英译中国现代散文选 | 柯灵 书的抒情

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书的抒情
Eulogizing Books

说到书,我很动感情。因为它给我带来温暖,我对它满怀感激
I always think of books with profound feeling, being deeply indebted to them, as I am, for the warmth they have brought me.

书是我的恩师。贫穷剥夺了我童年的幸福,把我关在学校大门的外面,是书本敞开它宽厚的胸脯,接纳了我,给我以慷慨的哺育。没有书,就没有我的今天。——也许我早就委身于沟壑
Books are my beloved teachers. In my childhood, when I was deprived of happiness and schooling by poverty, books took me to their large bosoms and nurtured me generously. It is to them that I owe what I am today. Without them, I would probably have ended up in abject misery long ago.

书是我的良友。它给我一把金钥匙,诱导我打开浅短的视界,愚昧的头脑,鄙塞的心灵。它从不吝惜对我帮助。
Books are my good friends. They have offered me a golden key to broadening my horizons and ridding myself of stupidity and ignorance. They spare no efforts to help me.

书是我青春期的恋人,中年的知己,暮年的伴侣。有了它,我就不再愁寂寞,不再怕人情冷暖,世态炎凉。它使我成为精神世界的富翁。我真的是“不可一日无此君”。当我忙完了,累极了;当我愤怒时,苦恼时,我就想亲近它,因为这是一种绝妙的安抚。
Books are my sweethearts in my youth, my bosom friends in my middle age, and my companions in my declining years. Accompanied by books, I never feel lonely, nor fear social snobbery or fickleness of the world. They have made a rich man of me in the inner world. I cannot do without them even for a single day. When I feel tired out after finishing my work, or when I am in a bad mood, I'll try to get close to books for comfort — the best way for me to find spiritual consolation.

我真愿意成为十足的“书迷”和“书痴”,可惜还不够条件。
Oh, if only I were a confirmed bibliomaniac or bookworm! But, unfortunately, I'm still not fully qualified for one yet!

不知道谁是监狱的始作俑者。剥夺自由,诚然是人世最酷虐的刑法,但如果允许囚人有读书的权利,那还不算是自由的彻底丧失。我对此有惨痛的经验。
I don't know who was the despicable originator of the prison. Deprivation of freedom is the most savage punishment on earth for sure, but, as I've learned from my own personal bitter experience, if prisoners are permitted the right to read they should not be regarded as totally devoid of freedom.

对书的焚毁和禁锢,是最大的愚蠢,十足的野蛮,可怕的历史倒退。
Burning or banning books is the height of folly and barbarity, signifying a most horrible retrogression in history.

当然书本里也有败类,那是瘟疫之神,死亡天使,当与世人共弃之。
Of course there is also some rubbish among books to be avoided like the plague or Death by all.

作家把自己写的书,送给亲友,献与读者,是最大的愉快。如果他的书引起共鸣,得到赞美,那就是对他最好的酬谢。
It is the greatest pleasure for a writer to present to his friends gift copies of a book authored by himself or to have it offered to the reading public. And he will feel richly rewarded if his book arouses public interest and earns wide acclaim.

在宁静的环境,悠闲的心情中静静地读书,是人生中最有味的享受。在“四人帮”覆亡的前夜,我曾经避开海洋般的冷漠与白眼,每天到龙华公园读书,拥有自己独立苍茫的世界。这是我一个终生难忘的经历。
It is the greatest joy of life for one to spend his leisure time reading in quiet surroundings. On the eve of the fall of the "Gang of Four", I used to go to Longhua Park every day for a reading session, seeking shelter from a sea of frosty looks and hostile stares in a world of my own. That will forever remain an unforgettable experience of my life.

书本是太阳、空气、雨露。我不能设想,没有书的世界是什么样的世界。
Books are sunlight and air, rain and dew. I can't imagine what would become of the world without books.

说明

柯灵(1909—2000),浙江绍兴人,是我国现代杰出散文作家。他的散文优美洗练,讲究文字的研磨,风格简要明快,博识典雅。《书的抒情》是他写于1985年的一篇短文。作者酷爱读书,在热情颂扬书的同时,回顾极左年代的文化摧残,斥之为“可怕的历史倒退”。

注释

①“抒情”二字在此不宜直译,现按“赞颂”的含义,把标题译为Eulogizing Books或A Eulogy on Books。如简译为On Books未尝不可,只缺感情色彩。

②“因为它给我带来温暖,我对它满怀感激”译为分词短语being deeply indebted to them, as I am, for the warmth they have brought me,但也可用并列短语表达:for I am deeply indebted to them for the warmth they have brought me。在原因状语的分词短语中插入as l am是为了加重语气。

③“沟壑”本指“溪谷”、“山沟”,常引申指“野死之处”,因此“委身于沟壑”的意思为“死无葬身之处”,今结合上下文,应作“结局悲惨”解,故译为would have ended up in abject misery(或extreme unhappiness)。

④“我真愿成为十足的‘书迷’和‘书痴’”表达一种不能实现的愿望,译为Oh, if only I were a confirmed bibliomaniac or bookworm!,其中感叹词Oh是添加成分,用以加重语气。此句也可译为O how I wish I were a bibliomaniac or bookworm through and through! 又,“十足的”可译为定语confirmed或状语短语trough and through。

⑤“监狱的始作俑者”意即“可鄙的监狱创始人”,故译为the despicable originator of the prison。

⑥“诚然”即“毫无疑问”,译为for sure,所在句的后面常接以but为首的并列句。

⑦“是最大的愚蠢,十足的野蛮”译为is the height of folly and barbarity,等于is an act of the greatest folly and barbarity。

⑧“每天到龙华公园读书”译为used to go to Longhua Park for a reading session,其中session的意思是从事某种活动的“一段时间”。

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