombs and breaking glasses of shops related to China are everywhere.

The all run wild policemen have caused a lot of bloodshed and over two thousands of youngsters have been arrested. Many of them are university students. They will be prosecuted and will face several years of imprisonment. Hong Kong peoples' life is affected. The economics has been seriously disturbed, especially the tourist sector, the retail zone and the food and beverage field. A lot of shops have closed and many people lost their jobs......

The above incidents remind me that I have written such a story. Reading it again, I found that the comment I made at the end of the story (as above) has been perfectly right!


The Writing Skills of the Story


1). The lotus pond = Hong Kong

2). The big fishes = The force of the Communist Party

3). The old frog and the old shrimp = Illegal immigrants from China to Hong Kong in the early sixties

( Near the end )

4). "Just for commemoration. Professor Mo brought me up to be a conductor. He should not leave in that way" = Professor Mo
committed suicide owing to maltreatments.

5). "It has been more than ten years." He signed deeply. "Those terrible days!" = Referring back the days of the
cultural revolution in China.

( Just after the beginning of the third paragraph )

6). I lifted up one lotus leave, the tiny creatures underneath run away in all directions. = When people reminded themselves
with what would happen to the sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, migration was so active.


7). Because of freedom, Chopin left his own country unwillingly. So his works are full of missing his country. = The conductor is going to leave China and settle down in Hong Kong due to the amnesty of the government.

8). "Mammy," He turn his eyes to her, "Don't force her. Give her freedom!" = These are words from the bottom of Conductor Pai's heart, showing that he is afraid of being forced to do something and eager for Freedom.

〔 SCENE 4〕

9). It is this feeling of being oppressed, make my beat tend to go fast. I must fight to free myself from your control. = The conductor is so firm to leave China behind and settle Hong Kong where there is human rights, democracy and freedom.

〔 SCENE 5〕

10). A young frog jumped into the pond from the right side. A young shrimp followed. = Representatives of the
negotiation came back from Beijing.

11). "The big landlord, after all, is a fisherman!" = China is a country of Communist Party after all. (Hong Kong will be
a place where there is no Human Rights and Freedom if China owns Hong Kong.)

12). Young frog, old shrimp, golden fish and young shrimp are staying dull in front of old frog. = The five tiny creatures represent the five stars on the national flag of China, signifying the five-star flag is going to be hoist in Hong Kong.

13). Other tiny creatures in the pond have   become dull, and the color of the lotus flowers and leaves begin to fade... =
When Hong Kong is returned to China, it's prospect will continue to deteriorate into bad.

14). The story ends with Conductor Pai's word: "...... free (freedom)."
We have a Chinese proverb: "Being alive without freedom, one would rather die."


The story might be a bit strange and difficult to understand. The main reasons are its highly symbolic character and too much basing on readers' musical knowledge and experiences. Another plausible reason lies in the unusual way I experiment the syntax and mood to achieve a movie effect rather than stick to the stale telling method; and maybe so much dependence on Sigmund Freud's theory (Pai's dreams and words are rooted from his past sad experience) and the full practice of Surrealism (超現實主義), which results a fairy-tale-like style, are as well.

The Symphony No.5 of Shostakovitch, a famous Soviet composer, has just got the right background for this story. And meeting so well by chance, the moods of some movements are fit wonderfully for that of the conductor's dream, especially the concluding one for the illusion he has at the end of the rehearsal.

~~ October, 2019 ~~


〔 一 〕








她收拾好床鋪,走向餐桌,『翠薇,你昨晚叫我提醒你帶 Biology 筆記,你...』














『...Shostakovich...』他心不在焉。『Symphony ...No.5。』















他在書房讀總譜。...個多小時過去了。...他覺得頭腦昏亂,很難集中精神。--「才是春末,怎麼會這樣悶熱呢?」他繼續讀譜。...他不自主地想起教授,情緒開紿低落。他想起教授給他上課的情形 --「放鬆,放鬆,打拍子時,身體各部分都不要緊張。」一時間他分不清這是教授教自己時說的,還是自己教學生時說的。他使勁搖搖頭,讀下去。...他覺得眼倦,合上眼睛。大青蛙的影像在他腦堨X現。--「牠其中一隻眼真是受過傷,而且年紀老大。」想再看清楚,他看見教授的容貌。他睜開眼睛,用手掌拍拍頭。--「反正不能集中精神,不如出去散散步,清清頭腦。這首作品已指揮過好幾次,不重讀也可以了。」他更衣出外。... 
















〔 二 〕

他在午睡。...年輕的他和她在夏夜的曠野散步。他倆的身影緊隨於後。點點銀光在樹梢和草面閃耀。她雀躍起來,彩裙展盪,『看呀,嫦娥在天上嫋嫋起舞。』他揚起手,『舉目一片幽亮, 好一個恬靜閒適的境地!』

他們來到一個大荷塘,欣然站在塘邊觀賞。乳白色的月光灑下來,令荷塘彌漫著如仙境中稀薄的紗雲。她展開雙手,『景色太柔和悅目了。』他指向塘中,『荷花像隔著輕紗的美人,真令人著迷!』她湊近他,倚頭在他肩上,『有一些正半合著入睡了。』墨綠色的大葉,一大堆、一小堆,層疊有緻,和那靜朗的天、皎潔的明月平分荷塘的水面。葉上有 一顆顆晶亮的水珠;涼風拂過--「唆」--;水珠踉踉蹌蹌地來回抖動,有些煞不住腳步而往下溜,跌在葉子上 --,跌到水面上 --Dig-- 他側著耳朵豎起手指,『聽,這些聲音真是清脆玲瓏。』 她指向水面,『看,一圈圈隨聲而起的漣漪、搖晃晃的明月,為靜夜添上這麼怡人的動感。』


  忽然,老青蛙出現在那邊的荷葉上。--是牠!其中一隻眼...牠在對我說話。他拔足,--為什麼走不動?小青蛙的跳水聲和鳴叫聲大起來。他走動了。『等我呀,鞏堂;我的腿好重呀。』他回頭去執她的手;他拉,拉!--『... 堂,』--拉!













