一个收集癖患者的自白1
Confessions of an Avid Completist

(节选自《英语世界》2014年第8期)

文/傅惟慈  译/彭发胜

2014-8封面.jpg

傅惟慈,著名翻译家,生于1923年,3月16日在北京去世。傅先生精通英、德、法、俄等多国语言,翻译过托马斯•曼的《布登勃洛克一家》、乔治•奥威尔的《动物农场》和《一九八四》(与董乐山合译)、毛姆的《月亮和六便士》、格雷厄姆•格林的《问题的核心》等多部经典文学作品,影响巨大。

以上是《南方人物周刊》在傅先生去世后刊出的一篇纪念文章的开头部分,作为傅先生学术生涯的总结颇为简洁而中肯,照搬在此,谅我掠美。笔者多年前初学英文的时候,拿毛姆《月亮和六便士》的原文和傅先生的译文对照阅读,由于当时英文并不十分精通,多亏译笔生花,犹如直接的中文创作,不但冰释了我理解原文的困难,并且自此点燃了我对英文的兴趣。我与傅先生虽未谋面,但其译作受惠良多。此番傅先生驾鹤西去,所谓译界重大损失的套话就免了,倒是正应了他喜欢的陶诗:“纵浪大化中,不喜亦不惧。应尽便须尽,无复独多虑。”晚辈不才,英译一篇傅先生生前颇为自得的短文《一个收集癖患者的自白》作为纪念。

通读此文,作者的真性情真兴趣透过幽默的笔调,如觌面相见。如何在英文中传达此种风格和语气,是翻译成败的关键。傅先生本人很重视翻译中的风格问题,他曾指出:“文学翻译者最低限度要做到两点:一、辨识原作品的风格,体会作者的语言特色。二、译文尽管不可能重现原作的风格,但决不能破坏它,应该把一部作品的内容与形式看作一个整体。”(《牌戏人生》,中央编译出版社,2013 年版,第188 页)傅先生又说,追求风格上的“神似”是一个译者毕生的目标。这是从总体上而言的,最终还需要落实到语言细节。我联想到提出“神似”说的傅雷先生,他把翻译比作绘画,概略地从效果上提到翻译与绘画的可比性。我认为这个比喻还可以推广到翻译的过程。

在汉英翻译过程中,我们以符合逻辑(叙事、论理或流程)和语法的方式,确定主语、句子结构和信息分布。处理得好的话,可以实现现代英语一般具有的简明、流畅的风格。孔子说:“绘事后素。”只有把英文的底子打好后,才能很好体现如气息吐纳、涟漪生波般的风格效果。绘画中的“神似”最终落实于一笔接一笔的描摹勾勒;翻译中的“神似”更多落实于语言细节的前后引衬。西洋画创作过程中,画家要一笔一笔地把画布涂满,边创作边旁观,如看到有的笔触在用色与明暗上不理想,还可以刮掉重来。汉英翻译时,译者的工作与此类似,只不过用的不是手、眼与心,而是手、口、耳与心。手写或电脑录入一段译文后,要读一读,听一听,用心体会,不断调整,这儿添一点,那儿减一点,换一个单词或词组试试,琢磨其中细微的含义与风格的差别,力求首先让自己满意。实在拿捏不准的地方还是要向有文化层次的母语使用者请教。好在电脑技术的使用为译文修改提供了极大便利,而这一点与可以刮掉、重复涂抹的西洋画油彩多么相似。当然,如果语言细节斟酌还是无法传达原文风格,则需要调整句子结构,乃至更高层级的话语结构。因此,结构与细节是自上而下与自下而上的互动,并非单向的一蹴而就。

【1. 有关收集癖的英语名词甚多,但多与某种具体的收藏爱好有关,如:邮票迷philatelist;书票迷ex-librist;蝴蝶迷lepidopterist;钱币迷numismatist;贝壳迷conchologist。傅先生一生收藏爱好有很多,可谓无所不收型,英语称之为completist,据《牛津英语词典》,这是一个出现不过半个世纪的单词。这么说来,傅先生儿时落下的癖好病根当时尚没有一个准确的英语单词名之。】

