致一位青年诗人的信 Letters to a Young Poet(7)

原创 作者:adreep 2012-05-16

It is the best poem of yours that you have let me read. And now I am giving you this copy because I know that it is important and full of new experience to rediscover a work of one's own in someone else's handwriting.


Rome

May 14, 1904

My dear Mr. Kappus,

Much time has passed since I received your last letter. Please don't hold that against me; first it was work, then a number of interruptions, and finally poor health that again and again kept me from answering, because I wanted my answer to come to you out of peaceful and happy days. Now I feel somewhat better again (the beginning of spring with its moody, bad-tempered transitions was hard to bear here too) and once again, dear Mr. Kappus, I can greet you and talk to you (which I do with real pleasure) about this and that in response to your letter, as well as I can.

You see: I have copied out your sonnet, because I found that it is lovely and simple and born in the shape that it moves in with such quiet decorum. It is the best poem of yours that you have let me read. And now I am giving you this copy because I know that it is important and full of new experience to rediscover a work of one's own in someone else's handwriting. Read the poem as if you had never seen it before, and you will feel in your innermost being how very much it is your own.

It was a pleasure for me to read this sonnet and your letter, often; I thank you for both.

And you should not let yourself be confused in your solitude by the fact that there is some thing in you that wants to move out of it. This very wish, if you use it calmly and prudently and like a tool, will help you spread out your solitude over a great distance. Most people have (with the help of conventions) turned their solutions toward what is easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must trust in what is difficult; everything alive trusts in it, everything, in Nature grows and defends itself any way it can and is spontaneously itself, tries to be itself at all costs and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must trust in what is difficult is a certainty that will never abandon us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be one more reason for us to do it.

It is also good to love: because love is difficult. For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. That is why young people, who are beginners in everything, are not yet capable of love: it is something they must learn. With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered around their solitary, anxious, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love. But learning-time is always a long, secluded time, and therefore loving, for a long time ahead and far on into life, is: solitude, a heightened and deepened kind of aloneness for the person who loves. Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person (for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent?), it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distances. Only in this sense, as the task of working on themselves ("to hearken and to hammer day and night"), may young people use the love that is given to them. Merging and surrendering and every kind of communion is not for them (who must still, for a long, long time, save and gather themselves); it is the ultimate, is perhaps that for which human lives are as yet barely large enough.

But this is what young people are so often and so disastrously wrong in doing: they (who by their very nature are impatient) fling themselves at each other when love takes hold of them, they scatter themselves, just as they are, in all their messiness, disorder, bewilderment. And what can happen then? What can life do with this heap of half-broken things that they call their communion and that they would like to call their happiness, if that were possible, and their future? And so each of them loses himself for the sake of the other person, and loses the other, and many others who still wanted to come. And loses the vast distances and possibilities, gives up the approaching and fleeing of gentle, prescient Things in exchange for an unfruitful confusion, out of which nothing more can come; nothing but a bit of disgust, disappointment, and poverty, and the escape into one of the many conventions that have been put up in great numbers like public shelters on this most dangerous road. No area of human experience is so extensively provided with conventions as this one is: there are life-preservers of the most varied invention, boats and water wings; society has been able to create refuges of every sort, for since it preferred to take love life as an amusement, it also had to give it an easy form, cheap, safe, and sure, as public amusements are.

It is true that many young people who love falsely, i.e., simply surrendering themselves and giving up their solitude (the average person will of course always go on doing that), feel oppressed by their failure and want to make the situation they have landed in livable and fruitful in their own, personal way. For their nature tells them that the questions of love, even more than everything else that is important, cannot be resolved publicly and according to this or that agreement; that they are questions, intimate questions from one human being to another, which in any case require a new, special, wholly personal answer. But how can they, who have already flung themselves together and can no longer tell whose outlines are whose, who thus no longer possess anything of their own, how can they find a way out of themselves, out of the depths of their already buried solitude?

