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regarding the envelope enclosed herewith.


Miss Emily Hale, of Massachusetts, has presented to the Library of Princeton University the letters which I wrote to her between 1932 and 1947 – possibly a few of them a little earlier; any written after the death of my first wife are so different in sentiment that she may not have included them. It has come to my ears that she has added, or is preparing to add, some sort of commentary of her own. It therefore seems to me necessary to place on record my own picture of the background of this correspondence, and my present attitude towards it.

马萨诸塞州的 Emily Hale 小姐向普林斯顿大学图书馆展示了我在1932年到1947年之间写给她的信件---- 可能有一些更早一些; 任何在我第一任妻子去世后写的信都是如此不同的情感,以至于她可能没有收录这些信件。 她已经加入了,或者正准备加入一些她自己的评论,这已经进入了我的耳朵。 因此,在我看来,有必要把我自己对这些信件背景的看法,以及我目前对这些信件的态度记录在案。

I wish the statement by myself to be made public as soon as the letters to Miss Hale are made public. (I make clear a little further on what I mean by the term “make public”). This ought not to be until fifty years after my death. But a good deal of publicity is possible without publication (in print); and I feel no assurance that complete privacy will be preserved up to that date; and if the letters themselves, or any of them, or any excerpts or quotations from any of them, or Miss Hale’s “commentary”, are disclosed before that time, or if it transpires that any individual or individuals has or have been given access to any of the letters before that date, then I wish the enclosed statement to be made public at the same time.

我希望给黑尔小姐的信一公开,我本人的声明就能公之于众。 (关于“公开”一词的含义,我再进一步说明一下)。 这不应该是在我死后五十年。 但是没有出版物(印刷品)也可以进行大量的宣传; 我不能保证在那一天之前完全保护隐私; 如果信件本身,或其中任何一封信件,或其中任何一封信件的摘录或引用,或黑尔小姐的”评论”在那一天之前被披露,或者如果发现任何个人或个人在那一天之前已经或已经获得了这些信件中的任何一封,那么我希望所附声明同时公开。

In case the Princeton Library preserves my letters unopened (as it ought to do) until fifty years after my death, when my Executors will be dead also, I suggest that the sealed envelope enclosed herewith should be given by my wife to the Librarian in charge of the “Eliot Collection” of my work and of other matter to do with me at Harvard University. (This collection is at present housed in the Houghton Library of Harvard University). It should be given to him with strict injunctions that it should be opened and made public fifty years after my death, or when the collection of letters to Miss Hale at Princeton University is made public before that date. If the latter collection is made public in any of the ways indicated above, then the enclosed letter should be made public in the same way. If it came to the knowledge of the Harvard authority or authorities in charge of the “Eliot Collection” and of this sealed envelope, that any person or persons had had access to the letters in the Princeton Library, whether with a view to making use of them in any piece of written work or not, or to any of those letters or any part of any letter, I should wish this sealed envelope to be opened and its contents made public also.

如果普林斯顿图书馆在我去世50年之前不打开我的信件(这是应该的) ,那时我的遗嘱执行人也将死去,我建议由我的妻子把这封密封的信封交给哈佛大学负责管理我作品的“艾略特收藏”和与我有关的其他事情的图书馆员。 (此藏品目前收藏于哈佛大学霍顿图书馆)。 这封信应该在我去世五十年后,或者在我去世五十年前,给普林斯顿大学的黑尔小姐的信件集被公之于众的时候,附有严格的禁制令,交给他。 如果后一项收集以上述任何一种方式公开,则所附信件也应以同样方式公开。 如果哈佛当局或负责“艾略特收藏”和这封密封信封的当局知道,任何人或个人都可以接触到普林斯顿图书馆的信件,无论是为了在任何书面作品中使用它们,还是为了接触这些信件或任何信件的任何部分,我希望这封密封的信封能被打开,其内容也能公开。

25 November 1960


T. S. Eliot


It is painful for me to have to write the following lines. I cannot conceive of writing my autobiography. It seems to me that those who can do so are those who have led purely public and exterior lives, or those who can successfully conceal from themselves what they prefer not to know about themselves – there may be a few persons who can write about themselves because they are truly blameless and innocent. In my experience, there is much for which one cannot find words even in the confessional; much which springs from weakness, irresolution and timidity, from petty self-centredness rather than from inclination towards evil or cruelty, from error rather than ill-nature. I shall be as brief as I can.

