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Tropic of Cancer[北回归线][En/Cn]

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第四章

 

复活节来临了,像只冻兔子,不过床上还是挺暖和。今天又是一个晴天,曙光下香树里舍大街一带上空的云彩像一座挤满黑眼睛美女的露天闺房。树影婆娑,一片青翠,看起来湿润光洁,好像露水未退,从卢浮宫到明星广场真像一段钢琴曲。我有五天不曾碰打字机了,没有看一眼书,脑子里什么也不想—除了想去美国捷运公司,今早九点我就到了那儿,那会儿正开门呢。一点钟又去了一次,仍没有消息。到了四点半,我走出旅馆,拿定主意在它关门之前再去看一次。刚刚拐过这条街我便同瓦尔特•帕克擦肩而过,他没有认出我,我也同他无话可说,因此我并没有叫住他。过后我在杜伊勒利花园歇脚,他的身影又浮现在我眼前。他的腰有一点儿弯,人有些忧郁,脸上挂着安详而又含蓄的笑容。我抬头望望光线柔和的明媚天空,它蒙着一层极淡的色彩,今天并没有一块块乌云出现,倒像一件古老瓷器露出的微笑。这时,我纳闷,纳闷这个翻译了四大卷《艺术史》的人用他衰弱无力的目光审视这个欢乐世界时会作何感想。

Easter came in like a frozen hare – but it was fairly warm in bed. Today it is lovely again and along the Champs-Elysées at twilight it is like an outdoor seraglio choked with dark-eyed houris. The trees are in full foliage and of a verdure so pure, so rich, that it seems as though they were still wet and glistening with dew. From the Palais du Louvre to the Etoile it is like a piece of music for the pianoforte. For five days I have not touched the typewriter nor looked at a book; nor have I had a single idea in my head except to go to the American Express. At nine this morning I was there, just as the doors were being opened, and again at one o'clock. No news. At four thirty I dash out of the hotel, resolved to make a last-minute stab at it. Just as I turn the corner I brush against Walter Pach. Since he doesn't recognize me, and since I have nothing to say to him, I make no attempt to arrest him. Later, when I am stretching my legs in the Tuileries his figure reverts to mind. He was a little stooped, pensive, with a sort of serene yet reserved smile on his face. I wonder, as I look up at this softly enameled sky, so faintly tinted, which does not bulge today with heavy rain clouds but smiles like a piece of old china, I wonder what goes on in the mind of this man who translated the four thick volumes of the History of Art when he takes in this blissful cosmos with his drooping eye.

 

  沿着香榭里舍大街走着,我脑子里的主意像汗水一样冒出来。我真该有钱雇得起一个秘书,这样我散步时便可向她口授,我最精彩的灵感总是当我不坐在打字机前时出现。

Along the Champs Elysées, ideas pouring from me like sweat. I ought to be rich enough to have a secretary to whom I could dictate as I walk, because my best thoughts always come when I am away from the machine.

 

  沿着香榭里舍大街走着,我不断想着自己真正极佳的健康状态。老实说,我说的”健康”是指乐观,不可救药的乐观!我的一只脚仍滞留在十九世纪,跟多数美国人一样,我也有点儿迟钝。卡尔却觉得这种乐观情绪令人厌恶,他说,”我只要说起要吃饭,你便马上容光焕发了!”这是实话,只要想到一顿饭—另一顿饭,我就会活跃起来。一顿饭!那意味着吃下去可以踏踏实实继续干几个钟头,或许还能使我勃起一回呢。我并不否认我健康,结结实实、牲口般的健康。在我与未来之间形成障碍的唯一的东西就是一餐饭,另一餐饭。

Walking along the Champs Elysées I keep thinking of my really superb health. When I say "health" I mean optimism, to be truthful. Incurably optimistic! Still have one foot in the nineteenth century. I'm a bit retarded, like most Americans. Carl finds it disgusting, this optimism. "I have only to talk about a meal," he says, "and you're radiant!" It's a fact. The mere thought of a meal – another meal – rejuvenates me. A meal! That means something to go on – a few solid hours of work, an erection possibly. I don't deny it. I have health, good solid, animal health. The only thing that stands between me and a future is a meal, another meal.

 

  至于卡尔,他那些天不大对劲,沮丧、神经紧张。他说他病了,我相信他的话,不过并不为此不安。

As for Carl, he's not himself these days. He's upset, his nerves are jangled. He says he's ill, and I believe him, but I don't feel badly about it.

