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ラッセル「私の執筆法」n.2 (松下彰良・訳)

Bertrand Russell : How I write, 1951.

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 私は文章を書くいろいろな方法を,きわめてゆっくりと,心配や不安をほとんどなしに発見した。若い頃,重要な著作の(中の)どの目新しい断片も,しばらくの間 −もしかすると非常に長い期間−, いつも私の力が及ばないように思われた(注:自分にはこのような立派な文章は書けないと思われた、ということか?)。決してそれ以上良くなるところまで行きつかないのではないかという恐れから,よくいらいらして神経質になった。不満足の試みを次々に行い,結局はそれらを全部投げ捨てなければならなかった。(そうして)ついに,私は,そのような手さぐりの試みは,時間の浪費であると悟った。ある主題に関する本の内容についてまず熟考し,その本についての準備的な注意をめぐらした後,せかすことができない,念入りな思考によって,どちらかと言えば,遮られるような,潜在意識における孵化期間が必要だと思われた。時にはしばらくすると,誤りを犯していたことが解ったし,心の中で描いていた本を執筆できないのが解ったりした。しかし,幸いなことに,しばしば,もっとうまくいった。とても集中する時期に,問題を自分の潜在意識に植えつけた後,地下で芽を出し,突然,まばゆいような明噺さで解決法が現れ,あとは,あたかも啓示のように現れたものを全て書き下す仕事だけが残っていた。

Very gradually I have discovered ways of writing with a minimum of worry and anxiety. When I was young each fresh piece of serious work used to seem to me for a time-perhaps a long time-to be beyond my powers. I would fret myself into a nervous state from fear that it was never going to come right. I would make one unsatisfying attempt after another, and in the end have to discard them all. At last I found that such fumbling attempts were a waste of time. It appeared that after first contemplating a book on some subject, and after giving serious preliminary attention to it, I needed a period of sub-conscious incubation which could not be hurried and was if anything impeded by deliberate thinking. Sometimes I would find, after a time, that I had made a mistake, and that I could not write the book I had had in mind. But often I was more fortunate. Having, by a time of very intense concentration, planted the problem in my sub-consciousness, it would germinate underground until, suddenly, the solution emerged with blinding clarity, so that it only remained to write down what had appeared as if in a revelation.
The most curious example of this process, and the one which led me subsequently to rely upon it, occurred at the beginning of 1914. I had undertaken to give the Lowell Lectures at Boston, and had chosen as my subject "Our Knowledge of the External World". Throughout 1913 I thought about this topic. In term time in my rooms at Cambridge, in vacations in a quiet inn on the upper reaches of the Thames, I concentrated with such intensity that I sometimes forgot to breath and emerged panting as from a trance. But all to no avail. To every theory that I could think of I could perceive fatal objections. At last, in despair, I went off to Rome for Christmas, hoping that a holiday would revive my flagging energy. I got back to 'Cambridge on the last day of 1913, and although my difficulties were still completely unresolved I arranged, because the remaining time was short, to dictate as best as I could to a stenographer. Next morning, as she came in at the door, I suddenly saw exactly what I had to say, and proceeded to dictate the whole book without a moment's hesitation.