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Tropic of Cancer  北回归线-第六章第一节

"Life," said Emerson, "consists in what a man is thinking all day." If that be so, then my life is nothing but a big intestine. I not only think about food all day, but I dream about it at night.

爱默生说,”生活也包括人一整天内的所思所想。”如果是这样,那么我的生活就只是一截大肠,我不仅整天想着吃的,晚上做梦也梦到吃的。

But I don't ask to go back to America, to be put in double harness again, to work the treadmill. No, I prefer to be a poor man of Europe. God knows, I am poor enough; it only remains to be a man. Last week I thought the problem of living was about to be solved, thought I was on the way to becoming self supporting. It happened that I ran across another Russian – Serge is his name. He lives in Suresnes where there is a little colony of émigrés and run down artists. Before the revolution Serge was a captain in the Imperial Guard; he stands six foot three in his stockinged feet and drinks vodka like a fish. His father was an admiral, or something like that, on the battleship "Potemkin."

可是我并不希望回美国去,去受双份罪,去做单调无味的事情。不,我情愿在欧洲做一个穷人。大家都知道,我真够穷的,只剩下做人所必需的东西了。上个星期我还以为生活问题就要解决了,以为我就要能自己养活自己了。我凑巧碰到了另一个俄国人,他名叫谢尔盖,住在叙雷讷,那儿住着一小群流亡者和潦倒的艺术家。俄国革命前谢尔盖是沙皇禁卫军中的一名上尉,他穿着袜子量身高足有六英尺三,喝起伏特加像牛饮水一样。他父亲是战舰”波将金号”上的海军将领之类的要人。

I met Serge under rather peculiar circumstances. Sniffing about for food I found myself toward noon the other day in the neighbourhood of the Folies Bergère – the back entrance, that is to say, in the narrow little lane with an iron gate at one end. I was dawdling about the stage entrance, hoping vaguely for a casual brush with one of the butterflies, when an open truck pulls up to the sidewalk. Seeing me standing there with my hands in my pockets the driver, who was Serge, asks me if I would give him a hand unloading the iron barrels. When he learns that I am an American and that I'm broke he almost weeps with joy. He has been looking high and low for an English teacher, it seems. I help him roll the barrels of insecticide inside and I look my fill at the butterflies fluttering about the wings. The incident takes on strange proportions to me – the empty house, the sawdust dolls bouncing in the wings, the barrels of germicide, the battleship "Potemkin" – above all, Serge's gentleness. He is big and tender, a man every inch of him, but with a woman's heart.

我同谢尔盖相遇的情形有些古怪。那天快到中午了我还在”疯狂的牧羊女”歌舞场一带嗅来嗅去想找点儿东西吃,也就是在那条一头装着铁门的窄小胡同后面。我正在舞台入口处闲荡,希冀同某个女演员不期而遇,这时一部敞开的卡车在人行道上停住了。那个司机正是谢尔盖,看到我两手插在兜里站着,他便问我愿不愿意帮他卸下车上的铁桶。听说我是美国人而且生活无着,他差一点高兴得哭起来,看来他一直在到处寻找一个英语教师。我帮他把装杀虫剂的桶子滚进去,我尽情看着在舞台两侧到处奔跑的女演员。这件事在我心中留下怪诞的印象—空旷的房子、女演员像填装着锯未的洋娃娃似的在舞台两厢横冲直撞、一桶桶杀菌剂、战舰”波将金号”—而最难忘的是谢尔盖的温文尔雅。他是一个大块头,十分温柔,是一个十分地道的男子汉,却又生了一副女人的柔肠。

In the café nearby – Café des Artistes – he proposes immediately to put me up; says he will put a mattress on the floor in the hallway. For the lessons he says he will give me a meal every day, a big Russian meal, or if for any reason the meal is lacking then five francs. It sounds wonderful to me – wonderful. The only question is, how will I get from Suresnes to the American Express every day?

在附近的咖啡馆里—“艺术家咖啡馆”—他马上提议为我安排住宿,说他要在走廊地板上铺一张床垫。作为上课的酬劳,他说叫我每天免费吃一顿饭,一顿丰盛的俄国饭,如果由于什么原因没有吃上这顿饭他就给我五法郎。我觉得这主意很妙—妙极了。唯一的一个问题是,我每天如何从叙雷油赶到美国捷运公司去。

Serge insists that we begin at once – he gives me the carfare to get out to Suresnes in the evening. I arrive a little before dinner, with my knapsack, in order to give Serge a lesson. There are some guests on hand already – seems as though they always eat in a crowd, everybody chipping in.

