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Tropic of Cancer[北回归线][En/Cn]

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第3节

纳南塔蒂现在嘈叨起他那个生孩子时死去的妹妹来,种种难以说明的、乱七八糟的怪念头一起涌上了我的心头。她也在墙上的照片上,一个十二三岁;又瘦又羞怯的小姑娘,拉着一个糊涂老头的胳膊。十岁时她就嫁给了这个老色鬼,这老家伙已经埋葬掉五个老婆了。她生了七个孩子,自己死去时却只剩下一个孩子还活着。把她嫁给这老丑八怪是为了保住家里的珍珠,据纳南塔蒂说,她快死去时对医生低声说,”我已对跟男人睡觉厌倦了……我不愿再睡下去受罪了,大夫。”纳南塔蒂对我讲述这段往事时神情严肃地用那只枯萎的手搔搔头。他说,”安德里,跟人睡觉是一桩很糟糕的事情。我要教给你一个词,它可以叫你永远吉祥如意。你一定要天天念,一遍遍地念,一定要念上一百遍。这是天下最好的一个词,安德里……现在念……OOMAHARUMOOMA!”

It is a strange, inexplicable medley of feelings which assails me now as Nanantatee prattles on about the sister who died in childbirth. There she is on the wall, a frail, timid thing of twelve or thirteen clinging to the arm of a dotard. At ten years of age she was given in wedlock to this old roué who had already buried five wives. She had seven children, only one of whom survived her. She was given to the aged gorilla in order to keep the pearls in the family. As she was passing away, so Nanantatee puts it, she whispered to the doctor: "I am tired of this fucking… I don't want to fuck any more, doctor." As he relates this to me he scratches his head solemnly with his withered arm. "The fucking Business is bad, Endree," he says. "But I will give you a word that will always make you lucky; you must say it every day, over and over, a million times you must say it. It is the best word there is, Endree … say it now …OOMAHARUMOOMA!"

 

  “OOMARABOO……”

"OOMARABOO…"

 

  “不对,安德里……是这样的……OOMAHARU-MOOMA!””…OMAMABOOABA……””不对,……是这样的……”

……

"No, Endree … like this … OOMAHARUMOOMA!"

"OOMAMABOOMBA…"

"No, Endree … like this…."

 

然而,花了一个月纳南塔蒂才偷偷赶到了前头,他每星期要记住比一个词更多的东西还是有困难的—光线不好、书的印刷很拙劣、封面破烂不堪、书页撕破了、笨拙的翻书手指、跳狐步舞的跳蚤、埋伏在床上的虱于、他舌头上的泡沫、时常带的几分醉意、嗓子眼哽住了、酒壶里的酒、发痒的手掌、呼味呼味呼吸时的痛苦、疲惫得坠入雾中的脑瓜、良心的抽搐,盛怒,肛门里喷出的气体、胃中的火、发痒的屁股、顶楼上的老鼠以及耳朵里的喧嚣声和尘土。

But what with the murky light, the botchy print, the tattered cover, the jigjagged page, the fumbling fingers, the fox trotting fleas, the lie a bed lice, the scum on his tongue, the drop in his eye, the lump in his throat, the drink in his pottle, the itch in his palm, the wail of his wind, the grief from his breath, the fog of his brainfag, the tic of his conscience, the height of his rage, the gush of his fundament, the fire in his gorge, the tickle of his tail, the rats in his garret, the hullabaloo and the dust in his ears, since it took him a month to steal a march, he was hard set to memorize more than a word a week.

 

  若不是命运之神的干预,估计我永远也摆脱不了纳南塔蒂的摆布。碰巧,一天夜里凯皮问我愿不愿带他的一个顾客去附近一家妓院。这个年轻人刚从印度来,手头比较拈据。他是圣雄甘地手下的人,”食盐纠纷”期间向海边历史性进军的队伍中的一员。他曾发誓不近酒色,不过我得说他是甘地的一位非常好色的信徒,而且显然很久没有碰过女人了。我能做的只是把他领到拉费里埃大街为止,他活像一条伸出舌头的狗,而且简直就是一个自负、虚荣的小鬼!他穿一身灯芯绒西装,戴顶贝雷帽,拿根手杖,打条丝质宽领带。他还买了两支钢笔、一部小照相机和一些花哨的内衣,花的钱是孟买的商人们捐赠的—他们要送他去英国传播甘地的教义。

