谢逸《下蛋·唱鸡及其它》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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◎ 谢 逸 Xie Yi

下蛋·唱鸡及其它

◎ 谢 逸

笼里养着两只母鸡,一只爱唱,另一只喜静。主人根据母鸡下蛋之后报唱的现象,以为所有的蛋都是那只唱鸡产的 〔1〕  ,因此很偏爱它 〔2〕  ,捉得蟑螂也专是喂给它吃。但日子一久,秘密揭穿了:原来那只唱鸡下蛋很少,而不叫的那只却一天一个,且蛋刚落地就一声不响地离开鸡窝,由那只唱鸡站在蛋边大喊大叫 〔3〕  。

闲聊时和朋友谈及此事,他以为我是言外之意不在鸡,而是在论人。其实,古人早就以鸡喻人了,《尚书·牧誓》里就有“牝鸡无晨” 〔4〕  之句。说到人,在我们中确是有很多沉默寡言的人,他们牢牢蹲在自己的岗位上,夜以继日,埋头苦干,替国家创造了大量的物质财富,为人民作出一项又一项的优异成绩。他们像母鸡一样,吞的是粗糠老菜,产下的是蛋,而且往往一声不响 〔5〕  。但也有一种人,嘴尖舌长,能说会道,自我吹嘘,滔滔不绝,像那只爱唱的母鸡一样,占着个鸡窝不下蛋 〔6〕  。个别恶劣的还窃取别人的成果去报喜称功,一点不觉得惭愧。

本来,考核一个人的成绩,不是听他唱得好听不好听,而是看他“下蛋不下蛋”。但那善于炫耀和卖弄的人,生一个蛋就唱得像是生了十个似的,只做出三分成绩就吹成十分,碰上个凡事只用耳朵听不用眼睛看的糊涂长官,自然就博得了偏爱,于是一帆风顺,扶摇直上 〔7〕  了。而那些埋头“下蛋”的人,由于他们一声不响,默默无闻 〔8〕  ,就很少为人所知,更不受重视。因此,他们既没有“蟑螂”可吃,甚至连个“下蛋的窝”也没有。

喜唱或是爱静,本来只是人的一种个性,由于是长期养成的习惯,要完全改过来也颇不容易,但是,在新长征的途程中,人的生命到底有限,而探索宇宙奥秘的道路却又那样的无限和悠长,结果一天到晚都用于高谈阔论,搞“假、大、空”,又哪有时间及精力去钻研和攻关呢?最重要的还是认真蹲在“窝”里 〔9〕  ,多为九亿人民“下蛋”。

Egglaying, Cackling, Etc.

Xie Yi

There were two hens in a coop. One was fond of cackling while the other liked to keep quiet. As it is customary for a hen to cackle after laying an egg, the chicken raiser accordingly credited the cackler with all the eggs that had been laid. As a result, he became so partial to his favourite bird that he fed her with every cockroach he caught. With the passing of time, however, it became known that the cackler had in fact laid very few eggs while the non-cackler kept laying one egg a day. Every time, as soon as the latter laid an egg, she quit the coop quietly, leaving the former standing by the newly-laid egg shouting and yelling her head off.

Once, when I chatted with a friend about this, he thought what I had in mind was not the hen, but men in general. As a matter of fact, our forefathers long ago already drew an analogy between the hen and man, as witness the Chinese idiom “No hen crows at dawn” (meaning “No woman is to usurp man’s power”) in The Book of History: Mu Shi. It is true that there are among us many who stick to their posts and quietly immerse themselves in hard work day and night, creating enormous material wealth for the state and achieving one success after another for the people. Like the above-mentioned good layer, they eat simple food, but lay eggs, often without making a fanfare. There are among us, however, another kind of people who, armed with a glib tongue, indulge in incessant self-glorification and, like the above-mentioned cackler, hold on to the coop without laying any egg. Some few even go so far as to brazenly claim credit for work that was done by others.

The proper way to evaluate a person is of course by watching whether or not he “lays eggs”, not by listening to him singing his own praises. When a braggart lays one egg, he will talk in such a way as if he had laid ten eggs. When he puts in a tiny bit of work, he will talk as if he had done ten times as much. He will naturally find favour with a muddle-headed boss who trusts his ears more than his eyes. The braggart will thus find himself quickly climbing up the social ladder. As to those engrossed in “laying eggs”, because they are reserved and content to live in obscurity they gain little public attention, let alone recognition. They are given no “cockroaches” to eat. They do not even have a “shelter for egglaying”.

It is in one’s nature to be either noisy or quiet. As something ingrained, it cannot be completely changed overnight. But life is short while the probe into the mysteries of the universe is long and unlimited. If we indulge in empty talk and trickery day and night, how can we have time and energy for serious study and tackling key problems confronting the country on its new Long March towards modernization? The most important thing is to stand fast to the “coop” and “lay” more “eggs” for this nation of 900,000,000 people.

谢逸(1917—?),广西人,为杂文作家。此文写于1980年8月间,用比喻的手法批评那些自我吹嘘、弄虚作假、骗取名位的人,颂扬那些默默奉献,不争功名的人。文章亦庄亦谐,饶有风趣,有很强的现实针对性。

注释

〔1〕 “以为所有的蛋都是那只唱鸡产的”译为credited the cackler with all the eggs that had been laid,其中cackler即the hen that was fond of cackling。又,to credit… with…意即“把……归功于……”。

〔2〕 “因此很偏爱它”译为As a result, he became so partial to his favorite bird,其中his favorite bird是“它”的意译。

〔3〕 “大喊大叫”译为shouting and yelling her head off,意同shouting noisily 或shouting at the top of her voice,但稍较强调。

〔4〕 “‘牝鸡无晨’”译为“No hen crows at dawn”(meaning “No woman is tousurp man’s power”),其中括号内的文字是译者增添的成分,起注释作用,有助于海外读者对原文成语的理解。

〔5〕 “往往一声不响”译为often without making a fanfare。To make a fanfare 是成语,作“大吹大擂”解。

〔6〕 “占着个鸡窝不下蛋”译为hold on to the coop without laying any egg,其中to hold on to是成语,作“抓住不放”解,和to stick to以及to cling to同义。

〔7〕 “一帆风顺,扶摇直上”译为quickly climbing up the social ladder,其中to climb up the ladder是成语,作to rise to power and position解。

〔8〕 “一声不响,默默无闻”译为are reserved and content to live in obscurity,其中reserved作“缄默寡言”解,content to live in obscurity意即“甘于寂寞”。

〔9〕 “认真蹲在‘窝’里”译为to stand fast to the coop,其中to stand to是成语,和to stick to同义。

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