十几年前,翻译英国格雷厄姆•格林的一本宗教小说《问题的核心》,读到作者描写主人公斯考比的几句话:“别的人都是通过积累而建立起‘家’——新购置的一幅图画,越来越多的书籍,一个奇形怪状的镇纸……斯考比却通过逐渐减少所有物而制造家的气氛。”译完这句话,环顾一下自己的蜗居,不由感慨万分。虽然“ 文革”中“革命小将”曾不辞辛劳地一再为我清理杂物2——第一次拉去将近半卡车外国音乐唱片和书籍画册,第二次又搬走几只纸箱,拿去我所有的译稿、笔记本、照片和一切可疑的物品,包括一轴颇有些联络图嫌疑的家族宗谱3 和一本用韦氏音标注音的字汇,但曾几何时,“文革”刚刚过去,我也甫从干校归来,我的书桌、书架和炕头却又已堆满了生活洪流滞留下的种种淤积物了。几部外文字典立在收复不久的地盘上仍有些惶恐不安,但十几本大大小小的红宝书和镶在两只镜框中的主席纪念章却高踞柜顶,睥睨一切4。我的住房当时只有两间,一间是我爱人和小女儿的卧室也兼做厨房和饭厅,另一间是我工作、休息、会客的三合一房间。不知从何时起,我爱人心爱的收集品——大小玻璃瓶和泡菜罐趁房门没关紧的时间,一个个都溜进我的屋子,在墙角和书桌下面摆开阵势。我看着这些填塞了生活空间的形形色色杂物,叹了口气。哎,为什么我不能像斯考比那样用减少而不是用积累来营造巢穴呢?

“Other men slowly build up the sense of home by accumulation – a new picture, more and more books, an odd-shaped paper-weight,… Scobie built his home by a process of reduction.” These words on the hero Scobie, are from Graham Greene’s religious novel The Heart of the Matter which I happened to translate into Chinese more than ten years ago. With the sentence translated, I looked around my small room, overcome with sensations and flashbacks. During the Cultural Revolution, the “revolutionary scouts” had spared no efforts in rummaging and clearing up my messes for me once and again – the first time half a truckload of foreign music discs, books and albums, and the second time a few cardboard boxes of all my translation manuscripts, notebooks, photos and anything dubious, including a scroll of clan genealogy and a dictionary of the Wade-Giles phonetic system. The genealogy scroll was especially liable for clandestine liaisons. But no sooner had I returned from the reformation school when the Revolution was barely ended than I found my desk, shelves and part of my bed once more occupied by various sediments left from the seething currents of life. While some dictionaries of foreign languages still looked panicky in their place newly reclaimed, a dozen of Chairman Mao’s red-covered works in different formats and two glass-mounted frames of Chairman Mao medals gallantly overlooked the whole room from their vantage point on top of the wardrobe. My house had only two rooms then, one for cooking and dining and serving as a bedroom for my wife and our youngest daughter, the other for me to work, rest and meet friends . Before I knew it, some valuable collections of my wife – glass pots and pickle basins – slipped into my room which was sometimes left unguarded. These utensils stood in file around my desk and in the corners of my room. I heaved a sigh at the sight of the multifarious goods. “Oh, why couldn’t I learn from Scobie,” I said to myself, “and build my home by reduction instead of accumulation?”

【2. 此句扬彼抑己,让一种痛苦的过往在时间的安全距离之外,变得坦然而释怀,这就是反讽的力量。翻译时采用客观化句式“spare no efforts in doing sth....”,突出了反讽的语气。“清理”如果仅译为“clear up”则无法传达出革命小将们疯狂掠夺财物的历史场景,所以添加了“rummage”一词。整句译为:the “revolutionaryscouts” had spared no efforts in rummaging and clearing up my messes for me once and again…。  3. 由于译文已经很长,直接把这个短语原样译出简直不堪卒读。所以,先简后繁,另开一句:The genealogy scroll was especially liable for clandestine liaisons. 这么做的好处是可以添加一些长词,创造出幽默的“剩余价值”。  4. 译为“gallantly overlooked the whole room from their vantage point on top of the wardrobe”,“gallantly”是增译部分,以突出幽默效果,也可以换“majestically”“loftily”等近义词。】

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〔3〕近十年的情况就不必多说了。一句话,年纪越老,沉疴越深。不仅磁带已经转换为激光唱盘,书库也增加了若干本原版美术画册,而且青少年时期曾一度害过的收集外国硬币癖又旧病复发。白天我到币市上奔走购求,晚间在灯下摩挲品玩,直至深夜。至今我已积有二百余国家地区的古今硬币。打开一本本币簿,我的灵魂8 一会儿走进埃及大清真寺,一会儿随着骆驼队跋涉在某个阿拉伯国家的沙漠里,一会儿又憩息在太平洋岛国土瓦鲁的椰树下,听海涛拍打沙岸。索马里的小铜币使我看到那里受饥饿煎熬的人民,而希腊币上的帕伽索斯神马9 又载我登上众神居住的奥林波斯山。每次翻开集币簿,我就开始一次世界性的旅游,钱币上纷繁多彩的图像为我打开一个个国土的大门。帝王元首、世界名人、大神宙斯和自由女神,名建筑和土著民族的图腾柱,非洲草原上的野生动物,农家院落里的家畜鸡禽……我不只惊叹这一件件艺术精湛的浮雕,而且浸沉到这些图像反映出的历史和文化里10。对我说来,我的搜集不啻一座文物宝库。

