伟大的女性
Big Woman
2481字
2019-12-30 20:39
6阅读
火星译客

I felt her shiver. "I do not like Midsummer Night," she said. "For many people itis a time of celebration and happiness, the freedom of summer. For me it is always sad.It makes me feel that I am dead but have no yet left the body and do not want to leave,but cling to it whimpering and crying. Tonight is the worst. Do you know why I couldnot sleep?"

我感到她在颤抖。“ 我不喜欢仲夏之夜,” 她说,“ 对于很多人来说,这是个庆祝和欢快的场合,也是夏日的自由时刻。对我,它总是个悲伤的时刻。它让我觉得我已经死去,但还没有离开肉身,也不想离开,只能抽泣着依附在肉身之上。今天晚上是最糟糕的,你知道我为什么睡不着么?” 

"Why?" I was still holding her by the arm.

“ 为什么?” 我还搂着她的胳膊。

"Because you are soon leaving. The only dear friends I have had for manyyears."

“ 因为你们很快就要离开了。这么多年,你们是我唯一的好朋友。”

"I’m glad you don't want us to go."

 “ 听你这么说,我很高兴。”  

"How could I? I was dead, and you taught me what it would be to be alive again.I understand why you must go, but it makes me very sad."

“ 我怎么能舍得你们离开呢?我已经死去,你教给我重新活过来是什么感觉。我理解你们为什么必须离开,而这让我很伤心。”

"Must we go?" I said. "Why must we?"

“ 我们必须离开?” 我说,“ 为什么我们必须离开?” 

"Because you have obligations;" she said promptly. "You have work to do."

“ 因为你们都有义务,” 她立即说,“ 你有工作要做。”

"What obligations? What work? I could give all that up tomorrow."

“ 什么义务?什么工作?我明天就可以全部放弃它们。” 

She started moving again down the grassy track along the shore. "You are not thekind who shirks things," she said, as if she knew. Her Left hand came over and pulledat my forgers around her arm until I let go. I must have been griping her painfullyhard.

她又开始朝着岸边那条长满草的小路行进,“ 你不是那种推卸责任的人。” 她这么说,好像她很了解我。她用左手松开了我抓紧她胳膊的手指。我应该是弄疼她了。

We passed out from under the trees crowding close to the shore, and there wasmore light, a wider sky. The obscure became the faintly visible. Dry rushes crackedunderfoot, and the low edge of the sky was scratched with bending lines of tules. Thepath ended at a narrow dock that jutted out into the water. As I followed her out ontothe old felty planks, the colorless moon reappeared doubled, pale in the sky, pale inthe black water. At the end of the dock a rowboat sat absolutely motionless on itsshadow.

我们从树下离开,走到岸边。这边光线更充足,天空更开阔。模糊的事物在这儿都变得更清晰了。脚踩在灯心草上面,发出咯吱咯吱的声音;远方的地平线和几排湖蕉草交融。小路的尽头是个狭窄的小码头,小码头直通入河。我跟着她走上毡状的木板,皎洁的月亮一轮挂在天上,一轮映在水中。小码头向河水投下的影子中,一条小船纹丝不动地漂浮着。 

For the first time since she had come out her cottage door I saw her eyes clearly,the glint of the moon in them as she stooped to fumble for the boat's painter; tied to the dock post. She squatted there, looking up at me. "Can you row, or shall I?"

从她从农舍出来,我第一次看清了她的双眸,月亮在她眼睛里闪烁着光辉。她弯腰搜寻绑在码头柱子上的系船索,她蹲在那儿,抬头看我,“ 你会划船么?要么,我来?” 

"I'll row Where are we going?"

“ 我来划船。我们要去哪儿?” 

"I want to pay a little visit. Will you mind coming?"

“ 我想去拜访个人,你想一起来么?” 

"Of course not. But visit who, at this hour?"

“当然可以。不过,这个时辰,方便拜访谁呢?” 

She didn't reply. Pulling on the rope, I felt that the boat was half full of water. It took some straining to haul it onto the dock and tip it. The wooden knockings, the dark sound of pouring, went back into the stillness as if into blotting paper.

她没有回答。我拉着绳子,感觉船里存了好多水。我用劲儿把它拖到码头上,并翻转了船体,倾倒里面的水。木头咔哒咔哒的声音,倾倒水的哗啦声,也都归入了沉寂,好比走进了吸墨纸。 

When I had the boat back in the water I stood to help the countess down, hoping to re-establish the tingle of touching flesh, but she used my arm as impersonally as she would have used a groom's.

