|CH = chapter, P = page, L = line, C = comment, N = Norwegian,
T = (alternative) translation, usually closer to the original text,
TTR = Two-Tier Reality (metaphysical system bridging East and West)
CHAPTER 32: OUR OWN TIME (PP371-390)
Sartre painfully expresses the fear of freedom at the heart of Western culture.
|P371 L2: finished T: stopped in the middle of L6: A bit scary, she thought T: It was a sombre thought L16: Hilde was (T: not) convinced that it was (far from) decided what was to happen on the last page L24: What was consciousness? C: 'The state of being conscious' or whatever else we define it to be. Whether 'the consciousness' has any useful meaning - and if so, what - is a separate question L24(cont): Wasn't it one of the greatest riddles of the universe? C: No L25(cont): What was memory? C: Whatever we define it to be L25(cont): What made us 'remember' everything we had seen and experienced? C: If we do (not proven)|
|P372 L1: (T: As she lay pondering,) She closed her eyes from time to time L6: It had gotten to be (T: become) a habit L7: She suddenly felt a myriad (of) colors exploding (T: felt as if a paintbox had exploded) in her head L11: dream was (T: like) an extension L26: She was still standing (T: As she stood) at the window (when) her mother came in L31: vacation day T: holiday L33: slam T: close L37: again T: further|
|P373 L6: working T: trying L7: undisturbed T: unobserved L10: pondering T: wondering L33: It's the same thing, isn't it? T: It comes to the same thing, doesn't it? L37: no (T: little) difference to the freight T: load|
|P374 L1: I'm giving T: the hostess at L21: devious T: complicated L22: be sufficient T: suffice/do L25: touched down T: landed L41: out of T: through|
|P375 L9: it T: them L12: tenth (T: wedding) anniversary L13: clearly remembered T: had clear memories of L18: Saturday morning C: Then unimportant sentence omitted L19: two different kinds of bread T: rolls and plaited loaves with two different kinds of dough L20: sodas T: soft drinks L29: He would probably (T: perhaps) have pulled a white rabbit out of a hat C: And for an encore, perhaps, pulled a hat out of the white rabbit. But actually, Alberto is planning a much more ironic trick (shhh!), pulling a city district out of a log cabin... L32: garden party C: Then sentence omitted: T: (Mom:) Oh, you quick-tongued little fusspot! L34: Actually, I am T: Something or other |
|P376 L3: I held T: did well, holding L5: Is (T: there any more of) the philosophy course (finished)? L7: orient yourself on your own T: find your own way L13: most practical T: fine L15: hunting (T: everywhere) for L18: There'a a café that's just opened at (T: new café just opposite) the Main Square L21: Can we meet at twelve? C: Then two sentences omitted: T: Twelve o'clock in the café - So no more for now - Okay. Bye! L23: Sophie walked (T: stuck her head) into L25: in T: with L26: sandwiches T: single-portion salad bowls L27: Sophie noticed ... Alberto was not there C: Men! C: Then sentence omitted: T: That was actually the only thing she noticed L28: at the round (T: round the) tables L33: sat down at T: took it to L37: As time passed (T: After a while), she started to look around. She got a couple of glances in return L38(cont): For a moment (T: Suddenly) Sophie felt like a young woman T: lady. She was only fifteen, but she could certainly have passed for seventeen - or at least, sixteen and a half L41(cont): She wondered what all these people thought about being alive T: life |
|P377 L1: They were all talking away ... but it didn't look as though they were talking about anything that mattered C: Ah, but one never knows...|
First young man: She must be at least seventeen!
Second young man: What, her? Not a day over sixteen and a half, man!
FYM: Well, I tell you she definitely gave me the glad eye!
SYM: So go over and say hello! Hang on, here comes her boyfriend...
FYM: Boyfriend, did you say? Huh! Father, more like it!
