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转:董桥散文中的英语之趣  

2011-03-10 12:27:13|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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在看董桥的散文自选集《品味历程》的过程中,看到了很多英语句子,根据上下文来体会,确实别有一番意趣,所以不揣冒昧,挑录一二。但辛苦过后,却发现那种感觉和自己看书时不太相同,会否是吃力不讨好的活,真的不得而知,姑且试之。  

注:中文和英文皆出自该书,但为了意思连贯,中文部分做了些微的改动,“亵渎”了董桥先生字字珠玑的中文,实在是“不敬”,罪过罪过!    

1、 西方十二世纪就有人劝人以书为友,视满架图书为乐园花圃(Make thy books thy companions, Let thy cases and shelves be thy pleasure grounds and gardens)。多少书虫于是神魂颠倒,一生以书缠绵,进去了出不来。  

2、 法国文豪大仲马一生放浪形骸,既不自律也不律人,还让自己宠爱过的尤物和儿子相好。有一天儿子抱怨说:你总是把旧情人送给我睡,把新皮靴交给我穿松了才给你穿,闷死人了!大仲马曰:尔当视此为殊荣,证明尔一桩伟岸,双腿秀窄也。(You should look on it as an honor. It proves you have a thick organ and a narrow foot.)呵呵,有如此佳趣,难怪他红透半边天。 

3、 在开往伦敦的火车上,一男在看一叠文稿,一女的一眼瞥见了那叠文稿,就和男的搭起讪来。她说真不好意思,看他的文稿,但又不习惯没东西可读,像赤身裸体似的。男的说,那我就借点东西给遮一遮,虽然他倒觉得女的裸得有格调。(“Forgive me looking,” she said. “but I am not used to being without something to read. It’s like being naked.” “Allow me to lend you something to cover your nakedness, though I must say you wear it with a good deal of style.”)小说(作者是:Frederic Raphael)中那女的有这样的感觉,相信坐过英国火车的人不难想象:英国人生性内向,坐火车绝少跟邻居搭讪,只好看书读报,以免尴尬。  

4、 学术与创作都讲求“创意”(originality),不得拾人牙慧。此事伤透了脑筋。Samuel Johnson有致作者信说:Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good. ( 尊稿既好又有创意;可惜好的地方毫无创意,有创意之处又不甚好。这话刻薄,确实常见的实情。天下文章一大抄,有的露出破绽,有的不露痕迹;前者多半生手所为,后者肯定是老手伎俩。W?R Ince于是说,创意乃隐不可探之剽窃(Originality is undetected plagiarism)。至于博士论文,十之八九无足观赏,不外把一堆尸骨从一个坟墓搬到另一个坟墓(The average PhD thesis is nothing but the transference of bones from one graveyard to the other.)。好的学术文章通常是拿了博士当了教授之后才写出来的,当了讲师教授还制造不出一篇像样的文章则可以休矣。  

5、 英国的工党是个永远长不大的政党……Harold Nicholson的日记里记录了工党先驱领袖Keir Hardie的一席话,说是一九零五年,一个朋友对他说下议院里的工党议员实在少得可怜。哈蒂当时回答说“对啊,英国工人要花二十年时间才学会投票选那些更他同一等级的人代表他。然后再花二十年时间才学会不选举跟他同一等级的人代表他。”(Yes, it will take the British working man twenty years to learn to elect his equals to represent him. And it will take him another twenty years not to elect his equals.)  

6、 英国下议院里的男厕有一道长长的解手槽,工党党魁艾德礼有一天先一步进去解手,保守党议员丘吉尔跟着进来。丘翁看清形势,马上走到最远的地方去 小便。艾德礼说:“我知道你我是政敌,可是,我们实在不必把歧见带进男厕来”(Winston, I know we are political opponent, but we don’t have to carry our differences into the gentlemen’s lavatory.)。丘吉尔回答说:“你们这些社会主义信徒一见到任何粗壮坚实的玩意,马上就要政府去约束它、管制它,烦透了。”(Clement, the trouble with you Socialists is that whenever you see anything in robust and sturdy condition you want the government to regulate it.)保守党再也找不到像丘吉尔这样有文才、有智慧、有胆识的头头了。  

7、 丘吉尔父亲是英国人,母亲是美国人,对美国天生一份特殊的感情。他三十年代到美国巡回访问之后绕道加拿大回国。有加拿大记者问他对美国有什么批评,他想了好久才答了一句:“厕所纸太薄,报纸太厚”(Toilet paper too thin! Newspapers too fat!)  

