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Tropic of Cancer[北回归线][En/Cn]

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第2节

在绝望中,有一天夜里我拉上我的朋友乔来到一家犹太教会堂里,当时里面正在做礼拜。这是一家新派会众聚会场所。那位拉比给我留下的印象相当不错。音乐也很打动人,是犹太人那种发自内心的悲哀曲调。礼拜刚一结束我便大摇大摆地走到拉比的书房里要求见他,他接待我时还算过得去,待我说明了来意他便吓坏了。我只是求他给我和我的朋友乔施舍几个钱,可是看着他瞧着我的那副样子你还以为我已开口要把会堂租下来当保龄球场呢。最后他突然直截了当地间我是不是犹太人,我说不是,他便发火了。那么,请问,你为什么要来向一个犹太教牧师求援呢?我天真地告诉他我一贯信任犹太人,我是很谦卑他说这话的,仿佛自己不是犹太人是一个古怪的缺陷似的。这也是实话,但他根本不为所动。不,先生。他简直吓坏了。为了赶我走,他给救世军的人写了一张便条,说,“这才是你该去的地方呢。”说完他便无礼地转身照看他的会众去了。

One night, in desperation, I dragged my friend Joe to a synagogue, during the service. It was a Reformed congregation, and the rabbi impressed me rather favorably. The music got me too – that piercing lamentation of the Jews. As soon as the service was over I marched to the rabbi's study and requested an interview with him. He received me decently enough – until I made clear my mission. Then he grew absolutely frightened. I had only asked him for a handout on behalf of my friend Joe and myself. You would have thought, from the way he looked at me, that I had asked to rent the synagogue as a bowling alley. To cap it all, he suddenly asked me pointblank if I was a Jew or not. When I answered no, he seemed perfectly outraged. Why, pray, had I come to a Jewish pastor for aid? I told him naively that I had always had more faith in the Jews than in the Gentiles. I said it modestly, as if it were one of my peculiar defects. It was the truth too. But he wasn't a bit flattered. No, siree. He was horrified. To get rid of me he wrote out a note to the Salvation Army people. "That's the place for you to address yourself," he said, and brusquely turned away to tend his flock.

 

  救世军当然也拿不出什么给我们。假如我们每人有两毛五分也可以祖一个铺在地上的床垫,可是我们两人加起来连五分钱也没有。我们来到公园里,在一条长椅上躺下。天正在下雨,我们便用报纸遮盖在身上。估计过了还不到半小时,一个警察过来一句话不说就狠狠扇了我们一掌,我们马上爬起来站在地上,还跳了几下舞,尽管当时没有一点儿心思跳舞。屁股上挨了那白痴王八蛋掴了一掌后,我真是又气愤又可怜,又沮丧又下贱,简直恨不得把市政厅炸掉。

The Salvation Army, of course, had nothing to offer us. If we had had a quarter apiece we might have rented a mattress on the floor. But we hadn't a nickel between us. We went to the park and stretched ourselves out on a bench. It was raining and so we covered ourselves with newspapers. Weren't there more than a half hour, I imagine, when a cop came along and, without a word of warning, gave us such a sound fanning that we were up and on our feet in a jiffy, and dancing a bit too, though we weren't in any mood for dancing. I felt so goddamned sore and miserable, so dejected, so lousy, after being whacked over the ass by that half witted bastard, that I could have blown up the City Hall.

 

  第二天早上,为了报复这伙好客的王八蛋,我们一早便精神焕发地站在一个天主教教士的门口了。这一回我让乔说话,他是爱尔兰人,还带点儿爱尔兰土腔。他的眼睛也非常蓝,温情脉脉的,只要乐意他还能叫它们湿润起来。一个穿黑袍的修女打开门,可她并不请我们进去,却要我们在走廊里等她去禀报那位好心的长老。过了几分钟那位好心的长老来了,像一部火车头一样喘着粗气。我们这么早打搅他的嗜好是为了得到什么?一点儿吃的和一个睡觉的地方,我们天真地答道。好心的长老立即问,那你们是从哪儿来的?从纽约。从纽约吗?那么你们还是尽快回纽约去吧,我的孩子们。这个大块头、大胖萝卜脸的狗东西再也没有说什么便当着我们的面把门关上了。

The next morning, in order to get even with these hospitable sons of bitches, we presented ourselves bright and early at the door of a Catholic priest. This time I let Joe do the talking. He was Irish and he had a bit of a brogue. He had very soft, blue eyes, too, and he could make them water a bit when he wanted to. A sister in black opened the door for us; she didn't ask us inside, however. We were to wait in the vestibule until she went and called for the good father. In a few minutes he came, the good father, puffing like a locomotive. And what was it we wanted disturbing his likes at that hour of the morning? Something to eat and a place to flop, we answered innocently. And where did we hail from, the good father wanted to know at once. From New York. From New York, eh? Then ye'd better be gettin' back there as fast as ye kin, me lads, and without another word the big, bloated turnip faced bastard shoved the door in our face.