我把小船放回河水中,伸手去拉女伯爵,希望重新激起 “肌肤之亲” 的兴奋感,但她无情地抓住了我的胳膊,就像享受来自马夫的服务。

She shot the flashlight beam past me, moved it around to get her bearings, and then gave me directions from the stern, steering by some dark landmark. I was clumsy at the oars, which seemed to have been whittled out of tree limbs. The boat was water-logged, the left oar kept slipping out of its worn notch so that we lurched in zigzag where the adolescent in me would have liked to skim that old hulk across the pond like a skipping stone. Concentrating, I held the lame oar to its job, carefully swinging it back over its skitter of pale drops until it bit again into the moon.

她的手电筒灯光越过我,并绕着四周转动,随后,她明确了方向,从船尾告诉我应该向哪个方向前进,看哪些地标。我笨拙地摆弄着船桨,这船桨好像是用小树枝制作而成的。船舱里灌进了水,左边的凹槽年久失修,左船桨一直从凹槽中滑出来。船体倾斜,我们朝着目的地曲折前进。我内心的那个我更希望跳过笨重的船体,直接到对面的池塘。我聚精会神地握着这支残废的桨,争取让它格尽职守,小心翼翼地把它放入月光的倒影中,小心翼翼地划桨,小心翼翼地等待溅起的水花们都落入水中,形成月光倒影,小心翼翼地再次划桨。

"We are close," the countess said. "Slowly, it is hard to see exactly" The light shot past me, probed a moment, and went out. "A little on the right oar," she said. "Now pull, both, hard!"

“ 我们就快到了,” 女伯爵说,“ 慢点,这边看不太清。” 灯光越过我,向旁边搜寻了片刻,然后回来,“ 右边桨再划一下,” 她说,“ 现在拔出两边的桨,用力!”

The prow grounded in mud. Before I could ship the oars or stand up, she had squeezed tippily past me and jumped ashore. The boat surged another two feet up the bank as she hauled on the painter. I stepped ashore into mud to my shoe tops and followed her up a brambly bank onto the level.

船头扎在了泥里,在我放好桨、并起身之前,她已经悄悄走过我旁边,跳上了岸。她又拉紧了船头缆索,整条船又离岸近了2英尺。我走上岸,一脚踩进泥土里,跟着她上了荆棘从生的岸边。 

Her light darted ahem across a clearing overgrown with high grass and vines. "Come:" Her hand groped and found mine. Touch again: her hand was cold ad smooth. In the middle of the clearing she stopped, holding the light at her feet. Quickly she crouched and brushed the grass away from a square stone as she might have brushed hair back from a face. I read the inscription: Landgreve Aage Redding, 1874-1938.

她的灯光扫过一片林间空地,然后又照见杂草丛生和藤蔓植物密布的林地。“ 来吧,” 她的手摸索了一阵,牵到了我的手。肢体再次接触:她的手很凉,很滑。走到林间空地的中央,她停下了,向脚下投射灯光。很快,她蹲下身,拨开一块方形石碑的草,就像把头发从脸上撩开那样。我读了上面的文字:Landgreve Aage Rodding,1874-1938。

"This is where he is buried," the countess said. "This is where he came to shoot himself.”

“ 这是他埋葬的地方,” 女伯爵说,“ 这是他开枪自杀的地方。” 

I could feel her resistance, or reluctance, in her forgers. There I stood holding her cold hand, running my thumb over the smooth knuckles as if I had rights in her skin, and yet feeling how remote she was, lost in some medieval curse or spell, hypnotized by duty or obedience or noblesse oblige or whatever it was. I smelled the faint mildewed odor of her sweater; and it made me angry that she should have to wear such things, worn out, left over.

我从她的手指里可以感到她的抵抗,或者不情愿。我站在那儿紧握着她冰冷的手,用大拇指在她顺滑的指关节上来回摩掌,好像对她的肌肤享有所有权,也在感觉迷失在中世纪诅咒中的她,痴迷于责任、顺从、贵族权益、或者任何事物的她与我的距离有多远。我闻到了她毛衣上发霉的香味,一想到她竟然还在穿这种破破烂烂的、早该丢弃的衣服,我就很生气。 

All at once I couldn't stand at more. I couldn't stand to see her go back into the moldy cellar of her life, I couldn't stand to have her at once so warm and so cold, so sympathetic and so without initiative or hope. I dropped her hand, I took her by both shoulders, I brought her face close to mine. Her eyes had no more light in them than her pale skin.

