Editorís RemarkWinner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, Bertrand Russell was the most outstanding logician, mathematician, pacifist, and analytic philosopher of the last 20th century.He summed up his 97 years of a remarkable life experience, dramatic and thought provocative, in the Prologue to his Autobiography (in three volumes totaling 1000 pages).The Prologue is composed of only five short paragraphs; it is presented in a typically Russell prose style that reads more poetic than poetry. It is here, for the first time perhaps, freely rendered into a Chinese verse by Suncrates.

 

TheAutobiography of Bertrand Russell

Prologue

What I Have Live for

 

《羅素自傳》楔子

浮生為何度?

孫格拉底譯


Three passions,

simple but overwhelmingly strong,

have governed my life:

the longing for love,

the search for knowledge,

and unbearable pity

for the suffering of mankind.

 

 

These passions, like great winds,

have blown me hither and thither,

in a wayward course,

over a great ocean of anguish,

reaching to the very verge of despair.

 

 

I have sought love,

first, because it brings ecstasy ――

ecstasy so great

that I would often have sacrificed

all the rest of life

for a few hours of this joy.

 

I have sought it,

next, because it relieves loneliness――

that terrible loneliness

in which one shivering consciousness

looks over the rim of the world

into the cold

unfathomable

lifeless abyss.

 

I have sought it

finally, because in the union of love

I have seen, in a mystic miniature,

the prefiguring vision of the heaven

that saints and poets have imagined.

This is what I sought,

and though it might seem

too good for human life,

this is what--at last--I have found.

 

 

With equal passion

I have sought knowledge.

I have wished to understand

the hearts of men.

I have wished to know

why the stars shine.

And I have tried to apprehend

the Pythagorean power

by which number holds sway above the flux.

A little of this, but not much,

I have achieved.

 

 Love and knowledge,

so far as they were possible,

led upward

toward the heavens.

But always pity

brought me back to earth.

 

Echoes of cries of pain

reverberate in my heart.

Children in famine,

victims tortured

by oppressors,

helpless old people

a burden to their sons,

and the whole world

of loneliness,

poverty,

and pain

make a mockery

of what human life should be.

 

I long to alleviate this evil,

but I cannot,

and I too suffer.

 

This has been my life.

I have found it worth living,

and would gladly live it again

if the chance were offered me.


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) won the Nobel prize for literature for his History of Western Philosophy and was the co-author of Principia Mathematica.


Return to the Bertrand Russell Society Home Page

 

 

狂情熱意三種,

††††††† 純而勢猛,

††††††† 沛然莫禦難抗衡,

主我一生沉浮:

††† 慕悅、求知、憫世。

††† 憫世苦,

不勝悲!

 

茲三者,勁發如颶風,

††††††† 我到西東,

††††††† 激流乖,

††††††† 飄過焦慮之深洋,

††††††† 直抵絕望之邊崖。

 

慕悅一為享激情。

††† 激喜使人狂,

††† 哪怕此只片嚮

††† 便拼卻餘生一切、

††† 將換更何妨!

慕悅二為解孤寂。

†† †† 孤獨使人怖,

†††††††† 寂寥心顫抖,

†††††††† 霎瞬飛越世盡頭。

†††††††† 俯瞰萬仞深淵,

†††††††† 無生地、又名死亡谷,

†††††††† 冰冷冷,陰森森,

†††††††† 不可測度。

慕悅三為儗升天。

†††††††† 情密密,一體融,

†††††††† 預參了詩人圣者天堂

†††††††† 具體而微,妙洽重玄。

†††††††† 此事古難全,

†††††††† 竟為我覓見。

細思量:忒煞嬌妍,

何似在人間!

 

求知熱,不遜前:

†††††††† 下愿盡知人心一切底蘊與奧

†††††††† 上愿洞曉長庚繁星底事吐輝耀?

看試手,敢與畢公共比高,

†††††††† 數理袖乾坤,

†††††††† 御生滅無常道。

算只有小成些許,

†††††††† 愧無多曉。

 

愛與知,逞神通

†††††††† 挈我飛天,直上重霄九!

憫情念眾苦

†††††††† 驅我還地按下雲頭。

 

大地遍野是泣鴻:

†††††††† 一聲聲,一絲絲,

†††††††† 震得我心弦顫抖:

†††††††† 饑童嗷嗷誰為

†††††††† 蒼生無辜釁暴酋;

†††††††† 老朽無助人棄厭;

†††††††† 兒女視之如贅疣。

 

嘆世界寂寞打孤城,

†††††††† 冷清清、凄慘慘,

†††††††† 一片戚愁;

把人生究應當何似

†††††††† 戲弄個飽,嘲弄個透!

 

我何不望稍舒罪惡孽造減?

爭奈何、小子無能焉!

且休道眾生皆苦,

低聲問:我獨何免?

 

 

如是浮生一世將了。

俱往矣!尚值一活否?

姑頷首。

待得來生重見,

蒙天不棄,

便再活它個一遍,

固所愿!

††††††††

†††††