2018-04-03 23:40:09


Part 1 Bases


Perhaps I too love my own country, but I take care to conceal it before them, for one may wear the cloak of patriotism to tatters, and in these tatters be paraded through the city streets to death, in China or the rest of the world.

The world was made the scapegoat for China's medievalism. Instead of realizing that China was in her own way making her own steps, slowly, it is true, and somewhat ponderously, toward modernity, it was easy hue and cry to say that if it had not been for foreigners she would have been already on an equality, in material terms, with other nations.

The Chinese People

林语堂真的是实力嘲讽南方人啊:"inured to ease and culture and sophistication, mentally developed but physicall



Part 1 Bases


Perhaps I too love my own country, but I take care to conceal it before them, for one may wear the cloak of patriotism to tatters, and in these tatters be paraded through the city streets to death, in China or the rest of the world.

The world was made the scapegoat for China's medievalism. Instead of realizing that China was in her own way making her own steps, slowly, it is true, and somewhat ponderously, toward modernity, it was easy hue and cry to say that if it had not been for foreigners she would have been already on an equality, in material terms, with other nations.

The Chinese People

林语堂真的是实力嘲讽南方人啊:"inured to ease and culture and sophistication, mentally developed but physically retrograde, loving their poetry and their comforts, sleek undergrown men and slim neurasthenic women, fed on birds'-nest soup and lotus seeds, shrewd in business, gifted in belles-lettres, and cowardly in war, ready to roll on the ground and cry for mamma before the lifted fist descends."

曾经帝王发源多于陇海铁路附近,当真是南方富庶北方贫瘠要靠抢? "most founders of the great dynasties have come from a rather restricted mountainous area, somewhere around the Lunghai Railway, which includes eastern Honan, southern Hopei, western Shantung and northern Anhui."

又一发实力嘲讽我江苏:"Kiangsu has produced no great generals, but has given us some very fine hotel boys." 。。。。

天苍苍,野茫茫,风吹草低现牛羊,翻译的很好啊: "Enormous is the earth, And the sky is a deep blue; The wind blows, the tall grass bends, And the sheep and cattle come into view."

书中提到了中国每八百年一次的历史轮回很有意思:"Each circle begins with a short-lived and militarily strong dynasty, which unified China after centuries of internal strife. Then follow four or five hundred years of peace, with one change of dynasty, succeeded by successive waves of wars, resulting soon in the removal of the capital from the North to the South. Then came secessoin and rivalry between North and South with increasing intensity, followed by subjugation under a foreign rule, which ended the circle."

王朝没落政局不稳之时却是文艺之风盛行之时:"Political weakness and disgrace somehow coincided with artistic refinement, and southern China was ruled in these periods by kings who could not keep their thrones secure but could write exquisite verse."

The Chinese Character

好喜欢mellow这个词啊,圆润、芳醇、成熟、柔和。这是林语堂对"品性"这个词的定义:"A mature man of mellow temperament, retaining an equanimity of mind under all circumstances, with a complete understanding not only of himself but of his fellow-men."

这里林语堂对中国人更被动的性格分析倒是与基辛格的有些相似:"They are passive qualities, suggestive of calm and passive strength rather than as youthful vigour and romance. They suggest the qualities of a civilization built for strength and endurance rather than for progress and conquest."

"This so-called mellowness is the result of a certain type of encironment. In fact, all national qualities have an organic unity, which finds its explanation in the kind of social and political soil that nourishes them. "

细想之下,中庸之道中的patience, indifference虽维持了表面上的社会、家庭稳定,确实以冷漠人心,扼杀思想、阻碍个性发挥为代价的。"In a society where legal protection is not given to personal rights, indifference is always safe and has an attractive side to it difficult for Westerners to appreciate." 这让我想到了《三体》中『给文明以岁月』还是『给岁月以文明』的区别。恐怕奉行『牺牲个人独特性以维持社会稳定』的历代中国社会特性更偏向于『给文明以岁月』,但在现代社会的背景下,『给岁月以文明』,无论岁月有多长,文明那一瞬间璀璨耀眼的光芒是无法令人忘却的。

这里倒是总结了儒道两家的不同:"For the Confucian outlook on life is positive, while the Taoistic outlook is negative, and out of the alchemy of these two strange elements emerges the immortal thing we call Chinese character. Hence all Chinese are Confucianists when successful, and Taoists when they are failures. The Confucianist in us builds and strives, while the Taoist in us watches and smiles. "

"We have no use for impracticable idealism, as we have no patience for doctrinaire theology."

