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文学:伏尔泰

LITERATURE - Voltaire

伏尔泰
François-Marie Arouet
弗朗索瓦-马利·阿鲁埃
was born in Paris in 1694
1964年生于巴黎
His father, a well-established lawyer,
他的父亲是一位知名的律师
sent him to the best school in the capital,
送他去了巴黎最好的学校
and by all accounts, he was a brilliant student.
人人都说他是个出色的学生
The young Arouet, decided at an early age to
年幼的阿鲁埃很小就决定
make his name as a writer, or rather to remake his name,
要让自己拥有作家的名字 确切地说是改名字
as the first thing he did was
因为他做的第一件事
to change his name to Voltaire.
就是把名字改成了伏尔泰
The 18th century is often referred to as the Age of Reason,
18世纪常被称为理性时代
or the Age of Enlightenment,
或是启蒙时代
but sometimes more fairly simply as the Age of Voltaire.
但有时也会更准确地简单称为伏尔泰时代
So, changing his name was a good call.
这么看来 改名是个好主意
The age of Arouet, which is not of worked quite as well.
”阿鲁埃时代”听上去似乎不怎么悦耳
Voltaire was precociously talented as a poet.
伏尔泰很早就显露出了诗人天分
At the age of only 24, he had his first verse tragedy
年仅24岁时 他的第一首悲剧诗
performed at the Comédie-Française.
就在法兰西喜剧院上演了
By then, he’d already begun work on an epic poem
那时他已经开始创作一部
about the French religious civil wars of the 16th century,
关于16世纪法国宗教内战的史诗
glorifyng Henry Ⅳ as a king who brought peace
诗中歌颂了亨利四世这位实现和平的君主
by pragmatically converting from Protestantism to Catholicism.
他通过识时务地放弃新教而改奉天主教来做到这一点
This was to be a subject dear to Voltaire’s heart,
这是伏尔泰发自内心热爱的主题
For under the guise of writing a national epic,
以创作民族史诗为伪装
he was dwelling at length on the bloody consequences of religious intolerance.
他详细讲述了宗教不容异己带来的血腥后果
Right from the start, Voltaire’s views on religion
一开始 伏尔泰就坚定地表达了
were expressed robustly.
他对宗教的看法
He was not an atheist.
他不是一位无神论者
In part, because he thought that some minimal belief in a deity
部分原因是 他认为 对神抱有一丝信仰
was useful for social cohesion.
有利于加强社会凝聚力
Voltaire’s God had created the world,
伏尔泰的上帝创造了世界
instilled in us a sense of good and evil and then basically taken a back seat.
给我们灌输了一种善恶观 后来则基本被忽略了
This was known as rational religion,
这便是所谓的“理性宗教”
Or in the 18th century called natural religion, or deism.
它在18世纪被称为自然宗教 或自然神论
And it had no truck with metaphysics of any kind.
这与任何形式的形而上学都没有关系
Voltaire was basically a man of reason,
伏尔泰本质上是个理性的人
who loathed fanaticism, idolatry and superstition.
他厌恨狂热的信仰 盲目的崇拜和迷信
That men can kill each other to defend some bit of religious doctrine
人们为了维护一些连自己都几乎不懂的宗教教义
which they scarcely understand, is something he found repellent.
而自相残杀的做法令他反感
And he reserved his greatest hatred for the clerics,
伏尔泰最痛恨的一种人是教士
who exploited the credulity of believers
因为他们利用信徒们的虔信
to maintain their own power base.
来巩固自己的权力根基
Voltaire wanted religion but not the Church.
伏尔泰想要保留的是宗教而不是教会
For obvious reasons, the Catholic authorities
出于显而易见的原因 天主教当权者
were not keen for Voltaire’s poem
不希望伏尔泰写的
about Henry IV, La Henriade,
关于亨利四世的诗《La Henriade》
to be published in France.
在法国出版
So Voltaire decided to go and publish it in London instead,
因此 伏尔泰决定去伦敦出版它
and in 1726, went and traveled to England.
于是 在1726年他前往并来到了英国
What began as a business trip soon turned, however, into something quite different.
此行原本是一次出差 但后来却变了样
And Voltaire ended up staying in England for some two and a half years.
