王蒙《宰 牛》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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宰 牛

◎ 王蒙

“它[1]知道的,它要挨刀了!”房东说。

纳赛尔江拿出刀来,喊一声“安拉[2],艾斯敏拉”(以真主的名义),照准牛脖子[3]飞快地一下,样子一点也不凶恶[4]。牛“哞”地一声闷叫,血喷如注,牛的眼睛在这一瞬间突然睁大,应该说是突然放出了痛苦的强光,旋即暗淡、固定,变成两枚乌溜溜的玻璃珠子。

穆斯林是严禁食用动物的血的,他把牛血放净、埋好,用了不多的时间就宰好了牛,倒挂在房檐上,开始按1块钱1公斤的价格出售了。

空气里充满了牛血牛肉的腥气。虽然用土掩埋了牛血,仍然立即引来了许多只乌鸦[5],真是不祥的鸟[6]。

这天晚上海丽琪罕熬了一大锅牛杂碎汤[7],我只觉得腥,勉强吃了半碗就不肯再吃,使房东二老颇觉疑惑。第二天一早,我腹痛如绞,腹泻如注。从这一件事上,我已经看准了自己的无用。

后来队里有一次宰牛,我也看到了,印象要淡得多。那是为了迎接夏收开镰吧,队里[8]组织了农忙地头食堂,宰牛开张。宰牛本身已无所谓,令人难忘的是日落西山放牧的牛群回村里时,经过村口宰过牛的地方,牛群彳亍不前,吼声大作,悲怆鸣叫,牛蹄踏踏不已。老乡们说,牛是闻得出味道来的,一旦“得知”一位同类归西,呼天唤地之状,令人震惊。

王蒙(1934— ),著名作家,祖籍河北南皮,生于北京,著述颇丰,1953年创作长篇小说《青年万岁》,1956年发表短篇小说《组织部新来的年轻人》,有《王蒙文集》行世。1986—1989年任中华人民共和国文化部部长。《宰牛》是他写于1991年3月19日的一篇散文,文字隽永精练。

[1]“它”指“牛”,译为The cow。英语cow本作“母牛”或“奶牛”解,但常泛指“牛”,不分公母老幼,如cow hide(牛皮)、cowshed(牛棚)、cowboy(牛仔)等。

[2]“安拉”或“真主”应译Allah,为伊斯兰教所信奉的惟一神的名称。

[3]“照准牛脖子”译为right into the neck of the animal,其中right(恰好地)表达原文的“照准”。

[4]“样子一点也不凶恶”译为without showing nastiness,其中nastiness作“一副凶相”解。此句也可译为without a nasty look on his face。

[5]“仍然立即引来了许多只乌鸦”译为flocks of crows nevertheless appeared on the scene by following up the scent,其中following up the scent作“闻着臭迹追赶”解。

[6]“真是不祥的鸟”译为O ill-omened birds!,其中ill-omened意同unlucky、inauspicious等。惊叹词O是译文中的添加词,有助于更好地表达原意。

[7]“牛杂碎汤”本可译为chopped stewed entrails of the cow或chopped stewed internal organs of the cow,均欠理想,现译chopped beef tripe stew较简练通俗,其中以常用的beef tripe(牛肚)一词概括“牛杂碎”,便于理解。

[8]“队里”应指“队领导”,故译为our Team leaders。

Ox-Slaughtering

◎ Wang Meng

“The cow is expecting itself to be knifed soon,”said my landlord.

Nasser took out a knife and shouted,“In the name of Allah!”Thereupon he plunged the knife right into the neck of the animal. He did it agilely without showing nastiness. The animal uttered a muffled moo as blood started gushing out of the cut. Its eyes, ablaze with acute pain, suddenly dilated and then turned dim and static, like two black glass balls.

As it was strictly banned among Moslems to eat animal blood, Nasser had the cow’s blood buried underground. It took him only a short time to finish the butchering. He then had the slaughtered cow hung upside down under the eaves and began selling the beef at one Yuan per kilo.

The air was full of the rank smell of the slaughtered animal and its blood. Although the blood had been buried, flocks of crows nevertheless appeared on the scene by following up the scent. O ill-omened birds!

That evening, Hailiqi prepared a potful of chopped beef tripe stew. It was too smelly for me, so I managed to eat only half a bowl. That very much perplexed my landlord and his wife. Early the next morning, I suffered from a severe stomach-ache and diarrhoea. I blamed myself for being so fragile.

Later, I witnessed ox-slaughtering again, this time at my Team, but I was no longer impressed. By order of our Team leaders, we had a temporary kitchen set up at the edge of the field, probably in anticipation of the busy season of wheat harvest. Ox-slaughtering was commonplace. But something most unforgettable happened one afternoon when a herd of cattle were returning to the village from the grazing ground in the setting sun. At the village entrance, the animals slowed down and then stopped moving ahead, meanwhile bellowing loudly and mournfully and thumping the ground again and again with their hooves. The villagers told us that the cattle had found their way to the spot by scenting out the blood of the slaughtered cow, and then lamented loudly, to our astonishment, over the death of an animal of their kind.

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