张岱,累世显宦文艺之家造就的一代奇才,其《自为墓志铭》可谓是千古奇文,如行云流水,蜿蜒曲折,诡谲怪诞。他自曝其癖其疵又超然物外,是避世玩世傲世愤世刺世?是自嘲自贬自悔自夸自诩?皆不全面!张岱自己下了断语:必也寻三外野人,方晓我之终曲。此等文风,加之嵌入的对联、迭出的骈句、密集的典故和隐藏其间的心曲,能否用英语传达?请看赵彦春译文使用了何种技法。

 

 

蜀人张岱,陶庵其号也。少为纨绔子弟,极爱繁华,好精舍,好美婢,好娈童,好鲜衣,好美食,好骏马,好华灯,好烟火,好梨园,好鼓吹,好古董,好花鸟,兼以茶淫橘虐,书蠹诗魔,劳碌半生,皆成梦幻。年至五十,国破家亡,避迹山居。所存者,破床碎几,折鼎病琴,与残书数帙,缺砚一方而已。布衣疏莨,常至断炊。回首二十年前,真如隔世。  

常自评之,有七不可解。向以韦布而上拟公侯,今以世家而下同乞丐,如此则贵贱紊矣,不可解一。产不及中人,而欲齐驱金谷,世颇多捷径,而独株守於陵,如此则贫富舛矣,不可解二。以书生而践戎马之场,以将军而翻文章之府,如此则文武错矣,不可解三。上陪玉皇大帝而不谄,下陪悲田院乞儿而不骄,如此则尊卑溷矣,不可解四。弱则唾面而肯自干,强则单骑而能赴敌,如此则宽猛背矣,不可解五。夺利争名,甘居人后,观场游戏,肯让人先?如此则缓急谬矣,不可解六。博弈樗蒲,则不知胜负,啜茶尝水,是能辨渑、淄,如此则智愚杂矣,不可解七。有此七不可解,自且不解,安望人解?故称之以富贵人可,称之以贫贱人亦可;称之以智慧人可,称之以愚蠢人亦可;称之以强项人可,称之以柔弱人亦可;称之以卞急人可,称之以懒散人亦可。学书不成,学剑不成,学节义不成,学文章不成,学仙学佛,学农学圃,俱不成。任世人呼之为败子,为废物,为顽民,为钝秀才,为瞌睡汉,为死老魅也已矣。 

初字宗子,人称石公,即字石公。好著书,其所成者,有《石匮书》《张氏家谱》《义烈传》《琅嬛文集》《明易》《大易用》《史阙》《四书遇》《梦忆》《说铃》《昌谷解》《快园道古》《傒囊十集》《西湖梦寻》《一卷冰雪文》行世。生于万历丁酉八月二十五日卯时,鲁国相大涤翁之树子也,母曰陶宜人。幼多痰疾,养于外大母马太夫人者十年。外太祖云谷公宦两广,藏生黄丸盈数麓,自余囡地以至十有六岁,食尽之而厥疾始廖。六岁时,大父雨若翁携余之武林,遇眉公先生跨一角鹿,为钱塘游客,对大父曰:“闻文孙善属对,吾面试之。”指屏上《李白骑鲸图》曰:“太白骑鲸,采石江边捞夜月。”余应曰:“眉公跨鹿,钱塘县里打秋风。”眉公大笑,起跃曰:“那得灵隽若此!吾小友也。”欲进余以千秋之业,岂料余之一事无成也哉!

甲申以后,悠悠忽忽,既不能觅死,又不能聊生,白发婆娑,犹视息人世。恐一旦溘先朝露,与草木同腐,因思古人如王无功、陶靖节、徐文长皆自作墓铭,余亦效颦为之。甫构思,觉人与文俱不佳,辍笔者再。虽然,第言吾之癖错,则亦可传也已。曾营生圹于项王里之鸡头山,友人李研斋题其圹曰:“呜呼有明著述鸿儒陶庵张长公之圹。”伯鸾,高士,冢近要离,余故有取于项里也。明年,年跻七十,死与葬其日月尚不知也,故不书。铭曰:穷石崇,斗金石。盲卞和,献荆玉。老廉颇,战涿鹿。赝龙门,开史局。馋东坡,饿孤竹。五羖大夫,焉能自鬻?空学陶潜,枉希梅福。必也寻三外野人,方晓我之终曲。

               

   Zhang Dai’s Epitaph by Himself

 

Zhang Dai from Sichuan, alias Potter Villa, was a fop when young, given to luxuries, loving fabulous housing, beautiful concubines, cute catamites, gay clothing, yummy delicacies, fine horses, glaring lights as well as stages, musical instruments, antiques, bets and pets, so on and so forth while loafing around, sipping tea or playing chess, addicted to books and poetry. Half a life of pain ends up with a dream vain. At the age of fifty, he withdrew to hills when his country was conquered and family ruined. He had few things with him: a bed and a desk worn out, a cauldron and a lute broken, fragments of books dogeared and an ink slab short of an edge. He had to manage with plain clothing and poor vegetables and from time to time ran out of food. It was totally a different world from what it was twenty years before.

