Mourning the Death of Maxim Gorky
◎ Ye Zi
Maxim Gorky has exerted enormous influence on me and benefited me a lot．He is my most beloved writer.
I learned of his illness from newspapers when I was about to leave for Hangzhou for a short visit at the invitation of a friend．Deeply concerned about the ailing literary giant，I took with me two books that were my favourites among his works：Selected Short Stories of Maxim Gorky and Stories of the Grassland，believing they would afford me an insight into his great soul and teach me how to“live on”．Of course，it is not these two books alone that have contributed to his eminence，nor have I come to love him by reading only one or two of his works．Yet it has certainly done me much good to read exclusively the two books in question.
On my way to Hangzhou，I was daily on the lookout for news about him．I felt relieved whenever his body temperature dropped，and otherwise I felt worried．And the two books I was reading made me impressed with his greatness all the more.
When I learned of his death on the second day after my return to Shanghai，my heart sank．Words failed me as to how grieved I was and how inspired I was with respect for him.
His death is a loss not only to the Soviet Union，but also to all young devotees to literature the world over．No longer can we receive new instruction from him; no longer can we read his new remarkable works.
What we can do while commemorating and mourning for the great writer is to search among the works he has left behind for guidance as to how to“live on”.
The way before us is very long，and dark and arduous．His works，however，will shine permanently like a beacon to guide our advance.
(1)“高尔基是我受影响最大，得益最多，而且最敬爱的一个作家”译为Maxim Gorky has exerted enormous influence on me and benefited me a lot．He is my most beloved writer，变原文一句为两句，是译文造句的需要，也是逻辑的需要。又，汉语形容词和副词的最高级往往只是为加强语气，英译时不必照搬，上述译文就是一例。五十年代我国《人民日报》为纪念斯大林逝世曾发表社论，题为《最伟大的友谊》，当时苏联英文刊物上发表的有关译文是Great Friendship，而非The Greatest Friendship，可供参考。
(2)汉语往往不忌讳在一篇文章中词的多次重复，例如人名等。英语则习惯于用代名词或其他办法避免重复。在这篇仅约500字的唁词中，“伟大”一词竟重复出现了五、六次之多，译文均大多设法避免之，如“病着的（伟）大作家”译为the ailing literary giant，“他的伟大还不仅仅是这两本书”，译为it is not these two books alone that have contributed to his eminence，“我不能找出一句适当的话来形容我底心中的悲哀和纪念他的人格的伟大”译为Words failed me as to how grieved I was and how inspired I was with respect for him，“再看不到他的新的伟大的作品了”译为no longer can we read his new remarkable works。