2017年2月11日 星期六

"the best of all possible worlds" ;從《老實人 (Candide)》的 "Make Our Garden Grow" /cultivate our garden 說起

Voltaire returned to Paris, France on this day in 1778, after being exiled for 28 years.
“I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?”
Candide is the story of a gentle man who, though pummeled and slapped in every direction by fate, clings desperately to the belief that he lives in “the best of all possible worlds.” On the surface a witty, bantering tale, this eighteenth-century classic is actually a savage, satiric thrust at the philosophical optimism that proclaims that all disaster and human suffering is part of a benevolent cosmic plan. Fast, funny, often outrageous, the French philosopher’s immortal narrative takes Candide around the world to discover that — contrary to the teachings of his distinguished tutor Dr. Pangloss — all is not always for the best. Alive with wit, brilliance, and graceful storytelling, Candide has become Voltaire’s most celebrated work. READ more here: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/candide-and-other-stor…/#

伏爾泰著《老實人》的漢文譯本可能超過十種。我讀過傅雷和沈昉先生的 (徐志摩的......)。

在I. Calvino著《憨第德(或譯老實人),或是關於敘述的快》(Candide, or Concerning Narrative Rapidity)的結論是:「今日人們在生活中的真正選擇都來自於這本書。」
( Italo Calvino 著《為什麼讀經典》 ( Why Read the Classics? 1991 ) ,(李桂蜜譯,pp.114-18)

讀這篇導論的意外收獲不少。譬如說你可以找Paul Klee對本書的26幅插畫來對照。
又譬如說,以前介紹過趙琴的《閹人歌手(Castrato)的興盛與衰亡》,可以在《老實人 第12章 老婦人遭遇的下文》讀到:「我生在那不勒斯,那兒每年閹割二三千名兒童,…..有的因此得到一副比女人還美麗的嗓子,還有的將統治國家。」



一是伊斯蘭的 dervish 解釋A member of any of various Muslim ascetic orders, some of which perform whirling dances and vigorous chanting as acts of ecstatic devotion.


更重要的區別在末句名言:il faut cultiver notre jardin
英文為 cultivate our garden

李的翻譯顯然錯誤。這garden 可以種花、草、菜、果

因為我查Shorter O.E.D.
CULTIVATE ONE’S GARDEN 之garden 竟然是等同 common(社區之公地,種植放牧等 現在英美都還有這種園...)。

Candide, written by Voltaire, Quentin Blake illustrated edition published by The Folio Society 2011 Eternal optimist Dr Pangloss is hanged.

Candide by Voltaire, illustrated edition published by The Folio Society (2011)
Eternal optimist Dr Pangloss is hanged.
Illustration: Quentin Blake

Pangloss (a coinage from Greek, meaning ‘all languages’) may refer to:
  • Pangloss, a fictional character in the 1759 novel Candide by Voltaire: Pangloss is a Leibnizian philosopher, the personal tutor of the main character Candide;

Candide, ou l'Optimisme (/ˌkænˈdd/; French: [kɑ̃did]) is a French satire first published in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. The novella has been widely translated, with English versions titled Candide: or, All for the Best (1759);Candide: or, The Optimist (1762); and Candide: or, Optimism (1947).[5] It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply Optimism) by his mentor, Pangloss.[6]The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical precept, "we must cultivate our garden", in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, "all is for the best" in the "best of all possible worlds".
Candide is characterised by its sarcastic tone, as well as by its erratic, fantastical and fast-moving plot. A picaresque novel with a story similar to that of a more seriousbildungsroman, it parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on historical happenings, such as the Seven Years' War and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.[7] As philosophers of Voltaire's day contended with the problem of evil, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers throughallegory; most conspicuously, he assaults Leibniz and his optimism.[8][9]
As expected by Voltaire, Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. Immediately after its secretive publication, the book was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition and intellectual hostility hidden under a thin veil of naïveté.[8] However, with its sharp wit and insightful portrayal of the human condition, the novel has since inspired many later authors and artists to mimic and adapt it. Today, Candide is recognized as Voltaire's magnum opus[8] and is often listed as part of the Western canon; it is arguably taught more than any other work of French literature.[10] In his book of intellectual history Martin Seymour-Smith listed Candide as one of The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written.



On this date in 1982, the "opera house" version of Candide opened at the New York State Theater. Directed by Harold Prince and choreographed by Patricia Birch, the performance received positive reviews and went on to be performed at numerous opera houses.
In his October 14, 1982 review, published in The New York Times, Donal Henahan wrote, "The new 'opera house version' of 'Candide' was performed so brilliantly that one would have thought it had been running for months rather than being mounted as part of the opera company's usual hectic schedule. In fact, the audience gave the composer a standing ovation when he arrived, fashionably late, before the first act, and again before the start of the last act."
Here is an audio recording of "Make Our Garden Grow" from the 1982 New York State Theater production of Candide.


You've been a fool
And so have I,
But come and be my wife.
And let us try,
Before we die,
To make some sense of life.
We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good
We'll do the best we know.
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow...
And make our garden grow.

I thought the world
Was sugar cake
For so our master said.
But, now I'll teach
My hands to bake
Our loaf of daily bread.

We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good
We'll do the best we know.
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow...
And make our garden grow.

(ensemble enters in gardening gear and a cow walks on)

Let dreamers dream
What worlds they please
Those Edens can't be found.
The sweetest flowers,
The fairest trees
Are grown in solid ground.

ENSEMBLE (a cappella)
We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good
We'll do the best we know.
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow.
And make our garden grow!

(The cow dies)

Ah, me! The pox!



The phrase "the best of all possible worlds" (Frenchle meilleur des mondes possibles;GermanDie beste aller möglichen Welten) was coined by the German polymath Gottfried Leibniz in his 1710 work Essais de Théodicée sur la bonté de Dieu, la liberté de l'homme et l'origine du mal (Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil). The claim that the actual world is the best of all possible worlds is the central argument in Leibniz's theodicy, or his attempt to solve the problem of evil.

The statement that "we live in the best of all possible worlds" drew scorn, most notably from Voltaire, who lampooned it in his comic novella Candide by having the character Dr. Pangloss (a parody of Leibniz and Maupertuis) repeat it like a mantra. From this, the adjective "Panglossian" describes a person who believes that the world about us is the best possible one.

"Master Pangloss taught the metaphysico-theologo-cosmolonigology. He could prove admirably that there is no effect without a cause, and in this best of all possible worlds the baron's castle was the most magnificent of all castles, and my lady the best of all possible baronesses."
--from CANDIDE (1759) by Voltaire
Candide is the story of a gentle man who, though pummeled and slapped in every direction by fate, clings desperately to the belief that he lives in "the best of al⋯⋯