唯一约束
Unique Constraint
2883字
2019-12-31 23:41
5阅读
火星译客

Exactly what we came for, what we have and should be S plus it in my mind as thosetwo deer ruminating my shrubbery up on the hill. For well I was, at times I still am asa moment, either Jennifer to have something in the generative son sun sun, I feltpractically no pain oh brave new award, that have such Fabra race in it or Fatima race,as Cronkite and have his tribe would say I walked on past the Hammond cottage,which I will never get over thinking of as the Carlin place, though Marian died andJohn and Debby moved away four years ago. People we loved; there are too few ofthem. The very sight of their house darkened the day again for me.

这也确实是我所希望的。心之所愿,就在眼前。山上的那两只鹿在灌木丛中那样安静地反刍,我的思绪也应是安然的。之前我内心取得了片刻宁静,现在有时也会有这种感觉。太阳催生万物,沐浴阳光下,一点疼痛感都没有了。啊!美丽的新世界,二月竟如此美好。 或者说是愕月,克朗凯特和当时一半追随他的美国人都会这样说。 四年前玛丽安去世,约翰和黛比从那里搬走了。即便如此,当我向前走过哈蒙德农舍时,绝不会把它错认为凯特琳住的地方。她们都是我们深爱的人,然而这里跟她们有关的东西却所剩无几。看到故居,我的心情又从快乐回到了沉重。 

Nobody home, as usual. Mrs. Hammond sells real estate, the girls are in school oldHammond is off in Baluchistan or somewhere training gendarmerie for the Iraqgovernment, exporting American know-how to help put down the Kurds-the valiantKurds, as 1 remember them from "Sohrab and Rustum," the Kurds who are demandedself-government, as I hear from Cronkite.

还是老样子,家中空无一人。哈蒙德太太售卖房地产,女儿们去上学了。老哈蒙德远在稗路支或是其他什么地方为伊拉克政府训练宪兵队,传授美国技巧,帮助镇压库尔德人。记得《邵莱布和罗斯托》中写过库尔德人晓勇善战。克朗凯特也说他们的国家高度自治。

Damnation. Instantly irritable, I compose a letter to the press instructing newscommentators that those who use the language publicly and professionally should beadvised that there are two r's in February, that ing is not pronounced een, and thatverbs  enioy  other possibilities  than  the present participle. The White Houseahoounceere today that it has called a meeteen of business leaders for early Febuary.Just saying it to myself, like the old pantaloon I am getting to bebrought my bloodpressure up to about 250/200, and when I found that the mailbox was empty, that thepostman was late again, I announced a loud God damn to the startled creekside andsat down to wait on a pile of timbers that was once a bridge until I replaced it with aculvert. My internal grumblings went on,the way a high-compression engine runningon low-octane gas will go on galloping and coughing and smoking after the ignition isshut off.

该死的!心绪总是平静不下来。我给出版社写了一封信,跟新闻评论员说,应该有人告诉那些发表公开专业讲话的人们,他们的 “二月” 拼写中少了一个 “r”,词缀 “ing” 的发音不应该是 “een” (两个发音都类似 “英” ),而且动词也不仅仅只有现在分词形式。“ 白宫今日宣补于谬月初召开商界领袖大回 ”,我自言自语道,越来越像个傻老头,血压急剧上升,高压250,低压200。后来看到邮箱里空空的,邮递员又迟到了,我就朝溪边大骂了一声,掀起一阵惊吓。然后,我在一堆木材上坐了下来。这些木材以前是用来搭桥的,不过后来我用排水管取而代之了。心中闷火中烧,像一台一直燃烧着低辛烷值汽油的高压缩发动机,关闭点火装置后,发动机仍然在不断地飞快旋转、发出“咳咳”的声音,还不断冒着烟。 

It's a bad sign, I know it. Ruth tells me at least once a day that old people, or peoplegetting old, tend to disengage, back away, turn inward, listen only to themselves, andget self-righteous and censorious. And they mustn’t.(I mustn't) She hates to driveanywhere with me because I am inclined to cuss out drivers who don't please me.What good does it do. she cries. They can't hear you. All you do is upset me. It lets offsteam failing which I might explode, and tell her. What are you doing now butexploding? she asks.

