华盛顿, DC.

17 7 月, 2024 11:35 上午

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波士顿书评 BOSTON REVIEW OF BOOKS   2024 JUN 10  转自:新世纪

有评论说,欧阳泰是当代历史学界的魔术师。一方面他的史学著作写得纵横捭阖、见时代与世界大势;另一方面却历史人物跃然纸上,相隔时空与读者对望。 2024年5月,在推出欧阳泰汉学经典三书之后,时报出版再次推出欧阳泰的历史著作《最后的使团:1795年荷兰使团和一段被遗忘的中西相遇史The Last Embassy: The Dutch Mission of 1795 and the Forgotten History of Western Encounters with China》。

如今,欧阳泰有许多广为人知的标签,汉学家、台湾史学家、世界史学界、东亚历史学家等,但很少有人知道在Reedcollege 读本科的时候,一开始主修是生物学与神经科学;之后因为对中文感兴趣,他开始学习中文。 1989年,他去台湾师范大学读了半年的中文。

1992年,欧阳泰在Reed College毕业后,进入伊利诺大学香槟分校University of Illinois读硕士。在此期间,他阅读了狄奥多.施笃姆(Therdor Storm)的德文小说《白马骑士》(Der Schimmelreiter),而受到佛里斯兰文化(Frisian Culture)吸引,没原由地沉迷于荷兰文,并开始学习荷兰文。

1994年,硕士毕业后,欧阳泰去耶鲁大学攻读历史学博士。在这里他遇到两位老师。一位是帕克(Geoffrey Parker);另一位是史景迁。帕克是一位军事革命论学者,专门研究现代早期西欧,西班牙和战争的历史。他最着名的书是剑桥大学出版社于1988年首次出版的《军事革命:军事创新与西方的兴起,1500年—1800年The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500–1800》 ;而中国读者的熟悉的史景迁则擅长书写历史人物与个性。在两位老师的影响和启发下,欧阳泰开始了自己的学术旅程,选择中国海洋史作为论文主题,讨论荷兰东印度公司与中国之间的关系,并比较菲律宾跟巴达维亚历史。 。

在自己的学术研究中,欧阳泰提出了「全球微观史」(micro-global history)的观点,既从宏观去诠释世界历史发展的大趋势,也透过历史角色讲述历史下的时空。 “他认为一名历史学者应该有两个层面:身为理论的建构者,同时也成为说故事的人。”(盧正恒:《他是「建構理論的人」也是「說故事的人」──歷史學家歐陽泰》

对于欧阳泰的著作,或许用他自己的话介绍最好:

My first book, How Taiwan Became Chinese (2007), examined how Dutch, Spanish, and Chinese colonization met and competed in the Far East and asked why it was that the Chinese prevailed over the Europeans rather than the other way around, suggesting that political will – that is to say state support for expansion – was a key variable. My second book, Lost Colony (2011), examined the Sino-Dutch War of 1661-1668, Europe’s first war with China and the only significant Sino-European conflict until the Opium War of 1839–42. It asked whether Europeans had – at this early date – any significant advantages in military and naval technology over China and concluded that they did, although not perhaps in the areas people might have expected. My third book, The Gunpowder Age (2016), looked more deeply into China’s military past, comparing it to that of Europe, and showing that China’s China’s dynamism was deeper, longer lasting, and more quickly recovered than has long been believed. My fourth book, The Last Embassy (2021), examined a little-known but richly documented Dutch embassy to the court of the Qing dynasty’s Qianlong Emperor. I’m currently working on a book about the Dutch East India Company and its interactions with and effects on Asia’s maritime realms.

前三本著作《福尔摩沙如何变成台湾府? 》(How Taiwan Became Chinese)、《决战热兰遮》(Lost Colony)和《火药时代》(The Gunpowder Age),在台湾早已翻译出版,被称为“欧阳泰汉学经典三书”,欧阳泰也因为他对台湾早期历史的书写而深受台湾人的喜爱。最近,第四本著作《最后的使团》(The Last Embassy)中文版也在台湾出版。为此,波士顿书评特别采访了欧阳泰教授,采访通过邮件进行。访谈用英文进行,书评翻译成中文。

 

书评: You once joked that when you graduated in 2000, because you studied global history (world history), you thought you might only find a teaching position at a community college. Was this because global history was not yet popular in American universities at the time?