写下面几行对我来说是很痛苦的。 我无法想象写我的自传。 在我看来,那些能够这样做的人是那些过着纯粹的公共和外部生活的人,或者那些能够成功地对自己隐瞒他们不愿了解自己的事情的人——可能有一些人能够写自己,因为他们真的是无可指责和无辜的。 根据我的经验,有很多东西即使是在忏悔中也找不到话语; 很多东西来自软弱、迟疑和胆怯,来自狭隘的自我中心,而不是来自邪恶或残忍的倾向,来自错误而不是恶性。 我会尽量简短。

During the course of my correspondence with Emily Hale, between 1932 and 1947, I liked to think that my letters to her would be preserved and made public after we were dead – fifty years after. I was however, disagreeably surprised when she informed me that she was handing the letters over to Princeton University during our lifetime – actually in the year 1956. She took this step, it is true, before she knew that I was going to get married. Nevertheless, it seemed to me that her disposing of the letters in that way at that time threw some light upon the kind of interest which she took, or had come to take, in these letters. The Aspern Papers in reverse.

1932年至1947年间,在我与艾米丽 · 黑尔通信的过程中,我喜欢想象我写给她的信会被保存下来,并在我们去世50年后公之于众。 然而,当她告诉我她将在我们有生之年——实际上是在1956年——把这些信交给普林斯顿大学时,我感到不愉快的惊讶。 的确,在她知道我要结婚之前,她就采取了这一步。 然而,在我看来,她当时那样处理那些信件,使我明白了她对这些信件产生了什么兴趣,或者说,她对这些信件产生了什么兴趣。 相反的亚斯彭文件。

I fell in love with Emily Hale in 1912, when I was in the Harvard Graduate School. Before I left for Germany and England in 1914 I told her that I was in love with her. I have no reason to believe, from the way in which this declaration was received, that my feelings were returned, in any degree whatever. We exchanged a few letters, on a purely friendly basis, while I was up at Oxford during 1914-15.

我在1912年爱上了艾米丽 · 黑尔,那时我还在哈佛大学研究生院。 1914年,在我去德国和英国之前,我告诉她我爱上了她。 我没有理由相信,从我接受这一宣言的方式来看,我的感情在任何程度上都得到了回报。 1914-1915年间,我在牛津大学读书时,我们纯粹出于友好的关系,交换了几封信件。

To explain my sudden marriage to Vivienne Haigh-Wood would require a good many words, and yet the explanation would probably remain unintelligible. I was still, as I came to believe a year later, in love with Miss Hale. I cannot however make even that assertion with any confidence: it may have been merely my reaction against my misery with Vivienne and desire to revert to an earlier situation. I was very immature for my age, very timid, very inexperienced. And I had a gnawing doubt, which I could not altogether conceal from myself, about my choice of a profession – that of a university teacher of philosophy. I had had three years in the Harvard Graduate School, at my father’s expense, preparing to take my Doctorate in Philosophy: after which I should have found a post somewhere in a college or university. Yet my heart was not in this study, nor had I any confidence in my ability to distinguish myself in this profession. I must still have yearned to write poetry. For three years I had written only one fragment, which was bad (it is, alas, preserved at Harvard). Then in 1914 Conrad Aiken showed Prufrock to Ezra Pound. My meeting with Pound changed my life. He was enthusiastic about my poems, and gave me such praise and encouragement as I had long since ceased to hope for. I was happier in England, even in wartime, than I had been in America: Pound urged me to stay in England and encouraged me to write verse again. I think that all I wanted of Vivienne was a flirtation or a mild affair: I was too shy and unpractised to achieve either with anybody. I believe that I came to persuade myself that I was in love with her simply because I wanted to burn my boats and commit myself to staying in England. And she persuaded herself (also under the influence of Pound) that she would save the poet by keeping him in England. To her, the marriage brought no happiness: the last seven years of her life were spent in a mental home. To me, it brought the state of mind out of which came The Waste Land. And it saved me from marrying Emily Hale.