I suppose I would never have gotten out of Nanantatee's clutches if fate hadn't intervened. One night, as luck would have it, Kepi asked me if I wouldn't take one of his clients to a whorehouse nearby. The young man had just come from India and he had not very much money to spend. He was one of Gandhi's men, one of that little band who made the historic march to the sea during the salt trouble. A very gay disciple of Gandhi's I must say, despite the vows of abstinence he had taken. Evidently he hadn't looked at a woman for ages. It was all I could do to get him as far as the Rue Laferrière; he was like a dog with his tongue hanging out. And a pompous, vain little devil to boot! He had decked himself out in a corduroy suit, a beret, a cane, a Windsor tie; he had bought himself two fountain pens, a kodak, and some fancy underwear. The money he was spending was a gift from the merchants of Bombay; they were sending him to England to spread the gospel of Gandhi.

 

  一进汉密尔顿小姐的妓院他就无法自待了,他看到身边围着的一群赤裸裸的女人,便惊恐万状地望着我。我说,”挑一个,你可以随便挑。”他慌得茫然不知所措,竟不敢看她们一眼。他的脸胀得通红,小声道,”你替我挑好了。”于是我不慌不忙地审视她们一番,挑出一个身段很丰满的年轻小妞,看来她的身体不错。我们在接待室中坐下等饮料送来,鸨儿问我为什么不也找个姑娘。那个年轻的印度人便附和道,”对了,你也挑一个。 我不想独自跟她呆在一起。”于是鸨儿又把姑娘们全领进来,我替自个儿也挑了一个,一个个头挺高、挺瘦、生了一对悲戚戚眼睛的姑娘。过后众人都走了,只把我们四个留在接待室里。过了一会儿,那位青年甘地俯过身来耳语了几句。我说,”行啊,你若是喜欢她,就带她去吧。”于是我很为难、相当不好意思地对两个姑娘解释说我和印度人想调换女伴。我马上看出我们这是失礼,可我的年轻朋友此刻已经激动了、发情了,什么也顾不得了,只有快上楼去干完那件事拉倒。

Once inside Miss Hamilton's joint he began to lose his sang-froid. When suddenly he found himself surrounded by a bevy of naked women he looked at me in consternation. "Pick one out," I said. "You can have your choice." He had become so rattled that he could scarcely look at them. "You do it for me," he murmured, blushing violently. I looked them over coolly and picked out a plump young wench who seemed full of feathers. We sat down in the reception room and waited for the drinks. The madam wanted to know why I didn't take a girl also. "Yes, you take one too," said the young Hindu. "I don't want to be alone with her." So the girls were brought in again and I chose one for myself, a rather tall, thin one with melancholy eyes. We were left alone, the four of us, in the reception room. After a few moments my young Gandhi leans over and whispers something in my ear. "Sure, if you like her better, take her," I said, and so, rather awkwardly and considerably embarrassed, I explained to the girls that we would like to switch. I saw at once that we had made a faux pas, but by now my young friend had become gay and lecherous and nothing would do but to get upstairs quickly and have it over with.

 

  我进了两间紧挨着的屋子,中间有一个门相通。我估计我的伙伴打算在满足了迫切的、急不可耐的欲望后还要再跟我把姑娘换回去。姑娘们刚刚离开屋子去作准备我便听到他在敲门,他问,”请问卫生问在哪儿?”我没有想到事情的严重性,便劝他在坐浴盆里方便。姑娘们手里拿着毛巾回来了,我听到印度人在隔壁房间里格格傻笑。

We took adjoining rooms with a connecting door between. I think my companion had in mind to make another switch once he had satisfied his sharp, gnawing hunger. At any rate, no sooner had the girls left the room to prepare themselves than I hear him knocking on the door. "Where is the toilet, please?" he asks. Not thinking that it was anything serious I urge him to do in the bidet. The girls return with towels in their hands. I hear him giggling in the next room.

 

  正穿裤子,我猛然听到隔壁传来一阵骚动,那位姑娘在高声叫骂,骂他是猪猡,是一头肮脏的猪。我弄不明白他究竟干了什么,居然叫姑娘发这么大的脾气。我一只脚伸在裤腿里全神贯注地倾听,他试图用英语向她解释,嗓门越提越高,最后尖声叫起来。

As I'm putting on my pants suddenly I hear a commotion in the next room. The girl is bawling him out, calling him a pig, a dirty little pig. I can't imagine what he has done to warrant such an outburst. I'm standing there with one foot in my trousers listening attentively. He's trying to explain to her in English, raising his voice louder and louder until it becomes a shriek.

