翻译大师的博客

讲述翻 译大师学习翻译的心路历程

« 而它的 折扣居然更加多了表示增加意义的动词+n times“表示成倍地增长 »

治疗我 们每个人身上的人性萎缩症

  Hidden Within Technology’s Empire, a Republic of Letters


  隐藏于 技术帝国的文学界


  原著:索尔•贝娄 翻译:曹明伦


  When I was a boy “discovering literature”, I used to think how wonderful it would be if every other person on the street were familiar with Proust and Joyce or T. E. Lawrence or Pasternak and Kafka. Later I learned how refractory to high culture the democratic masses were. Lincoln as a young frontiersman read Plutarch, Shakespeare and the Bible. But then he was Lincoln.


  我还是个"探索文学"的少年时,就经常在想:要是大 街上人人都熟悉普鲁斯特和乔伊斯,熟悉T.E.劳伦斯,熟悉帕 斯捷尔纳克和卡夫卡,该有多好啊!后来才知道,平民百 姓对高雅文化有多排斥。虽说少 年时代身居边陲的林肯就在阅读普鲁塔克,、莎士比亚和《圣经》,但他毕竟是林肯。


  Later when I was traveling in the Midwest by car, bus and train, I regularly visited small-town libraries and found that readers in Keokuk, Iowa, or Benton Harbor, Mich., were checking out Proust and Joyce and even Svevo and Andrei Biely. D. H. Lawrence was also a favorite. And sometimes I remembered that God was willing to spare Sodom for the sake of 10 of the righteous. Not that Keokuk was anything like wicked Sodom, or that Proust’s Charlus would have been tempted to settle in Benton Harbor, Mich. I seem to have had a persistent democratic desire to find evidences of high culture in the most unlikely places.


  后来,我坐小车、巴士和 火车在中西部旅行,经常走访小镇图书馆;发现在 衣阿华州基奥卡克市,或者密 歇根州本顿港市,读者们 借阅普鲁斯特和乔伊斯的作品,甚至还有斯维沃@和安德烈•别雷®的著作。D. H.劳伦斯 的书也深受欢迎。有时我 会想起上帝愿为十个义人而饶恕所多玛城的故事^并非基 卡克市和邪恶的所多玛有何相似之处,也并非 普鲁斯特笔下的夏吕斯®想移居 密西根州的本顿港,只不过 我似乎一直有一种开明的想法,希望在 最难觅高雅文化的地方找到高雅文化的证据。


  For many decades now I have been a fiction writer, and from the first I was aware that mine was a questionable occupation. In the 1930’s an elderly neighbor in Chicago told me that he wrote fiction for the pulps. “The people on the block wonder why I don’t go to a job, and I’m seen puttering around, trimming the bushes or painting a fence instead of working in a factory. But I’m a writer. I sell to Argosy and Doc Savage,” he said with a certain gloom. “They wouldn’t call that a trade.” Probably he noticed that I was a bookish boy, likely to sympathize with him, and perhaps he was trying to warn me to avoid being unlike others. But it was too late for that.


  至今,我已写了几十年小说,而且一开始就意识到,这是个 颇有争议的职业。20世纪30年代,芝加哥 一位年长的邻居告诉我,他给通俗杂志写小说。"街坊邻里都纳闷,为什么不去上班,却见我游来荡去,修剪修剪树木,粉刷粉刷篱笆,就是不去工厂干活儿。可我是作家啊,稿子卖给《大商船》和《萨维奇医生》⑦那些杂志,"他说话 时神情有些抑郁。"他们不 会把这当作正事儿。"他很可能已经觉察到,我是个 喜欢读书的孩子,兴许会与他产生共鸣,或者他想提醒我,不要与众不同,但这为时已晚,。


  From the first, too, I had been warned that the novel was at the point of death, that like the walled city or the crossbow, it was a thing of the past. And no one likes to be at odds with history. Oswald Spengler, one of the most widely read authors of the early 30’s, taught that our tired old civilization was very nearly finished. His advice to the young was to avoid literature and the arts and to embrace mechanization and become engineers.


