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可怜的梭罗——读《瓦尔登湖》翻译(142)  

2013-10-08 20:24:38|  分类: 翻译写作 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Shams and delusions are esteemed for soundest truths, while reality is fabulous. If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy tale and the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments. If we respected only what is inevitable and has a right to be, music and poetry would resound along the streets.When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence,—that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality. This is always exhilarating and sublime. By closing the eyes and slumbering, and consenting to be deceived by shows, men establish and con?rm their daily life of routine and habit every where, which still is built on purely illusory foundations. Children, who play life, discern its true law and relations more clearly than men, who fail to live it worthily, but who think that they are wiser by experience, that is, by failure. I have read in a Hindoo book, that ‘‘there was a king’s son, who, being expelled in infancy from his native city, was brought up by a forester, and, growing up to maturity in that state, imagined himself to belong to the barbarous race with which he lived. One of his father’s ministers having discovered him, revealed to him what he was, and the misconception of his character was removed, and he knew himself to be a prince. So soul,’’ continues the Hindoo philosopher, ‘‘from the circumstances in which it is placed, mistakes its own character, until the truth is revealed to it by some holy teacher, and then it knows itself to be Brahme.’’ I perceive that we inhabitants of New England live this mean life that we do because our vision does not penetrate the surface of things. We think that that is which appears to be.

(徐迟译)谎骗和谬见已被估为最健全的真理,现实倒是荒诞不经的。如果世人只是稳健地观察现实,不允许他们自己受欺被骗,那末,用我们所知道的来譬喻,生活将好像是一篇童话,仿佛是一部《天方夜谭》了。如果我们只尊敬一切不可避免的,并有存在权利的事物,音乐和诗歌便将响彻街头。如果我们不慌不忙而且聪明,我们会认识唯有伟大而优美的事物才有永久的绝对的存在,——琐琐的恐惧与碎碎的欢喜不过是现实的阴影。现实常常是活泼而崇高的。由于闭上了眼睛,神魂颠倒,任凭自己受影子的欺骗,人类才建立了他们日常生活的轨道和习惯,到处遵守它们,其实它们是建筑在纯粹幻想的基础之上的。嬉戏地生活着的儿童,反而更能发现生活的规律和真正的关系,胜过了大人,大人不能有价值地生活,还以为他们是更聪明的,因为他们有经验,这就是说,他们时常失败。我在一部印度的书中读到,“有一个王子,从小给逐出故土之城,由一个樵夫抚养成长,一直以为自己属于他生活其中的贱民阶级。他父亲手下的官员后来发现了他,把他的出身告诉了他,对他的性格的错误观念于是被消除了,他知道自己是一个王子。所以,”那印度哲学家接下来说,“由于所处环境的缘故,灵魂误解了他自己的性格,非得由神圣的教师把真相显示了给他。然后,他才知道他是婆罗门。”我看到,我们新英格兰的居民之所以过着这样低贱的生活,是因为我们的视力透不过事物表面。我们把似乎是当作了是。

1If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like ily observe realities only

这里的“steady”应该是“不变”,即一直观察现实,不改变。

only”限定“realities”,是说观察的只是现实。

compare with,徐译“譬喻”,戴译“比喻”,王义国译“把生活与我们知道的事情相比较”。我赞同王译。

2By closing the eyes and slumbering, and consenting to be deceived by shows, men establish and con?rm their daily life of routine and habit every where, which still is built on purely illusory foundations.

“闭上眼睛”是说无视或视而不睹;

slumbering”有“睡眠”之义,可在这里可能是说“视觉处于休眠/不活跃状态”,不能透过表象洞察事物;

consenting to be deceived by shows是说“任由表象欺骗”;

establish and con?rm their daily life是说“形成并巩固了其……的日常生活”;

still is built on purely illusory foundations是“依旧建立在纯虚幻的基础之上”,感觉应突出“illusory”一词:其基础依旧完全是幻像。

3they are wiser by experience, that is, by failure.所谓经验,其实是教训。

Oscar Wilde说:经验是每个人给自己错误所起的名字。(Experience is the name that everyone gives to their mistakes.)

(戴欢译)欺骗和困惑已被尊崇为最完美的真理,而现实倒显得荒诞不经。如果人们能凝神屏气地观察现实,不让自己受到蛊惑,那么,以我们所知的事物来做比喻,生活就宛如一个美丽的童话,宛如一部《天方夜谭》。如果我们只向难以避免和有权利存世的事物致敬,那么音乐和诗歌定会在街头回荡。如果我们不急不躁而且足够明智,我们便会领悟到,只有伟大而又珍贵的事物才会经久不息而绝对地存在——那些琐碎的恐惧和所属的欢乐是现实的阴影,现实始终是令人亢奋和高尚的。因为闭上双眼,神智不清,默认自己受到假相的欺骗人们才建立并强化了他们日常生活的道路和习俗,处处遵循它们,而这些习俗却仍是建立在纯粹幻想的根基之上的。天真嬉戏的孩童,却比成人更能清晰地认清生活的真正规律和真正的关系。成人不懂得珍视生活,还自以为聪明,因为他们阅历丰富,也就是说,因为他们的经历的失败也多

我曾在一本印度的书中读到一段轶闻趣事,“有一位王子,他幼年时就被赶出了故国的都城,被一个森林中人收养,长大之后,他一直误以为自己身属贱民阶级。他父王的一个大臣发现了他,向他披露了他的身世。他对自己的身份的误解从此消除了,他知道了自己是一位王子。”这位印度哲学家继续说道,“因受所处环境的影响,灵魂误解了自己的角色,直到一位神圣的导师向他显露真相,然后,他方知自己是高贵的婆罗门。”我察觉到,我们新英格兰的居民之所以生活得如此卑微,是因为我们的眼光不能穿透事物的外表,我们以为表象就是事物的本质。

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