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可怜的梭罗——读《瓦尔登湖》翻译(206)  

2018-03-02 16:20:35|  分类: 《瓦尔登湖》 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Many a traveller came out of his way to see me and the inside of my house, and, as an excuse for calling, asked for a glass of water. I told them that I drank at the pond, and pointed thither, offering to lend them a dipper. Far off as I lived, I was not exempted from the annual visitation which occurs, methinks, about the first of April, when everybody is on the move; and I had my share of good luck, though there were some curious specimens among my visitors. Half-witted men from the almshouse and elsewhere came to see me; but I endeavored to make them exercise all the wit they had, and make their confessions to me; in such cases making wit the theme of our conversation; and so was compensated. Indeed, I found some of them to be wiser than the so-called overseers of the poor and selectmen of the town, and thought it was time that the tables were turned. With respect to wit, I learned that there was not much difference between the half and the whole. One day, in particular, an inoffensive, simpleminded pauper, whom with others I had often seen used as fencing stuff, standing or sitting on a bushel in the fields to keep cattle and himself from straying, visited me, and expressed a wish to live as I did. He told me, with the utmost simplicity and truth, quite superior, or rather inferior, to anything that is called humility, that he was "deficient in intellect." These were his words. The Lord had made him so, yet he supposed the Lord cared as much for him as for another. "I have always been so," said he, "from my childhood; I never had much mind; I was not like other children; I am weak in the head. It was the Lord's will, I suppose." And there he was to prove the truth of his words. He was a metaphysical puzzle to me. I have rarely met a fellow-man on such promising ground, -- it was so simple and sincere and so true all that he said. And, true enough, in proportion as he appeared to humble himself was he exalted. I did not know at first but it was the result of a wise policy. It seemed that from such a basis of truth and frankness as the poor weak-headed pauper had laid, our intercourse might go forward to something better than the intercourse of sages.

(徐迟译)许多旅行家离开了他们的路线,来看我和我屋子的内部,他们的托辞往往是要一杯水喝。我告诉他们,我是从湖里喝水的,手指着湖,愿意借一个水勺给他们。住得虽然远僻,每年,我想,四月一日左右,人人都来踏青,我也免不了受到访问;我就鸿运高照了,虽然其中有一些古怪人物的标本。从济贫院或别处出来的傻瓜也来看我;我就尽量让他们施展出他们的全部机智,让他们对我畅谈一番;在这种场合,机智常常成了我们谈话的话题;这样我大有收获了。真的,我觉得他们比贫民的管理者,甚至比市里行政管理委员会的委员要聪明得多,认为大翻身的时期已差不多了。关于智慧,我觉得愚昧和大智之间没有多少分别。特别有一天,有一个并不讨厌的头脑单纯的贫民来看我,还表示愿意跟我一样地生活。以前我常常看到他和别人一起好像篱笆一样,在田野中站着,或坐在一个箩斗上看守着牛和他自己,以免走散。他怀着极大的纯朴和真诚,超出或毋宁说低于一般的所谓的自卑,告诉我说他在智力上非常之低。这是他的原话。上帝把他造成这个样子,可是,他认为,上帝关心他,正如关心旁人一样。从我的童年时代起,他说,我就一向如此,我脑筋就不大灵;我跟别的小孩子不同;我在智力方面很薄弱。我想,这是神的意志吧。而他就在那里,证实了他自己的话。他对我是一个形而上学的谜语。我难得碰到一个人是这样有希望的——他说的话全都这样单纯诚恳,这样真实。他越是自卑之至,他却真的越是高贵。起先我还不知道,可是这是一个聪明办法取得的效果。在这个智力不足的贫民所建立的真实而坦率的基础上,我们的谈话反倒可以达到比和智者谈话更深的程度。

1Many a traveller came out of his way to see me,旅行者未必都是旅行家。come out of one’s way是“离开他的路线”的意思,但译作“特地”即可。

2Far off as I lived, I was not exempted from the annual visitation which occurs, methinks, about the first of April, when everybody is on the move,我住的地方虽偏远,但仍不能免除每年一度的参观。everybody is on the move是说每年41日前后,人们都出去踏青,没有谁能宅得住。梭罗的小屋及他本人都成了一个景点,免不了被人参观。

3Half-witted men from the almshouse and elsewhere came to see me,把Half-witted men 译作“傻瓜”,贬义味太浓,可译作“智力低下者/愚钝者”。上下文里看不出梭罗如何瞧不起他们,相反,梭罗说,他们比市行政管理委员会的人聪明很多,还说与他们谈话比与智者交谈能得到更好的东西。

4all the wit they had…making wit the theme…With respect to wit…,这一节里谈到的wit,译作“机智”,过于强调“机敏”了,因为原文里谈“智”不谈“机”。

5He was a metaphysical puzzle to me. 救济院里的贫民和伐木工,他们没有多少知识学问,朴素诚实,但他们的思想却能让人学到很多,在某种程度上超过从智者那里学到的。他们愚笨却聪明,谦卑而高贵。这大概就是梭罗说的,这种人对他来说是一个令人困惑的深奥问题。

6I did not know at first but it was the result of a wise policy. 梭罗说,与愚笨之人交谈是明智的,这一点他原来没想到。

(戴欢译)很多旅游者绕道想见我,看我的房屋内部,他们的借口常常是要一杯水喝,我则用手指着湖,对他们说我是直接舀湖里的水喝的,我愿借给他们一个小勺。尽管我住得很偏远,可每年41日左右,人们都来春游,而我也免不了成为造访的对象。我可真是吉星高照,来客中居然有些特异品种,即救济院或其他地方的弱智者,也来看我,我设法让他们放松,以展现出全部的才华,让他们畅所欲言。在这种情况下,才智便成了我们谈话的主题,如此,我收获颇多。说真格的,我发觉他们比贫民管理员,甚至比城镇的行政管理员还要聪明,我认为让他们彼此换位的时机已到。

至于才智,我认为愚者和智者之间没有多大区别。尤其是有一天,有一个并不使人厌烦的大脑简单的贫民来见我,并想和我一样的生活。在此以前,我经常看到他和像他一样的人一起被人当作篱笆使用,在田野间立着,或在箩斗上坐着看守着牛和他自己,以免丢失。他以极大的朴实和真诚以及远远低于一般所谓的谦卑对我说,他“在智力方面很欠缺”。他这样说着,是上帝如此造就他的,可他还以为,上帝关照他,就像关照别人一样。他说道:“我从孩提时起,一直这样,大脑很不灵活,与其他孩子不一样,在智力方面我很脆弱。我想,这大概是上帝的意思吧。”而他本身就证明了自己的话。他对我是一个永远不变的谜语。我很难遇到一位像他这样有希望的人,尽管他的言语都那么的纯朴、真诚、实在。他越是谦卑之极,他就越显得高尚。先前我还不知道这是一个聪明方法所收到的效果。由此可见,在他这个弱智的贫民所建立的朴实而又坦诚的基础上,我们的交谈反而比与智者交谈的程度更深一层。

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