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Tropic of Cancer  北回归线-第十章第二节

Little by little, as I gained his confidence, I wormed my way into his heart. I had him at such a point that he would come running after me, in the street, to inquire if he could lend me a few francs. He wanted to hold me together in order to survive the transition to a higher plane. I acted like a pear that is ripening on the tree. Now and then I had relapses and I would confess my need for more earthly nourishment – a visit to the Sphinx or the Rue St. Apolline where I knew he repaired in weak moments when the demands of the flesh had become too vehement.

我一点一点地取得了他的信任,我钻到他心里去了。我已把他掌握得牢牢的,他会在大街上追上我,看是否能借给我几个钱花。他想叫我活下去,以便活着完成向更高阶段的过渡。我就像树上一只正在成熟的梨,我不时出现退步,吐露我需要更多的尘世的滋养—去看一次狮身人面像或是去圣阿波罗街,我知道每当肉体的要求变得太强烈、每当他变得软弱时便要去那儿。

As a painter he was nil; as a sculptor less than nil. He was a good housekeeper, that I'll say for him. And an economical one to boot. Nothing went to waste, not even the paper that the meat was wrapped in. Friday nights he threw open his studio to his fellow artists; there was always plenty to drink and good sandwiches, and if by chance there was anything left over I would come round the next day to polish it off.

作为画家他一钱不值,作为雕刻家他更不值钱,可他是个好管家,这也就不错了,而且他还是一个十分节俭的管家,什么都不浪费,甚至连包肉的纸也不扔。每逢星期五晚上他便为同行艺术家们打开自己的画室,有很多饮料,很好的三明治,如果偶尔剩一点什么我第二天便来把它消灭掉。

Back of the Bal Bullier was another studio I got into the habit of frequenting – the studio of Mark Swift. If he was not a genius he was certainly an eccentric, this caustic Irishman. He had for a model a Jewess whom he had been living with for years; he was now tired of her and was searching for a pretext to get rid of her. But as he had eaten up the dowry which she had originally brought with her, he was puzzled as to how to disembarrass himself of her without making restitution. The simplest thing was to so antagonize her that she would choose starvation rather than support his cruelties.

在布里埃舞厅后面还有一家我常去的画室,那是马克•斯威夫特的画室。假如这位刻薄的爱尔兰人不是天才当然也是一个怪才,他有一个犹太女人,是给他当模特儿的,他俩在一起已住了多年。现在他厌烦她了。正在找借口甩掉她,不过因为吃光了她当初带来的嫁妆,他现在正苦于找不到既不赔钱又能摆脱她的方法。最简单的办法莫过于同她闹翻,迫使她宁愿饿死也不再忍受他的残酷行为。

She was rather a fine person, his mistress; the worst that one could say against her was that she had lost her shape, and her ability to support him any longer. She was a painter herself and, among those who professed to know, it was said that she had far more talent than he. But no matter how miserable he made life for her she was just; she would never allow anyone to say that he was not a great painter. It was because he really has genius, she said, that he was such a rotten individual. One never saw her canvases on the wall – only his. Her things were stuck away in the kitchen. Once it happened, in my presence, that someone insisted on seeing her work. The result was painful. "You see this figure," said Swift, pointing to one of her canvases with his big foot. "The man standing in the doorway there is just about to go out for a leak. He won't be able to find his way back because his head is on wrong… Now take that nude over there… It was all right until she started to paint the cunt. I don't know what she was thinking about, but she made it so big that her brush slipped and she couldn't get it out again."

他的这位情妇是个相当不错的女人,人们至多不过会说她已没有身材了,她养活他的能力也完蛋了。她自己也是画家,那些声称了解情况的人中流传这样一种说法,说她比他更有才能。不论他待她多么苛刻她仍是公正的,她不允许别人说他不是一个大画家。她说,正是因为确有天才他才是这样一个不可救药的人。别人从未在墙上看到她的油画,只看到他的,她的作品都掖在厨房里了。有一次我也在场,有一个人坚持要看看她的作品,其结果很令人不快。斯威夫特用他的一只大脚指着她的一幅油画说,“你看这一幅,站在门口的这个男人正要出去撤尿,他会找不到回来的路,因为他的头在……再看看那边那幅裸体画……画阴部之前她干得不错,我不明白她当时在想什么,可她把那儿画得那么大,画笔一脱手掉进去就再也捞不出来了。”

