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Tropic of Cancer[北回归线][En/Cn]

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第3节

由于菲尔莫在我住的旅馆里租了一个房间,我不得不经常见到他们,不管是不是想见。我几乎每天晚上同他们一道吃饭,当然饭前少不了喝几杯茵香酒。吃饭时他们不断大声吵,这很令人尴尬,因为有时我得站在这一方,有时又得站在另一方。比如说,在一个星期日下午,一起吃完午饭后我们来到埃德加一基内林荫道街角上的一家咖啡馆里。这一回异常顺利,我们三人并排坐在里面一张小桌子边,背对着一面镜子。吉乃特准是动了感情还是怎么的,因为她突然变得十分多情,当着众人的面爱抚、亲吻起菲尔莫来,像所有法国人一样做得很自然。他们刚刚长久地拥抱完,菲尔莫说了她父母一句什么,她认为这是侮辱,马上气红了脸。我们想叫她平静下来,便说她误解了那句话,然后菲尔莫又低声用英语对我说了句什么—似乎是说要我奉承她几句。这足以使她彻底大动肝火,她说我们在取笑她。我又说了一句不太好听的,更使她气得不得了。菲尔莫便想说句话,他说,“你的性子太急。”说完他想拍拍她的脸蛋,她却以为菲尔莫举起手来是要扇她耳光,便用她那只乡巴佬的大手朝他下颚上响亮地抽了一记。菲尔莫一时惊呆了,他没有料到会挨这么狠的一巴掌,这一下很痛。我看到他的脸变得惨白,接着他从长椅上站起来“叭”地狠狠扇了她一巴掌,差点儿把她从椅子上揍下来。“给你一下!这一下叫你放规矩些!”他用不连贯的法语说。一阵死一样的沉默,然后她像暴风雨一样爆发了,抓起眼前的白兰地酒杯狠命朝他掷来。杯子砸在身后的镜子上,碎了。这时菲尔莫已经抓住了她的胳膊,但她又用另一只手抓起咖啡杯摔在地上。她像一个疯子一样乱扭乱动,我们用尽力气抓住她。这时店老板当然跑来了,叫我们快滚。“流浪汉!”他这样叫我们,吉乃特尖叫道,“对了,流浪汉,就是流浪汉!脏外国佬!恶棍!土匪!居然打一个怀孕的女人!”周围的人都在怒视着我们,一个可怜的法国女人和两个美国流氓、匪徒。当时我想不打一架恐怕是逃不出那地方了,这时菲尔莫沉默着,一句话也不说。吉乃特冲出门,留下我们去挨人骂。临出门时她转过身来举起拳头嚷道,“我会找你算帐的,你这个野人!等着瞧吧!没有哪一个外国人敢这样对待一个体面的法国女人!哼,不行!这样就是不行!”

Since he had taken a room in the same hotel with me I was obliged to see them frequently, whether I wanted to or not. Almost every evening I had dinner with them, preceded, of course, by a few Pernods. All through the meal they quarreled noisily. It was embarrassing because I had sometimes to take one side and sometimes the other. One Sunday afternoon, for example, after we had had lunch together, we repaired to a café on the corner of the Boulevard Edgar‑Quinet. Things had gone unusually well this time. We were sitting inside at a little table, one alongside the other, our backs to a mirror. Ginette must have been passionate or something for she had suddenly gotten into a sentimental mood and was fondling him and kissing him in front of everybody, as the French do so naturally. They had just come out of a long embrace when Fillmore said something about her parents which she interpreted as an insult. Immediately her cheeks flushed with anger. We tried to mollify her by telling her that she had misunderstood the remark and then, under his breath, Fillmore said something to me in English – something about giving her a little soft soap. That was enough to set her completely off the handle. She said we were making fun of her. I said something sharp to her which angered her still more and then Fillmore tried to put in a word. "You're too quick-tempered," he said, and he tried to pat her on the cheek. But she, thinking that he had raised his hand to slap her face, she gave him a sound crack in the jaw with that big peasant hand of hers. For a moment he was stunned. He hadn't expected a wallop like that, and it stung. I saw his face go white and the next moment he raised himself from the bench and with the palm of his hand he gave her such a crack that she almost fell off her seat. "There! that'll teach you how to behave!" he said – in his broken French. For a moment there was a dead silence. Then, like a storm breaking, she picked up the cognac glass in front of her and hurled it at him with all her might. It smashed against the mirror behind us. Fillmore had already grabbed her by the arm, but with her free hand she grabbed the Coffee glass and smashed it on the floor. She was squirming around like a maniac. It was all we could do to hold her. Meanwhile, of course, the patron had come running in and ordered us to beat it. "Loafers!" he called us. "Yes, loafers; that's it!" screamed Ginette. "Dirty foreigners! Thugs! Gangsters! Striking a pregnant woman!" We were getting black looks all around. A poor Frenchwoman with two American toughs. Gangsters. I was wondering how the hell we'd ever get out of the place without a fight. Fillmore, by this time, was as silent as a clam. Ginette was bolting it through the door, leaving us to face the music. As she sailed out she turned back with fist upraised and shouted; "I'll pay you back for this, you brute! You'll see! No foreigner can treat a decent Frenchwoman like that! Ah, no! Not like that!"


