You are welcome to comment on this work: 迷宫图
Thread poster: Last Hermit

Last Hermit
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Apr 4, 2004

Labyrinthine

迷 宫


 
BERNARD COOPER

 æœ¬çº³å¾·•åº“柏


 
WHEN I DISCOVERED my first maze among the pages of a coloring book, I dutifully guided the mouse in the margins toward his wedge of cheese at the center. I dragged my crayon through narrow alleys and around corners, backing out of dead ends, trying this direction instead of that. Often I had to stop and rethink my strategy, squinting until some unobstructed path became clear and I could start to move the crayon again.

我第一次见迷宫图,是在一本填色书上。我提起蜡笔,主动地领着页边界上的老鼠,朝页中心一块楔形乳酪——它的猎物走去。手中之笔,在狭小的巷子里穿插,从角角落落里绕出,再从死胡同里退出,复又择路而去。常常停步寻计,两眼细眯,直至看清前面的道路畅通无阻,方才继续前进。

I kept my sights on the small chamber in the middle of the page and knew that being lost would not be in vain; wrong turns only improved my chances, showed me that one true path toward my reward. Even when trapped in the hallways of the maze, I felt an embracing safety, as if I’d been zipped in a sleeping bag.

我两眼紧盯着页中央的小屋不放。心想,纵使迷路也不会白费心机,拐错弯只会增加我的机会——它将向我揭示一条真正的成功之道。纵使是迷失在走廊过道间,我依然像裹在睡袋里那样,安然自若。

Reaching the cheese had about it a triumph and finality I’d never experienced after coloring a picture or connecting the dots. If only I’d known a word like “inevitable,” since that’s how it felt to finally slip into the innermost room. I gripped the crayon, savored the place.
逼近乳酪时,但觉大局已定,胜利在望,为从前填图或连点成线完毕后所没有。只恨当时不懂什么“尘埃落定”这样的词,因为好不容易潜入那间位于最深处的屋子时,感觉正是这样。我于是紧握蜡笔,玩味起眼前的小屋。

The lines on the next maze in the coloring book curved and rippled like waves on water. The object of this maze was to lead a hungry dog to his bone. Mouse to cheese, dog to bone─the premise quickly ceased to matter. It was the tricky, halting travel I was after, forging a passage, finding my way.
填色书上另一迷宫,路线似水波卷起,打了许多皱摺。你得领一条饿狗去找骨头。老鼠找乳酪,饿狗寻骨头——这样的前提,我早不放眼里。我所心仪的是,疑云阵阵、一步一顿的旅程。我要闯新径,觅路向。

Later that day, as I walked through our living room, a maze revealed itself to me in the mahogany coffee table. I sat on the floor, fingered the wood grain, and found a winding avenue through it. The fabric of my parents’ blanket was a pattern of climbing ivy and, from one end of the bed to the other, I traced the air between the tendrils. Soon I didn’t need to use a finger, mapping my path by sight. I moved through the veins of the marble heart, through the space between the paisleys on my mother’s blouse. At the age of seven I changed forever, like the faithful who see Christ on the side of a barn or peering up from a corn tortilla. Everywhere I looked, a labyrinth meandered.
当天稍后,我穿客厅而过,却见厅里的红木咖啡桌向我展示了一个迷宫。我便坐在地上用手摸地板上的木纹,只见一条路线蜿蜒其中。爸爸和妈妈盖的毯子是印有长春藤花纹的,由床头一直伸至床尾,我于是用手指在长春藤卷须之间比划起来。比不了一会儿,手也不用,以目测代替。目光横穿大理石上的心形纹理,跨过妈妈衬衣上的旋涡纹图案间的空隙。年方七岁的我,整个人仿佛脱胎换骨,宛如虔诚的信徒目睹耶稣现身于谷仓一侧或在一张煎玉米饼里抬头张望那样,与先前判若两人。举目所见,到处是七弯八拐的迷宫。

