Elizabeth Bishop and Suzanne Bowen - part 3

Elizabeth Bishop 系列文章索引



...X.Y. (指Suzanne) likes it here, I can't see why - well, I think she likes all this building, and re-constructing -I don't; I just want things done, and peaceful, and a little order at last. (Suzanne想留在巴西
...If I get that award, I thought it might be enough to make a quick trip to the U.S. I need some dentistry, eyeglasses, medicines, and certainly I need a change. I'm afraid X.Y. would object strenuously. (伊麗莎白想回美國,但Suzanne不想回去,後來伊麗莎白推出嚇人的陰謀論)Well, we'll see, and it probably won't happen, anyway. In fact, I see no end to it all. 
I try to keep remembering that I had about 15 really happy years until Lota got so sick - and I should be grateful - most people don't have that much, I know. But since she died, Anny (Baumann醫生的名字)- I just don't seem to care whether I live or die. I seem to miss her more every day of my life. (對蘿塔懷念日益加深) I try hard to live in the present, as everyone always says - but the present is so hideous to me. I wish I could shake all this off and enjoy things a bit more - but I can't seem to. I must get out of this country, and never come back to it. X.Y. doesn't understand this at all, of course, and I don't talk about it, naturally.....



伊麗莎白開始整理自己的書籍和文稿,想要減少連回美國的材積。她還打算賣出值錢的手稿,因為她聽說美國的博物館收購恩師Marianna Moore早期手稿。


伊麗莎白曾向The New Yorker毛遂自薦負責書評專欄。對方寄了八十多本書供她挑選喜歡的題目,結果一篇也沒寫出來。

3月初,伊麗莎白以第四本詩集獲得National Book Award (國國家圖書獎),巴西政府特別安排司機打算護送伊麗莎白至機場登機。她不想前往美國領獎,推說自己沒有冬季服裝。後來由羅威爾代為出席領獎。

羅威爾在典禮上朗讀伊麗莎白擔任國會圖書館詩詞顧問時,至病院探視詩人Ezra Pound而寫的"Visit To St. Elizabeth’s",唸完後發表聲明認為以Pound的成就應該早被提名獲得肯定,結果激怒評審引發抗議。



...Have you ever gone through caves? - I did once, in Mexico, and hated it so I've never gone through the famous ones right near hear here. Finally, after hours of stumbling along, one sees daylight ahead - faint blue glimmer - and it never looked so wonderful before. That's what I fell as thought I were waiting for now (怨現在生活如在黑暗) - just the faintest glimmer that I'm going to get out of this somehow, alive....







這個傳記還提到Linda的回憶,有次Suzanne住進Belo Horizonte的醫院。伊麗莎白打電話請Linda代為探視Szuanne。當時Linda與伊麗莎白還不熟識,是她弟弟和伊麗莎白比較親近。



