The Hottest Sex Show In Paris: The Library


巴黎圖書館 最辣春宮秀


By Elaine Sciolino
A teaser in the closed Croix Rouge train station in Paris for the show “Hell at the Library, Eros in Secret” can provide commuters a fleeting glimpse of erotic engravings lighted up in shocking pink.

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By ELAINE SCIOLINO
Published: January 16, 2008


PARIS – The lighting is bordello red, but the librarians insist that their X-rated exhibition is serious.
燈色是妓女戶那種紅,巴黎圖書館館員卻堅稱,他們辦的限制級展覽很正經。


A museumgoer peeks inside one of the exhibits. No one under 16 is admitted.

“Hell at the Library, Eros in Secret,” which opened at the National Library here last month, offers a look at its secret archive of erotic art, putting on display more than 350 sexually explicit literary works, manuscripts, engravings, lithographs, photographs, film clips, even calling cards and cardboard pop-ups.
「圖書館內的地獄,秘藏的性慾」展上個月在巴黎國家圖書館揭幕,讓外界得以一窺館藏的情慾藝術秘密檔案,共展出350多件露骨描繪情慾的文學作品、手稿、木刻版畫、石版畫、照片、電影片段,甚至有應召女郎的名片和讓人從裡面蹦出來的摺疊紙箱。


Visitors to the library can listen to a modern-day recording of an 18th-century “dialogue” during sex (simultaneous orgasms included) and watch a six-minute excerpt from a black-and-white silent pornography film made in 1921 (one man, two women, intriguing lingerie).
圖書館訪客可以聽一段18世紀性愛「對話」(同步收錄性高潮)的現代錄音版,並看一段1921年攝製的黑白色情默片的六分鐘選播(1男,2女,性感內衣)。


The handwritten manuscript of the Marquis de Sade’s novel “Les Infortunes de la Vertu” (“The Misfortunes of Virtue”) is under glass here, as are 17th-century French engravings of “erotic postures”; English “flagellation novels” exported to France in the late 19th century; Man Ray photographs; and a police report from 1900 that compiles the addresses of Paris’s houses of prostitution and what they charged.
薩德小說《貞女厄運》的手稿隔著玻璃在館內展出,以及17世紀的法國「浮世繪春宮」木刻版畫;19世紀後期出口到法國的英國「性虐待小說」;曼雷的照片;1900年的警方報告,彙編巴黎紅燈戶的地址及各家的收費標準。


Sadism, masochism, bestiality, inflated genitalia and the most imaginative sexual fantasies and athletic poses are given their due. To avoid complaints that a publicly supported institution is corrupting the country’s youth, no one under 16 is admitted.
性虐待狂、被虐狂、人獸交、誇張的性器官,以及最具想像力的性狂想,都占有一席之地。為了避免公家機關教壞囝仔大小的批評,16歲以下不得進場。


“In an era where sexual images are a product for popular consumption, the library has decided to lift the veil on this world of imagination and fantasy,” Bruno Racine, the library director, said in an interview. “The library is a very serious institution, and the project was done with gravity. But we also perhaps are different from what you think – and there is humor here too.”
「在這個性慾影像已是大眾消費商品的時代,本館決定揭開想像與奇幻世界的面紗」,館長布魯諾.瑞辛受訪表示。「圖書館是非常嚴肅正經的地方,本展也十分莊重。但我們和各位所想的或許有些出入,其中不乏幽默感。」


Until now, the only outsiders allowed to view the vast erotica collection of about 2,000 works were legitimate researchers. Certainly the public has responded. The exhibition is one of the most popular in years. It takes an hour to get in.
在此之前,唯一獲准觀看近兩千件龐大情色館藏的外人是師出有名的研究學者。如今一般大眾反應自然也很熱烈。這項展覽是近年人氣最旺的展覽之一。得排一小時的隊才進得去。


The items, on display through March 22, are drawn from a permanent collection created in the 1830s when the library isolated works considered “contrary to good morals.” They were put in a locked section and given the name L’Enfer – hell. Many pieces have been consigned there over the years by the police.
展覽3月22日結束,展品出自1830年代成立的永久館藏系列,當時館方將被視為「違反善良道德」的作品隔離,放在一個封鎖區,還取名「禁書區」(地獄)。許多被發落到這裡的作品來自警方經年累月的查扣品。


The exhibition comes at a time when France is struggling with a variety of societal issues: the limits of privacy for its public figures, censorship and the definition of good taste. A one-day scholarly conference at the library about the exhibition included a debate on the meaning of modern-day censorship.
展出適逢法國努力解決各種社會議題的時刻:公眾人物隱私權的界限,送審制度和優良品味的定義。在圖書館舉辦有關展覽的一天學術會議,包括一場當代審檢制度意義的辯論。


