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可怜的梭罗——读《瓦尔登湖》翻译(204)  

2018-02-28 07:55:13|  分类: 《瓦尔登湖》 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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His only books were an almanac and an arithmetic, in which last he was considerably expert. The former was a sort of cyclopaedia to him, which he supposed to contain an abstract of human knowledge, as indeed it does to a considerable extent. I loved to sound him on the various reforms of the day, and he never failed to look at them in the most simple and practical light. He had never heard of such things before. Could he do without factories? I asked. He had worn the home-made Vermont gray, he said, and that was good. Could he dispense with tea and coffee? Did this country afford any beverage beside water? He had soaked hemlock leaves in water and drank it, and thought that was better than water in warm weather. When I asked him if he could do without money, he showed the convenience of money in such a way as to suggest and coincide with the most philosophical accounts of the origin of this institution, and the very derivation of the word pecunia. If an ox were his property, and he wished to get needles and thread at the store, he thought it would be inconvenient and impossible soon to go on mortgaging some portion of the creature each time to that amount. He could defend many institutions better than any philosopher, because, in describing them as they concerned him, he gave the true reason for their prevalence, and speculation had not suggested to him any other. At another time, hearing Plato's definition of a man, -- a biped without feathers, -- and that one exhibited a cock plucked and called it Plato's man, he thought it an important difference that the knees bent the wrong way. He would sometimes exclaim, "How I love to talk! By George, I could talk all day!" I asked him once, when I had not seen him for many months, if he had got a new idea this summer. "Good Lord," said he, "a man that has to work as I do, if he does not forget the ideas he has had, he will do well. May be the man you hoe with is inclined to race; then, by gorry, your mind must be there; you think of weeds." He would sometimes ask me first on such occasions, if I had made any improvement. One winter day I asked him if he was always satisfied with himself, wishing to suggest a substitute within him for the priest without, and some higher motive for living. "Satisfied!" said he; "some men are satisfied with one thing, and some with another. One man, perhaps, if he has got enough, will be satisfied to sit all day with his back to the fire and his belly to the table, by George!" Yet I never, by any manoeuvring, could get him to take the spiritual view of things; the highest that he appeared to conceive of was a simple expediency, such as you might expect an animal to appreciate; and this, practically, is true of most men. If I suggested any improvement in his mode of life, he merely answered, without expressing any regret, that it was too late. Yet he thoroughly believed in honesty and the like virtues.

(徐迟译)他只有一本历书和一本算术书,他很精于算术。前者在他则好比一本百科全书,他认为那是人类思想的精华所在,事实上在很大限度内也确实是如此。我喜欢探问他一些现代革新的问题,他没有一次不是很简单,很实际地作出回答的。他从没有听到过这种问题。没有工厂他行不行呢?我问。他说他穿的是家庭手工织的佛蒙特灰布,说这很好嘛。他可以不喝茶或咖啡吗?在这个国土上,除水之外,还供应什么饮料呢?他说他曾经把铁杉叶浸在水里,热天喝来比水好。我问他没有钱行不行呢?他就证明,有了钱是这样的方便,说得仿佛是有关货币起源的哲学探讨一样,正好表明了pecunia 这个字的字源。如果一条牛是他的财产,他现在要到铺子里去买一点针线了,要他一部分一部分地把他的牛抵押掉真是不方便啊。他可以替不少制度作辩护,胜过哲学家多多,因为他说的理由都是和他直接关联着的,他说出了它们流行的真正理由,他并不胡想出任何其他理由。有一次,听到柏拉图所下的人的定义,——没有羽毛的两足动物,——有人拿起一只拔掉了羽毛的雄鸡来,称之为柏拉图的人,他却说明,膝盖的弯向不同,这是很重要的一个区别。有时候,他也叫嚷,我多么喜欢闲谈啊!真的,我能够说一整天!有一次,几个月不见他,我问他夏天里可有了什么新见地。老天爷,他说,一个像我这样有工作做的人,如果他有了意见不忘记,那就好了。也许跟你一起耘地的人打算跟你比赛;好啊,心思就得花在这上头了:你想到的只是杂草。在这种场合,有时他先问我有没有改进。有一个冬日,我问他是否常常自满,希望在他的内心一样东西代替外在的牧师,有更高的生活目的。自满!他说,有的人满足这一些另外的人满足另一些。也许有人,如果什么都有了,便整天背烤着火,肚子向着饭桌,真的!然则,我费尽了心机,还不能找出他对于事物的精神方面的观点来;他想出的最高原则在乎绝对的方便,像动物所喜欢的那样;这一点,实际上,大多数人都如此。如果我向他建议,在生活方式上有所改进,他仅仅回答说,来不及了,可并没有一点遗憾。然而他彻底地奉行着忠实与其他这一类美德。

