活着,并且不撒谎

2009年7月31日

下个星期一(8月3日),是俄罗斯著名作家、诺贝尔文学奖获得者索尔仁尼琴逝世一周年的日子。

为了表示纪念,我翻译了他的一篇著名文章《活着,并且不撒谎》(Live Not By Lies)。

该文写于1974年2月12日。写完后的当天,秘密警察就闯进他的公寓,将他逮捕,然后驱逐出境。这是他在苏联境内写下的最后文字。等到20多年后,他再回来的时候,苏联已经变成了俄罗斯。

我原以为此文很难翻译,但实际上很容易。早上6点起床后开始翻译,到午饭前已经全部译完了,真是顺利得出奇。

另外,为了避免可能的麻烦,再多说一句。

以下内容,仅供批判性学习

Live Not By Lies

活着,并且不撒谎

作者:[俄罗斯]亚历山大·索尔仁尼琴Alexander Solzhenitsyn

译者:阮一峰(2009年7月31日)

原载1974年2月18日《华盛顿邮报》,A26版

At one time we dared not even to whisper. Now we write and read samizdat, and sometimes when we gather in the smoking room at the Science Institute we complain frankly to one another: What kind of tricks are they playing on us, and where are they dragging us? gratuitous boasting of cosmic achievements while there is poverty and destruction at home. Propping up remote, uncivilized regimes. Fanning up civil war. And we recklessly fostered Mao Tse-tung at our expense– and it will be we who are sent to war against him, and will have to go. Is there any way out? And they put on trial anybody they want and they put sane people in asylums–always they, and we are powerless.

有一段时间,我们不敢说话,只是偷偷地通过地下出版物交流思想。我们偶尔会聚在科学院的吸烟室,互相抱怨:“政府到底在玩什么把戏?到底想把我们怎样?”周围是铺天盖地的对全宇宙最高成就的吹嘘,而现实中的贫穷和堕落却随处可见。这个政府还扶植那些落后国家的傀儡政府,煽动内战。我们还傻乎乎地出钱,把毛泽东培育起来。最终,还是我们这些人被送上战场,去与他作战,他们逼着你去。我们有出路吗?他们想审判谁,就审判谁。他们把正常人关进疯人院。他们掌握一切,我们无能为力。

Things have almost reached rock bottom. A universal spiritual death has already touched us all, and physical death will soon flare up and consume us both and our children–but as before we still smile in a cowardly way and mumble without tounges tied. But what can we do to stop it? We haven’t the strength?

情况已经糟到不能再糟了。一场全面性的精神死亡,正降临到我们所有人头上。肉体的死亡很快也会来临,我们和我们的子孙都无路可逃。但是我们一如既往,还在怯弱地装出笑容,毫不费力地表示顺从。我们能够阻止这一切吗?我们真的没有力量吗?

We have been so hopelessly dehumanized that for today’s modest ration of food we are willing to abandon all our principles, our souls, and all the efforts of our predecessors and all opportunities for our descendants–but just don’t disturb our fragile existence. We lack staunchness, pride and enthusiasm. We don’t even fear universal nuclear death, and we don’t fear a third world war. We have already taken refuge in the crevices. We just fear acts of civil courage.

为了得到自己那份吃不饱的口粮,我们无可救药地就把人性抛弃了,把我们所有的原则、我们的灵魂、前人的所有抗争、后人的所有机会都抛弃了,只为了让自己能够可怜地生存下去。我们缺乏忠诚、自豪感和热忱。我们不害怕核武器,也不害怕第三次世界大战,我们已经是废墟中的难民了。我们只害怕作为一个公民,做出有勇气的行为。

We fear only to lag behind the herd and to take a step alone-and suddenly find ourselves without white bread, without heating gas and without a Moscow registration.

我们害怕落在人群的后面,走出自己独立的一步。我们害怕一夜之间就失去了面包、失去了暖气、失去了莫斯科的户口。

We have been indoctrinated in political courses, and in just the same way was fostered the idea to live comfortably, and all will be well for the rest of our lives. You can’t escape your environment and social conditions. Everyday life defines consciousness. What does it have to do with us? We can’t do anything about it?

我们一直在各种政治学习中被洗脑,一直被教导要活得顺从,你想要好好活着就要听话。个人无法逃脱他的时代和社会。每天的生活都在考验一个人的良知。他们想把我们怎么样?我们真的无能无力吗?

But we can–everything. But we lie to ourselves for assurance. And it is not they who are to blame for everything-we ourselves, only we. One can object: But actually toy can think anything you like. Gags have been stuffed into our mouths. Nobody wants to listen to us and nobody asks us. How can we force them to listen? It is impossible to change their minds.