[3] Never mention what has happened in the last ten years. Simply, the older I become, the more inveterate my mania for collecting. Not only the cassettes give way to laser CDs and the library expands with deluxe albums of fine arts, but the numismatist heat which I had suffered from in my adolescence broke out once more in my coveting foreign coins. During the daytime I strike my fortune in the coin markets and go on to burn the midnight oil, meticulously examining my new acquisitions. Now I am proud of ancient and modern coins from more than two hundred countries and districts. Over albums of arranged coins, I or the spiritual part of me wander into the grand mosque in Egypt in one moment, or travel with a camel caravan in an Arabian desert the next moment, or readily repose under a coconut tree in the Pacific island of Tuvalu, listening to the sea waves lapping on the sands. The small copper from Somalia remind me of the people suffering from famine ; and the Pegasus on the Greek coin instantly carries me to the divine domain of Mount Olympus. Every time the coin albums are opened, I begin worldwide journeys, my entrance into made easy by the variegated icons on the coins. There are celebrities, Zeus the Great, Goddess of Liberty, famous buildings and aboriginal totems, wild animals on the African veldt, household birds and beasts in a farmer’s courtyard…. Those artifacts in bas-relief monopolize my admiration and keep embracing me with history and culture as embodied in their frontal images. For me, my coin collection is nothing less than a treasury of curiosities.

【8. 如果直接译为“my soul”形式上虽然对等,但原文并不具有“soul”在英文中的宗教意味,倒具有一种煞有介事的调侃意味,所以此处增译为“I or the spiritual part of me”。译者就此向本校加拿大籍教师Robert Smith 请教,他表示也能感受到其中的幽默效果。  9. 希腊神话中从墨杜萨的血液中跳出、生有双翼的神马,其足蹄踩过的地方有泉水涌出,据说诗人饮之可获灵感。  10. 由于此句话之前列举了许多钱币实例,为了保持叙事话题的稳定性,还应该以这些钱币为主语,所以英译时采取了主宾颠倒、变换动词的方式:Those artifacts in bas-relief monopolize my admiration and keep embracing me with history and culture as embodied in their frontal images.】

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〔5〕不久前在《文汇读书周刊》上读到周国平先生写的《玩物也可养志》,大为赞服。其中一段是:“人活世上,主旨应是享受生活乐趣,从这意义上理解‘玩物’,则‘玩物’也可养志,且养的人生之大志。因它而削弱、冲淡( 不必丧失) 其余一切较小的志向,例如权力、金钱、名声方面的野心,正体现了很高的人生觉悟。‘玩物’可能会成癖,不过那也没有什么不好。一个人能够成年累月乃至一生一世迷恋于某种大自然的或人类的作用,正说明他有真性情真兴趣。癖造不了假。有癖即有个性,哪怕是畸形的个性。有癖的人不是一个只知吃饭睡觉的家伙。相反,正如袁宏道所说:‘世上语言无味面目可憎之人皆无癖之人。’巴尔扎克说得更斩钉截铁:‘一个毫无癖好的人简直是魔鬼!’”周先生的妙文实是为收集癖患者写的一篇辩护状,叫害了这一病症的人不再为自己的乖僻行为感到那么脸红了。 □

[5] Recently I came across an amazing essay written by Mr. Zhou Guoping in Wenhui Readers’ Weekly – “Hobbies and Aspirations”. Pardon me to quote a passage from it in length:

To live in the world is primarily to enjoy the pleasures that life has to offer. The hobbies, understood in this sense, are also ways to cultivate aspirations, indeed often great ones for a lifetime. Sometimes applied to diminish and dilute – not necessarily forsake – some lesser ones, ambition for power, wealth and fame for instance, they reflect the lofty insights into life itself. The hobbies may turn into manias but that is nothing serious. A yearlong or lifelong mania for some natural or human effects testifies true interest and solid mindset. Any mania denies forgery and represents some downright personality – even if the abnormal one. A maniac does not live solely for eating and sleeping. The contrary is true as Yuan Hongdao (A.D.1568-1610) once stated, “The insipid and featureless persons are those without any hobby in the world.” And Balzac was even more firm with his observation, “A man who has no hobby is simply a demon!”

Mr. Zhou has actually written a wonderful vindication for all the avid completists. Henceforward, we are not to blush for our eccentric and outlandish deeds. 

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