  一开始也有人告诫我,小说正频临死亡,犹如城郭或弓弩,已属昨日之物。谁也不愿和历史作对。奥斯瓦尔德•斯宾格勒*――30年代初 拥有最广泛读者的作者之--曾教导我们,陈腐、古老的 文明已几近末路,建议年 轻人避开文学和艺术,拥抱机械化,去当工程师。


  In refusing to be obsolete, you challenged and defied the evolutionist historians. I had great respect for Spengler in my youth, but even then I couldn’t accept his conclusions, and (with respect and admiration) I mentally told him to get lost.


  你拒绝被淘汰,就是对 进化论史学家的挑战和蔑视。年轻时 我非常尊重斯宾格勒,但即使那个时候,也无法接受他的结论,而(怀着敬慕之情)在心里对他说:你走远点吧。


  Sixty years later, in a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal, I come upon the old Spenglerian argument in a contemporary form. Terry Teachout, unlike Spengler, does not dump paralyzing mountains of historical theory upon us, but there are signs that he has weighed, sifted and pondered the evidence.


  时隔60年,在最近一期《华尔街日报》上,偶见斯 宾格勒式老调新弹。跟斯宾格勒不同,特里•蒂奇奥 特并没有将一座座令人窒息的史论大山压在我们身上,但迹象表明,他权衡、筛选、思索过相关证据。


  He speaks of our “atomized culture,” and his is a responsible, up-to-date and carefully considered opinion. He speaks of “art forms as technologies.” He tells us that movies will soon be “downloadable”―that is, transferable from one computer to the memory of another device―and predicts that films will soon be marketed like books. He predicts that the near-magical powers of technology are bringing us to the threshold of a new age and concludes, “Once this happens, my guess is that the independent movie will replace the novel as the principal vehicle for serious storytelling in the 21st century.”


  他谈到了我们的"原子化文化",观点新颖可靠,并经过深思熟虑,谈到了 "作为技术的艺术形式",告诉我们,电影很快就"可以下载",即从一 台电脑转入另一存储设备。他还预测,电影不 久会如书籍般销售。他预言 近乎魔法的技术之力将把我们引入一个新时代,并得出结论:"一旦这成为现实,我猜想,独立电影会替代小说,成为21世纪严 肃故事叙述的主要载体。"


  In support of this argument, Mr. Teachout cites the ominous drop in the volume of book sales and the great increase in movie attendance: “For Americans under the age of 30, film has replaced the novel as the dominant mode of artistic expression.” To this Mr. Teachout adds that popular novelists like Tom Clancy and Stephen King “top out at around a million copies per book,” and notes, “The final episode of NBC’s ‘Cheers,’ by contrast, was seen by 42 million people.”


  为了支持这一观点,蒂奇奥特先生指出,图书销量不幸下降,而电影 观众却大幅上升。"对30岁以下的美国人来说,电影已经取代小说,成为艺 术表达的首要模式。"蒂奇奥特先生补充道,汤姆•克兰西和斯蒂芬•金@等畅销小说家"每本书 最多也就卖到一百万册左右,"还说,"相比之下,全国广播公司的《欢乐酒店》*的最后一集,观众达4200万之多。"


  On majoritarian grounds, the movies win. “The power of novels to shape the national conversation has declined,” says Mr. Teachout. But I am not at all certain that in their day “Moby-Dick” or “The Scarlet Letter” had any considerable influence on “the national conversation.” In the mid-19th century it was “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” that impressed the great public. “Moby-Dick” was a small-public novel.


  就数量多寡而言,电影赢了。"小说左 右国民言谈的力量巳经削弱,"蒂奇奥特先生说。但我丝毫不敢肯定,当初《白鲸》或《红字》对"国民言谈"有过什么重大影响。19世纪中期,打动大众的是《汤姆叔叔的小屋》。《白鲸》是一部小众小说。


  The literary masterpieces of the 20th century were for the most part the work of novelists who had no large public in mind. The novels of Proust and Joyce were written in a cultural twilight and were not intended to be read under the blaze and dazzle of popularity.


