茨威格自传 8.2分
读书笔记 In the heart of Europe
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The most noteworthy figure of this group, from the point of view of psychology and history but not of art, was henri Guilbeaux. He was a living confirmation of the irrevocable historical law that in epochs of precipitate overturns, particularly during wars or revolutions, pluck and boldness often count for more in short periods than intrinsic worth, and impetuous courage in civil life can signify more than character and dependability. Whenever time hurtles forward in headlong rapidity, certain natures that know the trick throw themselves unhesitatingly on the incoming wave and thus get the start of others. And in those days there were many merely ephemeral personalities which time lifted over and beyond themselves---Bela Kun and Krt Eisner---up to a point which their true capacity could not match. Guilbeaux, a slim, blond, little man with sharp, restless grey eys, and the gift of the gab, was not a gifted person. Even though it was he who had translated my poems into French (almost a decade earlier), I must frankly denominate his literary ability as inconsiderable. His command of language was not more than average; his education was not profound. His entire power lay in controversy. He was one of those unfortunate people who always have to be ``against'' something, no matter what. He was satisfied only when, like a naughty boy, he could raise a row and charge against something that was stronger than himself. In Paris, before the war, although a good-natured lad he was always involved in some contentiousness against literary movements or writers, then hung around the radical parties but none was radical enough for him. With the war on, as an anti-militarist he had suddenly encountered a gigantic adversary: the World War. In the light of the fear and cowardice that marked the majority, his bold and audacious manner of entering the fight gave him a momentary importance, even indispensability. The danger that frightened others was the very thing that tempted him. In contrast with the performance of others his great daring served to stimulate his literary and controversial abilities to an abnormal level, and gave this otherwise unimportant writer a sudden greatness---a phenomenon not unlike that disclosed among the petty attorneys of the Gironde during the French Revolution. Where others were silent, where we ourselves hesitated and pondered every project, he would act, and it is to Guilbeaux's lasting merit that he established and conducted the only anti-war periodical of the First World War of intellectual substance, Demain, a document to be studied by all who wish really to understand the spiritual tendencies of that epoch. He supplied what we needed: a center of international, supernational discussion in the midst of the war. Rolland's backing fixed the importance of the paper, and his moral leadership and his connections afforded Guilbeaux the best co-workers in Europe, America, and India. Furthermore, Lenin, Trotzky, and Lunacharsky, revolutionaries then still in exile from Russia, trusted Guilbeaux's radicalism and contributed regularly to Demain. For a year or two the world knew no more interesting or more independent periodical, and if it had survived the war it might have become a positive influence on public opinion. Meanwhile Guilbeaux undertook the representation in Switzerland of those French radical groups which Clemenceau had rudely gagged. At the celebrated Congresses of Kienthal and Zimmerwald, at which the internationally minded Socialists separated from those who had gone patriotic, he played a historic role; no Frenchman, not even that Captain Sadoul who joined the Bolsheviks in Russia, was feared and hated as much as in political military circles of Paris during the war as this little fair-haired person. The French espionage bureau mannaged to trip him up in the end. Blotting-paper and carbon-copies were stolen from the room of a German agent in a Berne hotel, but they were evidence of nothing more than that certain Germans had placed subscriptions to Demain, a fact innocent in itself because German thoroughness probably required the paper for various libraries and bureaux. But the pretext was sufficient for Paris to denounce him as an agitator in German pay and to indict him. In default of appearance he was sentenced to death, quite unjustly, as was proved by the revocation of the sentence when the trial was reviewed ten years later. But hard upon this, because of his violence and intransigence which began to endanger Rolland and the rest of us, he got into trouble with the Swiss authorities and was put into jail. Then Lenin, who liked him personally and was grateful for his assistance in dark days, saved him by a stroke of the pen which transformed him into a Russian citizen, and had him shipped to Moscow in the second sealed train. At last he had a chance to reveal his creative ability. Possessing all the badges of a genuine revolutionary---jail and death sentence in contumacium---he had in Moscow a second field for good work. Just as Rolland's support had helped him in Geneva, he could, because of Lenin's faith in him, have made a positive contribution to the rebuilding of Russia; and again, his courageous stand during the war fitted him better than any other to wield directive influence in parliament and on the public in post-war France, because all radical groups saw him as a real, active, bold man, the born leader. The truth is that Guilbeaux turned out to be anything but a natural leader; rather, like so many war poets and revolutionists, he was no more than the product of a passing hour. Natures that are out of equilibrium alwasys suffer collapse after an abrupt rise. In Russia he frittered away his talents in endless controversies, in quarrels, and petty intrigues just as he had formerly done in Paris; gradually, too, he fell out with those who had respected his courage, first with Lenin, then with Barbusse and Rolland, and eventually with all of us. He wound up in a less dramatic time, just as he began, with his pamphlets and petty quarrels; soon after his reprieve he died obscurely in Paris. He was the boldest and bravest in the war against war, and if he had known how to use and be worthy of the impulse with which the times endowed him he might have become a great figure of our epoch. Today he is forgotten and perhaps I am one of the last who still remember him with gratitude for the war achievement which Demain constituted.
引自 In the heart of Europe

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