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做个无可救药的乐天派

(2011-09-06 23:03:34)
标签:

无可救药

乐天派

林语堂

《苏东坡传》

原序

分类: 风檐书展-Read

做个无可救药的乐天派


 

——附林语堂先生的《苏东坡传》原序

   

There is really no reason for my writing the life of Su Tungpo except that I want to do it. For years the writing of his biography has been at the back of my mind.

我写苏东坡传并没有什么特别理由,只是以此为乐而已。存心给他写本传记的念头,已经存在心中有年。

 

In 1936, when I came to the United States with my family, I brought with me, along with a carefully selected collection of basic Chinese reference books in compact edition, also a few very rare and ancient editions of works by and about this poet, for which all considerations of space were thrown overboard.

1936年我全家赴美时,身边除去若干精选的排印细密的中文基本参考书之外,还带了些有关苏东坡的以及苏东坡著的珍本古籍,至于在行李中占很多地方一事,就全置诸脑后了。

 

I had hoped then to be able to write a book about him, or translate some of his poems or prose, and even if I could not do so, I wanted him to be with me while I was living abroad.

那时我希望写一本有关苏东坡的书,或是翻译些他的诗文,而且,即便此事我不能如愿,我旅居海外之时,也愿身边有他相伴。

 

It was a matter of sustenance of the spirit to have on one’s shelves the works of a man with great charm, originality, and integrity of purpose, an enfant terrible, a great original mind that could not conform.

像苏东坡这样富有创造力,这样守正不阿,这样放任不羁,这样令人万分倾倒而又望尘莫及的高士,有他的作品摆在书架上,就令人觉得有了丰富的精神食粮。

 

Now that I am able to apply myself to this task, I am happy, and this should be an all-sufficient reason.

现在我能专心致力写他这本传记,自然是一大乐事,此外还需要什么别的理由吗?

 

A vivid personality is always an enigma. There had to be one Su Tungpo, but there could not be two.

元气淋漓富有生机的人总是不容易理解的。像苏东坡这样的人物,是人间不可无一难能有二的。

 

Definitions of a personality generally satisfy only those who make them. It would be easy to pick out from the life and character of a man with such a versatile talent and colourful life a conglomerate of the qualities that have endeared him to his reader.

对这种人的人品个性做解释,一般而论,总是徒劳无功的。在一个多才多艺,生活上多彩多姿的人身上,挑选出他若干使人敬爱的特点,倒是轻而易举。

 

 

One might say that Su Tungpo was an incorrigible optimist, a great humanitarian, a friend of the people, a prose master, an original painter, a great calligraphist, an experimenter in wine making, an engineer, a hater of Puritanism, a yogi, a Buddhist believer, a Confucian statesman, a secretary to the emperor, a confirmed winebibber, a humane judge, a dissenter in politics, a prowler in the moonlight, a poet, and a wag.

我们未尝不可说,苏东坡是个无可救药的乐天派,是悲天悯人的道德家,是黎民百姓的好朋友,是散文作家,是新派的画家,是伟大的书法家,是酿酒的实验者,是工程师,是假道学的反对派,是瑜伽术的修炼者,是佛教徒,是士大夫,是皇帝的秘书,是饮酒成瘾者,是心肠慈悲的法官,是政治上的坚持己见者,是月下的漫步者,是诗人,是生性诙谐爱开玩笑的人。

 

And yet that might miss the sum total of what made up Su Tungpo. I can perhaps best sum it up by saying that the mention of Su Tungpo always elicits an affectionate and warm admiring smile in China.

可是这些也许还不足以勾绘出苏东坡的全貌。我若说一提到苏东坡,在中国总会引起人亲切敬佩的微笑,也许这话最能概括苏东坡的一切了。

 

For more than other Chinese poets’, Su Tungpo’s personality had the richness and variety and humour of a many-sided genius, possessing a gigantic intellect and a guileless child’s heart—a combination described by Jesus as the wisdom of the serpent and the gentleness of the dove.

苏东坡的人品,具有一个多才多艺的天才的深厚、广博、诙谐,有高度的智力,有天真烂漫的赤子之心——正如耶稣所说具有蟒蛇的智慧,兼有鸽子的温柔敦厚,在苏东坡这些方面,其他诗人是不能望其项背的。

 

Admittedly, this is a rare combination, shared only by a few born upon this earth.