  20世纪的 文学杰作大多出自没有大众意识的小说家之手。普鲁斯 特和乔伊斯的小说,创作于 暗淡的文化暮色之中,本来就 无意让人在大众化的耀眼光焰下阅读。


  Mr. Teachout’s article in The Journal follows the path generally taken by observers whose aim is to discover a trend. “According to one recent study 55 percent of Americans spend less than 30 minutes reading anything at all…. It may even be that movies have superseded novels not because Americans have grown dumber but because the novel is an obsolete artistic technology.”


  蒂奇特先生在《华尔街日报》上的文章,沿用了 观察家们旨在发现某种倾向的套路,指出"根据最近一项调,55%的美国 人阅读时间不超过30分钟……甚至可以说,电影取代了小说,不是因 为美国人变傻了,而是因 为小说这种技艺已经过时。""


  “We are not accustomed to thinking of art forms as technologies,” he says, “but that is what they are, which means they have been rendered moribund by new technical developments.”


  我们还 不习惯把艺术形式看成技术,"他说,"但事实 上艺术形式就是技术,也就是说,艺术形 式已经因为新技术的发展而濒临死亡。"


  Together with this emphasis on technics that attracts the scientific-minded young, there are other preferences discernible: It is better to do as a majority of your contemporaries are doing, better to be one of millions viewing a film than one of mere thousands reading a book. Moreover, the reader reads in solitude, whereas the viewer belongs to a great majority; he has powers of numerosity as well as the powers of mechanization. Add to this the importance of avoiding technological obsolescence and the attraction of feeling that technics will decide questions for us more dependably than the thinking of an individual, no matter how distinctive he may be.


  文章除 了强调崇尚科学的年轻人有吸引力的技术之外,还看得 见其他一些取向。如大多 数同时代人做什么,你最好就做什么,与其和 区区数千人一样读一本书,不如和 几百万人一样看一场电影。另外,读者只是独自阅读,而观众 却是与许多人共赏,既借机械技术之力,又得人数众多之势。不妨还可以补充说,避免技 术上落伍也很重要,而人们 总觉得就解决问题而言,不管个人有多么出众,技术要 比个人的思想更可靠。这种感 觉也很有吸引力。


  John Cheever told me long ago that it was his readers who kept him going, people from every part of the country who had written to him. When he was at work, he was aware of these readers and correspondents in the woods beyond the lawn. “If I couldn’t picture them, I’d be sunk,” he said. And the novelist Wright Morris, urging me to get an electric typewriter, said that he seldom turned his machine off. “When I’m not writing, I listen to the electricity,” he said. “It keeps me company. We have conversations.”


  很久以前,约翰•契弗⑧对我说,让他坚 持不懈地写作的是读者,那些从 全国各地给他写信的人。写作时,他觉得 那些读者和写信人就在草坪那边的小树林里。"脑子里要是没有他们,那我就完了,"他说。还有小说家赖特•莫里斯〜极力劝 我去买一台电动打字机,说他自 己的打字机都很少关掉。"不写作的时候,就倾听电流的声音,"他说,"它陪伴着我。我们可以交谈。"


  I wonder how Mr. Teachout might square such idiosyncrasies with his “art forms as technologies.” Perhaps he would argue that these two writers had somehow isolated themselves from “broad-based cultural influence.” Mr. Teachout has at least one laudable purpose: He thinks that he sees a way to bring together the Great Public of the movies with the Small Public of the highbrows. He is, however, interested in millions: millions of dollars, millions of readers, millions of viewers.


