死亡和现实
Death and Reality
4043字
2019-12-25 17:07
73阅读
火星译客

What happened to me then is incredible. This is 1974, the age of infidelity, whencasual coupling and wife swapping and therapeutic prostitution are accepted forms ofviolence as normal as mugging and murder, when practices that in my youth wouldhave outraged a two-dollar whore are apparently standard in every- middle-classbedroom and are explicated, with diagrams, in manuals sold in college bookstores,and celebrated, with whinnyings and slobberings, in every novel you pick up. Thesedays people hesitate for a marriage license no longer than dogs in a vacant lot, andmarriage vows, those quaint anachronisms, are about as binding as blue laws from theCode of Hammurabi. These are times when Count Rr}dding's little experiments inhuman genetics would strike people as repulsive only because they unduly enlargedthe population just when inbreeding was bringing it under control. Moreover, I amalmost seventy, all passion spent, nearly as bald as a cue ball, rheumatic and irritableand unsatisfied with myself, a comic Pantaloon. And guilty of nothing but beingtempted-guilty of it once, twenty years ago, and never since. Whatever Ruth has hadto forgive me, it hasn't been women. So what I do? What, that is, does the insecureadolescent in me do? He stands up so suddenly that old Catarrh is dumped onto-therug. In the phrase that is as old-fashioned as the quilts and emotions that shake hishands and roughen his voice and blur his eyes, he goes all to pieces.

发生在我身上的事儿很难以置信。现在是1974年,是不贞行为盛行的年代,随意配对、交换妻子和找妓/女寻欢作乐,如同抢劫和谋杀一样,被视为寻常的暴力形式。我年轻时候可以让两美元的妓/女大发脾气的行径,现在在任何一个中产阶级家庭都十分常见,也在大学书店卖的手册中用图表明确规定着,也在你随手翻阅的小说中用马叫声和垂涎感歌颂着。如今人们也不再为结婚证而犹豫不决。婚礼誓言之类的东西对人们的约束力就像《汉漠拉比法典》 中的法条,可能只在星期天才有效。在这个时代人们对罗丁伯爵在人类基因方面的小实验产生反感,仅仅是因为近亲通婚控制了人口增长,但这些实验用不正当的方式又扩大了人口数量。还有,我将近70岁了,所有的热情都消失殆尽,头发已经掉光,患上了风湿病,脾气暴躁,自怨自艾,就像漫画中的傻老头。我这一生只有一次愧疚之事,就是20年前那次受到诱惑的经历。无论露丝如何原谅我,我想作为女人,她心里都会有伤疤。所以‘我该做点什么呢?我体内的冲动青年做了些什么呢?他站立的如此快,老卡塔被丢到了地毯上。伴随着那句话,愧疚和冲动让他浑身颤抖,嗓音沙哑,双眼模糊,身心都支离破碎。 

I found myself in the bedroom door, really shaking. I could hardly talk. "No;" Imanaged to say. "That isn't all. I kissed hex Once. If that's what you've been wantingto talk out, now we've done it!"

我来到卧室门口,不由地浑身发抖,几乎说不出话来。“不”,终于吐出来了几个字,“这不是全部,我吻了她,只吻了一次。如果这是你一直想听到的坦白,现在,我做到了。” 

In the hall I clawed a coat off a hanger. As I opened the door the night air wascald in my face. The night was still and mistry, the moon was nearly straight overhead,with a pearly ring around it. I walked up and down the drive gritting my teeth, withtears in my eyes---Marcus Aurelius Allston, the bird, having the feathersbeaten off him in a game from which he had thought he was protected by thegrandfather clause. That other night, Midsummer Night twenty years before, filled hismind as moonlight filled the hilltop where he walked.

我从客厅的衣架上随手拿了一件外套。一推开门,冷气扑面而来。夜朦胧寂静,月高悬,四周带着明亮的光晕。我沿着车道来回走,冻得咬紧牙关,眼里涌满泪水---马库斯·奥雷柳斯·奥尔斯顿,这只鸟,在一场比赛中,他一直觉得他会得到祖父条黔的保护,但他还是败下阵来。月光笼罩了他散步的山头,那个夜晚,那个20多年前的仲夏之夜,也涌入了他的脑海。 

I shut the door softly on the interior darkness and the close smell of mold and disuse.It was lighter outside than in. It had not been actually dark all night long. The duskwas gray and faintly luminous, swimming with things half seen and things illusory. Ireached out and touched the whitewashed wall, raised my head to look at thecirsscross of half timbering disappearing under the shadow of the thatch, look downand moved my feet and saw the dark crushed tracks I left in the grass. But at a littledistance there was no such certainty; everything was marbled and deceptive. Thecelebrated light nights of Denmark are for hallucination and witchcraft, not for plainseeing.