Soon the mazes in the coloring books, in the comic-strip section of the Sunday paper, or on the placemats of coffee shops that served “children’s meals” became too easy. And so I began to make my own. I drew them on the cardboard rectangles that my father’s dress shirts were folded around when they came back from the cleaner’s. My frugal mother, hoarder of jelly jars and rubber bands, had saved a stack of them. She was happy to put the cardboard to use, if a bit mystified by my new obsession.
很快,不论是填色书里的迷宫,还是周报漫画专栏里的迷宫,抑或是供应“童餐”的咖啡室餐布上的迷宫,统统不在话下。我于是开始自己动手做。爸爸的衬衣,从洗衣店里取回来后都会垫一块长方形的纸皮,然后才叠起来。我便把迷宫全画在这些纸皮上。妈妈素来节俭,好收集果冻罐、橡皮筋之类,这些纸皮她就收了一大摞。对于我这一新的癖好,她虽然有点迷惑不解,但能用上这些纸皮,她却感到高兴。

The best method was to start from the center and work outward with a sharpened pencil, creating layers of complication. I left a few gaps in every line, and after I’d gotten a feel for the architecture of the whole, I’d close off openings, reinforce walls, a slave sealing the pharaoh’s tomb. My blind alleys were especially treacherous; I constructed them so that, by the time one realized he’d gotten stuck, turning back would be an exquisite ordeal.
最佳办法是从中间画起,用一支削尖的铅笔由里向外画,层层叠加,使其复杂化。每条线我都留几个缺口,等找到整体感觉后才把它们封起来,然后加固外墙,就像奴隶封埃及法老墓的样子。迷宫里的死胡同,我做得特别险象环生,等你发现此路不通再往回走时,会像走炼狱那样难受。

My hobby required a twofold concentration: carefully planning a maze while allowing myself the fresh pleasure of moving through it. Alone in my bedroom, sitting at my desk, I sometimes spent the better part of an afternoon on a single maze. I worked with the patience of a redwood growing rings. Drawing myself into corners, erasing a wall if all else failed, I fooled and baffled and freed myself.
我这一爱好需要顾及两个方面:既要精心安排,又要玩而不厌。有时候,独自在房间里,为了弄一个迷宫,在书桌旁一坐几乎就是一个下午。我这种耐心,堪与红杉树长年轮媲美。在迷宫里,我自愚,自惑,自救,常常把自己逼到角落里,实在没办法就擦掉一堵墙。

Eventually I used shelf paper, tearing off larger and larger sheets to accommodate my burgeoning ambition. Once I brought a huge maze to my mother, who was drinking a cup of coffee in the kitchen. It wafted behind me like an ostentatious cape. I draped it over the table and challenged her to try it. She hadn’t looked at it for more than a second before she refused. “You’ve got to be kidding,” she said, blotting her lips with a paper napkin. “I’m lost enough as it is.” When my father returned from work that night, he hefted his briefcase into the closet, his hat wet and drooping from the rain. “Later,” he said (his code word for “never”) when I waved the banner of my labyrinth before him.
最后,为满足我迅速膨胀的欲望,我把大张大张的衬里纸撕下来用。有一次,妈妈在厨房里喝咖啡,我把一个巨型的迷宫图拎到她跟前。那玩意儿在身后飘荡起来,仿佛一件花里胡哨的袍子。我把它摊在桌上,向她发出挑战。她连看多一秒都不看便拒不应战了。“开什么玩笑。”她说道,一面拿一张纸餐巾揩拭嘴唇。“我还嫌不够失落哇。”当天晚上,爸爸下班回来后把公文包塞进衣橱里,头上的帽子被雨水打湿掉,垂了下来。我把自己做的迷宫在他面前挥舞起来,但他却说“等一会儿”(他表示“我不”的委婉语)。

It was inconceivable to me that someone wouldn’t want to enter a maze, wouldn’t lapse into the trance it required, wouldn’t sacrifice the time to find a solution. But mazes had a strange effect on my parents: they took one look at those tangled paths and seemed to wilt.
迷宫令人如痴如醉,但就有人不爱玩,不舍得花时间去想办法,真是让我想不通。可是,父母对迷宫却有一种怪异的感觉:他们只要瞅一眼那乱纷纷的径道,就觉得浑身没劲。