By way of showing us what a nude ought to be like he hauls out a huge canvas which he had recently completed. It was a picture of her, a splendid piece of vengeance inspired by a guilty conscience. The work of a madman – vicious, petty, malign, brilliant. You had the feeling that he had spied on her through the keyhole, that he had caught her in an off moment, when she was picking her nose absent mindedly, or scratching her ass. She sat there on the horsehair sofa, in a room without ventilation, an enormous room without a window; it might as well have been the anterior lobe of the pineal gland. Back of her ran the zigzag stairs leading to the balcony; they were covered with a bilious green carpet, such a green as could only emanate from a universe that had been pooped out. The most prominent thing was her buttocks, which were lopsided and full of scabs; she seemed to have slightly raised her ass from the sofa, as if to let a loud fart. Her face he had idealized: it looked sweet and virginal, pure as a cough drop. But her bosom was distended, swollen with sewer gas; she seemed to be swimming in a menstrual sea, an enlarged fetus with the dull, syrupy look of an angel.

为了给我们讲解裸体画该是怎样的,他拖出一幅巨大的油画,这是他才画完的。画的是她,这是在犯罪心理激发下的绝妙报复,是一个疯子的作品—恶毒、琐屑、邪恶、机智。你会产生一种感觉,即他是透过锁眼窥视她的,是在她没有防备时画下她的—比方说她呆呆地掏鼻孔或搔屁股时。在画上,她坐在马鬃填的沙发上,呆在一间没有通风设备的房子里,一间没有窗子的巨大屋子,这儿活像松果腺的前叶,她身后是一道通向阳台的曲曲折折的楼梯,楼梯上铺着令人不愉快的绿色地毯,这种绿色只能出自一个快要毁灭的世界。最突出的东西是她的屁股,它一边大一边小,上面尽是疤痕,她像是微微从沙发上抬起了屁股,仿佛要放出一个响屁。她的面部却被斯威夫特理想化了,显得甜美而又纯洁,纯得像咳嗽药水。她的胸部被画得很大、被阴沟里的臭气充得胀大起来。她像一个放大了的胎儿,生着一副安琪儿的迟钝、甜蜜容貌,正在月经污血的海洋里游泳。

Nevertheless one couldn't help but like him. He was an indefatigable worker, a man who hadn't a single thought in his head but paint. And cunning as a lynx withal. It was he who put it into my head to cultivate the friendship of Fillmore, a young man in the diplomatic service who had found his way into the little group that surrounded Kruger and Swift. "Let him help you," he said. "He doesn't know what to do with his money."

然而人们还是情不自禁地喜欢他,他是一位不知疲倦的人,一个脑子里除了绘画什么都不想的人,而且还狡猾得像一只山猫。正是他启发我想到去发展与菲尔莫的友谊,菲尔莫是一个在外交界供职的年轻人,他也加入了围着克鲁格和斯威夫特转的那一小批人。斯威夫特说,“让他帮帮你,他钱多得不知道该怎么花。”

When one spends what he has on himself, when one has a thoroughly good time with his own money, people are apt to say "he doesn't know what to do with his money." For my part, I don't see any better use to which one can put money. About such individuals one can't say that they're generous or stingy. They put money into circulation – that's the principal thing. Fillmore knew that his days in France were limited; he was determined to enjoy them. And as one always enjoys himself better in the company of a friend it was only natural that he should turn to one like myself, who had plenty of time on his hands, for that companionship which he needed. People said he was a bore, and so he was, I suppose, but when you're in need of food you can put up with worse things than being bored. After all, despite the fact that he talked incessantly, and usually about himself or the authors whom he admired slavishly – such birds as Anatole France and Joseph Conrad – he nevertheless made my nights interesting in other ways. He liked to dance, he liked good wines, and he liked women. That he liked Byron also, and Victor Hugo, one could forgive; he was only a few years out of college and he had plenty of time ahead of him to be cured of such tastes. What he had that I liked was a sense of adventure.

