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励志美文精华《This, I believe》: 永恒之脉

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如果我们能扩大视野、拓宽思路,就会发现每个人身上都有创在的天分。正是这种创造力让每个生命的个体独具个性,在永恒之脉上有一席之地。如果我们能认识到这一点,我相信我会发现自己生活在一个激情澎湃、充满奇遇与革新的时代,它将带领我们走向一个更美更好的世界。

The thread of permanence

By William Zorach

It is strange how certain things make a great impression on us in childhood. I remember these verses by Longfellow:

“Life is real! Life is earnest!

And the graves is not its goal;

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.”

And again:

“Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time.”

Of course, my generation was much more sentimental than today’s youth but whether this was great poetry, it communicated in simple language a message, and made a lasting impression on a small boy.

When I was fifteen I had an imaginary guardian angel and when I went to the country to sketch on Sundays, I asked for guidance, praying that someday I would be a fine artist and paint nature as beautiful as she really is. What this little ceremony brought me was faith in the world and a belief in myself.

My faiths and beliefs have been badly strained. The Atomic Age has caught us in a web of fear. Our lives seem so impermanent and uncertain. There is such a waste of human potential, of things worth while in people which never find expression. I sometimes think it’s a miracle that anything survives. Yet I believe that a thread of permanence runs through everything from the beginning of time, and the most valuable residue will survive.

I believe everybody has an urge to somehow spin his own life into a thread of permanence. It is the impulse of life. Some would call it the drive to immortality. Whatever it is, I think it is good because it gives purpose to existence. But purpose is not enough. Artists are supposed to be notoriously impractical, but for myself, I found I had to make decisions and plans if I were to try to create anything. I realized that I must approach life not only with a sensitivity, a perception of beauty, but with a feeling of humility and reverence.

My creed as an artist is to love life and liberty and the world of people. A man who works and loves his work is often a man dreaming, and the spirit of his dreams will find forms and symbols to express that dream. It is a wonderful feeling to create something. But today, I think there is a lack of power of communication. If people, not just artists, but all kinds of people, could only open their hearts and express their sorrow, their happiness, their fears and hopes, they would discover they had an identity with the main stream of life which they never saw before.

sometimes fear and cynicism so grip our minds that we lose heart. Then I try to remember how the great artists of the ages had the power of expressiveness. Theirs was the power to communicate, to exalt, to move the observer to joy or tears, to strike terror and awe in the hearts of men; not just to decorate or merely entertain.

If we can expand the boundaries of men’s thoughts and beliefs, we will discover we all have creative possibilities – talents to make ourselves real identities as individuals, with a hold on the thread of immortality. If we can awaken ourselves to it, I am convinced we shall find that this is an alive and exciting age of adventure and experimentation from which a new beauty and a finer world will emerge.

永恒之脉

■威廉·佐拉奇

说来也怪,儿时的某些事情常会给我们留下极深刻的印象,像我就一直记得浪费罗的这几首诗:

“人生皆真实!人生非虚无!

最终的归宿绝不是荒坟。

你本是尘土,必归于尘土,

这是指躯壳,不是指灵魂。”

诗中还说:

“伟人的生平提醒我们:

我们能让生活很高尚,

也能在告别人世的时候,

留下脚印在时间沙滩上。”

诚然,我们这代人远比现在的年轻人诗情洋溢,但不管这首诗是不是佳作,它都用朴实的语言传达了一个道理,在一个小小少年心中刻下了永久的印记。

我十五岁时心中有位假想的守护天使。每当我周日去乡间写生时,都会请其为我指引方向,祈求自己有朝一日能成为一名伟大的艺术家,用画笔传神逼真地描绘出大自然的美景。这一次次的祈祷赋予我对世界的信念和对自己的信心。

但我的信念和信心却面临着严峻的挑战。核武时代使我们陷入恐慌,我们的生命几近朝不保夕。人类的潜力、人性的华彩无彰显之机,这无异于浪费。我有时候想,万物能存活简直是奇迹。即使如此,我仍然相信天地万物间存在一种一脉相传的永恒,最有价值的遗产将亘古不灭。