 

  我又听到一扇门呼地摔上了,接着鸨儿猛冲进我的房间,脸红得像甜菜,两只胳膊疯狂地乱比划。她尖叫道,”你应该害臊,竟把这样的人带到我这儿来!他是野人……他是猪……他是……”这时我的伙伴站在她身后,恰好在门口,脸上一副极其狼狈的表情。我问他,”你都干了些什么?”

I hear a door slam and in another moment the madam bursts into my room, her face as red as a beet, her arms gesticulating wildly. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself," she screams, "bringing a man like that to my place! He's a barbarian … he's a pig … he's a…!" My companion is standing behind her, in the doorway, a look of utmost discomfiture on his face. "What did you do?" I ask.

 

  “他干了些什么?”鸨儿嚷道。”我带你去看……随我来!”她抓住我的胳膊把我拽到隔壁屋里。”看呀!看呀!”她高声叫着指给我看坐浴盆。

"What did he do?" yells the madam. "I'll show you… Come here!" And grabbing me by the arm she drags me into the next room. "There! There!" she screams, pointing to the bidet.

 

  “走,咱们走。”印度小伙子说。

"Come on, let's get out," says the Hindu boy.

 

  “等一下,你不能就这样轻轻松松一走了事。”

"Wait a minute, you can't get out as easily as all that."

 

  鸨儿站在坐浴盆旁,气得唾沫星子乱飞,两个姑娘也站在那儿,手里捏着毛巾。我们五人都站着看那只坐浴盆,只见盆里水中漂着两截极粗的大便。鸨儿俯下身去在盆上盖了一块毛巾,”可怕!真可怕!”她哭喊道,”我从未见过这种事情!一头猪!一头肮脏的猪!”印度人以责备的目光望着我道,”你早该告诉我的!我不知道它冲不下去。我问你该去哪儿,是你告诉我用这个的。”他都快哭了。

The madam is standing by the bidet, fuming and spitting. The girls are standing there too, with towels in their hands. The five of us are standing there looking at the bidet. There are two enormous turds floating in the water. The madam bends down and puts a towel over it. "Frightful! Frightful!" she wails. "Never have I seen anything like this! A pig! A dirty little pig!" The Hindu boy looks at me reproachfully. "You should have told me!" he says. "I didn't know it wouldn't go down. I asked you where to go and you told me to use that." He is almost in tears.

 

后来鸨儿把我拉到一边,现在她已经理智一点儿了。不论怎样,这只是一场误会。兴许两位先生愿意下楼去再喝一杯—为了两个姑娘,她俩都吓坏了,她们没有经历过这类事情。假如两位好先生愿意酬劳那个女仆一下……那个,那滩东西,那滩脏东西女仆收拾起来可不是什么愉快的事儿。她耸耸肩头,挤挤眼睛。这是一桩可悲的事情,不过也是一次意外事故。先生们在这儿稍等一下,女仆马上就端酒来。先生们来点儿香槟怎样?好吗?

Finally the madam takes me to one side. She has become a little more reasonable now. After all, it was a mistake. Perhaps the gentlemen would like to come downstairs and order another drink – for the girls. It was a great shock to the girls. They are not used to such things. And if the good gentlemen will be so land as to remember the femme de chambre… It is not so pretty for the femme de chambre – that mess, that ugly mess. She shrugs her shoulders and winks her eye. A lamentable incident. But an accident. If the gentlemen will wait here a few moments the maid wiill bring the drinks. Would the gentlemen like to have some champagne? Yes?

 

  “我想离开这儿。”印度人有气无力地说。

"I'd like to get out of here," says the Hindu boy weakly.

 

  “别太难过,”鸨儿说,”事情已经过去了。有时会出错的,下一回你就会问卫生间在哪儿了。”她继续谈到卫生间—似乎是每层楼有一间,还有一间浴室。她说,”我有很多英国客人,都是绅士。这位先生是印度人?印度人是很可爱的民族,那么聪明,那么漂亮。”

"Don't feel so badly about it," says the madam. "It is all over now. Mistakes will happen sometimes. Next time you will ask for the toilet." She goes on about the toilet – one on every floor, it seems. And a bathroom too. "I have lots of English clients," she says. "They are all gentlemen. The gentleman is a Hindu? Charming people, the Hindus. So intelligent. So handsome."

