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離開Kings Cross大約二十分鐘後,從報紙裡抬頭望向窗外,不遠的道路上有個北方的標誌,我突然意識到火車行進的方向是 ”up north.”
”Up North”是John Irving小說The Fourth Hand裡的一個章節,也象徵主角Patrick Wallingford在失去一隻手後經歷許多波折才找到的人生方向.書中引用Stuart Little(“一家之鼠小史都華”原著童書)的一段如下:
(The telephone repairman asks Stuart where he’s headed.)
“North,” said Stuart.
“North is nice,” said the repairman. “I’ve always enjoyed going north. Of course, south-west is a fine direction, too.”
“Yes, I suppose it is,” said Stuart, thoughtfully.
“And there’s east,” continued the repairman. “I once had an interesting experience on an easterly course. Do you want me to tell you about it?”
“No, thanks,” said Stuart.
The repairman seemed disappointed, but he kept right on talking. “There’s something about north,” he said, “something that sets it apart from all other directions. A person who is heading north is not making any mistake, in my opinion.”
“That’s the way I look at it,” said Stuart. “I rather expect that from now on I shall be traveling north until the end of my days.”
“Worse things that that could happen to a person,” said the repairman.
“Yes, I know,” answered Stuart.
車行兩小時後進入約克夏郡,兩旁是綠色的原野和收割的農田,不到半小時就會抵達Leeds,我要在那轉車到Keighley,然後搭蒸汽火車(希望今天有營運)進小村莊Haworth.行前緊張的感覺此時已經消失在太陽下,everything is falling into the right places.
And I am heading north.
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