这些品质之荟萃于一身,是天地问的凤毛麟角,不可数数见的。

 

Here was a man! All through his life he retained a perfect naturalness and honesty with himself. Political chicanery and calculation were foreign to his character;

而苏东坡正是此等人!他保持天真淳朴,终身不渝。政治上的勾心斗角与利害谋算,与他的人品是格格不入的;

 

the poems and essays he wrote on the inspiration of the moment or in criticism of something he disliked were the natural outpouring of his heart, instinctive and impetuous, like “the bird’s song in spring and the cricket’s chirp in autumn”, as he put it once;

他的诗词文章,或一时即兴之作,或是有所不满时有感而发,都是自然流露,顺乎天性,刚猛激烈, 正如他所说的“春鸟秋虫之声”;

 

or again they may be likened to the “cries of monkeys in the jungle or of the storks in high heaven, unaware of the human listeners below”.

也未尝不可比做他的诗句:“猿吟鹤唤本无意,不知下有行人行。”

 

Always deeply involved in politics, he was always greater than politics. Without guile and without purpose, he went along singing, composing, and criticising, purely to express something he felt in his heart, regardless of what might be the consequences for himself.

他一直卷在政治漩涡之中,但是他却光风霁月,高高超越于苟苟营营的政治勾当之上。他不忮不求,随时随地吟诗作赋,批评臧否,纯然表达心之所感,至于会招致何等后果,与自己有何利害,则一概置之度外了。

 

And so it is that his readers today enjoy his writings as those of a man who kept his mind sharply focused on the progress of events, but who first and last reserved the inalienable right to speak for himself.

因是之故,一直到今天,读者仍以阅读他的作品为乐,因为像他这一等人,总是关心世事,始终抗言直论,不稍隐讳的。

 

From his writings shines forth a personality vivid and vigorous, playful or solemn, as the occasion may be, but always genuine, hearty, and true to himself.

他的作品之中,流露出他的本性,亦庄亦谐,生动而有力,虽胥视情况之所宜而异其趣,然而莫不真笃而诚恳,完全发乎内心。

 

He wrote for no other reason than that he enjoyed writing, and today we enjoy his writing for no other reason than that he wrote so beautifully, generously, and out of the pristine innocence of his heart.

他之写作,除去自得其乐外,别无理由,而今日吾人读其诗文,别无理由,只因为他写得那么美,那么遒健朴茂,那么字字自真纯的心肺间流出。

 

As I try to analyse the reasons why for a thousand years in China each generation has a crop of enthusiastic admirers of this poet, I come to the second reason, which is the same as the first, stated in a different way.

一千年来,为什么中国历代都有那么多人热爱这位大诗人,我极力想分析出这种缘故,现在该说到第二项理由,其实这项理由,和第一项理由也无大差别,只是说法不同而已。

 

Su Tungpo had charm. As with charm in women and beauty and fragrance in flowers, it is easier to feel it than to tell what elements it is composed of.

那就是,苏东坡自有其迷人的魔力。就如魔力之在女人,美丽芬芳之在花朵,是易于感觉而难于说明的。

 

The chief charm of Su Tungpo was that of a brilliant genius who constantly caused worries to his wife or those who loved him best---one does not know whether to admire and love him for his valiant courage, or stop him and protect him from all harm.

苏东坡主要的魔力,是熠煜闪灼的天才所具有的魔力,这等天才常常会引起妻子或极其厚爱他的人为他忧心焦虑,令人不知应当因其大无畏的精神而敬爱他,抑或为了使他免于旁人的加害而劝阻他、保护他。

 

Apparently there was in him a force of character that could not be stopped by anyone, a force that, started at the moment of his birth, had to run its course until death closed his mouth and stopped his laughing chatter.

他身上显然有一股道德的力量,非人力所能扼制,这股力量,由他呱呱落地开始,即强而有力在他身上运行,直到死亡封闭上他的嘴,打断了他的谈笑才停止。

 

He wielded his pen almost as if it were a toy. He could be whimsical or dignified, playful or serious, very serious, and from his pen we hear a chord reflecting all the human emotions of joy, delight, disillusionment and resignation.

他挥动如椽之笔,如同儿戏一般。他能狂妄怪癖,也能庄重严肃,能轻松玩笑,也能郑重庄严,从他的笔端,我们能听到人类情感之弦的振动,有喜悦、有愉快、有梦幻的觉醒,有顺从的忍受。

 

Always he was hearty and enjoyed a party and a good drink. He described himself as impatient in character and said that when there was something he disliked, he had to “spit it out like a fly found in one’s food”. When he disliked the verse of a certain poet, he characterised it as “the composition of a Shantung school-teacher after sipping bad liquor and eating tainted beef”.