屋里挺暗,有股长久不用的霉味,我悄悄地关上门。外面比里面更明亮。实际上,夜晚也并不一定很漆黑。接近黎明时分,天色发亮,万物朦朦胧胧,充满梦幻。我往前走,扶着漆白的墙壁,抬头看到十字路口,延伸到茅草屋的阴影中并若隐若现,低头挪动脚步,看到了我在草从中留下的小路。前面不远处,视野就不再清晰了,一切都十分冷清,.并充满幻象。丹麦如此美妙的夜晚,适合幻想和魔法,仅仅这么欣赏下有点可惜。 

Where the drive turned in, the cypresses were black, distinct in shape but blurredin outline. While I stared at them trying to focus them into clarity they melted into thegray of the beech-woods beyond the road. From horizon to zenith the sky was almosttoa pale for stars. Off in the west a humpbacked moon lay stranded, colorless as ajellyfish. The air, utterly still, carried a fragrance of wood smoke mixed with thesweetness of mown grass that rose from the lawn.

车道拐弯的地方,柏树漆黑一片,只显现出模糊的轮廓。我盯着它们,想仔细看清楚,它们都和路远处的山毛棒融为一体了‘从地平线向上瞪望,星星散布在发白的空中。西边,弯月孤独地守望着,苍白如水母。空气,全然静止不动,弥漫着木头烟尘的香味和新割下草的清新感。 

Walking softly, I went around the cottage to the grassy terrace from which wehad watched the celebration at midnight. The big fire that had leaped from the beachbelow had burned down to a red core, and off on the Swedish coast opposite, northand south of the overtaken lights of Hallsingborg, other coals glowed dully Not asound. No cheep of a wakeful bird, no stir in the ivy or thatch, no slightest sigh ofmoving air. The yelling of the pagan rites of midnight, when hundreds of Danes andSwedes drunk on beer and summer and love had thrown their witch effigies onto the flames and sent the malignant spirits howling back to their home in the Harz, might never have been. Successful exorcism. The countess had made us listen, where we sat on blankets on the grass. She said you could hear the rushing in the air.

我慢慢地走,围着农舍转了一圈,来到草坪上,半夜时候,就是在这儿看的庆祝晚会。从下面海滩上跃起来的大火快要烧光,变成一小团火堆;在对面的瑞典海岸远处,赫尔辛堡的北面和南面发出晃眼的灯光,其他煤炭发出微弱的光。没有一点声音,没有早起鸟儿的叽喳叫声,常春藤蔓或杂草里也没有动静,空气也仿佛静止了。仲夏之夜的异教徒仪式,成百上千的丹麦人和瑞典人饮酒作乐,夏夜和爱让他们把巫师们的肖像扔进大火,把邪恶的灵魂送回到哈茨山护,或许永不复还。邪恶被成功驱逐。我们坐在草地上的毯子上,女伯爵让我们聆听。她说,你可以听到空气中的厮杀之声。

"Aren't you afraid?" I said. "You claim to be a witch."

“你不害怕么,我说,“你也是一个巫师啊。” 

"Yes, I am afraid," she said, "but not of burning. I am not witch enough. They-do not burn you for curing warts:"

“是,我害怕,她说,“但是不害怕被火烧掉。我不算是严格的巫师。他们不会因为我会治愈疵而杀我。” 

In the dusk I could not read her expression, but it seemed to me there was something like self-contempt in her voice, and it troubled me.

在黑暗中,我看不到她的表情,不过,她的声音中带着一种自哀,这让我有点心疼。

Now, two hours later, I stood in the wet grass, sleepless, restless, obscurely distressed, caught between a day that would not properly die and one that was not ready to be born. The whole world, and I with it, hung at the very peak of summer, holding its breath before starting down. I shivered, more with the sense of something ending than with chill. It was a time for departures. Our own was only a week away, and I didn't want to go. Ruth did. Now that Lwas feeling better, she said, there was no reason to stay. But I understood, and was resentful. More than once, as she went about making the arrangements and reservations, I had wanted to shout at her, Don't push me.

现在,两个小时过去,我站在潮湿的草从中,睡意全无,焦躁不安,有一种难以名状的苦闷。黎明时刻,前一天不愿离去,新一天也没有准备好要到来。小小的我在全世界里,就悬在夏天的至高点,在向下之前,屏住了呼吸。我颤抖了,不是因为周边的寒意,而是因为这种离别的情绪。是时候离开了,我们一周之后就要启程归国,但我不想离开。露丝很想离开,她说,没有理由继续待在这儿了。我理解她的话,心里充满了厌恶。不止一次,她提及要安排行程和预定房间时,我都想冲着她大喊:“ 别来烦我!” 

I was full of cobwebs, sad with the late hour, depressed. I needed to walk it off. So I went soft-footed around the cottage again, and out across the lawn to the gate between the cypresses. There I stopped to look back at the cottage on its dark lawn medieval and picturesque, historical and false; survival not only of the ancient northern village culture but of a time when Astrid Rodding was a rich titled girl who could afford to play peasant, and whose father indulged her with a crofter's house-to play in.

我头脑一片混乱,一想起不久就要离开,心里就难过。我需要走路释放一下这悲伤的情绪。我围着农舍轻轻地又走了一圈,然后穿过草坪,来到柏树中间的大门。我停下来,回头看看草坪那边的农舍—中世纪的风格,美丽如画,富有历史感。这不仅是古代北方乡村文化的延续,也是当时那个有钱有势的女孩阿斯特丽德·罗丁的住处。在其父亲的惯养下,她可以打扮成农民的样子,在农舍里玩耍。

While I was looking, the door opened quickly and closed again, and she stood ion the doorstone.