 

  待我们走到街上,这位可爱的青年绅士差一点哭出声来。他很懊悔买了一套灯芯绒衣服、一根手杖和两支钢笔,他讲起发过的八个誓—不饮酒之类的八戒。向丹地海岸跋涉途中他们连一碟冰淇淋都不准吃。他还给我讲了纺车的故事—圣雄甘地手下的一小批不合作主义者如何效法他们的宗师的献身精神。他自豪他讲述了自己怎样在甘地身边步行,同甘地谈话,于是我产生了一种幻觉,仿佛自己正同那稣的十二门徒之一呆在一起。

When we get into the street the charming young gentleman is almost weeping. He is sorry now that he bought a corduroy suit and the cane and the fountain pens. He talks about the eight vows that he took, the control of the palate, etc. On the march to Dandi even a plate of ice cream it was forbidden to take. He tells me about the spinning wheel – how the little band of Satyagrahists imitated the devotion of their master. He relates with pride how he walked beside the master and conversed with him. I have the illusion of being in the presence of one of the twelve disciples.

 

  以后几天我们经常见面,他要安排同新闻记者会面,还要给在巴黎的印度人演讲。看到这些没有脊梁骨的恶魔互相使唤倒也有趣,同样有趣的是看到他们一涉及到具体事务便束手无策,这些小气而又卑鄙的对手们互相猜忌、滥施阴谋。无论哪儿有十个印度人呆在一起就准会出现一个包含各种团体和宗派的小印度,充满种族、语言、宗教和政治上的对立。在甘地的感召下他们尚能暂时奇迹般地抱成一团,一旦甘地去世便会出现分裂,重新患上内部纷争和混乱这个印度人的痼疾。

During the next few days we see a good deal of each other, there are interviews to be arranged with the newspaper men and lectures to be given to the Hindus of Paris. It is amazing to see how these spineless devils order one another about; amazing also to see how ineffectual they are in all that concerns practical affairs. And the jealousy and the intrigues, the petty, sordid rivalries. Wherever there are ten Hindus together there is India with her sects and schisms, her racial, lingual, religious, political antagonisms. In the person of Gandhi they are experiencing for a brief moment the miracle of unity, but when he goes there will be a crash, an utter relapse into that strife and chaos so characteristic of the Indian people.

 

  这位印度青年自然是乐观的,他到过美国并且受到美国人廉价理想主义的不良影响,他被蛊惑了,被无处不在的浴缸、卖小摆设的五分一角商店、熙熙攘攘的人群、高效率、机械化、高工资、免费图书馆等蛊惑了。他的理想是把印度美国化,他根本不赞同甘地的倒退狂热,他说,”前进”,像”基督教青年会”会员那样前进。听他讲述美国观感后我看出指望甘地实现那个必将彻底击败命运安排的奇迹是十分荒谬的。印度的敌手不是英国,而是美国。印度的敌手是时代精神,是时钟上一只不能拨回的指针。没有什么能帮助消除这种毒死整个世界的病毒,美国即意味着毁灭的厄运,她会把全世界拉入无底深渊。

The young Hindu, of course, is optimistic. He has been to America and he has been contaminated by the cheap idealism of the Americans, contaminated by the ubiquitous bathtub, the five-and-ten-cent store bric a brac, the bustle, the efficiency, the machinery, the high wages, the free libraries, etc., etc. His ideal would be to Americanize India. He is not at all pleased with Gandhi's retrogressive mania. Forward, he says, just like a YMCA man. As I listen to his tales of America I see how absurd it is to expect of Gandhi that miracle which will deroute the trend of destiny. India's enemy is not England, but America. India's enemy is the time spirit, the hand which cannot be turned back. Nothing will avail to offset this virus which is poisoning the whole world. America is the very incarnation of doom. She will drag the whole world down to the bottomless pit.

 

  这个印度人认为美国人是一个非常容易上当受骗的民族,他讲起那些曾资助过他的、容易轻信的人—教友派教徒、唯一神教派教徒、通神学者、新思想者、安息日会的会员,等等。这个机灵的年轻人懂得如何见风使舵,他会在适当的时机叫泪水涌出眼眶。他懂得如何募集捐款、如何哀求牧师的太太、如何向母亲和女儿同时调情。乍一看,你会以为他是一位圣人,而他也的确是现代的新潮圣人,一位受过玷污的圣人,他能一口气讲一大串关于爱情、友爱、浴缸、卫生设备和效率之类的事。

He thinks the Americans are a very gullible people. He tells me about the credulous souls who succored him there – the Quakers, the Unitarians, the Theosophists, the New Thoughters, the Seventh day Adventists, etc. He knew where to sail his boat, this bright young man. He knew how to make the tears come to his eyes at the right moment; he knew how to take up a collection, how to appeal to the minister's wife, how to make love to the mother and daughter at the same time. To look at him you would think him a saint. And he is a saint, in the modern fashion; a contaminated saint who talks in one breath of love, brotherhood, bathtubs, sanitation, efficiency, etc.

