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可怜的梭罗――读《瓦尔登湖》翻译(三十九)  

2010-05-01 09:07:13|  分类: 《瓦尔登湖》 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Passing a cornfield the other day, close by a hat and coat on a stake, I recognized the owner of the farm. He was only a little more weather-beaten than when I saw him last. I have heard of a dog that barked at every stranger who approached his master's premises with clothes on, but was easily quieted by a naked thief. It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes. Could you, in such a case, tell surely of any company of civilized men which belonged to the most respected class? When Madam Pfeiffer, in her adventurous travels round the world, from east to west, had got so near home as Asiatic Russia, she says that she felt the necessity of wearing other than a travelling dress, when she went to meet the authorities, for she "was now in a civilized country, where . . . people are judged of by their clothes." Even in our democratic New England towns the accidental possession of wealth, and its manifestation in dress and equipage alone, obtain for the possessor almost universal respect. But they who yield such respect, numerous as they are, are so far heathen, and need to have a missionary sent to them. Beside, clothes introduced sewing, a kind of work which you may call endless; a woman's dress, at least, is never done.

(徐迟译)那天,我经过一片玉米田,就在那头戴帽子、身穿上衣的木桩旁边,我认出了那个农田主人。他比我上一回看见他,只不过凤吹雨打更显得憔悴了一些。我听说过,一条狗向所有穿了衣服走到它主人的地方来的人吠叫,却很容易被一个裸体的窃贼制服,一声不响。这是一个有趣的问题啊,没有衣服的话,人们将能多大地保持他们的身份?没有了衣服的话,你能不能在任何一群文明人中间,肯定地指出谁个最尊贵?斐斐夫人在她周游世界,从东到西的旅行中,当她非常地接近了亚洲的俄罗斯,要去谒见当地长官的时候,她说,她觉得不能再穿旅行服装了,因为她“现在是在一个文明国家里面,那里的人民是根据衣服来评价人的”。即使在我们这号称民主的新英格兰城中,只要有钱穿得讲究住得阔绰,具有了那种偶然的因素,他就受尽了众人的敬仰。可是,这些敬仰着的众人,人数真多,都是异教徒,所以应该派遣一个传教士前去。话说回来,衣服是要缝纫的,缝纫可是一种所谓无穷无尽的工作;至少,一个女人的衣服是从没有完工的一天的。

(戴欢译)某一天,我正经过玉米地时,就在一个顶着帽子、挂着上衣的木桩旁认出了这个农场主。比起我上次看见他时,他只是显得经过了更多的雨雪风霜,有些衰老。我曾听人说,一条狗会对穿了衣服向它主人的房屋走近的人狂吠,却能轻易地被一个赤身露体的窃贼制服,一声不吭。如果人们都除掉了衣衫,将能多大限度地保持他们的相关身份,这真是一个趣味话题啊!在人人都没穿衣的情形之下,你能否在任何一群文明人之中,肯定地辨别出谁属于最受尊敬的阶级呢?

菲菲夫人做她的环球冒险旅行,从东方去到西方。当她非常接近俄罗斯的亚洲地区,要去拜见地方长官时,她说她觉得有必要脱下旅行服装,换上较为正式的服装,因为她现在来到了一个文明的国度,在这儿,人们是凭衣装来对待人的。即便在我们这个以民主自居的新英格兰城镇中,谁如果偶然地富贵起来,穿着考究、住宅豪华,他就会随处受到众人的仰慕。可那些极尽仰慕之情的众人,人数多得不计其数,全都是些异教徒,因而还需为他们派去一位传教士。此外,衣装是需要缝纫的,缝纫可谓是一件无休无止的工作;起码,一个女人的衣装是永远也盼不到完工的那一天的。

1Passing a cornfield the other day, close by a hat and coat on a stake, I recognized the owner of the farm. 是不是在柱子旁边认出了人?上文刚说,如果给稻草人穿上衣服,人们会向稻草人致礼人们认衣服不认人。这里梭罗的重点可能在说,一根木桩戴上帽子穿上衣服我就把它认成人了。当然,我们不敢说这猜测一定正确。

梭罗的日记中记录了一件可与此对照的事:把人认成稻草人。几天前我看见耕过的田地里有一个稻草人,我注意到它这里那里都塞得不太自然,它的胳膊腿都很难看,我想,噢,他们就这么做稻草人的;他们也受不了这个样子。可是,我走过去以后,又回头一看,这个稻草人走开了里面有个活人。”(In September 1852. A contrasting incident is told in a 23 June 1853 passage: ‘‘The other day I saw what I took to be a scarecrow in a cultivated field, and noticing how unnaturally it was stuffed out here and there and how ungainly its arms and legs were, I thought to myself, ‘Well, it is thus they make these things; they do not stand much about it;’ but looking round again after I had gone by, I saw my scarecrow walking off with a real live man in it’’.

2near home as Asiatic Russia是接近俄罗斯的亚洲地区,还是接近亚洲的俄罗斯?

3in our democratic New England towns徐译“在我们这号称民主的新英格兰城中”,原文中没有“号称”的意思,到了戴译“在我们这个以民主自居的新英格兰城镇中”就更夸张了,而且“这个……城镇”与英文“towns”也不对应。

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