我看见门很快开了,又闭上了。她站在了门槛石上。

At that distance she was only a shape. It was her way of moving that told me who it was. From under the cypresses I watched her, and it seemed to me that a hundred feet away she might hear the beating of my heart. I thought she bent her head, listening as I had listened. I thought she looked up at the sky. Then she was coming me across the grass.

在那个距离,她只是个轮廓。她行动的方式让我断定:就是她。我在柏树下望着她,似乎她也在一百英尺之外听到了我的心跳。我以为她低下了头,用心听了一下;我以为她抬头看了看天空。然后,她朝着我的方向走过来。 

The shapes of hay, vaguely luminescent, enlarged by the diffused shadows thrown by the moon, watched us as we passed between them and the woods. "It's like a field of schmoos," I said. Then I had to explain what schrnoos were.' She said they belonged in Scandinavian folklore along with trolls and dwarves and other shapeless shapes of mist and darkness. Her mood was somber, she walked beside me withdrawn into herself.

月光投下的光照射着干草,干草看起来比平时有更大的体积。当我们走在它们中间和从林中时,它们悄悄看着我们。“好像树模田,”我说。接着,我必须解释“树模”是什么。她说,它们和洞穴巨人,小矮人和其他雾、黑暗等不可名状的东西一样,都是斯堪的纳维亚半岛民间传说的一部分。她的情绪看起来有点低落。她走在我旁边,沉溺在自己的情绪中。 

When she stumbled, I took her by the arm above the elbow.

她走路不稳时,我就扶着她的肩膀。

Touch. Her arm was both firm and soft. Having taken hold of it, I did not let go. I couldn't have left that contact more if her arm had been the handle of a funhouse shock machine. In one tingling flash she was less tall, more feminine, more accessible. I remembered the time when she had shed her tweed uniform and frolicked like suddenly physical Valkyrie in the sound. The things that had maintained formality between us-my poor-boy's sense of her title and caste, the awkwardness---of her family history, the defensive playfulness, the too bright smile-were 'aIl forgotten. Walking her down that dark path was like dancing, the sort of dancing that was orthodox when I was young, the kind the modern young have deprived themselves of, the kind that authorizes, to music, a physical contract otherwise taboo. It was as if she had taken down her hair. Without a word spoken we groped along the dark edge of the woods, as different from the two people who had just paused as ozone is different from oxygen.

肢体接触。她的胳膊既坚定又柔软。既然己经抓在手中了,我就不想松开。要是她的肩膀是奇幻屋电击器的把手,我不会觉得这是一种“接触”。一阵光扫过,她不那么高傲了,更有女人味儿了,更平易近人了。我记得她脱掉她的花呢制服嬉闹,就像海峡中的瓦尔基里。我们之间保持的拘谨—我这个凡夫俗子对她头衔和社会地位的感觉,她尴尬的家族历史、防御性的玩笑、特别灿烂的笑容—都忘记了。和她一起沿着黑暗中的小路行走,就像跳舞,是那种我年轻时候的正统舞蹈,也是现代年轻人已经摒弃的那种舞蹈,是那种正统的伴随着音乐跳的肢体接触舞蹈,并没有违背禁忌。好像她把头发散开了。我俩没有说话,一起沿着林中黑暗的小路摸索前进;这种默然无语和两个人刚刚经历过僵持的不说话不同,这道理就好比臭氧和氧气不同。 

After a little distance she said, "Do you remember the day when you turned your car and drove us back through the young beechwood, the day we went to Karen Blixen?"

又走了一段距离,她说,“你记得你开着车掉头,送我们回到山毛样林中,去见卡伦。布利克森的那天么?” 

"Yes."

“记得。”

"I think it was that day when I began to know you."

“我觉得我是从这天开始认识你的。” 

I had her by the arm, I Ieft the blood pulsing in her elbow.

我拐着她的胳膊,我能感觉到她肘部的血液在热涌。 

The path curved away from the woods along a fence, where it was lighter, and then back again through the woods along what seemed to be a cart road. "This was once all my father's, and then mine," she said. "They took it away, all but my little cottage, when Erick was tried."

小路在林中沿着篱笆蜿蜒前进,那里天色更亮:然后,再次沿着一条货运通道向前延伸。“这曾经都是我爸爸的,然后是我的。” 她说,“埃里克受审的时候,他们回收了这所有的地产,只剩下这个农舍。”  

"You told us. It's too bad."

“你告诉过我们,这太糟糕了。” 

Ahead, the darkness of overhanging trees lightened as if we were coming to a clearing. There was a mossy smell. The countess stopped, holding me back, and shot Her flashlight ahead and down. It gleamed off dark water, a tarn straight out of Poe. When she shut off the Iight again, the water still lay there, darkly burnished, reflecting no stars. It graded so gradually off from the land that I might have walked right into it. We stood listening. Not a sound.

