◎ 茅 盾 Mao Dun
◎ Mao Dun
The mountain peaks directly facing the back window of my room were veiled in fog.
The names of these mountain peaks are still unknown to me. The first night when I was there I had seen the top of the highest mountain shining with lights like a precious crown set with diamond. As there was no electric light in my room, all I could do in the evening was sit quietly in the dark and fix my eyes on the midair radiance, which reminded me of the fairy tales I had read in my childhood. Indeed, the orderly array of lights shining in three indistinct tiers one above another against a background of dark mountain peaks could conjure up, without fail, visions of the ethereal.
In the daytime, however, it was all prosaic. The five or six peaks forming the front row were about the same height. The westernmost one had on top a cluster of houses while the rest were topped by nothing but trees. The highest one in the middle had on it a large piece of barren land, like the scar on a favus-infected human head.
Now, as usual, the morning fog had shut out everything completely, including the not-too-distant wire poles.
Gradually, however, the sun managed to show through the dense fog. Yet how pitifully pale it looked! And soon it disappeared altogether, leaving the white thick fog to engulf everything and shroud mother earth.
I hate the all-obliterating fog!
Of course I hate biting wind and icy snow too. But when they are compared with fog, I would rather have the former than the latter! Though biting wind and icy snow may sometimes be a killer, yet they can also spur people on to greater efforts. O you fog! You plunge us into a state of depression and dejection, from which we struggle in vain to extricate ourselves as if we were bogged down in a mire.
About noon the fog turned into a fine misty rain like a curtain hanging still at the window. Some 30 feet away, a cloud of misty vapour prevailed, blotting out everything. The air was windless. Every now and then, the withered lotus stems in the pond in front of my door gave a sudden violent jerk as a red carp was seen splashing briskly out of the water to break the death-like silence.
I wonder if the red carp’s aberration was due to its impatience with the unbearably oppressive status quo. As for me, failing a bright sunshine, I would rather have a violent storm. I cannot endure the fine misty rain which came in the wake of the gloomy fog to linger like a curtain hanging still at the window.
②“钻石装成的宝冕”译为a precious crown set with diamond，其中set with等于decorated with，作“装饰”解。
③“引起”也可译为to give rise to或to cause等，但均不如to conjure up生动确切，因to conjure up的意思是“使……呈现于脑际或眼帘”。
④“非人间的缥缈的思想”译为visions of the ethereal，其中形容词ethereal的意思是supernatural and airy，兼有“非人间”和“虚无缥缈”之意。又，在形容词ethereal前面加定冠词the，使之成为表示抽象概念的名词。如Weed through the old to bring forth the new（推陈出新）中的the old和the new均为抽象名词。
⑤“平凡得很”译为it was all prosaic，其中prosaic等于commonplace或dull and ordinary。又，all在此为副词，修饰prosaic，作completely解。
⑥“癞子头”又称“瘌痢头”，指受黄癣感染的头，译为a human head affected with favus或a favus-infected human head。
⑦“……把什么都遮没了”译为… had shut out everything completely，其中成语to shut out的意思是“遮蔽”。
⑧“那也是可怜的太阳呢！光是那样的淡弱”的意思是“太阳光暗淡得可怜”，英译时可两句合并一句处理：Yet how pitifully pale it looked。
⑨“寒风和冰雪的天气能够杀人”译为biting wind and icy snow may sometimes be a killer，其中killer作“凶手”或“杀人者”解。此句如译为freezing weather with biting wind and icy snow may sometimes kill people，似欠简练。
⑩“红鲤鱼的规外行动”中的“规外”意即“反常”或“异常”，故全文译为the red carp’s aberration，等于the red carp’s abnormal behaviour。
⑪“既然没有杲杲的太阳”意即“如无阳光灿烂”，译为failing a bright sunshine，其中failing为介词，作“如果没有”解。