矛盾扩大和加深
Contradictions Grow In Breadth And In Depth
4586字
2019-12-28 23:05
55阅读
火星译客

The day that started hectic ends morose. I sit here grumbling to myself, while Ruthrecuperates with a couple of aspirins and a heating pad. My impulse is to damn Cesare,but he is not responsible, he was jut being Cesare. If I can't handle the sort ofchallenge that Cesare makes to my chosen life, I had better choose another life.

本来今天一开始很忙碌,但最后却过得让人郁闷。我坐在那里自怨自艾,露丝在吃阿斯匹林,手里还拿着发热的平板,逐渐恢复元气。我想骂切萨雷,但其实跟他一点关系都没有,他只是做了自己想做的事情。他来会打乱我原有的生活,但如果我连这一点都不能接受的话,我还不如选择再活一次。

It has poured all day, if the word "poured" can be used to describe rain that is notvertical but horizontal, mixed with leaves, branches, power failures, and fears for thewindows. We awoke to the shaking and shuddering of the house. Ruth took one lookoutside and began to mourn. Going to the kitchen to make coffee, I discovered enroute that the clerestory windows above the bookcase wall in the living room wereleaking, and I spent half an hour on the stepladder taking down kachina dolls,papier-mache Hindu gods, Hopi bowls, and other bric-a-brac from the drowned topshelf, sponging up a bowlful of water mixed with the cobwebs, dust, and dead fliesthat Minnie's house cleaning had left up there, setting a row of bread pans to catch thecontinuing drip, and removing from the shelves and propping open to dry most of thelifework of Joyce Carol Oates, Edwin O'Connor, Eugene O'Neill, and KatherineAnne Porter.

雨一般都是垂直落下,但今天却一改常态地横冲直撞,夹杂着树叶树枝。我们忧心忡忡,唯恐会停电、窗户会裂开。如果“倾盆”一词可以用来描述今天的雨,那么这一整天就可谓是大雨倾盆了。房子在雨中摇摇晃晃,瑟瑟发抖,把我们摇醒了。露丝向窗外看了一眼,嘴里嘀嘀咕咕的。本来要去厨房煮咖啡,但路过卧室的时候,我发现书架墙那边上面的天窗在漏雨,书架上面已经全是水了,我就爬上折梯,把上面东西一个一个放下来,有卡奇纳玩偶、纸糊的印度教神像、霍皮碗,以及其他各式各样的小摆件。然后又用海绵把上面的水吸干,挤出来足有一碗水,里面还有之前明妮打扫卫生时没打扫干净的蜘蛛网、灰尘和死苍蝇。水不断往下滴,我就放了一排放面包的盘子接水。我把乔伊斯·卡罗尔·欧茨、埃德温·欧康纳、尤金·奥尼尔和凯瑟琳·安妮·波特大部分的毕生心血作品从书架上拿下来,敞开晾干。 

Then I got breakfast, which we ate as usual while listening to the "Today Show" andwatching the day develop outside the windows. It was not the day to entertain Italy'sgreatest novelist, the profound anatomist of passion, true heir of D'Annunzio, with adash of Cellini and a dollop of Casanova. Not the day to entertain anybody. As we setto work to prepare his welcome we alternated between anxiety that we might not beable to do right by him and a wan hope that he wouldn't come.

然后才去吃的早餐,我们还是边吃边听《今日秀》,再看看窗外天气的变化。今天不适合招待切萨雷这位伟大的意大利小说家,他对激/情有深入精到的分析,是真正继了意大利作家邓南遮精髓的人,还有点像切利尼和卡萨诺瓦。今天不适合招待任何人。就在准备迎接他的到来的时候,我们陷入了一种焦虑之中,担心怠慢了他。同时也有种他不会来的预感。

We are fond of Cesare in spite of his books. His books are overrated, but that isbecause he is completely of his time, and his time overrates itself. He is neither thefirst one nor the worst one to make a career out of the verbal exploration of thevarious bodily orifices, genital, an/al, and oral (not the moral orifices, he is lessinterested n those.)Maybe if I were younger, and my hormones more active, I mightappreciate his novels more. As it is, I have to think them compulsive, theatrical, anddecadent even while I find Cesare himself lively, amusing, and full of an attractivekind of Italian blarney. It is as much of an effort for me to flog my flagging sexualinterest through one of his books as it perhaps was for him to flog himself through thewriting of it. I suspect he much prefers the research to the writing. Nevertheless inperson he is engaging, the friendliest and best-natured of satyrs, far more fun than hisbooks and far less repulsive than his audience. Though I grumbled a little about hiscoming, I was actually looking forward to it. News of the Rialto, and all that. It is alsopossible to feel isolated even when you insist that that's what you want. It is alsopossible to feel that you should justify your retirement by showing off the puttinggreen and paddle tennis court.

撇开他的书不谈,我们还是很喜欢切萨雷的。他写的书不如想象中的好,那是因为他把全部时间都用在写作上了,而他的时间价值也被过分夸大了。他的职业是用文字探究各种身体孔口的功能,比如生殖器、肛/门以及嘴等等(跟道德方面无关,那不是他的主要关注点)。虽然他在这方面做得并不是最差的一个,但他也不是第一个以此为生的人。我要是再年轻点,荷尔蒙更活跃,我也许会更赞同他的小说。但是现在来看,虽然切萨雷这个人活泼有趣,满嘴的意大利俏皮话很吸引人,但是他的作品却有压抑感、夸张、颓废。看他的一本书,我得迫使自己重燃逐渐衰退的性/欲。他在写书的时候应该也差不多。我觉得相比写作,他会更愿意搞研究。他本人现在就对那些最友好最善良的好色之徒投入比他的作品更多的兴趣,并比他的读者更喜欢这些。虽然他来我也颇有微词,但我内心其实还是很希望他能来的。想听他讲讲里亚尔托等等的事情。这就类似于即便嘴上说喜欢一个人待着也还是会感到孤独;即便嘴上说不喜欢年老,可还是想炫耀一下退休之后能享受草场和网球场。

We used to do that sort of thing a lot. We had invented Eden, and owed it a PR job.Probably we thought we were adapting to one of those illusions they call a life style.We wanted to our American plenty to show, but not too much. We wanted to make itclear that our tastes were simpler than our means would have permitted. We wanted todemonstrate that the rush to the suburbs and the country; when conducted by the rightpeople, could be an enhancement of civilization not an evasion of it. We had books,music, a garden, birds, country walks, friends. We were within ten minutes of a greatuniversity, with all it offered in intellectual and cultural weather, and less than an hourfrom the city that everybody in the world falls in love with. When we had Eastern orforeign visitors we watched them confidently for signs of envy. We wanted, maybejust little desperately, to be thought terribly lucky.