方婷和王正平在沙發坐下。王正平環顧廳子。--「跟前橫了一個長茶几;左邊一列窗子,對面靠牆放了一座Up-right 鋼琴,琴的兩旁擱著喇叭箱,琴頂的牆上貼了管絃樂團的Poster;右邊是餐桌;書櫃、電視都擺得妥妥當當,還有一些植物點綴,十分雅緻。」



         『唔,』他點頭。『你指揮過嗎? 』





    『不,陳老師每年幾次帶翠薇回去看我。』他臉容亮起來。『這次我被批准出來看她們。說起來真巧,剛好遇上這兒來一個「特赦」;人之常情,我當然選擇跟妻女在一起 了。』







〔 三 〕


『回來了。』他拿起茶杯。『Biology Test 滿意嗎?


   『今天我的廚房工夫特別忙,』她回頭望著翠薇。『不如請Daddy 給你上一課吧;反正他在看報紙。』


   翠薇走到鋼琴前坐下,把樂譜擱好;轉過頭來,『我彈蕭邦的Waltz in C sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2』回過頭去彈奏起來。





   他站在翠薇背後,頭隨著音樂起伏。--「果然有乃母之風。十四五歲有這樣好的Touch讚人家的鋼琴彈得好,說你的Touch 很好〕,是可造之材。」他合上眼睛,輕柔地擺起手來。...


   『好!翠薇,你彈得不錯。凡演譯音樂,』他認真起來。『最重要的,是要做到:演譯者腦堨有音樂,然後奏出來;否則,只是手動而樂器響的音樂是沒有生命的。比如我演譯交響曲,我指揮樂隊把腦堛滬絳眱等X來,是「我」作主。換過來,樂隊指揮指揮者,是「樂隊」作主,那就失敗啦;這種情況表示指揮者的腦堨i能沒有音樂!要做到我的標準,必須磨練好你的Mental Hearing,這涉及極複雜微妙的腦細胞活動,我日後才慢慢給你講。』他輕撫翠薇的頭,放鬆臉容微笑。『至於演譯蕭邦的細緻技巧,你還是請教Mammy 好了;她是蕭邦專家。』




    翠薇拿起筷子,『Daddy, Mammy 吃飯。』








〔 四 〕


   他快步走上指揮台,儼然目光一掃,樂隊立即肅靜下來。他把總譜放在面前的譜架上,抬起頭。『各位,這首交響曲,可以說是Dmitri Shostakovich的自傳。在當時「只有人家講,沒有自己說」的處境下,這位藝術家不甘就這樣喪失了「人權」,仍要直抒心懷;但又不得不顧自身的安危。於是,他就把樂曲的涵義,深藏到不易為人察覺的底層堙C這首作品在一九三七年寫成。據當時目擊者描述:群眾聽完初演後,鼓掌直達半小時;又為聽到這樣好的音樂而互相擁抱、祝賀。其實,他們只聽到樂曲的表層。他們完全誤解了它!它的真正涵義,是一種悲哀、慘痛、孤立無援的叫喊!』他激動起來。『是一個「無辜的人,被反綁在刑台上,受嚴刑拷問、受痛苦折磨的悲慘紀錄!最後樂章尾部那個不斷重複的八分A音,對我來說,簡直是一枝尖矛,一下一下刺向被綁人的心臟,直至他死去才停下來。接著 Tutti Forza (全體樂器合奏) 的終結大和絃,是死者的「靈之歌」;任何人認為那是什麼光榮、什麼勝利,都是白痴的!或者,』他降低聲調。『那就是白痴的光榮和勝利!』他 提起指揮棒。『好,現在我們開紿排練。』...   








   他站在指揮台上,挺直腰身,雙臂一提:絃樂手紛紛把提琴擱到肩上。他的目光從左向右、向左,雙臂上揚急落:低音絃樂組憤怒地一爆而出;中、小提琴組隨即在中音區模應,互相交織,以中板前進。...一大段絃樂細訢...鋼琴在低音區彈出板直頑強的音型;土巴管(Tuba) 在音型上強吹無奈的旋律。長號加入來,音量大增。...「喳!」一聲鈸響,掀起排山倒海的高潮。...他閉目、咬牙。...他點頭,他拋面。...他一揮拳而震髮:定音鼓如雷般滾奏。...他屈膝、拱背。...他拗腰,他仰首。...他呼天他嗆地:所有樂器齊鳴。...他緊握雙拳,瞪目、張口:樂聲撼天!...氣氛漸漸平靜下來。...音樂略帶安慰地收束。









〔五 〕

























    『咯咯。』老青蛙搓搓肚皮。『雖然大業主說收回荷塘後會搞好荷塘,叫我們放心;但是,』--兩隻蝦和大肚金魚游近老青蛙--『我仍然十分擔心。因為...』--嫩青蛙跳下水中 --『大業主到底是個「漁農」嘛!』

    嫩青蛙、大蝦公、大肚金魚、幼蝦在老青蛙面前呆呆地圍著。塘中的小生物靜下來;荷花荷葉開紿褪色 . . .

一陣風吹去他踏著的樂譜,他向下一墜 --    


 站起來,他望出窗外 —— 陽光普照。

   --「慕仙 Chopin 真是奔放和自由!」

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~~ ~~

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