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拉·罗什福科

PHILOSOPHY - La Rochefoucauld

哲学
拉·罗什福科
There’s a belief that philosophy, when properly done,
有一种观点认为 真正的哲学
should sound dense, forbidding, a little confusing,
听起来应该是晦涩 令人生畏且略感困惑的
as if it might have been awkwardly translated from the German.
就像是从德语生硬地翻译过来一样
But at the dawn of the Modern age,
但是在当代早期
lived a French philosopher
有一位法国哲学家
who trusted in a very different way of presenting his thoughts,
以一种很不一样的方式表达自己的思想
a man who wrote a very slim book, barely sixty pages long,
他写了一本很薄的书 六十页不到
that can deservedly be counted
但是可以当之无愧地算作
as one of the true masterpieces of philosophy.
真正的哲学巨著之一
The book is a compendium of acerbic,
这本书简要概述了
melancholy observations about the human condition,
对人类现状深沉而尖锐的观察
each of them only a sentence or two long
它们每一篇都只有一两句话
which nevertheless present an exceptional number of
但恰好为我们这个道德混乱
timely, wise, and oddly consoling lessons
人们注意力很分散的时代
for our morally confused and wildly distracted age.
提供了许多充满智慧 宽慰人心的经验教训
The Duke de La Rochefoucauld was born in Paris in 1613.
拉·罗什福科公爵于1613年出生在巴黎
And despite his many initial advantages: wealth, connections, good looks,
尽管他有许多先天优势:财富 人脉 俊朗的外表
and a very beautiful and ancient name,
和一个非常美丽而古老的名字
he had a thoroughly difficult and often miserable life.
但他命运多舛 屡遭劫难
He fell in love with a couple of duchesses who didn’t treat him well.
他爱上了几个女公爵 但她们对他并不好
He ended up in prison after some bungled
因为一些目的高尚却以失败告终的政治行为
but honourable political maneuvering.
他还进了监狱
He was forced into exile from his beloved Paris on four occasions.
他曾四次被迫离开心爱的巴黎
He never advanced as far as he wanted at court.
他在朝廷上一直没得到自己想要的位置
He got shot in the eye during a rebellion and almost went blind.
在一次叛乱中 他的眼睛中了枪 差点失明
He lost most of his money,
他失去了大部分财富
and some enemies published what they falsely purported to be his memoirs
他的宿敌出版了一些书 谎称是他的回忆录
full of insults against people whom he liked and depended upon
内容全是对他喜欢和依赖的人的侮辱
who then turned against him and refused to believe in his innocence.
这些人和他反目成仇 不相信他的清白
After all this betrayal, imprisonment,
在经历了所有这些背叛 监禁
impoverishment, injury, plagiarism, and libel,
贫困 伤害 剽窃和诽谤之后
La Rochefoucauld can readily be forgiven
拉·罗什福科宣称
when he declared that he’d had enough of the act of life
自己受够了这种生活
and would henceforth retreat
决定退隐 更加安静地思考
to quieter, contemplative pursuits instead.
这完全是可以理解的
So he hung up his sword
于是 他卸下佩剑
and spent his time in the living rooms
在当时两位重要学界名流
of two leading intellectual figures of his day:
家中的客厅里消磨时光:
the Marquise de Sable and the Comtesse de Lafayette
塞布尔侯爵夫人和拉斐德伯爵夫人
who regularly invited writers and artists
她们在巴黎经常邀请作家和艺术家
to sit with them in their Parisian salons
参加自己的沙龙
in order to discuss the great themes of existence
讨论关于存在的伟大主题
often over lemonade and light snacks.
讨论时也会喝点柠檬水 吃点零食
The salons rewarded wit and spark.
沙龙是展现智慧和才华的舞台
They weren’t lecture halls or seminar rooms.
与演讲厅或研讨会不同
There was no tolerance for lead nurse or pomposity here.
沙龙里容不下领导者或装腔作势的人
So winning over listeners required particular skills
因此 说服听众是需要一些技巧的
that came to shape La Rochefoucauld’s mind and work.
这些技巧塑造了拉·罗什福科的思想与著作
It was in the salons that La Rochefoucauld developed
拉·罗什福科因其所采用的文学体裁而成名
the literary genre for which he has become known:
这一体裁在他参加沙龙时逐渐成型:
that of the maxim or aphorism, a pithy statement
格言或警句 这是一种精简的陈述
that deftly captures a dark insight into the human soul,
能够巧妙地捕捉到对人类灵魂的深刻洞察
reminding us of a wise and often uncomfortable truth.
让我们直视充满智慧却令人不适的真相
In good hands,
如果写得好
an aphorism should deliver its punch in less than three seconds.
一句格言在三秒内就会出现点睛之笔
One might be competing with the arrival of an asparagus tart.
当然 有人可能会拿它和芦笋馅饼相比
In the salons,
在沙龙里
La Rochefoucauld perfected and honed the 504 aphorisms,
拉•罗什福科雕琢完善了504条格言
which made his name.
并因此成名
He watched how his fellow guests reacted
他根据宾客们的反应
and tweaked his work accordingly.
调整自己的作品
His aphorisms covered all manner of psychological topics;
他的格言涵盖了各种各样的心理话题
though issues of envy, vanity, love, and ambition
但嫉妒 虚荣 爱情和野心
