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Tropic of Cancer[北回归线][En/Cn]

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第3节

待驼背替我生好了火,我便向他打听吃的。还不到吃饭时间,于是我穿着大衣倒在床上,把被子盖在身上。我身边便是那张用了不知多久,摇摇晃晃的床头柜,尿盆就藏在这里面。我把闹钟摆在床头柜上,望着时间一分钟一分钟嘀答嘀答过去。一道蓝光从外面街上透进屋里来,我倾听着卡车隆隆驶过,一边茫然地瞪着烟筒,瞪着用一截截铁丝捆住的烟筒拐弯处。我一辈子从未住过一间屋里摆着一个煤箱子的房子,也一辈子没有生过火、教过孩子,而且就此来说我还从未干过没有报酬的工作。我在感觉到自由自在的同时也觉得受到了束缚,很像一个人在选举前的心情,所有的骗子都得到了提名,这时却有人恳求你投那个合适人选的票。我觉得自己像一个受雇者、一个“万金油”、一个猎手、一个流浪汉,一个划船的囚犯、一个寒酸的小学教师、一条蛆和一只虱子。我是自由的,可我的四肢却带着镣铐。我是带着一张免费餐券的民主的灵魂,可是没有机车那么大的力量,没有声音。我又觉得自己像一只钉在木板上的海蜇,但我最明显的感觉是饿。钟上的指针走得很慢,还得消磨十分钟火警警报才会响。屋里的阴影更深了,静得吓人,这种紧张的寂静令我的神经难以忍受。窗子上积了小团小团的雪,远处有一台机车发出刺耳的响声,过后又是死一般的寂静,炉子燃旺了,可是并没有散发出多少热量。我有点儿担心自己会一觉睡过去,误了饭,那就意味着得空着肚子躺一夜,睡不着。于是,我惊慌了。

After the hunchback had made the fire for me I inquired about the grub. It was not quite time for dinner. I flopped on the bed, with my overcoat on, and pulled the covers over me. Beside me was the eternal rickety night table in which the piss pot is hidden away. I stood the alarm on the table and watched the minutes ticking off. Into the well of the room a bluish light filtered in from the street. I listened to the trucks rattling by as I gazed vacantly at the stove pipe, at the elbow where it was held together with bits of wire. The coal chest intrigued me. Never in my life had I occupied a room with a coal chest. And never in my life had I built a fire or taught children. Nor, for that matter, never in my life had I worked without pay. I felt free and chained at the same time – like one feels just before election, when all the crooks have been nominated and you are beseeched to vote for the right man. I felt like a hired man, like a jack of all trades, like a hunter, like a rover, like a galley slave, like a pedagogue, like a worm and a louse. I was free, but my limbs were shackled. A democratic soul with a free meal ticket, but no power of locomotion, no voice. I felt like a jellyfish nailed to a plank. Above all, I felt hungry. The hands were moving slowly. Still ten more minutes to kill before the fire alarm would go off. The shadows in the room deepened. It grew frightfully silent, a tense stillness that tautened my nerves. Little dabs of snow clung to the windowpanes. Far away a locomotive gave out a shrill scream. Then a dead silence again. The stove had commenced to glow, but there was no heat coming from it. I began to fear that I might doze off and miss the dinner. That would mean lying awake on an empty belly all night. I got panic stricken.

 

  离开饭锣敲响还有一会儿,我跳下床锁上门冲到楼下的院子里。在那儿我迷失了方向,一间又一间四边形的房间、一座又一座楼梯,我在这些建筑物里进进出出,疯了似的找寻餐厅。我走过一长队不知正往哪儿去的孩子身边,他们像一群用锁链锁住的囚徒缓缓向前移动,队列前面有一个监工。最后我瞧见一个戴礼帽、精力旺盛的人朝我走来,我拦住他打听去餐厅的路。正巧我拦住了该拦的人,此人正是勒普罗维西厄,他对于同我巧遇感到高兴,马上便问我是否已安置妥当了,还有没有他可以替我效劳的事情。我告诉他一切都妥了。后来又冒昧添了一句,说只是有点儿冷。他宽慰我说这种天气是很反常的,不时有雾,还有一点儿雪,那时天气就要坏一阵了,以及其他诸如此类的话。说这些话时他始终挽着我的胳膊,领我朝餐厅走。