前方,头顶树木的黑暗变亮了很多,就好像我们来到了一片空地。有一阵长满青苔的香味。女伯爵停下了,重新抓着我,拿着手电筒向前、向下照亮,发现了一些发着亮光的小水坑。她再次关了灯,水依然在那儿,暗暗地泛着光,没有反射出星星。这个小湖如此接近陆地,我差点直接走进去。我们站在那儿,聆听着,没有一点声音。

From our front walk to where the drive turns down the hill is two hundred feet.Thirteen round trips make just about a mile. Many times, especially in winter when itis too muddy to walk across country, Ruth and I have carried the carcass up and downthat thirteen-lap course before going to bed. It is rather like walking the deck of a ship,for the hilltop is level and high and exposed to the stars. It is one of those placeswhere the condition of being human is inescapably sad. The lights along the dark hillsare scattered and without confidence, conurbia down in the valley is only a glow onthe sky. The hazed moonlight is deceptive, there are somber pools of shadow underthe oaks. From up on that chilly platform you can look back down your life and see itlike a Kaflca road dwindling out across the Siberian waste. You can raise your headand look into the infinite spaces whose eternal silence terrified Pascal.

从我们的步行通道到车道转向小山的地方有200英尺。13条羊肠小路合起来也有1英里了。很多次,尤其在冬天道路泥泞的时候,我和露丝就得忍受这13条小路的各种泥泞。因为山顶平坦且高耸,抬头即可仰望星辰,在上面活动就像在船的甲板上行走。在这个地方生活,能让人觉得生无可恋。黑暗小山沿途的灯光零零星星,毫无活力,山谷里的大都市也只是上空中一点光亮。月光朦胧,橡树下的阴影忧郁深沉。你可以从那个寒冷的平台上回头观望你的生活,把它看做卡夫卡道路,逐渐跨过西伯利亚荒地,消失在地平线。你也可以抬头注视浩瀚无垠的宇宙,那永恒的沉默震惊着帕斯卡。

My absurd tears were dry after a lap or two, but I did not feel like going back in.I didn't know what I would say to Ruth, or how would I act. The performance I hadjust put on had left me alaxmed about my own unacknowledged possibilities. If thetruth were told, and I suppose it had better be, I wanted to be alone for a while withthat possibility I had renounced, or been made to renounce, twenty years before andcarried around with me like a cyst ever since.

走下一两个山坳之后,我莫名的泪水干了,不过我不怎么想回去。我不知道我要对露丝说些什么,或者我该做些什么。我刚才的表现让我对自己未来生活的种种可能性有点害怕。要是说出真相,也最好是说出真相,那我想单独静静,仔细想想我加年前主动放弃,或者说被动放弃的那种可能性,这种早己放弃的可能性从那以后就像囊肿一样,一直陪伴着我。 

What was it? Did I feel cheated? Did I look back and feel that I had given up mychances for what they call fulfillment? Did I count the mountain peaks of my life andfind every one a knoll? Was I that fellow whose mother loved him, but she died;whose son had been a tragedy to both his parents and himself; whose wife up to theage of twenty had been a nice girl and since the age of twenty a nice woman? Whoseprofession was something he did not choose, but fell into, and which he practiced withintelligence but without joy? Had I gone through my ad/ult life glancing desperatelysidelong in hope of diversion, rescue, transfiguration?

究竟是什么感觉呢?我觉得受到欺骗了么?当我回首过往,我觉得放弃了一次享乐的机会么?我数着我人生中爬过的许多座山峰,并发现其实每一个都只是小土堆儿么?我是那个丧失了爱母的儿子么?我儿子的早逝对他自己来说是个悲剧,对他父母来说同样难以接受么?我的妻子20岁之前是个好女孩儿,20岁之后是个好妻子么?我的职业不是我所选择,而是误入歧途,只是靠才华谋生而没有感到乐趣么?我怀着消遣、拯救、美化的心情踏上我的成年时光,却带着绝望的心情观看路上的风景么? 

That is the way the modern temper would read me. Babbitt, the man who in allhis life never did one thing he really wanted to. One of those Blake was scornful of,who controlled their passions because their passions are feeble enough to becontrolled. One of those Genteel Tradition characters whose whole pale ethos issubsumed in an act of renunciation. One who would grasp the handle but not the blade.Milquetoast. Homo castrates.

这就是现代性情教给我的。类似巴比特,一生也没做过一件他想做的事儿。也是布莱克会嘲笑的那种人,轻而易举地控制了自己所有的激/情。也有上流人士的通病,苍白的灵魂中充斥着各种放弃。敢于拿起刀子,却不敢使用刀刃。真是个懦夫。像个娘儿们。

I could imagine how the Danish adventures of Joseph Allston would be writtenup by Cesare Rulli, or by any of the machismo brigade, or by the Pleasure Principleseminar, or by any of those romantics, male and female, who live by the twitch,whose emotional shutter speed is set to catch the moment of orgasm, whose vision ofthe highest reach of human conduct is expressed by the consenting ad/ult.

我可以想象约瑟夫·奥尔斯顿的丹麦经历会出现在切萨雷·鲁利的记录里,或者任何男子汉帮派,或者快乐原则研讨会,或者浪漫人士,男性或者女性。这些人靠抽搐生活,情感快门速度是要抓取性高潮的瞬间,认为人类行为的最高点应由性/交的男人来表达。

Well, the hell with it, I do not choose to be a consenting ad/ult, not just to be infashion. I have no impulse to join those the Buddha describes, those who strainalways after fulfillment and in fulfillment strive to feel desire. It has seemed to methat my commitments are often more important than my impulses or my pleasures;and that even when my pleasures or desires are the principalissue, there are choices tobe made between better and worse, bad andgood andgood.