They act out of mutual helplessness, and then if, with the best of intentions, they try to escape the convention that is approaching them (marriage, for example), they fall into the clutches of some less obvious but just as deadly conventional solution. For then everything around them is convention. Wherever people act out of a prematurely fused, muddy communion, every action is conventional: every relation that such confusion leads to has its own convention, how ever unusual (i.e., in the ordinary sense immoral) it may be; even separating would be a conventional step, an impersonal, accidental decision without strength and without fruit.

Whoever looks seriously will find that neither for death, which is difficult, nor for difficult love has any clarification, any solution, any hint of a path been perceived; and for both these tasks, which we carry wrapped up and hand, on without opening, there is no general, agreed-upon rule that can be discovered. But in the same measure in which we begin to test life as individuals, these great Things will come to meet us, the individuals, with greater intimacy. The claims that the difficult work of love makes upon our development are greater than life, and we, as beginners, are not equal to them. But if we nevertheless endure and take this love upon us as burden and apprenticeship, instead of losing ourselves in the whole easy and frivolous game behind which people have hidden from the most solemn solemnity of their being, then a small advance and a lightening will perhaps be perceptible to those who come long after us. That would be much.

We are only just now beginning to consider the relation of one individual to a second individual objectively and without prejudice, and our attempts to live such relationships have no model before them. And yet in the changes that time has brought about there are already many things that can help our timid novitiate.

The girl and the woman, in their new, individual unfolding, will only in passing be imitators of male behavior and misbehavior and repeaters of male professions. After the uncertainty of such transitions, it will become obvious that women were going through the abundance and variation of those (often ridiculous) disguises just so that they could purify their own essential nature and wash out the deforming influences of the other sex. Women, in whom life lingers and dwells more immediately , more fruitfully, and more confidently, must surely have become riper and more human in their depths than light, easygoing man, who is not pulled down beneath the surface of life by the weight of any bodily fruit and who, arrogant and hasty, undervalues what he thinks he loves. This humanity of woman, carried in her womb through all her suffering and humiliation, will come to light when she has stripped off the conventions of mere femaleness in the transformations of her outward status, and those men who do not yet feel it approaching will be astonished by it. Someday (and even now, especially in the countries of northern Europe, trustworthy signs are already speaking and shining), someday there will be girls and women whose name will no longer mean the mere opposite of the male, but something in itself, something that makes one think not of any complement and limit, but only of life and reality: the female human being.

This advance (at first very much against the will of the outdistanced men) will transform the love experience, which is now filled with error, will change it from the ground up, and reshape it into a relationship that is meant to be between one human being and another, no longer one that flows from man to woman. And this more human love (which will fulfill itself with infinite consideration and gentleness, and kindness and clarity in binding and releasing) will resemble what we are now preparing painfully and with great struggle: the love that consists in this: that two solitudes protect and border and greet each other.

And one more thing: Don't think that the great love which was once granted to you, when you were a boy, has been lost; how can you know whether vast and generous wishes didn't ripen in you at that time, and purposes by which you are still living today? I believe that that love remains so strong and intense in your memory because it was your first deep aloneness and the first inner work that you did on your life. - All good wishes to you, dear Mr. Kappus!

 

Yours,

Rainer Maria Rilke

亲爱的开普斯先生:



收到您的信后已有许多时光过去了。请不要因此而反对我;首先是那些工作,其次是纷繁的干扰,还有我差极了的健康一次又一次阻挠我回信,因为我希望自己能够在平静而快乐的时候给您回信。现在我感到好多了(虽然早春的挹郁、喜怒无常的过渡天气让人无法忍受),再次地,我能向您问候并和您谈论那些您信里提到的事情了,且尽我所能。您看:我抄了您的十四行诗,我发现它可爱、简单,而且形式如此得体。就我读过的您的作品来说,这是最好的一首。现在我把这首诗抄给您,从别人抄录的笔迹里重新温习自己的作品是一种重要而且全新的经验。读它,就好象您从来没有读过它,您会感到自己的内在世界有多丰富。--读这首十四行诗和您的来信,对我来说,常常是一种快乐;为此,谢谢您。