谢尔盖坚持马上就开始,他给我车费,叫我晚上到叙雷讷来。我带着背包在吃晚饭前赶到了,目的是给谢尔盖上一课。已经有些客人到场了,看来他们一贯是一起吃的,大伙儿凑钱。

There are eight of us at the table – and three dogs. The dogs eat first. They eat oatmeal. Then we commence. We eat oatmeal too – as an hors d'œuvre. "Chez nous," says Serge, with a twinkle in his eye, "C'est pour les chiens, les Quaker Oats. Ici pour le gentleman. Ça va." After the oatmeal, mushroom soup and vegetables; after that bacon omelet, fruit, red wine, vodka, coffee, cigarettes. Not bad, the Russian meal. Everyone talks with his mouth full. Toward the end of the mea Serge's wife, who is a lazy slut of an Armenian, flops on the couch and begins to nibble bonbons. She fishes around in the box with her fat fingers, nibbles a tiny piece to see if there is any juice inside, and then throws it on the floor for the dogs.

饭桌旁一共是我们八个,还有三条狗。狗先吃,它们吃的是燕麦片,然后我们才开始。我们也吃燕麦片—作为一种提胃口的佐餐食品。谢尔盖眨眨眼说,”在我们国家这是喂狗的。在这里却是给绅士的,这样行吗?”吃完了燕麦片便上蘑菇汤和蔬菜,过后是咸肉蛋卷、水果、红葡萄酒、伏特加、咖啡和香烟。俄国饭还不错,每个人说话时嘴里都塞得满满的。饭快吃完时谢尔盖的老婆—一个很懒的亚美尼亚婆娘---屁股坐在沙发上啃起夹心糖来,她把肥胖的手指伸进盒子里去摸一块,啃下一点点看里面是否有果汁,然后就把它扔到地板上喂狗。

The meal over, the guests rush away. They rush away precipitously, as if they feared a plague. Serge and I are left with the dogs – his wife has fallen asleep on the couch. Serge moves about unconcernedly, scraping the garbage for the dogs. "Dogs like very much," he says. "Very good for dogs. Little dog he has worms … he is too young yet." He bends down to examine some white worms lying on the carpet between the dog's paws. Tries to explain about the worms in English, but his vocabulary is lacking. Finally he consults the dictionary. "Ah," he says, looking at me exultantly, "tapeworms!" My response is evidently not very intelligent. Serge is confused. He gets down on his hands and knees to examine them better. He picks one up and lays it on the table beside the fruit. "Huh, him not very beeg," he grunts. "Next lesson you learn me worms, no? You are gude teacher. I make progress with you…"

饭一吃完客人们便匆匆忙忙走了,他们仓皇逃走,仿佛怕瘟疫降临。最后只剩下谢尔盖、我和狗—他妻子已经在长沙发上睡着了。他满不在乎地走来走去,替狗收集残汤剩饭。他用英语说,”狗喜欢吃这些东西,喂狗好得很。那条小狗它有虫子……它还大校”他弯腰仔细察看在狗两只爪子之间的地毯上爬着的一些白虫子,他试图用英语解释这些虫子,但是他的词汇不够用。最后他查了查词典,欣喜地抬头望着我道,”哈,是绦虫!”我的反应显然不那么明显,谢尔盖有些迷惑不解,于是便跪在地上,双手撑着地更仔细地察看它们,还捉起一条放在桌上的水果旁。”畸,它不太大,”他用英语嘟哝道。”下一课你教我各种虫子,行吗?你是个好老师,我跟你学了不少……””大”、”教”、”好”都发错了音。

Lying on the mattress in the hallway the odor of the germicide stifles me. A pungent, acrid odor that seems to invade every pore of my body. The food begins to repeat on me – the Quaker Oats, the mushrooms, the bacon, the fried apples. I see the little tapeworm lying beside the fruit and all the varieties of worms that Serge drew on the tablecloth to explain what was the matter with the dog. I see the empty pit of the Folies Bergère and in every crevice there are cockroaches and lice and bedbugs; I see people scratching themselves frantically, scratching and scratching until the blood comes. I see the worms crawling over the scenery like an army of red ants, devouring everything in sight. I see the chorus girls throwing away their gauze tunics and running through the aisles naked; I see the spectators in the pit throwing off their clothes also and scratching each other like monkeys.