Just a moment before the gong went off I jumped out of bed and, locking the door behind me, I bolted downstairs to the courtyard. There I got lost. One quadrangle after another, one staircase after another. I wandered in and out of the buildings searching frantically for the refectory. Passed a long line of youngsters marching in a column to God knows where; they moved along like a chain gang, with a slave driver at the head of the column. Finally I saw an energetic looking individual, with a derby, heading toward me. I stopped him to ask the way to the refectory. Happened I stopped the right man. It was M. le Proviseur, and he seemed delighted to have stumbled on me. Wanted to know right away if I were comfortably settled, if there was anything more he could do for me. I told him everything was O.K. Only it was a bit chilly, I ventured to add. He assured me that it was rather unusual, this weather. Now and then the fogs came on and a bit of snow, and then it became unpleasant for a while, and so on and so forth. All the while he had me by the arm, guiding me toward the refectory.

 

  看来他倒是一个满不错的人,一个正常的家伙,我自忖道。我甚至还幻想以后我也许F会同他关系密切起来,也许在某一个寒冷的夜晚他会请我去他的房间,替我弄一杯热酒。在走到餐厅门口的这几秒钟内我幻想到各种各样的友好场面,我的思想以每分钟一英里的速度飞驰。就在餐厅门口,他突然同我握握手,抬抬帽子同我道别。我茫然不知所措,便也碰了碰帽子。很快我就发现这是一件寻常的事,不定什么时候你碰到一位教员,甚至从莱克诺姆先生身边走过时也是一样,你都要碰碰帽子,也许你一天会与同一个人相遇十来次,那也一样,你一定得向他致意,哪怕你的帽子破了也罢,这才是礼貌的举止。

He seemed like a very decent chap. A regular guy, I thought to myself. I even went so far as to imagine that I might get chummy with him later on, that he'd invite me to his room on a bitter cold night and make a hot grog for me. I imagined all sorts of friendly things in the few moments it required to reach the door of the refectory. Here, my mind racing on at a mile a minute. he suddenly shook hands with me and, doffing his hat, bade me good night. I was so bewildered that I tipped my hat also. It was the regular thing to do, I soon found out. Whenever you pass a prof, or even M. l'Econome, you doff the hat. Might pass the same guy a dozen times a day. Makes no difference. You've got to give the salute, even though your hat is worn out. It's the polite thing to do.

 

  我总算找到了餐厅。它很像纽约曼哈顿东区的一家平民诊所,砖墙,无罩的灯和大理石桌面的桌子,当然少不了一只带拐弯烟筒的大火炉。饭还没有端上来,一个跛子跑进跑出,拿盘子、刀叉和酒瓶。几个年轻人坐在一个角落里热烈地谈论着什么,我走过去作了自我介绍,他们极其友好地接待了我。老实说,几乎是友好得过分了,我弄不太懂这是怎么回事。一会儿屋里就挤满了人,于是他们很快把我介绍给每个人。接着他们在我身边围成一个圈子,斟满酒杯,唱起歌来……

Anyway, I had found the refectory. Like an East Side clinic it was, with tiled walls, bare light, and marble-topped tables. And of course a big stove with an elbow pipe. The dinner wasn't served yet. A cripple was running in and out with dishes and knives and forks and bottles of wine. In a corner several young men conversing animatedly. I went up to them and introduced myself. They gave me a most cordial reception. Almost too cordial, in fact. I couldn't quite make it out. In a jiffy the room began to fill up; I was presented from one to the other quickly. Then they formed a circle about me and, filling the glasses, they began to sing…

 

  “一个晚上我起了一个念头:

  我呼唤着宙斯去鸡奸一个绞死的人。

  风在绞架上吹起,

  看,那个死人在晃动。

  我只得跳起来去好这个死尸,

  呼唤着宙斯的大名,人们从不满足。

  在过于狭小的肛门里亲吻,

  呼唤着宙斯的大名,看着它在那儿乱蹭。

  在过于宽大的肛门里亲吻,

  人们一无所知或是发泄怒气,

  那样的情景令人十分厌恶。

  呼唤着宙斯的大名,人们从不满足。”

L'autre soir l'idée m'est venue

Cré nom de Zeus d'enculer un pendu;

Le vent se lève sur la potence,

Voilà mon pendu qui se balance,

J'ai dû l'enculer en sautant,

Cré nom de Zeus, on est jamais content.

