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可怜的梭罗――读《瓦尔登湖》翻译(六)  

2010-03-28 15:05:46|  分类: 《瓦尔登湖》 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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I have travelled a good deal in Concord; and everywhere, in shops, and offices, and fields, the inhabitants have appeared to me to be doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways. What I have heard of Bramins sitting exposed to four fires and looking in the face of the sun; or hanging suspended, with their heads downward, over flames; or looking at the heavens over their shoulders "until it becomes impossible for them to resume their natural position, while from the twist of the neck nothing but liquids can pass into the stomach"; or dwelling, chained for life, at the foot of a tree; or measuring with their bodies, like caterpillars, the breadth of vast empires; or standing on one leg on the tops of pillars - even these forms of conscious penance are hardly more incredible and astonishing than the scenes which I daily witness. The twelve labors of Hercules were trifling in comparison with those which my neighbors have undertaken; for they were only twelve, and had an end; but I could never see that these men slew or captured any monster or finished any labor. They have no friend Iolaus to burn with a hot iron the root of the hydra's head, but as soon as one head is crushed, two spring up.

徐迟译)我在康科德曾到过许多地区;无论在店铺,在公事房,在田野,到处我都看到,这里的居民仿佛都在赎罪一样,从事着成千种的惊人苦役。我曾经听说过婆罗门教的教徒,坐在四面火焰之中,眼盯着太阳,或在烈火的上面倒悬着身体;或侧转了头望青天,"直到他们无法恢复原状,更因为脖子是扭转的,所以除了液体,别的食品都不能流入胃囊中",或者,终生用一条铁链,把自己锁在一株树下:或者,像毛毛虫一样,用他们的身体来丈量帝国的广袤土地;或者,他们独脚站立在柱子顶上——然而啊,便是这种有意识的赎罪苦行,也不见得比我天天看见的景象更不可信,更使人心惊肉跳。赫拉克勒斯从事的十二个苦役跟我的邻居所从事的苦役一比较,简直不算一回事,因为他一共也只有十二,做完就完了,可是我从没有看到过我的邻人杀死或捕获过任何怪兽,也没有看到过他们做完过任何苦役。他们也没有依俄拉斯这样的赫拉克勒斯的忠仆,用一块火红的烙铁,来烙印那九头怪兽,它是被割去了一个头,还会长出两个头来的

Ken Kifer在给这段做注解时说Since it is common for writers to claim great authority based on their travel experiences, Thoreau ironically asserts "I have travelled a good deal in Concord" (a very small town) as proof of his authority.我觉得他的说法是可信的。也就是说梭罗的“我曾多次游历康科德镇”,话里有反讽之意,即“见可谓多识可谓广,话应当有说服力吧”。

把“office”译为“公事房”,很有点古雅之味,这也许是徐迟先生所有意追求的。下文的“便是……”也是一例。“从事”一词也略正式,用“干”或“做”更好些,只是在某种程度上换成一个音节的词可能会破坏文章的节奏。

英语中放在句尾的“in a thousand remarkable ways”是强调苦役的种类之多,且应该是虚指,而不是说恰好有一千种。译为“成千种”仍嫌具体了些。

while”译为“而”即可,不是“更”。

“扭转的”“胃囊”措词还可推敲锤炼些。

英语中“chained for life”从过去分词里看不出做“chain”动作的是自己还是他人,或者说原文没有这个强调。

也不见得……更不可信”,这两个“不”字有点拗口,可调整一下。

把“trifling”译为“不算一回事”不妥。应该是“微不足道”“小事一桩”。

与赫拉克勒斯相比,乡邻们既没有耀人的成就,也没有做完的时候。也没有人帮忙。一件活干完,又出来两件。这最后一句梭罗既说怪兽的头,又指人们做的苦役,两层意思都照顾到最好。Ken Kifer的注释里也这么说:In comparing his neighbors' efforts to Hercules' (considered the most difficult feats in mythology), he says (using hyperbole) that his neighbors have the harder tasks, because Hercules received help, eventually finished, and had accomplishments to show for his efforts, but as soon as his townspeople finish one job, two others appear.

戴欢译我曾游历了康科德的许多地方,所到之处,涉足店堂、办公处所、田园等处,均可见到居民们好像以成百上千种引人注目的方式在干着悔过的苦差事。我就曾耳闻婆罗门教的信徒打坐在四堆熊熊烈焰之中,仰面望着太阳,或在烈焰之上脑袋朝下身体倒悬;或是扭头凝视天堂,“直到他们身体僵直无法恢复自然的形体,此时脖子是扭曲的,于是除了液体之外其他食物均不能包容在胃囊之中”;或者在一个树下,被锁链拴住,一生不可解脱;或者如毛毛虫一样,用他们的尺寸之躯来丈量庞大帝国的宽广疆域;或者独腿站立在立柱的顶端之上—这些有意为之的苦差真是骇人听闻。但是我平素司空见惯的景象与他们相比,却有过之而无不及。即使是希腊神话中的头号大英雄赫拉克勒斯受命从事的12件苦役,与我乡邻所承受的苦役相比,也是小菜一碟。因为12件苦役完成之后就不会再有了;可是,我从未见过我的那些乡邻斩杀或猎获过任何妖魔鬼怪,他们的苦役可是永难完成的。他们也没有像伊俄拉斯这样的赫拉克勒斯的密友相伴,用一块红通通的铁,来灼烧九头蛇怪许德拉被断头的颈根以防它被砍掉一个头,在原处再生出两个头来

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