Plain Text Transmissions

Hope

I am extremely lonely.

        But I am at peace.  There is no love or hate, no sadness or joy, and also no colors or sounds. 

        This is probably because I’m old.  Doesn’t my hair being white prove it?  Doesn’t the fact that my hands are shaking make it as clear as day?  In which case, my soul’s hands must also be shaking, my soul’s hair must also be white.

        But all this was a few years ago.

        Before this, my heart was also filled with bloody songs: blood and iron, flames and poison, renewal and revenge.  Suddenly all is empty, yet there are still times when I fill the emptiness with an unavoidable and self-deceptive hope.  Hope, hope, I use hope as a shield to resist the attack of the darkness in emptiness, even though at the rear of the shield also remains emptiness’s darkness.  And in this manner all of my youth was spent.

        Is it possible I knew long ago my youth was already gone?  But I believed that an external youth was still there:  stars, moonlight, fallen butterflies, flowers in the dark, the owl’s unlucky language, the cuckoo’s bloody cries, smiles indistinct, love’s flight.  Even though it was a sad and fleeting youth, it was still youth.

        But how can I be this lonely now?  Can it be that the external youth is gone, and that the young of the world have grown old and decrepit?  

        The only recourse I have is to fight tooth and nail with the emptiness’s darkness. I put down my shield of hope.  I heard Sandor Petofi’s (1823-1849) song “Hope”.

        

        What is hope? It’s a prostitute:

        She will seduce anyone, to give her everything;

        She will wait until you’ve sacrificed countless treasures--

        your youth--and she will throw you out.

 

 

Already seventy-five years have passed since this great lyrical poet, a Hungarian patriot, died for his country at the tip of a Cossack soldier’s sword.  What a tragic death!  Yet even more tragic is that his poem has not yet died.

        This cruel life!  in the end even unyielding heroism like Petofi’s submits to the darkness and looks back to the endless East.  He said:

 

 

        Hopelessness is fabricated, exactly the same as hope.

 

 

        Let’s say that I must get by in this fabrication that is neither bright nor dark, I’d still search for that lost sad, fleeting youth--there is no harm in it being only external.  As soon as external youth were to be extinguished the twilight of old age will fall.  

 

 

        But now there are no stars or moonlight, no falling butterflies or indistinct smiles, or even love’s flight. But the young are at peace.  I’m left to fight tooth and nail with the emptiness’s darkness, I have to throw off the twilight that has descended over me, even if I fail to find external youth.  There are no stars now, there is no moonlight, no indistinct smiles or even love’s flight.  The young are at peace, and in the end this is what is in front of me and there is no true darkness.  

        Hopelessness is fabricated, exactly the same as hope!

 

 

                                                                January 1st, 1925

希望

         我的心分外地寂寞。

         然而我的心很平安;没有爱憎,没有哀乐,也没有颜色和声音。

         我大概老了。我的头发已经苍白,不是很明白的事么?我的手颤抖着,不是很明白的事么?那么我的灵魂的手一定也颤抖着,头发也一定苍白了。

         然而这是许多年前的事了。

         这以前,我的心也曾充满过血腥的歌声:血和铁,火焰和毒,恢复和报仇。而忽然这些都空虚了,但有时故意地填以没奈何的自欺的希望。希望,希望,用这希望的盾,抗拒那空虚中的暗夜的袭来,虽然盾后面也依然是空虚中的暗夜。然而就是如此,陆续地耗尽了我的青春。

         我早先岂不知我的青春已经逝去?但以为身外的青春固在:星,月光,僵坠的蝴蝶,暗中的花,猫头鹰的不祥之言,杜鹃的啼血,笑的渺茫,爱的翔舞。……虽然是悲凉漂渺的青春罢,然而究竟是青春。

         然而现在何以如此寂寞?难道连身外的青春也都逝去,世上的青年也多衰老了么?

         我只得由我来肉薄这空虚中的暗夜了。我放下了希望之盾,我听到Petofi Sandor(1823-49)的“希望”之歌:

 

 

             希望是什么?是娼妓:

             她对谁都蛊惑,将一切都献给;

             待你牺牲了极多的宝贝——

             你的青春——她就抛弃你。

 

 

         这伟大的抒情诗人,匈牙利的爱国者,为了祖国而死在可萨克兵的矛尖上,已经七十五年了。悲哉死也,然而更可悲的是他的诗至今没有死。

         但是,可惨的人生!桀骜英勇如Petofi,也终于对了暗夜止步,回顾茫茫的东方了。他说:

 

 

         绝望之为虚妄,正与希望相同。

 

 

         倘使我还得偷生在不明不暗的这“虚妄”中,我就还要寻求那逝去的悲凉漂渺的青春,但不妨在我的身外。因为身外的青春倘一消灭,我身中的迟暮也即凋零了。

 

 

         然而现在没有星和月光,没有僵坠的蝴蝶以至笑的渺茫,爱的翔舞。然而青年们很平安。

         我只得由我来肉薄这空虚中的暗夜了,纵使寻不到身外的青春,也总得自己来一掷我身中的迟暮。但暗夜又在那里呢?现在没有星,没有月光以至没有笑的渺茫和爱的翔舞;青年们很平安,而我的面前又竟至于并且没有真的暗夜。

         绝望之为虚妄,正与希望相同!

                                                                                     一九二五年一月一日