Why Am I So Wise?


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Why I Am So Wise

                  1

The fortunateness of my existence, its uniqueness perhaps, lies in its fatality: to express it in the form of a riddle, as my father I have already died, as my mother I still live and grow old. This twofold origin, as it were from the highest and the lowest rung of the ladder of life, at once decadent and beginning—this if anything explains that neutrality, that freedom from party in relation to the total problem of life which perhaps distinguishes me.

 

為何我如此智慧

我何幸生而為人,獨立特行,注定踽踽獨行,宛如難解之謎。我猶如自己生父,前世已不可考。我又如自己生母,現在仍生存,而且已漸老邁。生命的階梯需有雙重起源,最高為父,最低為母。既是沒落,又是開始。兩者兼俱使我能離群索居,截然不同於云云眾生。

 

I have a subtler sense for signs of ascent and decline than any man has ever had, I am the teacher par excellence in this matter—I know both, I am both.—My father died at the age of thirty-six; he was delicate, lovable and morbid, like a being destined to pay this world only a passing—a gracious reminder of life rather than life itself. In the same year in which his life declined mine too declined: in the thirty-sixth year of my life I arrived at the lowest point of my vitality—I still lived, but without being able to see three places in front of me.

 

對於上昇和沒落的種種跡象我比認何人都敏感。對此我不用他人指點,因為我瞭解這兩者,我自己就是兼有上昇和沒落。我父親三十六歲過世,他身體羸弱,文質彬彬。對於如此弱不禁風的人,人生只是浮光掠影,而非真槍實彈。跟父親一樣,我的生命也在同一年沒落。在三十六歲時,我的生命陷入精力的最低潮。我雖然活著,但已前途渺茫。

 

At that time—it was 1879—I relinquished my Basel professorship, lived through the summer like a shadow in St.Moritze and the following winter, the most sunless of my life, as a shadow in Naumburg. This was my minimum: “ The Wanderer and his Shadow” came to existence during the course of it. I undoubtedly knew all about shadows in those days….

 

1879年,我我放棄在貝斯爾的教授職位,整個夏天,像個影子般索居聖摩力斯,隨後冬天,移居南柏閣,同樣像影子般黯淡無光。這是我作品最少的一年。這段期間,我只寫了「流浪者及其影子」。不可諱言,當時我對影子感觸頗深。

 

In the following winter, the first winter I spent in Genoa, that sweetening and spiritualization which is virtually inseparable from an extreme poverty of blood and muscle produced ‘ Daybreak’ . The perfect brightness and cheerfulness, even exuberance of spirit reflected in the said work is in my case compatible not only with the profoundest physiological weakness, but even with an extremity of pain.

 

翌年冬天,我首次在皆偌亞過冬,由於身體貧血嚴重,肌肉軟弱,自然傾向於喜好甜美和靈性上的事物,就這樣我寫了「黎明」。這篇作品喜氣洋洋,靈思煥發,

正是身體上的委靡不振,痛苦萬分所激發的渴望。

 

(譯者言:國家亦是如此,越是國勢武力積弱的國家,越是強調其精神文明,自卑補償心理也。)

 

In the midst of the torments which attended an uninterrupted three-day headache accompanied by the laborious vomiting of phlegm—I possessed a dialectical clarity par excellence and thought my way very cold-bloodedly through things for which when I am in better health I am not enough of a climber, not refined, not cold enough.

 

我連續頭痛三日,費力嘔吐痰血。就在受盡折騰之際,我的頭腦思辯卻特別清晰。於是心平氣和地將此作品一氣呵成。假如我身體健康,我反而無法足夠精湛、足夠冷靜完成此艱辛鉅作。

 

My readers perhaps know the extent to which I regard dialectics as a symptom of decadence, for example in the most famous case of all: in the case of Socrates.—All morbid disturbances of the intellect, even that semi-stupefaction consequent on fever, have remained to this day totally unfamiliar things to me, on their nature and frequency I had first to instruct myself by scholarly methods. My blood flows slowly. No one has ever been able to diagnose fever in me. A doctor who treated me for some time as a nervous case said at last: “ No! there is nothing wrong with your nerves, it is only I who am nervous.”