不,我们可以的,可以做到每件事。但是为了不自找麻烦,我们宁愿对自己撒谎。该被谴责的人,不是他们,而是我们自己。但是,你能够做到反对,即使一个傀儡也能自由思想。我们的嘴被封住了,没人想听我们的意见,也没人来问我们。我们怎样才能强迫他们倾听我们的声音?改变他们的心意是不可能的。

It would be natural to vote them out of office-but there are not elections in our country. In the West people know about strikes and protest demonstrations-but we are too oppressed, and it is a horrible prospect for us: How can one suddenly renounce a job and take to the streets? Yet the other fatal paths probed during the past century by our bitter Russian history are, nevertheless, not for us, and truly we don’t need them.

在选举中,不把票投给他们是很自然的想法。但是我们的国家没有选举。在西方,人们可以罢工和上街抗议,但是在我们这里,这些是被镇压的。对我们来说,有些事情哪怕只是想一想,都很恐怖,要是一个人突然辞去工作,走上街头,会怎样?上个世纪,在俄罗斯苦难的历史中,人们尝试过其他更激进的道路,但是这些道路对我们不合适,我们真的不需要这些方法。

Now that the axes have done their work, when everything which was sown has sprouted anew, we can see that the young and presumptuous people who thought they would make out country just and happy through terror, bloody rebellion and civil war were themselves misled. No thanks, fathers of education! Now we know that infamous methods breed infamous results. Let our hands be clean!

靠斧头办事的年代已经过去了,现在的一切与以前完全不同了,只有那些少不更事和自以为是的人,才会以为通过恐怖主义可以达到目的。流血的暴动和内战都已经行不通了。如果有人还要教导我们这样做,我们只能说谢谢。现在我们知道,坏的方法只会导致坏的结果。请让我们保持清白!

The circle–is it closed? And is there really no way out? And is there only one thing left for us to do, to wait without taking action? Maybe something will happen by itself? It will never happen as long as we daily acknowledge, extol, and strengthen–and do not sever ourselves from–the most perceptible of its aspects: Lies.

出口是不是已经关上了?真的没有其他路出去吗?我们是不是只能眼睁睁地坐着不动?幻想美好的结果会自然而然地发生?只要我们日复一日地选择接受谎言、赞美谎言、加强谎言(而不是与它决裂),那么就不会有不一样的事情发生,生活就不会有任何不同。

When violence intrudes into peaceful life, its face glows with self-confidence, as if it were carrying a banner and shouting: “I am violence. Run away, make way for me–I will crush you.” But violence quickly grows old. And it has lost confidence in itself, and in order to maintain a respectable face it summons falsehood as its ally–since violence lays its ponderous paw not every day and not on every shoulder. It demands from us only obedience to lies and daily participation in lies–all loyalty lies in that.

起初,暴政刚刚出现的时候,它的脸上洋溢着自信,好像挥舞着旗帜,高喊:“我是暴政。滚开,为我让路。我将捏死你们。”但是,暴政很快就会衰老,对自己失去自信,为了维持脸面,它只好找到谎言作为同盟,因为它无力将可怕的爪牙每时每刻放在每个人的肩头。它要求我们服从谎言,要求我们永久性成为谎言的一份子。这就是它所要求的全部忠诚。

And the simplest and most accessible key to our self-neglected liberation lies right here: Personal non-participation in lies. Though lies conceal everything, though lies embrace everything, but not with any help from me.

要想找回我们自暴自弃的自由,最简单、最容易的方法就是,你作为个人绝不参与谎言。虽然谎言遮天蔽日,无处不在,但是休想从我这里得到支持。

This opens a breach in the imaginary encirclement caused by our inaction. It is the easiest thing to do for us, but the most devastating for the lies. Because when people renounce lies it simply cuts short their existence. Like an infection, they can exist only in a living organism.

只要我们不合作,铁筒一般的包围圈就有一个缺口。这是我们能做到的最简单的事情,但是对于谎言,却是最具有毁灭性。因为只要人们不说谎,谎言就无法存在。它就像一种传染病,只活在那些愿意说谎的人身上。

We do not exhort ourselves. We have not sufficiently matured to march into the squares and shout the truth our loud or to express aloud what we think. It’s not necessary.

我们并不做出激烈的举动。情况还没有成熟到,可以允许我们走上广场,大声喊出真相,或者大声表达我们的心声的地步。这样做是不必要的。

It’s dangerous. But let us refuse to say that which we do not think.

虽然有危险,但是让我们拒绝说出我们不认同的话。

This is our path, the easiest and most accessible one, which takes into account out inherent cowardice, already well rooted. And it is much easier–it’s dangerous even to say this–than the sort of civil disobedience which Gandhi advocated.