8、 战后美国弗吉尼亚州里兹蒙市雕了一座战时首相丘吉尔的雕像。丘翁亲临观礼。有一位身材健美的女士对他说,她天一亮就开车赶了百英里路来看他的胸像的揭幕礼(Mr. Churchill, I want you to know I got up at dawn and drove a hundred miles for the unveiling of your bust.)丘吉尔连忙说:“夫人,我想让你知道,我非常乐意回敬一下。”(Madam, I want you to know that I would happily reciprocate the honour.)  

9、 一九三九年二次大战纳粹德国空袭伦敦前夕,英王乔治六世在圣诞广播中引用女诗人Minnie Louise Haskins 《沙漠》一诗中的一句话:“我对站在岁月之门的那人说,给我光,让我平安走向难卜的未来。”(I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the year, give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”.)战云下的英国国民听了深深感动,女诗人声名大噪。  

10、 女作家Rosamond Lehman有一本书书名是“Dusty Answer”,书名原典来自George Meredith的两句诗:Ah, what a dusty answer gets the soul/ When hot for certainties in the world! 人生处处遇到灰蒙蒙的解说,追而难究;满心疑团求个明白的时刻,换来的往往是盘古的混沌。  

11、 王尔德说人生在世成不了艺术品也该穿一身艺术品(one should either be a work of art ,or wear a work of art)。  

12、 曾荫权那天出席户外活动,鸭舌帽、黑墨镜、皮夹克配上厚毛的衣领说是飞机师装束,看起来倒像上海滩上长胖了的瘪三。曾先生跟着英国人进进出出几十年,早该学会低调而贵气的衣着,一下子摆出火红的战斗架势,不啻品行自杀:“Carelessness in dressing is moral suicide”!   

13、 “在报界,九十九个正直老实的人结婚成家一生快乐并不值得怎么高兴,大家情愿听到一个恶棍一刀宰掉女朋友的消息。”(There is more joy in the newspaper world over one sinner who cuts his sweet heart’s throat than over the ninety-nine just men who marry and live happily ever after.)  

14、 传媒的信实报道不啻淑女之贞节操守,只是前者错了可以道歉撤回,后者一失足成千古恨。这个理念是美国报人说的:“Accuracy to a newspaper is what virtue is to a lady, except that a newspaper can always print a retraction”。新闻界要的是遵守自己的专业守则,不是道歉撤回,更不是法改会的阉割政策,正如淑女们要的是家教,不是贞操带。  

15、 西方专挖丑闻的记者套了一句名言做座右铭:“To err is human, to get it on tape, divine”(犯错难免;能录下那桩错事则是神助之天才)。一位刚去世的女明星生前说:“在好莱坞,你有头脑没关系,最好把它藏在低胸装里。”(In Hollywood, having a mind is all right, if you conceal it behind a low-cut bosom”)。

16、 一九九○年伊拉克入侵科威特之际,布什总统在电视上发表讲话,说“一条线已经画在沙地上了”( “a line has been drawn in the sand” ),意思是底线在此,不得逾越。这句话也描写出阿拉伯沙漠的形象。《纽约时报》视为绝妙好句,大字标题说忧心之国支持美国沙地之线( “Worried nation Backs U.S. Line in the Sand”)。  

17、 布什步上总统宝座的过程中,几度提倡国人献身社群,照应民生,说美国……像繁星,“像宁静辽远的夜空中那千万点光芒”(like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky)。过不了几年,民主党攻击布什治下领公援的人根本没钱付电费,成不了千万点光芒的一点光(“You can’t hardly pay your light bill and be one of the thousand points of light”.)!布什语塞,克林顿上台。  

18、 Happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.   

