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Steinbeck & Tolkin on Journeys

posted Feb 18, 2007


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크게 작게 위로 아래로 댓글로 가기 인쇄 수정 삭제

■ 글 머리에 존 스타인벡의 ‘찰리와 함께한 여행’ 이야기를 꺼낸 김에, 그가 ‘고쳐지지 않는 방랑벽’에 대해 쓴 부분을 오려둡니다.

   “When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job.

   Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ship's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, I don't improve; in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself.

   When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road away from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must first find in himself a good and sufficient reason for going. This to the practical bum is not difficult. He has a built-in garden of reasons to choose from.

   Next he must plan his trip in time and space, choose a direction and a destination. And last he must implement the journey. How to go, what to take, how long to stay. This part of the process is invariable and immortal. I set it down only so that newcomers to bumdom, like teen-agers in new-hatched sin, will not think they invented it.

   Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.

   Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckages on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. I feel better now, having said this, although only those who have experienced it will understand it."

■  아래는 J.R.R. 톨킨이 '반지의 제왕'에서 빌보의 입을 통해 표현한 ‘길’에 관한 노래와 설명입니다.

   The Road goes ever on and on

   Down from the door where it began.

   Now far ahead the Road has gone,

   And I must follow, if I can,

   Pursuing it with weary feet,

   Until it joins some larger way,

   Where many paths and errands meet.

   And whither then? I cannot say.

   "He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. 'It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,' he used to say. 'You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.'"


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