最终 伏尔泰在英国待了大约两年半
He learned to speak English fluently,
他学会了一口流利的英语
got to know writers and politicians,
认识了一些作家和政客
and became a great admirer of English Protestant culture.
并且成为了英国新教文化的忠实崇拜者
He decided to write a book about his experience of England.
他决定写一本书来记录他在英国的经历
And the Letters Concerning the English Nation
于是《英国书信集》
appeared first in English in 1733.
在1733年问世了
The French authorities were horrified.
这令法国当局感到惊骇
The book was censored and Voltaire only narrowly avoided prison.
这本书受到审查 而伏尔泰也差点入狱
That’s because the book presented an informal portrait of English culture,
因为这本书从一种非正式角度描写了英国文化
In a witty and ironical style looking in turn at
伏尔泰用诙谐讽刺的视角依次审视了
religion, politics, science and literature,
宗教 政治 科学和文学
in ways that were critical implicitly of French culture and politics.
含蓄地批判了法国的文化与政治
Here, for example,
例如 在作品中
is how Voltaire presents the Royal Exchange,
伏尔泰谈到了英国皇家交易所
a handsome building in the heart of the City of London,
这座宏伟的建筑坐落于伦敦市中心
where merchants from across the world would meet to transact business.
世界各地的商人汇聚在那里进行商业贸易
“Take a view of the Royal Exchange,” Voltaire wrote,
“看一看英国皇家交易所” 伏尔泰写道
where the representatives of all nations meet for the benefit of mankind.
在那里 各国代表们为了人类的利益而聚在一起
There the Jew, the Muhammadan
犹太人 伊斯兰教徒
and the Christian transact together
以及基督教徒互相交易
as though they all profess the same religion,
仿佛他们信奉的是同种宗教
and give the name of infidel to none but the bankrupts.
只有破产者被他们称为无信仰的人
There the Presbyterian confides in the Anabaptist,
在那儿 长老会教徒信任再洗礼派教徒
and the Churchman depends on the Quaker’s word.
牧师也信任贵格会教徒
At the breaking up of this pacific and free assembly,
在这和平与自由的集会结束时
some will withdraw to the synagogue,
一些人会返回犹太教堂
and others to take a glass.
另一些则到酒吧喝酒
This man goes and is baptised in a great tub,
这名男子以圣父 圣子和圣灵之名
in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
在大浴缸里接受洗礼
that man has his son’s foreskin cut off,
那位男士让他的儿子切除包皮
whilst a set of Hebrew words (quite unintelligible to him)
同时向他的孩子咕哝希伯来语
are mumbled over his child.
(这可不怎么明智)
If one religion only were allowed in England,
如果英国只允许存在一门宗教
the government would very possibly become arbitrary;
那它的政府就很可能会变得专制
if there were but two, the people would cut one another’s throats;
如果仅有两个宗教并存 信徒们就会自相残杀
but as there as such a multitude,
但是 如果众多宗教同时存在
they all live happy and in peace.”
人们便能快乐生活 和睦相处
Voltaire’s message is clear.
伏尔泰对此的态度很是鲜明
Religious differences are trivial
宗教差异不仅不重要
and separate men,
还会使人们产生分歧
while trade is important and brings them together.
而贸易才是将人们团结起来的重要因素
His conclusion, that the plurality of religions in England
他总结说 正是宗教的多元性
leads to a more peaceful society,
使英国的社会更加和平
is, of course, a covert criticism of France,
当然 这隐含着伏尔泰
where the Catholic Church was so dominant.
当对时天主教占主导地位的法国的批判
The Letters Concerning the English Nation,
在《英国书信集》中
also discuss Locke and Newton,
他谈到两位思想家 洛克和牛顿
thinkers then poorly known in France
在当时的法国 他们鲜为人知
The subject-matter might seem challenging,
题材挑选似乎是具有挑战性的
but Voltaire is a past master popularising difficult material.
但伏尔泰是一位善于化抽象为易懂的大师
Ask any schoolchild today what they know about Newton,
问问现在的学生们 关于牛顿他们知道些什么