我们过去常这样做。我们创造了伊甸园,但并没有让它充分发挥作用。也许我们以为我们正逐步适应了他们称之为某种生活方式的幻想。我们想让美国人有很多可以炫耀的东西,但是也不要太多。我们希望能够表明我们的品味比我们技术所能达到的要淳朴得多,我们想表明,如果那些涌入郊区和乡下的人是对的人,那将会是文明的进步,而不是毁灭。我们有书、音乐、花园、鸟、乡间小道,还有朋友。我们距一流大学只有10分钟的路程,空气中充满了文化与知识的气息,不到一个小时就可到达一座人人喜爱的城市。当东方国家和其他世界各地的游客来到这里时,我们可以自豪地看着他们发出各种羡慕的感叹。我们看着他们,内心还有点渴望他们说我们在这里生活真是太幸运了。 

Well, we were, we are. But at our age, seven or eight years make a difference. Sincecoming out here we have lost a few friends by their moving away, and one very dearone by death. Eden with graves is no longer Eden. Moreover, we have had an invasionfrom the Land of Nod. The place has been moved in on by junior executives whoseupward mobility is always showing, whose new subdivisions scar the hills, and whoseattitudes sometimes offend the godly. So as the people we knew back East die, or areinstitutionalized, or take themselves off to Tucson or Sarasota or Santa Barbara toestivate their last years away as we are doing here, our contracts here shrink, too. Wehave half given the habit of minging with our fellow man; and minging; I suppose, isa little like sex. Use it or lose it. Like they say.

是的,我们一直在这里生活。但是在我们这个年纪,七八年之后生活就会有个大变样。从我们来这儿到现在,有几个朋友搬到别的地方去了,还有一个去世了。有墓地的伊甸园就不再是伊甸园了。而且,原来在挪得之地这个被驱逐地方的人己经开始入侵我们这里了。下级行政官员们搬到了这里,他们总是表现的十分上进,把新划分的土地像块疤一样地印在这座山上,他们有时还会对神明不敬。我们认识的那些回到东方国家的人也是要不去世了要不就被收容在了社会福利机构里,或者就又跑到图森市或萨拉索塔或圣巴巴拉市安度晚年,我们来这里也是要在此度过余生。我们在这有联系的人也越来越少了。我们不像原来那样与当地人有很多来往,我觉得“来往”有点像性这回事,就像俗语中说的,“不用即废”。

Result: we find it easier to stay at home and watch television, or read, than go out, andthese days when we entertain visitors we find them less a pleasure than an anxiety. Iget smitten with the the desire to make garden and patio worthy of admiringexclamations; Ruth cleans like Mrs. Craig arid cooks as if Julia Child were coming todine. We found ourselves preparing that way even for Cesare, who could make adesert island lively. Why? I wonder. Maybe sometime else, a determination to sendhim back to his crumbling old palazzo on the Botteghe Oscure crying aloud for thefelicity he left behind in California.

那么最后的结果就是,我们会更倾向于待在家看电视或看书,而不愿意外出交往。这些日子每当有人来的时候,我们感受到的更多的不是快乐而是焦虑。为了不辜负游客的羡慕与赞赏,我决定要收拾一下园子和阳台。露丝像克雷格太太那样打扫的一尘不染,做的饭就好像美国著名厨师朱莉娅·查尔德会来吃晚餐一样。我们发现我们甚至在准备迎接那个能赋予沙漠生气的切萨雷时,也会这样做。搞不懂这是为什么。也许是因为他是我的朋友,想让他感觉到快乐吧。也许是出于其它的什么原因,想要把他送回他在《罗马国际文学杂志》刊登过的破败的老宅子,大声召回他丢失在加利福尼亚的幸福。

We were through breakfast by seven forty-five. By eight Ruth was in the kitchen withher glasses on and her cookbooks open, and I was out in the rain, doing my best not toblow away on every gust, trying to clean up the worst of the soggy leaves and trashthat had eddied into the entrance. The plum blossoms of the night before were only amemory. This was no warm Hawaiian wind. This storm that had overtaken the firstwas straight down from the Aleutians.

7点45的时候我们吃完了晚饭,8点的时候露丝就在厨房里了,戴着眼镜,看着旁边的烹饪书籍,我在外面站在雨中。每当有风刮来,我就努力不让扫好的树叶被刮跑。尽力把堆积在过道的最难扫的湿叶子打扫干净。前天晚上的梅花己经成为过去时了。这可不是温暖的夏威夷海风。这次暴风雨比第一次还强,从阿留申群岛直冲过来。

Streaming water off my slicker, my beret soaked, I brought in wood and laid a fire.With chicken breasts amandine for the main course, I decided to evoke Cesare'sappreciation with a good Green Hungarian; and put two bottles in to chill. To give arunning start to Minnie, who was due st nine, I emptied all the wastebaskets and thegarbage pail. When she didn't show up by nine, I went in and nnade the bed. Then I cleared some coat space in the front hall closet, and when my householder's eye wasoffended by the clutter of canes, umbrellas, and walking shoes stacked in there, Icleaned out the closet.

弄掉雨衣上的雨水,才发现我的贝雷帽湿透了。我把木柴抱进来,生了堆火。主食是鸡胸肉杏仁蛋糕,我还想用上好的绿匈牙利葡萄酒,再冰上两瓶酒,切萨雷一定会对此大加赞赏。明妮应该是九点的班,为了让她开始的工作轻松点,我把所有垃圾筐和垃圾桶里的垃圾都倒了。看她9点的时候还没来,我就进去铺床了。然后我就把前厅的衣柜里腾出来一些放外套的地方。当房东的眼盯着堆在那里的拐杖、雨伞和散步鞋的时候,我就把衣柜打扫干净了。

Nine-thirty, and no Minnie. Ruth, browning something in butter, compressed her lipsand worked her black eyebrows at me significantly."I thought maybe she could helpwith the cooking and serving," she said. "If she doesn't show up pretty soon she won'teven have the house tidied up."