我知道,这可不是个好征兆。老年人或逐渐老去的人会越来越疏远外界,越来越专注自己的内心,只相信自己,变得固执苛刻。这话露丝每天至少说一次。但是他们不必这样。( 我也不必这样。) 露丝讨厌开车跟我去任何地方。只要司机惹着了我,我就会开口咒骂。“ 可是这有什么意义呢?” 露丝哭喊着说:“ 他们又听不到你的咒骂,你的所作所为无非是让我不开心。” 我说:“ 骂他们可以让我出口气,要不我就发怒了 ”。“ 那你现在不是在发怒又是在干嘛呢 ”,她反问道。

Right, absolutely right. Faultfinding doesn't let off pressure, it only builds it up. It isonly one of many processes, none of which I like and most of which I can't seem tohelp: the decreasing ability to scan heat or cold, something to do with expansion andcontraction of the capillaries. The slowing down of the mitotic rate in body cells, withresultant deterioration and lessening of function. The accumulation of plaque in theartery walls and of calcium Spurs in the joints and of uric acid, sugar, and otherundesirable chemicals in the blood and urine. Inescapable, irreversible, hateful.

是的,确实如此。找茬只会徒增压力,不会减弱丝毫。这是人生众多过程之一,我不喜欢这些过程,而其中有些过程我也阻止不了。比方说,我对温度的耐受力越来越弱了。这也许是跟毛细血管的收缩扩张有关。细胞有丝分裂进程减缓,功能也随之退化。动脉壁内的血小板积聚,钙积累刺激关节,尿酸、糖分以及其他多余的化学物质也积累在了尿液与血液之中。这些进程不可避免,也不可逆转,令人愤恨。

Like last week, when the dentist told me that the mother he has been trying to save myroute canal Canal work will have to go I can't read in the future in that directionwithout cards or tea leaves first a bridge, if he can't find anything to hitch it to. Then apartial plate. Finally a complete cleaning out of old snags in preparation for false teeth,on television called dentures. There will be a morning when I look in the mirror andsee an old sunken-checked stranger with the scared eyes and a mouth like seaurchin's.

还有上周,牙医跟我说我的那颗一直在用根管治疗法治疗的臼齿必须得拔了。用不着看塔罗牌或是茶叶渣,我就知道之后的步骤了。首先,要搭一个桥。但是前提是他得能找到搭这个桥的地方。然后再进行局部假牙固定。最后再把原来的残根完全清除干挣,安上假牙,也就是在电视上看到过的义齿。也许有天早上起来照镜子的时候,会在镜子中看到一个脸颊凹陷的陌生人,长着一张类似海胆样的老婆婆嘴,眼神充满恐惧。 

I can stand it, and I really ought to try not to let it and other things make me crabby.But I damn well don't look forward to it, and I don't like any of the signs that thecookie has already started to crumble. The other day at the museum the young thing atthe gate took one look at me and said brightly, "Senior citizen, sir?" and passed meout half-price tickets. That shook even Ruth. The way I felt, half price was anovercharge.

我能忍受这个样子,我也真的应该努力不要让那个样子和其他事情让我暴躁不安。但是,我就是不想变成那个样子,不希望看到花始凋零的迹象。有天在博物馆,门口年轻的售票员看了我一眼,笑嘻嘻地对我说:“ 一张老年票,是吧?” 然后就递给我一张半价的老年票,露丝也颇为惊讶。对我来说,那张半价票其实是张高价票。

I had been sitting on the old timbers for about 10 minutes when Ben Alexander drovein from the county road in his convertible. His top was down, his hair was tangled,and he had Edith Patterson in the seat beside him, looking like a raccoon in herwraparound Hollywood shades. It was all so young and gay and California that I hadto laugh. Ben is the very chief of the tribe that makes old age out to be a time ofliberation. He is writing a book about it.