一瞬间,我不能忍受了。我不能忍受看到她重回她生命的发霉牢笼,不能忍受看到她既温暖又冷漠,既充满同情心又没有一丝希望。我放下她的手,搂着她的双肩,捧着她的脸靠近我。她的眼和她苍白的脸一样黯淡无光。

"Listen!" I said. "Listen! You don't deserve any more punishment. You've paid your debt, ten times over. You can't stay here, scratching out just enough for yogurt and cheese. You can't g on sharing the only things you have left with strangers. You shouldn't have to take in lodgers! You can't let it all settle back on you, it'll smother you. You can't let that man work on you. He made his bed, let him lie in it. You're coming with us, you understand that? I can make a job for you, or find you one somewhere else if you'd rather. There aren't ten people in New York with your capacity in German, French, English, the Scandinavian languages, art, the whole business. You don't have to grind out wallpaper designs for Illums. You can be an illustrator, or a translator, or or an agent, or anything you want. You can't stay here and mold. You're too special."

“ 听着!” 我说,“ 听着,你不该受到任何惩罚。你已经数以十倍还清了你的债。你不能待在这儿勉强度日。你不能继续和陌生人分享你仅存的生存空间了。你不该再接受寄宿人了。你不能独自承受这一切,它会让你窒息的。你不该让那个男人继续纠缠你了。他自己做的孽,就让他自己承担。你和我们一起走吧,你理解么?我可以为你找份工作,或者,你愿意的话,再帮你从别的地方找个丈夫;你精通德语、法语、英语、斯堪的纳维亚语、艺术、等等,在纽约,像你这样才华横溢的人屈指可数。你不必为伊卢姆的墙纸设计做苦力。你可以去做插图画家、翻译、代理人或你想做的任何职业。你不能待在这儿一直等到发霉。你如此特别。” 

Utterly unresponsive, she hung in my hands. I turned her so that the moon, almost blurred out in the ground mist, would fall on her face and in her eyes. Her face was pale and sad, her eyes without brightness, her body without elasticity or response, without even resistance.

她就那样停留在我的双手中,毫无反应。我使她转了一下身,以便月光—在地面雾气的阻隔下显得有点模糊—能够照到她脸上和眼睛里。她的脸很苍白,很悲伤,眼睛黯淡无光,身体没有任何活力或者反映,也没有拒绝的表现。 

"Do you think I have not dreamed of such a thing?" she said. "It is not so easy as it was for your mother, even. It must be very wonderful to have the freedom of the poor."

“ 你觉得我没有梦想过这样的日子?” 她说,“ 我做这件事儿,没有你妈妈那么容易。能拥有穷人的自由,一定很开心。” 

I didn't try to hold her. I couldn't look at her. I turned and looked instead at thespread of still water: My eyes were hot. Blinking, grinding my teeth, I concentrated onthe lake, the dim rushes, the dreary almost-light. Day had sneaked up on us. I couldsee the tangled grass, the running blackberry vines. If anything had been watching ourridiculous, scalding, hopeless embrace in that sui/cide's clearing, it had withdrawn intothe woods.

我没有拉回她。我不能看她。我转身,望了一眼向远处荡漾的水波。我的眼睛湿润了。我眨着眼睛,咬着牙,凝望着湖面,模糊的灯心草,以及沉闷的光亮。白天悄悄地观察着我俩。我可以看到随意铺展的草地,正在攀援的黑惹藤蔓。要是有什么恰巧看到我俩在这片拥有自杀史的林间空地,荒谬、热烈又绝望地拥抱,它一定会退缩进林中。 

Without looking back, giving her the same chance I needed myself, I went downto the boat and pulled it around until I had it pointed out. Then I did look back. Shestood where I had left her. I think she had been watching me all the time I had myback to her. In the imperceptibly lightening grayness of dawn she looked as forlorn asa beggar woman.

我没有回头看,担心一有机会,自己又会把持不住,我下了岸,来到船上,调了头。然后,我忍不住回头看了一眼。她还站在我离开她的地方。可能,我背对她的那些分分秒秒,她都在望着我。晨光熹微中,她看起来就像孤苦伶仃的女乞丐。 

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 1e$ 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 with that possibility I had renounced, or been made to renounce, twenty years before and carried 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 my chances for what they call fulfillment? Did I count the mountain peaks of my life and find 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 the age of twenty had been a nice girl and since the age of twenty a nice woman? Whose profession was something he did not choose, but fell into, and which he practiced with intelligence but without joy? Had I gone through my a/dult life glancing desperately sidelong 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 all his 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 be controlled. One of those Genteel Tradition characters whose whole pale ethos is subsumed 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 written up by Cesare Rulli, or by any of the machismo brigade, or by the Pleasure Principle seminar, 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 of the highest reach of human conduct is expressed by the consenting a/dult.