九点半了,明妮还没来。露丝用黄油烤东西烤的焦黄,紧闭着嘴唇,挤着浓黑的眉毛意味深长地看着我。“ 我觉得明妮可以帮着做饭上菜,” 她说,她要是再不快点来的话,屋子也收抬不完了。 

I started washing up her pots and pans, which she redirtied as fast as I washed them.

我开始洗她用过的各种锅和盘子,刚洗完一个就又来一个。

By ten I had caught up with her, and the kitchen was filling with succulent smells, butstill no Minnie."She may not get here at all," I said. "There may be mud slides,washouts, down trees, all sorts of things. Maybe 1'd better do the vacuuming. Thenyou can put her to work right away if she comes."

10点的时候我终于跟上她的速度把所有的洗完了,厨房里也弥漫着浓汁的香味,但是明妮还没来。她也许来不了了,” 我说,“ 可能路上会有泥石流、水毁,要不就是树倒了之类的事情。我还是先去吸尘吧,她来了你就可以直接让她干活去了。” 

"Oh, if you would," Ruth said gratefully. Reaching to move something off the burner,she burned her writs. Grinning with pain, she held still while I smeared the inch-longburn with ointment which I, suburban preparedness freak, had stowed in a draweronly days before.

“ 啊,那就太好了。” 露丝满心感激地说。她本来是要伸手让某个东西离炉子远点的,结果把自己的手腕烫伤了。她疼得趾牙咧嘴,一动不动地让我给她涂药膏。我住在郊区,有所准备,几天前我就把这管药膏放到抽屉里了。

The more any situation looks to Ruth like darkest tragedy, the more I am inclined tobelieve it can be dealt with. My contrariness, I suppose. At that point I was hearty andcheerful, and though I had been preparing just anxiously as she had, I wished, frommy superior calm, to reassure her.

露丝越是觉得悲惨,我就越相信会有办法解决的。这也许是出于我的逆反心理。那一刻,我精神焕发,心情很好。虽然我跟露丝一样也很焦急地准备,但我想以强大的镇定给她安慰。

"Take it easy," I told her."Cesare never been known for his promptness. If he gets hereat all, and he might not, he's sure to be late. There's plenty of time. Just do yourcooking, and relax, and I'll go ahead and straighten up the house, and if worst comesto worst and we have no guests, we'll sit down together, just me and my Jo john, andeat the chicken breasts amandine and drink a cold bottle of Green Hungarian together."

 “ 别担心,” 我对她说,“ 切萨雷一贯都是这样急急忙忙的,也没人跟他说。他也不一定就会来,他要真的来了也不会那么准时的。时间还很充裕,你就把饭做好然后歇着就行,我来收拾家。如果最后他也来不了的话,那咱们就坐下来,就我和亲爱的你两个人,一起吃鸡胸肉杏仁蛋糕,再来一瓶冰镇的绿匈牙利葡萄酒。” 

"I don't know," she said, and looked at me (or herself) and laughed." If he doesn'tcome now, after getting us started in this, he'll never be welcome in my house again."

“ 好吧,” 她说,她看着我 (但也许是在看她自己) 笑了。“ 他把我们搞成这个样子,他要是今天不来的话,以后就别再来我们家了。” 

She had the lights on all over the house, to make things more cheerful that darkmorning. I got out the vacuum cleaner and plugged it in and made one pass across therug, and pop, the cleaner's howl died and all the lights went out.

她开了家里所有的灯,好让那个昏暗的早晨显得欢快一点。我拿出吸尘器,插上电,刚吸到地毯的另一边就听见 “ 砰 ” 的一声,吸尘器的轰轰声也没了,所有的灯都不亮了。

"Oh, I knew it!" came Ruth's cri de coeur from the kitchen.

 “ 我就知道会这样。” 厨房里传来露丝的抱怨声。

"Peace," I said, unruffled."It's probably just the circuit breaker."

 “ 淡定点儿,” 我镇定地说,“ 也许只是跳闸了。” 

Leaving the vacuum where it stood, I went and inspected the panel on the kitchen wall.While I was craning up at it, looking for a breaker that was kinked, the lights flashedon, and the vacuum began to howl and flounder. I arrived just too late to keep it frombumping into the piano leg. As I shut it off and straightened it up Ruth came running,looking like Medea, and popped her finger in her mouth and rubbed it over the dentedscar. The lights dimmed to a red pulse, flared up, and went out once more.

我顺手放下吸尘器,来厨房检查墙上的控制板。正当我向上探头看控制板,找缠在一起的断路器的时候,所有的灯又突然都亮了,也开始听到吸尘器的轰轰声和乱动的声音了。我赶紧回去,但为时己晚,吸尘器刚撞到钢琴腿上了。就在我关吸尘器清理现场的时候,露丝跑了过来,像希腊神话里的美狄亚一样。她把手伸进嘴里,划过有凹痕伤疤的地方。灯暗下来,发出红光,闪了一下,又灭了。

Unlighted, the room was gray and cold. The wind went past the plate glass absolutelyflat, and rain like tracer bullets swept the tops of the live oaks below the terrace. Icould barely see the valley or the country road; the hills opposite were only sodden,running outlines.

没有光亮的房间显得昏暗寒冷。风完全水平地吹过平板玻璃,雨滴像曳光弹一样准确地打在阳台下的长青橡树顶上。山谷和乡间小路都己看不清了,对面的山峦也只能看到一个个湿流媲流动着的轮廓。  

"What'll we do?" Ruth said.

“ 怎么办啊?”  露丝说。 

"Haven't you got candles?"

“ 有蜡烛么?”  

"Oh, candles! How'm I going to cook? How'll we keep the house warm? What'll wedo for water? We can't even flush the john."