我在那些旧木头上坐了大约十分钟后,本·亚历山大开着敞篷车从乡间小路上开了过来。他开着敞篷车,头发缠在一起,副驾驶上坐着伊迪丝·帕特森。她带着圆形的好莱坞式墨镜,像个烷熊。一切都那么有朝气,充满快乐,典型的加利福尼亚式风格,我忍不住笑了出来。本是那种典型的将晚年生活变成自由时光的族长式人物。他最近正在写那方面的书。 

He stooped beside me and ran down the window and sat looking at me with his handson the wheel. Until he finally retired a couple of years ago he used to be my doctor,and he can still make me feel as if I am sitting there on the table, ridiculous in myshorts, waiting for the rubber hammer under the kneecaps and the steel handle againstthe soles of the feet, and the finger up under the scrotum (cough), and the rubberglove up the ass trespassing on my most secret prostate. (How's the urine? Goodstream? Have to get up in the night?) He is a man I admire and trust, one of thegodlike ones who direct lives, their own and others'. Maybe that is what keeps mefrom ever quite relaxing around him for I am one of those to whom life happens.Maybe I disbelieve his pollyanna doctrines about old age. Or maybe it is only thedoctor-patient relationship that makes me slightly uneasy. It is hard to be relaxedaround a man who at any moment might examine your prostate.

他开到我旁边停下来,摇下车窗。他在驾驶位上坐着,把手聋拉在车轮上。他曾是我的医生,不过几年前他退休了。即便如此,他的出现仍会让我觉得我是在手术台上坐着,等着他用橡胶锤敲打我的膝盖,用铁柄敲打我的脚底,在阴囊下竖起手指 ( 咳咳…… ),戴着橡胶手套顶住我的屁股侵犯我私密的前列腺。( 尿液怎么样?有无问题?晚上是不是也要起身? )我信任他,钦佩他。他像神一样,掌控自己生命,也掌控他人生命。我也是一个活着的人,也许那就是为什么我在他旁边总会不是特别放松的原因。也许是因为我不认同他对老年那种盲目乐观的看法。或者,也许只是因为我们是医患关系,我才感到有点不自在。毕竟旁边有一个可能在任何时候检查你前列腺的人,总会感觉怪怪的。 

His gray medical eyes were noting the condition of my eyeballs, my paunch, thestiffness with which I stood up, for all I lenow the spots on my lunges andliver."Resting, roosting, or nesting?" he said. Edith, with her curved, reflectingblackout windows turned toward me, made a little smile.

他用他灰色的眼睛从医学视角观察着我的眼睛、胃以及我站立时的僵硬程度以及我知道的肺部和肝脏上的斑点。“ 你是在这休息呢,还是栖息呢,还是筑巢呢?” 他问我。伊迪丝带着曲面的反光墨镜,扭头转向了我,冲我微微一笑。 

"Brooding," I said and rose and rusted off my pants." Molting. Hello, Edith. Don'tyou know a girl can be compromised, running around in a convertible with this oldrooster?"

“ 孵蛋呢。” 我一边说着一边起身拍了拍裤子上的土。“ 正蜕皮呢。你好,伊迪丝。你难道不知道跟这种宝刀未老的人坐在一个敞篷车里,女孩可能会被迫妥协吗?” 

Which was plausible enough to be not so plainly spoken. Ben being Ben, you alwayswonder when you see a woman with him. His wife, who was wonderful and whom headored, died several years ago. Ben is seventy-nine, he has sons over fifty andgrandsons who have voted in the last two presidential elections, he wears a hearingaid when he wants to hear from the right side, a pacemaker is implanted under theskin of his chest, and his left hip joint is aluminum, newly installed. Nevertheless,with vitality like his, you eve know.

这种说法似乎是合理的,但不用说得这么直白。本就是本,看见他和一个女性在一起的时候总会产生怀疑。本的妻子几年前去世了,她生前也是貌美如花,本对她钦慕有加。本现在79岁了,儿子己经年过半百,孙子也都参加过了上两届总统大选的选举。他右耳带着助听器,心脏按了起搏器,左骸关节处是新按上的铝制假肢。但是,尽管如此你永远都不会知道他有多少活力。

As for Edith, she is always a little cool and aloof and amused. Not unattractive-sheis as attractive a sixty-year-old as you ever saw. Her air of faintly mockingimperturbability has a remembrance of Dietrich sultriness about it, and though I neversaw anything even slightly askew between her and Tom Patterson, an architect whosename is as well known in Karachi and Tel Aviv as in his home town, and who has hadtwo operations for cancer of the tongue, that didn't prove anything either. One of thefew wise sayings I am sometimes tempted to pass on to breathless posterity is thatanything is possible at any time.