 

Baiser dans un con trop petit,

Cré nom de Zeus, on s'écorche le vit;

Baiser dans un con trop large,

On ne sait pas où l'on décharge;

Se branler étant bien emmerdant,

Cré nom de Zeus, on est jamais content.

 

  歌声刚落,卡西莫多宣布开饭了。

With this, Quasimodo announced the dinner.

 

  这些学监是一群快乐的人。那位克罗打起嗝来像头猪,一坐下来吃饭总要先放一个大屁。他们告诉我,他能一连放十三个屁,这个记录没有人能打破。还有勒普兰斯先生,他是一个运动员,喜欢在傍晚进城时穿一件无尾夜常礼服。他相貌英俊,真像个姑娘,而且从来不碰酒,也不读任何会伤脑筋的东西。他旁边坐着琅蒂•保罗,保罗来自米迪,他整天什么都不想,只想女人。他每天都要说,“从星期四起我就不再谈女人了。”他和勒普兰斯先生好得难舍难分。再下来是巴斯罗,一个十足的小无赖。他在学习医学,他到处借贷,没完没了地谈论龙沙、维荣和拉伯雷。坐在我对面的是莫莱斯,老夫子们的鼓动者、组织者,他执意要称一称肉,看看是否差几克分量。他在学校附设医院里占了一间小房子。他的死敌是莱克诺姆先生,这并不能给他带来很大声望,因为大家都恨那个人。莫莱斯有个伙伴,叫勒佩尼普,他是一个郁郁寡欢的家伙,容貌像一只鹰。他非常节俭,却当了一个放债人,他像阿尔布雷克特•杜瑞的一件雕刻作品,是所有阴郁、乖戾、难对付、爱抱怨、不幸、不走运和内省的魔鬼的混合,这些魔鬼组成了德国中世纪武士的神灵。他无疑是个犹太人。总之我到这儿不久他就死于一场汽车事故了,这个事件使我再也不用还借他的二十三法郎了。除了坐在我旁边的勒诺,其他人早已从我的记忆中消失。他们属于那些毫无个性的一群,他们构成了工程师、建筑师、牙医、药剂师、教师等人的世界。没有什么可以将他们同他们过一会儿就拿来取笑的人区分开,他们完全一钱不值,是构成名誉而又可悲的市民核心的毫无价值的人物。他们垂着头吃东西,而且总是第一批大叫大嚷要添饭的人。他们睡得很死,从不抱怨,既不快活也不沮丧,他们是被但丁发配到地狱门厅去的平庸的一群,是上流社会的人物。

They were a cheerful group, les surveillants. There was Kroa who belched like a pig and always let off a loud fart when he sat down to table. He could fart thirteen times in succession, they informed me. He held the record. Then there was Monsieur le Prince, an athlete who was fond of wearing a tuxedo in the evening when he went to town; he had a beautiful complexion, just like a girl, and never touched the wine nor read anything that might tax his brain. Next to him sat Petit Paul, from the Midi, who thought of nothing but cunt all the time; he used to say every day – "à partir de jeudi je ne parlerai plus de femmes." He and Monsieur le Prince were inseparable. Then there was Passeleau, a veritable young scallywag who was studying Medicine and who borrowed right and left; he talked incessantly of Ronsard, Villon and Rabelais. Opposite me sat Mollesse, agitator and organizer of the pions, who insisted on weighing the meat to see if it wasn't short a few grams. He occupied a little room in the infirmary. His supreme enemy was Monsieur l'Econome, which was nothing particularly to his credit since everybody hated this individual. For companion Mollesse had one called Le Pénible, a dour-looking chap with a hawklike profile who practised the strictest economy and acted as moneylender. He was like an engraving by Albrecht Dürer – a composite of all the dour, sour, morose, bitter, unfortunate, unlucky and introspective devils who compose the pantheon of Germany's medieval knights. A Jew, no doubt. At any rate, he was killed in an automobile accident shortly after my arrival, a circumstance which left me twenty three francs to the good. With the exception of Renaud who sat beside me, the others have faded out of my memory; they belonged to that category of colorless individuals who make up the world of engineers, architects, dentists, pharmacists, teachers, etc. There was nothing to distinguish them from the clods whom they would later wipe their boots on. They were zeros in every sense of the word, ciphers who form the nucleus of a respectable and lamentable citizenry. They ate with their heads down and were always the first to clamor for a second helping. They slept soundly and never complained; they were neither gay nor miserable. The indifferent ones whom Dante consigned to the vestibule of Hell. The upper crusters.