and they’ll tell you about the apple falling on his head,
他们会告诉你苹果砸到牛顿头上的故事
and the survival of this anecdote
这些趣事能流传下来
is due entirely to Voltaire.
全靠伏尔泰生动的描述
He heard it from Newton’s niece
这是他从牛顿的侄女口中听来的
and immediately understood that this simple homely image
当时他立即意识到 用这个简单平凡的故事
was the perfect way of conveying the simplicity of
可以完美地向人们传达
Newton’s explanation of the force of gravity.
牛顿关于重力定律的质朴阐释
After Voltaire used the story in his Letters Concerning the English Nation,
伏尔泰在《英国书信集》中引用这个故事后
everyone remembered it and Voltaire left his mark
每个人都记住了它 伏尔泰也因此在
on English popular culture.
英国大众文化中留下他的印记
Voltaire struggled with the question of good and evil
伏尔泰努力研究善恶问题
the problem at the heart of his best-known work, Candide
这也是他最著名的作品《憨第德》中的核心问题
which was published in 1759
这部作品于1759年出版
and was a best seller from the moment it appeared.
它从诞生之日起就是一本畅销书
Translated into every possible language,
并被翻译成当时能译成的所有语言
it remains the most widely read work of
这本传播欧洲启蒙思想的书籍
the European Enlightenment.
始终是流传最广的书之一
It’s even left its mark on our language
连我们的语言中都有它的痕迹
expressions like ‘pour encourager les autres’
比如用“Pour encourager les autres”
to encourage the others
来鼓励他人
or ‘il faut cultiver le jardin’,
用“Il faut cultiver le jardin”
we must cultivate our garden
来表达“我们要打理花园“
have entered common usage.
这些表达被广泛地使用
‘In the best of all possible worlds’,
最好的世界
yes, that’s another one
这是另一个表达
speakers of French or English
一些说法语或英语的人
quote Candide, without even realising it.
甚至没有读懂便引用其内容
And that’s the sure mark of a classic.
这的确是名著的特点
Candide is a timeless work,
《憨第德》是一部讽刺
as satire of the human condition,
人类现状的不朽文学作品
but it’s also work of the Enlightenment
但它也是一部关于启蒙时代的著作
and its philosophical theme is announced in the title:
其哲学主题被以这个名称描述:
“Candide” or “Optimism”.
“憨第德”或“乐观主义”
The hero of Candide, as his name tells us,
主人公憨第德 他的名字告诉我们
is an innocent anti-hero.
这是个纯朴的非英雄主角
He is in thrall to his tutor, Pangloss,
他受制于他的老师潘葛洛斯
who preaches the philosophy of Optimism.
潘葛洛斯鼓吹他的乐观主义哲学
This is not ‘optimism’ in the modern sense of
这并非现代意义上的乐观主义
looking on the bright side.
即关注事物中好的一面
Optimism, spelled with a capital O
“乐观主义”以大写字母O开头
and as expounded by the German philosopher, Leibniz,
被德国哲学家莱布尼茨阐述为
was an attempt to answer the age-old problem of evil.
回答恶这一古老问题的尝试
Why, if God is good,
如果上帝是善良的
does he permit the existence of evil in the world?
他为什么会允许邪恶存在这个世界上呢?
To which the 18th century Leibnizian Optimist replies,
18世纪的莱布尼茨乐观主义者回答道
evil is all part of some greater pattern of good:
恶是一些更高形式的善的一部分
‘All partial evil, universal good’
“一切局部的祸 乃是全体的福”
as the English poet Pope put it.
正如英国诗人蒲柏所言
In other words, evil doesn’t really exist at all.
也就是说 邪恶并不真正存在
It’s just something which man imagines because of his limited view of the world.
它是人们因没有充分认识世界而产生的想象
You might think this sounds like a bit of a confidence trick,
你可能会认为 这听上去像骗人的把戏
Voltaire certainly did,
伏尔泰当然也这么认为
but this idea did find widespread acceptance in the 18th century.
但这种思想确实在18世纪广被接受
Candide’s great mission was to
憨第德的重要使命
put this philosophy to the test.
便是检验这种哲学思想是否正确
Ejected from his comfortable home in an obscure German castle,
赣第德住在德国一座舒适的偏僻城堡中