L8: early T: first L11: fur of the white rabbit C: Anyone fancy some rabbit pie? L13: (T: While she sat thinking,) She kept her eyes on the (T: entrance) door L13(cont): Suddenly Alberto walked (T: strolled) in L15: He (T: spotted her immediately and) hurried over (to her) L18: Would you like a snack? T: May I offer the young lady something to eat? L21: Sure T: It's all the same to me L21: sandwich T: roll L22: he soon returned T: Soon he was back L26: (T: Anyway,) Do you have any excuse (at all) for being late? L30: interest T: importance L31: movements are going off (T: things are moving) in all directions L32: direction T: movement L37: but (T: also) Hegel and Marx (as well) L42: proposed T: set
|P378 L6: what had (hitherto) been considered (T: regarded as) the "real" world was in fact (T: reality) a pseudo world T: world of appearances L8: Do not listen to those who offer you (T: their) supernatural expectations T: hopes L14: (Sartre) was the leading light T: most influential L15: broader T: wider L20: Sartre himself spent a lot of time in cafés T: was a keen café-guest/goer L21: Simone de Beauvoir ... also an existential philosopher L23(cont): A woman philosopher? L25: What a relief that humanity is finally becoming civilised C: Well said, Sophie! L34: Sartre's allegiance was (T: S. belonged) to ... atheistic existentialism L41: they do not have to think (T: they escape from being troubled) about L42: Man is the only living creature that is conscious of its own existence C: Evidence of human vanity|
|P379 L1: Sartre said that a material thing is simply "in itself", but mankind is (T: also) "for itself" C: Meaning?! L2(cont): The being of man is therefore not the same as the being of things T: Being a human is different from being a thing C: True, but hardly profound LL5-7: takes priority over T: comes before / is prior to L5: (Sartre:) man's existence t.p.o. whatever he might otherwise be T: whatever it (i.e. existence) may mean / whatever meaning it may have L6(cont): The fact that I exist t.p.o. what I am L7(cont): "Existence t.p.o. essence" C: And what is all that (LL5-7) supposed to mean? L9: essence ... the nature or being of something T: a thing's nature or being L11: create T: shape L11: Man ... must create his own nature or "essence" because it is not fixed in advance T: given beforehand C: Meaning?! L16: It is ... useless to search for the meaning of life in general C: Right - that makes sense L18: we are like actors dragged (T: let) onto the stage without having learned our lines (T: with no studied role), with no script and no prompter L20: We must decide for ourselves how to live C: Fine! So who is complaining? Do people prefer to be told what to do and what their role is and what to say and what not to say? L22: actually T: in a way L23: practical T: simple L30: Sartre ... man feels alien in a world without meaning C: Man can provide his own meaning L34: It is quite normal (T: widespread C: Not 'normal' but abnormal in terms of mental health) to feel depressed or to feel that everything is just too boring L36: S. was describing the (C: typical) ... city dweller L38: S. experienced man's freedom as a curse. "Man is condemned to be free ... condemned because he has not created himself - and is nevertheless free. Because having once been hurled (T: cast) into the world, he is responsible for everything he does" C: And what free-spirited person would have it otherwise? Sartre painfully expresses the fear of freedom at the heart of Western culture|
|P380 L2: we are free individuals, and this freedom condemns (C: enables) us to make choices throughout our lives. There are no eternal values or norms we can adhere to T: follow C: Right; cf. TTR L7: Nor can we (T: So we cannot) avoid L11: flock T: crowd L13: Our freedom obliges us to make something of ourselves, to live "authentically" or "truly" T: genuinely L18: grown T: immature L18: pigs T: swine L22: There ought to be a limit to what man (T: limits to what that man - i.e. "old Adam") can be blamed for. L23(cont): Although Sartre claimed that there was no innate (T: inherent) meaning to life, he did not mean that nothing mattered T: this does not mean that he wanted it to be so L27: S. believed that life must have meaning C: Yes, our meaning L28: But it is we ourselves who must create this meaning in our own lives C: Right L30: elaborate T: expand L31: prove T: show L32: consciousness is always conscious of (T: consciousness of) something L34: We are partly (C: largely) instrumental in deciding what we perceive by selecting what is significant for us C: Yes; cf. TTR L37: room T: place L39: A woman who is pregnant might think she sees other pregnant women everywhere ... because now ... she sees the world through different eyes|