19、 董建华……他还没修炼出美国前总统约翰逊的胸襟和智慧和幽默。约翰逊恨不得敌手过来找他,说是“宁愿他在我们的帐篷里撒尿出去,好过他在我们帐篷外面把尿撒进来“(Sure let him join our campaign. I’d prefer to have him inside our tent pissing out than outside our tent pissing in.”)。……这是举重若轻。  

20、 犯罪小说家Agatha Christie嫁给了一位考古学家,说是妇女以考古学家为夫婿最妙,佳人愈迟暮,彼对之兴趣愈浓矣(An archaeologist is the best hu**and any woman can have; the older she gets, the more interest he is in her.)事隔多年,她矢口否认,大骂说这种话的人是笨蛋!大诗人W. H. Auden一九三九年有一句诗:“We must love one another or die”(我们必须相爱,不然会死)。后来诗人说这句诗是他写的最不诚实的诗……一九五五年出诗选的时候,坚持改为:”We must love one another and die”(我们相爱至死)。  

21、 二三年代颜名满纽约的鸨母Polly Adler一九四五年终于决定关掉妓院,带一笔钱隐居郊区养花种菜写回忆录。书一九五年才出版,书商建议她以“永远的爱得乐”(Forever Adler)为书名,她不同意。她说了个很有趣的故事:有一天,她正在家里后花园给几株玫瑰浇水,朵拉?毛姆刚好来看她,很高兴看到她洗尽铅华过着这样平淡清净的生活。朵拉幽幽说:“那些警察如果看到你现在的生活,不知道会怎么想?”Polly说:“他们也许会很失望,我家不是窑子了。”朵拉突然说:“太妙了,把那句话倒过来就成了你的回忆录的书名了!”于是,书名就叫A House is not a House( 窑子不是家)。Polly说:那是苹果掉在牛顿头上以来花园里勾起的最美妙的神来之思(It was the most inspired piece of thinking anyone had done in a garden since the day Isaac Newton got conked by an apple.)。勾栏中人吐属如此不凡,几可收入《板桥杂记》里头。  

22、 过去电视台有一位英文甚佳的人,经常替电视节目起英文名字,连续剧《家变》的英文剧名就是她听了故事之后灵机一动想出来的,叫A House is not a House,点出了家道变幻,家不像家了,比中文剧名悲惨多了。  

23、 都说语言文字之道衰敝是基本功夫训练出错所致;其实此中更大的原因也许是世运升平、物力丰裕之际,整个社会的文化气息流于庸俗浮躁,再也见不到灯火阑珊处那个人了。德国纳粹时期一位党性甚强的剧作家Hanns Johst有一句对白说,一听到“文化”,我马上伸手拨枪(when I hear the word “Culture” I reach for my revolver)。一九六○年代,纽约一条街上的一堵墙上出现了一行字,套的正是这句名言:“一听到枪这个字,我赶紧掏我的文化”(Whenever I hear the word gun, I reach for my culture)。  

24、 有人举英文佳句数款做范本,真的“皮光肉滑”,看了舒服:  To be or not to be, that is the question;   In the beginning was the word;   We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep;   Out, out, brief candle;   The rest is silence;   读来简洁的英文,大半吝啬形容词,that、 which也用得小心,可免则免。听说法国人有一句老话说形容词是名词的敌人(The adjective is the enemy of the noun.),确是内行。  

