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Tropic of Cancer[北回归线][En/Cn]

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第二章

 

第1节

在波勒兹别墅,一种新的生活展现在我面前。才十点钟,我们却已吃完了早饭,还出去散了一会儿步。如今我们这儿来了一位埃尔莎,鲍里斯告诫我说,”这几天走路要轻一点。”

A new life opening up for me at the Villa Borghese. Only ten o'clock and we have already had breakfast and been out for a walk. We have an Elsa here with us now. "Step softly for a few days," cautions Boris.

 

  这天一开始便景色宜人:明媚的天空。清新的微风、刚刚粉刷过的房屋。在到邮局去的路上,我和鲍里斯讨论了那本书,书名是《最后一本书》,它将以无名氏的名义写作。

The day begins gloriously: a bright sky, a fresh wind, the houses newly washed. On our way to the Post Office Boris and I discussed the book. The Last Book – which is going to be written anonymously.

 

  新的一天在开始,这一点我们今早站在迪费雷纳的一幅闪烁着光辉的油画前时我便感觉到了。画上是十三世纪的一种早餐式聚会,没有酒,有一位姣好、肥胖的裸体人像,一色、充满活力、像手指甲一样呈粉红色,一条条波浪状的肌肉在发光。这幅画,总的说来是二流的,有些方面还是初级的。这是一个感到刺痛的人体,在朝露下湿漉漉的。这是静止的生命,不过这儿没有什么东西是静止的、死去的。画中的桌子被食物压得吱吱响,食物太重,桌子都快散架了,这是一顿十三世纪的饭—绘画人已经清楚记住了所有在丛林中写生时画下的动物,一大群瞪羚和斑马在啃棕桐树的复叶。

A new day is beginning. I felt it this morning as we stood before one of Dufresne's glistening canvases, a sort of déjeuner intime in the thirteenth century, sans vin. A fine, fleshy nude, solid, vibrant, pink as a fingernail, with glistening billows of flesh; all the secondary characteristics, and a few of the primary. A body that sings, that has the moisture of dawn. A still life, only nothing is still, nothing dead here. The table creaks with food; it is so heavy it is sliding out of the frame. A thirteenth century repast – with all the jungles notes that he has memorized so well. A family of gazelles and zebras nipping the fronds of the palms.

  

  现在我们同埃尔莎在一起,今早我们还在床上时,她便在为我们演奏,”这几天走路要轻一点……”太好了!埃尔莎是女佣,我是客人,而鲍里斯是大人物。一场新戏要开演了,我这样写时不禁自己大笑起来。鲍里斯这个山猫知道会出什么事,他对各种事情的嗅觉也很敏锐。”要轻一些……”鲍里斯如坐针毡,从现在起他老婆任何时候都有可能露面。

And now we have Elsa. Site was playing for us this morning while we were in bed. Step softly for a few days… Good! Elsa is the maid and I am the guest. And Boris is the big cheese. A new drama is beginning. I'm laughing to myself as I write this. He knows what is going to happen, that lynx, Boris. He has a nose for things too. Step softly…. Boris is on pins and needles. At any moment now his wife may appear on the scene.

 

  他老婆足足有一百八十磅重,他却是个小个儿,这样你就明白这是一种怎样的局面了。晚上在我们回家的路上他对我解释过,这局面又可悲又可笑,我禁不住不时停下来嘲笑他一番。”你为什么这样笑?”他柔声道,然后又继续以凄凉的歇斯底里的口吻叙述下去,活像一个可怜虫。突然意识到无论穿上多少件常礼服自己永远也不会成为一个男子汉,于是他想逃走,想换一个新名字。鲍里斯哀声道,”这个女人可以占有一切,只要她放过我。”可是首先得把公寓租出去,订好契约,安排好各种琐事,这会儿他的常礼服说不定会派上用场呢。她的块头儿—这才是真正叫他发愁的!假如回去时我们发现她突然站到了门口,他准会昏过去,他对他老婆就是这么诚惶诚恐的。