好吧,见鬼,我不想选择成为同意性/交的男人,不想去追赶时尚。我不想成为佛祖描述的人,总是在享乐之后精疲力竭,在享乐中也努力去体验快/感。似乎,我的承诺和责任总是比我的冲动和享乐更重要,即使我的冲动或享乐是主要因素,那也要权衡更好和更坏、糟糕和很好以及究竟是多好。

Then why cry over it, twenty years later?Because in choice there iscomponent, maybe a big component, of pain.

那为何20年后再来纠结这个事儿呢?因为,任何决定中,都有一部分,有时是很大一部分的痛苦。

I would hate to have a recording of that conversation I held with myself, lurchingup and down the moonlit drive. It would sound like the lecture of a scared graduateassistant, taking over the philosophy class in the professor's absence. The walking didme more good than the thinking, even though my toe joints had me wincing, and myhips felt as if I had jumped off a ten-foot wall.

我不想在这里记录下我那时的思想斗争。我沿着月光照耀的车道一瘸一拐地向前走,一路上,像因教授不在,代替教授上哲学课的研究生助理在做报告。思考没让我想开多少,不过散步让我感觉好多了,即使我的脚跟有点疼,屁股感觉像是刚从10英尺的墙上跳下来。 

Now the library, famous for works on horticulture and game management, hereprobably still called venery-everything from medieval herbals and bestiaries tocontemporary learned journals in four languages. It seemed to me that these booksmade both Manors and the countess nervous; they stood back, politely giving me, thevisiting book man, plenty of time to examine and admire, but showing a transparentwillingness to pass on. Having no expertise in either hoticulture or game management,and seeing them hover there trying not to hurry me. I put back the volume whosebinding I had been admiring, and said, "These are impressive, but over my head. I'vegot other imperatives." Oh, what? They said. So I plucked from the shelf a Goethe inGerman and read them the last line of Faust: "Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan."Manors managed to take that piece of japery as a compliment to her, and the countessgave me a snickering look that said Mr. Allston was sehr kavalier ,and Ruth gave meanother sort of look, asking me in effect who I thought I was, Little Lord Fauntleroy?

现在来到了图书馆,以园艺学和狩猎管理方面的书而著名(在这里,或许依然叫打猎学)。图书馆里面收藏了四种语言的从中草药、动物寓言集、到当代知名刊物等各种方面的书籍。我依稀感觉到,这些书让玛农和女伯爵都非常紧张,她们靠后站着,很礼貌地给我一一这个来访的读书人—充分的时间来翻阅并敬仰,但可以看出她们很想赶快离开。我并没有园艺学和狩猎管理方面的专业知识,看到她们在那儿来回踱步,不想催促我,我放下那本封皮很吸引我的书,并说:“这些书都很棒,但是我看不懂。我还有别的要紧事儿。” “啊哦,什么?”她们说。我从书架上拿下来一本歌德的德语书,给他们读《浮士德》的最后几行:Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan”玛农成功将那句嘲弄话视为对她自己的赞美,女伯爵冲着我偷偷笑了笑,仿佛在说:“奥尔斯顿先生was sehr kavalier”,露丝的表情和她俩又不一样,仿佛在问我:“你以为你是谁,小方特罗伊勋爵么?” 

Whom we met as soon as we started out of the library-a pale, pretty, solemnlittle Swedish baron of about ten, a nephew of Manon's, on his way in to read DunsScotus or something else light. He wore blue serge short pants and an Eton collar andjacket, and he was the quietest, politest, most watchful little boy I ever saw in my life.I asked him if he spoke English and he squeaked, "Lillebt."

我们从图书馆出来,遇到了一个人,他是玛农的一个侄子。虽然他脸色不太好,但还是很英俊,是一位表情严肃的瑞典小男爵。他正打算进图书馆,读一些邓斯·司各脱的书,或者别的读起来不怎么费劲儿的书。他下穿蓝色哗叽短裤,上穿伊顿领夹克衫。他是我一生中见过的最安静、礼貌、谨慎的小男孩。我问他,他会说英语么?他支支吾吾地说:“会一点儿。” 

Ruthie was enjoying the tour, and the ladies chattered, and I came along on myleash. Through a quickly opened door we were given a glimpse of a great pantry, witha board where lights went on to indicate what room was calling, and a recedingwarren of subsocial rooms and kitchens and such}he only rooms, I supposed, thatmy mother might ever have seen, if she had seen those. Then we tiptoed respectfullyinto the dining room, a hollow cave with satiny sideboards, heavy silver; a table fortyfeet long with three great bowls of lilacs spaced along it and walls covered with theusual wigged ancestors and muddy Danish landscapes. I was tempted to ask why theDutch should have produced a regiment of great painters, while their close relativesup the North Sea coast, with the same blood, weather, light, sky, and architecture,never produced a one. But since the countess is herself a sort of artist, I admired thesilver instead.