他享受宴饮、享受美酒,总是热诚而友善。他自称生性急躁,遇有不惬心意之事,便觉得“如蝇在食,吐之方快。”一次,他厌恶某诗人之诗,就直说那“正是东京学究饮私酒,食瘴死牛肉,醉饱后所发者也。”

 

He made jokes on his friends and his enemies. Once at a great court ceremony, in the presence of all the high officials, he made fun of a certain puritanical neo-Confucianist and stung him with a phrase which made the victim smart, and for which he suffered the consequences.

他开起玩笑来,不分敌友。有一次,在朝廷盛典中,在众大臣之前,他向一位道学家开玩笑,用一个文词将他刺痛,他后来不得不承担此事的后果。

 

Yet what other people could not understand was that he could get angry over things, but never could hate person.

他恨邪恶之事,对身为邪恶之人,他并不记挂心中。

 

He hated evil, but the evil-doers did not interest him. He merely disliked them.

他恨邪恶之事,对身为邪恶之人,他并不记挂心中。只是不喜爱此等人而已。

 

Since hatred is an expression of incompetence, he never knew personal hatred, because he did not know incompetence.

因为恨别人,是自己无能的表现,所以,苏东坡并非才不如人,因而也从不恨人。

 

On the whole, we get the impression that he played and sang through life and enjoyed it tremendously, and when sorow came and misfortune fell, he accepted them with a smile. That is the kind of charm which I am trying to describe in my lame and halting fashion and which has made him the favourite poet of so many Chinese scholars.

总之,我们所得的印象是,他的一生是载歌载舞,深得其乐,忧患来临,一笑置之。他的这种魔力就是我这鲁拙之笔所要尽力描写的,他这种魔力也就是使无数中国的读书人对他所倾倒,所爱慕的。

 

This is the story of a poet, painter, and friend of the people. He felt strongly, thought clearly, wrote beautifully, and acted with high courage, never swerved by his own interests or the chaning fashions of opinion.

本书所记载的是一个诗人、画家与老百姓之挚友的事迹。他感受敏锐,思想透彻,写作优美,作为勇敢,绝不为本身利益而动摇,也不因俗见而改变。

 

He did not know how to look after his own welfare, but was immensely interested in that of his fellow men.

他并不精于自谋。但却富有民胞物与的精神。

 

He was warm, generous, never saved a penny, but felt as rich as a king.

他对人亲切热情、慷慨厚道,虽不积存一文钱,但自己却觉得富比王侯。

 

He was stubborn, garrulous but witty, careless of his speech, one who wore his heart on his sleeve;

他虽生性倔强、絮聒多言,但是富有捷才,不过也有时口不择言,过于心直口快;

 

versatile, curious, profound, and frivolous, romantic in manners and classicist in letters, a Confucianist as a father, brother, and husband, but a Taoist under his kin, and a hater of all shams and hypocrisy.

他多才多艺、好奇深思,虽深沉而不免于轻浮,处世接物,不拘泥于俗套,动笔为文则自然典雅;为父兄、为丈夫,以儒学为准绳,而骨子里则是一纯然道家,但愤世嫉俗,是非过于分明。

 

He was so much better a writer and scholar than others that he never had to be jealous, and he was so great he could afford to be gentle and kind.

以文才学术论,他远超过其他文人学士之上,他自然无须心怀忌妒,

 

Simple and unaffected, he never cared for the trapping of dignity; when he was shackled with an office, he described himself as a harnessed deer.

自己既然伟大非他人可及,自然对人温和友善,对自己亦无损害,他是纯然一副淳朴自然相,故无需乎尊贵的虚饰;

 

Living in troublous times, he became the stormy petrel of politics, an enemy of a fatuous, selfish bureaucracy and a champion of the people against their oppressors.

在为官职所羁绊时,他自称局促如辕下之驹。处此乱世,他犹如政坛风暴中之海燕,是庸妄的官僚的仇敌,是保民抗暴的勇士。

 

With the successive emperors as his personal admirers and the empresses as his friends, Su Tungpo managed to be demoted and arrested, and to live in disgrace.