 

  他在巴黎逗留的最后一夜都奉献给”嫖的事情”了。白天他的日程全排满了—出席会议、拟电文、会晤、让报纸记者拍照、情意缠绵的道别、向组织里的中坚分子提出忠告,等等,等等。到吃晚饭时他决定把烦恼暂且抛在一边,他叫了香槟酒下饭,他朝侍者噼噼啪啪捻手指,总之他的举止正符合他的身份—一个粗莽的小乡巴佬。好玩的地方已去得够多的了,他便提议由我带他去一个原始一点儿的场所,他情愿去一个非常便宜的地方,一次叫上两三个姑娘。于是我带他沿着夏佩尔林荫大道走,一路上不停地告诫他小心钱包。在奥贝尔维勒附近我们闯进一家下等妓院,身边立即围上一群姑娘。没过几分钟他就在同一个光屁股姑娘跳舞了,这是一个大块头金发女郎,肥得下巴上尽是皱榴。有十几次我看到镶满整个房间的镜子里映出她的屁股,印度人黑瘦的手指执拗地搂着她。桌上摆满了啤酒杯,钢琴在喘息。没有主顾的姑娘都静静地坐在皮椅子上,像一窝黑猩猩一样默默地搔痒。这儿似乎有一种被压抑的混乱气氛,一种被压制下去的暴力行为,仿佛期待中的爆炸需要某种十分细微的细节安排,某种细微而又全然无准备、完全不可预见的东西。这种迷迷糊糊的幻想状态既允许一个人置身于一个事件之中又叫他保持冷漠,在这种状态中那尚未可知的小小细节开始模糊而又执著地凝聚,形成怪异的晶体,像窗子上结的霜,那些霜样的晶体显得这么怪诞,这么彻底无拘无束,这么奇形怪状,然而它们的命运却要由最最严酷的自然法则操纵,而我心中产生的感情亦是一样。它也要服从一些不可抗拒的规律。

The last night of his sojourn in Paris is given up to "the fucking Business." He has had a full program all day – conferences, cablegrams, interviews, photographs for the newspapers, affectionate farewells, advice to the faithful, etc., etc. At dinner time he decides to lay aside his troubles. He orders champagne with the meal, he snaps his fingers at the garçon and behaves in general like the boorish little peasant that he is. And since he has had a bellyful of all the good places he suggests now that I show him something more primitive. He would like to go to a very cheap place, order two or three girls at once. I steer him along the Boulevard de la Chapelle warning him all the while to be careful of his pocketbook Around Aubervilliers we duck into a cheap dive and immediately we've got a flock of them on our hands. In a few minutes he's dancing with a naked wench, a huge blonde with creases in her jowls. I can see her ass reflected a dozen times in the mirrors that line the room – and those dark, bony fingers of his clutching her tenaciously. The table is full of beer glasses, the mechanical piano is wheezing and gasping. The girls who are unoccupied are sitting placidly on the leather benches, scratching themselves peacefully just like a family of chimpanzees. There is a sort of subdued pandemonium in the air, a note of repressed violence, as if the awaited explosion required the advent of some utterly minute detail, something microscopic but thoroughly unpremeditated, completely unexpected. In that sort of half reverie which permits one to participate in an event and yet remain quite aloof, the little detail which was lacking began obscurely but insistently to coagulate, to assume a freakish, crystalline form, like the frost which gathers on the windowpane. And like those frost patterns which seem so bizarre, so utterly free and fantastic in design, but which are nevertheless determined by the most rigid laws, so this sensation which commenced to take form inside me seemed also to be giving obedience to ineluctable laws.

 

  我的整个生命要服从环境的支配,这是它以前不曾经历过的。可以称作是我身体躯壳的东西好像在缩孝在压缩,平常干瘪的肌体也在蜷缩,其表皮只能感觉到神经末梢的调节。

My whole being was responding to the dictates of an ambience which it had never before experienced; that which I could call myself seemed to be contracting, condensing, shrinking from the stale, customary boundaries of the flesh whose perimeter knew only the modulations of the nerve ends.

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