  这时我们已经给老板付了酒钱和打破的杯子钱,听到吉乃恃这番话他便觉得自己有义务向吉乃特这样一个法国母亲的杰出代表表现一下他的勇敢无畏,于是他毫不费力地朝我们脚下啐了一口,把我们推出门去。“吃屎去吧,你们这些肮脏的流浪汉!”他这样说或是说了一句别的什么诙谐话。

Hearing this the patron, who had now been paid for his drinks and his broken glasses, felt it incumbent to show his gallantry toward a splendid representative of French motherhood such as Ginette, and so, without more ado, he spat at our feet and shoved us out of the door. "Shit on you, you dirty loafers!" he said, or some such pleasantry.


  到了街上,而且并没有人向我们投掷东西,我这才悟到这件事有趣的一面。我自己暗想,说不定把这整个事件恰如其分地扬到法庭上倒是一个很妙的主意呢。整个事件!把伊韦特的小故事当作小菜端出去!法国人毕竟是有幽默感的,兴许法官听了菲尔莫的陈述后还会解除他们的婚约呢。

Once in the street and nobody throwing things after us, I began to see the funny side of it. It would be an excellent idea, I thought to myself, if the whole thing were properly sired in court. The whole thing! With Yvette's little stories as a side dish. After all, the French have a sense of humor. Perhaps the judge, when he heard Fillmore's side of the story, would absolve him from marriage.


  这时吉乃特正站在街对面向我们挥舞拳头,还使足了劲大骂。行人站下听她骂,分成两派,一遇到街上吵架他们总会这样。菲尔莫不知道怎么办才好:撇下她走掉还是过去哄她。他站在街中央,两只胳膊伸出来,企图插嘴。吉乃特还在喊,“土匪!野人!你们看,下流胚!”还有一些别的恭维话。后来菲尔莫朝她走去,大概她以为他要再好好揍她一下,便飞快地沿着街溜了。菲尔莫回到我站的地方说,“走,咱们悄悄跟着她。”我们出发了。身后跟着一小群人。她走一段路便回头朝我们晃晃拳头,我们也不想追上她,只是不紧不慢地跟着她走过那条街,看她打算干什么。后来她放慢了脚步,我们便穿过马路来到街道另一侧。现在她不喊叫了,我们仍跟着她,距离越来越近。现在我们身后只剩十来个人了,其他人都已失去了兴趣。待我们快走到街角时她突然站住了,等我们走近。菲尔莫说,“让我来说,我知道怎样对付她。”

Meanwhile Ginette was standing across the street brandishing her fist and yelling at the top of her lungs. People were stopping to listen in, to take sides, as they do in street brawls. Fillmore didn't know what to do – whether to walk away from her, or to go over to her and try to pacify her. He was standing in the middle of the street with his arms outstretched, trying to get a word in edgewise. And Ginette still yelling: "Gangster! Brute! Tu verras, salaud!" and other complimentary things. Finally Fillmore made a move toward her and she, probably thinking that he was going to give her another good cuff, took it on a trot down the street. Fillmore came back to where I was standing and said: "Come on, let's follow her quietly." We started off with a thin crowd of stragglers behind us. Every once in a while she turned back toward us and brandished her fist. We made no attempt to catch up with her, just followed her leisurely down the street to see what she would do. Finally she slowed up her pace and we crossed over to the other side of the street. She was quiet now. We kept walking behind her, getting closer and closer. There were only about a dozen people behind us now – the others had lost interest. When we got near the corner she suddenly stopped and waited for us to approach. "Let me do the talking," said Fillmore, "I know how to handle her."