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 it, I do not choose to be a consenting a/dult, not just to be in fashion. I have no impulse to join those the Buddha describes, those always after fulfillment and in fulfillment strive to feel desire. It has seemed to me that my commitments are often more important than my impulses or my pleasures and that even when my pleasures or desires are the principal issue, there are choices to be made between better and worse, bad and better, good and good.

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 every choice there is component, 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, lurching up and down the moonlit drive. It would sound like the lecture of a scared graduate assistant, taking over the philosophy class in the professor's absence. The walking did me more good than the thinking, even though my toe joints had me wincing, and my hips 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。 

There are two big live oaks along that two-hundred-foot stretch, one in the corner above the turn and the other where the drive widens into the parking area. Between them is open meadow in which, last fall, I sowed two hundred daffodils by throwing the bulbs broadcast and digging them in where they fell. Every time I turned at the top of the hill and started back toward the house, I was looking across them toward the moon. There was not enough light for them to show yellow; their bowing heads gleamed palest silver-gilt above the pale grass. When I came back, moving out of the shadow of the oak, individual blossoms grew luminous, like big exhausted fireflies.

沿着200英尺宽的道路,有两棵很大的橡树,一个在角落拐弯的地方,另一个在车道向停车场延伸的地方。在两个大橡树中间,是开阔的草场,去年秋天,我撒了一些种子,并原地栽种它们,就这样有200个水仙花活了下来。每次我在山顶转身,开始回家,就可以看见在月光底下的它们。在昏暗的月光下,它们的黄花并不显眼;它们低着头,在草坪微弱的光之上发出银白色的光。我回到住处,走到它们旁边,没有了橡树的阴影,每个花蕾都闪烁着光亮,就像疲惫的萤火虫。 

I kept on walking, lap a$er lap, leaving my shadow behind me as I turned at one end, fording it still with me when I turned at the other: My feet hurt me sa that I hobbled, on my head fell dew as insubstantial and chilly as moonlight. I must have been on at least my fortieth lap when, turning at the far end, I heard heels on the asphalt back by the house, and saw Ruth's shadow coming toward me as if through silvery, settling dust.

我继续走,一圈接着一圈,转弯时让我的影子留在我身后,我走到另一圈时,发现影子还在我身后。我的脚很疼,一瘸一拐的;我头上好像有了露水,和月光一样悄无声息、有些寒意。我应该是快走完第14圈时,正要转弯,听到了从房子那边沥青路上传过来的脚步声,接着看见露丝的影子像是穿过银白色的、向下沉淀的灰尘,向我走来。 

We walked back toward the house, and through the dark up-welling of Juniperthat borders the walk, and under the three birch trees, their trunks slim and white andtheir twigs, against the light-filled sky, lacy with the first tiny formings of leaves. Theentrance was damp, and sweet with the smell of daphne; Two young people with quitea lot the matter with us, we stood for a moment, breathing it in.

我俩朝着房屋走去,穿过黑暗的杜松,它向上攀援,守在小路两侧;走过白桦树下,它们的主干既白又长,在光亮的天空下,第一批嫩叶看起来像是枝梢的花边儿。入口潮湿,散发着瑞香。两个具有年轻气质的老人站了一会儿,吸入这些新鲜空气。

The truest vision of life I know is that bird in the Venerable Bede that fluttersfrom the dark into a lighted hall, and after a while flutters out again into the dark. ButRuth is right. It is something-it can be everything-to have found a fellow bird withwhom you can sit among the rafters while the drinking and boasting and reciting andfighting go on below; a fellow bird whom you can look after and find bugs and seedsfor; one who will patch your bruises and straighten your ruffled feathers and mournover your hurts when you accidentally fly into something you can't handle.

我知道在想象中,生活中最真实的意象就是尊敬的比德神父所说的那只鸟,它先从黑暗里飞入灯火明亮的大厅,过了一会儿又飞回黑暗中去。不过,露丝说的对。人生有意义的---最要紧的—是找到一只做伴的鸟,无论下面屋子里如何献筹交错、互相吹捧、各自争辩、拳打脚踢,她都能陪伴你栖息在椽子上;你愿意照顾她,为她觅食;在你不幸陷入危难情况时,她愿意呵护你青紫交错的伤淤,梳理你气恼凌乱的羽毛,心疼你遭遇坎坷的痛苦。

"I wonder how it is on the other side of the house?" Ruth said. "Remember thatnight when we came home from a party, a night like this, moonlight, with a groundmist, and when we walked out on the terrace there was a lunar rainbow arched clearacross the valley?"

“ 我在想房子另一边是什么样的?” 露丝说,“ 你还记得,我们那天从晚会回来么?和今晚一样,有月光,有低雾。咱俩走到房后的那块平地,看到了山谷中横跨的月虹。” 

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