“ 蜡烛!那我怎么做饭,怎么让家里暖和?怎么用水呢,连冲厕所都不行。” 

True. There are handicaps to country living in an all-electric house whose water ispumped from a well, in a country where the winter ground is like soup, so that treeslie down across the power lines when the wind blows. Once last winter the power wasoff nearly all day, so long that Ruth and I paid three different calls, to people wedidn't especially want to see, just to get to use a bathroom.

是这样的。生活在一个全部电气化的房子里,在乡村还是有诸多不便的。水是从井里泵上来的,冬天的地就像是汤一样,风吹的时候刮倒了树,树就横倒在电线上。去年冬天就有一次几乎一整天都没电,我和露丝就分别去了三个不同的不是特别想见的人家里,只是想去洗个澡。 

On the other hand, I was still feeling cheerful and competent. These little emergenciesstir the blood. I cope, therefor I arn.

不过在乡村里还是会很开心,会感到自己很能干。这些小的紧急事故会让人生气,但我会解决,因此会快乐,也是能干的。

"I'll light the fireplace," I said. "That'll both warm and cheerus. Johns-I don't know.What if I bring in some pails and kettles from the tank so wedon't have to run downthe pressure? Keep one flush in each john for the visitors. As for cooking, what isSterno for?"

“ 我会把壁炉点着,” 我说。“ 这就既不冷也不会显得压抑了。至于厕所啊,不太清楚谈。要不就从贮水池用桶和壶舀进一些水来,这样我们就不用按压力阀了。每个马桶旁边都给客人留够冲一次的水。做饭嘛,不还有固体酒精了么?” 

"Did you ever try to bake corn fingers with Sterno?" Ruth said. "Did you make anapricot suffle with Sterno?"

“ 你用固体酒精烤过玉米粒吗?你用固体酒精做过杏仁蛋奶酥吗?” 露丝说。

"Maybe they'll just have to do without corn fingers and apricot snuffle."

 “ 也许没有玉米粒和杏仁蛋奶酥他们也行呢?” 

"That would be quite a lunch. Chicken and salad."

“ 只有鸡肉和沙拉。那还是午餐吗? ” 

"And wine. He's eaten a damned sight worse. At least let's see if we can keep thechicken warm."

 “ 还有酒啊。他以前吃的更不好。至少先看看能不能不让鸡肉凉了。” 

I found two cans of Sterno, another fruit of my preparedness campaign, but no sign ofthe little tin stove to use them in. Ingenuity suggested tipping up a burner on theelectric stove, setting a can of Sterno in the well under it, and tipping the burner backflat. Presto. I was congratulating myself and trying to cheer my determinedly gloomywife when the door blew open and Minnie stamped in, wet-coated, hoo-hoofing like asteamboat, with a wet cigarette pasted to her lower lip.

我找到两罐固体酒精,这也是我以前准备的一种东西。但是没找到放固体酒精的小锡炉。我创造性地提起电炉灶,把一罐固体酒精放在灶下面的凹槽里,然后又把电炉灶放回去放平。好了!正当我祝贺自己搞定了这件事,让我闷闷不乐的妻子开心的时候,门被刮开了,明妮走了进来。鞋是湿的,衣服也是湿的,像个汽艇一样呼呼地出着气,下嘴唇那儿叼着一根湿流流的香烟。

"Heyyyyy! Ain't this sorne'm!"

“ 嘿!这不是……!” 

Every Tuesday morning she arrives at our door bursting with some dramatic tidings.Like any boiler or pressure tank, she must be eased of her burden gradually. She can'tbe hurried, she has to bubble and hiss herself quiet. Even on such a day as this weknow better than to interrupt her show. As when on some hot mountain road a travelerhears the rumbling under the hood and watches the temperature needle climb past thered and out of sight, and stops and opens the hood, with handkerchief around handmakes darting stabs at the radiator cap to pen it a little, but not too much, so theAllstons gave greetings to their cleaning lady, and waited for the jets of steam.

每周二早上,她都会带着些重磅新闻来我们家。她像锅炉和高压锅一样一点一点地排出压力。不能催她,她得冒会儿泡,慢慢地放气,直到最后没有声音。即使像今天这样的天气,我们也很清楚不能打断她的表演。奥尔斯顿夫妇跟清洁女工打完招呼,然后就等着她把这股气放完。就像是游客在炎热的山路上听到引擎罩下发出的隆隆声,看着温度计指针不断上升超过了红点消失不见,然后才停下车打开引擎盖,手用手巾裹着快速地动几下水箱盖,稍微打开一点,但不会打开太多。

She kicked off her muddy shoes, she stripped off her raincoat and revealed the whitenurse's nylon that gives her status as a professional and imparts a touch of class to theestablishments sheis willing to assist. Rumbling with phlegmy laughter, squintingagainst imaginarysmoke from the cigarette that had been quenched in her run fromcar to door, she slid in stocking feet to the kitchen wastebasket and with a wet thumband finger dropped the disintegrating cigarette in among the garbage.

明妮踢掉她泥糊糊的鞋子,脱掉淋湿的外套,里边穿了一件白色尼龙护士服,专业范儿十足,也充分展现了她的工作能力。她嗓子里有痰,笑的时候发出隆隆的声音。她眯着眼睛看,好像前面有香烟冒出的烟雾,但其实从她下车到家门前,烟就已经被雨淋灭了。她穿着袜子,拖着脚走到厨房垃圾筐跟前,用大拇指和另一根手指把被淋得不成样子的香烟扔进一大堆垃圾里。

"You know what I see on my way over? Ha-ha! Them creeps! Lessee if their zoninglaws' ll take care of that one!"

“ 你知道我来的时候看见啥了吗?哈哈!那些小人!分区法规是否会眷顾那一个,我们等着瞧好了!” 

"Maybe my old funny self will get suppressed. You know how it is at Ben's. Youtell yourself you and your woodwind friends are going to get together with the flutestonight haven't seen the flutes for ages-but when Ben's baton comes down, youcome in. If he says dominoes, it'll be dominoes. If he says, `Let's go out in the pastureand stir up the llamas', we'll all become herdsmen of Andean carneloids. Rememberlast time, when I swore I was finally going to corner the Russian princes and satisfyour curiosity-what relation is she to Czar Nicholas, is she Romanoff or Golitsyn, didRasputin dandle her on his knee, has she got hemophilia (don't tell me, I know shecan't have), how did she escape being murdered with the rest of the royal family?Remember? I was determined. So Ben declares after dinner that we'll now playliterary charades, and the only contact I have with the princess all evening is to sit ather feet and try to guess what book of Virginia Woolf's she is suggesting by coughingand sneezing and blowing her nose."

