郁达夫《说开卷有益》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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说开卷有益(1)

郁达夫

开卷有益,是古人奖励读书(2)的一句成语。从前读到一册坏书,读后每觉得为古人所欺(3);现在多了一点智识,反过来又觉得古人的不欺我了(4)。总之,好书读了,原有所得,就是可以知道它的好处在哪里,可是坏书读了,而知道它的坏的原因与地方(5),岂不也是一得?从前孔子说的“三人行,必有我师”之意,也不一定是从正的一方面着想,反过来在负的一方面,也何尝不可以为鉴戒(6)。因此,从前是非有定评之书不读的,现在却马勃牛溲(7),一例的都想看看了,这大约总也是一种进步的现象(8)。

On“Reading Is Always Beneficial”

Yu Dafu

“Reading is always beneficial”is an old idiom first used by our ancients to urge people to do more reading.I used to blame the ancients for misleading me whenever I finished reading a bad book.Now I know better than to do that.Of course we profit from a good book because,by reading it,we know why it is good.But,on the other hand,after reading a bad book,we know all the whys and wherefores of its being bad.Isn’t that something of benefit to us too?Confucius says,“When three walk together,there must be one who can be my teacher.”However,it does not necessarily follow that one of the three is always a teacher by positive example; on the contrary,he could be a teacher by negative example for us to take warning from.Therefore,that people nowadays have taken to reading whatever books they like,trashy or not,including those already generally judged to be good or bad,is probably an indication of social progress.

郁达夫(1896—1945),浙江富阳人,小说家、散文家,中国新文化运动代表人物之一。1913年留学日本,入东京帝国大学经济学部学习,但却把主要精力投入文学方面。1922年夏毕业后回国,与郭沫若、成仿吾等组织了“创造社”,编辑《创造月刊》等多种文艺杂志,其间曾在北京大学、武昌大学、中山大学任教。1937年参加抗日救亡运动,同年到南洋参加抗日活动,1945年被日本宪兵秘密杀害,年仅50岁。在《说开卷有益》一文中,他大胆主张人们不应排斥看坏书,其用意是把坏书当作反面教材,从而提高人们的鉴别分析能力和免疫力。

注释

(1) “开卷有益”也可按原文字面直译为Open a book,and you will be benefited,但不如Reading is always beneficial (或profitable)简洁明快。

(2) “奖励读书”实指“鼓励读书”,译为to urge (或encourage) people to do more reading (或to read more books)。

(3) “为古人所欺”意即“被古人愚弄或欺骗”,现按“被古人误导”之意译为misleading me。

(4) “现在多了一点智识,反过来又觉得古人的不欺我了”译为Now I know better than to do that,其中to know better than…是英语习惯搭配,作“明事理而不至于……”或“有头脑而不至于……”解。又,to do that指to blame the ancients for misleading me…。

(5) “知道它的坏的原因与地方”也可译为to know why it is bad and what makes it so bad,但不如to know all the whys and wherefores of its being bad晓达可诵,其中the whys and wherefores是成语,作“原因和理由”解。

(6) “可以为鉴戒”意为“可作为教训”或“可以使人警惕”,现译为for us to take warning from,也可译为to serve as a warning (或a lesson)。

(7) “马勃牛溲”中的“马勃”指一种菌类,“牛溲”意同“牛尿”,比喻无用之物。因此“现在却马勃牛溲,一例的都想看看了”可按“现在不管书的好歹,什么都想读了”译为people nowadays have taken to reading whatever books they like,trashy or not…。

(8) “一种进步的现象”未按原文字面直译为a phenomenon of progress,现按“表示一种社会进步”之意译为an indication of social progress。

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