至于伊迪丝,她总是有些酷酷的,对人冷漠,但却是个很有趣的人。她让人着迷,如六岁的小女孩一样惹人喜爱。她看上去冷静沉着,但却夹带着一丝嘲弄。令人想起迪特里希般的放浪不羁。不过,我从没见过伊迪丝和汤姆·帕特森之间有什么不正当的行为发生。虽然他曾经历过两次舌癌手术,在家乡是位有名的建筑师,而且在卡拉奇和特拉维夫也赫赫有名,但那也说明不了什么。有时我想给后人留一些篇言,而在这些为数不多的篇言中,其中一条是:一切皆有可能。 

I started to read from the beginning, and it began to come back. Some people, I amtold, have memories like computers, nothing to do but punch the button and wait forthe print-out. Mine is more like a Japanese library of the old style, without a card fileor an indexing system or any systematic shelf plan. Nobody knows where anything isexcept the old geezer in felt slippers who has been shuffling up and down those stacksfor sixty-nine years. When you hand him problem he doesn't come back with a cartfuland dump it before you, a jackpot of instant retrieval. He fords one thing, whichreminds him of another, which leads him off to the annex, which directs him to theeast wing, which send him back two tiers from where he started. Bit by bit he findsyou what you want.

我从头开始读,所有的一切渐渐清晰起来。有人曾跟我说,有些人的记忆就像电脑,只是在敲击着按钮,等待打印输出的东西。我的记忆更像一个老式日本图书馆,没有名片夹、也没有索引系统,更没有任何成体系的备用方案。只有那个穿着毛毡鞋在这条道路上来来回/回走了69年的怪老头知道这些东西在哪里。除了他,没有人知道这些东西在哪里。当你把问题递给他,他不会再扔给你一箩筐的问题,而会立即进行搜索。他找到一个线索,会联想到另一个,然后渐渐撇开不重要的事情。这些线索指引他到达正确的地方,然后会从他开始寻找的地方列出两列。一步一步地,他找到了你想找的东西。

Also, what he brings is not necessarily pleasant. It is a little like taking the top off thejar and letting the tarantula out, and not too unlike opening a grave. Alas, poor Allston.I knew him, Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest, but now strangely chapfallen.

他找到的也并不总是令人满意的。有点像让罐子里的狼蛛爬出来,但是只拿掉了罐子盖子,而不是像掘开坟墓那样一目了然。误,不幸的奥尔斯顿。我了解他,他像是哈姆雷特的朋友霍拉肖。那样。平常玩笑不断,但现在却垂头丧气。 

Lunch interrupted me before I got past the first notebook. In the afternoon there wereerrands in town, some plants to be set out, some firewood to cut routines, I realize,with which I fence my life in away from the mankillers. Then a shower, then a drink,then Cronkite like a ghostly cricket creakeen and finally the bedroom, which is wherewe really live. There, Ruth in bed and I in the big chair, tow old parties in a warmwell-lighted room, with the television. standing by in case there should be somethingon worth watching, and the rest of the house dark and turned down in deference tothat new American phenomenon, the shortage, we settled down for the evening,without interruption except when one or the other of us threw off old Cartarrn, theSiamese, who at the age of ninety or so by human standards needs warmth too, andloves to creep up under your chin to sleep, and is never happier than when he is lyingon your book.

第一本日记还没看完,就要吃午饭了。下午要去城里办点事,要种些植物,砍些柴。这些是我平常干的事情,我发现做这些事情能把自己保护起来,远离那些可怕的人。然后再洗个澡,喝点东西。克朗凯特像一只可怕的蟋蟀一样在房子被烧的地方发出咯吱咯吱的声响。接着吃晚饭,洗盘子,最后睡觉。睡觉的地方才是我们真正生活的地方。露丝躺在床上,我坐在椅子里。在这温暖明亮的房间里有两个老对头。电视开着,以防错过值得一看的东西。房子的其他地方都是黑默的,表现出对新出现的美国大饥荒的冷漠。晚上,我们终于安定下来。除了要摆脱那只老猫外,没有什么干扰我们。卡塔是只遏罗猫,按照人类年龄来算,差不多90岁了,他也要取暖。他喜欢趴在你下巴下睡觉,最开心的事情就是坐在你的书上。

Ruth is quiet and contended with er reading, but I am not. Until recently-until, infact, the machinery began to show signs of wear-the Joe Allston sitting there readingthe diary of his predecessor has been pretending to be Marcus Aurelius, or the Ciceroof "De Senectute"atoic philosopher surprised by nothing, accepting everything,valuing only friendship, abstract integrity, and the cup that warms. Nil admiraYi andmemento mori and all that. Take gratefully any pleasures the world provides, but don'tcurse God when they fail. Most things break, including hearts. The lessons of a lifeamount not to wisdom but to scar tissue and callus.