  不知道 蒂奇奥特先生如何使这些个人习性与"作为技术的艺术形式"两者相容。也许他会说,这两位 作家由于某种原因脱离了 "广泛的文化影响"。蒂奇奥 特先生至少有一个值得称道的目的:他认为 自己发现了一个方法,能使"电影大众"与"精英小众"协调起来。但是,他感兴 趣的却是几百万这个数字:几百万美元,几百万读者,几百万观众。


  The one thing “everybody” does is go to the movies, Mr. Teachout says. How right he is.


  蒂奇奥特先生说,"人人"都做的一件事情,就是去看电影。他说得对极了。


  Back in the 20’s children between the ages of 8 and 12 lined up on Saturdays to buy their nickel tickets to see the crisis of last Saturday resolved. The heroine was untied in a matter of seconds just before the locomotive would have crushed her. Then came a new episode; and after that the newsreel and “Our Gang.” Finally there was a western with Tom Mix, or a Janet Gaynor picture about a young bride and her husband blissful in the attic, or Gloria Swanson and Theda Bara or Wallace Beery or Adolphe Menjou or Marie Dressler. And of course there was Charlie Chaplin in “The Gold Rush,” and from “The Gold Rush” it was only one step to the stories of Jack London.


  回想20年代,每到周六,8到12岁的孩 子们就会排队买张五美分的电影票,看看上 个周六的危机是如何化解的。女主人 公在火车就要辗过她之前几秒钟被松了绑。接着新的一集开始了,然后就是新闻短片和《小顽童》"。最后是一部汤姆•米克斯的西部片;或者是一部珍妮《盖诺的电影,讲述年 轻的新娘和她丈夫在阁楼上的幸福生活,或是葛洛莉娅•斯旺森和蒂达•巴拉,或是华莱士 •比里,阿道夫•门吉欧,玛丽•杜丝勒 等影星主演的影片。当然,还有理《卓别林的《淘金记》,而《淘金记》离杰克•伦敦的 故事只不过一步之遥。


  There was no rivalry then between the viewer and the reader. Nobody supervised our reading. We were on our own. We civilized ourselves. We found or made a mental and imaginative life. Because we could read, we learned also to write. It did not confuse me to see “Treasure Island” in the movies and then read the book. There was no competition for our attention.


  那时候 观众和读者并不对立。没人去管我们的阅读。我们自己做主,自我教化。我们发 现或者说创造了充满想象的精神生活。我们因为能够阅读,所以也学会了写作。先看电影《金银岛》,然后再去读这本书,并没有让我感到困惑。那时候,电影和 书籍并没有为吸引我们的注意力而争先恐后。


  One of the more attractive oddities of the United States is that our minorities are so numerous, so huge. A minority of millions is not at all unusual. But there are in fact millions of literate Americans in a state of separation from others of their kind. They are, if you like, the readers of Cheever, a crowd of them too large to be hidden in the woods. Departments of literature across the country have not succeeded in alienating them from books, works old and new. My friend Keith Botsford and I felt strongly that if the woods were filled with readers gone astray, among those readers there were probably writers as well.


  美国有 一件更引人注目的奇事,那就是 我们的少数群体数目众多,规模庞大。几百万 人构成一个少数群体,根本算不得反常。但实际上,还有几 百万能识文断字的美国人,相互之 间处于隔离状态。可以说,阅读契弗作品的人,就是一 个数量大得无法藏身于小树林的群体。全国各 地的文学系没能让他们疏远书籍,无论是旧作还是新书。我和我的朋友基思•博茨福德都深深感到,如果小 树林中挤满了迷路的读者,那么其 中很可能也有作家。


  To learn in detail of their existence you have only to publish a magazine like The Republic of Letters. Given encouragement, unknown writers, formerly without hope, materialize. One early reader wrote that our paper, “with its contents so fresh, person-to-person,” was “real, non-synthetic, undistracting.” Noting that there were no ads, she asked, “Is it possible, can it last?” and called it “an antidote to the shrinking of the human being in every one of us.” And toward the end of her letter our correspondent added, “It behooves the elder generation to come up with reminders of who we used to be and need to be.”