25、 Aldous Huxley是美籍英国作家……今日一说到和平与战争,大半用错字……用的字不能表露当前实情。他们甚至用一些字去掩饰事实。他们于是用歪曲了的文字传媒去衡量现实。赫胥黎于是举了坎特伯雷大主教说的一句话为例:“国家动武动剑,是上苍保庇百姓之举“(The use of force, of the sword, by the State, is the ministry of god for the protection of the people.)赫胥黎说,“武”与“剑”是两个关键字,前者空洞抽象,毫无确切意思可言。后者落伍过时,不符合当代实情,只教人联想起豪侠义行和武士闪亮的盔甲。其实,大主教这句门面话背后的真相不外是说,国家动武,用火焰炸弹,用芥子弹,用飞机装烈性炸药炸脆弱无助的人民大众,是上苍保庇百姓之举(The use of force by the State, that is to say the use of firebombs, mustard gas and high explosives dropped by aeroplanes upon defenceless civil populations, is the ministry of god for the protection of the people.)。  

26、 Stephen White谈写作风格,说作家往往过分讲究文句之抑扬顿挫,陶醉在自己创造的文字声色之中,他说,有一位文章大家曾下令写作的人必须忍痛杀掉笔下的一些心肝宝贝(kill your darlings)。文章里诱人的一字、一句、一段,往往只顾引人入胜而不守本分,读者于是叹为观止而忘其所以(words, sentences, paragraphs that call much attention to themselves are not doing the job they are intended to do. While the reader is paying them due reverence, he is likely to ignore the message they were meant to convey.)  

27、 文章字句诱人是“巧”的功力;杀掉这些巧妙之处,为的是追求就事论事,依情说情的“常道”。此中牵涉太多的阅历。路易十四的近亲Liselotte书信集里说,才艺之士不宜太过饱学,反而不可不谙世故、通人情;人情世故书中学不到,全靠阅历(It is not at all suitable for people of great quality to be very learned, but highly necessary for them to know the world and be able to deal with people, and they can’t learn that from books but only from experience.)。

28、 读书消化,阅世通达,即便是说风花雪月,也另有意境;经典也可以引得自然顺当。有一次我在英国图书馆里翻书,书页之间偶然掉出一张小小的牛皮纸,上面录了George Eliot的一段话,说是她们到大英博物馆去看书,视之为求知之畏途。她说,要是她有一盏阿拉丁神灯就好,要看什么书一说就有(We are going now to the British Museum to read----a fearful way of getting knowledge. If I had Aladdin’s lamp I should certainly use it to get books served up to me at a moment’s notice.)。阿拉丁神灯典故人人皆知,用在这样显浅的句子里,表达这样显浅的心愿,既有笔墨,又有情致。  

29、 英文说I miss you very much, 那是客套;说I miss you,有点真情;弃掉一个字,就miss you,简直是甜甜的悄悄话。Christina Foyle坐计程车,司机跟她聊天,突然说:人老了不机灵有什么用(What is the good of getting old, if you don’t get artful.)。“机灵”毕竟是艺术的灵魂;笨笨的有什么看头,不如杀掉它。  

30、 E.B. White在康奈尔大学念书,选修William Strunk jr.教授开的一科English 8。那科是薄薄的一本书,叫《文体指要》(The Elements of Style,本人说明:该书后来风靡全球,被誉为写作的圣经,中央编译出版社出了中英对照版,叫“风格的要素”)怀特尊敬他的老师,怀念他的老师……每次重读老师这一条六十三个字的箴言,都有观止之叹:“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subject only in outline, but that every word tell.”我试译之为简洁的中文,也得六十三个字:铿然有力之文必简洁。一段之中无赘句,犹如丹青无冗枝,机器无废件。此说不求作者下笔句句精短,摒弃细节,概而述之;但求字字有着落耳。

31、 朱虹的《文学翻译:中译英琐谈》说,她大二时上朱光潜先生的课,朱先生一周布置中译英,一周布置英译中,然后把同学们的作业拿到堂上讲各种乙法的优劣等于让同学之间相互学习。当时有一篇关于志愿军的报道,标题是《与冰的斗争》。朱虹套用斯坦贝克小说Of Mice and Men(《人鼠之间》)的标题,译成Of Ice and Men……朱先生肯定了她的设想和对英语的敏感,但认为译名不能表达“斗争”的意味。翻译和写作一样,都要求对文字的敏感。朱虹的翻译,不能不说是神来之笔。至于对文字的敏感,最主要是了解文字潜在的含义,往往也等于借用典故营造情景和意象。斯坦贝克的小说题目几乎都经典的出处:To a God Unknown, The Grapes of Wrath, The Winter of Our Discontent, East of Eden等等。  

32、 有一个笨蛋说个一句聪明话,他说英国的冬天到七月才完,八月又来了。(The English winter ending in July, to recommence in August.)  