要解释我突然和薇薇安 · 海伍德结婚的原因,需要很多词汇,但是这个解释很可能仍然无法理解。 一年后我开始相信,我仍然爱着黑尔小姐。 然而,我甚至不能自信地作出这样的断言: 这可能只是我对我与薇薇安之间的痛苦的反应,以及回到更早的情况的愿望。 以我的年龄来说,我非常不成熟,非常胆小,非常缺乏经验。 我对于自己选择的职业——大学哲学教师的职业——有一种痛苦的怀疑,我无法完全对自己隐瞒。 我在哈佛研究生院呆了三年,费用由我父亲支付,准备攻读哲学博士学位: 之后我应该在学院或大学里找到一个职位。 然而,我的心不在这项研究中,我也没有任何信心,我有能力在这个职业中脱颖而出。 我一定还渴望写诗。 三年来,我只写了一个片段,这很糟糕(唉,它被保存在哈佛大学)。 1914年,康拉德 · 艾肯向埃兹拉 · 庞德展示了普鲁弗洛克。 我与庞德的相遇改变了我的生活。 他对我的诗歌充满了热情,给予了我早已失去希望的赞美和鼓励。 即使在战时,我在英国也比在美国快乐: 庞德鼓励我留在英国,并鼓励我再次写诗。 我认为我对薇薇安的需求只是一种调情或者一种温和的关系: 我太害羞,没有经验,无法和任何人交往。 我相信,我来说服自己,我爱上她仅仅是因为我想烧掉我的船,让自己承诺留在英国。 她说服自己(也受到庞德的影响) ,她要把这位诗人留在英国,以拯救他。 对她来说,这段婚姻并没有带来幸福: 她生命的最后七年是在精神病院度过的。 对我来说,《荒原》就是从这种心态中走出来的。 这让我没有嫁给艾米丽 · 黑尔。

Emily Hale would have killed the poet in me; Vivienne nearly was the death of me, but she kept the poet alive. In retrospect, the nightmare agony of my seventeen years with Vivienne seems to me preferable to the dull misery of the mediocre teacher of philosophy which would have been the alternative.

艾米丽 · 黑尔会杀死我心中的诗人; 薇薇安几乎要了我的命,但她让诗人活了下来。 回想起来,我和薇薇安在一起的十七年的噩梦般的痛苦,似乎比那个平庸的哲学老师的无聊痛苦要好得多。

For years I was a divided man (just as, in a different way, I had been a divided man in the years 1911-1915). In 1932 I was appointed Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard for one year; and even Vivienne’s mother agreed that it was out of the question for Vivienne to go to America with me. I saw Emily Hale in California (where she was teaching in a girls’ college) early in 1933, and I saw her from time to time every summer, I think from 1934 on, as she always joined her aunt and uncle who took a house every summer at Chipping Campden.

多年来,我一直是一个分裂的人(就像在1911年至1915年间,我一直是一个分裂的人,只是方式不同而已)。 1932年,我被任命为哈佛大学的查尔斯 · 艾略特 · 诺顿诗歌教授,任期一年; 甚至薇薇安的母亲也同意薇薇安不可能和我一起去美国。 1933年初,我在加利福尼亚见到了 Emily Hale (她在一所女子大学教书) ,我记得从1934年开始,每年夏天我都会时不时地见到她,因为她总是和她的叔叔婶婶在一起,他们每年夏天都会在奇平卡姆登租一套房子。

Upon the death of Vivienne in the winter of 1947, I suddenly realised that I was not in love with Emily Hale. Gradually I came to see that I had been in love only with a memory, with the memory of the experience of having been in love with her in my youth. Had I met any woman I could have fallen in love with, during the years when Vivienne and I were together, this would no doubt have become evident to me. From 1947 on, I realised more and more how little Emily Hale and I had in common. I had already observed that she was not a lover of poetry, certainly that she was not much interested in my poetry; I had already been worried by what seemed to me evidence of insensitiveness and bad taste. It may be too harsh, to think that what she liked was my reputation rather than my work. She may have loved me according to her capacity for love; yet I think that her uncle’s opinions (her uncle by marriage, a dear old man, but wooly-minded) meant more to her than mine. (She was fond of her uncle John but did not get on very well with her Aunt Edith). I could never make her understand that it was improper for her, a Unitarian, to communicate in an Anglican church: the fact that it shocked me that she should do so made no impression upon her. I cannot help thinking that if she had truly loved me she would have respected my feelings if not my theology. She adopted a similar attitude with regard to the Christian and Catholic view of divorce.

