© eric – juin 2010

Apprendre par les livres ?

samedi 21 octobre 2006, par eric

ManuelA propos de l’apprentissage par les livres :

Duke Han of Ch’I was reading a book at the upper end of the hall ; the wheelwright was making a wheel at the lower end. Putting aside his mallet and chisel, he called to the Duke and asked him what book he was reading.

— ‘One that records the words of the Sages,’ answered the Duke.

— ‘Are the Sages alive ?’ asked the wheelwright. ‘Oh, no,’ said the Duke, ‘they are dead.’

— ‘In that case,’ said the wheelwright, ‘what you are reading can be nothing but the lees and scum of bygone men.’

— ’How dare you, a wheelwright, find fault with the book I am reading ? If you can explain your statement, I will let it pass. If not, you shall die.’

— ‘Speaking as a wheelwright,’ he replied, ‘I look at the matter in this way ; when I am making a wheel, if my stroke is too slow, then it bites deep but is not steady ; if my stroke is too fast, then it is steady, but does not go deep. The right pace, neither slow nor fast, cannot get into the hand unless it comes from the heart. It is a thing that cannot be put into words ; there is an art that I cannot explain to my son. That is why it is impossible for me to let him take over my work, and here I am at the age of seventy, still making wheels. In my opinion it must have been the same with the men of old. All that was worth handing on, died with them ; the rest, they put into their books. That is why I said that what you were reading were the lees and scum of bygone men.’

La traduction est d’Arthur Waley.

Peut-être. Cependant, on peut lire ce texte comme une page de publicité : ‘Ecoutez-moi ! Ce que j’ai à vous dire ne peut s’écrire.’
Il reste, n’en déplaise au charron, même si ce ne sont que ‘la lie et l’écume’, une sommme phénoménale d’enseignements !
N’est-ce pas le contexte nouveau qui limite la valeur des livres, plutôt que l’incapacité à expliquer le ‘coup de main’.
Aujourd’hui, il nous reste le film…

12 juin 2006

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