Paris seems proud of the library show. The Paris metro system constructed an advertising teaser for it on its No. 10 line. Commuters passing by the closed Croix Rouge station get the most fleeting of glimpses of erotic engravings lighted up in shocking pink and partly hidden behind fluttering black curtain strips.
巴黎似以這場圖書館大展為榮。巴黎地鐵在第10號線為展覽製作一個廣告來吊胃口。通勤族經過已經封閉的紅十字站時,能有最完整的驚鴻一瞥,看見情色版畫被打上桃紅色的燈光,在飄揚的黑色簾條後面若隱若現。


The newspaper Le Monde has run ads for the show (with a shocking-pink X) on its front page. The literary review Le Magazine Littéraire devoted its December cover to the subject, with scholarly essays on sex and aging, the last taboo of pedophilia and whether excessive public display of sex has made it boring.
「世界報」在頭版刊出展覽廣告(有個觸目驚心的桃紅色X字)。書評《文學雜誌》12月號封面專題報導全是這次展覽,內頁另有學術論文探討性與老化、最後的禁忌戀童癖,以及將性過度公開是否已經把性變得乏味等議題。


Still, with France’s tough laws against pornography and one of the most aggressive law-enforcement campaigns against child pornography in Europe, the library has taken care to avoid falling afoul of the law, like Henry-Claude Cousseau, director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Mr. Cousseau is facing charges of exhibiting works of “a violent pornographic nature,” in a modern-art exhibition in a Bordeaux museum in 2000. One painting depicted a young girl, wearing heavy makeup, in a bath; a video showed a girl in a graphic masturbation scene. If convicted, Mr. Cousseau faces a fine of $110,000 and up to three years in prison.
不過,法國有嚴刑峻法對付色情刊物及影片,其嚴打兒童春宮作品的力道在歐洲又數一數二,國家圖書館已小心不要違法,以免落得巴黎法國國立高等美術學院院長柯索那種下場。柯索2000年在波爾多一間美術館的現代藝術展中,展示具有「高度色情性質」的作品遭到起訴。一幅畫描繪一名濃妝豔抹的年輕女孩在洗澡;一段視訊出現一名女孩逼真的自慰畫面。如果定罪,柯索將面臨11萬美元的罰金和最高三年的牢獄之災。


A wall display of vintage advertisements for prostitutes. “There is humor here too,” said Bruno Racine, the library director.

The library show is not the only one in Paris with sexually explicit material. An animated film that includes sexual intercourse and violence was being screened at “Sots Art – Political Art in Russia Since 1972,” at the Maison Rouge museum and gallery near the Place de la Bastille. There are no posted warnings, but a lot of very curious children.
圖書館的展覽並非巴黎唯一露骨性愛內容的展覽。一部包括性交和暴力的動畫片,最近在「俄國普普藝術風:1972年以來的俄國政治性藝術」展中播放,地點是巴士底廣場附近的紅屋美術館與藝廊。沒有張貼警語,倒是有許多好奇的孩童。


“Hell at the Library, Eros in Secret” runs through March 22 at the National Library of France, Site François-Mitterrand, Quai François-Mauriac, 13th Arrondissement, www.bnf.fr.


關鍵字句


巴黎擁有舉世聞名的瘋馬、紅磨坊和麗都三大名秀,本文標題卻說巴黎最火辣的春宮秀(the hottest sex show)在圖書館,而且是國家圖書館,展場燈光還是紅燈區妓院門口的那種紅(bordello red)。


翻譯往往涉及語言文化差異,展覽名稱即為一例。Hell at the Library,望文生義,可以衍生出「萬惡淫為首」、「色字頭上一把刀」等和「地獄」有關的聯想,還正好和後面秘藏的情慾(Eros in Secret)押韻。


根據大導演奇士勞斯基遺留劇本拍攝的電影叫做L'Enfer,英譯片名是The Hell,中文取了個《奇士勞斯基之地獄》。與法文enfer對應的英文是inferno,源於義大利文,也是但丁《神曲》(The Divine Comedy)其中一篇的篇名。


終究得回歸原文來判斷。經查,enfer在法文字典裡大概有七種意義,前六種都和英文理解的hell差不多,包括罪惡、詛咒、折磨,但是最後一個解釋出現玄機:這個字和圖書館連用的時候,意指存放禁書的區域(section with books forbidden to the public)。翻譯的關卡至此豁然貫通。


性慾(eros)大寫時是希臘神話中的愛神名,同羅馬神話的邱比特(Cupid),國片「幫幫我愛神」的英文片名就用了Eros。Erotica意指描繪情慾的文學藝術作品,流行音樂天后瑪丹娜1992年發行的專輯就取了這個名字。


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