你曾开玩笑说,2000年毕业的时候,因为自己学习的是全球史(世界史),认为自己可能只能在社区大学找到教职。这是因为全球史在当时美国大学还不是很流行吗?

欧阳泰:Yes, at that point, most historians didn’t know what global history was. My graduate course on the topic was one of the first to be offered. Things began changing quickly after around 2010. Today, global history is a major subfield within the discipline, and there are scores of books published each year in global history.

欧阳泰:是的,当时大多数历史学家都不知道什么是全球史。我研究生时候读的关于这个主题的课程是最早开设的课程之一。 2010 年左右,情况开始迅速改变。如今,全球历史已成为该学科的一个主要分支,每年都会出版数十本全球历史书籍。

书评: At least among Chinese readers, global history seems to have only become popular in recent years, and people seem to be getting tired of history narrated by country and history dominated by elite politics. Does the popularity of global history represent a change in ideological trends?

至少在中文阅读内,全球史似乎是近年来才开始流行起来,人们似乎开始厌倦以国别来叙述的历史和精英政治为主的历史。全球史的流行,是不是背后代表一种思潮的变化?

欧阳泰:For me, one of the fascinating developments of the past three decades within the discipline of history is the explosion of serious history being produced outside of the west, particularly in China. This trend started to pick up speed in the 1990s, and by the 2000s and 2010s, Chinese-language scholarship in history was expanding at a dramatic clip, with new institutes, new journals, even new universities being founded yearly, particularly in the PRC. It was a renaissance in historical scholarship. I see this as part of the general zeitgeist, which global history is also part of. To build a history for all humans – regardless of race, ethnicity, or nationality – is the great goal of global historians, and the only way to do that is to listen to each other, to incorporate other historical and historiographical traditions.

欧阳泰:对我来说,过去三十年历史学领域最令人着迷的发展之一是西方以外、特别是中国产生的严肃历史的爆发。这一趋势在 20 世纪 90 年代开始加速,到 2000 年代和 2010 年代,中文历史学术急剧扩张,每年都会建立新的研究所、新的期刊,甚至新的大学,特别是在中国。这是历史学术的复兴。我认为这是整体时代精神的一部分,全球历史也是其中的一部分。为全人类——无论种族、族裔或民族——建立历史是全球历史学家的伟大目标,而实现这一目标的唯一方法就是互相倾听,吸收其他历史和史学传统。

书评: You study global history through Taiwan and the encounter between China and the West through Taiwan. Did you plan this beforehand, or was it just an accident?

你通过台湾来研究全球史,通过台湾来研究中西方的相遇。这是你事先计划好了,还是一种偶然?

欧阳泰:It was an accident. I was very interested in cross-cultural interactions, but I didn’t originally intend to study Taiwan per se. I started my undergraduate career studying science, thinking I would specialize in biology or neuroscience, but the summer after my first year, I worked in a lab, where I met a brilliant Chinese researcher, who told me about his experience in the Cultural Revolution. This encounter sparked an interest in the Chinese language, which I began studying. I decided to put my undergraduate degree on hold, spending half a year in Taiwan. When I returned to college, I changed my major to anthropology. During my final year in college, however, I took two history classes. I was hooked and applied to graduate school in history. At first I thought I’d write a dissertation on the history of anthropology but ultimately came to be interested in early European colonialism and, in particular, in the Dutch East India Company. When I learned that the Dutch East India Company had held a colony on Taiwan, I became fascinated by it, and ended up writing my dissertation on the topic.

