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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Quotations from Ran Yunfei (Part One)

As at the date this translation project started, twitterer @wuxinkuaiyu had tweeted 65 quotations from the detained dissident writer. Here are the first batch of the quotations translated into English.

Translated by @sikoalice
Proofread and modified by @krizcpec

1. 我读书、写作、做研究的目的,是为了求真,为了求自由,是为了求得自己体面而有尊严的生活。当然我知道我远远没有得到这一切,因为没有谁会将尊严和体面奉送到我的面前,我得自己来争取。如果每个人都为自己的体面和尊严而斗争,当然这个社会可能就会变得更好一点。
Translation: I write, read and research to pursue truth, freedom, to pursue a life with glory and dignity. Surely I know there is still a long way to go, no one would present these two things in front of me and I must fight for them myself. Of course this society may change for the better if everyone gets to fight for glory and dignity.

2. 批评政府及制度,其目的在于做一个自由的人,为自己的权益起而奋斗。这样说来,每个人都有为自己权益起而批评的义务与动机,都不应该寄望于别人来为自己争取权益。
Translation:The purpose of criticism of the government and the system is to be a free person fighting for one’s rights. From this we can say that all have the obligation and motive to criticize for their own rights. No one should depend on someone else to strive for these rights on their behalves.

3. 我对政治没有道德洁癖,只是个人对此并无兴趣,我认为政治并不比人类的其他领域更肮脏,前提是只要有比较好的制度的话。换言之,我最喜欢做的事,是读书、写作、旅游、饮酒,快意适己。
Translation: I have no moral mysophobia of politics - I am not trying to stay away from it, it is just that I have no interest in it. I don't find politics to be more filthy than other aspects of human life, so long as a better system is in place. That said, what I like to do most are reading, writing, travelling, drinking, having fun, and making myself comfortable.

4. 中国有许多看上去充满“智慧”的成语和俗语,是我们通往公民社会的障碍,可是有很多人习焉不察。这样的“习焉不察”,不止显现于“谣言止于智者”这种不堪的成说,更展示在“多难兴邦”等习焉不察的没有逻辑的屁话里。
Translation::There are many Chinese sayings and proverbs that appear to be full of “wisdom”, which are actually barriers to our society evolving into one that is civil. Yet many people are just too accustomed to these to call them in question, this blind acceptance can be seen not only when it comes to absurd sayings such as “rumours find no credence with the wise”, but also those utter nonsenses like “much distress revives a nation.”

5. 言论自由与任何人的利益、尊严都有关联,一旦言论自由被垄断被扼杀,自由思考和自由思想就成为不可能,没有自由思想,便没有元气淋漓的创造,就不会使人之生命散发出应有的光芒。
Translation:Freedom of speech is related to the rights and dignity of every person. Free and independent thought is impossible if the freedom of speech is monopolized or nipped. There can be no vivid or incisive creations without a free mind, and the glorious light of life will soon die out as well.

6. 如果日历一撕便是一年,我会毫不犹豫撕掉十一页。没有如果,每翻一页,日拱一卒,不期速成,让良心犯们离开监狱,不至于感到在更大的监狱。
Translation: If tearing off a single page of the calendar means a year has gone by, I shall tear eleven pages without any doubt. Unfortunately there is no such thing as “If”, with every day goes by, we shall do our utmost, slowly, and painstakingly, without expecting a sudden triumph. Let those prisoners of conscience be free from prison, without feeling that they are trapped in a bigger one. (Note: this quotation was referring to Liu Xiaobo, who has been sentenced to 11-year imprisonment in 2010)

7. 由于制度缺陷使所有人没有理性预期,加上没有信仰,于是庸俗实用主义、犬儒主义,我死后哪怕洪水滔天也与我无关的思想,甚嚣尘上。大家都走在互相伤害的“康庄大道”上,这就是我证明的中国是个互害社会。
Translation:Owing to the defects of the system, and on top of the absence of faith, people have no rational expectation. This results in the prevalence of vulgar pragmatism, cynicism, and thoughts like “after I die, nothing concerns me, not even a massive flood.” Everyone is moving on the “Broad Road” of harming each other, this is what I have proved about the characteristic of : China is a society which members are doing bad things to one another.

8. 我们要用一切合理合法的方式让所有为恶者,为自己的为恶迟早买单。同时也要让将来的为恶者,在为恶时有所收敛,知道做恶不能保证永远不让人知道。
Translation:We shall exhaust all means that is rational and permitted by law to make all evil-doers pay for what they have done. And so that the fiends-to-come would exercise some restraint when they do bad things, knowing that their crimes will not remain secrets forever.

9. 我之所以能坚持,实出于自私之心,即自己作为一个还算有点知识的人,如果不说一点自己看到的和研究出来的中国社会的真相,如果不道出自己感受到的真实状况,那么自己就觉得有一种亏欠,我自己要说出来、写出来后,才能吃得饱、睡得香、醉起酒来肆无忌惮。
Translation: Actually, the reason I persist is for myself. Being a man with some knowledge, I will surely feel guilty if I do not speak out the truth of China society as I observed and studied it; if I speak nothing about the true status as I feel it. I shall eat, drink and sleep with clear conscience only when I have spoken and written all these.
10. 与互联网共同成长这十年,我从一个充满暴戾之气的人,转变成一个能倾听不同意见,且能保持宽容平和的理性之人,是我这十年来所取得的不错成就,我很满意我这种变化,由此不难想见互联网所具有的巨大的社会教育功能。
Translation: Having grown along with the Internet in the last ten years, I transformed from a ruthless and tyrannical man to one that is capable of listening to different opinions, while staying tolerant, calm and rational. This is a gratifying achievement I have obtained in this decade, I am happy with this transformation, and from this it is not hard to see the great social education function the Internet has.