露丝很享受这次闲逛,女士们一直在聊天,我就可以随便逛了。透过一扇突然打开的门,我瞥见了一个很大的食品贮藏室,上面有一个板,板上指示灯亮的房间表明需要食物,我还隐约看到了一排在视野中逐渐变小的简陋房间和厨房……等等,我想应该都是房间。我想如果我妈妈真的在这里生活过的话,那她也应该见过这个场景。之后,我们镊手镊脚地走进了餐厅,里面放着程亮的餐具柜,各种银色餐具,还有一张四十英寸长的桌子,上面摆着3个淡紫色的大碗,墙上挂着戴假发的祖宗头像和泥泞的丹麦风景图。我挺想问问:为什么丹麦培养出了很多伟大的油画家,而它在北海海岸线旁的邻居们,体内流着同样的血液,享受着同样的天气、光照,共享着同一片蓝天,住着同样的房子,却几乎没有培养出一个。但因为女伯爵自己就是艺术家,我转而崇拜起餐具来。 

The countess was happily recalling dinners in this room with a thousand candlesand four wines, times when the King had come down to hunt. Then, she said to me,you would have seen some skaal'ing! Privately, I thought the room too grand to haveany fun in, and much too big for the present party. The table was set only at oneerd--seven places.

女伯爵兴致勃勃地回想起国王狩猎时在这个房间用餐的场景,整个房间里面摆了一千支蜡烛和四瓶白酒。随后,她告诉我:我会看到一些skaal' ing。不过,我心里默默地觉得这个房间太大太豪华,感觉不到什么乐趣。仆人们只在桌子一头安排了7个座位。

The countess noted the number, too. "Who is corning?" she asked Marion.

女伯爵也注意到了座位的数量,问玛农:“ 谁要来?”

"Grandmama. She shouldn't, but she wants to see you and to greet your friends.And of course Bertl."

“奶奶要来。她来虽然不太合适,但她想看看你并见一下你的朋友,当然还有贝蒂尔。” 

The countess' eyes were on the seventh plate; then they came up and metIvlanon's. That was a speaking look if I ever heard one, though I didn't understand thewords. The countess' mouth tightened till she was white around the lips. Marion lifteda thin sweatered shoulder. The butler came in and announced lunch.

女伯爵的眼睛紧盯着第七个盘子,然后,抬起头与玛侬四目相对。虽然我看不懂,但女伯爵的表情的确会说话。她的嘴紧闭着,嘴唇周边都发白了。玛农耸了耸肩膀,虽然她穿着毛衣,但肩膀看起来还是很单薄。管家走进房间,宣布午宴开始。

There was little masculine company to distribute, just Little Lord Fauntleory andme. We waited. After several minutes a woman, not especially young but verypregnant, came carrying her great belly before from one of the parlors. She had abroad, healthy-looking face and a way of smiling slyly to herself. I thought she wasfaking a composure she didn't quite possess.

男客很少,只有我和小方特罗伊勋爵,我俩等待着仆人给我们分配座位。几分钟后,一个怀孕的女人挺着大肚子从房间里出来了,看起来不是特别年轻了。她的脸庞圆润,看起来十分康健,还带着神秘的微笑。我觉得她像在假装镇定一样,掩饰着什么。

She doesn't like that response; which smacks of irony and insubordination.Disgustedly she went into the other bathroom. Through the wall I heard her about herbusiness, then the water running strongly in the tub. After five minutes she came inand said she had drawn me a hot tub and put the Jacuzzi in it. I caught myself in time;and didn't ask why she hadn't inquired whether I wanted a Jacuzzi. (My privateopinion, diametrically opposed to hers, is that they do me no good.) She means well.Shut up, hold still, I want to take care of you.

她不喜欢那种反应,她感觉我的回答里面有讽刺和抗拒。她有点厌烦地走进了另一个洗手间。隔着墙,我听到了她上厕所的声音,之后,是冲马桶的声音。五分钟之后,她走进房间,告诉我:她给我准备好了一池热水,把按摩浴缸也放进去了。我立马就去了,没说话,并没有问为什么她不征求一下我的意见—我是不是想用按摩浴缸。 〔我的观点和她的观点完全相反,我觉得按摩浴缸对我没什么用处。) 她觉得那很好。“闭嘴吧,相信我,我这是为你好”。 

I was still in the tub, working my stiff hands under the blast of the Jacuzzi'snozzle, when she poked in her head to tell me she was on her way. The sight of me inmy bubble bath made her laugh. "You look like Nero, or Petronius, or somebody."

我还躺在浴池里面,手放到喷管下面感受着水流。露丝探头进来,告诉我,她要出门。她看到我浑身涂着泡泡,大笑起来,“你看起来像尼罗,或者彼得罗纽斯,或者某个伟人。” 

"No slave girl."

“但我没有丫环啊。”

"Will you be all right? Can I do anything for you before I go?"

“你自己行吧?我出门之前,能为你帮点什么忙么?” 

"You might hand me a razor blade out of the drawer there, so I can open myveins."

“你从抽屉里,给我拿个剃须刀的刀片吧。我想割腕。” 

"Oh, Joe, don't joke!"

“噢,乔。别开玩笑。” 

"One minute I'm not my old japeryself, and the next I shouldn't joke."