were recurring themes.
是反复出现的主题
A typical La Rochefoucauld aphorism
拉·罗什福科格言的一个典型特征
begins by addressing the reader with a we or one,
是在开头用“我们”或“一个人”来对应读者
inviting consent with gentle coercion.
温和地胁迫读者认同
The aphorism then subverts an accepted piety about human nature
于是 这种格言以一种愤世嫉俗的怀疑态度
in a cynical or skeptical direction.
颠覆了人们对人性的虔诚信仰
It’s in the last third of the sentence that the sting is generally delivered,
讽刺通常出现在句子的最后三分之一处
and it often makes us laugh as can happen when we’re
而讽刺让我们发笑时
forced to acknowledge the falsity of a previously
也逼我们承认
sentimental or hypocritical position.
之前矫情虚伪的观点是错误的
Perhaps the most classic and perfect of all La Rochefoucauld’s aphorism is,
可以说拉·罗什福科最经典 最完美的格言是
“We all have strength enough to bear the misfortunes of others.”
“别人的不幸对我们来说没什么不能承受的”
It’s closely followed by the equally effective,
下面这句格言也很实在
“There are some people who would never have fallen in love,
“从未听说过爱情的人
if they hadn’t heard there was such a thing.”
永远不会坠入爱河”
And the no less accomplished,
同样精彩的还有
“He that refuses praise the first time it’s offered
“听到表扬却第一时间说自己当不起
does it because he would like to hear it a second.”
只是因为还想再听一遍”
Voltaire said that La Rochefoucauld’s maxims
伏尔泰说 拉·罗什福科的格言
was the book that had most powerfully shaped the character of the French people;
是对法国人民性格影响最大的一本书
giving them their taste for psychological reflection, precision, and cynicism.
让他们对心理映射 做事分毫不差和犬儒主义产生了兴趣
Behind almost every one of the maxims lies a challenge
几乎每一条格言都挑战着
to an ordinary, flattering view of ourselves.
认为自己很平庸却又自以为是的看法
La Rochefoucauld relishes revelations of the debt
拉·罗什福科喜欢向人们揭露
that kindness owes to egoism
善良源于利己主义
and insists that we’re never far from being
他还坚持认为我们永远摆脱不掉
vain, arrogant, selfish, and petty,
虚荣自大 自私小气的品性
and in fact never nearer than when we trust
事实上 即使当我们觉得自己善良时
in our own goodness.
我们离这些恶劣品性也很近
Having suffered unduly in its name,
拉·罗什福科在爱情的名义下吃尽了苦头
La Rochefoucauld was particularly suspicious of romantic love.
因此他对浪漫的爱情充满怀疑
“The reasons lovers never tire of one another’s company
“情侣们永远不会对彼此的陪伴感到厌倦
is because they never talk of anything but themselves.”
因为他们在一起时只谈论彼此”
“If one were to judge of love according the greatest part of the effects it produces,
“如果要根据爱情所产生的最大影响来判断爱情
it might very justly pass for hatred rather than kindness.”
那么人们很有可能将它误认为仇恨而不是善良”
“To say that one never flirts
“说一个人从不打情骂俏
is in itself a form of flirtation.”
本身就是一种打情骂俏”
La Rochefoucauld wrote as he did
拉·罗什福科写下这些话
because he wanted his ideas to persuade people
是因为他想用自己的观点
whom he knew had little time
说服那些他知道没什么时间
and wouldn’t necessarily be on his side.
而且不一定站在他这边的人
If most philosophers since have, with the odd exception,
如果大多数哲学家 除了个别例外
felt no need to write with his elegance, wit, and concision,
都觉得没有必要用优雅 机智和简洁的方式来写作
it’s because they’ve trusted, wrongly,
那是因为他们错误地认为
that so long as one’s ideas are important,
只要一个人的思想是重要的
the style in which one delivers them is of no issue.
他表达思想的方式就不是什么问题
La Rochefoucauld knew otherwise.
拉·罗什福科却不这么认为
Most of us are so distracted if someone wants to get a point across to us,
有人在讲道理时 大多数人往往都会分心
they must use all the devices of art and writing
他们必须利用好所有的艺术和写作手段
to seize our attention,
来吸引我们的注意力
and burn them into our memories.
将它们烙进我们的记忆
The history of Philosophy would have been so different if its practitioners
如果哲学家们都想象自己是在
had all imagined themselves to be writing
为一群思想在喧嚣的巴黎沙龙中游弋
for an impatient, non-professional audience
没什么耐心的业余读者写作
with meandering minds in the midst of a chatty Parisian salon.
哲学史就不是这番模样了
But history offers us a new chance.
而历史给了我们一个新的机会
The 140 characters of our own digital salons
我们自己的数字沙龙有140字的限制
now offer us a second chance
这给我们提供了第二次机会
to try to put La Rochefoucauld genius into action.
把拉•罗什福科的天才思想付诸行动

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视频概述

拉·罗什福科,在经历了种种悲惨遭遇后,形成了伟大的思想体系和独特的写作风格。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

wxy

审核员

审核员VV

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CEvFA7laik

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