 

  我无法令自己不安。老实说,他这副样子使我哈哈大笑,结果当然得罪了他。每一件事情都使他难受—我的笑声、我的饥饿,我的固执、我的漫不经心,一切的一切。今天他想自杀,因为他无法再忍受欧洲这个令人讨厌的鬼地方,明天他又说要去亚利桑那,”那儿的人们敢于直直地望着你的眼睛。”

I can't. In fact, it makes me laugh. And that offends him, of course. Everything wounds him – my laughter, my hunger, my persistence, my insouciance, everything. One day he wants to blow his brains out because he can't stand this lousy hole of a Europe any more; the next day he talks of going to Arizona "where they look you square in the eye."

 

  “那就快去!”我说。”干这个、干那个都行,你这个狗东西。只是别哈出闷闷不乐的气遮住我健康的眼睛!” 

"Do it!" I say. "Do one thing or the other, you bastard, but don't try to cloud my healthy eye with your melancholy breath!"

  

  可事情就是这样!在欧洲人们习惯于无所事事。你整天不抬屁股坐在那里埋怨埋怨这个埋怨埋怨那个。你受到了感染,你腐败了。

But that's just it! In Europe one gets used to doing nothing. You sit on your ass and whine all day. You get contaminated. You rot.

 

  卡尔在骨子里是个势利小人,一个有贵族派头的讨厌鬼,他完全生活在一个精神分裂症的世界中。”我恨巴黎!”他抱怨道。“这些蠢货整天只是打牌……瞧瞧他们!还有写作!把词儿堆砌过来,可是却说不出一句很简单的话,比如”你这个讨厌的家伙,滚出去”。没有一个人能听懂马洛的法语,连妓女也听不懂。而且,他喝醉酒后说的英语也真够难懂的。他像一个已养成习惯的老结巴那样飞溅着唾沫星子胡说八道,语无伦次。”你付钱!”这是他唯一能说清楚的一句话。

 Fundamentally Carl is a snob, an aristocratic little prick who lives in a dementia praecox kingdom all his own. "I hate Paris!" he whines. "All these stupid people playing cards all day … look at them! And the writing! What's the use of putting words together? "get the hell out of here, you old prick!" – that is beyond him. Nobody understands Marlowe's French, not even the whores. For that matter, it's difficult enough to understand his English when he's under the weather. He blabbers and spits like a confirmed stutterer … no sequence to his phrases. "You pay!" that's one thing he manages to get out clearly.

   

  即使马洛喝昏了头,一种微妙的自我保护本能必要时总会提醒他。如果他脑子里对酒钱如何付还有一丝一毫的疑惑,他准会装一番糊涂,通常的伎俩是假装看不见东西了。现在卡尔已经了解他的全套把戏了,因此马洛突然用双手猛拍太阳穴装醉时,卡尔朝他屁股上踢了一脚道,”得了,你这蠢货!你不用跟我玩这一手。”

Even if he is fried to the hat some fine preservative instinct always warns Marlowe when it is time to act. If there is any doubt in his mind as to how the drinks are going to be paid he will be sure to put on a stunt. The usual one is to pretend that he is going blind. Carl knows all his tricks by now, and so when Marlowe suddenly claps his hands to his temples and begins to act it out Carl gives him a boot in the ass and says: "Come out of it, you sap! You don't have to do that with me!"

 

  我不清楚这是不是一种巧妙的报复,不过不管怎么说马洛好好地回敬了卡尔一下。他诡秘地凑近我们,用沙哑的嘎嘎声向我们讲述了在一家家酒馆里轮番喝酒时听来的小道消息。卡尔惊愕地抬起头,吓得脸色苍白。马洛又讲了一遍,做了一些改动,卡尔每听一遍便更颓丧一些。”这不可能!”最后他憋出这一句。号洛用嘶哑的声音说,”是的,是这样的,你要丢掉工作了……这是我亲耳听说的。”卡尔绝望地看着我,小声耳语道,”这个狗东西该不会是在骗我吧?”接着他又大声道,”现在我该怎么办?我再也找不到工作了,这份工作我找了一年才弄到。”

Whether it is a cunning piece of revenge or not, I don't know, but at any rate Marlowe is paying Carl back in good coin. Leaning over us confidentially he relates in a hoarse, croaking voice a piece of gossip which he picked up in the course of his peregrinations from bar to bar. Carl looks up in amazement. He's pale under the gills. Marlowe repeats the story with variations. Each time Carl wilts a little more. "But that's impossible!" he finally blurts out. "No it ain't!" croaks Marlowe. "You're gonna lose your job … I got it straight." Carl looks at me in despair. "Is he shitting me, that bastard?" he murmurs in my ear. And then aloud – "What am I going to do now? I'll never find another job. It took me a year to land this one."