“刚刚还说我不像以前那样幽默了;现在又说我不该开玩笑。”

"Your senseof humor is perverted."She looked at her watch. "Lord, I'll be late.You stay inside, now. I'll have to do some shopping afterwards, I won't be home tillnearly one. Don't sit in the tub too long, twenty minutes is supposed to be enough."

“你的幽默感真特别。” 她看了看手表。“天啊,我要迟到了。你待在里面吧,我得去买点东西。大约一点我才能回来。别在池子里待太长时间,20分钟就够了。” 

"Yes, Ma."

“好的,妈妈。” 

She made a face and went. I sat on in my roaring mechanical massage parlor, areluctant sybarite. It did actually feel good in the tub. The warmth was relaxing, theJacuzzi drove and pummeled against whatever ailing part I exposed to it. Thebathroom blind was up, and -sunlight, broken by the wind-moved twigs of the planetree outside, fluttered on the marble counter, and on the tub, and on me.

她做了个鬼脸,跑开了。我坐在轰鸣的按摩池子里,成为一名不情愿的享乐主义者。不过,在池子里感觉的确不错。温度很令人放松,按摩浴缸敲打着我暴露在外的每一处病症肌肤。浴室的窗帘向上卷起,阳光透过悬铃木叶子的间隙照进来,风吹叶动,斑驳的阳光也在大理石桌台上晃动。 

Plato's cave, with aqua-therapy. I was reminded of a remark of Willa Lather's,that you can't paint sunlight, you can only paint what it does with- shadows on a wall.If you examine a life, as Socrates has been so tediously advising us to do for so manycenturies, do you really examine the life, or do you examine the shadows it casts onother lives? Entity or relationships? Objective reality or the vanishing point of amultiple perspective exercise? Prism or the rainbows it refracts? And what if you'rethe wall? What if you never cast a shadow or rainbow of your own, but have only caught those cast by others?

柏拉图的洞穴,水中运动疗法。我想起了威拉·凯瑟的一句话:你不能画太阳,你只能画它在墙上投下的影子。如果你听取苏格拉底跨越几个世纪一直给我们的建议,去审视了生活,你审视的真的是生活么?还是生活在别的生命中投下的影子?是独立的个体还是相互交织的关系?客观的现实还是转瞬即逝的多重视角?三棱镜还是它折射出的彩虹?而且,如果你是一面墙呢?如果你从来不投射你自己的影子或彩虹,而只是反映他人的影子或彩虹呢? 

I got into a sort of awkward yoga position so that the jet could play on myswollen big toe joints, and sitting that way I held up my arm and felt the muscle. Astringy, old-man'sarm, but reassuringly hard. I do more regular physical labor than Idid when I was younger. Still, an old man's arm, bony at elbow and wrist, and at itsend an old man's hand with enlarged knuckles and raised veins. The chest and bellyrising out of the bubbles were an old man's torso, too-too white, too hairy, withoutresilience.

我摆出了一种奇怪的瑜伽造型,喷头刚好能直冲我的大脚趾关节,就那样坐着,我抬起胳膊,感觉到了肌肉。胳膊苍老风霜,筋络分明,但足够结实,让我还有点宽慰。上了年纪之后,我比年轻时候,活动得更多了,不过,这一看还是一个老年男人的胳膊,肘部和腕部非常瘦削,胳膊尽头是一只老年人的手,关节粗大,青筋暴起。在泡泡中凸起的胸腹是一个老年人的躯干---十分苍白,毛发浓密,绝无恢复能力。

What happens to young flesh to make it old? I pinched the skin on the back ofmy hand, and it stayed up like a ridge in putty, only slowly flattening out. Loss ofelastin. But what's elastin? Why do we lose it? What chemical breakdown orslowdown occurs, what little manufacturing plant fails or goes on strike?

年轻的肉体究竟发生了什么,才会慢慢变老?我捏了一下手背上的肉,就像墙上凸起来的干硬油灰,然后肉才慢慢地在手背摊开。可能是缺乏弹力蛋白。但什么是弹力蛋白呢?为什么我们丢失了这种元素呢?到底是什么化学元素分解了,或者是减缓了更新速度呢?得是位于体内的多小的生产厂倒闭了或者罢/工了呢?

Inside the inelastic skin, within the still hard muscles, the joints go bad, growknobs and spurs of calcium (removing it, according to my dentist, from my teeth andjawbone.) The rough edges grate when they move together, and agitate the littlenerves of pain.

在松弛的皮肤下面,有依然坚挺的肌肉,关节己经开始退化,长了小包和骨刺 (据我的牙医说,从我的牙齿和下领骨中可以去除。) 粗糙的边缘碰到一起的时候,会勾起痛的神经,让人很痛苦。

But though we all deteriorate, we are given the privilege of deterioratingaccording to some poetic justice. We ourselves help establish the places and extent ofour wearing out. My right shoulder and elbow are worse than my left because I wasonce a right-handed tennis player with a severe service and overhead. (Breaking myneck to beat Eigil Rodding when I was out of shape, I probably laid down animperative that I will feel for life, even if I live to a Vilcabamba old age.) My right bigtoe is worse than my left because when I was ten years old, on an afternoon that Iremember clearly, on the shore of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, I kicked OleSievcrud in the backsideand hurt myself worse thanI hurt him.Disorder and earlysorrow, and the consequences concentrated because I happened to be bornright-handed and right-footed. If I had been born ambidextrous at both ends, my illswould be better distributed.