因过竹院逢僧话,偷得浮生半日闲:"Has met a monk in a bamboo-covered yard, And enjoyed another of life-s leisurely half-days."

林语堂谈及了中国人天性的将事务表与里分开的倾向,即便有着表的端庄与严肃,里子确实不放在心上的冷淡:"The man who takes life too seriously always makes a fool of himself and is usually subjected to laughter from his older colleagues. The humorist farcicality then results in the inability of the Chinese to take anything seriously, from the most serious political reform movement to a dog's funeral."可以说,这里的humour就是『做一套说一套』了:"Humour, above everything else, is ruining China. One can have too much of that silvery laughter, for it is again the laughter of the old rogue, at the rouch of whose breath every flower of enthusiasm and idealism must wither and die."

The Chinese Mind

关于女人比男人更实际的说法我不是第一次见了,林语堂也是这么说的:"Commen sense and the practical mind are characteristics of women rather than of men, who are more liable to take their feet off the ground and soar to impossible heights."

Ideals Of Life

中庸之道:Doctrine of Golden Mean

"A fascist China would have a hard time persuading the Chinese gentleman that the strength of the nation is more important than the welfare of the individual." 真是世事难料,不知道坚持到cultural revolution都结束了的林语堂回顾建国后的三十年历史会不会觉得这里写的并不准确。集体意识也能迷惑一个奉行中庸之道的民族。


看到林语堂说人民选择相信宗教玄学是因为自身的信仰在现实的打击下无法自处,读来心酸:"Their influence would not be so great if the Chinese could see a clear way to repel Japanese attacks by modern military science. The Chinese reason here falters, and therefore turns to religion. Since the Chinese army cannot help the Chinese, they are willing to be helped by Buddha."

"The depth of disillusionment was equal only to the depth of his personal sufferings. In this sense Buddhism was an unconscious gesture of man in his battle with life, a form of revenge somewhat similar in psychology to suicide, when life proved too cruelly superior." 这句话好冷也好美。

Part 2 Life


没想到在序言里就看到了一句很喜欢的话:"Culture is a product of leisure. From this gossiping and pondering history came to have a great meaning: it came to be spoken of as the "mirror" which reflects human experience for the benefit of the present and which is like a gathering stream, uninterrupted, continuous."

Woman's Life

哈哈哈婆媳关系:"Practically all tales of cruelty to women could be traced to an oppressor of the same sex. But then, the daughter-in-law bides her time to be mother-in-law in turn. If she does arrive at that much-desired old age, it is truly a position of honour and power, well earned by a life of service."

看到这句忍不住笑了,真是应了林语堂之前说的"中式幽默":"There are talented women, as there are talented men, but their number is actually less than democracy would have us believe."

作家为时代和思想所限,这倒不假,读到这句:"While I regard the increased knowledge and education as an improvement and approaching the ideal of womanhood, I wager that we are not going to find, as we have not yet found, a world-renowned lady pianist or lady painter. I feel confident that her soup will still be better than her poetry and that her real masterpiece will be her chubby-faced boy. The ideal woman remains for me the wise, gentle and firm mother." 虽然林语堂只是说明了他对女性在社会中角色的偏好,智慧温柔坚定的母亲形象依然是对女子的一个很好评价。我仍希望女性对自己的社会角色的选择是发自内心而不是跟随社会潮流。

愿天下有情人终成眷属:"May all the lovers of the world become united in wedlock." 原来是这么说的呀。有趣有趣

这段话说的非常好,终于感到了林语堂的现代意识~:"The artificial restraint and over-sexualization of women under Confucianism must give place to a more human view, and can no longer come back. The danger is rather of desexualization and of the total loss of the womanly women. The idea of women trying to ape men in their manners is in itself a sign of women's bondage."

