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可怜的梭罗——读《瓦尔登湖》翻译(172)  

2017-11-22 13:51:58|  分类: 《瓦尔登湖》 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Next Spanish hides, with the tails still preserving their twist and the angle of elevation they had when the oxen that wore them were careering over the pampas of the Spanish Main, -- a type of all obstinacy, and evincing how almost hopeless and incurable are all constitutional vices. I confess, that practically speaking, when I have learned a man's real disposition, I have no hopes of changing it for the better or worse in this state of existence. As the Orientals say, "A cur's tail may be warmed, and pressed, and bound round with ligatures, and after a twelve years' labor bestowed upon it, still it will retain its natural form." The only effectual cure for such inveteracies as these tails exhibit is to make glue of them, which I believe is what is usually done with them, and then they will stay put and stick. Here is a hogshead of molasses or of brandy directed to John Smith, Cuttingsville, Vermont, some trader among the Green Mountains, who imports for the farmers near his clearing, and now perchance stands over his bulkhead and thinks of the last arrivals on the coast, how they may affect the price for him, telling his customers this moment, as he has told them twenty times before this morning, that he expects some by the next train of prime quality. It is advertised in the Cuttingsville Times.

(徐迟译)其次是西班牙的皮革,尾巴还那样扭转,还保留着当它们在西班牙本土的草原上疾驰时的仰角,——足见是很顽固的典型,证明性格上的一切缺点是如何地没有希望而不可救药啊。实在的,在我知道了人的本性之后,我承认在目前的生存情况之下,我决不希望它能改好,或者变坏。东方人说,一条狗尾巴可以烧,压,用带子绑,穷十二年之精力,它还是不改老样子。对于像这些尾巴一样根深蒂固的本性,仅有一个办法,就是把它们制成胶质,我想通常就是拿它们来作这种用场的,它们才可以胶着一切。这里是一大桶糖蜜,也许是白兰地,送到佛蒙特的克丁司维尔,给约翰·史密斯先生,青山地区的商人,他是为了他住处附近的农民采办进口货的,或许现在他靠在他的船的舱壁上,想着最近装到海岸上来的一批货色将会怎样影响价格,同时告诉他的顾客,他希望下一次火车带到头等货色,这话在这个早晨以前就说过二十遍了。这已经在《克丁司维尔时报》上登过广告。

1) Next Spanish hides, with the tails still preserving their twist and the angle of elevation they had when the oxen that wore them were careering over the pampas of the Spanish Main. 尾巴在草原上疾驰,这意象到底还是滑稽了些。英语里是“the oxen… were careering”。接下来是西班牙牛皮,上面的牛尾巴还保持着原样,能看出原来牛在the Spanish Main草原上奔驰时尾巴如何弯曲而上扬。

2) I have no hopes of changing it,不是梭罗“决不希望”,而是决不指望人能改变,知道很难改变。

(戴欢译)接着托运的是西班牙的皮革,上面的尾巴还是原样扭曲着,保持着它们在西班牙本土的大草原上驰骋的角度——一种顽固不化的典型,这足以证明性格上的缺陷是多么令人绝望而不可救药啊!坦率地说,当我摸清了人的天性之后,我从不希望它有任何改变,不管是变好还是变坏,即便是处于我目前的这种生存状态之下。东方人有言在先:“一条狗尾巴可被烘烤、重压或用绳子捆牢,极尽12年之能事,它固有的形状终不可改变。”对付如狗尾巴这般根深蒂固的天性,惟一有效的清除方法,就是将它们熬制成粘胶,以作粘贴之用,我相信这应当作为它们一贯的用场。

这一大桶糖蜜,也可能是白兰地,是托运给约翰. 史密斯先生的,他是佛蒙特州的卡汀斯威尔青山区的商人,他进口货物然后卖给他附近伐木区的农夫。或许他此时正站在挡土墙上,反复琢磨着最近到岸的一些货物该如何定价,同时又对他的顾客强调,他希望下一趟送来的是上等货,其实,这话在这个清晨之前他已说了不下20遍了,还在《卡汀斯威尔时报》上打出了广告。

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