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伯克论崇高 – 译学馆
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伯克论崇高

Burke on: The Sublime

Edmund Burke on: the sublime
埃德蒙·伯克:论崇高
Normally, we hate being made to feel small.
通常 我们讨厌感到渺小
We can’t stand being humbled, or reminded of our own insignificance;
我们不能忍受被贬低 也不愿意识到自己的微不足道
we get affronted and resentful.
被冒犯时我们会心生怨恨
The 18th century Anglo-Irish philosopher, Edmund Burke, however,
但是18世纪盎格鲁-爱尔兰哲学家埃德蒙·伯克却认为
thought that these experiences could be rather wonderful, and quite important too.
这些经历很棒 而且也相当重要
To explain what he meant he developed the idea of the sublime
为了解释这个观点
in a beautiful book called, “A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas
在一本《论崇高与美两种观念的起源之哲学研究》的著作中
of the Sublime and Beautiful”,
他提出了崇高这一观念
first published in England in 1757.
这本书于1757年在英格兰出版
In modern use, sublime just means “very, very nice”:
现在 崇高仅仅表示“非常非常好”:
“a sublime glass of chambertin”, “a sublime plate of scrambled eggs with truffles”.
“一瓶可口的香贝坦红酒” “一盘美味的松露炒鸡蛋”
But, this wasn’t at all what Burke was interested in,
尽管和原意有一点关联
although there is a slight connection.
但这根本不是伯克所感兴趣的
For Burke, a sublime experience is indeed one that’s really nice,
对于伯克来说 崇高确实是非常好的体验
but it’s nice for a very strange reason: it makes us feel insignificant.
但原因很奇怪——它使我们感到渺小
Burke was obsessed with a range of experiences, that is, sublime experiences,
伯克痴迷于一系列的体验 即崇高体验
in which being slightly humiliated is actually something we relish.
其中有些轻微的羞辱感实际上是我们所享受的
He was picking up on a sector of human experience that,
他所发掘的这一人类体验领域
up to then, had been totally ignored.
一直以来都被完全忽视了
One of his key examples is storms,
他的主要例子之一是暴风雨
the vast dark skies oppressive, the wind is horribly powerful, large trees are overturned,
此时黑云压城 狂风怒号 大树被连根拨起
we feel we’re nothing in the face of the violence of nature.
面对大自然的暴力 我们感到自己一无是处
But, this helps put things in perspective:
但是 这有助于我们权衡轻重:
in comparison with the storm, the familiar irritants of daily life seem less significant.
与暴风雨相比 日常生活中的常见刺激似乎更为渺小
Something similar happens when we contemplate a huge mountain,
当我们端详一座大山时
or view the enormous frozen wilderness of the Labrador Coast from the window of an Airbus A380.
当我们从空客A380的窗户观看拉布拉多海岸巨大的冰冻荒野时 也会如此
Burke also liked vast, momentous stories.
伯克也喜欢大气磅礴的故事
He loved Milton’s “Paradise Lost”,
他喜欢弥尔顿的《失乐园》
which describes the cosmic struggle between God and Satan,
里面描述了上帝和撒旦之间的宇宙之战
because stories like these also make the irksome details of ordinary life seem,
因为这样的故事 平凡生活中使人烦恼的细节
for a moment, almost idiotically minor.
一时之间显得非常愚蠢渺小
Burke is latching onto a good way of being made to feel small.
伯克发现了渺小感的带来的好处
He’s noticing that when we feel small in some ways, we become good and large in other dimensions:
他注意到当我们在某些方面感到渺小时 在其它方面会变得非常强大:
bits of our egoism and pride seem less impressive,
我们的自我主义和自豪感似乎不那么强烈了
so we might be moved to be more tolerant – less wrapped up in our own concerns.
因此我们可能变得更宽容 不再被自己的忧虑束缚
Burke saw the sublime as a useful corrective;
伯克认为崇高是一种有用的纠正措施
it restores perspective, and that’s why we like it.
它能恢复人的客观判断力 这就是我们喜欢它的原因
It’s a psychological maneuver that can benefit us in many ways,
崇高是一种可以从很多方面使我们受益的心理策略
and shows its utility whenever there’s an excessive tendency
并且当我们即将陷入生活中现时的琐碎无法自拔时
to get caught up in the details of an immediate situation.
它会发挥效用
Thanks to Edmund Burke, a little, but valuable area of experience gained a name.
多亏了埃德蒙·伯克 这方面的一些有价值的体验才得以被命名
It became possible to focus on it, and see its role in life more clearly.
我们可以专注于崇高 更清楚地看到它在生活中的作用
The sublime emerged, at first, in connection with nature and the arts,
崇高精神最初是与自然 艺术联系在一起的
but its contribution to existence is actually quite broad:
但实际上它对存在的贡献很广泛:
we don’t just need the sublime on holiday, or in an art gallery,
我们不仅在度假胜地 美术馆里需要崇高
which are, unfortunately, the places we’re liable to encounter it;
虽然很容易在这些地方遇见崇高
it’s something we need to build into our lives on a daily basis.
我们需要使崇高成为我们日常生活的一部分
In the Utopia, there would be deliberate strategies to ensure we encounter the sublime on a regular basis.
在乌托邦式社会 有深思熟虑的策略来确保我们定期体验崇高
In the past, religions were quite careful to set up a meeting with the sublime every Sunday.
过去 宗教非常谨慎地在每周日举行一场崇高的会议
After a week in a factory, or the office, or caught up in domestic life,
在工厂 办公室或家庭生活中辗转了一周
everyone would be confronted with ideas of internal grandeur:
每个人都会面对内心的高贵想法:
a God who loves the world so much that he sacrifices his only son for our salvation,
一位如此热爱世界 为了拯救我们不惜牺牲独子的上帝
architecture that asserted the heritage of a thousand years
一座维护着千年传承的建筑
and music calculated to make us feel part of the whole of humanity.
还有使我们感受到部分人性的精妙音乐
But, for almost everyone that resource is no longer available.
但是 几乎对所有人来说 这些资源都没用了
We’re collectively in need of new occasions to meet the sublime in a reliable frequent way
我们不约而同地需要新场合 以可靠而频繁的方式满足对崇高的需求
so that we can be made to feel small in the most helpful way on a regular basis.
这样我们就可以定期以最有用的方式感受渺小

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崇高,让我们感到自己的渺小,让我们不再自我主义。

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvzG_p_sdOQ

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