I am afraid my news is very bad. X.Y. had a very bad breakdown and I finally got her to consent to go to a hospital in Belo Horizonte. At least, I got her as far as Belo Horizonte, and to a psychiatrist of her choice (the most famous there & head of the Brazilian Medical Association...). Our good friends there, and Dr. Sergio Bicalho, our medical doctor, and I all finally persuaded her to go to a hospital the night of the 28th April. (Suzanne是半強迫半自願住院,伊麗莎白另外抱怨Suzanne故意挑選最貴的醫生
She stayed there until early morning May 10th, yesterday. I had taken over her bags and the little boy the day before, Monday afternoon. The doctor, or a very good friend of ours (其中一位朋友就是Linda) (I don't know which yet, but fortunately she still was liking them both), flew with her to Rio and saw that she got safely on the plane to San Francisco, and some member of her family was to meet her plane.....I wrote the mother the day after X.Y. went to the hospital, and also several times more; and the Cultural Attache (US) (可能是Suzanne說法中的美國大使館人員) who also acts as consul in Belo Horizonte, telephoned her last Friday night.
Well, I suppose I should have realized much, much sooner that she was really extremely sick. I don't know why one never does & especially when one is living in close contact with someone in that state. ( And I have had enough experience by now, it would seem.) But about three months ago now I made up my mind that she had to leave, and also had to have some psychiatric care as soon as possible - she was obviously getting worse all the time, and even I could recognize the symptoms. Every time she seemed to be in a calm enough frame of mind I told her that when Googie (the little boy) ha to go back to his father, the first part of May, I wanted her to go with him, and take a good long vacation, and ses a doctor. She would apparently accept this, but then when she got worked up the next time she would accuse me of "throwing her out,"etc., and refuse to go, and so on (Suzanne的意志反反覆覆).......
Her ambivalence toward me was quite incredible - and I only really became aware of it in February, I think. I should have know much sooner - but she is a good actress, also concealed many, many things from me, including her own room, which she kept locked (& that didn't seem too strange, since there were a lot of building supplies in it and the Ouro Preto workers steal a lot). Since i have got into it, I have been appalled at the accumulation, and the disorder, and the fantastic things I have found there....(我用《A Beautiful Mind 美麗境界》裡狂亂的房間來想像Suzanne的房間)
A Beautiful Mind 片中駭人的房間景像 
I think in some strange way X.Y. wanted to be me - and so really was trig to kill me off (彷彿《Single White Female 雙面女郎》裡的情節) , to have the house, etc., all for herself......She is crazy about this house an made plans for it way beyond my means all the time. The poor girl fought with everyone in this town, I think, and has made a great many problems for me here......
Srgio tells me it is schizophrenia(精神分裂)with paranoid symptoms, too. She though the nurses at the clinic are poisoning her, and other typical symptoms.......

Suzanne離開後,伊麗莎白心情平靜下來,拾回靈感,重新提筆。這段期間她終於完成斟酌許久的作品"In The Waiting Room",後來於1971/7/17在The New Yorker發表。

伊麗莎白越來越懷念蘿塔,她5/20寫信問Ashley Brown有沒有蘿塔的照片可以複製:
...Do you have any old pictures, snapshots or anything - any good at all, of Lota? I have almost nothing. I'd be extremely grateful if you have anything if you'd have copies made for me. Mary Morse went over everything in Petropolis before I got there and took everything good....
...Mary Morse also burned all my letters to Lota, which Lota had carefully saved so that I could use them - the Amazon trip, London, all sorts of little trips when I was away from her. (伊麗莎白認為瑪麗把所有她和蘿塔之間的關聯全部毀掉)This is the second time this has happened to me - my correspondence over years, with an old friend, been burned by someone else who had no business to do it.....

學者考證,這段時間伊麗莎白可能構思長詩"Cursor In England"懷念蘿塔的離去以及在巴西的往日時光。

James Merrill(左)與伴侶攝於 1973
當時家Jose Alberto Nemer是伊麗莎白最親近的年輕朋友,住在伊麗莎白家中陪伴著她。到了夏天James Merrill來訪,伊麗莎白對他從頭說自己留在巴西的緣由,以及蘿塔對她的好,詩人真情流露痛哭,Jose聽到哭聲趕緊出來察看。伊麗莎白解釋:Don't worry, I'm only crying in English.

伊麗莎白對蘿塔的感情,這句最知名的告白:I’ve never in my life had anyone make that kind of gesture toward me, and it just meant everything. 正是她在1970年親口對James Merrill所說。

不過伊麗莎白也向James Merrill承認自己不喜歡lesbian的標籤,反而大談年輕時在紐約和某位男子的戀愛故事。

伊麗莎白還請求James Merrill幫助Jose申請獎助金,讓他可以去美國就學。但我沒看到Jose有沒有獲得獎助金。





James Merrill是伊麗莎白難得的美國訪客,八月份他離開後,伊麗莎白因為憂鬱症發作住院一個星期,甚至還在Jose家中休養一個禮拜。
攝於1970, 可能拍攝於Merrill來訪期間