但是,虽然我们都在衰老,但我们的衰老也体现了一种诗意的公平。我们自己决定了衰老的地方和程度。我的右肩膀和胳膊肘的毛病比左边的多,因为我曾经是一个右撇子的网球运动员,打发球和高压球全依赖右手。(我那次身体状态不太好,强忍着和艾伊尔,罗丁比拼,弄坏了我的脖子。或许,即使我能活到比尔卡班巴人的寿命,我也会将那一刻铭记在心。) 我的右脚趾头比我的左脚趾糟糕点,因为我十岁那年的某个下午,在明尼阿波利斯的卡尔洪湖输边,从后面踢了千年神龟,结果,它没怎么受伤,我却疼得不行。由于人生无常,少不经事,我又恰好是天生的右手撇子和右脚撇子,于是,伤痕累积到右边,便不足为奇。如果我天生左右均衡发展,那我的病也能在左右两边均匀分配。 

I ran my hand over the top of my head, slick and bumpy For that I take not evespartial responsibility Baldness is inherited and sex-linked, they say I was gettingthere by the time I was forty. How does that work? Somebody must have examinedthe process, down to exactly what happens in each hair follicle when the appointedgene flips the switch at the appointed time and turns off the lights in one more‘ littlechemical plant. If he had been set to it, could old Count Rodding, with his facility inremodeling nature, have bred baldness out? Probably, just the way he'd have bredfurnishings into a terrier. A pity he didn't attempt it, for he and his son both bred fortrophies, and a bald head mounted in the billiard room wouldn't be half so decorativeas one with a senatorial mane. Suppose Karen Blixen's improvising had been true. Ifmy mother had stayed in Brgninge and been subverted by the old count instead ofcoming to America and marrying an alcoholic skinhead on the C.M. and St. P., I mightnow be running my hand through hyacinthine locks instead of over a naked skull.

我抚摸着我的头顶,滑溜溜的,还有一些凸起的地方。对此,我不想承担半点责任。大家都说:秃头有遗传性,并和性别有关。我到40岁就己经秃头了,这一切是怎么发生的呢?有些人或许己经调查过整个过程,具体到当某条带有使命的基因在固定时间打开开关,又在某一个化学工厂关掉灯的时候,每根毛囊里面发生了什么。如果他被要求这么做,那带有改变自然天赋的老罗丁爵士会不会能将秃顶基因移除呢?或许,这和他培养小猎犬采用的是一种方式。他没有做过这样的实验,真遗憾。他和他儿子都是为了战利品才养育猎物的,摆在台球室的秃头相比参议员充满毛发的头,可是逊色多了。假设卡伦·布利克森随口几做的猜测是个事实,如果我妈妈住在布赖宁厄,并接受了老爵士的引诱,而不是跑到美国,嫁给了 “ 芝加哥一密尔沃基一圣保罗 ” 火车班列上的的酗酒光头仔,现在,我就可能在享受像风信子那 般浓密的头发,而不是在光头上摸索。

The chances we take, getting born so accidentalIy.

就像我们出生在何种家庭那样,其实人生中的很多机会都充满偶然性啊。

I turned the stopper handle and let the water start running out, and while theJacuzzi roared on-it runs as long as the water level is above a certain mark-I putmy distorted feet back into the jet. Halex rigidus, the X-ray man says, looking at mytoe joints. Pretty soon Homo rigidus. Toes, ankles, knees, hips, fingers, wrists, elbows,shoulders. And bald head, eroded stomach wall,forger ends. I am a Goddamned museum exhibit of deteriorations.

我转动了堵头手柄,水开始流向他外。按摩浴缸还在运转—只要水位在某个水平之上,它就能运转---我把我歪歪扭扭的脚重新放在喷头下面。给我拍片的医生盯着我的趾关节,说 “ 拇趾僵硬 ”,然后,又说:“ 关节突出 ”。脚趾,脚躁,膝盖,屁股,指头,手腕,胳膊肘,肩膀,还有秃头,被侵蚀的胃壁,麻木的全白的指尖。妈的,我就是上天安排在人间的衰老腐朽的样品。 

The Jacuzzi, as the water dropped to the critical level, cut off, revived when mysloshing sent a wave against it, gave one suggestive ejaculation, and quit. That too.Hail and farewell.

水位低到了一定程度,按摩浴缸暂停了,我拍打着剩下的水,发出的水花又让它象征性地动力一下,之后,又停止了。好吧,此致,敬礼! 

I stood up in the tub and toweled off, looking out the window: Linnets andgolden-crowned sparrows were chasing one another off the bird feeder. The morningwas crystalline and inviting, but I could see from the way the trees and shrubs blewthat the wind was from the north, which meant it was cold.

我站起来,用毛巾擦干身子,向窗外看。红雀和金冠麻雀相互打闹着,不让对方靠近鸟食器。早晨清爽迷人,从树和灌木从摇摆的样子来看,风是从北方吹来的,这就说明风是凉风。 

1 条评论
评论不能为空
    0
    天雨
    1个月前
    很酷,很喜欢这类的风格