 

讀者可能知道,為什麼我視思維為頹廢的病徵。最明顯的例子是蘇格拉底。隨著發高燒之後,陷入半昏迷狀態,思潮反而澎湃翻騰,此時所激發的東西直至今日我尚不甚瞭然。更不用說要如何以學者的研究方法分析發作性質及頻率了。有位醫生有段時間曾診斷我是神經質,最後說:「不!你的神經沒毛病,我自己的神經才有問題。」

 

Any kind of local degeneration absolutely undemonstrable; or organically originating stomach ailment, though there does exist, as a consequence of general exhaustion, a profound weakness of the gastric system. Conditions of the eyes, sometimes approaching dangerously close to blindness, also only consequence, not causal; so that with every increase in vitality eyesight has also again improved.  Convalescence means with me a long, all too long succession of years—it also unfortunately means relapse, deterioration, periods of a kind of decadence. I spelled it out forwards and backwards.

 

思維的澎湃絕對無法從局部病狀來說明。也無法歸因於引起胃痛的器官,雖然精疲力盡之後,胃腸系統會非常虛弱。眼睛的情況有時危險到將近盲目,不過,那是結果,而不是原因。因為隨著精力的逐漸增加,眼力也隨之好轉。我花了很長久的時間才康復,中間還不幸地時常復發、惡化和頹廢。經歷這些後,我還需要說:我瞭解什麼叫頹廢嗎?頹廢對我而言已是如數家珍了。

 

Even that filigree art of grasping and comprehending in general, that finger for nuances, that psychology of ‘ looking around the corner’ and whatever else characterizes me was learned only then, is the actual gift of that time in which everything in me became more subtle, observation itself together with all the organs of observation.

 

領悟力和理解力的細膩功夫,分析力的明察秋毫,旁敲側擊的心理手法,任何我的特長都是當時得來。我身上的每一樣,觀察力以及觀察的器官都變得微妙敏銳,

都是當時實際上的所獲得的。

 

To look from a morbid perspective towards healthier concepts and values, and again conversely to look down from the abundance and certainty of rich life into the secret labor of the instinct of decadence—that is what I have practiced most, it has been my own particular field of experience, in this if in anything I am a master. I now have the skill and knowledge to invert perspectives: first reason why a ‘ revaluation of values’ is perhaps possible at all to me alone.

 

從病態的觀點展望更健康的觀念和價值,然後再倒過來,從充實生活的意氣昂揚俯視頹廢本能的萎靡不振,這是我曾反復演練過的。可說是我的特別專長,我是個中高手。現在我擁有把不同觀點顛倒觀察的能耐跟知識。這就是為什麼若要重新評估生命的價值,我是最佳人選了。

               2

 

   Setting aside the fact that I am a decadent, I also its antithesis. My proof of this is, among other things, that in combating my sick conditions I always instinctively chose the right means: while the decadent as such always chooses the means harmful to him. As summa summarum I was healthy, as corner, as speciality I was decadent. That energy for absolute isolation and detachment from my accustomed circumstances, the way I compelled myself no longer to let myself be cared for, served, doctored—this betrayed an unconditional certainty of instinct as to what at that time was needful above all else.

 

   姑且不論我是頹廢者,我也是積極向上者。在跟病魔搏鬥時,頹廢者總是處於不利的挨打立場,我總卻總是本能地選擇有利的角度反撲,就足以證明。大體而言,我是健康的,只偶爾局部角落我才顯得頹廢。我有精力完全擺脫捨棄我已習慣的環境,從零開始;我強迫自己不再接受照顧、服侍、或醫生治療;這些都顯露出,在當下最迫切的時刻,我當機立斷的豪氣。

 

   I took myself in hand, I myself made myself healthy again: the precondition for this—every physiologist will admit it—is that one is fundamentally healthy. A being who is typically morbid cannot become healthy, still less can he make himself healthy; conversely, for one who is typically healthy being sick can even be an energetic stimulant to life, to more life.