露丝安静地看着书,心满意足,但我却不是。这种情况是最近才有的。准确的说,是自从发现原来那个状态开始改变的时候。乔噢尔斯顿在那儿读着前半辈子的自己留下的日记。那位前辈曾装作是隐忍的罗马皇帝马库斯·奥雷柳斯,或是写作 “De Senectute” 的西塞 罗。他是一个斯多葛学派哲学家,淡然面对一切,包容一切,只重视友谊、理论上的诚实还有能取暖的杯子。是那种 Nil admirari and memento mori。感谢上天给予的所有欢乐,但悲伤时也并不抱怨上天。宇宙中的所有人都没有向你承诺什么。大多数东西都会破裂,心也会。一生所教给我们的不足以称得上智慧,但却足以结痴,长出老茧。

But it doesn't work indefinitely. Crucifixion can be discussed philosophically untilthey start driving the mails .Look at the way I was grumbling and whimpering downthere with Ben this morning. The symptoms of failing vigor, the oncoming of age,have put, me right back to where I was in 1954-which, come to think of it, wasabout where I was in 1924. Young, middle-aged, or getting old, Joe Allston hasalways been full of himself, uncertain, dismayed, dissatisfied with his life, his country,his civilization, his profession, and himself. He has always hunted himself in places where he has never been, he has always been trying to thread some needle with astring that was raveled at both ends. He has always been hungry for some continuityand assurance and sense of belonging, but has never had ancestors or descendants orplace in the world. Little orphan Joe, what a sad case.

但这些东西并不总是管用。刑罚苦难可以从哲学上进行探讨,直到最后开始变得清晰。想想刚才在下面我向本的哭诉。泄气、即将变老让我回到了1954年的那个时候。而想想那个时候,想的都是关于1924年的自己。无论是青年、中年还是即将步入的老年,乔·奥尔斯顿总是一副自满的样子,多疑沮丧,对他现有的生活、国家、文明、职业甚至对他自己都感到不满。他总是开辟新的领域,总是尝试着用两头己经缠结在一起的线穿过针孔。总是渴望所有事情都能永恒、确定无疑,渴望一种归属感,但是在这个世界上却没有一脉相承的古人与继承者,也没有可以栖身的立足之地。可怜的孤儿乔,真是太悲惨了。 

His unappeased presence in the diary and in the big chair makes the Joe Allston ofrecent years, the one the neighbors here think they know, look less like MarcusAurelius than like a prosy Polonius. The stoicism he has pretended to is about asimpressive as a telephone recording. His questions have never been answered somesort of accommodation because the spiritual epidermis, like the physical hide,thickens where it is rubbed.

过去日记中的乔坐在大椅子中,内心一直无法平静。这使得乔·奥尔斯顿近年来更像叨叨不停的波洛尼厄斯,而不像善于忍受的马库斯·奥雷柳斯。他试图表现出的斯多葛哲学派 ( 恬淡寡欲 ) 行为,就像电话录音一样深深印刻在人们脑海里。这里的邻居以为自己了解他,但其实不然。他的问题从未得以解决,欲望也从未填满。我只是想到这样的地方以前是存在的—因为精神表皮就像人类的皮肤一样,摩擦越多的地方,就越厚。 

There is even a question if it thickens enough. From here, it is apparent that thatDanish excursion was the most romantic quest since Parsifal's sure to end in a bloodynose. If you forget caution and start through the dark woods toward the dark tower,you are exposed, vulnerable, without guidance, and guilty. It may have been a waterrat I speared, but ugh, it sounded like a baby's shriek. As for the maiden in distress,and Astrid was one, the dragon ate her. Here it is on the postcard.