1Could he do without factories?梭罗在问这伐木工工厂对他的意义,对他的影响,问他没有工厂(他)行吗?徐译“没有工厂他行不行呢?”可以;戴译“假如工厂没有了,你将怎样看待?”不妥,不是“怎么看待”的问题。

梭罗接着问Could he dispense with tea and coffee?(他能不喝茶不喝咖啡吗?)也就是“没有茶、咖啡行吗?”I asked him if he could do without money(我问他没有钱是否行),问题都相似,一脉相承。戴译“你没钱用了能行吗?”好像是说“你钱不够花了”,梭罗的意思是“如果货币不存在,对你的生活有影响吗?”

2and speculation had not suggested to him any other,是说伐木工理解货币存在的理由都与他的生活相关,除此之外,思索也不能使他想出什么理由来。

3a man that has to work as I do, if he does not forget the ideas he has had,徐译“一个像我这样有工作做的人,如果他有了意见不忘记”,让人觉得“有工作做”值得自豪,偏了,这里其实是“得干活”的意思。英文是“has to work”,不是“has work to do”。另外,idea是“想法”,不是“意见”。

4if he was always satisfied with himself,他是否对自己一直很满意。徐译“是否常常自满”,“自满”一词有了不应有的贬义。

5could get him to take the spiritual view of things,徐译“还不能找出他对于事物的精神方面的观点来”, 其实是“无法使他对事物持有精神化的观点”,他的看法都太实用——simple expediency

6he merely answered, without expressing any regret, that it was too late.戴译“他则回答:‘太晚了,但一点也不感到悔恨。’”英语原文里that之后是伐木工的答语,之前的without expressing any regret是梭罗的评说,不能都放在引号里。

(戴欢译)历书和算术是他仅有的书籍,他对算术颇为精通。历书对他来说就像百科全书,他以为它是人类思想的精髓之所在,实际上,在某种特殊的限度内也确实如此。我总是试问他一些现代社会改革的问题,他从来就是很简单、如实地回答。这些问题都是他第一次听到。我问他:“假如工厂没有了,你将怎样看待?”他回答:“我穿的是家庭手工纺织的弗蒙特灰布,这布不错。”我又问:“你能不喝茶或咖啡吗?”他说道:“这个国家除了水以外,还需要提供别的什么饮料吗?”他曾将杉叶泡在水里,在热天喝起来比水还好。我问他:“你没钱用了能行吗?”他立刻证明给我看有钱是多么的方便,就好像是哲学上有关货币起源的探讨一样,很能说明pecunia(“银”的拉丁语词根,本文是“牛”的意思)这个词的词源。倘若他的财产是一头牛,他需要到商店买点针线,则每次用牛的一部分去换取自己需要的物品,那可真是不方便啊。他能为许多制度辩护,他能使哲学家逊色不少,因为他举出的理由都与他息息相关,并说出这种制度能通行的实际理由,他根本不用去设想其他理由。一次,他听到别人谈说柏拉图给人所下的定义——没有羽毛的两足动物——于是有人拿出一只已拔光毛的公鸡说:“看啦,这就是柏拉图所指的人。”他则说:“人与鸡的主要区别在于膝盖的弯曲的方向不同。”有时,他也大声喊:“我是多么喜欢闲聊啊!真的,我可以聊一整天!”

有一次,我一连好几个月没见他的人,遇见后,我问他在这个夏天里是否有了一些新见解。“天哪!”他说:“像我这样有活干的人,假如没忘了见解,那就好极了。如果有人想和你来个耕地比赛,哈呵,你的心思只会放在这上面,你只会想到杂草。”在这种情形下,偶尔他会先问我,近来有何进展。有一个冬天,我问他是否常感到满意,我想在他心里找一个东西,以替代他们所依赖的那些牧师,在生活上有更高的追求目标。“满意!”他说,“有些人对这些事情满意,又有其他人人对另一些事情感到满意。或许什么都有的人,他整天就会坐在面前有饭桌背后有火烤的炉子旁边,真的!”即使我用尽苦心,也找不出他对事物精神方面的看法,他认识万物的最高原则是:“纯粹的方便”。和动物所喜爱的一般无二,就这方面来说,事实上大部分人都是这样。假如我向他提议,如何在生活方式上有所改变,他则回答:“太晚了,但一点也不感到悔恨。”他一贯到底地信奉诚实之类的美德。

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