虽然历朝天子都对他怀有敬慕之心,而历朝皇后都是他的真挚友人,苏东坡竟屡遭贬降,曾受逮捕,忍辱苟活。

 

The best saying of Su Tungpo and the best description of himself was what he sid to his brother Tseyu:

有一次,苏东坡对他弟弟子由说了几句话,话说得最好,描写他自己也恰当不过:

 

“Up above, I can associate with the Jade Emperor of Heaven, and down below I can associate with the poor folks. I think there is not a single bad person in this world.”

“吾上可陪玉皇大帝,下可以陪卑田院乞儿。眼前见天下无一个不好人。”

 

So he had reason to be joyous and unafraid, and went through life like a whirlwind.

所以,苏东坡过得快乐,无所畏惧,像一阵清风度过了一生,不无缘故。

 

The story of Su Tungpo is essentially the story of a mind.

苏东坡一生的经历,根本是他本性的自然流露。

 

He was a Buddhist in metaphysics, and knew that life was a temporary expression of something else, an eternal spirit in a temporary carcass, but he could never accept the thesis that life was a burden and misery---not quite.

在玄学上,他是个佛教徒,他知道生命是某种东西刹那之间的表现,是永恒的精神在刹那之间存在躯壳之中的形式,但是他却不肯接受人生是重担、是苦难的说法——他认为那不尽然。

 

At least for himself, he enjoyed every moment he lived.

至于他自己本人,是享受人生的每一刻时光。

 

Metaphysically he was Hindu, but temperamentally he was Chinese.

在玄学方面,他是印度教的思想,但是在气质上,他却是道地的中国人的气质。

 

Out of the Buddhist faith to annihilate life, the Confucian faith to live it, and the Taoist faith to simplify it, a new amalgam was formed in the crucible of the poet’s mind and perceptions.

从佛教的否定人生,儒家的正视人生,道家的简化人生,这位诗人在心灵识见中产生了他的混合的人生观。

 

The maximum span of human life was only “36,000 days”, but that was long enough; if his search for the elixir of immortality was in vain, still every moment of life was good while it lasted.

人生最长也不过三万六千日,但是那已然够长了;即使他追寻长生不死的仙丹露药终成泡影,人生的每一刹那,只要连绵不断,也就美好可喜了。

 

His body might die, but his spirit in the next incarnation might become a star in heaven, or a river on earth, to shine, to nourish, and to sustain all living.

他的肉体虽然会死,他的精神在下一辈子,则可成为天空的星、地上的河,可以闪亮照明、可以滋润营养,因而维持众生万物。

 

Of this living, he was only a particle in a temporary manifestation of the eternal, and it really did not matter very much which particle he happened to be. So life was after all eternal and good, and he enjoyed it. That was part of the secret of the gay genius.

这一生,他只是永恒在刹那显现间的一个微粒,他究竟是哪一个微粒,又何关乎重要?所以生命毕竟是不朽的、美好的,所以他尽情享受人生。这就是这位旷古奇才乐天派的奥秘的一面。

 

I have not burdened the text with footnotes, but have taken care to make only statements which can be backed by sources, and have as far as possible used the original words, thought this may not be apparent.

本书正文并未附有脚注,但曾细心引用来源可征之资料,并尽量用原来之语句,不过此等资料之运用,表面看来并不明显易见。

 

As all the sources are in Chinese, footnote references would be of no practical value to the great majority of reader.

因所据来源全系中文。供参考之脚注对大多数美国读者并不实用。

 

A general statement of the sources will be found in the Bibliographical Appendix. To prevent readers from floundering in Chinese names, I have eliminated those of the less important persons, or sometimes indicated only their family names.

资料来源可查书后参考书目。为免读者陷入中国人名复杂之苦恼,我已尽量淘汰不重要人物的名字,有时只用姓而略其名。

 

It is necessary also to refer to a person consistently by one name only, where a Chinese scholar had four or five. In spelling Chinese names, I have abolished the atrocious “hs” and substituted “sh”, because this is the only sensible thing to do.

此外对人也前后只用一个名字,因为中国文人有四五个名字。

 

Some of the poems I have translated into English verse, and some I have had to paraphrase into proseon account of the literary allusions which would make the translation grotesque and unpoetic, and the meaning obscure without lengthy comments.

原文中引用的诗,有的我译英诗,有的因为句中有典故,译成英诗之后古怪而不像诗,若不加冗长的注解,含义仍然晦涩难解,我索性就采用散文略达文意了。

 

 做个无可救药的乐天派

 

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