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究竟是该哭还是该笑? – 译学馆
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究竟是该哭还是该笑?

Should We Laugh Or Should We Cry?

考虑到我们和世界的联系
Given how things are with ourselves and the world,
我们要面临的一个大问题是
one of the great questions we face is
我们究竟该哭还是该笑
should we laugh or should we cry?
哲学史在这个选择上有一个趣闻
The history of philosophy has an interesting take on the choice.
两个伟大的古希腊思想家
Two of the greatest thinkers of ancient Greece
德谟克利特 和 赫拉克利特
were Democritus and Heraclitus.
这两个古代哲学家对人和世界都有深刻的了解
Both men, who lived to a very old age, had a deep knowledge of people and the world
但是根据他们的认知做出的
but responded to what they knew
选择完全不同
in strikingly different ways.
赫拉克利特忍不住哭泣
Heraclitus couldn’t stop weeping.
德谟克利特忍不住大笑
Democritus couldn’t stop laughing.
赫拉克利特哭的原因很明显
It’s obvious why Heraclitus cried.
一旦我们完全认清现实
Once we open our eyes fully to the reality of existence
我们会为过去的表现感到震惊
it’s astonishing we can ever carry on.
有太多东西让人伤感
There is simply so much to be sad about.
人类是愚昧的 执迷不悟的 不受控制的怪物
The human animal is a benighted, deluded, uncontrolled monster,
完全就是个愚蠢 痛苦的错误
perfectly suited to the error of meanness and suffering.
更大的问题是为什么一个人会大笑以及如何让一个人笑
The greater question is how and why one would ever laugh.
当然有愚蠢的笑 不自然的笑
There is of course always the option of idiotic laugh, the plastic laugh
多愁善感 冷酷无情 邪恶的笑
the sentimental callous fool.
但这不是德谟克利特笑的方式
But this wasn’t the philosopher Democritus’ way,
他的笑容丰富大方
he laughed richly and generously
不是因为特权阶级让他天真的低估事情的糟糕程度
not because some privileged position led him to naively misunderstand how bad things could be.
他的幽默风趣并不是妄想
His good humor wasn’t delusional
也不是简简单单的性格原因
nor was it simply a random quark of temperament.
德谟克利特十分特殊的
Democritus, laughed in a very particular
令人赞赏的笑容风格源于他的世界观
and highly admirable style because of the way he thought about the world.
他是个深刻的现实主义者
He was a profound realist.
他了解人有贪婪 杀戮 肉欲的倾向
He knew everything there is to know, about the human tendency to greed, murder and lust
也了解我们经常接触到的随机意外和不幸
and of our constant exposure to random accident and misfortune.
最终德谟克利特深信人性中的黑暗
And ultimately Democritus was so convinced of the darkness,
他十分了解苦难和危险
he knew so much about suffering and risk,
但他并不认为要正确对待这些黑暗面
he no longer felt he had to register this constantly at the front of his mind
他必须时常在脑海中回忆这一点
in order to do them justice.
对他而言 这些黑暗面完全是最显著最根本的生存事实
They seem to him an entirely obvious baseline fact about existence.
他会感到快乐 因为任何美好 甜美 迷人的事
He could be cheerful, because anything nice, sweet or charming that came his way,
对他而言都是种恩赐
was immediately experienced as a bonus,
糟糕起点后出人意料的愉悦事情
a gratifying addition to an originally bleak starting point.
时刻记住生活的黑暗
By keeping the dark backdrop of life always in mind,
德谟克利特提高了他
Democritus sharpened his appreciation
对不幸的事的感激
of whatever stood out against it.
发生在他身上的愉快的事
A pleasant thing that happened to him
不是对他破灭希望的微弱补偿
wasn’t taken to be a feeble compensation for his larger dashed hopes.
对于预料中的悲剧让人愉快这点
It was a delightful, slightly improbable, but very noteworthy backing
稍微不太可能 但很值得期待
of an always expected tragic trend.
德谟克利特学会享受聚会
Democritus who’s learned to enjoying parties
美酒和饮料
wine and drinking.
“生活没节日,犹如长路没旅馆”他写道。
“A life without festivity is a long road without an inn” he wrote.
他不相信他需要一直悲伤
He didn’t believe that he had to feel constantly sad
仅仅为了证明他认识到生活是可悲的
to prove that he recognized life to be sad.
他热舞 喝酒 因为他自信他做了正确的事
He danced and drunk because of a rightful confidence that he had already done justice
并在将来再次正确对待
and would in the future again have to fully do justice
让人伤感的事
to the sadness of things.
德谟克里特斯针对的是一种快乐智慧
Democritus was aiming at an intelligent kind of cheerfulness
从一开始就承认生活是残酷的
one that admits from the outset that life is fundamentally grim
以这种绝望作为催化剂
but that uses this despair as a catalyst
迎接一个更生动美好时刻的到来
for a more vivid engagement with the beautiful or kind moments that do come ones way.
就像特别善于在夏日最后一天取得收获的英国人
Like an English person who is especially adept to drawing value from the last day of summer
或行刑前尽情享受最后大餐的罪犯
or a condemned man who perfectly savors the last meal before being let to the firing squad.
德谟克里特斯是一个极好的心态的高级执行师
Democritus was a master practitioner of that highly admirable state of mind:
绝望中快乐
Cheerful despair.
一旦我们获得了绝望中快乐的技巧
Once we’ve acquired the skill of cheerful despair
那么我们的生活便会从平凡的快乐中
life acquires a distinctive new kind of sweetness
获得新的与众不同的甜蜜
in all its pleasant structures.
每一个无痛苦的日子都是一种祝福
Every pain free day is a blessing.
我们惊讶感动
We’re amazed and touched
当偶尔有人看起来能理解我们说的一些话或是
when once in a while someone seems to understand a few things we say or
做出的一些出人意料的事情
does something unexpectedly kind.
我们喜欢那些尽情哭泣后与众不同的欢乐
We enjoy the distinctive cheerfulness of those who’ve done all the crying they can
并决定 至少一段时间内
and are determined, for a while at least,
坚持等到光明的到来
to hold on to the light.

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究竟该哭还是该笑,古希腊哲学家德谟克利特以及赫拉克利特给了我们不同的答案

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