|P381 L1: An escaped convict may see policemen everywhere T: A sick person may see ambulances everywhere C: And a philosopher may see ironies everywhere L3: Our own lives influence the way we perceive things ... If something is of no interest to me, I don't (C: may not) see it L6: It was on purpose, right? T: You said it was on purpose L7: (T: First) Tell me (first of all) what you saw when you came in here T: to the café L9: the first thing you noticed was something that was absent T: not here L12: we "annihilate" (T: eliminate) whatever is irrelevant (T: has no meaning) for us L15: central T: important L17: Get out of here! T: Do me a favour! L18: loved one T: boyfriend L19: all evening C: Then repetitious sentence omitted L21: you can't see him anywhere C: Then sentence omitted: T: Then you don't (really) see all those people L21(cont): They are all (T: are just) in the way L22: aggravating T: annoying L25: How sad T: I see L26(cont): Simone de Beauvoir attempted (T: tried) to apply existentialism to feminism T: gender roles L27(cont): S. had already said that man (T: the human being) has no basic "nature" ... We (T: ourselves) create ourselves T: who we are L30: S. de B. denied the existence of a basic (T: eternal) "female nature" or "male nature" C: Then sentence omitted: T: But this has been the traditional attitude L32(cont): For instance, it has been generally claimed (T: held) that man (T: the male) has a "transcending", or achieving (T: boundary-crossing), nature L33(cont): He will therefore (C: therefore?!) seek meaning and direction outside the home L34(cont): Woman has been said to have the opposite (T: contrary) life philosophy L35(cont): She is "immanent" (T: indwelling !), which means she wishes to be where she is C: ?! L36: She will therefore (C: therefore?!) nurture her family, care for the environment and more homely (T: close) things L37(cont): Nowadays we might say that women are more concerned with "feminine" (T: "soft") values than men (are) L41: S. de B. in fact did not believe in the existence of any (T: held that there is no) such "female nature" or "male nature"|
|P382 L2: ingrown T: deep-rooted L7: Men behave as if they are the subjects, treating women like their objects T: Only (the) man is / stands out as / the subject, and (the) woman is treated as (the) man's object L8(cont): thus depriving them of the responsibility for their own life T: Thus she is also deprived of responsibility for her own life C: Then paragraph omitted: T: She must recapture this responsibility. She must take herself back and not simply tie her identity to (the) man. For it is not only (the) man who oppresses (the) woman. (The) woman oppresses herself by not taking responsibility for her own life L11: choose T: decide L13: on drama T: in the theatre L24: in order (T: so as) to get the audience to disagree T: react L28: essential T: genuine L34: audience would (T: begins to) laugh L36: lampooned (T: revealed) on stage L42: worked T: operated L42: movies T: films|
|P383 L1: Chaplin's laconic acceptance of (T: lack of surprise at) all the absurd things that happen to him L2(cont): That compelled the audience (T: In this way, the audience is compelled) to look into themselves for something more genuine and true C: That idea would have given Chaplin a big laugh! L4: It's certainly surprising (T: strange) to see what people put up with (T: accept) without protesting T: reacting L10: Coke T: cola L11: I still think you were silly (N: en fjompenisse) to be late|
C: A 'fjompenisse' is one of those curious gnomes, immortalised in garden statuary, who spends most of his time fishing in a little pool. He never catches anything, but he feels that if he just waits a little longer, he will get a bite. As a result, he is always late for appointments.
'Fjompenisser' are found mainly in Northern Norway, where parents traditionally warn their children not to imitate them and become indolent good-for-nothings. Around the base of the ancient Fjompenisse Fountain on the quayside in Narvik, one can still make out the inscription, in Old Norwegian: Denn somm fjjomper alldrigg stjjomper, meaning roughly: He who fishes (his life away) will never stamp (his mark on the world).
The Narvik Fjompenisse is, of course, famous for using his pool not only for fishing. Visiting philologists are always delighted to inspect such an artistically outstanding illustration of word derivation, and the townsfolk enjoy their frequent and sometimes violent arguments about which meaning of 'nisse' came first.
L14: She was also beginning to think (T: no longer so convinced) that the conversations at the other tables might not be (T: tables were) as trivial as she had supposed them to be T: as she had thought...
SYM: Whoever he is, he's far too old for her!
FYM: I'll try to catch her eye again...
L17: Alberto banged the Coke (T: cola) bottle down on the table.
SYM: I think he heard you!
FYM: Who cares? He should be ashamed of himself!
L24: way back T: all the way back L33: various T: different L40: the indivisible "elemental (T: elementary) particle" of which all matter is (C: said to be) composed C: The elusive quark? L40(cont): No one has yet been able to give a satisfactory explanation of what "matter" is C: For that matter, no one has yet been able to give a satisfactory explanation of what an "explanation" is...
What is matter? Never mind...
What is mind? No matter...