33、 加拿大原本可以英国的政府制度,法国的文化传统,美国的科学技术,结果竟落得要忍受英国的科学技术,法国的政府制度,美国的文化传统(Canada could have enjoyed English government, French culture and American know-how. Instead it ended up with English know-how, French government and American culture.)一个英国人说大英帝国太阳不落,因为上帝信不过黑暗中的英国人(The sun never sets on the British Empire because God wouldn’t trust an Englishman in the dark.)。政治制度的专制与开明,决定语言文字的衰落与生机。Carlos Fuentes说:在苏联,会挑刺儿的作家都送去精神病院,在美国则请去做清谈节目(In the Soviet union a writer who is critical is taken to a lunatic asylum. In United States, he is taken to a talk show.)。  

34、 南非名士Desmond Tutu说:传教士初来非洲的时候,他们有《圣经》,我们有土地。他们说,让我们祈祷吧。我们闭上眼睛。我们再张开眼的时候,我们有《圣经》,他们有土地。(When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said “Let us pray”. We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.)。  

35、 最倒霉的澳洲人,始终是笑柄:长住澳洲,有点想出去参加派对,整晚只跟妈妈跳舞(To live in Australia permanently is rather like going to a party and dancing all night with your mother.)。  

36、 Around me I behold, / Where’er there casual eyes are cast, / The mighty minds of old.意译成七言该是:眼前处处圣贤书。  37、 “Adultery is the application of democracy to love.”读H?L Mencken此话,顿悟:通奸乃情场上之民主;民主乃政坛上之通奸。  (The end)

董桥的另外一本自选集《旧情解构》,感情基调似乎更加深沉,顺带着的英语“碎片”也凝重了不少。   
1、《南华早报》增刊有一篇文章谈九七回归的香港,题目大书The Remain of the Day(落日余辉,编按:台湾译为《长日将尽》)。这是旅英日裔作家石墨一雄一九八九年得奖小说的书名……杜鲁门时代的国务卿Dean Acheson早在1962年就在西点军校说过,英国丧失了一个王国,至今还找不到角色……:“Great British has lost an Empire and not yet found a role.”这话伤透了英国人的心,认为是”存心侮辱“(a calculated insult)。1976年英国财相希利削减公共开支,左翼议员大力反对,希利居然骂这些人”中国人似的小脑袋全浑了“(They must be out of their tiny Chinese minds.),引起华人社会和中国大使馆严正抗议。日落了,到处是幽深的余辉,英国人听差似的脑袋里在盘算什么?  
2、人民入境事务处处长梁铭彦突然以私人理由申请卸任,港府照准。梁酷爱看金庸的武侠小说,也是港府高官中摆得出去的(presentable)人物……丘吉尔公开挖苦政敌clement Attlee说一部空计程车开进堂宁街十号,车门一开,下车的是艾德礼(An empty taxi arrived at 10 Downing Street, and when the door opened Attlee got out.)。……正像丘吉尔说的:政治壮烈近似战争,战争中一死就了,政坛上则一死再死(Politics are almost as exciting as war and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.),可是丘翁没有坐过江西牛棚。  
3、现在的人都认为只有晦涩深奥的东西才能成为经典……海明威骂一位女作家说:She is so unreadable that people will finally believe her to be a classic.   

4、 没有经历伤春悲秋的笔,到头来是一枝天阉的笔。雪莱到死都不怕伤春悲秋:“Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar/ move my faint heart with grief, but with delight/ no more/ oh, never more!”   

5、美国一位最高法院法官AnthonyKennedy来香港最高法院演讲,吴蔼仪给我看过他的讲稿,我永远忘不了这句话:The law is a promise。It is a promise of neutrality。  

6、西方文化的精髓是: In god we trust, the rest pay cash.   