 

  大约过了一个小时,我俩像两只歪歪倒倒的双桅帆船一样无助地四处乱逛,又碰巧从教士家路过。老天爷在上,这个大块头、淫荡的萝卜脸正在从胡同里往外倒他的轿车呢!从我们身边疾驶而过时他朝我们眼睛里喷出一团烟,似乎是说,“这是赏给你们的!”那轿车很漂亮,后面装着好几只备用轮胎,好心的长老坐在方向盘后面,嘴里叼着一根粗雪茄。这根雪茄这么粗,味道这么足,准是一根克罗那•克罗那牌的。他坐姿很优雅,你很难模仿得来。我看不见他是否穿了长袍,只看到嘴边淌下的肉汤和那根散发出香味的五十美分大雪茄。

About an hour later, drifting around helplessly like a couple of drunken schooners, we happened to pass by the rectory again. So help me God if the big, lecherous looking turnip wasn't backing out of the alley in a limousine! As he swung past us he blew a cloud of smoke into our eyes. As though to say – "That for you!" A beautiful limousine it was, with a couple of spare tires in the back, and the good father sitting at the wheel with a big cigar in his mouth. Must have been a Corona Corona, so fat and luscious it was. Sitting pretty he was, and no two ways about it: I couldn't see whether he had skirts on or not. I could only see the gravy trickling from his lips – and the big cigar with that fifty cent aroma.

 

  去第戎的路上我不由得追忆起这段往事。我想到在那些痛苦、耻辱的时刻我本该说、本该做而又没有说、没有做的一切,那时为了向别人讨一口面包就要叫自己变得不如一条虫子。尽管我非常镇定自若,这些老一套的侮辱和伤害仍使我感到痛苦。

All the way to Dijon I got to reminiscing about the past. I thought of all the things I might have said and done, which I hadn't said or done, in the bitter, humiliating moments when just to ask for a crust of bread is to make yourself less than a worm. Stone sober as I was, I was still smarting from those old insults and injuries.

 

  我仍能感觉到那个警察在公园里朝我屁股上掴的那一巴掌,尽管那只是一桩小事,你或许会说那是一堂短短的舞蹈课。我走遍了整个美国,也曾进入加拿大和墨西哥。到处都一样,你若想要面包就得去干活,去受人摆布。整个地球是一片灰蒙蒙的沙漠,是钢和水泥铺成的地毯。生产吧!更多的傻瓜和螺钉、更多的带刺铁丝网、更多的狗食、更多的割草机、更多的滚珠轴承、更多的高效炸药,更多的坦克、更多的毒气、更多的肥皂、更多的牙膏、更多的报纸、更多的教育、更多的教堂、更多的图书馆、更多的博物馆。前进!时间不等人,胎儿正在穿过子宫颈,却连一点润滑通道的羊水也没有。这是干燥、快把胎儿勒死的出生,没有一声哭号、一声喊叫。向来到人世间的孩子致敬!从直肠里腾腾放出二十一响致敬的礼炮。瓦尔特•惠特曼说,“我戴帽子全看自己高兴不高兴,不论是在室内还是在室外。”以前有过你可以挑选一顶合适的帽子戴的时代,不过时代在变,现在为了挑选一顶合适的帽子你得一直走到电椅上去,他们会给你一顶瓜皮帽戴。有点紧,怎么啦?不过没关系!挺合适。

I could still feel that whack over the ass which the cop gave me in the park – though that was a mere bagatelle, a little dancing lesson, you might say. All over the States I wandered, and into Canada and Mexico. The same story everywhere. If you want bread you've got to get in harness, get in lock step. Over all the earth a gray desert, a carpet of steel and cement. Production! More nuts and bolts, more barbed wire, more dog biscuits, more lawn mowers, more ball bearings, more high explosives, more tanks, more poison gas, more soap, more toothpaste, more newspapers, more education, more churches, more libraries, more museums. Forward! Time presses. The embryo is pushing through the neck of the womb, and there's not even a gob of spit to ease the passage. A dry, strangulating birth. Not a wail, not a chirp. Salut au monde! Salute of twenty one guns bombinating from the rectum. "I wear my hat as I please, indoors or out," said Walt. That was a time when you could still get a hat to fit your head. But time passes. To get a hat that fits now you have to walk to the electric chair. They give you a skull cap. A tight fit, what? But no matter! It fits.