  我们一走过去她便泪如泉涌了。至于我自己,我不知道她这是要搞什么名堂,所以后来我有点儿吃惊—菲尔莫走上前去用委屈的声调说,“那样做象话吗?你为什么要那样呢?”一听这话她便张开双臂搂住他的脖子,像小孩子一样大哭起来,称他是她的小这个、小那个,然后她转向我恳切他说,“你看见他怎样打我了。这样对待一个女人合适吗?”我正要脱口说很合适,菲尔莫抓住她的胳膊领她走了。他说,“别再说了,你若再闹我就在大街上揍你。”

The tears were streaming down her face as we came up to her. Myself, I didn't know what to expect of her. I was somewhat surprised therefore when Fillmore walked up to her and said in an aggrieved voice: "Was that a nice thing to do? Why did you act that way?" Whereupon she threw her arms around his neck and began to weep like a child, calling him her little this and her little that. Then she turned to me imploringly. "You saw how he struck me," she said. "Is that the way to behave toward a woman?" I was on the point of saying yes when Fillmore took her by the arm and started leading her off.. "No more of that," he said. "If you start again I'll crack you right here in the street."


  我原以为又要重新吵起来了。她眼中仍有怒火。不过她也有点儿怕了,很快怒气就平息下去了,但是在咖啡馆里坐下时她轻声冷酷地说,他别以为她这么快就会忘掉这件事,过一阵他还会听到的……也许是今天晚上。

I thought it was going to start up all over again. She had fire in her eyes. But evidently she was a bit cowed, too, for it subsided quickly. However, as she sat down at the café she said quietly and grimly that he needn't think it was going to be forgotten so quickly; he'd hear more about it later on… perhaps tonight.


  果然她没有食言,第二天早上我碰到菲尔莫,他的脸和双手全被抓破了。看来她一直等到他去睡了才一言不发走到衣柜那儿,把他的衣服全掏出来扔在地上,一件件全撕成了一条条的。以前这类事情也发生过几次,事后她又把它们补好了,所以菲尔莫没有表示什么。这种态度更使她怒不可遏,她要用指甲抓破他的肉,这一点她尽力去做了。由于怀孕了,她在某种程度上占了上风。

And sure enough she kept her word. When I met him the next day his face and hands were all scratched up. Seems she had waited until he got to bed and then, without a word, she had gone to the wardrobe and, dumping all his things out on the floor, she took them one by one and tore them to ribbons. As this had happened a number of times before, and as she had always sewn them up afterward, he hadn't protested very much. And that made her angrier than ever. What she wanted was to get her nails into him, and she did, to the best of her ability. Being pregnant she had a certain advantage over him.


  可怜的菲尔莫!这可不是什么好笑的事,吉乃特把他吓坏了。假如他威胁说要逃走,她便针锋相对地威胁要杀了他,而且她全是当真说的。她说,“如果你去美国我就跟去!你逃不出我的手心,一个法国姑娘总是知道如何报仇的。”接着她马上又哄他“放明白点儿”、“明智些”,等等。一旦他们有了那间文具店,生活就会变得非常美好。他连手都不用抬,她会把全部活儿都包下来。他可以呆在铺子后面写作,干他想干的事情。

Poor Fillmore! It was no laughing matter. She had him terrorized. If he threatened to run away she retorted by a threat to kill him. And she said it as if she meant it. "If you go to America," she said, "I'll follow you! You won't get away from me. A French girl always knows how to get vengeance." And the next moment she would be coaxing him to be "reasonable," to be "sage", etc. life would be so nice once they had the stationery store. He wouldn't have to do a stroke of work. She would do everything. He could stay in back of the store and write – or whatever he wanted to do.


  这件事就这样反反复复折腾了大约几个星期,像玩跷跷板似的忽起忽落。我尽可能躲着他们,我对这件事早已厌恶了,对他俩都很反感。后来在一个晴朗的夏日,我正从里昂信贷公司门前走过,从台阶上下来的不是别人,正是菲尔莫。我热情地跟他打招呼,因为我躲着他躲了这么久,多少总有点儿内疚。我以比一般的好奇更关切的口吻问他事情怎么样了,他很含糊他说了两句,话音里有一种绝望情绪。

It went on like this, back and forth, a seesaw, for a few weeks or so. I was avoiding them as much as possible, sick of the affair and disgusted with the both of them. Then one fine summer's day, just as I was passing the Credit Lyonnais, who comes marching down the steps but Fillmore. I greeted him warmly, feeling rather guilty because I had dodged him for so long. I asked him, with more than ordinary curiosity, how things were going. He answered me rather vaguely and with a note of despair in his voice.


