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“伯里克利葬礼演说辞”介绍

(2006-11-07 13:39:58)
分类: Forever Classic

An Introduction to Pericles’ Funeral Oration

 

Thucydides did not belong to the generations of Empire builders. He was born just after them, and his personal memory went no further back than the peace of 445. So he shared the ideas of the age with his older contemporaries, but in a less instinctive fashion. Like them, he knew that he was living in great times. But, more thoughtful than they, he desired to record them; for he knew, as they knew if they ever lay awake thinking, that this glory could not last and that posterity would be glad to read of it. But he little suspected how brief the blossom would be, or that, in his own short lifetime, he would yet see autumn and midwinter.

Yet it was in midwinter, when the Long Walls had been dismantled and the Acropolis had housed a Spartan garrison, that he wrote his eulogy of the city in the form (what form could be more appropriate?) of a speech over her noble dead. It is not, of course, the speech which Pericles delivered, or even, as the speaker hints, the kind of speech usually given on such occasions. There is too little in it about noble ancestors, and too much about the present day. But there is no reason to doubt that Thucudides had heard his hero speak, most probably more than once, over the city’s fallen soldiers, and could recall in after years among his most sacred recollections, “the cadence of his voice, the movement of his hand,” and the solemn hush of the vast audience, broken only by “the sobbing of some mother of the dead.” We may feel with confidence that he has given us, with the added colour of his own experience, not merely the inner thought but much of the language of Pericles. So that here we can listen, as in all fine works of interpretation, to two great spirits at once; and when we have learnt to use our ears we can sometimes hear them both, Pericles’ voice coming through, a little faint and thin after the lapse of years, above the deep tones of the historian.

The speech is written, if ever writing was, “not in ink but in blood.” For with Thucydides, more perhaps than with any other great writer, there is not a word but tells. “You must read and mark him line by line till you can read between the lines as clearly as in them. There are few thinkers with so many ideas brooding in the background.” All great art is like a ghost seeking to express more than it can utter and beckoning to regions beyond. This is as true in history, which deals with nations, as in poetry or any more personal art. That is why the Funeral Speech, written of a small provincial city in the untried youth of the world, will always find an echo whenever men and nations are living true to themselves, whether in the trenches of Mukden or in the cemetery of Gettysburg. Pericles and Abraham Lincoln were not very much alike. But common needs beget a common language; and great statesmen, like great poets, speak to one another from peak to peak.   

 

Chosen from Zimmern, The Greek Commonwealth

 

“伯里克利葬礼演说辞”介绍

王以欣译

 

修昔底德并不属于帝国缔造者那几代人。他生得恰比他们要晚,其个人记忆不会回溯到445年和约之前。因而,他与更年长的同代人共同拥有着那个时代的理想,但在方式上却不如前辈们那样本能。与他们相似的是,他知道自己生活在伟大的时代。然而,比他们更深思熟虑的是,他想记录他们的业绩;因为他知道这种辉煌不会持久,而他的前辈们如果在清醒时思考也会知道这一点,而后代们会乐于阅读对这个辉煌时代的记载。但他几乎未曾料到,帝国的辉煌竟会如此地昙花一现,或者说,在自己的短促生涯中,竟会亲眼目睹到帝国的“秋日”和“隆冬”。

然而,就在这“隆冬”时节,当长城被拆毁,雅典卫城被斯巴达驻军戍守时,他以悼念其城市的高贵死者的演说辞方式(还有什么更恰如其分的方式呢?)撰写城市的颂歌。当然,这不是伯里克利发表的演说,甚至,如演讲者所暗示的,也非此种场合通常要发表的那种演说。演讲中有关其高贵祖先的描述微乎其微,而有关当代的内容却十分丰富。然而没有理由怀疑,修昔底德曾亲耳聆听过他心目中的英雄为悼念城市的阵亡将士所做的演讲,很可能不只一次,而且多年后还能从其最珍视的记忆中回想起“他那抑扬顿挫的声调和手势”,以及广大听众所保持的那种庄严肃穆的气氛,只是间或被“死者母亲的抽泣声”所打断。我们相信能体察到,除了凭其自身的阅历所添加的润色外,他不仅传递给我们很多伯里克利的语言,而且还有其内在的思想。因而我们在此能够聆听到,就如同在所有阐释性的杰作中所能听到的那样,两个伟大灵魂共同发出的声音;而当我们学会使用自己的耳朵时,有时能够同时捕捉到两人的声音,在历史家深沉的声音之上传来伯里克利的随着时光流逝而变得略显微弱和稀疏是声音。

这篇演讲辞“不是用墨水而是用血”写成的,如果确曾有这样的作品被写出来的话。因为对修昔底德而言,或许比其他任何伟大作家尤甚,此篇文章可谓字字珠玑。“你必须逐行阅读和批注,直到你像阅读每行文字本身那样清晰地读出字里行间的意思。很少有思想家能在文章的背景中孕育出如此丰富的思想。”所有伟大的艺术作品都像一个幽灵,力求表达超出其所能言表的内容并传播得更远。无论诗歌还是更加个人化的艺术,还是以各民族为研究对象的历史作品,尽皆如此。这就是在人类质朴无华的童年时代以一个地方小城市为题材的葬礼演说辞何以总能在按自己本色生活的人们和民族中引发共鸣,无论是在奉天的战壕中,还是在葛底斯堡的公墓里。伯里克利和亚伯拉罕·林肯并非十分相象。然而,共同的需要产生了共同的语言;而伟大的政治家们,有如伟大的诗人们,在一个个颠峰之间彼此交谈着。

 

选自吉墨恩《希腊共和国》

 

 

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