1947年冬天薇薇安去世后,我突然意识到我并不爱艾米丽 · 黑尔。 渐渐地,我发现我爱上的只是一段记忆,一段我年轻时爱上她的经历。 在薇薇安和我在一起的那些年里,如果我遇到了任何一个我可能会爱上的女人,这一点对我来说无疑是显而易见的。 从1947年开始,我越来越意识到我和艾米丽 · 黑尔的共同点是多么的少。 我已经注意到她不是一个诗歌爱好者,当然她对我的诗歌不是很感兴趣; 我已经为那些对我来说似乎是不敏感和品味低劣的证据而担忧。 如果认为她喜欢的是我的名声而不是我的工作,那可能太苛刻了。 她也许是根据自己爱我的能力来爱我的,但是我认为她叔叔的意见(她叔叔的婚姻,一个可爱的老人,但是思想呆滞)对她来说比我的意见更重要。 (她很喜欢她的约翰叔叔,但是和伊迪丝阿姨相处得不是很好。)。 我永远无法让她明白,作为一个一神论者,在英国国教教堂里交流是不合适的: 她这样做并没有给她留下什么印象,这让我感到震惊。 我禁不住想,如果她真的爱我,她就会尊重我的感受,如果不是我的神学。 对于基督教和天主教关于离婚的观点,她采取了类似的态度。

I might mention at this point that I never at any time had any sexual relations with Emily Hale.

在这一点上,我可以提到我从未和艾米丽 · 黑尔发生过任何性关系。

So long as Vivienne was alive I was able to deceive myself. To face the truth fully, about my feelings towards Emily Hale, after Vivienne’s death, was a shock from which I recovered only slowly. But I came to see that my love for Emily was the love of a ghost for a ghost, and that the letters I had been writing to her were the letters of an hallucinated man, a man vainly trying to pretend to himself that he was the same man that he had been in 1914.

只要薇薇安还活着,我就能欺骗自己。 完全面对事实,在薇薇安去世后,我对艾米丽 · 黑尔的感情是一个打击,我只是慢慢地从中恢复过来。 但是我发现我对爱米丽的爱是一个鬼魂对一个鬼魂的爱,我给她写的信是一个产生幻觉的男人的信,一个男人徒劳地试图假装他还是1914年的那个男人。

It would have been a still greater mistake to have married Emily than it was to marry Vivienne Haigh-Wood. I can imagine the sort of man each should have married – different from each other, but also very different from me. It is only within the last few years that I have known what it was to love a woman who truly, selflessly and whole-heartedly loves me. I find it hard to believe that the equal of Valerie ever has been or will be again; I cannot believe that there has ever been a woman with whom I could have felt so completely at one as with Valerie. The world with my beloved wife Valerie has been a good world such as I have never known before. At the age of 68 the world was transformed for me, and I was transformed by Valerie.

嫁给艾米丽比嫁给薇薇安 · 黑格-伍德更大的错误。 我可以想象出每个人都应该结婚的那种男人——彼此不同,但也与我非常不同。 直到最近几年,我才知道爱上一个真正无私全心全意爱我的女人是什么滋味。 我发现很难相信瓦莱丽曾经是或者将来还会是一个和她一样的人; 我不敢相信曾经有一个女人能让我和她如此彻底地融为一体,就像和瓦莱丽一样。 我和我挚爱的妻子瓦莱丽的世界是一个美好的世界,这是我以前从来不知道的。 在我68岁的时候,这个世界对我来说改变了,我被瓦莱丽改变了。

May we all rest in peace


T. S. Eliot


This was written on the 25th November 1960, but the last page has been slightly altered, and re-typed, on the 30th September 1963.


The letters to me from Emily Hale have been destroyed by a colleague at my request.

艾米丽 · 黑尔写给我的信在我的要求下被一位同事销毁了。

T. S. Eliot


The original letter and statement, held in the Houghton Library at Harvard, can be seen here.

原始的信件和声明,保存在 Houghton Library 的哈佛大学,可以在这里看到。



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