She weighs well over 180 pounds, that wife of his. And Boris is only a handful. There you have the situation. He tries to explain it to me on our way Home at night. It is so tragic and so ridiculous at the same time that I am obliged to stop now and then and laugh in his face. "Why do you laugh so?" he says gently, and then he commences himself, with that whimpering, hysterical note in his voice, like a helpless wretch who realizes suddenly that no matter how many frock coats he puts on he will never make a man. He wants to run away, to take a new name. "She can have everything, that cow, if only she leaves me alone," he whines. But first the apartment has to be rented, and the deeds signed, and a thousand other details for which his frock coat will come in handy. But the size of her! – that's what really worries him. If we were to find her suddenly standing on the doorstep when we arrive he would faint – that's how much he respects her!

 

  所以我们暂时只得放过埃尔莎,她在这儿只是做早饭、引导客人看房子。

And so we've got to go easy with Elsa for a while. Elsa is only there to make breakfast – and to show the apartment.

 

  埃尔莎已使我心施摇动,就以她的德国血统和那些悲凉的歌曲。今早我刚刚喝完咖啡从楼梯上下来,低声哼着”……曾经是多么美好”。 这首歌是为吃早饭唱的,没过多久楼上那个英国青年奏起了巴赫的曲子。据埃尔莎说—“他需要一个女人。”埃尔莎也需要点儿什么,我能觉察到这一点。我对鲍里斯什么都没有讲,今早他正刷牙时埃尔莎向我介绍了很多柏林的情况。那些从屁股后面看起来十分迷人的娘儿们,待她们转过身来—哇,有梅毒!

But Elsa is already undermining me. That German blood. Those melancholy songs. Coming down the stairs this moming, with the fresh Coffee in my nostrils, I was humming softly… "Es wär' so schön gewesen." For breakfast, that. And in a little while the English boy upstairs with his Bach. As Elsa says – "he needs a woman." And Elsa needs something too. I can feel it. I didn't say anything to Boris about it, but while he was cleaning his teeth this morning Elsa was giving me an earful about Berlin, about the women who look so attractive from behind, and when they turn round – wow, syphilis!

  

  我觉得埃尔莎总在如饥似渴地望着我,犹如看着早饭桌上剩下的食物。今天下午我们在工作室里背对背写东西,她给远在意大利的情人写信。我的打字机出了毛玻鲍里斯已出发察看一个便宜的房间去了,公寓一租出去他就要搬过去。除了同埃尔莎寻欢作乐之外,我简直没有别的事好做。她想这样,可我还是为她感到有点遗憾。她给情人的信只写了一行—我俯身去搂抱她时斜着眼看到了。不过我控制不住自个儿了。那该死的德国音乐,忧郁而又伤感,打动了我。后来又是她那明亮的小眼睛,炽热而又充满悲哀。

It seems to me that Elsa looks at me rather wistfully. Something left over from the breakfast table. This afternoon we were writing, back to back, in the studio. She had begun a letter to her lover who is in Italy. The machine got jammed. Boris had gone to look at a cheap room he will take as soon as the apartment is rented. There was nothing for it but to make love to Elsa. She wanted it. And yet I felt a little sorry for her. She had only written the first line to her lover – I read it out of the corner of my eye as I bent over her. But it couldn't be helped. That damned German music, so melancholy, so sentimental. It undermined me. And then her beady little eyes, so hot and sorrowful at the same time.

 

  事情完了以后我让她为我弹个曲子,埃尔莎是位音乐家,尽管她弹的曲子听起来像是在砸破锅,像人脑壳在一起磕磕碰碰。

After it was over I asked her to play something for me. She's a musician, Elsa, even though it sounded like broken pots and skulls clanking.