躺在走廊里的床垫上,杀菌剂的气味叫我喘不过气来,这种刺鼻的辣味儿似乎钻进了我身上的每一个毛孔。刚才吃过的东西又在口中散发出气味—廉价燕麦片、蘑菇、咸肉和煎苹果。我又看到躺在水果旁的那条小小的绦虫和谢尔盖向我解释狗出了什么毛病时摆在桌布上的各式各样的虫子。我看到”疯狂的牧羊女”歌舞场的空乐他,每一条裂缝里都藏着蟑螂、虱子和臭虫。我看到人们疯了似的搔自己身上,搔呀搔,直到搔出血来。我看到这些虫子像一支红色蚂蚁大军一样在布景上到处爬,吞下它们看见的一切。我看到合唱队的姑娘抛开薄纱外衣,光着身子跑过走道。我还看到正厅里的观众也脱掉衣服互相搔痒,活像一群猴子。

I try to quiet myself. After all, this is a home I've found, and there's a meal waiting for me every day. And Serge is a brick, there's no doubt about that. But I can't sleep. It's like going to sleep in a morgue. The mattress is saturated with embalming fluid. It's a morgue for lice, bedbugs, cockroaches, tapeworms. I can't stand it. I won't stand it! After all I'm a man, not a louse.

我试图叫自己平静下来。不管怎么说,这毕竟是我找到的一个家,每天有一顿现成饭吃,而且谢尔盖无疑是个热心人。可是我无法入睡,这简直如同在陈尸所里睡觉一样。床垫已被散发出香气的液体浸透,已成了虱子,臭虫、蟑螂和绦虫的陈尸所。我忍受不了。我不愿忍受!毕竟我还是一个人,不是一个虱子。

In the morning I wait for Serge to load the truck. I ask him to take me in to Paris. I haven't the heart to tell him I'm leaving. I leave the knapsack behind, with the few things that were left me. When we get to the Place Péreire I jump out. No particular reason for getting off here. No particular reason for anything. I'm free – that's the main thing…

到了早晨我等着谢尔盖装车,我叫他把我带到巴黎去,却不忍心告诉他我就要走了。我把背包留下了,还有他给我的几件东西。我们到佩里埃广场时我跳下来了,在这儿溜掉并没有什么特殊原因。我是自由的—这才是最要紧的……

Light as a bird I flit about from one quarter to another. It's as though I had been released from prison. I look at the world with new eyes. Everything interests me profoundly. Even trifles. On the Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière I stop before the window of a physical culture establishment. There are photographs showing specimens of manhood "before and after." All frogs. Some of them are nude, except for a pince-nez or a beard. Can't understand how these birds fall for parallel bars and dumb bells. A frog should have just a wee bit of a paunch, like the Baron de Charlus. He should wear a beard and a pince nez, but he should never be photographed in the nude. He should wear twinkling patent leather boots and in the breast pocket of his sack coat there should be a white handkerchief protruding about three quarters of an inch above the vent. If possible, he should have a red ribbon in his lapel, through the buttonhole. He should wear pajamas on going to bed.

我像小鸟一样轻松地由一条街飞奔到另一条街,仿佛刚从牢房里放出来。我用全新的目光看世界,万物都引起我极大的兴趣,甚至包括鸡毛蒜皮的小事。我在布尔索尼尔街站下看一家体育用品商店的橱窗,里面有一些照片展示”史前及史后”人类的标本。全是法国佬,有些人光着身于,只戴一副夹鼻眼镜,留一缕胡子。真不明白这些姑娘怎么爱上了双杠和哑铃。一个法国佬应该有个微微腆起的大肚子,像查露斯男爵那样。他也该蓄胡须,戴夹鼻眼镜,不过不该光着身子让人拍照。他该穿双闪闪发光的漆皮靴,短便衣口袋上应该别一条白手帕,露出来四分之三英寸。如果有条件,他还应该在上衣翻领上系一条红缓带,穿过纽眼,上床睡觉时还要换睡衣。

Approaching the Place Clichy toward evening I pass the little whore with the wooden stump who stands opposite the Gaumont Palace day in and day out. She doesn't look a day over eighteen. Has her regular customers, I suppose. After midnight she stands there in her black rig rooted to the spot. Back of her is the little alleyway that blazes like an inferno. Passing her now with a light heart she reminds me somehow of a goose tied to a stake, a goose with a diseased liver, so that the world may have pâté de foie gras. Must be strange taking that wooden stump to bed with you. One imagines all sorts of things – splinters, etc. However, every man to his taste!

傍晚我走近克利希广场时从那个装着一条假腿的小婊子面前经过,她日复一日地站在戈蒙宫对面。看起来她还不到十八岁,可我想她已有固定的客人了。午夜过后她用黑假腿一动不动地站在那儿,身后是一条小胡同,里面像一座地狱一样灯火通明。如今我心情轻松地从她身边经过,不知怎么搞的她使我联想起一只拴在桩上的鹅,一只肝上患了病的鹅,这样世人才得以享用它的鹅肝馅饼。带着那条木腿去睡觉一定很古怪,人们会联想到各种各样的事儿—木刺啦等等。行啦,各人对自己的口味就行!

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