我想每个人都渴望以某种方式让自己的生命也汇入这永恒之脉。这就是生命的冲动,有人称之为永生的动力。不管是什么,我都认为它是一种积极的想法,赋予我们生存的目的。但只有目的是不够的。

人们常认为艺术家一点也不实际,但就我自己而言,在进行任何艺术创造之前,我一定要作出决定和计划。我认识到面对生活,我不仅要敏感,能感知美好的事物,还有有一颗谦和恭敬的心。

作为一名艺术家,我热爱生活、热爱自由、热爱世界人民——这就是我的人生信条。一个热爱自己工作的人往往是一个有梦想的人,而他的梦想也总会通过某种方式和某些符号传达出来。创作的感觉是非常美妙的,但现在我觉得人与人之间缺乏沟通的能力。如果所有人,不只是艺术家,都能敞开胸怀,表达自己的忧愁与快乐、恐惧与希望,就一定会发现他们已融入生活的主流,这是他们从前看不到的。

有时候,恐惧与嘲讽也会让人心灰意冷。这是我就会努力回想那些古往今来伟大的艺术家如何拥有表现力。他们的表现力不仅仅是为了装点生活或是供人消遣,而是一种与人沟通、提升人的品格的力量,是让观者产生或悲或喜或惧或敬的共鸣的力量。

如果我们能扩大视野、拓宽思路,就会发现每个人身上都有创在的天分。正是这种创造力让每个生命的个体独具个性,在永恒之脉上有一席之地。如果我们能认识到这一点,我相信我会发现自己生活在一个激情澎湃、充满奇遇与革新的时代,它将带领我们走向一个更美更好的世界。

威廉·佐拉奇

在在立陶宛出生,在美国长大,是一位著名的雕塑家。他最著名的作品在纽约大都会博物馆内的《母与子》和西棕榈海滩诺顿博物馆中的雕塑《青春》。

他一年中有一半时间住在缅因州一所陈旧的船长房子里,另一半时间则呆在布鲁克林他那间由马车车库改建的工作室。他很强壮,头发蓬松,长着一双绿色的眼睛,工作时常穿工装裤和伐木工人的衬衫,直接在石头上雕出那些强健的人物。

佐拉奇在纽约艺术学生联合会执教已有二十年之久,他还写了一本书,名叫《佐拉奇论雕刻》。佐拉奇的夫人是一位画家,他们的女儿达洛夫·伊普卡也是一位著名的画家。

本文选自《这,我相信》,该书共选取自述性散文七十二篇。原文作者用简洁、朴实的文字讲述自己如何在逆境中领悟到生活的真谛而最后获得成功。原文短小精悍、语言平实,启迪读者心智。译文忠实于原文的内容和风格,可读性强。本书不仅是一本英汉对照的优秀励志读物,而且还是翻译佳作,可供在校大学生、英语自学者和翻译爱好者阅读学习。

本书译自美国畅销书This I Believe。This I Believe起初是一个广播节目,策划于1949年,旨在帮助美国人克服看重物质享受而轻视精神情操的社会倾向。该节目每日播出,每位嘉宾讲叙五分钟,其讲稿为一篇六百字的短文,每周在报纸上刊登。这些嘉宾或是社会名流,或是无名小卒,他们的肤色、职业、种族均不相同,但他们必须有一点共同之处——事业成功,应对生活成功。该节目获得巨大的成功!每天约有三千九百万美国人围在收音机旁聆听罗斯福总统夫人、海伦·凯勒、公司老板、商人或出租车司机讲述他们的信仰。

该广播节目最后成为一种文化现象,共有用六种语言播出、八十五家主要报纸开辟专栏每周刊登此节目的文章。1952年经仔细挑选,选中一百人的一百篇短文汇集出版。书名是This I Believe,畅销三十万册,是当年销售量仅次于《圣经》的畅销书。该书的阿拉伯译本创下了三天内售出三万册的记录。This I Believe至今仍然是美国全国性的媒体节目。它邀请各行各业的美国人撰文讨论指导他们生活的哲学。听众每周可在两个广播节目中听到这些人的自述,还可以在网上阅读他们的短文。


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《励志美文精华《This, I believe》: 永恒之脉》

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