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Portal Site for Russellian in Japan

(社会思想社,1976年12月刊 4pp.(口絵写真)+ 290pp.)

* 原著:My Father Bertrand Russell, by Katharine Tait, 1975.
* 巻 正平(まき しょうへい、1922-1995):評論家。東大哲学科卒。1959年、カッパ・ブックスより『姦通のモラル』を出版し、夫婦の自由恋愛を唱えた。後に相模女子大学教授、同学芸学部長を務めた。

Preface to My Father Bertrand Russell, 1975
 バートランド・ラッセルを父に持つということはどんなふうであったか? 彼は厳しかったか、近づきにくかったか、分析的であったか? 彼は自分が哲学的な難問に取り組んだり、自分の無数の本を書いているときは、絶対に静かにしていることを要求したか? 彼は自分の子供たちのつまらない問題に無関心なほど高遠であったか? 彼はほんとうはどんなふうであったか?
「彼は父親としてはどんなふうであったか」と人々がきく。わたしはそれには、父がどういうふうに見えたか、父が何をいったか、父が朝食に何を食べたかなどを説明することで答えることができる。しかし、「バートランド・ラッセルを父に持つということはどんなふうであったか?」にはもっと多くのことがかかわってくる。たとえば、わたしたちの家庭の雰囲気はどうだったか? それはわたしたちにどのように影響したか? 長い歳月をへた現在、わたしはそれをどう思っているか? などである。  ある人がいつかわたしに、わたしが父と議論をしたことがあるかときいたことがあった。その質問をされたとき、わたしはとんでもないと思った。というのは、もちろん、そんなことは全く考えられないことだったからである。父の頭は'かみそり'のように鋭く、その働きは'はがね'のように迅速だったし、父の知識の貯えは明らかに無尽蔵だった。わたしはかつて、議論をして父に勝った人というのを見たこともきいたこともなかった。

 ソクラテス 「あれはきみのイヌかね?」
 ソフィスト 「ええ、そうです。」
 ソクラテス 「雌かね?」
 ソフィスト 「ええ、そうです。」
 ソクラテス 「母親かね?」
 ソフィスト 「ええ、そうです。」
 ソクラテス 「それじゃ、あのイヌはきみのイヌできみの母親だから、きみはビッチのむすこである。」

What was it like, having Bertrand Russell for a father? Was he stern, remote, analytical? Did he demand absolute quiet while he wrestled with philosophical conundrums and wrote his innumerable books? Was he too lofty to concern himself with the trivial affairs of his children? What was he really like?
I have been asked such questions all my life and have struggled vainly to provide concise and honest answers. Two kinds of questions are mixed up here, and they need different kinds of answers.
"What was he like as a father?" people ask. I can answer that with description: how he looked, what he said, what he ate for breakfast, what he did when we were bad. But "What was it like having Bertrand Russell for a father?" involves much more: What was the atmosphere in our home? How did it affect us? How do I feel about it now, after so many years?
Somebody once asked me if I ever argued with my father. The question struck me as preposterous, for of course it was quite impossible. His mind was as sharp as a razor and as quick as a steel trap, and his fund of knowledge was apparently infinite. I have never seen or heard anybody get the better of him in an argument.
He used to tell us often and gleefully the tale of Socrates and the Sophist (or was it the Sophist and the foolish young man?) who was a son of a bitch. It went like this:
SOCRATES: Is that your dog?
SOPHIST: Yes, it is.
SOCRATES: Is it, a female?
SOPHIST: Yes, it is.
SOCRATES: Is she a mother?
SOPHIST: Yes, she is.
SOCRATES: Then she is your dog and your mother and you are a son of a bitch.
We had a dog, once, who went on walks with us and chased after rabbits, following his nose. We, who walked upright and used our eyes instead of our noses, would see a rabbit run across the path ahead of us, while Sherry, running along with his nose to the ground, saw nothing, until suddenly he came upon the delicious scent of rabbit in his path. Being a dog bred more for looks than intelligence, he often went off in the direction that the rabbit had come, rather than that in which it had gone. We watched this performance with lofty amusement, despising the poor dog for his stupidity and his inability to use his eyes as we did. But secretly I identified with the dog and felt sorry for him, the recipient of our scorn. He was not really stupid, only a dog, behaving as a dog behaves.
That is what it was like, having Bertrand Russell for a father.