 

   我採取自救措施;使自己重新獲得健康。先決條件是:我體質上就是健康的。

這一點醫生都認同。若天生就是弱不禁風,怎樣也健康不了。相反的,天生健康的人,病魔來襲更能激發生命潛力,更意氣風發。

 

   Thus in fact does that long period of sickness seem to me now; I discovered life as it were anew, myself included, I tasted all good and even petty things in a way that others could not easily taste them—I made out of my will to health, to life, my philosophy….For pay heed to this: it was in the years of my lowest vitality that I ceased to be a pessimist: the instinct for self-vitality that I ceased to be a pessimist: the instinct for self-recovery forbade to me a philosophy of indigence and discouragement…

  因此,對那段生病的漫長時期,我的心得是:我重新恢復生命的原來面貌; 我品嚐到生命的崇高及卑微,這是別人無法輕易做到的。  我靠自己意志力得到健康,生命和自己的哲學。請注意:就在我精力最低潮的時候,我不再是悲觀主義者。我自我復健的本能使我無法接受貧瘠洩氣的悲觀哲學。

 

     And in what does one really recognize that someone has turned out well! In that a human being who has turned out well does our senses good: that he is carved out of wood at once hard, delicate and sweet-smelling. He has a taste only for what is beneficial to him; his pleasure, his joy ceases where the measure of what is beneficial is overstepped. He divines cures for injuries, he employs ill chances to his own advantage; what does not kill him makes him stronger. Out of everything he sees, hears, experiences he instinctively collects together his sum: he is a principle of selection, he rejects much.

 

   那麼要怎樣我們才真正體認到結果是最好呢?那就是:懂得尊重自己感官的人結果最好。人的雕琢木料是既堅硬、又脆弱、卻芬芳。人喜愛對自己有利益的東西。若自己的利益的衡量受到違背,人怎樣也快樂高興不起來。人受傷時會自覓治療的方法。遇霉運當頭,也會設法轉危為安。死亡的威脅只是使人更堅強。人會從所看、所聽、所經驗當中,累積自己的一套本領:人懂得選擇;人也知道要不斷捨棄。

 

  He is always in his company, whether he traffics with books, people or landscapes: he does honor when he chooses, when he admits, when he trusts. He reacts slowly to every kind of stimulus, with that slowness which a protracted caution and a willed pride have bred in him—he tests an approaching stimulus, he is far from going out to meet it. He believes in neither ‘ misfortune’ nor in ‘guilt’ “ he knows how to forget—he is strong enough for everything to have to turn out for the best for him. Very well, I am the opposite of a decadent: for I have just described myself.

 

  人總是在群體當中,不論跟他所交往的是書、是人們、或是風景。人在選擇時、認同時、信任時,表現最為崇高。遇到外來刺激時,人會從容反應。然後在從容中謹慎衡量,維護自我的意志尊嚴。刺激逼近時,人會先行測試,不會冒然投入。人決不信「噩運」或「原罪」之說。該遺忘時,人會懂得遺忘。為了結果對人有利益,人要足夠堅強。好了,這就是跟頹廢者表現大大不同的地方。我剛才所描述的就是我自己。

                  3

 The twofold succession of experiences, this accessibility to me of apparently separate worlds, is repeated in my nature in every respect—I am a Doppelganger, I have a ‘second’ face in addition to the first one. And perhaps also a third…Even by virtue of my descent I am permitted to look beyond all merely locally, merely nationally conditioned perspectives, it costs me no effort to be a ‘good European’.

     既是頹廢者,又是積極向上者。這雙重經驗的迭替,顯示我能進入兩種截然不同的世界。這在我天性中處處表露無餘。我像是幽靈化身,不僅擁有第二臉孔,可能還有第三臉孔。由於我祖先自外地遷來,我思想宏觀,超越狹隘的國家局限,放眼歐洲,對我並非難事。

 

   On the other hand I am perhaps more German than present-day Germans, mere Reich Germans, are still capable of being—I the last anti-political German. And yet my ancestors were Polish noblemen: I have preserved from them much racial instinct, who knows? Ultimately even the liberum veto. When I consider how often I am addressed as a Pole and by Poles themselves, how rarely I am taken for a German, it might appear that German has only been sprinkled on to me.

 

   另一方面,比起今日德意志帝國的德國人,我是更道地的德國人,因為我不受政治所局限。可是我祖先是荷蘭貴族,血濃於水,種族本能可能尚存,甚至因而時常被認定是荷蘭人。我雖然一心要當德國人,人家不認我,心中難免有戚戚焉。

         4

  I have never understood the art of arousing enmity towards myself—this too I owe to my incomparable father—even when it seemed to me very worthwhile to do so. However unchristian it may seem, I am not even inimical towards myself, one may turn my life this way and that, one will only rarely, at bottom only once, discover signs that anyone has borne ill will towards me—perhaps, however, somewhat too many signs of good will..

 

   感謝父親的教誨,我學會如何善待自己。

 

   

  

    

 

  

      

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