He often murmured to himself: I’ve seven puzzles. People used to rise from poverty to peerage but now they fall like a beggar from nobility. What a disorder of ranks. That’s the first. Those having a low income want to live like a baron while those having short cuts to prominence live as a hermit in hills. What a disarray of status. That’s the second. A scholar goes up to a battlefield while a general turns out to be a man of letters. What a derangement of positions. That’s the third. One sits with a deity without flattery and goes with a beggar without pride, hence a blurring of dignity and humility. That’s the fourth. The weakly leave spits on their faces to dry while the strong gallop their steeds to war, hence a distinction of strength. That’s the fifth. Sometimes one strives for fame and interests; sometimes he is willing to lag behind. Does one play a game to lose? Such is a confusion of haste and laxity. That’s the sixth. When playing chess or gambling, one does not know what winning or losing is; when sipping tea one knows from which river the water has been got, the Min or the Zi. What a jumble of wits. That’s the seventh. These seven puzzles he could not solve. How could he expect others to solve them? Therefore, you may say he was rich and noble or poor and low; you may say he was wise or stupid; you may say he was strong or weak; you may say he was diligent or lazy. He failed to be a calligrapher, to be a swordsman, to be a moralist, to be a literatus, to be a Buddhist or to be agardener. He failed in all. You may call him a loser, a scum, a ruffian, a sluggard, a snorer or a good-for-nothing.

I was first called Root, then Mason, hence Mason by nickname. I was good at writing, having come out with The Book of Stone Cask, Genealogy of the Zhangs’, Martyrs, A Collection of Holy Library, Elucidation of the Changes, The Use of the Changes, A Discovery of History, Encountering Four Books, Dreaming, A Tale of the Bell, On Flushing Dale, A Garden Tale of the Past, Ten Volumes of theSeducing Sprite, Seeking a Dream on West Lake and A Volume of Ice and Snow. I was born on the early morning of Twenty Fifth Day of the Eighth Moon, Dingyou Year (1597) of Wanli’s Reign, son of premier Grand Washer of the Lu State and his wife called Potter Good. As a child I was inflicted with a phlegmatic disease and was reared by Lady Ma, my great great granny, for ten years. Then, my great-great grandfather, the governor of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces, had a few trunks of cow-bezoar bolus that I took all, as I lived there for sixteen years, and I was cured of the disease. When I was six, my grandfather took me to Martial Woods and came across Mr. High Brow riding a reindeer, who was a visitor to River Qiantang. He asked Grandfather, “I hear your grandson is good at writing couplets. May I have a try on him?” He pointed at Li Po Riding a Whale, a picture on a screen, saying: “Riding a whale, Li Po fished for the moon on the river.” I replied: “Driving a deer, High Brow blew to the wind in the county.” High Brow burst into laughter with a jump: “What a prodigy! He’s my little friend.” He expected me to be a great success, however, I turned out to be nothing!

After the year of Jiashen (1644), I was idle, unable to end my life or to survive well, gray hair waving, a walking corpse in the world. I was afraid I might kick off one day, left to rot like grass. Then, those whohad written their own epitaphs like Wang Ze, Tao Qian and Xu Wei occurred to me, so I mimicked them. While weighing words, I found my talents and myself quite insufficient, so I paused once and again. Nevertheless, I might as well write something about my likes and dislikes. I once dug my tomb at Mt. Cockhead in King Xiang’s town, my friend Li Yanzai wrote me an epitaph: “O great! The tomb of the greatest scholar Zhang Dai, alias Potter Villa, of the Ming Dynasty.” As Grand Phoenix, a hermit, built his own tomb near Yao Li’s, so I built mine in King Xiang’s town. One year later, I was in my seventies but I did not know when I would die and be buried, therefore I wrote nothing but a simple epitaph: Behold, Shi Cong, a poor billionaire, showed off his treasures; Bian He, a stupid loyal man, offered his jade as a tribute; Lian Po, an old general, fought hard in Zuo Lu; Sima Qian, a fake historian,padded out Records; Su Shi drooled for meat; Shu Qi and Bo E starved themselves. Bai Lixi was talented, but how could he sell his talents? All have learned from Tao Qian for nothing; all have admired Mei Fu in vain. To know who and what I was, you have to find a hermit called Wild Man in the Wild.