这是一次意外。我对跨文化交流很感兴趣,但我本来并没有打算研究台湾本身。我以科学开始我的本科生学习生涯,本以为我会专攻生物学或神经科学,但第一年后的夏天,我在一个实验室工作,在那里我遇到了一位出色的中国研究员,他向我讲述了他在文化大革命中的经历。这次邂逅激发了我对汉语的兴趣,并开始学习汉语。我决定暂缓本科学业,去台湾待半年。当我回到大学后,我把专业改为人类学。然而,在大学的最后一年,我选修了两门历史课。我被迷住了并申请了历史研究生院。起初我想写一篇关于人类学史的论文,但最终对早期欧洲殖民主义,特别是荷兰东印度公司感兴趣。当我得知荷兰东印度公司在台湾拥有殖民地时,我对此感到着迷,并最终以此为主题写了我的博士论文。

书评: What is special about Taiwan? Why can it tell a story about global history?

台湾有什么特殊性?为什么它能够来讲述一个全球史的故事?

欧阳泰:This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many ways in which Taiwan is a unique and special case. It has so much to tell us about global history. Perhaps to me the most interesting thing is that it is one of the few places in the world where European and Chinese colonization coexisted and perhaps the only place where the Chinese eventually prevailed. In 1624, when the Dutch established a colony on the island, there were Chinese people there, but not many. They were fishermen, traders, and, to a small extent, hunters, but there was no significant Chinese agriculture. The Dutch encouraged Chinese farmers to cross over to Taiwan, offering land, subventions, and tax breaks. In effect, they created a Chinese colony under European rule or, as I call it in my book How Taiwan Became Chinese, “Sino-European co-colonization.” Chinese rice paddies and sugar plantations spread rapidly through Taiwan’s western plains, and the Chinese population surged from hundreds to thousands to tens of thousands. It’s a fascinating history, and the fall of Dutch Taiwan to the great Zheng Chenggong is equally fascinating. (That’s the subject of another book I wrote: Lost Colony(中文翻译为:决战热兰遮.)

欧阳泰:这是一个很难回答的问题,因为台湾在许多方面都是独一无二的。它可以告诉我们很多关于全球历史的资讯。也许对我来说最有趣的是,它是世界上为数不多的欧洲和中国殖民统治共存的地方之一,也许也是中国人最终占上风的唯一地方。 1624年,荷兰人在岛上建立殖民地时,那里有华人,但不多。他们是渔民、商人,还有一小部分是猎人,但中国没有重要的农业。荷兰人鼓励中国农民移居台湾,并提供土地、补贴和税收减免。实际上,他们在欧洲统治下创建了一个中国殖民地,或者正如我在《台湾如何成为中国》一书中所说的那样,「中欧共同殖民」。中国的稻田和甘蔗种植园迅速遍布台湾西部平原,华人人口从数百人激增到数千人,再到数万人。这是一段引人入胜的历史,荷兰台湾沦陷于伟大的郑成功手中也同样引人入胜。 (这是我写的另一本书的主题:《决战热兰遮》。)

书评: “The Last Embassy” tells the story of the Dutch Mission in 1795. Different from the pedantic and rigid image of the Qing Empire that everyone is familiar with, the Qing Empire provided warm hospitality. I would like to ask, during this period, were there many diplomatic exchanges between the Qing Empire and Europe? Do they usually break up on bad terms? Why is the Dutch mission successful?

《最后的使团》讲述的是1795年荷兰使团的故事。与平常大家熟悉的大清帝国迂腐僵化的形象不一样的是,大清帝国热烈款待。请问,这个时期,大清帝国和欧洲之间的外交往来很多吗?通常是不是都是不欢而散?为什么荷兰使团会获得欢迎?

欧阳泰:When people consider the history of Sino-European relations, they almost always focus on the British, who had a bad relationship with the Qing. The infamous Macartney Mission of 1792-93 is one reason for this, and the way British people in his entourage wrote about his failure tended to place the blame on the Qing court. I – along with some other historians – believe the blame should fall more on the British, especially considering their rather extreme demands, such as the request forof bases on Chinese soil. At the very least, blame should be apportioned more equally. In any case, subsequently, the British had another diplomatic failure in China (the less famous but even more troubled Amherst Mission) and then, of course, there occurred the First Opium War. The British blamed the acrimony and violence on the Qing and wrote volubly and vehemently about the Qing court’s supposed failings. Unfortunately, modern historians adopted many of their perspectives, which continue to affect our understanding of Sino-Western relations.