您不要被自己的孤独所困惑,事实上您一直想要摆脱它。这个希望,如果您能够冷静而慎重地应用,会帮助您跳出孤独到更广阔的空间去。大多数人(在习俗的帮助下)将他们的孤独转向了舒适和安逸;但是很清楚,我们必须相信这很困难;每一个活着的人都相信它,每一样自然里的东西都在成长、抵抗着自己,同时又试图不惜任何代价成为它自己,同所有对立面作对。我们所知甚少,但是我们必须相信难的东西是必定不会放弃我们的;孤独是好的,因为孤独是难的;除了难之外一定还有别的更多的原因使我们去做它。

爱也是好的:因为爱是难的。因为,一个人去爱另一个人,或许是我们所承受的最困难的事情,是最终的任务、最终的考验和信仰,为了这项工作,所有的其他一切都只是在做准备罢了。这就是那些正处于一切开端的年轻人还没有能力爱的原因。而这正是他们应该学习的。用他们整个的生命,用他们所有的力量,汇集他们所有的孤独、渴望、跃跃欲试的心,他们必须学习去爱。但是学习的时间总是漫长而孤独的,因此爱在很长的时间内,爱还没有进入的生活里是--:孤独,对爱着的人来说这是一种孤高而幽深的独立地存在。开始的时候爱不意味着同另一个人结合、包容和联为一体(如果两个人各自都还是模糊的、未成熟的、无条理的,那将是怎样的联系呀),对个体来说,为了另一个人而使自己成熟并变成自己,变成世界,变成自己的世界该是多么大的诱惑呀;对他来说那是伟大的必须的要求,有些东西在选择他和呼唤他远离。只有在这种感觉的时候,在那些任务自己做工的时候("去倾听和捕捉日日夜夜的时候"),年轻的人们或许可以用那给予他们的爱。合并、包容和每一种联合都不是为了他们(人们必须仍旧,花很长很长时间来积累和汇集它们);它是绝对的,或许是它使人的生命不能那样强大。但是这是年轻人经常犯的毁灭性的错误:当爱抓住他们的时候,他们(禀性没有耐心的人)尽情作乐,他们分散着自己,就如他们的本来面目一样,散成混乱的、无秩序的、野蛮的……然后什么发生了呢?生活能对它们怎么样呢?对这些成堆的半碎的东西--他们把它叫做交流,或如可能的话,他们叫它快乐,还有未来?所以每个人都在为了别人的同时迷失着自己,并丢掉了别人,还有许多不断要来的别人。丢失了莫大的距离和可能性,放弃了接近和逃离温柔的、有先见之明的事物,而宁愿得到毫无结果的困惑,除此之外什么都不会来临;除了一点厌恶、失望和贫穷,还有逃避众多的诸如铺在大多数危险的道路上的盖子般的习俗。就人类的经验而言再也没有一个习俗有这一个来得宽泛了;有各种发明,船和滑翔艇的保护者;社会能够创造各种类型的避难所,因为它宁愿把爱的生活当作一种娱乐,它也不得不给它一种轻松的方式,廉价的、安全的、确定的,如同公众娱乐一样。没错,许多年轻人都错误地爱着,就是说,简单地屈从了自己而放弃了的孤独(普通人当然总是这样--),失败感压抑着他们,他们想使所处的情况变得更加生动和富有成果些,并更加私人化一些。天性告诉他们:爱的问题比其他任何问题都要重要得多,不能当众或按这个那个协议来解决;他们是问题,从别人那儿来的亲密问题,无论任何情形下都需要一种新的、特殊的、完全个人化的回答--。但是怎么能呢,如果人们已经完全地投入进去并无法分清谁的是谁的,因此也不再拥有自己的任何东西,他们怎么能够找到自己身外的那条路呢,怎么才能跳出已经埋葬的深深的孤独呢?