 

  显然,这话正是马洛一直等着听的,他最终还是找到了一个境况不如他的人。”人有旦夕祸福啊!”他哑着嗓子道,瘦脑袋上闪耀着冷冷的电火花。

This, apparently, is all that Marlowe has been waiting to hear. At last he has found someone worse off than himself. "They be hard times!" he croaks, and his bony skull glows with a cold, electric fire.

 

  从多姆饭店出来后,马洛边打嗝边告诉我们他必须回旧金山去。卡尔一筹莫展的境况像是真的打动了他,他提议在他不在这儿期间由我和卡尔接管那份书评。”我信得过你,卡尔。”他说。说完酒劲儿突然发作了,这一回是真的,他差一点栽进沟里去。我们把他拽到埃德加-基内林荫道上的一个酒吧里坐下,这一回他真的头疼得什么都看不见了,像一头不会说话的畜生挨了狠狠的一锤子,他尖声呻吟,身子晃来晃去。我们往他喉咙里灌了几杯费内特-布纳卡,把他放倒在大椅子上,又用围巾捂上他的眼睛。他躺着呻吟了一会儿,不久我们便听到了他的鼾声。

Leaving the Dôme Marlowe explains between hiccups that he's got to return to San Francisco. He seems genuinely touched now by Carl's helplessness. He proposes that Carl and I take over the review during his absence. "I can trust you, Carl," he says. And then suddenly he gets an attack, a real one this time. He almost collapses in the gutter. We haul him to a bistro at the Boulevard Edgar Quinet and sit him down. This time he's really got It – a blinding headache that makes him squeal and grunt and rock himself to and fro like a dumb brute that's been struck by a sledge hammer. We spill a couple of Fernet Brancas down his throat, lay him out on the bench and cover his eyes with his muffler. He lies there groaning. In a little while we hear him snoring.

 

  卡尔问,”咱们拿他的建议怎么办?接受吗?他说回来后给我一千法郎,我知道他不会给。可是怎么办呢?”他瞧瞧摊手摊脚躺在长椅上的马洛,取下盖在他眼睛上的围巾,随后又盖上。突然他咧着嘴恶作剧地笑了,他打手势叫我凑过去,”听着,乔,咱们应承下来。咱们把这份见鬼的书评接过来,狠狠地坑他一回。”

"What about his proposition?" says Carl. "Should we take it up? He says he'll give me a thousand francs when he comes back. I know he won't, but what about it?" He looks at Marlowe sprawled out on the bench, lifts the muffer from his eyes, and puts it back again. Suddenly a mischievous grin lights up his face. "Listen, Joe," he says, beckoning me to move closer, "we'll take him up on it. We'll take his lousy review over and we'll fuck him good and proper."

 

  “你这是什么意思?”

"What do you mean by that?"

 

  “哼,咱们把所有的投稿人都抛开,把咱们自己的货色弄上去—就是这样!”

"Why we'll throw out all the other contributors and we'll fill it with our own shit – that's what!"

 

  “好啊,什么样的货色呢?”

"Yeah, but what kind of shit?"

 

  “随便……他是不会有什么办法的。咱们要狠狠地坑他一回,好好出一期,过后这份杂志就完蛋了。你有兴趣吗,乔?”

"Any kind … he won't be able to do anything about it. We'll fuck him good and proper. One good number and after that the magazine'll be finished. Are you game, Joe?"

 

  我们乐不可支地咧嘴笑着把马洛扶起来,把他拽到卡尔的房间里。一开灯,我们便看到床上有女人在等卡尔,”我把她全忘了。”卡尔说。我们把那女人打发走,把马洛扔到床上。过了约摸才一分钟便有人敲门,是范诺登,他惊慌不安。他的那副假牙丢了—他认为是在黑人舞厅丢的。我们四个凑合着上床睡了。马洛身上散发出一股熏鱼似的气味。

Grinning and chuckling we lift Marlowe to his feet and haul him to Carl's room. When we turn on the lights there's a woman in the bed waiting for Carl. "I forgot all about her," says Carl. We turn the cunt loose and shove Marlowe into bed. In a minute or so there's a knock at the door. It's Van Norden. He's all aflutter. Lost a plate of false teeth – at the Bal Nègre, he thinks. Anyway, we get to bed, the four of us. Marlowe stinks like a smoked fish.

 

  早上马洛和范诺登出去寻找那副假牙。马洛又哭又闹,他还以为那是他的假牙呢。

In the morning Marlowe and Van Norden leave to search for the false teeth. Marlowe is blubbering. He imagines they are his teeth.

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