冰心《话说短文》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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话说短文

◎ 冰心

也许是我的精、气、神都不足吧 〔42〕  ,不但自己写不出长的东西,我读一本刊物时,也总是先挑短的看,不论是小说、散文或是其他的文学形式,最后才看长的。

我总觉得,凡是为了非倾吐不可而写的作品,都是充满了真情实感的。反之,只是为写作而写作,如 〔43〕  上之为应付编辑朋友 〔44〕  ,下之为多拿稿费,这类文章大都是尽量地往长里写,结果是即便有一点点的感情,也被冲洗到水分太多 〔45〕  、淡而无味的地步。

当由一个人物,一桩事迹,一幅画面而发生的真情实感,向你袭来的时候,它就像一根扎到你心尖上 〔46〕  的长针,一阵卷到你面前的怒潮,你只能用最真切、最简练的文字,才能描画出你心尖上的那一阵剧痛和你面前的那一霎惊惶!

我们伟大的祖国,是有写短文的文学传统的 〔47〕  。那部包括上下数千年的《古文观止》,“上起东周,下迄明末,共选辑文章220篇”有几篇是长的 〔48〕  ?如杜牧的《阿房宫赋》,韩愈的《祭十二郎文》 〔49〕  等等,哪一篇不是短而充满了真情实感?今人的巴金的《随感录》,不也是一个实例吗 〔50〕  ?

A Chat about Short Essays

◎ Bing Xin

Perhaps due to my failing energies, not only have I refrained from writing anything long, but also, in reading a magazine, for example, I usually finish its shorter pieces of writing first, be they fiction, prose or any other forms of literature, before going on to the longer ones.

I always believe that anything written with an irresistible inner urge to unbosom oneself must be full of genuine feelings. On the contrary, if one writes simply for the sake of writing — say, to humour one’s editor-friends, or worse still, to earn more remuneration, one will most probably make his writings unnecessarily long until they become, despite what little feelings they may contain, inflated and wishy-washy.

When true emotions aroused by a person, an event or a scene come upon you like a pin pricking your heart or an angry tide surging threateningly before you, all you can do is use the most vivid and succinct language to describe the severe pain in your heart or the momentary feeling of panic caused by the angry tide.

Our great motherland is known for its literary tradition of short essays. Do you find anything unduely long in A Treasury of Best Ancient Chinese Prose with its 220 essays selected from a period of several thousand years in ancient China from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty down until the end of the Ming Dynasty? Aren’t the essays in it, like Du Mu’s Rhapsody on Epang Palace and Han Yu’s An Elegiac Address to My Nephew Shi’erlang, all short and yet full of true feelings? Isn’t A Collection of Random Thoughts by Ba Jin, our contemporary, another like example of pithy writing?

《话说短文》是冰心写于1988年1月的随笔。作者一针见血地指出“为写作而写作”的不正之风以及崇尚长文的时弊。

注释

〔42〕 “也许是我的精、气、神都不足吧”也可译为Perhaps due to deficiency in my mental and physical energy,但不如Perhaps due to my failing energies简洁。“精、气、神”在文中显得俏皮,意即“精力”,故译energies即可。
〔43〕 “如”即“比如说”,译为say。英语中举例时常用say这个字,和forexample同义。
〔44〕 “为应付编辑朋友”的意思是“迁就编辑朋友之约或要求”,故译为to humour one’s editor friends。英语to humour作“迁就”(to gratify by compliance)解。
〔45〕 “也被冲洗到水分太多”意即“变得夸张空洞”,故译为become inflated。
〔46〕 “你心尖上”即“你的内心深处”或“你的心头”,译为your heart即可,不宜按字面译为the tip of your heart。
〔47〕 “我们伟大的祖国,是有写短文的文学传统的”也可译为Our great motherland has a literary tradition of short essays,但不如Our great motherland is known for its literary tradition of short essays灵活顺口。
〔48〕 “……有几篇是长的?”译为Do you find anything unduely long…,其中unduely是添加成分,作“不适当地”或“过分地”解,原文虽无其词而有其意。
〔49〕 “《祭十二郎文》”译为An Elegiac Address to My Nephew Shi’erlang,其中My Nephew是为交待“十二郎”何许人而添加的成分,有助于读者的理解,属释义性译文。
〔50〕 “……不也是一个实例吗?”译为Isn’t … another like example of pithy writing?其中like和of pithy writing均为添加成分,原文虽无其词而有其意。

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