“ 我这个风趣幽默的老人可能会感觉有点压抑。你知道,本家的聚会是什么样的。你告诉你自己和你木质管乐器的朋友们,你们今晚想搞个长笛合奏曲—好像很久没有见到木质管乐器啦—但要是本的指挥棒一出现,说要玩多米诺骨牌,那所有人都得玩多米诺骨牌。要是他说,‘ 让我们去牧场,挑逗挑逗安第斯驼 ’,那我们都得成安第斯驼的牧民。你记不记得上次,为了满足我们的好奇心,我下定决心发誓说要逼问俄罗斯公主,问她和察尔·尼古拉是什么关系,她是罗曼诺夫还是戈利岑,拉斯普京把她抱在腿上挑逗她了么,她得血友病了么(不要告诉我,我知道她不可能得。)她如何设法让自己和其他皇室家族免于谋杀的命运?记得么?我心意己定‘但是,晚饭过后,本说我们一起玩打哑谜猜字游戏,所以,一整个晚上,我都蹲在公主脚丫的旁边,猜测她通过咳嗽、打喷嚏、摒鼻涕想暗示弗吉尼亚.伍尔夫的哪本书。”

"You seem to have Virginia Woolf on the brain."

“ 你好像一直在想弗吉尼亚·伍尔夫。” 

"As a matter of fact, it was a damn good charade."

“ 事实上,那是个很有意思的看手势猜字谜游戏。”

"I suppose you have to tell me."

 “ 我觉得你得给我再解释解释。”

"Bennyway,"Ruth said this morning (she has these residual infantilisms, orMidwesternisms, or foreshortenings, or whatever they are, in her speech, another ofher favorite is jissec, "bennyway, at least you're feeling better:" That is her way ofconsoling herself for unslaked curiosity and the brevity of her castle experience. Wenever did plan to stay more than the one night, but the way it worked out, we had toinsist on getting out of there the first thing after breakfast, when our inclination was tohang around like a couple of village kids at a bathhouse knothole:

“ 顺便提一下,” 露丝今天早上说,“ 至少你感觉好一些了。” 这是她安慰自己的好奇心未获得满足以及城堡之旅略显短暂的方式。我们从来没有想过要再待一晚,但是发现我们离开的决心有点动摇,就像一对乡村孩子站在澡堂的木板门口那样犹豫。我们暗自坚持早饭之后就离开那里。 

I felt sorry for the countess. She was sad about her grandmother, and distressedtizat our holiday was spoiled, and unwilling to seem to hustle us away, but obviouslyvery willing to remove ourselves from the area of family crisis. Manor developed atic: she winked us out of the castle and into the Rover. Eigil we didn of see, nor MissWeibull. Nor the old countess, since she was dead. The little baron, rising to his dutyas man of the house, came out with Manor and the countess and gravely shook ourhands and wished us farvel and god rejse.

我对女伯爵感到很愧疚。她正为祖母过世伤着心,又得痛心:我们的假期遭到了破坏,也不情愿催促我们离开,但是又想让我们赶快从家族危机的泥潭中脱身。玛农颤抖了一下,目送我们离开城堡进入罗孚车。我们没有看到艾伊尔,也没有看到韦布尔小姐,更没有看到逝去的老女伯爵。小男爵升任了家族的主人,和玛农、女伯爵一起走出来,牢牢地握着我们的双手,和我们告别,祝我们 farvel and god rejse。

He also gave evidence of subversion. Just as I was sliding behind the wheel, sostiff I could hardly keep from groaning, he caught my eye with a little secret grin, andmoved his hand to show me the krane between his thumb and finger. I nodded, hestretched his arm and snapped, and the coin tinkled on the step behind him, a miss.Manor, winking, turned to see what had made the noise. The little baron neverblinked, never turned to see where his krone had fallen. There's a lot to be said fornoblesse oblige. He stood in line with the others and waved.

他也表示出了留恋。我正在跟着车轮快步走,僵硬地忍不住发出呻吟之声。我俩偶然对视了一下,他脸上挂着神秘的微笑,晃着他的手向我展示他拇指和食指之间的krone。我点了点头,他张开胳膊,啪嗒一声,硬币落在他身后的台阶上发出叮当的响声,魔术失败。玛农,微笑着转过头来寻找声音的来源。小男爵没有再回头眨着眼,也没有找他的krone落在了哪里。贵族品质很值得探究。他与其他人站在一起,冲我们挥着手。 

Nothing visible at the Sverdrup cottage as we drove by. I slowed and pointed itout to Ruth, who gave me a queer little sampathetic grimace. We drove on by it: thedeserted postcard.

我们向前行进,路过斯维德鲁普农舍的时候,那里什么都看不到。我放慢速度,把农舍指给露丝看。她给了我一个非常奇怪的富有同情心的悲伤表情。我们按照这个被遗弃的明信片向前行驶。 

So now for a week we have been speculating; and we know exactly what weknew before, and can draw only the same inferences from our information. We evenhave new questions. For instance, why has the countess stayed down at Qrebyslot fora full week? It doesn't take a week to bury an old lady; even allowing time for theclans to gather: She will have had to fraternize with Eigil, for it doesn't seem likely hewould stay out of sight all this time just to accommodate his unfriendly sister. Havethey made it up? Has the death of the old lady maybe given the countess an inheritance that will ease her situation?

所以,这一周内,我们一直在推侧,我们也知道我们之前知道的确切消息,并从我们的已知信息中得出同样的推论。我们也有了新问题。例如,为什么女伯爵在苏莱比斯洛特待了一整周呢?即便算上召集整个家族的时间,安葬一个老人也并不需要一周的时间。她必须和艾伊尔友好相处,因为艾伊尔应该不会纯碎为了接待他不友好的妹妹而躲她一周。他们和好了么?老人的去世会不会让女伯爵获得一笔遗产,刚好缓解她目前的困境?

