英译中国现代散文选 | 唐弢 书愤

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书愤
My Great Indignation

我爱读有生命的历史,也爱见有血性的人物
I like to read about stirring events in history and hear of heroic personages.

然而枭雄如恺撒,冒险家如哥伦布,却又离我的爱好十分之远。我以为他们的成为英雄,其实是不足道的。虽然出现在莎士比亚笔下的群众,脱不了“愚昧”的嫌疑,但独夫之旁,毕竟也还有勃鲁特司那样的人物。我爱辛那的宣言,恺撒的尸体横下来了,他叫道:
Nevertheless, I have no liking at all for Caesar the autocrat and Columbus the adventurer. These two so-called heroes are in fact utterly worthless. "Ignorant" as the mobs in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar may seem, there stands by Caesar's side, however, a real man named Brutus. I like the declaration made by Cinna when Caesar falls:

我们到底得到自由和解放了。压迫已经终结。不要耽误,赶快把这公布到全罗马的各处。
Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.

我的心至今还在和他们的一同跳动,千百年来“愚昧”的群众的心,也在迫虐下和他们一同跳动。
My heart has so far been throbbing in sympathy with those of Brutus, Cinna and the like. For thousands of years, so have been the hearts of "ignorant" mobs under tyrannical rule.

虽然是暗恶叱咤的恺撒,然而毕竟空虚得很
All-powerful as he seemed, Caesar was after all frailty itself.

至于哥伦布的贪婪、残虐、阴险,那更是征服者显著的罪恶,他虐待土人,贩卖黑奴,施行灭种的方法,以野狗去猎取生人。作为一个有血性的英雄,他不但缺少正直的心地,而且也没有阔大的胸怀。倘使说新大陆的发现是值得讴颂的,那么,我宁愿讴颂大西洋里的海风。即使哥伦布死在摇篮里,美洲也还是要被人发现的
Columbus was known for his avarice, ruthlessness and insidiousness as characteristic of a conqueror. He maltreated the aborigines, traded in black slaves, committed genocide and used hounds to hunt down living beings. As a so-called brave hero, he was entirely devoid of uprightness and breadth of mind. If the discovery of the new continent is something deserving our praises, I would rather eulogize the sea wind of the Atlantic Ocean. Even if Columbus had died in the cradle, America would have been discovered by man all the same.

由我看来,哥伦布不过是一个鼻子上抹灰的武丑一流的人物,他相信地圆说,又受了马可波罗著作的影响,想朝西走到东方,首先是碰到古巴,他以为这便是日本,后来见了海地岛,又以海地为日本,洪都拉斯为印度,而以古巴为中国了。夜里,一群企鹅缓缓地在海滩上散步。他把这当作是中国的牧师,在月光下作晚祷。
In my opinion, Columbus was nothing but an acrobatic clown with his nose brightly painted. Believing in the theory that the earth is round and fascinated by Marco Polo's book of travels, he attempted to sail west to reach the Orient. At first he took Cuba and Haiti successively for Japan, then he took Honduras for India and Cuba for China. In the evening, seeing a flock of penguins move slowly on the beach, he mistook them for a group of Chinese priests saying evening prayers in the moonlight.

虽然是美丽的夜景,却救不醒朦胧的头脑。
The sublime evening scene failed to sober him up.

不料洎乎末世,竟又出现了连和恺撒与哥伦布也还不能同日而语的人物?,我无法来叙写我的愤恨。
Unfortunately, since the end of the 19th century, the world has witnessed the sudden emergence of certain villains far more ferocious than even Caesar or Columbus. That has filled me with indescribable burning hatred.

虽然专横,然而征高卢,灭庞培,恺撒毕竟还有武功;虽然残酷,然而历险阻,入蛮荒,哥伦布毕竟还有胆量。但现在是掏尽脂膏,流尽血汗,却不过几座空城头,几条铁路线,一面又疑神疑鬼,畏首畏尾,子弹只知道征逐平民,刺刀最喜欢追随妇孺。这是残忍的泡沫,那下面正是卑怯?的渊薮。
Caesar was despotic, but he performed outstanding military exploits in conquering Gaul and defeating Pompey. Columbus was brutal, but he was brave enough to go into the barbarous wilderness in defiance of dangers and hardships. Now, the above-mentioned certain villains have stopped at no evil only to seize a handful of empty towns and railway lines. Driven by terror and suspicion, they go on firing at common people and bayoneting women and children. The cold-blooded atrocities they are perpetrating betrays nothing but their deep-seated base cowardice.

恺撒死了,但是他有武功;哥伦布死了,但是他有胆量。大和魂?毁灭了,这回留下些什么东西呢?我无法来叙写我的愤恨。
Caesar is no more, but he is remembered for his brilliant military exploits. Columbus is no more, but he is remembered for his great courage. When yamato-damashii is rooted out, what will it have left behind? I cannot tell you enough how indignant I am.

说明

唐弢(1913—1992),中国现代著名散文作家,出生于浙江省镇海县的一个农民家庭。抗战时期,他在上海孤岛发表了大量有战斗力的杂文。正在这一时期,他于1938年9月10日写了《书愤》一文。文章用迂曲暗示的手法表达他的爱国激情以及对日本侵略者的愤恨,行文从容,结构严谨。

注释

①“书愤”的字面意思是“论述我的激愤”,本可译为On My Indignation,现译为My Great Indignation,更为有力,其中Great是添加成分,原文虽无其词,但有其意。

②“有生命的历史”的意思是“过去一些激动人心(轰轰烈烈)的历史”,不宜逐字死译为living history。现译为stirring events in history。

③“有血性的人物”指“有英雄气概的人物”,故译为heroic personages。

④“脱不了‘愚昧’的嫌疑”意即“总有些让人感到‘愚昧’”或“或多或少有些‘愚昧’”,不宜按字面直译为to be suspected to be "ignorant",今译为"Ignorant" as the mobs in... may seem,等于Though the mobs in... may seem "ignorant"。

⑤辛那的宣言“我们到底得到自由……公布到全罗马的各处”的原文出自莎士比亚剧本《尤里乌斯·恺撒》(Jilius Caesar)第三幕第一场。

⑥“我的心至今还在和他们的一同跳动”译为My heart has so far been throbbing in sympathy with those of Brutus, Cinna and the like,其中in sympathy的意思是“支持”,是译文中的添加成分,原文虽无其词,但有其意。

⑦“喑恶叱咤”本作“厉声怒喝”解,在此意同“威力无比”或“叱咤风云”,故译all-powerful。

⑧“毕竟空虚得很”可按“毕竟很脆弱”的意思译为was after all frailty itself,其中itself放在抽象名词后面,是为了加强语气,因此frailty itself意同very frail。

⑨“美洲也还是要被人发现的”译为America would have been discovered by man all the same,其中all the same(或just the same)是成语,作“依然”、“照样”解。此句也可译为America would still have been discovered by man。

⑩“洎乎末世”本作“到世纪末”解,在此意即“近19世纪末”,其中“洎乎”的意思是“到”或“近”,“末世”的意思是“一个历史阶段的末尾的时期”。现结合上下文把“洎乎末世”译为since the end of the 19th century。

?“人物”暗指日本侵略者,今译为certain villains,同样用迂回手法。

?“卑怯”译为base cowardice,等于baseness and cowardice,其中base作“卑鄙的”解。

?“大和魂”是日本军国主义者在战时大肆宣扬的口号,意即“日本魂(精神)”,本应译为the soul (spirit) of Japan,今译yamato-damashii,保持原作的迂回手法。

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