after trying to seduce the Baron’s beautiful daughter, Cunégonde,
因试图引诱男爵的美丽女儿居内贡被逐出门后
Voltaire’s hero, Candide,
伏尔泰的主人公憨第德
undergoes many trials and tribulations:
经历了许多考验与磨难
conscripted into the army, he fights in a war, then deserts,
他被抓去当兵 然后穿过沙漠
only to find himself a witness to an earthquake in Lisbon.
最终却在里斯本目睹了一场大地震
Candide is repeatedly brought face to face with evil in its most extreme forms:
憨第德被迫不断面对着邪恶的极端形式:
moral evil, in the case of the earthquake,
在地震的情况下 是道德上的恶
where man is not apparently to blame;
看起来 应受谴责的不是人类
and most of all human evil, such as the war,
但大多数人造的邪恶 例如战争
where man is very definitely to blame.
人类无疑要因它们而受到谴责
Pangloss’s breezy Optimism is clearly an inadequate response to
显然 潘葛洛斯的盲目乐观主义
enormities of evil on this scale.
不足以解释这样的滔天罪行
Eventually, even Candide comes to realize this:
最终 就连憨第德也明白了这一点:
to quote from the book,
用书中原话说就是:
‘And sometimes Pangloss would say to Candide:
“有时候 潘葛洛斯对赣第德说
‘All events form a chain in the best of all possible worlds.
这个已知最好的世界里 所有事情形成了一个链条
For in the end, if you had not been given a good kick up the backside
因为最终 要是你没有因为和居内贡恋爱
and chased out of a beautiful castle for loving Miss Cunégonde
而被人从背后狠狠踢一脚让你滚出那美丽城堡
and if you hadn’t been subjected to the Inquisition,
要是你没有受到异端裁判所的审判
and if you hadn’t wandered about America on foot,
要是你没有在美洲徒步流浪
and if you hadn’t dealt the Baron a good blow with your sword,
要是你没有狠狠地刺了男爵一剑
and if you hadn’t lost all your sheep from that fine country of Eldorado,
要是你没有丢失在黄金国得到的绵羊
you wouldn’t be here now eating candied citron and pistachio nuts.’
你就不会在这里吃着糖渍佛手和开心果了”
‘That is well put, but we must cultivate our garden.’
这是很好的安排 但是我们必须打理花园
After 1760, Voltaire took up residence in the
1760年后 伏尔泰定居在
château at Ferney, just outside Geneva
日内瓦旁费尔内一座城堡里
By now, he was the most famous living writer in Europe,
现在 他仍是欧洲民众心中最著名的作家
and he became widely known as the ‘patriarch of Ferney’.
并且以“费尔内族长”著称
He took up a number of public causes.
他开始处理大量的公共事件
In 1761, a Protestant merchant Jean Calas,
1761年 新教徒商人让·卡拉斯
was accused of murdering his son
被控谋杀自己的儿子
and sentenced by the judges of Toulouse to be tortured
他被图卢兹宗教法庭判刑后
and then broken on the wheel.
最终死在了车轮下
The legal processes were, to say the least, irregular,
这样的法律流程 至少是不规范的
and the suspicions grew that the judges in his Catholic city
有些生活在天主教城市里的人质疑法官
had acted with excessive zeal out of religious bigotry.
对宗教偏执过分地热情
Voltaire became involved in the case
伏尔泰参与了这件案子的处理
and mounted an energetic campaign to rehabilitate Calas’ memory
发动一场为卡拉斯洗刷冤屈的反抗运动
and help the members of his family, who had been left destitute.
并帮助卡拉斯那一贫如洗的家属
He wrote letters to those in authority
他写信给那些当权者
and published a stream of pamphlets,
并出版了一系列小册子
culminating in 1763 in his Traité sur la tolérance,
他在1763年完成了《论宽容》一书
which begins with the historical facts of the Calas case
这本书以卡拉斯的案子为出发点
and broadens out into a history of religious intolerance in European culture.
揭示了欧洲宗教历史上的偏狭
Voltaire’s writings had enormous impact on public opinion,
伏尔泰的作品对舆论产生了巨大的影响
and eventually the judges in Paris quashed the judgment of the Toulouse court.
最终巴黎法官废除了图卢兹法庭这项判决
Too late to save Calas,
虽然已经救不回卡拉斯