I don't thrive in the presence of unknowns and variables. Extended guessingdoesn't intrigue me as it does Ruth. I keep returning, when she gets to speculating; tothe little we know. To wit:

我不想深究这些未知和变数,可露丝在不停的猜测。她逐步猜测的同时,我一直在把故事还原到开头,告诉她我们知道的确凿消息很少。即: 

Miss Weibull, a member of the (peasant) Sverdrup family, is pregnant. CountEigil was seen (by me) emerging from the Sverdrup cottage, which is suspiciouslywell kept, more guissed up than any farm cottage is likely to be. Moreover, MissWeibull lunched at the castle with the lady of the castle and her guests, a fact whichembarrased Manon and which the countess took as a deliberate affront, but whichneither; obviously, could do anything about. 'The inference is that Eigil, in the oldphrase, knocked up Miss Weibull, that he maintains her in the cottage as his mistress,and that at least on occasion, perhaps when he wants to insult his sister, he insists thatshe be taken into the family.

韦布尔小姐,是斯维德鲁普家族的一员,怀着孕。艾伊尔伯爵被人(我)撞见从斯维德鲁普农舍中走出来,这个农舍保存的十分完好,也比其他农合要装扮得漂亮,这更让人觉得农舍可疑。而且,韦布尔小姐和城堡主人及客人们一起吃午餐,这个事情让玛农觉得很难堪,并让城堡主人觉得是一种侮辱,但是两人却对她的做法都无可奈何。推论就是:按照古老的故事套路,艾伊尔让韦布尔怀了孕,所以把她藏在农舍里面做情妇,因此,在一些场合,或许是他想让妹妹愤怒的场合,就坚持让韦布尔小姐出现在所有家人面前。

The countess abhors her brother. Karen Blixen says he is very able, but impliesthat he is skirt-crazy like his father, and suggests that the countess dislikes himbecause he is like her father. This in turn suggests that there was some sort ofsignificant relationship between the countess and her father, that she is hostile to, protective of, or shamed by, his memory. My singleafternoon with Eigil or persuadedme that, from his am/ateur archeology to his scientific estate management to histopspin tennis, he is a man of parts. Also that he is a stiff competitor, as afflicted byalbuer as any American or German, and could be tough on people (his sister, forinstance?) who opposed or crossed him.

女伯爵痛恨她的哥哥。凯伦·布里克森说他很有能力,但暗示他和他的父亲很像,都很疯狂,并委婉表达说:女伯爵不喜欢她哥哥,是因为他很像他爸爸。这反过来表明,女伯爵和她父亲之间,有某种重要的关系,以至于她对他的记忆有点敌对,或者说保护,或者说羞耻。我与艾伊尔独处了一下午,从他对考古学的业余爱好,到他对庄园的科学管理,再到他的上旋网球,可以看出来他是一个多才多艺的人。而且,他是好斗的竞争者,就像一个时刻准备与外敌作战的美国人或德国人,也或许会对反对他的人(比如他妹妹?)很严厉。

Nevertheless he can also be agreeable, and certainly he kept his bond and stayedaway from the castle in order to give the countess her visit. So what is the cause of thesisterly detestation? Miss Weibull's interesting condition? Hardly. For one thing,that's only eight months old, at the most, and maybe four months visible, and thedetestation has been there, by the countess' own word, for years. Eigil's insistence thatMiss Weibull be brought into the castle might be a sound reason for his sister's dislike,but so far as I could see, that was a surprise to her, something new.

或许,他也是个和蔼可亲的人,还维系着和妹妹的感情,远离城堡,只是为了让女伯爵来这里的拜访更舒服。那妹妹厌恶的事情究竟是什么呢?韦布尔小姐的特殊境遇?应该不是。一方面,韦布尔小姐肚子里的孩子最多8个月大,也或者才4个月,刚刚能看出来怀着孕,但女伯爵对哥哥的厌恶好像为期己久,用女伯爵自己的话说,就是持续好多年了。艾伊尔坚持让韦布尔小姐住进城堡,或许是惹他妹妹讨厌的主要原因,但就目前来看,她好像有些惊讶,来自别的事情的惊讶。

Right here there is an unrelated fact with potential significance: that MissWeibull is no pullet run down casually in the castle yard by the castle rooster. She is awoman of approximately the countess' age. It seems probable that if indeed there issomething between her and Eigil-and who could doubt it?-it must have startedyears ago, perhaps as many as years as the countess has detested her brother.

还有一个看似不太相关,但却意义非常的事实:韦布尔小姐应该不是清纯小姑娘,一不小心,失足委身给了城堡主人。她看起来和女伯爵年龄一样大。如果有可能,她和艾伊尔要是真有什么---谁能说得准呢?---那也是好多年前就开始了,可能就从女伯爵和她哥哥决裂那年开始的。 

And how about the effect I produced at the table by mentioning the nameSverdrup? Everybody there excerpt Ruth and the little baron reacted as if to hydrogensulphide. I may even have brought on the old lady's attack, though Ruth tries to assureme that nobody can take any blame for the strokes and heart attacks of a person nearlya hundred years old. Still, how do you read it? Here she comes out tottering, proppedup by pride and will to do her matriarch's duty to her granddaughter and hergranddaughter's friends, and pow, said friend utters the forbidden name, smoke rises,there is a stink of brimstone, beautiful ladies turn into spouted beasts, the plates slitherwith live eels, the family portraits reel on the walls, and the offending one saveshimself only by laying his knife and fork crosswise. The matriarch holds herselftogether long enough to be helped out, and drops dead.