但现在仍然存在一个问题,那就是皮是否够厚。从这里来看,很显然,自从帕西法尔曾注定要命丧于血泊之中,去丹麦旅游就成了最具传奇色彩的旅行,最后一定会快乐至极。有人曾警告你,穿过黑森林到达黑暗之塔过程中,你会暴露自己,身处劣势,也没有人来引导你。如果你忘记这一点,你就会后悔。也许是一只我刺过的河鼠,但是,额……这刺的声音听起来像是婴儿的尖叫。还有那不幸的女仆,阿斯特丽兹就是一个,最后被龙吞掉了。那张明信片上就这样印着。

If there is a lesson in that pilgrimage into the Gothic, is is a lesson misshapen, leaden, lightless, ugly as a toad in a drain, a real Grendel or a lesson left aver from the time of trolls and demons. It leaves me no option but to scratch dead leaves over it as I scratched them over it twenty years ago. That seems the only method that will get us safely from infancy to senility. Was it the Boyg who advised Feer Gynt, Roundabout, Peer, roundabout?" Or was it the Button Molder? Never mind. 

如果在去黑暗之城的朝圣路上能学到点什么的话,那也是不幸沉闷的、黑暗丑陋的,就像下水道里的蟾蛛。这是一个自从妖魔时期以来,在现实中真正发生的格伦德尔式的教训。我别无选择,只能像我20年前一样,胡乱抓住枯黄的叶子把它埋了。似乎那是唯一能让我们安全地从生到死度过一生的方法。到底是博一格建议佩尔·金特:“ 绕道,佩尔,绕道” 吧?还是巴顿·莫尔德建议的呢?这都不重要了。 

One of the books I read in Denmark was The Long Journey, by Johannes V. Jenson, a patriotic chronicle about how the Scandinavians invented everything, first sex, then fire, then tools, then shelter, then agriculture, then bronze and gold, then iron, until the human race, put into gear by all that Nordic ingenuity, could be trusted to go forward in its own. Jensen got a Nobel Prize for his fable of civilization, and he persuaded some people; including some Scandinavian  archaeologists. Not me. I like the Scandinavians as well as anybody else, and once went hunting my identity among them, but they didn't invent more than their share, and they are no monsters of goodness. Even now, when they have given up Viking raids and become the world's umpires and ombudsmen, they consort with evil like other folks, and confuse it with good like other folks. I didn't find what I went looking for in Denmark, but I found there was something rotten in that state, as elsewhere, and that the Danes like the rest of the world are attracted to evil, are involved in it, even feel dutiful toward it. If the ghosts of Henry James came demanding copy, I could tell him a tale of New World innocence and Old World experience at least as instructive as Daisy Miller. 

我在丹麦曾读过约翰内斯·延森写的《漫长旅途》这本书。这是一部爱国编年史,书中描写了斯堪的纳维亚人如何创造了世间万物,从性别到火,然后是工具、房子、农业、铜、金、铁,最后是人类。尽情发挥斯堪的纳维亚的智慧。我们相信,这样的模式还会继续发展下去。延森因这部关于文明的寓言而获得了诺贝尔文学奖,这本书也获得了一些包括斯堪的纳维亚考古学家等人的信任。但是我不信。我跟所有人一样都喜欢斯堪的纳维亚人,甚至有次还探索自己跟他们的血缘关系,但是他们只是创造出了自己,并没有创造出别的什么,他们也不是拥有美德的怪物。即使他们不再当北欧海盗到处抢劫,而成为世界的裁判者与监察者,他们仍然与其他民族一样与邪恶为伴,并将其误说为善意。在丹麦虽然没有找到我想找的东西,但是我发现丹麦这个国家跟世界上其他国家一样,有些地方已经腐烂了。并且丹麦人跟世界各地的人们一样都会被邪恶的事物所吸引,置身其中,甚至会忠诚于它。如果亨利·詹姆斯。的鬼魂出来要一本该书的复印本,我会告诉他新世界的无辜和旧世界的过去,至少会像他写的《黛西·米勒》一样具有启发性。

Having no traditions myself, I used to have a romantic view of tradition. I thought that time really does sift men's acts, that the good they do lives after them and gradually improves their descendants, and that the ill they do eventually writhes in pain and dies among its worshipers. That was real innocence. Everything we do lives after us. The future is not only now, as television assures me, it was also then, and Baal and Loki are as immortal as Jahveh and Baldr. 