  要详细 了解他们的生存状态,你只需办一份像《文学界》这样的杂志。一旦得到鼓励,原先的无望之辈,就会显山露水。一位早期读者来信说,我们的刊物"内容非常新鲜、非常亲切","真实、不造作,阅读时不会让人分心。"她注意 到上面没登广告,便问,"这行吗?能办得下去吗?"还将其称作"一味解毒剂,治疗我 们每个人身上的人性萎缩症。"在书信末尾,我们这位笔友补充道,"老一代 人有必要站出来提醒一下,我们过 去是什么样的人,应该成为什么样的人。"


  This is what Keith Botsford and I had hoped that our “tabloid for literates” would be. And for two years it has been just that. We are a pair of utopian codgers who feel we have a duty to literature. I hope we are not like those humane do-gooders who, when the horse was vanishing, still donated troughs in City Hall Square for thirsty nags.


  这正是当初我和基思•博茨福德期望中的"读书人小报"。两年来,刊物信守着这个理念。我们俩 是一对乌托邦式的老怪物,总觉得 对文学负有责任。我希望 我们别像那些不现实的行善者,马匹都快绝迹了,杭州翻译公司,居然还 把料槽捐赠到市政广场,以备口渴的马儿饮水。


  We have no way of guessing how many independent, self-initiated connoisseurs and lovers of literature have survived in remote corners of the country. The little evidence we have suggests that they are glad to find us, they are grateful. They want more than they are getting. Ingenious technology has failed to give them what they so badly need.


  我们无从猜测,究竟有多少独立、自发的 文学鉴赏者和爱好者在全国各个偏远的角落里生存了下来。手头的点滴证据表明,他们为 能够找到我们而高兴,也很感激。他们期 望的比眼下得到的要多,精巧的 技术并没有满足他们的迫切需求。


  英译汉参考译文:


  注释


  1) 本文作者索尔•贝娄(1915―2005)为美国作家、1976年诺贝尔文学奖得主.原文发表于1999年10月11曰《纽约时》,后收入《纽约时:作家谈写作选辑》。标题中"文学界"(the republic of letters) ―词来自拉丁语Respublica literaria, 18世纪盛行于欧美,指的是 一个由文人组成的、想象的"共和国",不受地域和国别限制,这一概 念对启蒙时代的学者影响很大。


  2) 普鲁塔克(46? -120?),古希腊传记作家、散文家,著有《希腊罗 马名人比较列传》等。


  3) 斯维沃(1861―1928),意大利商人、作家,著有《泽诺的意识》等。


  4) 安德烈•别雷(1880~1934),俄罗斯诗人、文艺理论家,著有《银鸽》、《彼得堡》等。


  5) 圣经《创世纪》第18章:上帝欲灭所多玛城,亚伯拉罕代为求恳,上帝允 诺若城内有十名义人.便不施惩罚。


  6) 夏吕斯 男爵为普鲁斯特小说《追忆似水年华》中的人物,生活堕落。


  7)《大商船》是美国一份通俗杂志,创刊于1882年,一般认 为是美国第一份通俗杂志,《萨维奇博士》是美国一份杂志,1933年至1949年发行,1964年起,杂志中 的故事先后单独出版发行,影响颇大。


  8) 斯宾格勒(1880~1936),德国史学家、哲学家,著有《西方的没落》等。


  9) 汤姆•克兰西(1947―),美国通俗小说家,著有《猎杀红色十月》等,斯蒂芬•金(1947―),美国畅销作家,著有《肖申克的救赎》等。


  10) 美国一部情景喜剧。


  11) 约翰•契弗(1912―1982),美国小说家,著有《华普肖一家》、《大收音机》等。


  12) 赖特•莫里斯(1910"―1998

  • 相关文章:

发表评论

网站分类

文章归档

Tags

Powered By
Copyright 杭州翻译公司 杭州翻译. Some Rights Reserved.

友情链接:    特区彩票网   K8彩票最新网址   K8彩票注册链接   双彩论坛   金山彩票