当一个人把自己的钱全花在自己身上时,当一个人用自己的钱过得十分舒适自在时,人们便总会说,“他钱多得不知道该怎么花。”至于我,我看不出除此之外还有什么更好的可以花钱的地方。对于这些人,人们不能说他们大方或吝啬,他们毕竟把钱投入流通了—这才是要紧的。菲尔莫明白他在巴黎呆不了多久,他打定主意要在这段时间里玩个痛快。由于一个人有朋友陪着玩得更有趣些,他自然会来找我这样一个有充裕时间的人充当他所需要的伙伴。人们说他是一个令人生厌的人,我想他的确也是,不过需要食物时比厌烦更糟糕的事情你也可以忍受。不管怎么说,他还是在其他方面使我的夜生活变得有意思多了,尽管他蝶蝶不休地说话,通常是谈他自己或他一味崇拜的作家—尽是阿纳托尔•法朗士和约瑟夫•康拉德之流。他喜欢跳舞,喜欢喝好酒,喜欢女人,于是别人就能原谅他还喜欢拜伦和维克多•雨果了,他刚出大学门才几年,有的是时间去改掉这些爱好。我喜欢的是他的冒险精神。

We got even better acquainted, more intimate, I might say, due to a peculiar incident that occurred during my brief sojourn with Kruger. It happened just after the arrival of Collins, a sailor whom Fillmore had got to know on the way over from America. The three of us used to meet regularly on the terrasse of the Rotonde before going to dinner. It was always Pernod, a drink which put Collins in good humor and provided a base, as it were, for the wine and beer and fines, etc., which had to be guzzled afterward. All during Collins's stay in Paris I lived like a duke; nothing but fowl and good vintages and desserts that I hadn't even heard of before. A month of this regimen and I should have been obliged to go to Baden Baden or Vichy or Aix les Bains. Meanwhile Kruger was putting me up at his studio. I was getting to be a nuisance because I never showed up before three a.m. and it was difficult to rout me out of bed before noon. Overtly Kruger never uttered a word of reproach but his manner indicated plainly enough that I was becoming a bum.

由于我同克鲁格呆在一起的那一短时期内发生了一件古怪的事情,我和菲尔莫更熟了,也可以说更亲密了。这件事情是柯林斯刚到后不久发生的,柯林斯是菲尔莫从美国来时在路上认识的一个海员。我们三人去吃饭前常在圆形露天咖啡座定期会面,总是喝茴香酒,这种酒使柯林斯心情舒畅,也为后来灌下去的甜酒、啤酒、白兰地等垫了底。在柯林斯呆在巴黎的这段时间里我过的是贵族的日子,只吃鸡,喝名贵葡萄酒,吃以前听也不曾听说过的甜点心。过上一个月这种养尊处优的生活我就只好去巴登一巴登、维希或艾克斯菜班了。此时我在克鲁格的画室里过夜,我正在成为一个讨人厌的家伙,因为我从未在凌晨三点钟以前回来过,不到中午很难把我赶下床来,克鲁格从未公开责备过我,不过他的态度很清楚地表明我正在变成一个讨厌鬼。

One day I was taken ill. The rich diet was taking effect upon me. I don't know what ailed me, but I couldn't get out of bed. I had lost all my stamina, and with it whatever courage I possessed. Kruger had. to look after me, had to make broths for me, and so on. It was a trying period for him, more particularly because he was just on the verge of giving an important exhibition at his studio, a private showing to some wealthy connoisseurs from whom he was expecting aid. The cot on which I lay was in the studio; there was no other room to put me in.

有一天我病了,好饭菜在我身上生效了。我不知道自己生的是什么病,总之不能下床,我一点儿力气也没有,也丧失了勇气。克鲁格不得不看护我,为我煮汤喝,为我干别的,这对于他是一段很难的日子,尤其是他马上就要在画室里举行一次重要画展了,这是为一些有钱的鉴定家举办的私人画展,他指望从这些人那儿得到赞助,我睡的帆布床就摆在画室里,再没有其他房间可以安置我了。

The morning of the day he was to give his exhibition, Kruger awoke thoroughly disgruntled. If I had been able to stand on my feet I know he would have given me a clout in the jaw and kicked me out. But I was prostrate, and weak as a cat. He tried to coax me out of bed, with the idea of locking me up in the kitchen upon the arrival of his visitors. I realized that I was making a mess of it for him. People can't look at pictures and statues with enthusiasm when a man is dying before their eyes. Kruger honestly thought I was dying. So did I. That's why, despite my feelings of guilt, I couldn't muster any enthusiasm when he proposed calling for the ambulance and having me shipped to the American Hospital. I wanted to die there, comfortably, right in the studio; I didn't want to be urged to get up and find a better place to die in. I didn't care where I died, really, so long as it wasn't necessary to get up.