7、我突然闻到淡淡的荷香,心中浮起学生时代读《莲的联想》的哀愁。“Sometimes the details in a poem will remind me of a day I would otherwise have forgotten”。  

8、Arthur Bri**ane劝新闻记者一生俯首读莎翁(read Shakespeare all through life),还要读一些经典古籍,要新闻记者紧记歌德的话:在默默中培养才华,在世界潮流中锻炼品格(Talent is built in the silence, character in the stream of the world.)  

9、郭沫若太渊博太世故了。古之学者为己,今之学者为人(Men of antiquity studied to improve themselves; men today study to impress others)。  

10、五四运动之后,中国文人学者不少都放过洋留过学,谙外文的不在少数,真正精通而又有外文著述的似乎不太多。近日读到钱钟书1946到1948年在英文杂志《书林季刊》Philobiblon发表的几篇英文书评……好好享受了钱先生精致漂亮的英文……钱钟书评Kenneth Scott Latourette一九四六年出版的The Chinese: Their history and Culture,整篇长文详细品评了那本著作,引经据典,举重若轻,最后一段结语更是典型的钱氏笔调:  It would be invidious to mention names, but anyone who has made a close study of contemporary China will see that my picture is nearer to the fact than Professor Latourette’s. Augustin Thierry ridiculed the German conception of history as a perpetual war of ideas, and revived Prudentius’s word psychomachia to designate it. But psychomachia or war of ideas is becoming a grim reality in China as in the world at large. What makes it so damnable is that it does not spend its force and fury in mere controversies. Words lead to blows and an inky affair becomes a bloody one. Whether blood is thicker than ink, I do not know; it is certainly nastier.(我查不到psychomachia是什么意思啊,是war of ideas的意思?在Google上查,好象是一首长长的诗歌,不像是英语。这是Google上的另一段说明:Psychomachia (with an i) is the title of of a poem by Prudentius from around 400 AD It’s a Greek word, meaning ’a struggle or fight for life’. As used by Prudentius, it meant ’conflict within one’s soul’ and was used of the battle between the spirit and the flesh. ...)  

11、知识是非常难求的宝藏。写作是非常艰苦的工作。我常常想起George Gissing《四季零墨》里的一段话:Innumerable are the men and women now writing for bread, who have not the least chance of finding in such work a permanent livelihood. They took to writing because they knew not what else to do, or because the literary calling tempted them by its independence and its dazzling prices. They will hang on to the squalid profession, their earnings eked out by begging and borrowing, until it is too late for them to do anything else----and what then? With a lifetime of dread experience behind me, I say that he who encourages any young man or woman to look for his living to “literature”, commits no less than a crime.   

12、……最**是J?B?Priestley, 硬说英国人上了茶瘾是东方人慢性报复,把黄河的水绕过来往英国人的喉咙灌(Our trouble is that we drink too much tea, I see in this the slow revenge of the Orient, which has diverted the yellow river down our throats.)吃吃喝喝扯上了政治往往成了笑话。有个日本人说, MacDonald’s in Tokyo is a terrible revenge for Pearl harbour。活该!  

13、陆谷孙的那段英文是这样写的:I myself became a dictionary-maker not by purposeful upbringing but by sheer accident. It happened in 1970 during China’s Cultural revolution when I was stigmatized, judged ideologically unfit for teaching, and assigned the punitive busywork of compiling A New English-Chinese Dictionary (NEC) on the assumption that in dealing with words instead of with live persons who were my students my presumably unorthodox thinking would play less havoc, I was thus plunged into the sea of lexicography without having been first taught how to swim. Sure enough, I was all but drowned and had to learn swimming little by little----the hard way。  

