Winner of Creative Nonfiction in Chinese

《小东西》

这是黄凯德的首本散文摄影集,收录凯德于2019年至2021年间为《联合早报》专栏“小东西”书写的50篇散文。内容和主题环绕在生活里的某件小东西,叙述实体的抒情意义,描绘商品的感情色彩,以从物质的角度,窥看个人与集体、历史与记忆的种种成长和变化。

Little Things

This book is a collection of 50 non-fiction proses published in the author’s personal Lianhe Zaobao column from 2019 to 2021. Little Things charts the author’s personal growth and journey through the years.

城市书房 / City Book Room
2021

评判评语

非虚构写作,或称之非小说写作,或另一种意义的现代散文,作为一种叙事文类,向有大叙事和小叙事之功能,可以承载大我,也允许承载小我。既能书写真实纪事,也可选择想像创造。作者以此文类描写大至家国天下,民族历史,时间记忆,时事报导,着眼于大处,或是描述个人自我经验,自身周遭环境视兆,内心世界剖析,从眼缝窥探世界,故有肚脐眼文章,或小确幸之戏称。不过非虚构写作中的宏观和微观不妨碍它本身的文化学性。此届新加坡文学奖华文非虚构写作决审作品皆具备了上述特色。

黄凯德是新加坡华文文学的重要作者。 《小东西》诚如书名所喻,新加坡大疫年代下,在封城中人民百姓的日常生活,面对病疫肆虐,巨大死亡阴影笼罩下,渺小的万物生命均微不足道。作者试图以细腻感性有情的文字叙述,描绘出这座城市不常被大众发现的一草一木,一石一河,一景一物。人事虽已非,作者的生命成长、生活环境与城市的历史记忆、发展经验脱离不了关系,娓娓道来处,总也说不完,或不想说完,关于狮城封锁前后。不仅如此,有心的作者在本书中穿插其摄影图像于文中,视觉与文字艺术文本互涉,无不微言大义,一再提醒读者:这座发达资本主义商业城市虽钢骨林立,井然有序,从最细微的物质角度去看这座文明都市,万象不言而喻。

好的作品贵精不贵多,《小东西》每篇篇幅不长,文章长度适中(虽是先以专栏形式发表再结集出版,但作者很明显有企图心以「小东西」主题贯穿全书,使之前后相关连接),慧黠灵性的文学性描述,作者每每提到观察狮城任何事物,点到即止,其余交给读者心领神会,无须狗尾续貂冗言赘句。这样的非虚构性写作,为读者示范了新华文学的重要特色。

Judges' Comments

As a type of narrative, creative nonfiction or modern prose can function both as a grand narrative and local narrative to represent the whole and part respectively. It can also contain both factual and imaginative writing. On the one hand, the genre has been used to write about countries and the world, peoples and history, time and memories, and current affairs. On the other hand, it has also been used for personal experiences and individual perspectives of the surroundings, and analyses of inner selves.

Nonetheless, both the macro and micro perspectives do not dilute the cultural traits of creative nonfiction writing. Wong Koi Tet is a prominent Chinese author in Singapore. Set during the Covid-19 circuit breaker period in Singapore, Wong’s work,《小东西》(literally “the little things”), depicts the daily lives of ordinary Singaporeans in the looming shadow of disease and death. In the face of such events, all the little things seem insignificant. Narrating in an evocative voice and with an eye for details, the author described the not oft noticed parts of nature and artefacts in Singapore. As the years went by and things transformed, the author’s growth and living environment remain intertwined with the history and development of the city.

Regaling the reader with a seemingly endless supply of stories, or could it be that the author does not wish for his story-telling of the pre and post-Covid Lion City to stop? In addition, the intentional insertion of photographs in the book creates an artistic blend of visuals and words that hints at larger meanings. The reader is also reminded that in this orderly, advanced and capitalistic city full of skyscrapers, all of life becomes apparent when examined from the perspective of the tiniest objects.

An embodiment of quality over quantity, each article in the book is of the appropriate length. Even though, the articles first appeared individually in a newspaper column, the use of “the little things” theme is a masterful move by the author to weave them together. His descriptions in this book can best be described as sagacious and transcendent. Instead of burdening the reader with tedious descriptions of the subject matter, the author is judicious with the right amount, leaving the rest to the reader’s imagination.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

黄凯德

黄凯德,南洋理工大学中文系兼职讲师,主要教授现代文学和创意写作的相关课程。自新加坡国立大学毕业,后来获得南大硕士文凭,过去在报馆任职记者长达七年。2015年获选成为南大中文系驻校作家,2020年获得新加坡文学奖(小说类与非小说类)。

Wong Koi Tet

Wong Koi Tet is a lecturer who teaches modern Chinese literature. He was a journalist for seven years. He was 2015’s NTU-NAC Writer-in-residence and winner of the Singapore Literature Prize in both fiction and non-fiction categories in 2020.