I was a late child, a “big surprise” as my mother liked to say; by the time I’d turned seven, my parents were trying to cut a swath through the forest of middle age. Their mortgage ballooned. The plumbing rusted. Old friends grew sick or moved away. The creases in their skin deepened, so complex a network of lines, my mazes paled by comparison. Father’s hair receded, Mother’s grayed. “When you’ve lived as long as we have...,” they’d say, which meant no surprises loomed in their future; it was repetition from here on out. The endless succession of burdens and concerns was enough to make anyone forgetful. Eggs were boiled until they turned brown, sprinklers left on till the lawn grew soggy, keys and glasses and watches misplaced. When I asked my parents about their past, they cocked their heads, stared into the distance, and often couldn’t recall the details.
 å¦ˆå¦ˆå¾ˆæ™šæ‰ç”Ÿä¸‹æˆ‘,照她时常挂在嘴边的话,我是“意外大收获”。我七岁那年,父母亲已届中年,正在人生道上披荆斩棘,企图摆脱中年的困窘。房屋按揭猛涨,屋内管子生锈,故旧生病或搬迁。他们的皱纹变得愈加深,纵横交错,似一个复杂的网络,我的迷宫图亦为之黯然失色。爸爸开始秃顶。妈妈的头发变白。他们常说“等你活到我们这般年纪……”,换言之,往后的命运将无惊喜可言,只有以现在为起点的循环往复。接踵而至的压力和焦虑,足以使人变得健忘。蛋,煮成黑色;洒水器大开,以至草地上水汪汪一片;钥匙、眼镜、手表,不知所踪。问起他们的过去,他们便歪着脑袋,呆呆地望着远方,往往无法忆记起当时的情景。
Thirty years later, I understand my parents’ refusal. Why would anyone choose to get mired in a maze when the days encase us, loopy and confusing? Remembered events merge together or fade away. Places and dates grow dubious, a jumble of guesswork and speculation. What’s-his-name and thingamajig replace the bright particular. Recollecting the past becomes as unreliable as forecasting the future; you consult yourself with a certain trepidation and take your answer with a grain of salt. The friends you turn to for confirmation are just as muddled; they furrow their brows and look at you blankly. Of course, once in a while you find the tiny, pungent details poised on your tongue like caviar. But more often than not, you settle for sloppy approximations─“I was visiting Texas or Colorado, in 1971 or ‘ 72”─and the anecdote rambles on regardless. When the face of a friend from childhood suddenly comes back to me, it’s sad to think that if a certain synapse hadn’t fired just then, I may never have recalled that friend again. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’ve overheard a story in conversation, read it in a book, or if I’m the person to whom it happened; whose adventures, besides my own, are wedged in memory? Then there are the things I’ve dreamed and mistaken as fact. When you’ve lived as long as I have, uncertainty is virtually indistinguishable from the truth, which as far as I know is never naked, but always wearing some disguise.
三十年后,我方才明白当初父母亲为什么拒绝我的要求。一个人被生活逼得走投无路,进退维谷,正彷徨不知所措之际,又怎么会乐意困在迷宫图里呢?似曾相识的事情,不是印象模糊,便是烟消云散。时间、地点越发模糊不清,最后落得个连蒙带猜,由“那个谁”、“这个啥”来充数。对过去的追忆,仿佛对未来的预测那样不可靠;自己问自己,却有些许诚惶诚恐,终至于疑窦丛生。求证于朋友,朋友却和你一样糊涂,唯见两眼木然,双眉深锁。诚然,某些细枝末节,你偶尔会记得,它们如鱼子酱般令你一再回味,历久常新。但更常见的是,你只记得个大概,马虎充数——“1971年或1972年,我造访得克萨斯或科罗拉多州”——你顾不得这么多,依旧长篇大论地照讲不误。冷不丁地,小时候认识的一张脸重新回到脑海里,却黯然发现,若非某个神经元接点触发信号,朋友的名字,也许永远不会出现在自己脑海里。有时候,我弄不清楚故事究竟是在谈话中听来,抑或是在书里看到,还是我就是故事的主人公。这些经历,我记不牢,但谁又能牢牢记住呢?再说,有些事情是我梦中遇见,但却错当成事实的哩。等你活到我这般年纪,你会发现,疑惑与事实实不可辨。依我看,真理并不赤裸,却时常披着伪装。
Mother, Father: I’m growning middle-aged, lost in the folds and bones of my body. It gets harder to remember the days when you were here. I suppose it was inevitable that, gazing down at this piece of paper, I’d feel your weary expressions on my face. What have things been like since you’ve been gone? Labyrinthine. The very sound of that word sums it up─as slippery as thought, as perplexing as the truth, as long and convoluted as a life.

