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  • Writer's pictureCorbin Allardice

Nadirisms 130-135: The Aphorism of the Goer and other wisdoms

130th Nadirism:

One goes for the sake of arriving, the other goes for the sake of--going.

He who goes for the sake of arriving--never reaches a destination. He who goes for the sake of going [eventually] arrives. Invert it, and it’s still true! Both sides of this wisdom-coin gold!

Geyt eyner tsulibn onkumen, geyt der anderer tsulibn--geyn.

Der vos geyt tsulibn onkumen--der dergeyt nisht. Der vos geyt tsulibn geyn, der kumt on.

Dos zelbe kon men zogn farkert oykh! Beyde zaytn fun ot-dem hokhme-medal zenen gold!

131st Nadirism:

It is important to show human wounds, so long as it is done with an intention to heal.

Vayzn mentshlekhe vundn iz a groyse zakh, ven dos vert geton mit der kavone tsu heyln.

132nd Nadirism:

What is [the meaning of] sad? Sad is someone losing that which they have not yet found.*

Vos iz troyerik? Troyerik iz az a mentsh farlirt dos vos er hot nokh nisht gefunen?

133rd Nadirism:

...God damn, he’s humble!

That’s all well and good, but what has he done

To earn the right to his humility?

...S’taytsh, er iz basheydn!

Nu gut, vos hot er azoyns geton, er zol

Hobn a rekht tsu zayn basheydn?

134th Nadirism:

It hardly matters that someone has a wart, it matters that they make a living from having that wart!**

Se geyt nisht in dem vos a mentsh hot a parkh, se geyt in dem, vos er makht a lebn fun hobn a parkh!

135th Nadirism:

How can it be, he says, that he is an ignoramus, when he doesn’t even know what that is... azoy, zogt er, kon er zayn an amorets, az er veyst alife nisht vos dos iz...

*- The words troyer and troyerik (c.f. Trauer, in German) are perpetually difficult to translate. They are the unmarked, neutral terms in Yiddish for “sadness” and “sad,” respectively. However they are often in contexts of a higher register than those in which we would usually opt for “sad.” Heightening translations--like melancholy, grief, etc.--efface the “everydayness” or generality of the original term. Here I have opted for the bluntness of “sad.”

**- The term parkh, here rendered “wart,” literally translates to “ringworm (of the scalp), mange, canker.”


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