这就是我们的道路,最为简单易行,只需要我们重新审视内在的、已经植根于我们天性之中的怯弱就行了。它比甘地提倡的不合作主义,还要容易做到得多,虽然这样说并不可取。

Our path is to talk away from the gangrenous boundary. If we did not paste together the dead bones and scales of ideology, if we did not sew together the rotting rags, we would be astonished how quickly the lies would be rendered helpless and subside.

我们的道路,就是不说那些已经烂掉的东西。只要我们不把已经死亡的意识形态的骨骸重新拼起来,只要我们不把烂麻袋重新缝起来,我们就会看到,谎言枯萎和崩溃的速度是多么惊人。

That which should be naked would then really appear naked before the whole world.

让那些原来就该暴露的东西,赤裸裸地暴露在全世界面前。

So in our timidity, let each of us make a choice: Whether consciously, to remain a servant of falsehood–of course, it is not out of inclination, but to feed one’s family, that one raises his children in the spirit of lies–or to shrug off the lies and become an honest man worthy of respect both by one’s children and contemporaries.

虽然我们每个人都是胆怯的,但是让我们做出一个选择。要么你自觉地作为一个谎言的仆人(当然,这并非由于你赞成谎言,而是由于你要养家,你不得不在谎言之中把孩子们养大),要么你就脱掉谎言的外套,变成一个忠实于自己的人,得到你的孩子和同时代人的尊重。

And from that day onward he:

  • Will not henceforth write, sign, or print in any way a single phrase which in his opinion distorts the truth.
  • Will utter such a phrase neither in private conversation not in the presence of many people, neither on his own behalf not at the prompting of someone else, either in the role of agitator, teacher, educator, not in a theatrical role.
  • Will not depict, foster or broadcast a single idea which he can only see is false or a distortion of the truth whether it be in painting, sculpture, photography, technical science, or music.
  • Will not cite out of context, either orally or written, a single quotation so as to please someone, to feather his own nest, to achieve success in his work, if he does not share completely the idea which is quoted, or if it does not accurately reflect the matter at issue.
  • Will not allow himself to be compelled to attend demonstrations or meetings if they are contrary to his desire or will, will neither take into hand not raise into the air a poster or slogan which he does not completely accept.
  • Will not raise his hand to vote for a proposal with which he does not sincerely sympathize, will vote neither openly nor secretly for a person whom he considers unworthy or of doubtful abilities.
  • Will not allow himself to be dragged to a meeting where there can be expected a forced or distorted discussion of a question.
  • Will immediately talk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film showing if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda.
  • Will not subscribe to or buy a newspaper or magazine in which information is distorted and primary facts are concealed.

Of course we have not listed all of the possible and necessary deviations from falsehood. But a person who purifies himself will easily distinguish other instances with his purified outlook.

No, it will not be the same for everybody at first. Some, at first, will lose their jobs. For young people who want to live with truth, this will, in the beginning, complicate their young lives very much, because the required recitations are stuffed with lies, and it is necessary to make a choice.

But there are no loopholes for anybody who wants to be honest. On any given day any one of us will be confronted with at least one of the above-mentioned choices even in the most secure of the technical sciences. Either truth or falsehood: Toward spiritual independence or toward spiritual servitude.

And he who is not sufficiently courageous even to defend his soul- don’t let him be proud of his “progressive” views,a dn don’t let him boast that he is an academician or a people’s artist, a merited figure, or a general–let him say to himself: I am in the herd, and a coward. It’s all the same to me as long as I’m fed and warm.

Even this path, which is the most modest of all paths of resistance, will not be easy for us. But it is much easier than self-immolation or a hunger strike: The flames will not envelope your body, your eyeballs, will not burst from the heat, and brown bread and clean water will always be available to your family.

A great people of Europe, the Czhechoslovaks, whom we betrayed and deceived: Haven’t they shown us how a vulnerable breast can stand up even against tanks if there is a worthy heart within it?

You say it will not be easy? But it will be easiest of all possible resources. It will not be an easy choice for a body, but it is only one for a soul. Not, it is not an easy path. But there are already people, even dozens of them, who over the years have maintained all these points and live by the truth.

So you will not be the first to take this path, but will join those who have already taken it. This path will be easier and shorter for all of us if we take it by mutual efforts and in close rank. If there are thousands of us, they will not be able to do anything with us. If there are tens of thousands of us, then we would not even recognize our country.

If we are too frightened, then we should stop complaining that someone is suffocating us. We ourselves are doing it. let us then bow down even more, let us wail, and out brothers the biologists will help to bring nearer the day when they are able to read our thoughts are worthless and hopeless.

And if we get cold feet, even taking this step, then we are worthless and hopeless, and the scorn of Pushkin should be directed to us:

“Why should cattle have the gifts of freedom?

“Their heritage from generation to generation is the belled yoke and the lash.”

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