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可怜的梭罗——读《瓦尔登湖》翻译(120)  

2012-05-27 23:45:39|  分类: 《瓦尔登湖》 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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What is a house but a sedes, a seat? -- better if a country seat. I discovered many a site for a house not likely to be soon improved, which some might have thought too far from the village, but to my eyes the village was too far from it. Well, there I might live, I said; and there I did live, for an hour, a summer and a winter life; saw how I could let the years run off, buffet the winter through, and see the spring come in. The future inhabitants of this region, wherever they may place their houses, may be sure that they have been anticipated. An afternoon sufficed to lay out the land into orchard, wood-lot, and pasture, and to decide what fine oaks or pines should be left to stand before the door, and whence each blasted tree could be seen to the best advantage; and then I let it lie, fallow, perchance, for a man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.

(徐迟译)家宅者,不过是一个座位,——如果这个座位是在乡间就更好些。我发现许多家宅的位置,似乎都是不容易很快加以改进的,有人会觉得它离村镇太远,但我觉得倒是村镇离它太远了点。我总说,很好,我可以在这里住下;我就在那里过一小时夏天的和冬天的生活;我看到那些岁月如何地奔驰,挨过了冬季,便迎来了新春。这一区域的未来居民,不管他们将要把房子造在哪里,都可以肯定过去就有人住过那儿了。只要一个下午就足够把田地化为果园、树林和牧场,并且决定门前应该留着哪些优美的橡树或松树,甚至于砍伐了的树也都派定了最好的用场了;然后,我就由它去啦,好比休耕了一样,一个人越是有许多事情能够放得下,他越是富有。

1What is a house but a sedes, a seat? 这是问句,不知为何两译者都译成了陈述句。徐译:家宅者,不过是一个座位,…… 戴译:所谓住宅,不过是个位置,一席栖身之地罢了……

“不过(是)”可能是译“but”的,而“but”意思当为“不是”。

Jeffrey的详注本上说, Thoreau’s first written association of house and seat occurred in an August 1840 journal entry: ‘‘The rich man’s house is a sedes—a place to sit in—the poor man’s a tectum—a shelter. So in English we say a gentleman’s seat or residence, but a poor man’s house or roof.’’梭罗在18408月的一则日记里第一次提到房子与座位的关联:富人之房为“座”——可坐之处——穷人之房为“庇”——遮蔽之所。因此英语中我们说绅士的座位或住处,而穷人的房屋或顶盖。

2and there I did live, for an hour, a summer and a winter life.

这句王义国译为“而且我确实在那里住了,住了一个小时,一个夏天和一个冬天”;戴译为“于是我就在那驻足,过上一个小时,或是一个夏季,一个冬季。”两译者都把“an hour”与“a summer”以及“a winter”误作并列关系了。其实,“for an hour”是插入成分,句子的主要结构应该是“there I did live a summer and a winter life.相比之下,徐迟译文“我就在那里过一小时夏天的和冬天的生活”要好得多,虽未正中,至少没有脱靶。

这一小时,依然是梭罗花在想像上的一小时。他坐在那里,想像夏天与冬天,想像自己如何任时光流逝,如何与冬天相搏,如何看着春天来到。

3saw how I could let the years run off, buffet the winter through, and see the spring come in. 这一句中,动词“buffet”“see”是与“let”并列一级的,它们的上一级动词是前面的“saw”。表达得啰嗦一点就是“saw how I could let the years run offsaw how I could buffet the winter through, and saw how I could see the spring come in.”戴译把后面断开,独立成句(“捱过了严冬,新春转眼又到了”),尤其不妥。

4An afternoon sufficed to lay out the land into orchard, wood-lot, and pasture…… 一个下午便足以将一片土地布置成果园、林地与牧场”,这依旧说明是在想像之中。下一段第一句“My imagination carried me so far”也说明梭罗在想像。

5and whence each blasted tree could be seen to the best advantage;

句中“blasted”一词,徐译戴译作“被砍伐的”,王译作“枯萎的”。Century dictionary中解释为“deprived of leaves: said of a tree or a branch.

Jeffrey的详注本中说: A withered or blighted tree. William Gilpin, in Remarks on Forest Scenery and Other Woodl and Views,wrote: ‘‘The blasted tree has often a fine effect both in natural and in artificial landscape. In some scenes it is almost essential. When the dreary heath is spread before the eye, and ideas of wildness and desolation are required, what more suitable accompaniment can be imaged, than the blasted oak, ragged, scathed, and leafless, shooting its peeled white branches athwart the gathering blackness of some rising storm?’’

句子的意思是说这些树(雷击或风吹断的树或光秃的),从哪个角度看上去景致效果最好。

6I let it lie, fallow, perchance, for a man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.

let it lie”是说任那片地闲置而不耕种,与“let alone(放弃不管)”相呼应。

一个人的富裕程度与他能放弃多少东西成正比;或者,一个人放得下的东西越多,他越富裕。——梭罗这句很有一些名言的模样。

Ken Kifer对这段的评论也值得一引:Thoreau's conclusion comes as a surprise at the end of such wistful thinking, but it is not a surprise considering his attitude towards those "whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms."

(戴欢译)所谓住宅,不过是个位置,一席栖身之地罢了——如若它是乡野的一席栖身之地,那会更合吾意。我发现,许多可以安家落户的地方,它的境况难以尽快得到改善,有人可能以为它距村镇太远,而在我看来倒是村镇距这里太远。我会说,嗯,这儿不错,我可以安顿下来了;于是我就在那驻足,过上一个小时,或是一个夏季,一个冬季我知道,自己是如何打发了这些岁月。捱过了严冬,新春转眼又到了。这个地区将来的居民,不论他们在哪里建造房屋,都会确信那儿早有人捷足先登了。只需一个下午,我便足以将一片荒原变成一个果园、林场或者牧场,再定下门前应当保留哪些优质的橡树或者松树,让每一棵被伐砍的树木也都能物尽其用;然后,我就撒手不管了,近乎于休耕一般,因为一个人勇于放弃的东西越多,他便越是富足。

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