  他以一种古怪、不连贯、可怜巴巴的调子说,“她只允许我去一趟银行。我只有大约半小时,不能久了,她记着我出来的时间呢。”说完他捏住我的胳膊,似乎是要带我赶快离开那儿。

"I've just gotten permission to go to the bank," he said, in a peculiar, broken, abject sort of way. "I've got about half an hour, no more. She keeps tabs on me." And he grasped my arm as if to hurry me away from the spot.


  我们沿着里沃利街往前走,这是很美的一天,暖和、晴朗、阳光明媚—是一年里巴黎最漂亮的几天之一。一阵和煦的微风吹来,刚好能吹走你鼻孔里滞留的气味。菲尔莫没有戴帽子,从外表看他很健康,像一位低着头走路的普通美国游客,口袋里的钱叮当乱响。

We were walking down toward the Rue de Rivoli. It was a beautiful day, warm, clear, sunny – one of those days when Paris is at its best. A mild pleasant breeze blowing, just enough to take that stagnant odor out of your nostrils. Fillmore was without a hat. Outwardly he looked the picture of health – like the average American tourist who slouches along with money jingling in his pockets.


  他平静地说,“我也不知道该怎么办。你得帮我一把,我没有法子,我掌握不了自己。只要能离开她一段时间,或许我会好起来的。可是她不让我走开,只许我上一趟银行,我得取些钱。我跟你走一段,然后就得赶回去,她会做好午饭等我的。”

"I don't know what to do any more," he said quietly. "You've got to do something for me. I'm helpless. I can't get a grip on myself: If I could only get away from her for a little while perhaps I'd come round all right. But she won't let me out of her sight. I just got permission to run to the bank – I had to draw some money. I'll walk around with you a bit then I must hurry back – she'll have lunch waiting for me."


  我静静地听他讲,心里暗想他的确很需要有人把他从这个深渊中拉出来。他已经完全陷进去了,他的勇气完全丧失殆尽了。他真像一个孩子,像一个天天挨揍仍不知道如何做才好的孩子,只会畏缩和发抖。我们在里沃利街的柱廊下拐弯时,他开始长篇大论地破口大骂法国。法国人叫他受够了。他说,“我以前常称赞法国和法国人,不过那都是文学作品中的事。现在我才算是了解他们了……我了解他们究竟如何了。他们残酷、贪财。起初法国显得妙极了,因为你有一种自由自在的感觉。过一段它就会叫你生厌,其实它骨子里全死了,没有感情,没有同情心,没有友谊。他们自私到了极点,是世界上最最自私的民族!他们什么也不想,只想钱、钱、钱,而且他妈的那么文雅、那么中产阶级化!正是这一点使我气得发疯,一看见她补我的衬衣我就恨不得用棍子揍她。总是补、补,节俭、节俭。 ‘要节俭!’我听见她整天只说这一句话。到处都能听见人们说,‘理智些,亲爱的!理智些!’可我不想理智,也不想符合逻辑。

I listened to him quietly, thinking to myself that he certainly did need someone to pull him out of the hole he was in. He had completely caved in, there wasn't a speck of courage left in him. He was just like a child – like a child who is beaten every day and doesn't know any more how to behave, except to cower and cringe. As we turned under the colonnade of the Rue de Rivoli he burst into a long diatribe against France. He was fed up with the French. "I used to rave about them," he said, "but that was all literature. I know them now… I know what they're really like. They're cruel and mercenary. At first it seems wonderful, because you have a feeling of being free. After a while it palls on you. Underneath it's all dead; there's no feeling, no sympathy, no friendship. They're selfish to the core. The most selfish people on earth! They think of nothing but money, money, money. And so goddamned respectable, so bourgeois! That's what drives me nuts. When I see her mending my shirts I could club her. Always mending, mending. Saving, saving. Faut faire des économies! That's all I hear her say all day long. You hear it everywhere. Sois raisonnable, mon chéri! Sois raisonnable! I don't want to be reasonable and logical.