14、《李鸿章传》的作者Lytton Strachey称李鸿章是“瞎子堆里的独眼龙”(one-eyed man among the blind)。史特拉奇的历史名著确是不朽的巨构,兼具深远的史识和清明的文才。他认定每一个社群里的领袖人物都是“瞎子堆里的独眼龙”。他说:But, in truth, the description applies equally well to every leader in thought or action in every community under the sun. In Europe, no less than in china, the vast majority of men are blind----blind through ignorance and superstition and folly and senseless passions; and the statesmen and the thinkers are one-eyed leaders, who see neither very far nor very many objects, but who see what they do see quite clearly。  

15、……这样的李鸿章难怪史特拉奇觉得他的弱点和他的魅力都昭然若揭,从来不轻信择善而固执,也不甘心贬精明敏锐之思为深厉浅揭之虑(His limitations were no less remarkable than his powers. He was never in the slightest danger of believing in a principle, or allowing his astuteness to degenerate into profundity.)  

16、1968年夏天,夏志清先生在校阅张爱玲自己翻译的《金锁记》,在一封给张爱玲的信上引录了无处原文和译文同她商榷。他在按语里说:张爱玲是他的平辈,出过三本英文小说,实在不敢擅自改动她的译稿。这五处译文,第四和第五最有意思,值得推敲。第四处原文是:两人并排在公园里走,很少说话,眼角里带着一点对方的衣服与移动着的脚步,女人的粉香,男子的淡八菰气,这单纯而可爱的印象便是他们身边的栏杆,栏杆把他们与众人隔开了。张爱玲这样翻译:  The two of them walked side by side in the park in the autumn sun talking very little, each with a bit of the other’s clothes and moving feet at the corner of the eyes and the fragrance of women’s face powder and men’s tobacco smell, this simple and lovely impression forming the railings alongside that separated them from the crowd.   ……夏先生结果还是重译了这一段,删去“这单纯而可爱的印象”不译。夏先生的译文果然更见顺当:The two of them walked side by side in the park in the autumn sun, talking very little, each content with a partial view of the other’s clothes and moving feet. The fragrance of her face powder and his tobacco smell served as invisible railings that separated them from the crowd.   第五处原文说到世舫、长安在公园散步遇雨:隔着半透明的蓝绸伞,千万粒雨珠闪着光,像一天的星。一天的星到处跟他们,在水珠银烂的车窗上,汽车驰过了红灯、绿灯,窗子外营营飞着一窠红的星,又是一窠绿的星。这句话完全看出张爱玲中文的功力,夏先生说“文字特别美,译文也美”:Through the translucent blue silk umbrella myriad raindrops twinkled like a skyful of stars that followed them about everywhere, and later on the taxi’s glistening window of crushed silver and as the car ran through red and green lights. A nestful of red stars flew humming outside the window and a nestful of green star.夏先生后来只改了三处:第一个字through改为upon;everywhere和and不要;flew 改为would fly。金子于是更加亮丽了。  

17、A Room with a View里的牧师说爱默生具有讲真话的美德,“了解讲真话的人真不容易”(He has the merit----if it is one----of saying exactly what he means. It is so difficult----at least I find it difficult----to understand people who speak the truth.)……我常常想到胡适先生抿着嘴微微一笑的神情:“……When dead men meet, on lips of living men.”。(这是Samuel Butler Life after Death一诗里的话:Yet meet we shall, and part, and meet again, where dead men meet, on lips of living men.)  

18、1940年夏天赵瑞蕻毕业了,他请吴宓在一部《丁尼生诗集》的扉页上题字留念,吴宓的写了几段Matthew Arnold 的Culture and Anarchy 里的名言:The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light……Culture looks beyond machinery, culture hates hatred; Culture has one great passion, the passion of sweetness and light……We must work for sweetness and light.我也读过这段话,中间还有一句是:He who works for sweetness and light united, works to make reason and the will of God prevail。阿诺德在牛津教书……我查出“甜蜜与光明”之论,典出Johathan Swift 的The Draper’s letters: Instead of dirt and poison we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax; thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light。想不到吴宓高尚生命中的最后几十年,竟在他心爱的祖国土地上活活给尘垢和毒药埋葬,再也尝不到一滴蜂蜜的甜蜜,看不到一点良知的光明。
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