夏衍《野草》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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野草

◎ 夏衍

有这样一个故事。

有人问:世界上什么东西的气力最大 〔1〕  ?回答纷纭的很,有的说“象”,有的说“狮”,有人开玩笑似的说:是“金刚”,金刚 〔2〕  有多少气力,当然大家全不知道。

结果,这一切答案完全不对 〔3〕  ,世界上气力最大的,是植物的种子。一粒种子所可以显现出来的力,简直是超越一切,这儿又是一个故事。

人的头盖骨,结合得非常致密与坚固,生理学家和解剖学者用尽了一切的方法,要把它完整地分出来 〔4〕  ,都没有这种力气,后来忽然有人发明了一个方法,就是把一些植物的种子放在要解剖的头盖骨里,给它以温度与湿度,使它发芽 〔5〕  ,一发芽,这些种子便以可怕的力量,将一切机械力所不能分开的骨骼,完整地分开了。植物种子力量之大,如此如此。

这,也许特殊了一点,常人不容易理解,那么,你看见笋的成长吗?你看见过被压在瓦砾和石块下面的一颗小草的生成吗?它为着向往阳光,为着达成它的生之意志 〔6〕  ,不管上面的石块如何重,石块与石块之间如何狭,它必定要曲曲折折地,但是顽强不屈地透到地面上来,它的根往土壤钻,它的芽往地面挺,这是一种不可抗的力,阻止它的石块,结果也被它掀翻,一粒种子的力量的大,如此如此。

没有一个人将小草叫做“大力士” 〔7〕  ,但是它的力量之大,的确是世界无比,这种力,是一般人看不见的生命力,只要生命存在,这种力就要显现,上面的石块,丝毫不足以阻挡,因为它是一种“长期抗战”的力,有弹性,能屈能伸的力,有韧性,不达目的不止的力 〔8〕  。

种子不落在肥土而落在瓦砾中,有生命力的种子决不会悲观和叹气,因为有了阻力才有磨炼。生命开始的一瞬间就带了斗争来的草,才是坚韧的草,也只有这种草,才可以傲然地对那些玻璃棚中养育着的盆花哄笑。

Wild Grass

Xia Yan

There is a story which goes like this:

Someone asked, “What has the greatest strength on earth?” The answers varied. Some said, “The elephant.” Some said, “The lion.” Some said jokingly, “The fierce-browed guardian gods to Buddha.” But nobody of course could tell how strong the guardian gods were.

All the answers turned out to be wide of the mark. The mightiest thing on earth is the seed of a plant. The great strength which a seed is capable of is simply matchless. Here goes another story:

The bones forming a human skull are so tightly and perfectly fit together that all physiologists or anatomists, hard as they try, fail to take them apart without damaging them. It so happened that, at the suggestion of someone, some seeds of a plant were placed inside a human skull awaiting dissection before heat and moisture were applied to cause them to grow. Once they started to grow, they let loose a terrific force to separate all the skull bones, leaving each of them intact. This would have been impossible with any mechanical power under the sun. See, how powerful the seeds of a plant can be!

This story may be somewhat too unusual for you to understand. Well, have you ever seen the growth of a bamboo shoot? Or the growth of tender grass from under a heap of rubble or rocks? Seeking sunlight and survival, the young plant will labour tenaciously through twists and turns to bring itself to the surface of the ground no matter how heavy the rocks overhead may be or how narrow the opening between them. While striking its roots deep into the soil, the young plant pushes its new shoots aboveground. The irresistible strength it can muster is such as to overturn any rock in its way. See, how powerful a seed can be!

Though nobody describes the little grass as a “husky”, yet its herculean strength is unrivalled. It is the force of life invisible to the naked eye. It will display itself so long as there is life. The rock is utterly helpless before this force — a force that will forever remain militant, a force that is resilient and can take temporary setbacks calmly, a force that is tenacity itself and will never give up until the goal is reached.

When a seed falls under debris instead of on fertile soil, it never sighs in despair because to meet with obstruction means to temper itself.

《野草》是夏衍(1900—1995)于抗战期间写的一篇寓理散文,赞颂小草的那种为常人看不见的顽强生命力,以象征手法鼓舞国人坚定抗战胜利的信心。文章包含的深理对处于任何困难环境中的革命者都有启发性。

注释

〔1〕 “世界上什么东西的气力最大”译为What has the greatest strength on earth,其中on earth和in the world同义,但在此句用on earth较为合适,因on earth为成语,通常用于疑问词或最高级词后加强语气。

〔2〕 “金刚”是“金刚力士”之略,指守护佛法的天神,常怒目作勇猛之相。现把它意译为the fierce-browed guardian gods to Buddha,其中fierce-browed的意思是“怒目横眉”。

〔3〕 “结果,这一切答案完全不对”译为All the answers turned out to be wide of the mark,其中wide of the mark或far from the mark为成语,意即“离谱”、“不正确”。

〔4〕 “把它完整地分出来”即“把它完好无损地分开”,故译为to take them apart without damaging them。

〔5〕 “使它发芽”的译文为to cause them to grow。也可译为to cause them to put out fresh shoots。

〔6〕 “为着向往阳光,为着达成它的生之意志”实际上的意思是“为了争取阳光和生存”,故译为Seeking sunlight and survival即可。

〔7〕 “没有一个人将小草叫做‘大力士’”译为Though nobody describes the little grass as a “husky”,其中describes … as的意思是“把……说成”、“把……称为”;husky的意思是“高大强壮的人”。

〔8〕 “有韧性,不达目的不止的力”译为a force that is tenacity itself and will never give up until the goal is reached,其中itself一词用来加强前面的抽象名词tenacity,属习惯用法。

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