But if we look at other diplomatic encounters between Europeans and the Qing, a different picture emerges. Russian, Portuguese, and, especially, Dutch missions are particularly instructive. My book The Last Embassy looks at the last Dutch mission to the Qing court, which took place in 1794-95, showing how the two sides interacted. There are many reasons for the relative pleasantness of the Dutch mission vis-à-vis the British, but perhaps the most important is that the Dutch and Qing weren’t competing empires, whereas the British were aggressive and expansive. The Dutch also appear to have understood and accepted Qing protocols more readily than the British.

人们回顾中欧关系的历史,几乎总是把目光集中在与清朝关系不好的英国人身上。 1792-93 年臭名昭著的马戛尔尼使团就是造成这种情况的原因之一,而他的随从中的英国人在描述他的失败时往往将责任归咎于清廷。我和其他一些历史学家认为,责任应该更多地归咎于英国,特别是考虑到他们相当极端的要求,例如在中国领土上建立基地的要求。至少,责任应该更平等地分配。无论如何,随后英国在中国的外交再次失败(不太出名但麻烦更大的阿默斯特使团),然后,当然,发生了第一次鸦片战争。英国人将这种尖刻和暴力归咎于清朝,并慷慨激昂地批评清廷所谓的失败。不幸的是,现代历史学家采纳了他们的许多观点,这继续影响着我们对中西关系的理解。

但如果我们看看欧洲人和清朝之间的其他外交接触,就会出现不同的情况。俄罗斯、葡萄牙,尤其是荷兰的使团尤其具有启发性。我的书《最后的使团》着眼于 1794-95 年荷兰最后一次派往清廷的使团,展示了双方的互动方式。荷兰使团相对于英国人来说相对愉快的原因有很多,但也许最重要的是荷兰人和清朝不是相互竞争的帝国,而英国人则具有侵略性和扩张性。荷兰人似乎也比英国人更容易理解和接受清朝的礼节。

书评: Your previous book “The Gunpowder Age” seemed to want to explain why China failed and the West won; but this book seems to be the opposite, and seems to want to explain that the Qing Empire was not so pedantic. When I was studying world history, one of our teachers used “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” as a textbook for class, because he believed that Guns, Germs, and Steel really explained why Europeans came conquer the world. I dont know how you explain the fate of China and Europe meeting?

你之前一本书《火药时代》似乎想说明为何中国失败西方胜出;而这本书似乎又相反,似乎想说明其实大清帝国也并不是如此迂腐不堪的。我读世界史的时候,我们一个老师是用《Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies》作为教材来上课的,因为他认为Gun,Germs 和Steel确实很好解释了为什么是欧洲人来征服世界。我不知道你是如何解释中国与欧洲相遇的命运?

欧阳泰:I have come to believe that the effectiveness of the state may explain a great deal. In the 17th century, the Qing built a very effective and well administered state. Qing rulers and their bureaucracies managed the complex conquest and administration of China, Mongolia, etc., with aplomb, developing not just powerful military strucutres, but also administrative ones. In the course of the eighteenth century, they expanded the borders of their empire to a striking extent, becoming the undisputed great power of East and Central Asia. They had no significant enemies at this time: Japan was quiescent; the Russians had been neutralized; the Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese were behaving well. So, naturally, the Qing relaxed their military preparedness: why invest in arms when one is overwhemlingly powerful? Meanwhile, European states were fighting many wars, which stimulated their military technology and readiness.

It was due to this relative lack of military stimulus, I believe, that the Qing began to fall behind the west militarily. I believe that this largely explains the Qing failure in the Opium War.

Why did the Qing have such trouble catching up? First, I think the success of Qing reforms in the mid- and late-nineteenth century has been overlooked. Historians have recently found quite a lot of success in Qing reforms. Still, by the mid-nineteenth century, the Qing state was quite an old state – 200 years old or so. I’ve come to believe that old states have greater problems developing new structures than young ones. Even more importantly, they have a much harder time getting rid of expensive and obsolete old structures. The Qing had an accretion of military and other structures from their early years that weren’t so adapted to the modern world. To be sure, they built the Jiangnan Arsenal, the Fuzhou Shipyard, etc., and these were quite effective, but they couldn’t rid themselves of many other structures, which drained their treasury. At the same time, Meiji Japan was able to start from scratch, building new cohesive military and administrative structures. Perhaps today, the USA is a bit of an old state, still powerful but not as effective as its younger rival the PRC. An effective state may be the most important factor in relative success for countries.

