Nana: Why are you reading?
Parain: It's my job.
Nana: It's odd. Suddenly I don't know what to say; it often happens to me. I know what I want to say. I think about whether it is what I mean. But when the moment comes to speak, I can't say it.
Parain: Yes, of course. You've read the Three Musketeers?
Nana: I saw the film, why?
Parain: Because in it, Porthos, this is really in Twenty Years Later, Porthos, all strong, a little stupid, he has never thought in his life. He has to place a bomb in the cellar to blow it up. He does it. He places the bomb, lights the fuse, then he runs away of course. But suddenly he begins to think. What about? How is it possible to put one foot before the other? You must have thought about that too. So he stops running. He can't go on. He can't move forward. The bomb explodes, the cellar fell on him. He holds it up with his shoulder. But after a day, or maybe two, he is crushed to death. The first time he thought, it killed him.
Nana: Why did you tell me that story?
Parain: No reason, just to talk.
Nana: Why must one always talk? Often one shouldn't talk, but live in silence. The more one talks, the less words mean.
Parain: Perhaps. But can one?
Nana: I don't know.
Parain: I've found that we can't live without talking.
Nana: I'd like to live without talking.
Parain: Yes, it would be nice, wouldn't it? Like loving one another more. But it isn't possible.
Nana: But why? Words should express just what one wants to say. Do they betray us?
Parain: But we betray them, too. One should be able to express oneself. It has been done in writing. Think: someone like Plato, can still be understood - he can. Yet he wrote in Greek, 2,500 years ago. No one really know the language, at least not exactly. Yet something get through, so we should be able to express ourselves. And we must.
Nana: Why must we? To understand each other?
Parain: We must think, and for thoughts, we need words. There's no other way to think. To communicate, one must talk, that is our life.
Nana: Yes, but it is very difficult. I think life should be easy. Your talk of the Three Musketeers may make a good story, but it's terrible.
Parain: Yes, but it's a pointer. I belive, one learns to talk well only when one has renounced life for a time. That's the price.
Nana: So, to speak is fatal?
Parain: Speaking is almost a resurrection in relation to life. Speech is another life from when one does not speak. So, to live in speech, one must pass through the death of life without speech. I may not be putting it clearly, but there's a kind of ascetic rule that stops one from taking well until one sees life with detachment.
Nana: But one can't live everday life with... I don't know
Parain: With detachment. We balance, that's why we pass from silence to words. We swing between the two because it's the movement of life. From everday life one rises to a life we call superior, the thinking life. But this life presupposes one has killed the everday too elementary life.
Nana: Then thinking and talking are the same thing?
Parain: So i believe. Plato saide so, it's an old idea. One cannot distinguish the thought from the words that express it. An intant of thought can only be grasped throught words.
Nana: So one must talk and risk lying?
Parain: Lies too, are part of our quest. Errors and lies are very similar.
Nana: (Tries to interrupt)
Parain: I don't mean ordinary lies, like I promise to come tomorrow, but I don't, as I didn't want to. You see, those are ploys. But a subtle lie is a little diffrent from an error. One searches and can't find the right word. That's why you didn't know what to say. You were afraid of not finding the right word, that's the explanation.
Nana: How can one be sure of having found the right word?
Parain: One must work. It needs an effort. One must speak in a way that is right, doesn't hurt, says what has to be said, does what has to be done, without hurting or bruising.
Nana: One must try to be in good faith. Someone told me: "There is truth in everything, even in error."
Parain: That's true. France didn't see it in the seventeenth century. They thought one could avoid error, and what's more, that one can live directly in the truth. It isn't possible. Hence Kant, Hegel, Germany philosophy: to bring us back to life, and makes us see that we must pass through error to arrive at the truth.
Nana: What do you think about love?
Parain: The body had to come into it. Leibnitz introduced the contingent. Contigent truths and necessary truths make up life. German philosophy showed us that in life, one thinks with the servitudes and errors of life. One must manage with that, that's true.
Nana: Shouldn't love be the only truth?
Parain: For that, love would always have to be true. Do you know anyone who knows at once what he loves? No. When you are twenty you don't know. All you know are bits and pieces, you make arbitary choices. Your "I love" is an impure affair. But to completely at one with what you love you need maturity. That means searching, that is the truth of life. That's why love is a solution, on condition that it is true.
与Nana交谈的学者为法国哲学家 Brice Parain (Courcelles-sous-Jouarre, 10 March 1897 - 20 March 1971 ) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brice_Parain