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【书籍搬运】Dwemer History and Culture 锻莫的历史与文化

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原文连接:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Dwemer_History_and_Culture

正文:

锻莫的历史与文化

——哈斯法特·安塔波利斯

锻莫历史与文化的论文集

第1章

马罗巴·苏尔与锻莫在通俗文化中的浅薄化

——哈斯法特·安塔波利斯

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尽管马罗巴·苏尔的《锻莫古传说》是托古伪作这一观点早在卡塔莉娅一世时代就在学术圈中得到了公认,这本书却依旧是帝国有文化中等阶层的必读范本,在一代又一代学童的脑海中建立起了锻莫的通俗形象。这部篇幅浩荡(却令人奇怪地内容空洞)的巨著是如何抓住公众的心,以至于它既能忽视掉文学界的批评,又能完全无视学术界的弹劾呢?

在回答这一问题之前,我们理应先对《古传说》的起源与随后发展简述一番。第一部《古传说》于二纪670年前后发行,此时正值塞瑞迪尔第一帝国崩溃与泰伯·塞普丁崛起之间的中间期。这部书最初是作为自桂利姆大学文献研究所得的严肃学术性作品发表的,在那个混乱时代鱼目混珠被采信为真(那个年代锻莫学术界水平低下的标志)。对作者的情况我们所知甚少,但马罗巴·苏尔应该是戈尔·菲林的假名。高尔·菲林以拥有许多假名著称,他是那个时代一位多产的“廉价惊险小说”作家。尽管谢天谢地,菲林的绝大多数作品都消失于茫茫史海之中,残存的少数几部在语言和语气上倒是与《古传说》别无二致。(参见洛米斯所著,《戈尔·菲林之《假定的背叛》与马罗巴·苏尔之《锻莫古传说》之对比》)菲林在塞瑞迪尔度过一生,为旧帝国首都的精英写作轻快的娱乐小说。他把手伸向矮人的原因不得而知,但很明显他的“研究”只不过是收集了尼本河谷的农民故事,再把它们包装成锻莫传说。

这本书在塞瑞迪尔流行开来,菲林便继续赶工更多卷册,直到一系列达成了七卷。《锻莫古传说》由此奠定了它在塞瑞迪尔当地的坚实流行地位。这本书的第17次再版正赶上对泰伯·塞普丁发起拔高化运动的历史团体开始向大陆的其他地区散播所谓“腹地文学”。马罗巴·苏尔版的锻莫正好对上了直到现在也还未消退的人类民族主义狂潮运动的胃口。

这些故事中的锻莫以寓言及轻度幻想的形象出现,但总体来说他们“和我们差不多”。他们也许有点疯狂,但当然他们既不令人恐惧也不危险。对比看一下红色守卫早期传说中的锻莫:一个神秘且强大的种族,可以单凭他们的意念扭曲自然法则;消失了却可能并没有离去。或者看看大多数诺德人远古传说中的锻莫:可怕的战士,因亵渎的宗教行为而沾染污点,他们用亵渎不洁的方法把诺德人从晨风赶了出去。马罗巴·苏尔的锻莫更符合时代的走向:将人类看作造物的顶峰,其他种族要么野蛮不开化,要么并不完美需要人类教导。《古传说》当然属于第二种情况,于是经受住了通俗想象力的考验。马罗巴·苏尔的锻莫比起真实的锻莫更令人安心,更友好,也更令人熟悉,而真实锻莫的神秘本性我们现在才刚刚开始理解。公众更喜欢这个业已消失种族轻快而平凡的形象。而就我多年研究矮人而谈,我对这种偏好报以某些同情。之后的论述将证明,锻莫,以我们的当代视角去看,在许多方面都是十分不讨人喜欢的民族。

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Collected Essays on Dwemer History and Culture

Chapter 1
Marobar Sul and the Trivialization of the Dwemer in Popular Culture
by Hasphat Antabolis
A scholar's review of the Dwemer essays written by Marobar Sul


While Marobar Sul's Ancient Tales of the Dwemer was definitively debunked in scholarly circles as early as the reign of Katariah I, it remains one of the staples of the literate middle-classes of the Empire, and has served to set the image of the Dwemer in the popular imagination for generations of schoolchildren. What about this lengthy (but curiously insubstantial) tome has proved so captivating to the public that it has been able to see off both the scorn of the literati and the scathing critiques of the scholars?
Before examing [sic] this question, a brief summary of the provenance and subsequent career of Ancient Tales would be appropriate. First published around 2E670, in the Interregnum between the fall of the First Cyrodilic Empire and the rise of Tiber Septim, it was originally presented as a serious, scholarly work based on research in the archives of the University of Gwylim, and in the chaos of that era was taken at face value (a sign of the sad state of Dwemer scholarship in those years). Little is known of the author, but Marobar Sul was most likely a pseudonym of Gor Felim, a prolific writer of "penny dreadful romances" of that era, who is known to have used many other pseudonyms. While most of Felim's other work has, thankfully, been lost to history, what little survives matches Ancient Tales in both language and tone (see Lomis, "Textual Comparison of Gor Felim's A Hypothetical Treachery with Marobar Sul's Ancient Tales of the Dwemer"). Felim lived inCyrodiil his whole life, writing light entertainments for the elite of the old Imperial capital. Why he decided to turn his hand to the Dwemer is unknown, but it is clear that his "research" consisted of nothing more than collecting the peasants' tales of the Nibenay Valley and recasting them in Dwemer guise.
The book proved popular in Cyrodiil, and Felim continued to churn out more volumes until the series numbered seven in all. Ancient Tales of the Dwemer was thus firmly established as a local favorite in Cyrodiil (already in its 17th printing) when the historical forces that propelled Tiber Septim to prominence also began to spread the literature of the "heartland" across the continent. Marobar Sul's version of the Dwemer was seized upon in a surge of human racial nationalism that has not yet subsided.
The Dwemer appear in these tales as creatures of fable and light fantasy, but in general they are "just like us". They come across as a bit eccentric, perhaps, but certainly there is nothing fearsome or dangerous about them. Compare these to the Dwemer of early Redguard legend: a mysterious, powerful race, capable of bending the very laws of nature to their will; vanished but perhaps not gone. Or the Dwemer portrayed in the most ancient Nord sagas: fearsome warriors, tainted by blasphemous religious practices, who used their profane mechanisms to drive the Nords from Morrowind. Marobar Sul's Dwemer were much more amenable to the spirit of the time, which saw humans as the pinnacle of creation and the other races as unenlightened barbarians or imperfect, lesser versions of humans eager for tutelage. Ancient Tales falls firmly in the latter camp, which does much to explain its enduring hold on the popular imagination. Marobar Sul's Dwemer are so much more comfortable, so much friendlier, so much more familiar, than the real Dwemer, whose truly mysterious nature we are only beginning to understand. The public prefers the light, trivial version of this vanished race. And from what I have learned in my years of studying the Dwemer, I have some sympathy for that preference. As the following essays will show, the Dwemer were, to our modern eyes, a remarkably unlikeable people in many ways.

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