英译中国现代散文选 | 张闻天 生命的急流


The Torrent of Life

Friends, do you know what is meant by life? And what is meant by the "torrent of life"?

I bet you don't! Because you are a slave to your father at home, a slave to morality, law and economy in society, and a slave to various rules at school. Being such a slave, how could you possibly come to understand life and the torrent of life?

Friends, now that you've become a slave to family, society and school, you are deprived of any opportunity to assert yourself. You are a walking corpse, even though you eat, work or study every day!

You are a walking corpse, friends. Are you aware of it?

Friends, aren't you eager to have a boyfriend or girlfriend? Don't you hope that the present society will allow free contacts between boys and girls? But, friends, without your consent, your parents have already engaged you to a girl you don't know at all or arranged your marriage to a petty politician, official or any man who is a complete stranger to you. And, whether you are willing or not, schools and society have imposed restrictions on your free activities in the name of law, rules or morality. Don't you want to go on a date? But they will call this "illicit sex" and take you to the police station. Don't you want to correspond with a schoolmate of the opposite sex? But they will call this an immoral act in violation of school discipline and kick you out.

O friends, you are a walking corpse. Are you aware of it?

Friends, don't you intend to have some fresh ideas expressed or put into practice? But your family will, just because of this, discontinue financing your schooling. Society will, just because of this, have you put into prison or even "beheaded" on a charge of being an "extremist" or "dangerous element". And your school will, just because of this, give you a demerit, discredit you in public or dismiss you — all on a charge of "damaging the school reputation" or "violating this or that school rule".

O friends, do you have any "civil rights" to speak of? Do you have any freedom of thought and behaviour, or the right of being a man?

No, none at all!

O friends, you are a walking corpse. Are you aware of it?

Friends, don't you find this big prison on earth agonizing and suffocating? Don't you ever, for one fleeting moment, think of smashing this big prison? Don't you ever, for one fleeting moment, feel like giving vent to your pent-up emotion by letting out a loud yell?

Yes, how repressive is the bondage of family, society and school! How horrible is the threat of morality, law and school rules! But, friends, don't you know what on earth is meant by morality, law and school rules?

O friends, morality, law and school rules encourage people to cheat and do evil, make them as good as dead or completely dead, and cause life to wither and fade.

O friends, why not pluck up enough courage to stage a counter attack against all devitalized remains of the past? Why not clean away, as if with a big sponge, all the stains left by them?

This beautiful world is meant for people alive and kicking, not for the dead. Now the dead are everywhere with their fishy eyes, vacant looks, well-regulated behaviour and slow-witted speech. The world has been totally messed up by them.

O friends, speak up your mind, and do what you want to do! In short, hurry up to give full play to the life bestowed on you by Nature, and hold aloft a torch to offer a little light to the dark world, for, otherwise, your young limbs will begin to rot, your brilliant brain will be dulled and your enthusiasm will cool off. It will be too late to mend.

Friends, bring your youthful vitality and life into full play right now and here! Turn your life into a hurricane to make a clean sweep of all filth on earth. To hell with all morality, law and school rules if they stand in your way and suppress your efforts. Much better to die a martyr than to be a 100-year-old walking corpse.

Friends, to die a hero's death is to die an instant death — a most stirring moment in one's life. There is nothing to fear at all.

Friends, what is surging and turbulent within you is your very life. When this life is given full play, it succeeds in becoming the torrent of life!

Friends, you must admire the great magnificence of the Niagara Falls in America. It is symbolic of the torrent of life. Friends, you must admire even more the swift rolling rapids of the Qutang Gorge in Sichuan Province. That, too, is symbolic of the torrent of life. No wonder you will be delighted to see your life displaying the same greatness, the same magnificence and the same swiftness and force.

O, if I could reach the summit of the Himalayas, I would hold high both hands in praise of life given us by Heaven and pray for the advent of the time when the torrent of life would move from the hearts of the young to spread all over the world.

Look, isn't the purplish light of early dawn heralding the rising sun? Friends, let's strive to forge ahead!




①“你一定不知道”意即“我确信你不知道”,故译为I bet you don't,等于I'm sure you don't know。

②“你失却了一切表现你自己的机会”可按字面译为You are deprived of any opportunity to express yourself,但不如You are deprived of any opportunity to assert yourself妥切,因原文“表现你自己”的深层意思是“坚持你自己的权利或主张”,而to assert youself能更好地表达这个意思。

③“活尸”即“活死人”或“行尸走肉”,相当于英语中的walking corpse。

④“社交公开”可译为open social contacts,但这里指“男女自由交往”,故译为free contacts between boys and girls。


⑥“你们要想一同出去耍吗?”意即“你们(男女)想约会吗?”,故译为Don't you want to go out on a date? 或Don't you want to take your date out? 等。

⑦“野合”意即“不正当的性关系”、“私通”,故译为illicit sex或illicit intercourse。

⑧“停止你的学费”译为discontinue financing your schooling,其中financing和funding同义,作“为……提供资金”解;your schooling指“学校教育”(your studies at school)。

⑨“把你记过或挂牌开除”中的“把你记过”译为give you a demerit;“挂牌”不好直译,现按“使……在公众面前丢脸”的意思译为discredit you in public。

⑩“这个美丽的世界不是给死人住的,它是给活泼而有生趣的人住的”译为This beautiful world is meant for people alive and kicking, not for the dead, 其中is meant for作“指定”或“本来是为……而设的”(intended for)解,例如:Ten new housing is meant for the earthquake victims(新房子是准备给地震受害者住的)。“活泼而有生趣的”意即“生气勃勃的”,可译为active and lively、vigorous and energetic或full of vim and vigour等等。今译为alive and kicking,为成语。

?“死鱼的眼”即“像鱼目一样呆滞的眼”,故译为fishy eyes,其中fishy意同dull and expressionless like fish eyes。