Social and Political Life

说到中国人并不存在的社会观,我想到"修身齐家治国平天下"里好像确实没有社会什么事儿。。如果将社会定义为人与人之间连接成网组成的一张脉络图,的确我们的社会意识比较淡薄,除开自己的家庭和与自己认识或相关的家庭,鲜见中国人挂心于所谓"不认识的社会成员"的福祉。但是我们对于"国家"的定义和西方对"社会"的定义是否overlap呢,我们的治国不仅仅包含完善国家统治机构,更以从上而下的统治阶级的方式改变社会运行方式,给社会成员带来福祉。也就是说普通中国人一定程度上将"社会"这个责任赋予在了统治阶级身上,而撇清了与自己的关系。这么想来,好像确实要承认我们不太热衷社会事业,这会不会也有收到道家无为而治思想的影响呢。"The family system very nearly takes the place of religion by giving man a sense of social survival and family continuity, thus satisfying man's craving for immortality, and through the ancestral worship it makes the sense of immortality very vivid. It breeds a sense of family honour, for which it is so easy to find parallels in the West."

一语惊醒梦中人: "The method of social education was by establishing the right mental attitude from childhood, beginning naturally at home. There is nothing wrong in this. Its only weakness was the mixing of politics with morals. The consequences are fairly satisfactory for the family, but disastrous for the state. Seen in modern eyes, Confucianism omitted out of the social relationships man's social obligations toward the stranger."

"Strange as it may seem, Chinese communism breeds Chinese individualism, and family-defined cooperation results in general kleptomania with an altruistic tinge to it."

"Confucianism always imagined itself as a civilizing influence going about preaching these distinctions and establishing social order. Instead of social equality, the emphasis is rather on sharply defined differentiation, or stratified equality."

这英语水平是没话说:" "Face, Fate and Favour" corrupt our priests, flatter our rulers, protect the powerful, seduce the rich, hypnotize the poor, bribe the ambitious and demoralize the revolutionary camp, paralyse justice, render ineffective all paper constitutions, scorn at democracy, contemn the law, make a laughting stock of the people's rights."

"The most striking characteristic in our political life as a nation is the absence of a constitution and of the idea of civil rights. This is possible only because of a different social and political philosophy, which mixes morals with politics and is a philosophy of moral harmony rather than a philosophy of force."

一直觉得现代社会中国人对"政府"这个概念的情感是爱恨交杂的。一方面有着对官员诚信廉洁的不信任而产生的对政府整体的否定,一方面在遇到大事小事时,却又抱有着"政府要解决这件事"的想法而非自己行动起来。有时候我觉得是否是因为绵延数千年的存在让国人失去了生活的紧迫感,除非是面对马上要失去自己舒适生活的灾难,国人很少有立刻行动的觉悟,即便是让人看不惯的政府,也不一定是要非改正不可的。"It is known as a "parental government" or "government by gentlemen," who are supposed to look after the people's interests as parents look after their children's interests, and to whom we give a free hand and in whom we place an unbounded confidence."

林语堂真的是爱韩非子爱的深沉hhh:"When it is too dangerous for a man to be too public-spirited, it is natural that he should take an apathetic attitude toward national affairs, and when there is no punishment for greedy and corrupt officials, it is too much to ask of human nature that they should not be corrupt." 然后就对孔子的道德学说火力全开hhh:"It is a queer irony of fate that the good old schoolteacher Confucius should ever be called a political thinker, and that his moral molly-coddle stuff should ever be honoured with the name of a "political" theory."