C: In an emergency, smash glass and take out dictionary
L42(cont): Modern science(s), such as nuclear physics and biochemistry, are so fascinated by the problem (T: is so fascinating) that for many people it (i.e. science) constitutes (T: forms) a vital (T: an important) part of their life's philosophy T: world-view/ Weltanschauung
|P384 L3: jumbled T: mixed L4: the very questions we started our course with are still unanswered C: Still have no final answer L6: A philosophical question is by definition (C: What definition?) something that each generation, each individual even, must ask over and over again C: Not necessarily; some questions come to be recognised as meaningless or mistaken L10: Surely it is by asking such questions that we know we are alive C: A good example of fine-sounding pseudo-philosophical nonsense L12: while people were seeking answers to the ultimate questions (C: often meaningless or mistaken ones), they have discovered clear and final (C: ?!) solutions to many other problems C: For example? L13(cont): Science, research and technology are all by-products of (T: have all sprung from) our philosophical reflection(s) C: Debatable L15(cont): Was it not our wonder about life that finally brought men to the moon? C: Surely not? L24: A central (T: An important) philosophical direction T: current L25: or ecosophy ... called it C: Not in original text L28: western civilization as a whole is on a fundamentally wrong track, racing toward a head-on collision (T: on a collision course) with (the limits of) what our planet can tolerate C: Right. L30: (The ecophilosophers) have tried to take soundings that go (T: tried to dig) deeper than the concrete effects of pollution and environmental destruction. There is something basically wrong with western thought, they claim C: Right (Sophie agrees) L35: Ecophilosophy has questioned the very idea of evolution in its (T: basic) assumption that man is "at the top" - as if we are masters (T: rulers) of nature. This way of thinking could prove to be fatal for (T: could threaten) the whole planet L39: mad T: angry L40: assumption T: way of thinking|
|P385 L3: In scientific circles in recent years, it has been (T: some have) said that our whole mode of scientific thought is facing a "paradigm shift" C: The sooner the better L8: Great T: That's good L9: However, when there are many people involved (T: it is also the case that wherever man goes / whatever man does), one must always distinguish (T: a distinction must be made) between good and bad C: Final words are mild translation of raw Norwegian expression L11: But everything new is not necessarily good (T: not all new things are equally good), and not all the old (T: things) should be thrown out L15: Thank you (T: for your attention) C: Sophie or Alberto? LL17-19: T: In recent decades the western world has been influenced by what we (may) call "the new religiosity", "new occultism" or "modern superstition" L20: philosophical (T: world-view) market L25: to see C: Then sentence omitted: T: Sophie shrugged L29: round (T: finish) off L41: In (T: Since) the Renaissance, the world began to explode (T: has exploded), so to speak L42(cont): Beginning with the great voyages of discovery T: With the great (new) discoveries|
|P386 L2: explosion in reverse T: implosion L3(cont): In what sense? T: What do you mean? L4(cont): In the sense T: I mean L4: becoming T: being L7: today we can ... access the whole of human experience on a computer screen C: A slight exaggeration?! L10: scary T: sinister L11: The question is whether history is coming to an end C: Only if mankind is coming to an end L17: possibly T: perhaps L18: the whole of history put together T: all previous history L19: probably T: perhaps L19: witnessed T: seen L20: me to see T: to show me L27: Back (T: Coming) soon L29: Charlatan! T: What a card! L33: seemed T: was L34: bookstore (T: bookshop) in town C: Then sentence omitted: T: Is it here you want to show me something? L39: Spiritism T: Spiritualism|
|P387 L9: Aren't you being rather crass? T: nasty? C: Yes; the true philosopher discriminates carefully and does not take refuge in thoughtless generalisations. Above all, he does not refer casually (L22) to 'book-burning' L22: Many of those books do not contain (so much as) one (iota of) genuine experience C: How much 'genuine experience' does "Sophie's World" contain? Should it be judged on its 'genuine experience' or on its brilliant fantasy? L25: commercial enterprise T: business L25: most T: many L27: desire T: long for L29: carrying coals to Newcastle T: crossing the stream to get water L35: I guess so T: Yes, it is L36: Why should we enter the fortune-teller's tent or the backyards of academe (C: or the theologian's church or the philosopher's indoctrination studio) in search of (T: to experience) something exciting or transcendental? T: 'frontier-breaking'? L39: phonies T: charlatans|
|P388 L13: genuine data T: convincing material L19: phonies T: pure charlatans/swindlers L21: And that is? T: Tell me! L23: Of course T: How many times must I say that I am not forgetful? L25: might T: can L36: (From time to time) during this century there have (T: regularly) been.|
|P389 L2: been T: acted L5: cases of mediums being closely (T: thoroughly) studied (T: who) while in a trance and revealing (T: trance, have revealed) knowledge L11: Which T: What L12: she had a Jewish nanny when she was little C: who spoke Hebrew to her?! L15: store (T: earlier) experience(s) L21: It gives me goose bumps T: pimples T: I get a chill down my spine L27: It's healthier to approach such books (T: bookshelves) (C: and their critics) with a decent portion of (T: with a certain) skepticism L30: slightest proof (T: tiniest example) of something supernatural L32: nobody has come forward (for the reward) C: What happened to all those fakes and charlatans? L36: Maybe we don't understand (T: know all) the laws of nature either C: Especially those not yet invented|
|P390 L7: If I did not keep this possibility open, I would be dogmatic, and not a true philosopher C: Alberto, like so many philosophers - and others - likes to think that he keeps an open mind. In theory, perhaps, but in practice, his mind is closed on many matters L17: store T: shop L19: Sophie gasped as she read the title: Sophie's World C: How ironic can you get? L23: with the book in one hand C: Which she apparently never opened|