还有,我在餐桌旁提到斯维德鲁普这个名字之后,引起了什么反响呢?除了露丝和小男爵,那里的每个人听这个名字就像听到了硫化氢。虽然,露丝一直宽慰我说:要是一位快到100岁的老人突发心脏病或中风,没有人应该为此承担责任;但或许,就是我的话导致了这位老女士疾病的突然发作。你如何看特呢:他踉踉跄跄地进来,心怀骄傲,打算向她孙女儿和她孙女儿的朋友们展示她女主人的威望,砰,这位朋友却说出了禁止提及的名字,烟雾肆起,臭味弥漫,漂亮的女士变成了戴着口罩的怪物,鲜活的鳗鱼在盘子里蜿蜒滑行,家人们在墙上画旋转线条,惹人不快的罪过之人只是把刀叉交错放置,便躲过了一劫。女主人坚持了好久,等着被营救,但却突然死去。

And what about the Doctor Faustusof genetics?They hounded him,Eigil says.For what? For hybridizing rhododendronsand breedinga select line of pointers?

那基因领域的浮士德博士呢?艾伊尔说,他们赶他离开了。为什么呢?因为杂交了杜鹃花,并且哺育出了猎犬的优选品种么?

"Well," Ruth said at breakfast this morning, "why do we go on gnawing on thesame old bones? He was a prominent man-a very prominent man. Wouldn't there besome way of finding out about him? He must be in the Danish equivalent of Who'sWho. Would you need to know more Danish than you do? I should think somelibrarian at the university could help you dig something up."

“ 好吧,” 露丝在早餐期间说,“ 为什么我们一直在固守一个办法呢?他是一个杰出的男人---一个非常杰出的男人。难道没有别的方法可以了解他么?他应该也在丹麦的《名人录》里面吧。你还需要再学点丹麦语么?我觉得大学里的图书管理员或许可以帮你发现一些线索。” 

Which makes sense. Maybe the embassy could help, too. It's time I checked inthere anyway. Tomorrow. Since I've been feeling better (a spell of drier weather, orthe effect of Eigil's tennis?) I feel more of an impulse to get out and around.

这听起来有点道理。或许,大使馆也能帮忙。不管怎么说,我该去那儿检查检查了。就明天吧。我觉得身体好多了(是因为这几天天气干燥还是因为和艾伊尔打了一场球?),就想多出去走走。 

Christ, wouldn't you a think I'm old enough to keep my fingers out of theDisposaIl? I'm not writing a book, or editing a newspaper, or conducting a criminalinvestigation. Nobody hired me as a private eye, I didn't have to get into this. Buthere I am just the same, ad mainly what I seem to be doing is trying not to believewhat I've found out.

天啊,你会不会觉得像我这么大的年纪,应该停笔休养了?我不是在写书,也没有编报纸,更没有在做一个犯罪调查。没有人雇我做私人侦探,我没有必要对这个家族的事刨根究底。但现在,我努力让自己不去相信我调查的结果。 

There's no mistake in identif cation, that's sure. The girl at the humanitiessection of the university library was prompt, efficient, and imaginative. I sat at a tablein the reference room arid she piled things at my elbow a foot high: A history ofDenmark. A history of science. The Danish equivalent of Who's Who. A picture bookof Danish castles and manor houses. The roll of the nobility, equivalent to Burke'sPeerage, what the English call the stud book. With my pencil and notebook I sat therefor an hour, dictionary open, taking down facts.

十分确定的一点是:身份没有错误。在大学图书馆里,负责人文学科资料的女孩办事果断高效,且富于想象。我在参考书阅览室的一张桌子旁坐下,她在我胳膊旁边螺了几本书,大致得有一英尺高:丹麦史,也是科学史,类似美国的《名人录》。里面包含很多丹麦城堡及庄园的图片,也有贵族名单,相当于《伯克贵族系谱》,英国人也有《种畜登记簿》。我在那儿坐了一小时,不停查阅字典,并在笔记本上记录这些史实。

Landgreve Aage Karl R.Qrdding, 1874-1938., etc., was the son of Greve PrederikErik R., q.v. Married Charlotte Hedinge, daughter of Gr. Nis Heddinge, -q.v. MarriedAnna Marie Kraup, a cousin, daughter of Baron Axel Kraup of Spottrup, q.v. ChildrenEigil Johan; 1912-, and Hannah Astrid, 1914-. Since the 12thcentury the family seatof the Reddings has been at Qrebyslot, Lolland, q.v.

兰德格利弗。奥格.卡尔。罗丁 (1874---1938) ……,是格雷韦。弗雷德里克.埃里克,罗丁的儿子。格雷温德.夏洛特·赫丁格是格雷温德.尼什·赫丁格的女儿。兰德格利弗.奥格·卡尔·罗丁娶了他的表妹安娜.马里·克拉鲁普,安娜是巴龙·阿克塞尔·克拉鲁普·斯波特鲁普的女儿。两个人的孩子有:艾伊尔·约翰 (1912---),汉娜·阿斯特丽兹 (1914---)。从12世纪开始,罗丁家族就在罗兰岛苏莱比斯洛特定居了。  

Which see. In the picture book on castles, Qrebyslot occupied six pages inromantic soft focus: the castle itself, its stepped gables and ivy lifting beyond thewrought-iron gates; views of the ballroom, the great hall, the dining room, one of.thedrawing rooms; views of the English park, complete with peacocks, and said to besuperior to anything in Denmark except perhaps the park at Knuthenborg; a picture ofa stag with a great rack of horns, another of spotted fawn curled up among ferns; twoviews of the extensive botanical gardens developed by Landgreve Aage Rradding,famous throughout the world for his studies in genetics. The castle, park, and gardens,which during the eaxly years of the twentieth century were the scene of brilliant socialgatherings as well as the center of much important scientific work, have been closedto the public since Landgreve Rodding's death in 1938. T'he estate is presently ownedby his son, Landgreve Eigil Rodding.