 

  按照惯例,一吃完晚饭就马上到城里去,除了留在宿舍里执勤的人。城市中有几家咖啡馆,都是又大又凄凉的大厅,第戎昏昏欲睡的商人们聚集在这儿玩牌、听音乐。咖啡馆里挺暖和,这是我能替它们说的最好的好话,座位也过得去。总有几个妓女转来转去,为了一杯啤酒、一杯咖啡她们会坐下来同你聊天。可是音乐糟透了,竞是这种音乐。在一个冬天的夜里,呆在第戎这样一个肮脏的地方,再也没有比一支法国管弦乐队的演奏更叫人疲乏、头痛的了。尤其是,这是一支悲枪的女子管弦乐队,它奏出的一切都像在尖叫、在放屁,其节奏很枯燥,像代数一样,又具有牙膏那种合乎卫生的稠度。这种呜咽怪叫一小时竟要收那么多钱,而且迟到的人活该倒霉!它演奏的调子是那么悲哀,似乎老欧几里得用后腿站着吞下了氢氰酸。思想的王国已由理智完全开拓,没有给音乐创作留下一点点地盘,只除了手风琴的空板条,风呼啸着从中穿过,将太空撕成了碎片。不过在这个边远的城镇里谈论音乐就像在死牢里做梦喝香槟一样荒唐,音乐是我最不在意的东西。我甚至连女人也不想了,因为一切都是那么令人沮丧、寒冷、荒芜、阴暗。头一天晚上回家时我注意到一家咖啡馆的门上刻着高康大的话。咖啡馆内部却像一个停尸所。不管怎样,还是往前走吧!

It was the custom after dinner to go immediately to town, unless one was on duty in the dormitories. In the center of town were the cafés – huge, dreary halls where the somnolent merchants of Dijon gathered to play cards and listen to the music. It was warm in the cafés, that is the best I can say of them. The seats were fairly comfortable, too. And there were always a few whores about who, for a glass of beer or a cup of Coffee, would sit and chew the fat with you. The music, on the other hand, was atrocious. Such music! On a winter's night, in a dirty hole like Dijon, nothing can be more harassing, more nerv-racking, than the sound of a French orchestra. Particularly one of those lugubrious female orchestras with everything coming in squeaks and farts, with a dry, algebraic rhythm and the hygienic consistency of toothpaste. A wheezing and scraping performed at so many francs the hour – and the devil take the hindmost! The melancholy of it! As if old Euclid had stood up on his hind legs and swallowed prussic acid. The whole realm of Idea so thoroughly exploited by the reason that there is nothing left of which to make music except the empty slats of the accordion, through which the wind whistles and tears the ether to tatters. However, to speak of music in connection with this putpost is like dreaming of champagne when you are in the death cell. music was the least of my worries. I didn't even think of cunt, so dismal, so chill, so barren, so gray was it all. On the way Home the first night I noticed on the door of a café an inscription from the Gargantua. Inside the café it was like a morgue. However, forward!

 

  我有的是时间,却没有一文钱花。我一天只上两三个小时的会话课,以后就没有事了。教这些可怜虫英语又有什么用呢?  

I had plenty of time on my hands and not a sou to spend. Two or three hours of conversational lessons a day, and that was all. And what use was it, teaching these poor bastards English?