 

  她一边弹一边还在哭泣,我并不责怪她。她说,到处都会遇到这种事情,到处都有个男人,事后她就得离开,然后便是堕胎、找个新工作,过后又是另一个男人,谁都根本不管她,只是利用她。说完这些话她便为我弹了舒曼的曲子。舒曼,这个爱哭鼻子、多愁善感的德国王八蛋!不知怎么搞的,我很为埃尔莎难过,可又认为这事与我根本无关。像她这样一个会弹琴的女人早该懂得这种事情,不要叫碰巧遇上的任何一个长着很大鸡巴的家伙把她轻易骗到手。舒曼的曲子使我神不守舍,埃尔莎仍在抽噎,而我早已想别的去了。我在想塔尼亚,想她怎样弹奏慢板。我在想许多许多早已逝去、早已遗忘的往事,想在格陵波因特度过的那个下午。当时德国人正大举进犯比利时,我们损失的钱还不多,也就不大介意德国对一个中立国的入侵。那时我们仍很天真烂漫,乐意听诗人们朗诵诗,在昏暗中坐在桌子四周大肆谈论死去的亡灵。那一回,整个下午和晚上四周都回荡着德国音乐,附近都是德国人,甚至比德国本上的德国人还多。我们是听舒曼和雨果•沃尔夫的乐曲、吃泡白菜、土豆汤团、喝库莫尔酒成长起来的。临近傍晚时分,我们围坐在一张大桌子旁,放下了窗帘,有一个傻呼呼的小妞儿在大谈耶稣基督。我们在桌下相互牵着手,坐在我旁边的女人把两根手指伸进了我的裤裆。后来我们在地板上躺下,就在钢琴后面,有人在唱一支凄凉的歌,空气令人窒息,女人口中有一股酒气。钢琴踏板在僵硬地、机械地上下移动,这是一种疯狂的、徒劳无功的运动,像花了二十六年时间堆起来的一堆大粪,不过却是准时完工的。我把她拽到我身上,音乐仍往我耳朵里灌。屋里一片漆黑,库莫尔酒洒在地毯上,把地毯弄得粘呼呼的。突然黎明仿佛就要来临,天上像是有水在冰上流动,而上升的雾气又使冰呈青色,冰河沉入一片翠绿色之中,小羚羊、大羚羊、金枪鱼和海象在天边徘徊游荡,而狮鱼一跃跃出了北极圈……

She was weeping, too, as she played. I don't blame her. Everywhere the same thing, she says. Everywhere a man, and then she has to leave, and then there's an abortion and then a new job and then another man and nobody gives a fuck about her except to use her. All this after she's played Schumann for me – Schumann, that slobbery, sentimental German bastard! Somehow I feel sorry as hell for her and yet I don't give a damn. A cunt who can play as she does ought to have better sense than be tripped up by every guy with a big putz who happens to come along. But that Schumann gets into my blood. She's still sniffling, Elsa; but my mind is far away. I'm thinking of Tania and how she claws away at her adagio. I'm thinking of lots of things that are gone and buried. Thinking of a summer afternoon in Greenpoint when the Germans were romping over Belgium and we had not yet lost enough money to be concerned over the rape of a neutral country. A time when we were still innocent enough to listen to poets and to sit around a table in the twilight rapping for departed spirits. All that afternoon and evening the atmosphere is saturated with German music; the whole neighborhood is German, more German even than Germany. We were brought up on Schumann and Hugo Wolf and sauerkraut and kümmel and potato dumplings. Toward evening we're sitting around a big table with the curtains drawn and some fool two headed wench is rapping for Jesus Christ. We're holding hands under the table and the dame next to me has two fingers in my fly. And finally we lie on the floor, behind the piano, while someone sings a dreary song. The air is stifling and her breath is boozy. The pedal is moving up and down, stiffly, automatically, a crazy, futile movement, like a tower of dung that takes twenty seven years to build but keeps perfect time. I pull her over me with the sounding board in my ears; the room is dark and the carpet is sticky with the kümmel that has been spilled about. Suddenly it seems as if the dawn were coming: it is like water purling over ice and the ice is blue with a rising mist, glaciers sunk in emerald green, chamois and antelope, golden groupers, sea cows mooching along and the amber jack leaping over the Arctic rim…

 