要举行画展那天早上克鲁格一醒来便十分不快,若是我还能站起来,我知道他准会照我下巴上揍一拳,然后把我踢出去。可我直挺挺地躺着,衰弱得像一只猫。他想哄我起床,想等参观画展的人一来便把我锁进厨房里。我也意识到自己这是在给他捣蛋,有一个垂死的人躺在眼前,人们不可能有兴致看绘画和雕塑。克鲁格打心眼儿里认为我快死了,我自己也这么想。这就是他提议叫救护车拉我去美国医院时我提不起一点儿劲来的原因,尽管我也有一种负罪感。我只想舒舒服服地就死在画室里,我并不想被人赶起来找一个好点儿的地方去死。我不在乎自己死在哪里,真的,只要不叫我起来就行。

When he heard me talk this way Kruger became alarmed. Worse than having a sick man in his studio should the visitors arrive, was to have a dead man. That would completely ruin his prospects, slim as they were. He didn't put it that way to me, of course, but I could see from his agitation that that was what worried him. And that made me stubborn. I refused to let him call the hospital. I refused to let him call a doctor. I refused everything.

听我这样说,克鲁格吓坏了。假如参观的人到了,画室里摆着一具死尸比睡着一个病人更倒霉,那会彻底毁掉他的前程,不论这种前程是多么黯淡。他当然不会这样对我讲,不过我从他焦虑不安的神情中看出这是使他烦恼的原因。这使我变得固执起来,我拒绝让他往医院打电话,我不让他打电话叫医生,我什么都不让他做。

He got so angry with me finally that, despite my protestations, he began to dress me. I was too weak to resist. All I could do was to murmur weakly – "you bastard you!" Though it was warm outdoors I was shivering like a dog. After he had completely dressed me he flung an overcoat over me and slipped outside to telephone. "I won't go! I won't go!" I kept saying but he simply slammed the door on me. He came back in a few minutes and, without addressing a word to me, busied himself about the studio. Last minute preparations. In a little while there was a knock on the door. It was Fillmore. Collins was waiting downstairs, he informed me.

最后他被我惹火了,不顾我的抗议便开始给我穿衣服。我身体太弱,无法抗拒,只能有气无力地低声咕哝—“你这个狗东西,你!”屋外很暖和,可我还是像条狗一样不住地发抖。他给我完全穿好衣服后便又在我身上盖了件大衣,然后溜出去打电话。“我不去!我不去!”我不停地这样说,可他只是砰地关上门走了。几分钟后他又回来了,一句话也没对我说便忙着收拾画室,这是最后的准备工作。过了一会儿有人敲了敲门,是菲尔莫,他告诉我柯林斯正在楼下等着呢。

The two of them, Fillmore and Kruger, slipped their arms under me and hoisted me to my feet. As they dragged me to the elevator Kruger softened up. "It's for your own good," he said. "And besides, it wouldn't be fair to me. You know what a struggle I've had all these years. You ought to think about me too." He was actually on the point of tears.

菲尔莫和克鲁格两人把手放在我身下将我扶起来,拖着我朝电梯走的路上克鲁格态度柔和些了。他说,“这是为了你好。再说,这样对我不公平。你知道这些年来我是怎样挣扎过来的,你也该替我想想。”他真的快掉眼泪了。

Wretched and miserable as I felt, his words almost made me smile. He was considerably older than I, and even though he was a rotten painter, a rotten artist all the way through, he deserved a break – at least once in a lifetime.

尽管我觉得很不幸、很苦恼,他这番话还是差点儿使我笑起来。他比我年纪大得多,是一个糟糕的画家、一个糟糕透顶的艺术家,尽管如此他也该交一回好运—至少一辈子该有一次机会。

"I don't hold it against you," I muttered. "I understand how it is."

“我并不是跟你过不去,我明白你的意思。”我喃喃道。

"You know I always liked you," he responded. "When you get better you can come back here again… you can stay as long as you like."

他答道,“你知道我一直是喜欢你的。等你好些了可以再回到这儿来……住多久都由你。”

"Sure, I know… I'm not going to croak yet," I managed to get out.

“当然,我明白……我一时还死不了。”我勉强说了一句。

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