 

我真替他们难过,整个上午苦苦地念《约翰•吉尔平的旅行》,到了下午又上我这儿来练习一种死去的语言。我想起自己浪费了多少时间读维吉尔的作品或是吃力地念《赫尔曼和多罗特哑》这类谁也看不懂的废话。真是疯了!学问是只空面包篮!

I felt sorry as hell for them. All morning plugging away on John Gilpin's Ride, and in the afternoon coming to me to practise a dead language. I thought of the good time I had wasted reading Virgil or wading through such incomprehensible nonsense as Hermann and Dorothea. The insanity of it! Learning, the empty breadbasket!

 

  我又想起卡尔,他能把《浮士德》倒背如流,他每写一本书都要在里面拼命恭维不朽的、千古流芳的歌德。尽管如此,卡尔却缺乏常识,找不到一个阔女人,无法弄一身换洗内衣。这种以排队领救济食品和住防空洞告终的、对过去的眷恋中有一种讨人厌的感伤,这种精神上的喧哗是令人讨厌的,它竟许可一个白痴往德国大炮、无畏战舰和高效炸药上洒圣水。每一个满腹经纶的人都是人类的敌人。

I thought of Carl who can recite Faust backwards, who never writes a book without praising the shit out of his immortal, incorruptible Goethe. And yet he hadn't sense enough to take on a rich cunt and get himself a change of underwear. There's something obscene in this love of the past which ends in breadlines and dugouts. Something obscene about this spiritual racket which permits an idiot to sprinkle holy water over Big Berthas and dreadnoughts and high explosives. Every man with a bellyful of the classics is an enemy to the human race.

 

  我来到了这儿,本是来传播法美友好福音的。我是一具僵尸的使者,他四处掠夺,酿成难以描述的痛苦和不幸,现在却梦想要建立世界和平了。呸!我真不明白,他们指望我讲什么?

Here was I, supposedly to spread the gospel of Franco-American amity – the emissary of a corpse who, after he had plundered right and left, after he had caused untold suffering and misery, dreamed of establishing universal peace. Pfui!

 

  讲《草叶集》、讲关税壁垒、讲美国的《独立宣言》、讲最近一次流氓团伙之间的火并?讲什么?我想知道要我讲什么。唉,告诉你们,我从未提起这些。我开门见山,讲了一堂爱情生理学。

What did they expect me to talk about, I wonder? About Leaves of Grass, about the tariff walls, about the Declaration of Independence, about the latest gang war? What? Just what, I'd like to know. Well, I'll tell you – I never mentioned these things. I started right off the bat with a lesson in the psysiology of love.

 

  我讲的是:大象怎样做爱。这一招灵极了,第一天过后便再也没有空板凳了,头一堂英语课后他们都站在门口等我到来。我们相处得很好,他们提各种问题,像是屁也没学会一样。我让他们不停地问,我教他们提出更难以启齿的问题。“什么都尽可以问。”—这就是我的座右铭。在这儿我像一个来自无拘无束的精灵的国度里的全权大使,来这儿旨在创造狂热和激动的气氛。一位著名天文学家说,“在某些方面,物质世界像一个讲过的故事一样悄然逝去,像幻觉一样化为乌有。”看来这话表达了在学问的空面包篮后面大家的普遍看法,我自己却不信这话,我不信这伙王八蛋企图硬往我们肚子里塞的一切鬼话。

How the elephants make love – that was it! It caught like wildfire. After the first day there were no more empty benches. After that first lesson in English they were standing at the door waiting for me. We got along swell together. They asked all sorts of questions, as though they had never learned a damned thing. I let them fire away. I taught them to ask still more ticklish questions. Ask anything! – that was my motto. I'm here as a plenipotentiary from the realm of free spirits. I'm here to create a fever and a ferment. "In some ways," says an eminent astronomer, "the material universe appears to be passing away like a tale that is told, dissolving into nothingness like a vision." That seems to be the general feeling underlying the empty breadbasket of learning. Myself, I don't believe it. I don't believe a fucking thing these bastards try to shove down our throats.

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