11. 中国现实生活的惨烈、荒谬、奇幻,胜过任何当今中国的文学特别是小说作品。即便那些自命不凡的作家,在强大的现实经历面前,在官方的诸种不可理喻面前,其想像力也是不堪一比和不堪一击。
Translation: The real life in China is weirder, more tragic and bizarre than any contemporary Chinese literature, especially fictions. The formidable real life experience and all sorts of governmental irrationality dwarf and trump the imagination of even those writers who pride themselves on being exceptional.

12. 我并不想天天写博客批评社会和政府,如果这是一个正常的民主社会的话,我没有这样一份“豪情”和“雅兴”。但生在多灾多难的中国,如果不发声,别说有担当有良知这样的高要求,就是连做一个普通知识分子,大约也是不合格的。
Translation:I would rather not criticizing this society and government on a daily basis if it is a normal democratic society, I do not have such passion and interest. However, being born in this country dogged by misfortunes, I cannot be called an ordinary intellectual, not to mention being one with conscience and sense of responsibility if I do not speak out.

13. 大家尽量对自己身边的事情,特别是关涉权利的事情说出自己的意见,使意见在众声喧哗中,形成声音、信息的多元化,使那种想将声音、信息一统天下的极权大梦见鬼去。
Translation:Everybody should speak out what you think about the things around you, especially those concerning your rights, so that in the midst of various viewpoints can pluralism in the voices of the public and information be formed; so that the totalitarian dream of standardizing all voices and information can go to hell.

14. 对开明派的赞赏和对青天的呼唤,其心态根本没有什么两样,把自己的幸福抵押在人治状态上,这种思维之落后、观念之没品,是一望可知的事。有许多人沉浸在对体制内开明派的意淫中,是为自己放弃抗争放弃努力找点鸦片式的替代品来麻醉自己。
Translation: The people who sing the liberals praises have the same mindset as those calling for honorable officials: counting their happiness on the rule of virtuous man. The stupidity and obsolescence of this type of thinking is blindly obvious. Many people indulge themselves in their illusion about the liberals inside the system. Instead of fighting and striving for themselves, they numb themselves with this opium-like substitute.

15. 很多人至今不知道他们(汶川大地震死难者)的名字,他们的名字至今未能刊刻在任何一座纪念馆或者博物馆上。不知道真实姓名的纪念,不永久铭刻在纪念碑上的纪念,像官方这样自我表扬的纪念,不只是做秀,更是一种不能接受的亵渎。
Translation:To this date many people still do not know what they (those who died in Wenchuan earthquake) were called; their names have not been inscribed on a single Memorial or Museum. To commemorate them without knowing their real names, without their names carved on monuments for good; to commemorate them in the self-praising manner like that of the government would not only be a political show but also an unacceptable blasphemy.

16. 大多数国人本来就健忘,甚至善忘——官员教导民众对历史要宜粗不宜细,传媒号召大家既往不究——民众都像喝了孟婆汤,频遭无数灾难,但伤疤未好就忘了痛。
Translation: Most compatriots are forgetful, or even willfully forgetting things in the first place —officials teach the public to better not go into the details when it comes to history, media asks people to let bygones be bygones — as if they have drunk the Five Flavored Tea of Forgetfulness. Despite being struck by numerous disasters, the populace forget the pain before the wounds are healed.

17. 我历来认为仇恨是短跑,它有爆发力,但却缺乏持久性。因此我更相信爱,因为我们许多要做的事,都不是短跑,而是人生的马拉松。我拿不出解决社会的一揽子方案,也无意以策师的姿态献计,我只是凭着自己的认识与观察,知识储备和道德底线来做事和说话的人。
Translation: I always see hate as sprint, it is rather explosive but lacks the stamina. Therefore I believe more in love, the nature of the many things that we want to do is more like a marathon of life than a sprint. I could not offer a package to solve social problems, nor do I have the intention to act as a schemer and offer advices, I am just a person who act and speak basing on my knowledge, observation, and moral bottom line.

18. 这么多的灾难,不仅没有好的研究,也没有好的记录,更没有对普通人的倾听与悲悯,我们生活在这个时代没有做出相应的努力,我们是有责任和有愧的。
Translation: So many disasters without proper research or record, without listening or compassion to the common people. Living in this day and age, we have the responsibility to take corresponding actions and should feel guilty if we don't.

19. 六四是这个国家永远的捆绑,是我们这个国家永远的伤痛,是政府的罪恶。不妥善解决六四问题,整个中国就会像一道巨大伤口浸泡在污泥里,越来越大,整个中国就永远无法步入一个文明的社会和国家。
Translation: The June 4th crackdown is forever the constraint of this country, the pain of our nation, is the sin of the government. Without proper settlement of the problems brought by this tragedy, the entire nation will be just like a giant wound immersed in mud, becoming ever larger, and will never be able to transform into one that is civilized.

20. 若是在传统传媒垄断所有信息的时代,在中国这个铁幕国家,你就永远只有被动接受新华社的灌输和愚弄。好在有网络的存在,哪怕只是个备受GFW管制的半残废网络,也可以从门缝里看到许多与党产黄喉完全不同的风景。
Translation: In this iron curtain country, you would always be stupefied and instilled by Xinhua News agency if it was in the time of information monopoly by traditional media. But thanks to the Internet, even though it is only a partially functional one under the constant restrictions of the Great Fire Wall, we could peek out and see something quite different from what we are given by those Communist mouthpieces.

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