 

  你必须呆在法国这样一个陌生的国度里,在将生与死分为两部分的子午线上行走,这样才会明白前面等待你的将是何种难以预测的景观。带电的肉体!民主的灵魂!血的浪潮!上帝的神圣母亲啊,这一番蠢活是什么意思?地球烤焦了,破裂了,男男女女像一窝兀鹰围着一具发臭的尸体一样汇集在一起,交配,然后飞往各处。我门就是从云里像沉重的石头一样落下的兀鹰,就是它们的爪和嘴,它的巨大的消化器官有一个专嗅臭肉的鼻子。前进!不怜悯、不同情、不爱也不谅解地前进!别请求宽恕,也别宽恕别人!更多的战舰、毒气、高效炸药!更多的淋菌!更多的链球菌!更多的轰炸机!越来越多,直到所有见鬼的工厂被炸成碎片,地球也一起毁掉。

You have to be in a strange country like France, walking the meridian that separates the hemispheres of life and death, to know what incalculable vistas yawn ahead. The body electric! The democratic soul! Flood tide! Holy Mother of God, what does this crap mean? The earth is parched and cracked. Men and women come together like broods of vultures over a stinking carcass, to mate and fly apart again. Vultures who drop from the clouds like heavy stones. Talons and beak, that's what we are! A huge intestinal apparatus with a nose for dead meat. Forward! Forward without pity, without compassion, without love, without forgiveness. Ask no quarter and give none! More battleships, more poison gas, more high explosives! More gonococci! More streptococci! More bombing machines! More and more of it – until the whole fucking works is blown to smithereens, and the earth with it!

 

  一下火车我就马上明白自己犯了一个大错误。那所公主中学离车站不远,我在薄薄的暮色中走过大道朝目的地摸去。正下着小雪,树上结的霜晶莹闪亮,我经过看上去像阴沉的候诊室的几家空荡荡的大咖啡馆。寂静、空旷的幽暗,这就是它们给我留下的印象。这是一个毫无希望的小镇,那儿出产的芥未多得车载斗量,大桶,小桶,罐子和精致的大口瓶里都盛着芥末。

Stepping off the train I knew immediately that I had made a fatal mistake. The Lycée was a little distance from the station; I walked down the main street in the early dusk of winter, feeling my way toward my destination. A light snow was falling, the trees sparkled with frost. Passed a couple of huge, empty cafés that looked like dismal waiting rooms. Silent, empty gloom – that's how it impressed me. A hopeless, jerkwater town where mustard is turned out in carload lots, in vats and tuns and barrels and pots and cute looking little jars.

 

  一看到那所学校我心里就凉了半截,到了大门口我仍拿不定主意,便站下考虑是不是还进去。可是我没有买回程车票的钱,再多想这个也没有多大用处。有一阵子我想给菲尔莫打电报,可是无论如何也想不出一个借口,于是只得闭上眼睛走进去。

The first glance at the Lycée sent a shudder through me. I felt so undecided that at the entrance I stopped to debate whether I would go in or not. But as I hadn't the price of a return ticket there wasn't much use debating the question. I thought for a moment of sending a wire to Fillmore, but then I was stumped to know what excuse to make. The only thing to do was to walk in with my eyes shut.

 

  正巧勒普罗维西厄先生不在,他们说这天他休息。一个小驼背过来主动提出带我去勒桑塞尔先生的办公室,那是第二号人物。我紧跟在他身后,他蹒跚走路的怪样子使我觉得很好笑。他是一个小怪物,在欧洲任何一座不那么像回事的教堂门口栖息的怪物。

It happened that M. le Proviseur was out – his day off, so they said. A little hunchback came forward and offered to escort me to the office of M. le Censeur, second in charge. I walked a little behind him, fascinated by the grotesque way in which he hobbled along. He was a little monster, such as can be seen on the porch of any half-assed cathedral in Europe.