由于没有继承过什么传统,我过去常常对传统抱有一种不切实际的观点。时间真的会筛选人们的行为。善意的行为会在人死后继续存在,并渐渐使后人变得更好。恶意的行为最终会在痛苦中枯萎,在其推崇者中消逝。那是真正的清白。我们的所作所为在我们死后都不会有所改变。电视使我相信,未来不仅仅是指现在,也可以指过去。太阳神巴尔和火神洛基与上帝耶和华和光明之神巴尔德一样永不消逝。 

My mother was a Danish girl, an orphan and a runaway. She emigrated to America, all alone, at sixteen, worked as a hired girl, married a drunken brakeman who begot me and shortly got himself killed by a freight in the Sioux City yards, married again a couple of years later and was soon abandoned. Except for those brief spells of married bliss, she never had a house of her own. She lived, and I with her, in hot (and cold) third-story rooms and back-of-the-kitchen sheds in other people's houses, and she died of a fall down some dark cellar stairs when I was a freshman in college. Everything in the New World that she tied her hopes to, including me, gave away. I spent my childhood and youth being ashamed of her accent, her clumsiness, her squarehead name, her menial jobs. It used to shrivel me to put down, in the space marked MOTHER'S MAIDEN NAME. Ingeborg Heegaard. I never discovered until she was dead that she was a saint, and that realization, with all the self-loathing that came with it, put me into a tailspin that I didn't come out of for two years. Ulcers, nervous visited on myself went on till I learned how to scratch dead leaves over what I didn't want to see. 

我母亲是个丹麦人,小时候是个孤儿,后来跑出来了。16岁时她孤身一人到美洲打工,后来嫁给一个酒鬼制动员。生下我后不久,他就在一次苏城装货中被杀了‘几年后,母亲改嫁,但很快又被遗弃。除了短暂的结婚喜悦,她从未有过自己的房子。母亲带着我在三层楼高的房间里生活,时冷时热。这个房间是在别人家厨房的后面。我刚进大学那年,母亲从黑暗的地下室楼梯上摔下来摔死了。她对新世界的所有寄托,包括对我的寄托都没了。成年之前,我一直为母亲的口音、母亲的笨拙、斯堪的纳维亚名字还有那卑微的工作感到耻辱。我曾经还不愿意在 “母亲的仆人名字” 那栏记下 “英格堡·黑格德” 这个名字。但是当她死后,我发现母亲是一个圣人。对母亲深深的自责让我一度慌乱,2年后我才走了出来。那段时间引起的溃疡、精神崩溃等所有这些剧烈的身心不适一直存在,直到后来我发现可以用枯叶掩盖不想看到的东西。 

That was the way it was until my only son, Curtis, who had been nothing but anguish from the time he was breech-born, fell from or let go of his surfboard on the beach at La Jolla. He died an over-age beach burn, evading to the last any obligation to become what his mother and I tried to make or help him be, and like my mother's, his death lay down accusingly at my door. He was my only descendant, as she was only my ancestor, and I failed both. Chop, chop, there went both past an future. At fifty I had my second crisis-it is remarkable how apt bacteria and other agents of the moral sense can be, how readily they infect and afflict us when we need affliction. This time it was the myocarditis. But all the time while i was wondering if my clock would stop, I felt inside me somewhere, adjacent to or below the ailing heart, a hungry, thirsty, empty, sore, haunted sensation of being unfinished, random, and unattached, as if, even if the heart were working perfectly, there was nothing there for it to run.    

我那样的情况一直持续到我儿子在拉荷亚沙滩上从冲浪板上摔下来,或是说放弃了他的冲浪板。柯蒂斯是我唯一的儿子,自从他从臀位分娩以来,就很痛苦。他是个海滨迷,死的时候年龄超过了一般的海滨迷的年龄。我和他母亲本想让他或帮助他成为某种人,可是他连这个也没有做到就不在了。儿子的死跟母亲的死一样摆在我面前,让我很是自责。他是我唯一的血脉,而母亲是我唯一的亲人,但是我却都没能留住他们。时光飞逝,没了过去,也没了未来。年过半百,人生中出现了第二次危机。令人惊讶的是,作用于道德观念的病菌和其他因素反应是多么灵敏。我们需要苦难时,他们就会让我们感染病菌,折磨我们。这次来的是心肌炎。但是当我思考我的起搏器是否会停止运转时,我的身体里边,就在我衰弱的心脏旁边或下面,有一种未完成的、独立游荡的渴望、空虚的感觉,反复剧烈地出现。似乎即使心脏正常运转,身体里也会有这种感觉。

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