Literary Life

"This monosyllabism determined the character of the Chinese writing, and the character of the Chinese writing brought about the continuity of the literary heritage and therefore even influenced the conservatism of Chinese thought. It was further responsible for the development of a literary language quite distinct from the spoken language. This, in turn, made learning difficult and necessarily the privilege of a limited class."

"The monosyllabic character of the Chinese language, it was almost inevitable that pictorial characters were used. By their very nature the Chinese characters are not subject to changes in the spoken tongue. The same symbol could be read in different ways in different dialects or even languages. This has a very close bearing on the unity of Chinese culture throughout the old empire. More important than that, the use of the characters made the reading of the Confucian classics possible after the lapse of a thousand years. "

越读到后面越感觉到林语堂对"孔儒思想的专制"的怨念啊。。。"Had the Chinese managed to retain a few more finan or initial consonants in their language, not only would thry have shaken the authority of Confucius to its foundations, but very possibly would have long ago torn down the political structure and, with the general spread of knowledge and given the millenniums of leisure, would have forged ahead in other lines and given the world a few more inventions."

作为一个大学生读到这里真是百感交集,没想到自己也能被黑。。"Ku Yanwu wrote in an age when this evil had been especially aggravated, but the parasitic nature of these B.A.s and the M.A.s, or educated loafers, is essentially unchanged down to this day, when they have been redubbed "college graduates"."

说到林语堂那个时候政治宣言的毛病,似乎一直延续到了现在:"A modern public would refuse to accept such a statement. They would require a more exact analysis of the foreign and domestic political situation of the moment and a more detailed account of the ways and means by which they are going to "drive out" the invaders and "stop" the breakers of international peace."

啊这段写诗的好美啊:"It teaches them to listen with enjoyment to the sound of raindrops on banana leaves, to admire the chimney smoke of cottages rising and mingling with the evening clouds nestling on a hillside, to be tender toward the white lilies on the country path, and to hear in the song of the cuckoo the longing of a traveller for his mother at home."

江雨霏霏江草齐,六朝如梦鸟空啼。无情最是台城柳,依旧烟笼十里堤。这首诗翻译的真好:"The rain on the river is mist-like, and the grass on the banks is high. The Six Dynasties passed like a dream, and forlorn's the birds' cry. Most heartless of all are the willows of the palace walls, Even now in a three-mile green, lurid resplendour they lie." 应该是Poetry这章翻得最好的。之后杜甫的那首《石壕吏》也翻的不错,语言可意会。




Before she spoke, she had reddened,

Like a cherry ripe-broken,

Like a statue white, molten;

In a moment,

She'd have spoken

A string of notes sweet and golden.

说的不错,小说就该细细读的,不然就不要读:"On the whole, the tempo of the Chinese novel reflects very well the tempo of Chinese life. It is enormous, big and variegated and is never in a hurry. A Chinese novel should be read slowly and with good temper."

读来好笑想来心酸: "This acknowledgement of the general superiority of Western literature in richness came as something of a bad shock to the self-styled "literary nation" that is China. Some fifty years ago the Chinese were impressed only by European gun-boats; some thirty years ago they were impressed by the Western political system; about twenty years ago they discovered that the West even had a very good literature, and now some people are making the slow discovery that the West has even a better social consciousness and better social manners."

这一段写的真的是太牛叉了hhh,精辟犀利到位,中国不仅仅文学,很多方面都还没有从林语堂描述的这个状况中走出来,但是至少已经有了一批人走在了大部分人民的认知前面。希望他们能带我们去往正确的方向: "The task of adjustment between the old and the new is usually too much for the ordinary man, and modern Chinese thought is characterized by an extreme immaturity of thinking, fickleness of temper and shallowness of ideas. To understand the old is difficult, and to understand the new is not too easy. A little bit of romanticism, a tinge of libertinism, a lack of critical and mental ballast, extreme impatience with anything old and Chinese, extreme gullibility in accepting the yearly "new models" of thought, a perpetual hunt for the latest poet from Jugoslavia or the newest novelist from Bulgaria, great sensitiveness toward foreigners in revealing anything Chinese, which simply means a lack of self-confidence, an eighteenth-century rationalism, fits of melancholia and hyper-enthusiasm, the chase of slogans from year to year like a dog biting its own tail -- these characterize the writings of modern China."