but a huge victory for Voltaire,
但这对伏尔泰而言是一次大胜利
who had learnt an important lesson
同时他也学到了
about how change could be brought about through the pressure of public opinion.
舆论的力量可以改变世界
‘Opinion rules the world,’ He wrote in 1764,
他于1764年写道 “舆论掌控着世界”
‘but in the long run it is the philosopher who shape this opinion.’
但归根到底是哲学家影响了舆论的形成
Voltaire said of himself that he ‘wrote to act’,
伏尔泰自己也说他写作是为了改变
and he wanted his writings to change the way people thought and behaved.
人们的思想与行为举止
In leading his crusades against fanaticism,
为更好地领导反抗宗教狂热的运动
he even invented a campaign slogan,
他甚至还创造了一条标语
Ecrasez l’Infâme!,
Ecrasez l’Infâme
which translates roughly as ‘Crush the despicable!’.
大致翻译为 “辗碎贱民”
L’Infâme stands here for everything that Voltaire hates,
贱民是伏尔泰憎恶的一切
everything that he had spent his life fighting:
他用他的一生
superstition, intolerance, irrational behaviour of every kind.
与迷信 偏执 无理的人类行为作斗争
We should never forget that Voltaire was also a brilliant writer,
我们不应忘记 伏尔泰还是一个杰出的作家
one of the greatest stylist the French language has ever known.
他是史上最伟大的法语文体家之一
The power of his ideas had a lot to do
他的思想中迸发出的巨大能量
with the power of his expression.
很大程度上来自他的文字力量
Many writers made fun of miracles.
很多作家都把奇事当作戏谑对象
No one did so hilariously as Voltaire.
但没有人能说得比伏尔泰更幽默
Always, Voltaire had an ear for the telling phrase:
伏尔泰永远都善于讲格言:
‘If God had not existed,
“如果上帝不曾存在
it would have been necessary to invent him’
那么就有必要创造出一个上帝来”
It’s a good line, even in English,
这句话即便是在英语中很经典
and better still in the original French where it is more memorable
在原来的法语中它更妙也更令人印象深刻
because it is a classical alexandrine line in 12 syllables:
因为它是一种 由12音节组成的亚历山大诗体
Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer.
如果上帝不存在 那么就把祂创造出来
Voltaire’s legacy in our present debates about religious toleration
伏尔泰留下的宗教宽容理论
remain extremely potent.
直到现在还极有说服力
Hardly a week passes without an article in the press quoting:
几乎每周的新闻报道中都引用伏尔泰的话
‘I disapprove of what you say,
虽然我不同意你的观点
but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’
但我誓死捍卫你说话的权利
This rallying cry of tolerant multiculturalism
这种倡导宽容的多元文化主义的呼声
is so potent
是如此的强烈
that if Voltaire hadn’t said it,
以至于 即使他自己没说过
we would have had to invent it,
它也早已被我们创造出来了
which is what happened.
尽管已经出现过
The expression was invented
这句话出自
by an English woman in 1906.
1906年一名英国女子口中
No matter, it expresses a truth
无论如何 它揭示了
which is fundamentally important to our culture,
一个对我们的文化非常重要的真相
so we have adopted the phrase
因此 我们已接受了这个说法
and decided that Voltaire said it.
并且相信这是伏尔泰所说
Voltaire, his name has become synonymous with a set of liberal values:
“伏尔泰”这个名字已经成为了自由价值观的同义词
freedom of speech, rejection of bigotry and superstition,
他倡导言论自由 反对偏执和迷信
belief in reason and tolerance.
崇尚理性和宽容
It’s a unique, and nowadays, extremely precious legacy.
它们是独特的 是当今极其宝贵的遗产
If you like our films,
如果你喜欢我们的节目
take a look at our shop
就进店看一看吧

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视频概述

伏尔泰不仅仅是一个人,他是一个世纪。——雨果

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收集自网络

翻译译者

Clio

审核员

审核员MS

视频来源

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

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