  

  勒桑塞尔先生的办公室又大又空,我坐在一把椅子上等着,驼背又冲出去找他。我在这儿觉得相当自在,这个地方的气氛使我清晰地想起了美国的一些慈善机构,我从前常常在那些地方一坐就是几个钟头,等某个满口甜言蜜语的王八蛋来细细盘问我。

The office of M. le Censeur was large and bare. I sat down in a stiff chair to wait while the hunchback darted off to search for him. I almost felt at Home. The atmosphere of the place reminded me vividly of certain charity bureaus back in the States where I used to sit by the hour waiting for some mealy mouthed bastard to come and cross examine me.

 

  门猛地打开了,勒桑塞尔先生踏着碎步趾高气扬地进来了。我勉强忍住才没有笑出声来。他穿着一件常礼服,跟鲍里斯从前穿的那件一样,他的前额上垂下一络头发,斯麦尔佳科夫也许留的就是这种卷发。他严肃、好发脾气、目光锐利。他不说一句鼓励的话,马上拿来写着学生姓名、课时和课程的单子一次给我交代清楚,他告诉我给我拨了多少煤和木柴,接着又马上告诉我没有课的时间由我自行支配,想干什么就干什么好了。最后这一件是我听见他讲的头一桩好事,这话听了叫人那么舒服自在,我马上为法国祈祷了一次—为它的陆海军、它的教育制度、它的小酒馆及所有混账机构。

Suddenly the door opened and, with a mincing step, M. le Censeur came prancing in. It was all I could do to suppress a titter. He had on just such a frock coat as Boris used to wear, and over his forehead there hung a bang, a sort of spitcurl such as Smerdyakov might have worn. Grave and brittle, with a lynxlike eye, he wasted no words of cheer on me. At once he brought forth the sheets on which were written the names of the students, the hours, the classes, etc., all in a meticulous hand. He told me how much coal and wood I was allowed and after that he promptly informed me that I was at liberty to do as I pleased in my spare time. This last was the first good thing I had heard him say. It sounded so reassuring that I quickly said a prayer for France – for the army and for the navy, the educational system, the bistros, the whole goddamned works.

  

  这一套手续办完了,他拉拉一只小铃,听到铃声驼背便来引我去莱克诺姆先生的办公室。这里的气氛有些不同,更像一个货站,到处搁着提货单和橡皮图章,脸色灰白的办事员用断铅笔在大本的笨重帐本上飞快地书写,待他们把我这一份煤和木柴分出来后我便和驼背一起推着一辆手推车朝宿舍走去。我将在顶层分到一间房,同学监监们住在同一侧。这情景有几分好笑,不知道下一步会发生什么。或许有一只痰盂,这儿有一种很强烈的作战前准备的气氛,只缺少一只背包和一杆枪—还有一只黄铜酒怀。

This folderol completed, he rang a little bell, whereupon the hunchback promptly appeared to escort me to the office of M. l'Econome. Here the atmosphere was somwhat different. More like a freight station, with bills of lading and rubber stamps everywhere, and pasty-faced clerks scribbling away with broken pens in huge, cumbersome ledgers. My dole of coal and wood portioned out, off we marched, the hunchback and I, with a wheelbarrow, toward the dormitory. I was to have a room on the top floor, in the same wing as the pions. The situation was taking on a humorous aspect. I didn't know what the hell to expect next. Perhaps a spittoon. The whole thing smacked very much of preparation for a campaign; the only things missing were a knapsack and rifle – and a brass slug.

 

  分给我的房间相当大,屋里有一只小火炉,炉上装着弯曲的烟筒,恰好在铁床上方拐弯。还有一只装煤的大箱子。木柴就堆在门口。窗外是一排完全用石头砌起来的凄凉的小房子,里面住着杂货商、烤面包的、鞋匠、屠夫—全是一伙白痴似的粗人。我的视线又越过他们的房顶,光秃秃的山岭中有一列火车在卡嗒卡嗒响,车头发出的尖锐汽笛声既伤感又像是在发歇斯底里。

The room assigned me was rather large, with a small stove to which was attached a crooked pipe that made an elbow just over the iron cot. A big chest for the coal and wood stood near the door. The windows gave out on a row of forlorn little houses all made of stone in which lived the grocer, the baker, the shoemaker, the butcher, etc. – all imbecilic-looking clodhoppers. I glanced over the rooftops toward the bare hills where a train was clattering. The whistle of the locomotive screamed mournfully and hysterically.

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