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2007/01/05 13:16

海倫‧凱勒   東年  


首先──我怎麼變成一個社會主義者?因為閱讀。我讀的第一本書是威爾斯(H.G.Wells)的《代替的新世界》(New World for Old)。我的老師梅希夫人推薦我讀這書;她被書中甚富想像及創造力的特質著迷,希望如此令人震驚的寫作風格和文體也能夠激勵我,能夠引起我的關心。給我這本書的時候,她並不是一個社會主義者,現在也不是;迫於梅希先生和我對她極力爭辯,也許她將會是。

※東年註:H.G.Wells,英國歷史學家、科幻作家、社會主義思想家;電影《星際大戰》原著小說的作者。New World for Old,探討社會主義的基礎和理想。 

我的閱讀有限而且緩慢,我訂閱以布拉耶盲人點字法印製的《德國社會主義》雙月刊(我們的德國同志在許多方面都領先我們)。相關德國社會民主黨領導和第二國際理論家考茨基(karl Kautsky)所寫《埃弗政策綱要》(Erfurt Program)的討論,我也從布拉耶盲人點字版讀過。有一個朋友,她每週來三次,為我朗誦任何我選擇必讀的;這樣,其他許多社會主義的文獻和文學作品,我也都以雙手拼寫而慢慢讀懂了。這些期刊中,我最常需要和她靈活有力的手指做熱切交流之一的是《國家社會主義》的閱讀。她會先朗誦文章的標題,而我會告訴她什麼時候需要讀,什麼時候需要略過。她還幫我閱讀《國際社會主義評論》中,那些標題聽起來令人滿懷希望的文章。用手拼寫很費時;以手指閱讀五萬字的書,也很慢和費力,效率實在很差。但是,這讓我很滿足很高興;一直到我通曉全部的優秀社會主義作家之前,這也會是我將繼續享受的樂事。 

On such negative and relatively insignificant matters have been written many editorials in the capitalist press and in the Socialist press. The clippings fill a drawer. I have not read a quarter of them, and I doubt if I shall ever read them all. If on such a small quantity of fact so much comment has followed, what will the newspapers do if I ever set to work in earnest to write and talk in behalf of socialism? For the present I should like to make a statement of my position and correct some false reports and answer some criticisms which seem to me unjust.  

First — How did I become a Socialist? By reading. The first book I read was Wells' New World for Old. I read it on Mrs. Macy's recommendation. She was attracted by its imaginative quality, and hoped that its electric style might stimulate and interest me. When she gave me the book, she was not a Socialist and she is not a Socialist now. Perhaps she will be one before Mr. Macy and I are done arguing with her.  

My reading has been limited and slow. I take German bimonthly Socialist periodicals printed in braille for the blind. (Our German comrades are ahead of us in many respects.) I have also in German braille Kautsky's discussion of the Erfurt Program. The other socialist literature that I have read has been spelled into my hand by a friend who comes three times a week to read tome whatever I choose to have read. The periodical which I have most often requested her lively fingers to communicate to my eager ones is the National Socialist. She gives the titles of the articles and I tell her when to read on and when to omit. I have also had her read to me from the International Socialist Review articles the titles of which sounded promising. Manual spelling takes time. It is no easy and rapid thing to absorb through one's fingers a book of 50,000 words on economics. But it is a pleasure, and one which I shall enjoy repeatedly until I have made myself acquainted with all the classic socialist authors.