Time Oct 17 2011 Steve Jobs 1955-2011

今天Fortune網站刊出了一篇由Steve Jobs官方傳記的作者Walter Isaacson的文章,敘述了這本唯一授權傳記的由來……

In the early summer of 2004, I got a phone call from him. He had been scattershot friendly to me over the years, with occasional bursts of intensity, especially when he was launching a new product that he wanted on the cover of Time or featured on CNN, places where I’d worked. But now that I was no longer at either of those places, I hadn’t heard from him much. We talked a bit about the Aspen Institute, which I had recently joined, and I invited him to speak at our summer campus in Colorado. He’d be happy to come, he said, but not to be onstage. He wanted, instead, to take a walk so we could talk.

That seemed a bit odd. I didn’t yet know that taking a long walk was his preferred way to have a serious conversation. It turned out that he wanted me to write a biography of him. I had recently published one on Benjamin Franklin and was writing one about Albert Einstein, and my initial reaction was to wonder, half jokingly, whether he saw himself as the natural successor in that sequence. Because I assumed that he was still in the middle of an oscillating career that had many more ups and downs left, I demurred. Not now, I said. Maybe in a decade or two, when you retire.

But I later realized that he had called me just before he was going to be operated on for cancer for the first time. As I watched him battle that disease, with an awesome intensity combined with an astonishing emotional romanticism, I came to find him deeply compelling, and I realized how much his personality was ingrained in the products he created. His passions, demons, desires, artistry, devilry and obsession for control were integrally connected to his approach to business, so I decided to try to write his tale as a case study in creativity.

在2004年夏初,我接到了他的電話。在多年來,他一直對我還不錯,偶而非常友善時,通常就是他有新產品推出,想要上Time封面或是CNN等當時我工作的地方的時候。不過現在,我已經不在那些地方工作,之後也比較少與他接觸。他談到了有關我已經加入的Aspen Institute,我邀請他來Colorado在我們的夏季活動中演講。他說他很樂意來,不過不想上台。他想要與我散個步,聊個天。

這有點奇怪。不過當時我還不知道,長距離的散步,是他討論嚴肅話題時的第一選擇。原來,他要我寫他的傳記。我最近才剛出版了Benjamin Franklin的傳記,也曾經寫過Albert Einstein。我剛開始的反應是有點懷疑,並半開玩笑地問他,是否覺得自己就是接下來該被寫的人。由於我認為他還在整個職業生涯波動的中期,之後還會有更多的起伏,於是我反對。我說現在不行,也許再過個十幾二十年,當你退休的時候。

不過,我後來意識到,當他打電話給我的時候,那是他第一次面對癌症的時刻。當我看到他與疾病的奮戰,我發現他非常吸引人,我也明白了他的個性已經如此地深植在他創造的產品內。他的熱情、旺盛的精力、慾望、藝術天份、惡行以及對控制的執迷,全部都與他事業的經營方式結合。於是,我決定以個案研究的方式,試著撰寫他的故事。

另外,在Time即將上架的一篇文章中,也提到了Walter Isaacson在四周前最後一次與Steve Jobs的訪談……

A few weeks ago, I visited Jobs for the last time in his Palo Alto, Calif., home. He had moved to a downstairs bedroom because he was too weak to go up and down stairs. He was curled up in some pain, but his mind was still sharp and his humor vibrant. We talked about his childhood, and he gave me some pictures of his father and family to use in my biography. As a writer, I was used to being detached, but I was hit by a wave of sadness as I tried to say goodbye. In order to mask my emotion, I asked the one question that was still puzzling me: Why had he been so eager, during close to 50 interviews and conversations over the course of two years, to open up so much for a book when he was usually so private? “I wanted my kids to know me,” he said. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.

幾個星期前,我在他Palo Alto的家中最後一次拜訪了Jobs。由於他已經虛弱到無法上下樓梯,所以已經搬到了樓下的臥室。他由於疼痛而蜷縮著身體,不過他的思考依然敏銳,也充滿著幽默感。我們談到了關於他的童年,他給了我一些他的父親以及家人的相片,讓我用在傳記裡。身為一個作家,我應該抽離我的情感,不過當如試著說再見時,我已經被悲傷的浪潮給擊倒。

為了掩飾我的情感,我問了一個讓我至今依然無法明白為何要問的問題:通常非常注重隱私的他,為何在這歷時超過兩年的交流,接近五十次訪談的過程中,會如此渴望地為了這本書付出那麼多?

「我想讓我的孩子們了解我。」他如此地說。「我從前沒有隨時在他們身邊,我想要讓他們知道原因,並了解我所做的一切。」

目前官方傳記「Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson」已經正式提早到2011年10月24日發售,最後一次的訪談情況也會在書中的結尾出現。目前在博客來Amazon以及iBookstore上都已經可以預購。

via Fortune and 9to5Mac