爸爸,妈妈:我已步入中年,但我却走不出这座骨肉砌成的迷宫。你们在世的日子,越来越难以记起。凝望着眼前这张纸,我感到你们那副倦容终有一日要降临到我脸上。你们走后这段日子过得怎么样?迷宫图。“迷宫图”三字即可概而括之:如思想般诡谲,如真理般困惑,如人生般漫长、曲折。


[Edited at 2004-04-04 12:37]

[Edited at 2004-04-04 12:38]


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Last Hermit
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Why are my settings lost at this forum, while remain almost intact in my Porfolio? Apr 4, 2004

They are not the same thing?

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ysun  Identity Verified
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Well done! May 1, 2004

我认为这是一篇不可多得的翻译佳作。但自它登出近一个月以来,我一直没有时间细读,故不敢贸然评论。不过,我一直忙忙碌碌,也许永远不会有很充裕的时间来细读、品味、领会其精髓,故只好斗胆提出一些不成熟的零碎意见供 Last Hermit 参考,其出发点是衷心希望此文能得奖,故相信译者不会介意。若能获奖,请让我们分享喜悦。以下是鄙人的一些拙见:

“我提起蜡笔,主动地领着页边界上的老鼠,朝页中心一块楔形乳酪——它的猎物走去。”是否可改为 “……小心翼翼地牵着图边的老鼠,朝图中心的一块……”?下文的“你得领一条饿狗去找骨头。”是否也改为“你得牵着一条饿狗….。”较为顺口?

既然此文一开头已提到“迷宫图”,文中所有的“页”均可改为“图”。下文的“页中央的小屋”似也可改为“图中央的小屋”。

“我把自己做的迷宫在他面前挥舞起来,但他却说“等一会儿”(他表示“我不”的委婉语)。”是否可改为“……(这是他“别烦我”的委婉说法)”?因我觉得这比较符合家长的口气。

“妈妈很晚才生下我,照她时常挂在嘴边的话,我是“意外大收获”。”我觉得改为“意外大惊喜”也许更好些。此外,老百姓有一个说法是“老蚌生珠”,用在此处是否合适,请斟酌。

由于我水平有限,只能从一个读者的角度提出一些皮毛意见。再说,这样的佳作本来就不需要多修改。改多了恐怕只会起画蛇添足的效果。要是我自己来译,绝达不到如此高的水平。我只会翻译“酸+碱=盐+水”之类的乏味东西,我自己翻着翻着会鼾声大作,更不要提读者了。Good luck!


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Last Hermit
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谢谢孙先生美言 May 4, 2004

Yueyin Sun wrote:
我认为这是一篇不可多得的翻译佳作。

  窃以为不然。尽管费了很大的功夫--为这篇文章,鄙人还特意读了数十篇中国作家写的散文,目的在于找到风格近似者并以此为切入点。但遗憾的是,一篇也找不到。
  鄙人以为,要翻译一篇好文章出来,首先要对原作产生感情,要同它有思想交流,否则,一切无从谈起。以本文为例,虽读数篇,但终究找不到感觉,总觉得原作不甚流畅,又或者如中国书法的一横,从开笔到收笔没有一个回笔的过程,缺乏力度,反正总觉得怪怪的。但也许是本人水平有限,无法发现个中之美,亦未可知。不过,本文的立意却很好,只不过作者的风格,鄙人不懂得欣赏罢了。为此,希望诸位方家,也从不同方面发表一下意见,包括对拙作和原作。

但自它登出近一个月以来,我一直没有时间细读,故不敢贸然评论。不过,我一直忙忙碌碌,也许永远不会有很充裕的时间来细读、品味、领会其精髓,故只好斗胆提出一些不成熟的零碎意见供 Last Hermit 参考,其出发点是衷心希望此文能得奖,故相信译者不会介意。若能获奖,请让我们分享喜悦。

  阁下之“不敢贸然评论”、“斗胆”、“不成熟”、“零碎”,教鄙人战战兢兢,而“衷心希望此文得奖”,则教鄙人惊中带喜,复又喜中带嗟。几次参赛,均落败。只好常记曾文正名言:屡败屡战^)^


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Last Hermit
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谢谢孙先生的建议。 May 4, 2004

Yueyin Sun wrote:
“我提起蜡笔,主动地领着页边界上的老鼠,朝页中心一块楔形乳酪——它的猎物走去。”是否可改为 “……小心翼翼地牵着图边的老鼠,朝图中心的一块……”?下文的“你得领一条饿狗去找骨头。”是否也改为“你得牵着一条饿狗….。”较为顺口?