查阅可知。在关于城堡主题的图片展中,苏莱比斯洛特以浪漫的软焦点形象占据了6页内容:城堡本身,阶梯式山墙,爬满常春藤条的锈迹斑斑的大门:舞厅,大厅,餐厅,会客厅;英格兰公园的景色,以孔雀的图片作为结尾,并说这美于丹麦的一切,唯一能与之媲美的可能只有罗兰岛的野生动物园:还有两张鹿的图片,一张是长着巨角的牡鹿,另一张是一只小花鹿,蜷缩在蔗类植物中;还有两张照片展示了兰德格利弗·奥格·罗丁培育的广裹植物花园,这位罗丁先生以基因学研究闻名世界。在20世纪早期,城堡、公园、花园是社交聚会里常见的场景,也是知名科学著作的情节中心;不过,自从1938年兰德格利弗·罗丁去世之后,城堡就不再对外开放。目前,他的儿子兰德格利弗·艾伊尔拥有这座城堡。

Nothing wrong with any of that, except that it made me wonder why the countesshas never told us anything about her father. (obviously he was as distinguished asEgigil says he was. If I were halfway educated, T would have known his name the way I’d know the name of Pasteur and Madame Curie. He was obviously the sort ofscientific national hero that Niels Bohr is now, the sort the Danes honor by giving himthe Carlsberg Castle to live in. Along with King Canute, Hamlet; Soren Kierkegaard,Hans Christian Anderson, and Bohr, he is Denmark's contribution to the world mind.He came a little early to get into the nucleic acid and RNA and DNA and all thatbusiness that they're so excited about now, but he was into fruit flies very early, andhe seems tohave seen the possibilities of molecular biology when it was no biggerthan a man's hand. Nevertheless, according to the history of science that gave him twofivll pages, it is as an extender and perfecter of Mendel, ad as a contributor to thepragmatic sciences of hybridization and stock breeding, that he is best known.

这些记录没有什么不对的,不过,我在想;女伯爵为什么从来没有给我讲过她的父亲。显然,他们的父亲的确像艾伊尔描述的那么杰出。如果我接受了一丁点的教育,那肯定能像知道巴斯德、玛丽·居里那样知道兰德格利弗·罗丁。显然,他是像当今的尼尔斯·玻尔那样的科学民族英雄,应该赠送给他卡尔斯贝格城堡的方式来表明他是丹麦人的荣耀。与克努特国王气哈姆雷特、瑟伦·克尔恺郭尔、汉斯·克里斯蒂安·安徒生和玻尔一样,他是丹麦对世界智库的贡献。他很早就开始接触类似核酸、核糖核酸、脱氧核糖核酸之类的让目前的科学家很振奋的东西,也很早就开始了对果蝇的研究,更是很早就意识到了分子生物学的可能性。从科学史对他两页的介绍中,我了解到:他是孟德尔理论的继承者和完善者,也是杂种培殖和良种繁育这两类实用科学的贡献者,他以后者闻名于世。

In the 1920s, Qrebyslot was evidently a great laboratory where theoreticalbiology and experiments in breeding and hybridization went on simutaneously. A lotof the brilliance the countess remembers from her girlhood was a result of the doubledistinction of her father as a scientist and a great nobleman. Even the merely frivolousand sporting aspects of life at the castle; the royal hunts, the kennels, the cultivatedwild coverts full of cultivated tame game, had that quality of double excellence.

20世纪20年代,苏莱比斯洛特是一个理论生物学以及育种实验和杂种培殖实验同时进行的大型试验场。女伯爵孩童时期记忆中的关于父亲的很多光辉形象都来自她父亲科学家和贵族的双重身份。即使在城堡生活中,他父亲有点有无所事事并痴迷运动,皇家狩猎、狗舍、充满了文明驯养游戏的野生丛林等等,都体现了她父亲的科学家素养和贵族品质。

But they hounded him. For what? Not a hint in my source books.

但是他们强迫他离开了。为什么呢?从我能查阅的参考书中,我没有找到一点线索。

I got the reference librarian to bring me files of Berlingske Tidende from thebeginning of 1938 up to September 23, when Rodding died, and started through thembackward, beginning with the day after his death. His obituary was there all right. Andright away a surprise. Rradding had shot himself, off in the woods of his estate atEllebacken, near Helsing}ar. They hounded him to his death, then. But no indication inthe newspaper story, so far as I could read it, about why he had shot himself-just theusual newspaper-story details. Body found by a farmer. Resume of Count Radding'scareer as a scientist. Details about the funeral and interment-funeral private,interment at Ellebacken rather than at the family seat of Qrebyslot. (No explanation ofthat, either.) List of supervivors, only two: Greve Eigil Tohan Rodding and GrevindeHannah Astrid Wredel-Krarup. Astrid's mother, it appeared,~already dead.

我请图书馆参考书阅览室的馆员帮我找了从1938年年初到9月23日 (即罗丁先生的死亡之日) 的《贝林日报》。我从罗丁先生死亡之后的那一天开始往前翻阅。我找到了他的讣告,没错。接着,就有了出乎意料的发现。罗丁是开枪自杀的,就在他位于埃勒巴肯的庄园树林里,靠近赫尔辛格。那么,他们逼他走上自杀之路的?但是,在报纸上面的短篇消息中,没有讲到他自杀的原因—只是一则普通的新闻消息:尸体是由一位农民发现的:还有罗丁伯爵作为科学家的简介;关于葬礼的介绍—采用的私人葬礼,安葬在埃勒巴肯,而不是家族在苏莱比斯洛特的宅基地。(对此,也没有解释。)还列出了家族成员的幸存者,只有两人:格雷韦·艾伊尔·约翰.罗丁和格雷温德。汉娜·阿斯特丽兹·弗雷德一克拉鲁普。阿斯特丽兹的母亲好像已经过世。 

There was not much point in the riffling through browning pages that I set out todo. Without an index I was simply lost, and since my Danish was lame and slow Iwouldn't have found anything anyway unless the name Bedding had jumped out atme from a headline. After a half hour of it I left the library and went outside and tooka cab over to the American Embassy on Qsterbrogade.

在泛黄的书页中,快速翻阅查找资料己经没有意义。没有索引,我很容易就陷入混乱,而且我用我整脚的丹麦语读书,速度也很慢,除非罗丁这个名字在标题里突然跳入我眼睛,否则,我不会找到别的有价值信息。半小时之后,我离开了图书馆,乘出租车来到了位于奥斯特布罗街的美国大使馆。 

Instead of going in to see Mr. Burchfield, the Public Affairs Officer who was saidto be well informed about things Danish, I should have come straight home toHavnegade 13 and buried my nose in a book.

我的确不应该去见公共事务中心的伯奇菲尔德先生---这位对丹麦的事了如指掌的先生,而应该直接返回位于哈夫纳格德I3号的家,埋头去读一本书。

0 条评论
评论不能为空