他们在无助的情况下行动着,然后,如果有最好的企图,他们就试图逃离接近他们的世俗(比如,婚姻),他们掉进一些不明显的机关里,但是和致命的世俗解决之道一样可怕。因为然后所有围绕他的东西都成了--世俗。无论人们是要用前卫的融合、还是混乱的交流来行动,每一种行为都是世俗的:每一种关系都是困惑的,并导致进一步的世俗,但是通常(即在一般的非正常感知下)是这样;甚至分居也是世俗的一步,一种非个人的、偶然的决定,没有力量和成效。 

那些严肃看待爱的人将发现无论是艰难的死亡还是艰难的爱都没有任何净化和解决的方式,任何一点可以察觉的线索;对二者来说,这些任务,我们将之包裹起来,原封不动地传递过去,在此没有可以发现的固守不变的规律。但是当我们作为个人用同样的方法来考验生活的时候,这些伟大的东西将走过来和我们会合,独自的、极其亲密地会合。有种观点认为,爱这项艰难的工作比生活更能促使我们发展。我们,作为初始者,和他们是不平等的。但是如果我们不断地努力,象学徒一样,而不是在整个轻松而轻佻的游戏中丢失自己--记住在这游戏背后人们已将人性这最神圣的东西藏了起来--那么小小的进步和一点点的闪光或许都能够照亮那走近我们的东西。那已经足够了。

我们刚开始客观地考虑一个人和另一个人的关系,不带任何偏见,在这之前也没有任何类似的关系可供模仿。而在这变化之中,不断积累事物的时间已经为我们带来了许多东西,帮助我们度过这胆怯的实习期。女孩子和女人,在她们崭新的、个人的花季里,将只是男性正确或错误行为的模仿者和男性职业的重复者,度过这段不确定的过渡期后,很明显,女人将冲出那些大量和变异的伪装(常常是荒唐的),然后她们能够净化自己真正的天性,洗涤另一性带给她们的变形的影响。女人,因其生活更加举棋不定,更加富有成果,更加自信,所以必须比那些轻松、悠闲的男人更加成熟和更加具有人性,而那些男人,从不深入生活的内部,认真看待身体的收获,他们傲慢、匆忙、自以为是地认为自己在爱着。女人的人性,带着其子宫所忍受的痛苦和耻辱,将在外部世界的改革中剥去约束女人的习俗之后呈现出来,而那些从没有感觉到这些的男人将为之震惊。终有一天(甚至现在,特别是在北欧的国家,可信赖的叹息已经在闪出萌芽之光),终有一天女孩子们和女人们的名字将不再意味着仅是男性的对立面,将有一些什么在其自身里边存在,那些让人认为不再是任何补充和限制的东西,而是生活和现实:女性的人类。这个进步(首先遭到了落后的男性的极端反对)将转变爱的经验,而这经验里充满了错误,它将被彻底改变并重塑成一种意味着平等的人类关系,而不再是从男人流向女人的爱。而这种更加人性化的爱(将随着无限的深思熟虑和温柔,还有束缚和解放之后的善良和清明得到完善)将类似我们今天痛苦地准备着的,有一番伟大的斗争:这爱包括:两个孤独的人互相保护、界野分明并向彼此问候。

还有,不要认为爱是想当然的,当您还是个男孩子的时候,您已经丢失了它;您怎么就知道那时那巨大而慷慨的爱不曾落实到您身上,您依此而生存至今呢?我相信那爱仍旧在那儿,它在您的记忆里是那么强烈而热情,因为它是您第一次深深的孤独和第一次内在世界作用于您的生命。--用我所有的美好希望祝福您,亲爱的开普斯先生!

 

 您的,

 瑞那.玛里亚.李尔克

罗马1904年5月14日




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