  
  我恨这个!我想摆脱束缚,我想享受人生。我想干点儿事情,不愿成天到晚坐在一家咖啡馆里闲扯。老天,我们有错,可我们还有热情,犯错误也比什么事都不干强些。我宁愿在美国做一个无业游民也不愿再舒舒服服坐在这里了,也许这是因为我是美国佬的缘故吧。我出生在新英格兰,我想我是属于那儿的。一夜之间你变不成欧洲人,你的血液里有种使你与众不同的东西。

I hate it! I want to bust loose, I want to enjoy myself. I want to do something. I don't want to sit in a café and talk all day long. Jesus, we've got our faults – but we've got enthusiasm. It's better to make mistakes than not do anything. I'd rather be a bum in America than to be sitting pretty here. Maybe it's because I'm a Yankee. I was born in New England and I belong there, I guess. You can't become a European overnight. There's something in your blood that makes you different. It's the climate – and everything. We see things with different eyes.


  那是气候,还有一切,我们看问题的眼光不同,不论多么羡慕法国人,我们也无法变成他们。我们是美国人,而且只好一辈子作美国人了。当然,我恨国内那伙拘谨的家伙,我打心里恨他们。不过,我自个儿也是他们中的一个。我不是这儿的人,我讨厌这儿。”

We can't make ourselves over, however much we admire the French. Wer're Americans and we've got to remain Americans. Sure, I hate those puritanical buggers back Home – I hate 'em with all my guts. But I'm one of them myself. I don't belong here. I'm sick of it."


  衷全倒出来,搬掉压在胸口的重负对他是有好处的。我又想起一桩好笑的事:还是这个人,若是倒回去一年,准会像一只大猩猩那样拍着胸脯大喊,“多么美妙的一天!多么美的国家!多么好的人民!”若有哪一个正巧同行的美国人哪怕说一个对法国不恭敬的词儿,菲尔莫准会揍扁他的鼻子。一年前他会为法国去死。我从来没有见过哪个人像他这样深深迷恋一个国家,在一个外国的天空下过得如此幸福。这是不正常的,他说起“法国”时,这个词意味着甜酒、女人、衣袋里的钱、挣得容易花得快的钱,意味着作个坏小子、去度假。后来,等尽情玩够了,等帐篷顶被风刮走,清清楚楚地看到了天空,他才明白这不仅是一个马戏团,也是一个竞技场,像各处一样,而且还是一个极冷酷的竞技场呢。过去一听他侈谈光荣的法国和自由之类的蠢话,我便常想一个法国工人听了会作何感想,他能否明白菲尔莫这些话。怪不得他们认为我们全疯了,在他们看来我们是疯了,我们只不过是一群孩子、一帮老傻瓜。我们所谓的人生只是一篇廉价物品商店里听来的传奇故事。其中的热情又是什么呢?是使每个普通欧洲人感到恶心的、不值钱的乐观。这是错觉。不,用错觉这个词描绘它还太好了,错觉的意思是说还有点儿什么。不,不是错觉,是幻想,纯粹是幻想,就是这样。

All along the arcade he went on like this. I wasn't saying a word. I let him spill it all out – it was good for him to get it off his chest. Just the same, I was thinking how strange it was that this same guy, had it been a year ago, would have been beating his chest like a gorilla and saying: "What a marvelous day! What a country! What a people!" And if an American had happened along and said one word against France Fillmore would have flattened his nose. He would have died for France – a year ago. I never saw a man who was so infatuated with a country, who was so happy under a foreign sky. It wasn't natural. When he said France it meant wine, women, money in the pocket, easy come, easy go. It meant being a bad boy, being on holiday. And then, when he had had his fling, when the tent top blew off and he had a good look at the sky, he saw that it wasn't just a circus, but an arena, just like everywhere. And a damned grim one. I often used to think, when I heard him rave about glorious France, about liberty and all that crap, what it would have sounded like to a French workman, could he have understood Fillmore's words. No wonder they think we're all crazy. We are crazy to them. We're just a pack of children. Senile idiots. What we call life is a five-and-ten-cent store romance. That enthusiasm underneath – what is it? That cheap optimism which turns the stomach of any ordinary European? It's illusion. No, illusion's too good a word for it. Illusion means something. No, it's not that – it's delusion. It's sheer delusion, that's what.

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