詩人在起居室的壁爐前,桌上有本The Complete Poems




伊麗莎白一開始住在哈佛大學Graduate Centr的宿舍,校方答應接著會讓她移到Kirkland House,然後她就會遇見此生最後一位至愛。

...X.Y's physical health is very poor, too.....We agreed that if she will go to him for a check-up and be treated by him, we would both be willing to help with that medical expense. (如果Szuanne願意接受一位醫生朋友的治療,不用擔心費用)But nothing else - just something that should be checked up on. And I would jut do it through the lawyer, of course. He is young but very bright, I think - he has handled all the trouble very well and has the advantage of knowing quite a lot about X.Y. - more than I do, probably. I am terribly sorry for her; her family is quite hopeless as far as I know - won't do anything at all (Szuanne的家人並不認為需要治療)- but I must avoid any communication with her, I know. It is sa, and awful. I certainly tried, but know I can't do any more(竟然要用到律師來處理兩人關係,似乎給人觀感不佳)......


...X.Y. has appeared on the scene. Just as I was beginning to relax a bit - and Wednesday the seminar had gone very well, and then on Tuesday much better, it seemed to me - and I thought I could do all right, after all. The students started out and I was gathering up my books and papers when I saw a figure standing by the door. It's rather large gloomy old room and the doorway is dark. At first I really couldn't believe it. But the figure didn't go away, and sure enough it was X.Y. (以為日子步上正軌,怎料Szuanne意外出現
I walked her out of there and through the campus, talking all the time so that she wouldn't talk, and got her here. She seemed pretty subdued at first, but of course soon began all the horrors she had been through in Brazil: how the doctor and two of my friends (brother & sister)had told her to get out long before she left(untrue, I'm sure); how they had tried to kill her in the hospital; how they are in a plot to get me, get my "money", my house, et. How they had asked her about the terms of my will. (This might be true, I suppose, but if so it was probably to protect me from her, because toward the end they were all afraid something might happen to me.) (Szuanne控訴她在巴西遭受不當對待,從伊麗莎白角度認為是醫生調查Szuanne有沒有謀財害命的意圖
Well, she took a bath and while she was in the tub (可能用洗澡來安撫她的情緒?)I went down to the office here & called Bob, the lawyer....Down there I found out from the secretary, a nice friendly girl named Alice [Methfessel] (真命天女出現)that X.Y. had arrived that afternoon; had hung around - Alice and the other secretary guessed something was very wrong but didn't know what. They had given her tea - she wouldn't give her name or say what she wanted, just to find me. They knew I had a class, but didn't know where. (Szuanne從Alice等人打聽到教室位置,多麼巧的命運!
- Well, back upstairs here Bob arrived ver quickly - he thought he should come. It took us hours and hours to get her to go home with him - up till about 10 [p.m.]....There wasn't much noise but it was pretty touchy and I was very frightened. Then she went off with Bob - only after I had promised to see her the next day. (最後由律師護送回去
...Friday night I was getting ready to go to a rather fancy dinner party and she arrived - fortunately Alice spotted her and warned me and I didn't go to the door but this was just luck and would never happen again, probably. She hung around my door almost an hour - knocking from time to time - finally left. In the morning I found a letter in my mailbox. She has taken a room right near here - and wanted "references" to apply to go to college....To keep her awe I did write two brief noes, saying all I could honestly say....And that's the way it is now an I am scared to death....(兩天後她再度出現,Alice發現她的行蹤事先提出警告,伊麗莎白關在房間不敢出來。事後她留言已住附近想就讀附近大學,請伊麗莎白寫推薦函,伊麗莎白不情願地寫,而且還寫出她很討人厭disturbed
Oh, then she somehow tracked down an English girl we know who is now working here, an occupational therapist. I saw her first and told her what was happening. She knows how things are because she visited in Brazil a year or more....She went to this girl's house the same Friday night an talked for over three hours to her guests - and Hilary, the girl, said that she was extremely convincing about it all.... (Szuanne向曾在舊金山幫忙保姆工作,且來訪巴西的女大生抒發她的悲慘故事。怎麼那位女大生也在那裡?


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