埃尔莎坐在我腿上,她的眼睛像两个小小的肚脐眼儿。我看看她的大嘴巴湿漉漉的,光闪闪的,便亲了起来。于是她又哼起……”这曾经是多么美好……”啊,埃尔莎,你还不知道这对我意味着什么,你的来自萨金根的小号手。德国歌咏团体,施瓦本厅、体操协会,……向左转,向右转……然后用绳子头抽在屁股上。

Elsa is sitting in my lap. Her eyes are like little belly-buttons. I look at her large mouth, so wet and glistening, and I cover it. She is humming now… "Es wär' so schön gewesen…" Ah, Elsa, you don't know yet what that means to me, your Trompeter von Säckingen. German Singing Societies, Schwaben Hall, the Turnverein … links um, rechts um … and then a whack over the ass with the end of a rope.

 

  唉,这些德国人!他们像一部公共汽车似的把你们全载走,使你们消化不良。一夜之间一个人不可能遍访陈尸所、疗养院、动物园、十二宫、哲学之困境、认识论之洞穴、弗洛伊德和司大克的奥秘……骑在一匹孩子们玩的旋转木马上,一个人哪儿也去不了,而同德国人在一起你便可以在一夜之间从织女星来到维加面前,而离去时仍同帕西发尔一样蠢。

Ah, the Germans! They take you all over like an omnibus. They give you indigestion. In the same night one cannot visit the morgue, the infirmary, the zoo, the signs of the zodiac, the limbos of philosophy, the caves of epistemology, the arcana of Freud and Stekel… On the merry go round one doesn't get anywhere, whereas with the Germans one can go from Vega to Lope de Vega, all in one night, and come away as foolish as Parsifal.

 

  我说了,这天一开始便景色宜人。直到这天早上我才重新感觉到巴黎这个实体的存在,已有好几个星期没有觉察到这一点了。也许这是因为我已打好了那本书的腹稿吧,我就带着这本书到处走。我像个怀孕的大肚子女人在街上穿来穿去,警察领着我过马路,女人们站起来给我让座,再也没有人粗暴地推我了。我怀孕了,我滑稽可笑地瞒珊而行,大肚子上压着全世界的重量。

As I say, the day began gloriously. It was only this morning that I became conscious again of this physical Paris of which I have been unaware for weeks. Perhaps it is because the book has begun to grow inside me. I am carrying it around with me everywhere. I walk through the streets big with child and the cops escort me across the street. Women get up to offer me their seats. Nobody pushes me rudely any more. I am pregnant. I waddle awkwardly, my big stomach pressed against the weight of the world.

 

  就在今天早晨去邮局的路上,我们最后一次将这本书夸赞了一番。我们,我和鲍里斯,开创了一种新生宇宙文学观。《最后一本书》将成为一本新《圣经》,所有有话要讲的人都可以在这儿讲—不署名。我们要详尽地描写我们所处的时代,在我们身后,至少在一代人的时间以内不会出现另一本书。到目前为止我们一直在黑暗中发掘,单凭直觉引导我们。现在我们要找一个容器来倾倒掘出的致命液体,要一颗炸弹,一旦掷出去便会炸掉整个世界。我们要在书中尽情地写,以便给未来的作家提供情节、戏剧、诗歌、神话、各种科学。世界将在未来一千年内依靠我们的书生存,它洋洋洒洒、无所不容,其思想差点儿叫我们茫然不知所措。

It was this morning, on our way to the Post Office, that we gave the book its final imprimatur. We have evolved a new cosmogony of literature, Boris and I. It is to be a new Bible – The Last Book. All those who have anything to say will say it here – anonymously. We will exhaust the age. After us not another book – not for a generation, at least. Heretofore we had been digging in the dark, with nothing but instinct to guide us. Now we shall have a vessel in which to pour the vital fluid, a bomb which, when we throw it, will set off the world. We shall put into it enough to give the writers of tomorrow their plots, their dramas, their poems, their myths, their sciences. The world will be able to feed on it for a thousand years to come. It is colossal in its pretentiousness. The thought of it almost shatters me.

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