欧阳泰:我开始相信国家的有效性可以解释很多事情。 17世纪,清朝建立了一个非常有效且管理良好的国家。清朝统治者及其官僚机构沉着应对对中国、蒙古等地的复杂征服和行政管理,不仅发展了强大的军事结构,也发展了行政结构。在十八世纪,他们将帝国的疆域扩及惊人的程度,成为东亚和中亚无可争议的强国。此时他们没有重要的敌人:日本处于静止状态;俄国人已经被消灭了;荷兰人、西班牙人和葡萄牙人表现良好。因此,清朝自然放松了军事准备:既然拥有压倒性的实力,为何还要投资军备?同时,欧洲国家正在进行多次战争,这刺激了他们的军事技术和战备。

我认为,正是由于这种相对缺乏军事刺激,清朝在军事上开始落后于西方。我认为这在很大程度上解释了清朝在鸦片战争中的失败。

为什么清朝追赶上来如此困难?首先,我认为十九世纪中后期清朝改革的成功被忽略了。历史学家最近发现清朝改革取得了相当多的成功。尽管如此,到了 19 世纪中叶,清朝已经是一个相当古老的国家了——大约有 200 年的历史。我开始相信,老国家在发展新架构上比年轻国家面临更大的问题。更重要的是,他们很难摆脱昂贵且过时的旧架构。清朝早年增加了军事和其他架构,但这些架构不太适应现代世界。诚然,他们建造了江南造船厂、福州造船厂等,这些架构相当有效,但他们无法摆脱许多其他架构,这些架构耗尽了他们的国库。同时,明治日本能够从头开始,建立全新牢固的军事和行政架构。也许今天的美国有点像一个古老的国家,仍然强大,但不如其年轻的竞争对手中国那么有效。有效的政府可能是各国相对成功的最重要因素。

书评: Shi Jingqian(史景迁) is your teacher and a historian familiar to mainland Chinese readers. His books have been published in full set in mainland China and are very popular. I wonder if you can talk about your teacher(史景迁) and his influence on you.Because in Taiwan, many comments say that your novel-like narrative was influenced by Shi Jingqian.

史景迁是您的老师,也是中国大陆读者所熟悉的历史学家,他的书在中国大陆全套出版,且很受欢迎,不知道你是否可以说说您的这位老师和他对您的影响。因为在台湾,很多评论说您小说般的叙述是受到史景迁的影响。

欧阳泰:Jonathan Spence has been a huge influence on me, not just his writings, which inspired me before I even became his student, but also his tutelage and personal example. He had a way in his writing of bringing a world to life, and you’ll notice that he pays as much attention to description, to building a sense of place, as he does to the narrative. He also involves you directly in the experiences of his subjects, whether they are the pennyless John Hu struggling to understand why he’s been imprisoned in France or the troubled Hong Xiuquan seeking to understand his visions and purpose. Like Spence, I believe that historians should not just research the past, make sense of the past, make arguments, build models, etc., but they should also seek to bring the past alive for readers today. I’ve sought to do so in my own work. Important history can be fun to read. We historians should endeavor to make it so.

欧阳泰:乔纳森‧史宾塞(Jonathan Spence)对我的影响很大,不仅他的著作在我成为他的学生之前给我的启发,还有他的指导和个人榜样。他在写作中用一种方式让世界变得栩栩如生,你会注意到他对描述和建立地方感的关注与他对叙事的关注一样多。他也让你直接参与他的写作对象的经历,无论他们是身无分文的胡约翰,努力理解他为什么在法国被监禁,还是陷入困境的洪秀全,试图理解他的愿景和目的。和史景迁一样,我认为历史学家不应该只研究过去、理解过去、提出论点、建立模型等,而且还应该努力为今天的读者再现过去。我试着在自己的工作中做到这一点。重要的历史读起来很有趣。我们历史学家应该努力做到这一点。

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