The Art of Living


中国园林:"Harmony, irregularity, surprise, concealment and suggestion -- these are some of the principles of Chinese garden - planting, as they are of other forms of Chinese art."

"There is something amounting to religious fervour and sacred devotion when a cultivated rich Chinese scholar begins planning for his garden." 看到这里突然想起了 "Watching the English" 里英国人尤其是英国男人对布置家饰和规划前后院的热爱,当真与中国人对庭院布置的执着可以一拼,难道这是历史悠久的大国人民的通识?hhh 只可惜中国现在没什么人能拥有自己的院子了。

苦中有乐: "The question has often been asked as to what we eat. The answer is that we eat all the edible things on this earth. We eat crabs by preference, and often eat barks by necessity. Economic necessity is the mother of our inventions in food. We are too over-populated and famine is too common for us not to eat everything we can lay our hands on."

hhh看到"omnivorous"笑喷:"Apart from such acciental discoveries of medical or culinary importance, we are undoubtedly the only truly omnivorous animals on earth, and so long as our teeth last, we should continue to occupy that position." "If there is anything we are serious about, it is neither religion nor learning, but food. We openly acclaim eating as one of the few joys of this human life."

这用词太逗了: "While the Frenchman will talk about the cuisine of his chef with -- what seems to the English mind -- immodest gestures, the Englishman can hardly venture to talk about the "food" of his "cook" without impairing the beauty of his language."

啊啊这段写吃的真是太让人受不了了:"Two principles distinguish Chinese from European cooking. One is that we eat food for its texture, the elastic or crisp effect it has on our teeth, as well for fragrance, flavour and colour. A great part of the popularity of bamboo - shoots is due to the fine resistance the young shoots give to our teech. The appreciation of bamboo - shoots is probably the most typical example of our taste. Being not oily, it has a certain fairy-like "fugitive" quality about it. Second principle: the mixnig of flavours."


有时想想好像确实,幻想另一个世界以逃避现在这个的确不是中国人的习惯,我们最多也是换个地方居住,但仍会坚强的活下去并争取活得很好。"For the human spirit is used to beautify life, to extract its essence, perhaps to help it overcome ugliness and pain inevitable in the world of our senses, but never to escape from ot and find its meaning in a life hereafter."

这段写秋写的又美又伤,林语堂是不是感觉到国家的冬天就要来临了呢?他又有没有想过冬天之后还有再一次的春天呢?又或者他觉得即便春天再次来临这里的国家也不复过去了呢?"I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its leaves are a little yellow, its tone mellower, its colours richer, and it is tinged a little with sorrow and a premonition of death. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor of the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age."


后面读到了林语堂对当下中国的迷茫与期许,想来写于1935的这本书,不知林语堂在写这本书时面对古老庞大的中国,既助长了品德又束缚了思想的学说们是否有怨愤不满,遗憾难说,纠结与迷茫。30年代对老百姓来说并不好过,对心系国家的文人,也算是痛苦吧: "For we are living in a period of complete and unmitigated disillusionment, in a period of lack of faith, not only in the present revolution but in all revolutions. The optimism and cheerful idealism of 1926 have given place to the cynicism and disillusionment of 1934, a rumbling cynicism visible in all newspaper articles and private talks."

这是我第一次看到对辛亥革命的这种评价: "One realizes that we have but substituted a dozen disguised monarchies for a genuine one, and that the Revolution of 1911 was a success only in the sense of a racial revolution, that it only blew an empire into powder and left some ruins and debris and choking dust behind."

"Nor can I accept, for that matter, any ism, for I have seen how foreign isms, even the most fast-dyed and fadeless kind, lose colour in a Chinese laundry, and give off only a stinking laundry steam odour."






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