Amiel's Journal - by Henri Frédéric Amiel - PDF ebook

Amiel's Journal - by Henri Frédéric Amiel 

Henri Frédéric Amiel

 Every here and there Amiel expresses himself in a kind of shorthand, perfectly intelligible to a Frenchman, but for which an English equivalent, at once terse and clear, is hard to find. Another difficulty has been his constant use of a technical philosophical language, which, according to his French critics, is not French even philosophical French but German. 

Very often it has been impossible to give any other than a literal rendering of such passages if the thought of the original was to be preserved; but in those cases where a choice was open to me, I have preferred the more literary to the more technical expression; and I have been encouraged to do so by the fact that Amiel when he came to prepare for publication a certain number of "Pensees," extracted from the Journal, and printed at the end of a volume of poems published in 1853, frequently softened his phrases, so that sentences that survive in the Journal in a more technical form are to be found in a more literary form in the " Grains de Mil." In two or three cases, not more, I think I have allowed myself to transpose a sentence bodily, and in a few instances, I have added some explanatory words to the text, which wherever the addition was of any importance, are indicated by square brackets. 

My warmest thanks are due to my friend and critic, M. Edmond Soberer, from whose valuable and interesting study, prefixed to the French Journal, as well as from certain materials in his possession which he has very kindly allowed me to make use of, I have drawn by far the greater part of the biographical material embodied in the Introduction. M. Scherer has also given me help and advice through the whole process of translation advice which his scholarly knowledge of English has made especially worth having. 

In the translation of the more technical philosophical passages, I have been greatly helped by another friend, Mr. Bernard Bosanquet, Fellow of University College, Oxford, the translator of Lotze, of whose care and pains in the matter I cherish a grateful remembrance. But with all the help that has been so freely given me, not only by these friends but by others, I confide the little book to the public with many a misgiving! 

May it at least win a few more friends and readers here and there for one who lived alone, and died sadly persuaded that his life had been a barren mistake; whereas, all the while such is the irony of things he had been in .reality working out the mission assigned him in the spiritual economy, and faithfully obeying the secret mandate which had im- pressed itself upon his youthful consciousness: "Let the living live; and you, gather together your thoughts, leave behind you a legacy of feeling and ideas; you will be most useful so."

Henri Frédéric Amiel  (27 September 1821 – 11 May 1881) was a Swiss moral philosopher, poet, and critic.

Author:Henri Frédéric Amiel
Translator: Humphry Ward. (Mary Augusta Ward)
 Publication date:1900

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