  窃以为,本文通篇强调的是作者信心十足且性格独立,所以开头用了“dutifully”,后来又去向父母挑战。故不宜用“小心翼翼”。但您的“牵”字倒是比“领”字要好。谢谢!

既然此文一开头已提到“迷宫图”,文中所有的“页”均可改为“图”。下文的“页中央的小屋”似也可改为“图中央的小屋”。

  正是!

“我把自己做的迷宫在他面前挥舞起来,但他却说“等一会儿”(他表示“我不”的委婉语)。”是否可改为“……(这是他“别烦我”的委婉说法)”?因我觉得这比较符合家长的口气。

  对!但是否还有更好的?
“妈妈很晚才生下我,照她时常挂在嘴边的话,我是“意外大收获”。”我觉得改为“意外大惊喜”也许更好些。此外,老百姓有一个说法是“老蚌生珠”,用在此处是否合适,请斟酌。

  “老蚌生珠”本应不错,但本文用意似乎是说作者父母人到中年,诸事不顺,但却得了一个儿子,聊作慰藉。因而,鄙人译作“意外大收获”而非“意外惊喜”,以此反照在种种失落后的一个意外收获。
由于我水平有限,只能从一个读者的角度提出一些皮毛意见。再说,这样的佳作本来就不需要多修改。改多了恐怕只会起画蛇添足的效果。要是我自己来译,绝达不到如此高的水平。我只会翻译“酸+碱=盐+水”之类的乏味东西,我自己翻着翻着会鼾声大作,更不要提读者了。Good luck!

  您太谦了。谢谢啦!


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ysun  Identity Verified
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阁下不必谦虚。 May 5, 2004

阁下不必谦虚。我知道您是个有水平、有经验的翻译家,而且下了一番功夫。我认为翻译文学作品,无异于再创作。若不是像阁下这样下一番功夫,是难以深刻理解原文并加以表达的,因此说了一番不敢贸然评论之类的话。况且我知道很多高手也在看,如果我胡说一通,无异于是在网上献丑。我的另一出发点也是抛砖引玉,希望各位高手能发表高见。阁下认为拙见尚有可取之处,令我深感欣慰。
失败乃成功之母。唯有“屡败屡战”,才能有屡战屡胜之日。相信阁下定有金榜题名时。
至于我自已,的确不是故作谦虚。我深知天外有天,人上有人的道理。我翻译一些化工方面的技术文件也许还能凑合,因为译技术文件主要是要求准确、流畅,不需要也不允许有多少创造性。要是让我译文学作品,一定是一塌糊涂。不过也曾有人批评我狂妄,只是您不知道而已。在美国生活,如果您太谦虚的话则是要吃亏的,这是题外话了。


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Last Hermit
Local time: 04:55
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
抛砖引玉,正是鄙人贴此文的本意。 May 6, 2004

  但窃以为,在学问面前,怎么谦虚都不过分,不管你是初出茅庐之辈,抑或鸿儒大雅,学富五车之士,均应如此。唯其如此,学问方能不断有所长进。面对当下学界浮夸之风日盛之际,鄙人愿与此与君共勉:洒脱做人,虚心问学。

[Edited at 2004-05-06 12:24]


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Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:55
English to Chinese
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极其深刻! May 18, 2004

Last Hermit wrote:
在学问面前,怎么谦虚都不过分......洒脱做人,虚心问学。


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ysun  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:55
English to Chinese
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洒脱做人,谈何容易! May 19, 2004

两位高见!鄙人倒也很想洒脱做人,保持低姿态。却奈何“树欲静而风不止”,有些自以为是的小人总喜欢寻衅滋事。虽说不与小人一般见识,但有时忍无可忍,不得不以其人之道还治其人之身也。

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doer
English
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一句话 Oct 16, 2004

i was a late child我就翻译成了中国人常说的“我是个晚生子”

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